Photo: Sam Rodriguez
A historic Immigration Summit hosted by Hispanic Evangelical leaders with delegates from across the nation including representatives from President Obama’s administration, denominational leaders, pastors, local community leaders and pro-immigrant activists filled New Life Church of God, a mega-church in Tucson, Ariz., to capacity to discuss Biblical solutions for the immigration crisis in America.
“Last night our church was filled to capacity with people committed, not to a political solution but to a Biblical and prophetic solution, to immigration reform,” said, Dr. Luis Rodriguez, Sr. Pastor of New Life Church of God. “We believe that Arizona will be healed by a church, by the Church, who stands up for righteousness. We celebrate what was accomplished last night through the united voices of those in attendance at this historic Immigration Summit.”
Joshua DuBois, Assistant to the President and Executive Director to the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, said, “On behalf of President Obama, the President says ‘I am with you and am committed to a just and merciful Comprehensive Immigration Reform.’”
Another summit panelist, Robert Gittleson, Co-Founder of Conservatives For Comprehensive Immigration Reform, said, “The discussion of Comprehensive Immigration Reform must be brought about logically, clearly and fairly. Within the Conservative Evangelicals there has been a vocal minority whose voice has been made loud to intimidate against immigration issues.”
The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (http://www.nhclc.org), also known as the Hispanic Evangelical Association, the nation’s largest Christian Hispanic organization, hosted The National Hispanic Evangelical Immigration Summit in Tucson on Wednesday, September 21, 2011—as a platform for a civil exchange of ideas around the issue of immigration reform.
“The focus of this immigration issue,” said, Dr. Warren H. Stewart, Sr. Pastor of First Institutional Baptist Church of Phoenix, “is to move from chaos to community by messaging and mobilizing ‘Biblical Unity’ — that blacks and Hispanics come together as the ‘Peter and John’ of today.”
Rev. Jim Tolle, Sr. Pastor of Iglesia En EL Camino, presented seven key points regarding the immigration reform issue during his panel discussion time: Love thy neighbor as thyself, need for a bi-partisan commission made up of the various realms of societal influence…business, religious, educational, evangelize the evangelicals, agree on getting dialogue in the media about this issue, constant prayer brings for change, keep dialogue alive to educate the community and take the initiative to love those who oppose us.
Administrative Bishop, Church of God Southwest Region, Bishop Samuel Santana, said, “The main, simple yet logical, question facing Christians, all Christians, is ‘What would Jesus say and do concerning the immigrants?’”
The Summit Panel included U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Joshua DuBois, Assistant to the president and Executive Director to the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, Robert Gittleson, Co-Founder of Conservatives For Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Dr. Warren H. Stewart, Sr. Pastor of First Institutional Baptist Church of Phoenix, Dr. M. Daniel Carroll R., Professor of Old Testament at Denver Seminary, Bishop Samuel Santana, Administrative Bishop, Church of God Southwest Region, Rev. Jim Tolle, Sr. Pastor of Iglesia En EL Camino, Dr. Luis Rodriguez, Sr. Pastor of New Life Church of God, and Rev. Eve Nunez, National Immigration Spokesperson, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference.
The evening summit began with a time of praise and worship followed by a welcome and prayer. There was a student presentation on the Dream Act that led into the presenter’s and panelist’s time on Immigration and Just Integration Solution which was facilitated by Rev. Samuel Rodriguez and followed by a question and answer time. The evening event was closed with intercessory prayer and a prophetic call to action.
Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the NHCLC and the NHCLC, which represents over 20 million Hispanic Evangelicals, stand committed to a Just Integration Solution in addressing the current immigration crisis in America. Rodriguez said, “This historic summit in Tucson, Ariz. is sure to be the catalyst for many more National Hispanic Evangelical Immigration Summits. We are grateful for all those who came from across the nation, including delegates from the White House and pastors, to unite for the purpose of a just integration solution for immigration reform.”
The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference is the Hispanic Evangelical Association unifying, serving and representing the Hispanic Born Again Community via 34,200 member churches and 20 million constituents by reconciling the vertical and horizontal of the Christian message through the 7 Directives of Life, Family, Great Commission, Stewardship, Justice, Education and Youth.