Although Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton admitted spotlighting one's faith doesn't come naturally to a "Midwestern Methodist," she shared details of her beliefs Thursday evening at the National Baptist Convention USA's 136th annual session in Kansas City, Mo. She quoted Scripture, hymns and even St. Francis of Assisi as she described her "activist, social justice faith - a roll-up-your-sleeves-and-get-your-hands-dirty faith."
"I am grateful for the gift of personal salvation and for the great obligation of the social gospel to use the gift of grace wisely, to reflect the love of God and to follow the example of Jesus Christ to the greater good of God's beloved community," she said. "That's what led me to devote my life in the ways I could to serving others."
The National Baptist Convention is one of the nation's oldest and largest African-American religious organizations, reports Religion News Service. It typically draws of crowd of approximately 20,000 attendees.
Clinton regularly has held campaign events at black churches, reports ABC News. She said she felt "welcomed" by Baptists, adding she has "been married to a Southern Baptist for more than 40 years."
"I am sure some of you are sick and tired of politicians who just show up at election time. You and your congregations deserve more," Clinton said Thursday, as she then name-checked four black churches she has visited during the campaign and offered several examples of how they're improving local communities.
In her address at the convention, Clinton recalled her father kneeling beside his bed to pray and her mother teaching Sunday school. She said she had traveled from Chicago's suburbs into the city with her church youth minister to attend a black church for the first time and to hear a speech by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and shake his hand.
She recounted the "hard lesson" she has taught as the occasional Sunday school teacher: "We're not asked to love each other, not urged or requested. We're commanded to love. Indeed, Jesus made it his greatest commandment."
She repeated the Methodist credo that has been thread throughout her 2016 campaign: "Do all the good you can for all the people you can in all the ways you can as long as ever you can."
"For me, it has always been about trying to live up to the responsibility described by the prophet Micah: that we do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with our God," she said.
She drew applause and shouts, as she shared Scripture she said had have informed her belief: As attributed to St. Francis, "Try to preach the gospel always, and, if necessary, use words," and from the Bible, "Faith without works is dead" and "We cannot just be hearers of the word, we must be doers."
"As president, I will be your partner in this work of translating love into action," she said.