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Category Archive for: "Statements and Press Releases"

Phoenix Evangelical Leaders Call for a Vote on Immigration Reform

Local Pastors to Fly to D.C., Meet with Members of Congress Tuesday

 **For a recording of today’s call click here.**

PHOENIX, APRIL 25, 2014 — On a press call today, top Phoenix evangelical leaders highlighted the biblical call to welcome the stranger and urge Congress to move forward with a vote this year on immigration reform.

The press conference featured local pastors who will discuss the moral imperatives for immigration reform, their efforts during the April congressional recess and their Tuesday #Pray4Reform trip to Washington, D.C., to meet with their members of Congress.

The following quotes are from Arizona pastors on today’s call:

Adam Estle, Arizona Church Mobilizer, Evangelical Immigration Table, Peoria:
“Next week will be the fifth time since December 2012 that evangelical pastors have headed to Washington to advocate for immigration reform on behalf of our immigrant brothers and sisters. As faith leaders, we believe we are mandated by God to stand for the vulnerable. As followers of Jesus, we are convinced that His words in Matthew 25 apply to this present opportunity to ‘welcome the stranger’ in our communities. We hope and pray that our members of Congress will lead on fixing our terribly broken immigration system as quickly as possible. Immigration reform is a matter of when, not if, and every day that passes without reform adds to the suffering of our communities.”

Bob Hake, Lead Pastor, Orangewood Church of the Nazarene, Phoenix:
“It’s my privilege to join hundreds of pastors from around the country in Washington, D.C., next week for the Pastors for Reform event. We’ll be meeting with members of Congress sharing our concerns over our nation’s broken immigration system. Every day I see in lives of my church members and community the harmful effects of a system that is so severely broken and in need of immediate reform. Extreme poverty, homelessness and hunger are the realities in my community resulting from our nation’s leaders’ reluctance to pass commonsense reform. We need Congress to act now voting on reform that address the crisis and stabilizes our families and community.”

Ryan Nuñez, Executive Pastor, Palm Valley Church, Goodyear:
“I am a product of immigration. My grandfather led churches for migrants and my grandmother was an immigrant from Canada. Immigration is part of my heritage, and yet for a long time I stayed on the sidelines on this issue because I have operated under the assumption that the church should stay out of politics. I still hold this view; however, I have become convinced that as a pastor I need to speak out on what the Bible says about certain issues. Immigration reform is one of these issues. Our role on this topic is clear from a Biblical perspective. There is a need for reform that balances the Biblical principles of compassion and care for the immigrant with the call to follow the rule of law and respect the authority placed over us. This is a complicated balance, but not impossible. People and families that God loves hang in the balance as meaningful reform is debated.”

Chris Schutte, Lead Pastor, Christ Church Anglican, Phoenix:
“As a pastor, I see the effects of our broken immigration system nearly every day. It’s well past time that our leaders come together to craft a solution that upholds the rule of law, respects the dignity and integrity of individuals and families, allows labor needs to be met in a way that honors both the employer and the worker, and, finally, finds a way to justly and compassionately allow hard-working and otherwise law-abiding folks who are undocumented to embark on an earned path to legalization and, eventually, citizenship.”

Join the conversation on Twitter using #Pray4Reform and #VoteOnReform.

Missouri Evangelical Leaders Call for a Vote on Immigration Reform

Local Pastors to Fly to D.C., Meet with Members of Congress Tuesday

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo., APRIL 25, 2014 — Top Missouri evangelical leaders met for a press conference Thursday to highlight the biblical call to welcome the stranger and urge Congress to move forward with a vote on immigration reform.

The press conference featured local pastors who will discuss the moral imperatives for immigration reform, their efforts during the April congressional recess and their Tuesday #Pray4Reform trip to Washington, D.C., to meet with their members of Congress.

The following are quotes from pastors at Thursday’s press conference:

Noah Angel, Pastor, Familia Cristiana International:
“As Ministers and people of faith we are called to be the voice of those who have no voice and defend the rights of all who are destitute, the poor and the needy. As we continue to pray for our nation and for wisdom for the ones who are the decision makers. We also pray and move into action for a moral and dignifying solution to the immigration issue at hand. It is time to act and move forward bringing into light the lives of those who had lived in the shadows for way too long. They are real people, with the same type of dreams and aspirations as anyone else. Let’s give them a chance.”

