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. — 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.