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Pastors Petition for Prayer, Healing and Equal Justice in Response to Minneapolis Tragedy

As pastors of our respective cities from “every color, every corner” we are charged with providing spiritual leadership and guidance to our respective congregations as well as to the greater community and city leaders, we believe that the tragic death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer fully warrants the federal investigation underway involving the U.S. District Attorney, FBI, Minnesota state law enforcement, all as actively supported by President Donald Trump and U.S. Attorney General William Barr.

This individual incident appears to be the indefensible aggression by a law enforcement officer against a citizen who retained his “inalienable rights” both human and constitutional until a court of law were to decide otherwise, with this act leading to the death and apparent murder of Mr. Floyd.  The underlying facts of this incident, the officers involved, the culture of the Minneapolis Police Department and other relevant data must and will be revealed in due time and we trust justice will be served. 

 The greater issues, however, that are relevant to all such incidents in all cities require immediate, thoughtful, prayerful and thorough conversation leading to strategic action involving church, community, civic and political leaders with every law enforcement agency at the table.  We can no longer tolerate racism in any form and it is long past time for healing among all colors and elimination of any unjust or wrongful disparities based on skin color.  We cannot allow single incidents to be used by opportunists who would use them to create violence, destruction, or division, yet neither should peaceful protest be suppressed.  We also cannot be silent when critical, ongoing issues of equal justice for all remain unresolved, whether real or perceived.

We are called to seek the peace and welfare of the city in which our God placed us to shepherd and we believe that His standard of equal justice based on the truth that all mankind are created in His likeness is inviolable, yet often we miss the mark in our imperfect system involving the imperfect “We the People.”  The badge and weapon of law enforcement are a sacred trust of authority that begin with God himself delegating His authority to govern to the people that we choose through elections to make and then enforce laws based on that authority.  Abuse of that trust is even more grievous to God than the violation of the laws, neither leading to the good and welfare of the people.

We therefore call for a working strategic summit in every city involving our pastors of “every color, every corner” of our community representing credible voices and our city, county and state law enforcement officials and policy makers.  The initial objective is a better, closer working cooperation to address underlying spiritual, social, moral and legal issues leading to decay and crime, standing with and praying for those who serve us in law enforcement and constantly assuring accountability by those officers to the standards of their oath as well as to the highest law that directs us to “Do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with your God.”  It is time we truly follow Jesus’ expression of the greatest commandments, to love God and love our neighbor.

 

The undersigned members of the clergy (initial signers):

Rev. F.N. Williams Sr., Antioch Missionary Baptist Church; President, Ministers Against Crime, Houston

Rev. Willie Davis, The Palm Community Baptist Church, Houston

Pastor Wendell Hutchins, Church of Champions, Houston

Pastor Tim Barker, South Texas District, Assemblies of God

Dr. Mark Hartman, Sugar Creek Baptist, Sugar Land

Pastor Jerry Martin, Light of the World Christian Fellowship, Humble

Pastor Garrett Booth, Grace Church, Houston

Dr. Hernan Castano, Iglesia Rios de Aceite, Houston

Dr. David Fannin, Nassau Bay Baptist, Nassau Bay

Pastor Gregg Matte, Houston’s First Baptist Church, Houston

Bishop Sterling Lands II, Greater Calvary Bible Church, Austin

Pastor Elmo Johnson, Rose of Sharon Missionary Baptist Church, Houston

Pastor John McCrutcheon, Joint Heirs Fellowship, Houston

Pastor Julissa Medellin, Iglesia Monte de Salvacion, Houston

Pastor Linda Bilton, River of Life Christian Fellowship, Clifton

Pastor Edward Chung, Redemption Bible Church, Houston

Dr. Hector Gonzales, Iglesia Santa Sion, Houston

Pastor Ving Cing, Lighthouse Myanmar Mission Church, Austin

Pastor Andrew Wilson, Trinity Church, Beaumont

Pastor Phillip Miller, First Baptist, Port O’Connor

Pastor Bezabih Banty, Bethesaida International Church, Houston

Pastor Randy Clark, Triumph Church, Nederland

Pastor James Clark, First Baptist Church, Tomball

Pastor Howard Cameron, Trinity Church, Beaumont

Pastor Eric Jordan, A Breath of Praise Community Church, Round Rock

Pastor Shannon Oliver, Calvary Missionary Baptist, Houston

Pastor Clay Bowers, Northside Baptist, Texas City

Pastor Darrell Horn, San Antonio Baptist

Pastor Tim Franklin, The Connection, Texas City

Pastor Barbara Bucklin, Luke 418 Ministries

Pastor Kevin Frederick, Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, Houston

Pastor Ed Seay, First Baptist Church, Magnolia

Rev. James Flag, First United Methodist Church, Humble

Pastor Ken Sinclair, Faith Lutheran Church, Sugar Land

Pastor Andre Jones, Cullen Missionary Baptist Church, Houston

Dr. Edward Buford, Sunrise Church, Houston

Pastor Michael Pender, Fallbrook Church, Houston

Pastor Ronald Holmes, Church of the Open Door, Waco

Yes, I am a pastor and please add my name to the petition:
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