By Mike Rush
St. Louis (KSDK) - The National Baptist Convention is underway in St. Louis.
This week, 25,000 delegates will discuss policy, preaching techniques, and even take on a political hot potato. As soon as Tuesday, leaders at this convention are expected to begin discussing their stance on gay marriage.
Pastor Lawrence Ragland from Tennessee says he's prayed over the topic of gay marriage. He supports President Obama, but parts ways with him on this issue.
"When I heard him make that comment, I was really torn," said Ragland. "I was like 50/50 you know. I know you have to take a position but also at the same time, I was kind of disappointed, I really was."
The National Baptist Convention says it's the nation's oldest and largest African American religious convention with an estimated 7.5 million members.
Backed by the power of those numbers, and using St. Louis as its backdrop, convention leaders are for the first time expected this week to publicly announce their position on gay marriage.
"From an official stance, we are more than likely going to stand with what the Bible says as far as the principal of believing in the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman," said Pastor Reginald Lee Bachus, with the National Baptist Convention.
A stance delegate Alberta Perry from Alabama agrees with.
"According to the Bible, he created male and female and so I'm against gay marriages because that's against the laws and teachings of God," said Perry.