Members of a progressive North Carolina Baptist Church took a weekend road trip to demonstrate outside a privately owned U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention center in Farmville, Virginia.
Some of the ways that individuals and congregations can help are to learn about the issues of immigration and advocate for humane, compassionate, and sensible public policies and laws which impact the immigrant community.
Nearly 20 people arrived early in the morning at Myers Park Baptist Church to embark on this sacred pilgrimage to listen, learn and discern how God is calling them as individuals and us as a Church to seek justice for America’s immigrants.
Myers Park Baptist Church in Charlotte, N.C. embarked on a sacred pilgrimage to listen, learn and discern how God is calling them as individuals and as a Church to seek justice for America’s immigrants. The group followed the route to Georgia many undocumented immigrants in North Carolina must follow after being detained.
“By placing our feet on sacred grounds which are off our well-beaten paths, we hope to expand our listening and learning. Moving beyond head to heart, beyond words to feelings, we yearn to gain a fuller understanding of our systems of immigration.”
I was raised in a brown evangelical church in a small, predominantly white town in central Texas. Our “mother” church was one of the many First Baptist Churches in the Texas Bible Belt. Our congregation was composed mainly of poor, uneducated, largely undocumented migrants from rural Mexico. And while we were a brown church, the Jesus we worshiped was white.
“ICE may think they can just deport Gilles and that will be the end of it, but I have some news for them. This is just the beginning of what God is doing through Gilles and through Greenwood Forest Baptist Church because of his witness.”
Denied humanitarian parole, a longtime member of a North Carolina Baptist church has been deported to the Republic of Congo, his pastor announced Feb. 23. Pastor Lauren Efird of Greenwood Forest Baptist Church in Cary, N.C., said immigration officials woke 58-year-old Gilles Bikindou from his holding cell in Atlanta at 2 a.m. on Friday and told him he was leaving.
When two Baptist ministers launched a legal aid ministry for immigrants in Virginia in the fall of 2016, it was aimed largely at helping Latinos attain and maintain legal residency. But Donald Trump’s election a couple months later, and his high-profile immigration crackdown since taking office, has slowed demand for Greg and Sue Smith’s LUCHA Immigration Legal Services in Fredericksburg, Va.