Ken McCune, Missouri Baptist Church Planting Strategist:
“As a follower of Jesus Christ I believe His teachings on how to relate to the foreign born, and our obedience to the laws of the land as good citizens, must be taken seriously. It is in that vein that I am excited to participate with those of the Evangelical Immigration Table in proposing reasonable solutions to immigration issues in our country that demonstrate love for immigrants, benefit our country, and honor the Lord.”

Jason Schoff, Director of Latino Outreach, Mission Adelante:
“When I read the Scriptures, I see an overwhelming call from God to take care of foreigners and treat them justly. Our current immigration laws are broken and offer no compassion to vulnerable immigrants who are often fighting to provide for their families. This causes families to suffer and we must address this crucial issue now with reform instead of allowing the status quo to go on. I stand with evangelical leaders who have signed the Evangelical Immigration Table’s principles calling for reform.”

Join the conversation on Twitter using #Pray4Reform and #VoteOnReform.

Houston Evangelical Leaders Call for a Vote on Immigration Reform

Local Pastors Preview Tuesday Meetings with Congress

HOUSTON, APRIL 24, 2014 — Top Texas evangelical leaders met for a press conference today to highlight the biblical call to welcome the stranger and urge Congress to move forward with a vote on immigration reform.

The press conference will featured local pastors and leaders who discussed the moral imperatives for immigration reform, their efforts during the April congressional recess and their April 29 #Pray4Reform trip to Washington, D.C., to meet with their members of Congress. It follows Tuesday’s Texas statewide press call.

The following quotes are from pastors at today’s press conference:

Rev. Harvey Clemons Jr., Pastor, Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, Houston:
“As Christians, we see the need for comprehensive immigration reform arriving from Jesus’ teachings to see him in the least of these. For too long, a broken immigration system has hurt our country by fracturing our families and excluding the intellect, gifts and talent of our undocumented young people from our workforce and our communities. It is time for our national leaders to form compassionate and balanced policies that treat immigrants with the dignity due to all God’s children and that help our nation realize our hopes for a more perfect union.”

Pastor Roy Guel, Pastor, Sagemont en Español, Houston:
“I am overwhelmed by the needs of many Hispanics in our community. They have sacrificed much to get to our great country of opportunity. They come fleeing both economic hardship and, many times, physical harm and danger. Every face has a story behind it and every person matters. Immigration reform transcends politics and simple economics. These people have lived in the shadows in the most powerful, prosperous and free country. In the day of judgment, how will our country be judged as we have allowed these forgotten people to live off the scraps that fall from our collective tables?”

Brenda Kirk, Church Mobilizer, Evangelical Immigration Table, Atascocita:
“I pray that every Christian joins us in prayer and action, encouraging Congress to vote on immigration reform this year. God calls us to love the stranger in our midst and to treat them as native born (Leviticus 19:33-34). Many biblical teachings guide Christians on this issue of immigration. We have encouraged pastors to address immigration within their churches, and they have. The education and prayers are moving us forward.”

Pastor Tim Moore, Senior Pastor, Walk Worthy Baptist Church; Legislative Liaison, Southern Baptists of Texas Commission, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Round Rock:
“I don’t want to be on the wrong side of history. More importantly, I don’t want to be on the wrong side of the Gospel. The heart of God is always forgiveness and reconciliation. It’s time for a vote on immigration reform.”

Join the conversation on Twitter using #Pray4Reform and #VoteOnReform.

Metro Atlanta Evangelical Leaders Call for a Vote on Immigration Reform

Local Pastors to Fly to D.C., Meet with Members of Congress Tuesday

TUCKER, GA., APRIL 24, 2014 — Top Atlanta-area evangelical leaders met for a press conference Thursday to highlight the biblical call to welcome the stranger and urge Congress to move forward with a vote on immigration reform.

The press conference featured local pastors who will discuss the moral imperatives for immigration reform, their efforts during the April congressional recess and their Tuesday #Pray4Reform trip to Washington, D.C., to meet with their members of Congress.

