Raphael Warnock

American politician and pastor

Raphael Gamaliel Warnock (born July 23, 1969) is an American pastor and politician serving as senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, and as the junior United States senator from Georgia since 2021. A member of the Democratic Party, he assumed office on January 20, 2021.

Rev. Raphael Warnock (2021)

Warnock was the senior pastor of Douglas Memorial Community Church until 2005, when he became senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church. He came to prominence in Georgia politics as a leading activist in the campaign to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Warnock defeated incumbent Kelly Loeffler in the runoff in Georgia's 2020–21 United States Senate special election on January 5, 2021.


  • I talked about how I intend to represent them, and my opponent was focused on how she would represent her own interest. And I think the folks heard that loud and clear. We’re dealing with folks that are facing eviction. People have been waiting for months for relief, and they saw politicians play the same old games last week. We should have already passed this $2,000 stimulus check, and I can’t wait to get to work.
  • Because this is America, the 82-year-old hands that used to pick somebody else's cotton went to the polls and picked her youngest son to be a United States senator.
    • Quoted in Raphael Warnock honors the journey of his 82-year-old mother, who as a teen 'used to pick somebody else's cotton' CNN, By Faith Karimi (6 January 2021)
  • We were told that we couldn’t win this election, but tonight we proved that with hope, hard work and the people by our side, anything is possible. May my story be an inspiration to some young person who is trying to grasp and grab hold of the American dream. And so, Georgia, I am honored by the faith that you have shown in me. And I promise you this tonight: I am going to the Senate to work for all of Georgia, no matter who you cast your vote for in this election.
  • In this moment in American history, Washington has a choice to make. In fact, all of us have a choice to make. Will we continue to divide, distract and dishonor one another, or will we love our neighbors as we love ourselves? Will we play political games while real people suffer, or will we win righteous fights together, standing shoulder to shoulder, for the good of Georgia, for the good of our country? Will we seek to destroy one another as enemies or heed the call towards the common good, building together what Dr. King called the “beloved community”?
    And so, to everyone out there struggling today, whether you voted for me or not, know this: I hear you. I see you. And every day I’m in the United States Senate, I will fight for you. I will fight for your family.
    • Excerpt of Rev. Warnock's victory speech played in 'Georgia Turning Blue? In Victory for Grassroots Organizers, Warnock Wins Senate Runoff; Ossoff Leads', Democracy Now! (6 January 2021)

Quotes aboutEdit

(Chronological order)

  • Senator-elect Warnock has actually been a part of the same movement that has helped to catapult him to the U.S. Senate as the prior board chair for the New Georgia Project, through work that he’s done through the Ebenezer Baptist Church around public health or through ending mass incarceration back in June of 2019. He was a part of a group of multifaith leaders who held an ending mass incarceration conference at Ebenezer Baptist Church. And so, we saw imams, we saw Jewish faith leaders, we saw rabbis, we saw preachers and pastors from across the South and across the country, come together to address these very critical issues. So, that’s the type of convener he’s already been. And that’s what has resonated with folks on the ground who are doing the work, because they’ve worked alongside him.
  • Verlene Warnock spent her summers picking cotton and tobacco as a teen in Waycross, Georgia, in the 1950s before becoming a pastor. "Because this is America, the 82-year-old hands that used to pick somebody else's cotton went to the polls and picked her youngest son to be a United States senator," [Raphael] Warnock said... Her story was not uncommon. In the Jim Crow South, many poor Black people built savings by working in the fields because it was almost impossible for them to own land... At 82, Verlene Warnock still preaches at Bible and Prayer Ministries, her church in Savannah. And her son, the 11th of 12 children, is going to Congress.
    • Raphael Warnock honors the journey of his 82-year-old mother, who as a teen 'used to pick somebody else's cotton' CNN, By Faith Karimi (6 January 2021)
  • Georgia voters sent the pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church to the U.S. Senate. The Rev. Raphael Warnock, senior shepherd of the same congregation once led by Martin Luther King Jr., will become the first elected Black Democratic senator – not just from Georgia, but from the entire South. Without stepping outside his campaign headquarters, Warnock this morning was making the rounds on morning news shows.
  • Raphael Warnock’s victory Tuesday night is historic, heralding a litany of firsts. In a Senate that remains almost solely the province of white men, he'll be the first Black Democrat from Georgia, the first Black Democrat from the South, the first Black pastor and only the second Black senator ever elected from a state below the Mason-Dixon line since Reconstruction... Warnock’s win... negates the longstanding, quietly kept idea that Black candidates don’t stand a chance running for the Senate in the South...
    Just seven African Americans have ever been elected to the Senate. Warnock will be the eighth. And though it was the New South that propelled Warnock into office, he preaches — and campaigns — from the old school, prophetic tradition, which criticizes America’s greatest societal ills. On the campaign trail, it was hard to separate the preacher from the politician. His stump speeches mirrored his sermons, interspersing calls for Medicaid expansion and criminal justice reform with allusions to scripture. Like Barack Obama, Warnock downplayed race on the campaign trail, running on a platform that appealed to a wide swath of the electorate. In addition to Black voters, Asian Americans and Latinos supported him and Jon Ossoff in droves during both the November and January elections. And he made a concerted effort to target rural and first-time voters, having already engaged the groups extensively as chair of the New Georgia Project, a position he held from 2017 until 2020.
    • Politico How Raphael Warnock fused Old and New South to win Georgia, by Maya King & Teresa Wiltz, (6 January 2021)
  • My friend John Lewis is surely smiling down on his beloved Georgia this morning, as people across the state carried forward the baton that he and so many others passed down to them. I want to congratulate Reverend Raphael Warnock on his election as Georgia’s next U.S. Senator — and while we're still waiting on final results in the other runoff, is clear that last night’s showing... is a testament to the power of the tireless and often unheralded work of grassroots organizing...
    • Barack Obama, quoted in Obama on Warnock win: 'John Lewis is surely smiling down on his beloved Georgia this morning', The Hill, Jordan Williams (6 January 2021)

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