Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) praised a black Baptist ministry's effort to fight AIDS in Africa and promised his continued support. "I just wanted to come by and say amen to the great work you are doing throughout the world," said McConnell to the 1,600 people gathered for the opening of the 106th annual Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Mission Convention Monday night in Louisville. The organization represents 3,500 mostly black Baptist U.S. churches and is involved in missionary work in more than 10 countries, including Liberia, Haiti, India, Jamaica and South Africa. McConnell was invited because he has been working with the organization to get federal money for AIDS programs it runs in Africa, said the Rev. A. Russell Awkard of Louisville's New Zion Baptist Church, the host pastor. David Emmanuel Goatley, the group's executive secretary and treasurer, said the Lott Carey international program is seeking $56 million from the U.S. government.
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