The following are quotes from pastors at today’s press conference:

Dr. Shawn Duncan, Community Chaplain, EIRO, Tucker:
“Immigration reform matters to me because my life has been made so much richer by the immigrants — documented and undocumented —who have come into my life. As a pastor I know that immigration reform is consistent with a biblical vision for our society. As an American I know that immigration reform is consistent with the values of justice, equality and freedom that have built this great nation.”

Ken Hall, Senior Pastor, Lilburn First Baptist Church, Lilburn:
“Being the pastor of a church with 16 language and cultural congregations, I have seen firsthand how a lack of immigration reform has caused great difficulties, hardships and challenges for both families and churches. Something must be done and it needs to be done quickly.”

Chalis Montgomery, Director of Children’s Ministry, Northview Christian Church, Lawrenceville:
“My perspective on immigration reform is shaped by the fears and struggles of the children within my community. Who can with clean conscience look into the eyes of a child and say that there is justice in a law that threatens to leave them motherless, fatherless, or orphaned? Even the preschoolers in my ministry would condemn such a law as unjust and unlike the Christ they know. I am convicted to pray for reform by the words of Christ Jesus.”

David Park, Senior Pastor, Open Table Community, EFCA, Chamblee:
“Cultivating a heart for immigrants in our church has had some wonderful side effects: hospitality and kindness mean more (Matt. 25); diversity in the body makes the Gospel more credible (Acts 11); and ultimately, relationships with the immigrants in our midst add vitality to our stories of faith in action (James 2).”

Jim Payne, Co-Pastor, Cross Point Encuentro, PCA, Smyrna:
“Immigration and the Pastors for Reform movement matter to me because I am friends with and pastor to many immigrants, both documented and undocumented. Our church is made up of many cultures and two languages (English and Spanish), but we treat each other as one united family. So, when immigrant members of our church family suffer, we all suffer together. I lend my voice to this movement for reform because I long to see immigrants like my friends treated with human dignity, freed from the fear of separation from their immediate families, and given a just and fair path toward legal status in the United States.”

Stephen Reeves, Associate Coordinator for Advocacy, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Decatur:
“We need comprehensive immigration reform now. Too many families are torn apart and too many lives are in limbo due to our broken system. Americans deserve a clear and consistent policy that promotes both security and human dignity. Our churches, pastors, ministries and members should not be forced to wait any longer. It is time for Congress to act, confident that millions of American Christians across the theological and political spectrum support reform.”

Joshua Sieweke, Atlanta Office Director, World Relief Atlanta:
“Immigration is important to affirm and preserve the ideals that make this country so great. We are a nation of immigrants. The minute we fail to recognize that is the minute we fail to recognize ourselves.”

Dr. Randy Shepley, Pastor, First Baptist Church of Tucker:
“Our nation needs immigration reform because families are enduring separation from their loved ones, a clear and reasonable path to legal status and/or citizenship for immigrants is unavailable, our nation is tired of immigration polarization, and most importantly because all persons are created with God-given dignity that requires followers of Jesus to act on behalf of all with love and justice.”

Join the conversation on Twitter using #Pray4Reform and #VoteOnReform.

Michigan Evangelical Leaders Call for a Vote on Immigration Reform

Local Pastors to Fly to D.C., Meet with Members of Congress Tuesday

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., APRIL 24, 2014 — Top Grand Rapids area evangelical leaders met for a press conference today to highlight the biblical call to welcome the stranger and urge Congress to move forward with a vote on immigration reform.

The press conference featured local pastors who will discuss the moral imperatives for immigration reform, their efforts during the April congressional recess and their Tuesday #Pray4Reform trip to Washington, D.C., to meet with their members of Congress.

The following are quotes from local pastors at today’s press conference and other pastors who will be in Washington on Tuesday:

Brian Bennett, Pastor, Overflow Church, Benton Harbor:
“Immigration reform is important to me as a Christian community leader because of Jesus’ command to love our neighbor and the clear heart God has for love, mercy, and justice found throughout Scripture. I also have friends who are affected personally by the current debate, who are waiting for a visa, and whose lives in this generation are being affected by the failure of the previous generation to properly address the issue.”

Jacci Busch, Pastor, McBain Christian Reformed Church, McBain:
“I live in a farming community that hires quite a few immigrant workers. The farmers and other employers want to do what’s right by their employees, and many immigrants desire to do what’s right as well. Both sides often feel trapped by the laws of our country.”

