Baptists attending national convention look forward to hearing from Hillary Clinton, refer to her as a friend

KANSAS CITY -- More than 20,000 delegates are in town this week for the National Baptist Convention.

Later Thursday the group will hear a campaign speech by Hillary Clinton, the Democrat running for President.

The Clintons have a long history with these Baptists.

Members tell FOX 4 News that when Bill Clinton served as President, he regularly addressed this baptist convention, and now his wife is using the same tactic to rally support among African American voters.

The Rev. John "Modest" Miles, the convention organizer, who leads Morning Star Missionary Baptist Church in Kansas City has a close bond with the Clintons, who he calls fine people.

"We are nothing but friends. We are very close," Rev. Miles said. "I’ve been knowing the Clintons for 50 years almost. I had the blessed privilege of sharing with him in his first inaugural celebration when he first became governor of Arkansas. I was one of the persons who helped swear him in."

This is the not the first time the baptists have brought their gathering to Kansas City. In previous years, the convention has generated nearly $8-million in local spending, according to Visit KC.

The event brings in delegates from as far away as the Bahamas, and it's clear from talking with many of them that Hillary Clinton will be among friends. Many say they're enthusiastic supporters.