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She moves swiftly, with confidence, a weathered Bible clutched in her right hand, the day's passages dog-eared and highlighted. 1 man in my life and any man who wants me must seek me through Him." The unmarried Georgia native is a committed follower of the Christian faith, striving to live and breathe the gospel in her daily life.She's the type of woman who can recite scriptures with ease, her love of faith evident in her speech. Yet, according to relationship advice columnist Deborrah Cooper, it is this devout style of belief and attachment to the black church that is keeping black women like Davis -- single and lonely."If they feel like they have to compete, you are not going to be interesting because you're not feeding his ego in the way it needs to be fed." Mark K.Forston, son of a black preacher in Forest Park, Georgia, says some black women "put their pastor on this pedestal and have a large amount of faith in him because he is a living source of salvation." Sometimes women even focus their romantic feelings on the pastor, says Forston.They want a man to which they are 'equally yoked' -- a man that goes to church five times a week and every Sunday just like they do," Cooper said in a recent interview."If they meet a black man that is not in church, they are automatically eliminated as a potential suitor."I don't think the church keeps black women single," Watkins says.
Nearly ninety percent of African-Americans express "certain belief in God" and 55 percent say they "interpret scripture literally," according to the 2009 Pew Research Center study "A Religious Portrait of African-Americans." Dr.(CNN) -- Legs covered in skin-toned stockings, her skirt crisp to the knee, Patty Davis slips on the black heels she has shined for the day."Got to look good in the Lord's house," she says as she spritzes her neck with White Diamonds perfume and exits her black Lincoln Town Car.Clinging to the gospel Cooper, a writer for the San Francisco Examiner, recently made claims on her blog Surviving that predominantly black protestant churches, such as African Methodists, Pentecostal, and certain denominations of Evangelical and Baptist churches are the main reason black women are single.Cooper, who is black and says she is not strictly religious, argues that rigid beliefs constructed by the black church are blinding black women in their search for love.