Randy Buursma, Pastor, First Christian Reformed Church, Grand Rapids:
“Immigration reform must respond to mothers and fathers who live daily with the threat of deportation and separation from their families. Immigration reform will send a message as to the type of nation we are becoming. Will we be guided by the legacy of our own families who have experienced the gift of citizenship, or will we become a frightened and self-centered people who turn their backs on the needs of others?”

Dale Dalman, Pastor, Esperanza Covenant Church, Grand Rapids:
“I am praying for immigration reform because the current system does not work. It divides families and does not encourage people to follow the rule of law. Comprehensive immigration reform is needed to unite and strengthen families and encourage people to make a positive contribution to our nation.”

Janelle Koolhaas, Pastor, Reformed Church in America, Holland:
“As a pastor, I am most concerned with how our broken immigration system affects families’ and individuals’ lives. In a nation that so often claims a rich moral heritage and values, it is strange to me that we are not eager to reshape our immigration laws so as to demonstrate the value and dignity of persons’ lives, and the importance keeping families together.”

Adam Lipscomb, Lead Pastor, City Life Wesleyan Church, Grand Rapids:
“Immigration reform is important to me because undocumented immigrants are my neighbors, friends, colleagues in ministry and part of our church. They have become part of the fabric of our community. And when they are deported, it rips not only their own families apart, but leaves a tattered hole in many of the communities that I love.”

Angel Lopez, Student, Western Theological Seminary, Holland:
“When any group consistently falls between the cracks or is off the radar, it cannot but weaken the larger community. Let’s face it: Undocumented immigrants already play a vital role in our economy and society. For the sake of both the undocumented person and the local community in which he or she lives, we must find a better way to live and work together.”
Daren Penwell, Pastor, Bailey Christian Church, Bailey:
“Since I minister in the fruit ride area of West Michigan, I come into regular contact with those impacted by immigration issues. I minister to families who must wrestle with the practical implications of one or both parents who are undocumented and for whom the challenges of documentation are daunting and may even first involve a dangerous journey back home. Balancing border safety, national budgetary concerns and, more importantly, the fact that real people made in the image of God with real families are involved seems overwhelming. But I believe commonsense solutions can and must be developed and articulated for the benefit of our nation, as well as for the many who simply want to work hard to supply for the needs of their families.”

Kris VanEngen, Congregational Justice Mobilizer, Christian Reformed Church in North America, Grand Rapids:
“Families and faith, business, education, agriculture and law enforcement leaders all say the immigration system is broken to a point of being inhumane. It doesn’t have to be this way. There is no defensible reason to keep the status quo. As Christians we cannot condone this injustice. It’s time to vote for a more just immigration system.”

Join the conversation on Twitter using #Pray4Reform and #VoteOnReform.

Jacksonville Evangelical Leaders Call for a Vote on Immigration Reform

Local Pastors to Fly to D.C., Meet with Members of Congress Next Week

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., APRIL 24, 2014 — Top Jacksonville evangelical leaders held a press conference Tuesday to highlight the biblical call to welcome the stranger and urge Congress to move forward with a vote on immigration reform.

The press conference featured local pastors who will discuss the moral imperatives for immigration reform, their efforts during the April congressional recess and their April 29 #Pray4Reform trip to Washington, D.C., to meet with their members of Congress. Hosts included the Evangelical Immigration Table, World Relief Jacksonville, First Baptist Church of Orange Park and Iglesia Ciudad.

The following quotes are from pastors at Tuesday’s press conference:

Garry Swearingen, Associate Pastor, San Jose Church of Christ:
“It’s obvious to me that our political leaders would act in a responsible way if they could only hear the combined voices of all concerned Christians who are interested in bringing this long talked about and important topic to a meaningful resolution. Let us all fervently pray that God will use our trip to D.C. to bring these representatives to the boldness needed to step up and use the biblical principles set forth by the Evangelical Immigration Table in solving this regional and national issue.”

David Tarkington, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church of Orange Park:
“As followers of Jesus Christ, we understand that reform is needed regarding the United States’ immigration practices. While immigration is a political, economic and legal issue, it is ultimately a moral issue. Immigration reform is not about amnesty, but accountability. Proper reform must respect those who abide by our laws and value the individual. Our support for immigration reform calls for the advancement of the Gospel of Jesus while pursuing justice and compassion. Our intention in Washington, D.C., next week is to help our Congress move forward with immigration reform with our support.”

