July 11, 2013


Immigrants boost churches, Paynter says (Bob Allen, 7/10/13, American Baptist Press)

Faith communities in the United States both serve and benefit from immigrants, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Executive Coordinator Suzii Paynter said July 10 in a conference at the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas.

"Immigrants have brought renewal to the church and the moral character of our country, and they offer vitality to our culture," Paynter said in the closing session of the half-day summit titled What Immigrants Contribute: A Special Event on Immigration, Texas and Economic Growth. [...]

"We have over 1,200 Hispanic Baptist congregations in Texas," she said. "The beautiful nature of the Kingdom of God even here in this one state is diverse."

Paynter said churches help government and others from the private sector by providing immigrantss with services like teaching English as a second language and counseling in getting a green card.

"If you go by Hispanic churches in your town on Saturday morning, you'll see lines of people waiting outside so they can have their accreditation status evaluated," Paynter said.

The day opened with remarks by Former President Bush at a naturalization ceremony for America's newest citizens.

"We must remember that the vast majority of immigrants are decent people who work hard, and support their families, and practice their faith and lead responsible lives," Bush said. "Some willingly defend the flag, including two about to take the oath here today."

"At its core, immigration is a sign of a confident and successful nation," he continued. "It says something about our country that people all around the world are willing to leave their homes and leave their families and risk everything to come to our country. Their talent and hard work and love of freedom have helped us become the leader of the world."

Posted by at July 11, 2013 5:03 AM

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