Pentecostal Charismatic Churches of North America Call on Christians to Pray, Stand Together in Unity in Response to Charlottesville Rally
The Pentecostal Charismatic Churches of North America, which represents thousands of churches in the U.S., is standing in prayer with our brothers and sisters in Charlottesville, VA. We pray for peace and healing in our nation and call upon the church to build the bridges across the racial division in our nation. May we be an example of unity between races and demonstrate acts of love and mercy.
Several of our members also issued statements. Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference said, “When hell exhales the outcome is hatred. Both unacceptable and diabolical, racism must be confronted by God fearing people.” These are the excerpts to statements from Church of God in Christ President Bishop Charles Blake, Church of God General Overseer Tim Hill and International Pentecostal Holiness Church Bishop Doug Beacham. The links to the full statements are included.
COGIC Presiding Bishop Charles Blake stated, “The violence, hatred and white supremacy on display in Charlottesville, Virginia, must be condemned by all people of faith and goodwill. The injuries and death suffered by those supporting an end to the commemoration of the Confederacy are deeply saddening. We also regret any harm to their opponents. Our hearts go out to all who were hurt and we call for an end to the violence.” COGIC is the largest African-American Pentecostal Charismatic denomination in the U.S.
Dr. Timothy Hill, General Overseer of the Church of God called for prayer in his statement. “First, the prayers of the Church of God around the world go out to those that were injured and lost their lives today in the senseless act of hatred and violence in Charlottesville. While as a nation we support the right of freedom of speech and the right to freely assemble, racial hatred and bigotry should never be tolerated in any form. God created us ALL in His image and we are His children. Racial supremacy is not ordained by God and should never be condoned by the church or our society.”
Church of God of Prophecy General Overseer Bishop Sam N. Clements stated, “The Church of God of Prophecy condemns racially-motivated acts of violence in the strongest terms possible. These ungodly acts and racism itself are antithetical to the message of the Lord Jesus Christ, who called us to extend love to our neighbors and even to those we perceive to be our enemies. He was born into a violent, divided, hopeless society and offered the only viable solution, love that overcomes every cultural barrier. We mourn with the families of the victims of violence and pray for peace and love to overcome hate, prejudice and violence.”
Pastor Aaron Campbell, President of the PCCNA Memphis Chapter said, “I will be calling on the entire Memphis Chapter of the PCCNA churches and organizations in prayer to unite us as one to fight against racism and injustice. As Pastor Samuel stated we are fighting against diabolical forces that can only be contained by spiritual means.”
Bishop Doug Beacham of the International Pentecostal Holiness Churches stated, “As this Sunday morning dawns across the United States, let us remember that racial hatred and superiority are contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ. As we pray for our nation, let the body of Christ stand for righteousness, rejecting the hatred and nihilism characteristic of the division and polarization seeking to destroy us.
As members of the International Pentecostal Holiness Church, let us remember that in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, some of our earliest founders sought to express gospel unity with other races, despite strong cultural and legal barriers.” The rest of the statement is posted on IPHC’s Facebook page.
Assemblies of God USA issued the following statement: “In the Body of Christ, when one member hurts, we all hurt. Acts of hatred, such as what was seen in Charlottesville, are despicable and hold no place in a civil society. May our prayers be turned toward those in Charlottesville, as well as for the fear yesterday’s events may have stricken in hearts across our nation. May the world know we are disciples of Jesus by our love!”
Randall Bach, President of Open Bible Churches stated, “Enmity between people because of racial differences has been on display in all of its ugliness since Genesis. We recently witnessed it again in Charlottesville, Virginia, where protests, counter protests, and the death of a person all flowed out of differences based on race. What occurred in Charlottesville is not new. In fact, it is very old, tiringly old. How it must grieve the Lord. Laws are like corrals in that they place some boundaries on conduct, but attitudes and conduct flow from the heart, and laws do not touch the heart. Racism is a prime example.
Anyone who would wave a Nazi flag while proclaiming superiority of one race, meaning inferiority of all others, has a heart problem. The heart is the issue. Followers of Jesus, whose hearts have been transformed by Him, cannot condone racist attitudes or conduct: “ For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us” (Ephesians 2:14, NLT).
We identify and call out walls of hostility. We are accountable before God to reject them, to not be bound by them, and to oppose efforts to construct walls of hostility. While only Jesus can transform hearts, we must be agents of His love and advocates of heart transformation.”
Jeff Farmer, President of PCCNA encouraged members to pray, “Father, lay the axe to the root of racism, prejudice, and injustice in our cities and nations. Bring down arrogance, pride, and hatred, and replace them with humility, love, and righteousness. Heal the soul of our nation from the divisions that infect us. Show us how to demonstrate unity…and live and walk united…in the power of the Spirit. We are desperate for you to visit us again with a sweeping revival and spiritual awakening. Come, Lord Jesus, come! And precious Holy Spirit, please bring peace and comfort to Charlottesville, and all who were touched by this tragedy. What the devil intended for harm and mayhem, turn into healing and hope. You stand in faith that you will “turn our mourning into dancing.” Amen.
PCCNA was founded on October 18, 1994 during the ‘Memphis Miracle’ when the Spirit moved in Memphis to end decades of racial separation and open doors to a new era of cooperation and fellowship between African-American and white Pentecostals. During the conference on “Pentecostal Partners: A Reconciliation Strategy for 21st Century Ministry” with over 3,000 leaders, a white Assembly of God pastor repented to an African American bishop and washed his feet as a sign of repentance. That moment launched a new initiative to break walls down and foster unity through PCCNA.
Since that historic meeting, PCCNA has carried the banner of love and unity by providing a platform for leaders from the major Pentecostal denominations as well as ministries and organizations to fellowship and support one another. For more information about PCCNA, please visit it’s website at PCCNA.org.