Join the conversation on Twitter using #Pray4Reform and #VoteOnReform.

California Evangelical Leaders Call for a Vote on Immigration Reform

Local Pastors to Fly to D.C., Meet with Members of Congress Next Week

**For a recording of Wednesday’s call click here.**

LOS ANGELES, APRIL 24, 2014— Evangelical leaders from across California joined a telephonic press conference Wednesday to highlight the biblical call to welcome the stranger and urge Congress to move forward with a vote on immigration reform.

The press conference featured local pastors who will discuss the moral imperatives for immigration reform, their efforts during the April congressional recess and their April 29 #Pray4Reform trip to Washington, D.C., to meet with their members of Congress.

The following are quotes from pastors on Wednesday’s call:

Pastor Tim Celek, Lead Pastor, The Crossing Church, Costa Mesa:
“My goal has been to encourage people to support public policy that is consistent with the Bible. I have been wrestling with immigration myself over the years. I’ve wondered: Am I going to stand up for these people, am I going to stand up with these people? It’s not a political issue, it’s not an economic issue. There are many times in the Scriptures where we as people are to encourage the alien among us and we are to show hospitality to the strangers among us. It’s good in our church to see our people embrace all people.”

Rev. Juan-Daniel Espitia, Associate Pastor, Hispanic Ministries, Solana Beach Presbyterian Church, Solana Beach:
“In the last four to five years, I have lost 64 members of my congregation due to either deportation or ‘checkpoints’ that are placed near my church. I can see the vulnerability, the fear and the destruction that this broken immigration system is causing for families. On the other hand I can see the wonderful potential. That’s why I’ll be traveling to Washington, D.C., to join in Pastors for Reform [Tuesday]. Immigration reform is consistent with our principles and our needs, and it needs to happen this year.”

Dr. Mark Labberton, President, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena:
“Immigration is first and foremost about our commitment to scripture. Deep and sustained political reform is needed for immigration because the Scripture speaks so strongly for the person who is at the margins, the person who is the stranger, the alien, the visitor. We find over and over that God honors people, and yet the current immigration law does not do that.”

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference:
“Immigration reform isn’t dead because the stories are real. As long as there are churches committed to advancing the cause of righteousness and justice, immigration reform lives. On April 29, we’ll have pastors from all around the country coming to Washington, D.C., to practice prophetic activism, and to tell Congress that we need a vote on reform.”

Lillia Suh, Holywave Associate Pastor and NEXT Singles Assistant Pastor, Sarang Community Church, Anaheim:
“As a leader at the largest Korean church outside of Korea, our broken immigration system is not something I can ignore. This is an issue that directly impacts our church community and many others across the nation. Our broken system puts lives and families at stake, which we feel acutely. That’s why we pray that our representative Ed Royce be a leader on the immigration issue.  And we’re not only praying, but also urging that our members of Congress work together and vote on immigration reform this year.”

Pastor Jonathan Villalobos, Lead Pastor, Bethany Inner-City Church, Fresno:
“We have been enriched by the variety of people who have come to our community. In our school district, we have 170 languages. Many people have problems because of our broken immigration system. I’ve seen families exploited and victimized by human trafficking. We need reform that will bring comfort, peace and unity to our families. It’s time for action. It’s time for our Congress to legislate.”

Join the conversation on Twitter using #Pray4Reform and #VoteOnReform.

Colorado Evangelical Leaders Call for a Vote on Immigration Reform

Local Pastors to Fly to D.C., Meet with Members of Congress Next Week

DENVER, APRIL 23, 2014 — Top Colorado evangelical leaders joined a virtual press conference today to highlight the biblical call to welcome the stranger and urge Congress to move forward with a vote on immigration reform.

The press conference featured local pastors from Rep. Cory Gardner’s district (CO-04) who discussed the moral imperatives for immigration reform, their efforts during the April congressional recess and their April 29 #Pray4Reform trip to Washington, D.C., to meet with their members of Congress.

