Their prayers may have been private, but the five candidates for the Democratic D.C. mayoral nomination all showed up in church yesterday and made their hopes and dreams for next week's primary very public, some getting a hand from ministers' endorsements.
Cloaked in kente cloth and wearing his miter, Bishop George Augustus Stallings Jr., whose name has been associated with the candidacy of Del. Walter E. Fauntroy, told his Imani Temple congregation yesterday that council member Charlene Drew Jarvis (D-Ward 4) is his personal choice for mayor.
"You can vote for whomever you so desire," he said. "But if you want to do the right thing, if you want to benefit from your pastor's counsel with the Almighty, if you want to know what my God told me the last time I had a talk with Him, you will want to be on the right side at the right time."
Stallings said he is aware of many solid supporters of mayoral candi-CAMPAIGN '90 CANDIDATES IN D.C. dates John Ray and Fauntroy among the 2,700 members of his Imani Temple in Southeast.
Jarvis was prominently seated down in front of the congregation next to Effi Barry. Mayor Marion Barry's wife endorsed Jarvis last week, but said that her action is no indication of the mayor's feelings about the race to succeed him.
Stallings, who broke with the Roman Catholic Church to form the African-American Catholic Congregation, also told his followers that he is backing Ward 6 council member Nadine P. Winter in her reelection bid.
While some will be swayed by Stallings' endorsement, Ellen Van Edwards, 53, an Imani Temple member, said "in the end, they will form their own opinions."
In late June, Fauntroy's campaign announced that Stallings was one of a group of ministers who were endorsing him. Yesterday, however, Stallings said he has "never implicitly or explicitly endorsed the candidacy of Delegate Fauntroy. My presence at a breakfast for the delegate may have been misconceived as a sign of support."
Robert Johnson, Fauntroy's campaign manager, disagreed: "We had a firm understanding. We didn't expect him to go back on his word."
In addition to Stallings, 15 ministers -- including the Rev. Robert Hamilton of 10th Street Baptist Church and the Rev. Robert Childs of Berean Baptist Church -- endorsed Jarvis yesterday.
Jarvis also attended an 8 a.m. service at Metropolitan Baptist Church in Northwest, where the mayor sometimes worships.
Council Chairman David A. Clarke went to Metropolitan's 11 a.m. service.
Fauntroy preached at the church he pastors: New Bethel Baptist Church in Northwest.
Lawyer Sharon Pratt Dixon started off at Nativity Catholic Church in upper Northwest, then spoke at Johnson Memorial Baptist Church in Southeast.
"I believe she captured the ear of most of those who heard her," said Franklin Goode, a trustee at Johnson Memorial.
At-large council member Ray, who is the apparent front-runner in the mayoral primary race, had three churches on his agenda yesterday: Ward Memorial AME Zion Church in Northeast, Union Temple Baptist Church in Southeast and New Bethel Church of God in Christ in Northwest.
In an interview, Ray said that repeated endorsements of Dixon on the editorial pages of The Washington Post -- a second was published in yesterday's editions of the newspaper -- would "help her and help her a great deal."
However, Ray said he doubted that Dixon had the organization to take advantage of the endorsement.
Staff writer R.H. Melton contributed to this report.