Immigration Reform News 2014: Southern Baptists in Texas Embrace Immigration Reform

By Evangelical Immigration Table On March 4, 2014

(The Institute on Religion & Democracy: Tucson Sentinel)

Members of the Evangelical Immigration Table pray during a June 2012 press conference.

More than a Dozen Leaders Sign Principles During Evangelism Conference

HOUSTON - Support for immigration reform among conservative religious leaders in Texas continues to grow. At last week's Southern Baptists of Texas Evangelism Conference, 17 evangelical leaders expressed their support for the Evangelical Immigration Table's Statement of Principles on immigration reform for the first time.

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The 17 new pastors (full list below) include nationally prominent leaders Matt Chandler and Dr. Bart Barber.

The following are quotes from pastors who signed the principles last week:

Dr. Bart Barber, First Vice President, Southern Baptist Convention; Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church, Farmersville:
"Immigration policy is both a Great Commission and a Great Commandment issue. It's a Great Commission issue because immigration brings to the doorsteps of our churches millions of lost people whom we would otherwise need to find in order to share the gospel with them. It's a Great Commandment issue because loving our neighbors as ourselves puts the harsher rhetoric and plans for immigration reform straight off of the table for us. I'm thankful for the opportunity to state publicly my agreement with the principles of the Evangelical Immigration Table."

Pastor Gilbert Chavez, Southern Baptists of Texas Convention:

"I think it's important for Christians to be engaged in social issues, and immigration is one of them. Evangelical Christians should share grace with people who are coming here and find a way to reach them so that they can become productive citizens of our nation. I believe that Evangelical Christians should have a proper dialogue about this critical issue."

Jim Holcombe, Evangelist, Jim Holcombe Ministries, Killeen:
"Republicans need to follow the Evangelical Statement of Principles for Immigration Reform. Lawmakers also need to do what's in the Constitution, and presidents of both parties simply haven't enforced the law. It's time for reform."

The full list of new signatories:
· Dr. Bart Barber, First Vice President, Southern Baptist Convention; Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church, Farmersville
· Bill Britt, President, Compel Outreach; President, Conference of Texas Baptist Evangelists, Wylie
· Matt Chandler, Senior Pastor, The Village Church; President, Acts 29 Church Planting Network, Fort Worth
· Pastor Gilbert Chavez, Southern Baptists of Texas Convention

Read full article at Evangelical Immigration Table

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