The following are quotes from today’s press conference:

Abraham Torres, Pastor, 23rd Avenue Church, Greeley:
“I am going to Washington, D.C., because I’m tired of seeing how my community suffers. I’m tired of seeing people live in the shadows because they are afraid for their families, their friends and neighbors. And I’m tired of seeing how the dreams of our youth are truncated because of a broken system designed to take advantage of the undocumented. I’m proud of the community in which I live, people with documents and without, hardworking people, people who speak different languages, people of different colors and cultures. We’re all created in the image of God; we’re all equal.”

Michelle Warren, Advocacy and Policy Engagement Coordinator, Christian Community Development Association:
“I have had the opportunity to take more than 60 pastors and ministry leaders to Washington, D.C., to meet with their legislators regarding the need for immigration reform. As evangelical Christians, we embrace the truth of the Bible and its call to welcome and love the foreigner. We believe that the current immigration system is unjust. It separates families and keeps people in a perpetually broken place without the ability to be restored. We desire to see compassionate immigration reform that values the dignity of people and protects the unity of the family alongside border security.”

Janie Wead-Mobley, Director, Hispanic Project, Assemblies of God U.S. Mission, Castle Rock:
“As a Castle Rock resident in Rep. Cory Gardner’s district, I’m going to Washington to be a part of an evangelical, conservative voice advocating for immigration reform. I have the joy of serving as a Spanish speaking missionary to U.S. Hispanics; I know their plight very personally and up close. Multitudes of my acquaintances were brought to this country as children and have absolutely no recourse to come in from the shadows. I am joining other conservative voices, expressing urgency to move on this vital issue. It is time to stop the vitriol and move to reform our antiquated and broken system.”

Join the conversation on Twitter using #Pray4Reform and #VoteOnReform.

South Carolina Evangelical Leaders Call for a Vote on Immigration Reform

Local Pastors to Fly to D.C., Meet with Members of Congress Next Week

GREENVILLE, S.C., APRIL 23, 2014 — Top South Carolina evangelical leaders held a press conference this morning to highlight the biblical call to welcome the stranger and urge Congress to move forward with a vote on immigration reform.

The press conference featured local pastors who discussed the moral imperatives for immigration reform, their efforts during the April congressional recess and their April 29 #Pray4Reform trip to Washington, D.C., when pastors from all six of the state’s Republican districts will meet with their members of Congress.

The following quotes are from pastors at today’s press conference:

Johnny Baker, Senior Pastor, Abundant Life Church, Greenville:
“I am the Pastor of one church with two congregations, one English-speaking and one Spanish-speaking. Our motto is ‘two congregations — one heart.’ I have become involved in immigration reform because of my relationship with hundreds of Spanish-speaking people. The message of Jesus says to ‘go into all the world and make disciples.’ That’s my call as a Pastor. I happen to pastor a church in the middle of a community with thousands of Hispanic people. That’s the mission field God has given me, and I want to be faithful in His service.”

Dr. Manuel Izquierdo, Senior pastor, Jesus El Rey Assemblies of God Church, Greenville:
“As Pastors we understand the immigration issue has moral and legal implications, both of which are clearly dealt with in the Scriptures. We are a nation of immigrants that historically has extended a hand to the less fortunate, and as a result we have seen God extend His grace over us. But America is a land of justice. The Lord teaches us about restitution when law has been broken. That why we stand for immigration reform that respects the rule of law though the application of fair financial retribution, while ensuring that the immigrant population does not unfairly become a taker of rather than a fair participant in the opportunities our nation.”

Jason Lee, Senior Pastor, Oak Grove Baptist Church, Spartanburg:
“I’m passionate about this issue because first the Bible speaks to how Christians should concern themselves with compassion for their neighbors and justice for the ‘stranger in our midst.’ But beyond just the biblical instructions and commands about how we should respond as Christians, we must remember there are approximately 12 million lives (undocumented immigrants) that are battling with this issue. It’s beyond just a compassion and justice issue now; we need comprehensive immigration reform to happen, and this will take courageous political action. So we are pleading with the House of Representatives to take action now.”

Pastor Carlos Ruiz, Senior Pastor, Iglesia Bautista Filadelfia, Taylors:
“I am involved in this because I think we need to do something for this situation, not only for the Latino community, but for immigrants from all nationalities. God tells us in the Scriptures that we show the love of Christ through our actions — and we have a moral, spiritual and economic problem that we need to address. My heart breaks when I see my congregants suffering under this unjust system. We have seen families separated by deportations in many cases, and the outcomes are devastating. Something must be done.”

Dale Sutton, Pastor, Overbrook Baptist Church, Greenville:
“I am a pragmatist. We have a national dilemma that needs a pragmatic fix. One of the major issues for Christ-followers is that political issues tend to be painted with broad strokes by those with vested interests or individuals on the opposite ends of the political spectrum. But we need to remember that real people, real families, innocent children are caught in the middle of the political debate. For too many years, we have talked about immigration, we have talked about our opponents in the immigration debate, but we have not solved the problem. Regardless of how we got here or who is to blame, this issue needs to be addressed. Immigration is a moral, economic, legal, social and spiritual mess. To solve this issue will require courage and leadership. I want to encourage our congressional delegation to fix this broken system.”

Join the conversation on Twitter using #Pray4Reform and #VoteOnReform.

Texas Evangelical Leaders Call for a Vote on Immigration Reform

Local Pastors Discuss Moral Imperatives for Reform, April 29 D.C. Event

**For a recording of today’s call click here.**

DALLAS, APRIL 22, 2014 — Top Texas evangelical leaders joined a telephonic press conference this morning to highlight the biblical call to welcome the stranger and urge Congress to move forward with a vote on immigration reform.

The telephonic press conference featured local Texas pastors discussing the moral imperatives for immigration reform, their efforts during the April congressional recess and their  April 29 #Pray4Reform trip to Washington, D.C., to meet with their members of Congress.

The following are quotes from pastors who were on today’s call:

Ademir Simoes Ferreria, Past President, U.S. Brazilian Baptist Association, Pflugerville:
“It is unfortunate that the Republican conference has talked more than it has actually done to address an outdated immigration system. It does require leadership and political maturity within its ranks to do the right thing for the country. Instead of running away in fear when they hear the word legalization, they need to come together on a bipartisan basis to better the future of millions who desire to help and share what will be a much brighter future.”

Dr. David Galvan, Senior Pastor, New Life Baptist Church, Dallas:
“This year the nation has seen a fundamental shift in our country’s support for reform. Most Americans support a path to citizenship. As Evangelical pastors we have organized the broadest and most diverse coalition of its kind to pray for and encourage action in the House. Congress is now hearing from the heart of our churches and the voices of our families and the cries of millions caught in the balance of the outcome of this debate. It is now time for a vote on immigration.”

Pastor Tim Moore, Texas Mobilizer, Evangelical Immigration Table; Senior Pastor, Walk Worthy Baptist Church, Austin:
‘There was a time not so long ago when we were a country of hope and promise for immigrants and their children. Their coming, however they could come, was persuasive evidence they were coming to improve their lot as well as the nation’s. We have sadly become a nation where few are welcomed and most are ridiculed or tolerated at best. America has lost her way on this issue. It’s time to renew our vision and draw a new map that will lead to a better and brighter and more hopeful future. It’s unconscionable for America to allow millions to swim invisible and hopeless between other American’s lives.  It’s time for immigration reform.”

Dr. Chuck Padilla, Church Planter, Baptist General Convention of Texas:
“We’re asking today for a better law. I have been able to minister to people that were deported and their children were left with neighbors. We need the immigrant here. We ask Congress to see what the nation needs and what’s best for the nation, that they might be able to help these people, because they are a blessing and a need that the nation has. We want Congress to give us a permanent solution.”

Daniel Sanchez, Professor of Missions, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth:
“We support a just and compassionate way forward for the millions of undocumented immigrants living peacefully and productively in our midst. We realize that it is not going to be helpful to think in terms of amnesty or even a special path, but that we need a tough but fair path for legalization with the opportunity for people eventually to apply for citizenship. We want to offer our support for the type of legislation that focuses on securing our borders and asking people to pay a fine. This will emphasize that we expect people to be law-abiding citizens. There is a great deal of suffering and uncertainty and quite a bit of confusion, and this is why we call on our legislators to move forward with a sense of urgency. But we also promise to help in any way that we can and be in prayer for Congress. All of us agree that these decisions need to be made.”

Join the conversation on Twitter using #Pray4Reform and #VoteOnReform.

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