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April 10, 2017

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Faith Leaders Coalition and Allies Oppose Gov. Abbott's Stance on Immigration

February 28, 2017



Dear Governor Abbott:

We, the undersigned faith leaders in the Greater Houston area value the diversity of Houston and want all Houston residents to feel safe and free from fear. While we realize that it is popular in certain circles to seem “tough” on undocumented immigrants, the current efforts by your office are immoral and go against what we believe as people of faith and value as Americans.


As it is now, our city and county law enforcement personnel are doing all they can to prevent violent crime and to make our area safe. Diverting limited resources from these aims puts people at risk. The actions of your office foster a culture of fear. A simple, routine traffic stop could lead to separating families and deportation. Moreover, the threat of detention and deportation will make it less likely for people to come forward with evidence to prevent violent crime.


Our sacred texts are full of admonitions to protect the stranger and the immigrant. We are called on to look after the most vulnerable in society and to show them compassion. It is indisputable that our national immigration policies are in need of revision. The current situation is untenable. We rely on undocumented immigrants as a crucial labor source in our economy and they are an invaluable part of our community. While we wait for sensible immigration solutions, it makes no sense to terrorize our city and strong arm local authorities.


The threat of denying money for needed programs makes your office’s actions even more morally reprehensible. You will be punishing people who benefit from those programs even though they have done nothing to deserve it. That is the very definition of injustice. The money denied to these programs is our money, paid with our tax dollars and approved by our elected officials.


It is our hope and prayer that you and your office will relent from pursuing these efforts. In our traditions, mercy and compassion are our highest values. We trust that you share these values and implore you to do the right thing.




Yours Sincerely,


Rev. Jonathan C. Page

First Congregational Church of Houston


The Reverend Lisa Hunt

St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, Houston


Rev. William R. Taylor

United Methodist Church


Rev. Will Reed

First United Methodist Church, Pasadena


Rev. Keatan King

St. Philip Presbyterian Church, Houston


Rev. Vicki Gibbs

Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church, Houston


Rev. Dr. Becky Edmiston-Lange

Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church, Houston


Rev. Kelly Sullivan

First United Methodist Church, Pasadena


Rev. Beverly Snedeker

Presbyterian Church, USA


Rev. Carolyn Allen

Memorial Drive Christian Church, Houston


Rev. D. Darnell Fennell

Just Love Church (UCC/DOC), Houston


Rev. Troy Treash

Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church, Houston


Rev. Jonathan Britt

St. Thomas Presbyterian Church, Houston


Larry E. Lutz

President, Dignity /Houston


Rabbi Steven M. Gross

Houston Congregation for Reformed Judaism


Rev. Dr. Jim Bankston

United Methodist Church


The Rev. Dr. Guinn Blackwell-Eagleson

Presbyterian Church, USA


Rev. Marty Troyer

Houston Mennonite Church


Myokei Caine-Barrett, Shonin

Myoken-ji Temple/Nichiren Buddhist Sangha of Texas


Rabbi Joshua Herman

Congregation Beth Israel, Houston


The Rev. Fred Clarkson

St. Timothy Episcopal Church, Houston


Rev. Troy Johnson

Fresh Start Community Church of Houston


Rev. Dr. T. Randall Smith

United Methodist Church


Rev. Donna Renfro

Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Church, Woodlands


Rev. J. Ernest Turney

Bering Memorial United Methodist Church, Houston


Rev. Matthew Hudman

Memorial Drive Christian Church, Houston


Rev. Stephanie Synder

Bering Memorial United Methodist Church, Houston


David Atwood

Pax Christi Houston


Rev. Jenni Martin Fairbanks

Just Love (UCC/DOC) Houston


Sister Ceil Roeger, OP

Dominican Sisters of Houston


Rabbi Gideon Estes

Congregation Or Ami, Houston


Rev. Mak Kneebone

Plymouth United Church of Christ, Spring


Yusuf Shere

Council on American Islamic Relations, Houston


Rev. Dr. Richard L. White

First United Methodist Church, Katy


Rev. Laura Mayo

Covenant Baptist Church, Houston


Rev. Emily Everett

First United Methodist Church, Pasadena


Rev. Steve Capper

Lord of the Streets, Houston


Rev. Gaelyn Godwin

Houston Zen Center/ Auspicious Cloud Temple


Rev. Lori Dirk Keaton

United Church of Christ


Dr. Sylvia Richards, Minister of Counseling and Community Life

First Congregational Church of Houston


The Rev. Helen M Havens

St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Houston


Rev. Barbara Lewis

The Episcopal Church


Dr. B. Glenn Wilkerson

President, The ARK Group


Rev. Professor Les Switzer

United Church of Christ


Rev. Ashley Dellagiacoma

KINDRED Lutheran Church, Houston


The Rev. Dr. David Mason

Disciples of Christ/United Church of Christ


Rev. David Pantermuehl

Grace United Church of Christ, Houston


Rev. Joshua Lawrence

Friedens United Church of Christ, Beasley


Rev. W. Jeffrey Campbell

St. John United Methodist Church, Houston


Rev. Georgia Chambers

Chaplain, St. Mary’s Medical Center


Rev. Lynette Ross

Cathedral of Hope Houston (UCC)


Imam Daniel Abdullah Hernandez

ISGH Pearland Islamic Center


Saira Jilani

Chairwoman, An Nisa Hope Center


Rev. Susan Buchanan

United Methodist Church


Rev. Denise Junious

Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church, Houston


Elder Shon D. Stewart

Freedom Church Houston


Rev. William C. Royster

United Church of Christ


Rev. Dr. Rashaan L. Nowell



Rev. J. Michelle Mathis

Agape for All Ministries


Rev. Ruth Seeliger

Foundation for Contemporary Theology


Rev. Jim Herrington

Executive Director, Mission Houston


Rev. Tim Marquez

Pathways Church of Houston (PCUSA)


Rev. Scott Moore

Texas Annual Conference, United Methodist Church


Rev. Jane Wenninger

United Church of Christ


The Rev. Carissa Baldwin-McGinnis

St. Andrews Episcopal Church, Houston


Rev. Don A. Storey, Sr.

United Methodist Church


The Rev. Eileen O’Brien

Episcopal Chaplain, University of Houston


Mustafaa Carroll

Executive Director, Council on American Islamic Relations, Houston


Rev. Angela Anderson

First Unitarian Universalist Church, Houston


The Rev. Stacy Stringer

Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, Houston


Rev. Helen P. DeLeon

Webster Presbyterian Church, Webster


The Rev. Brandon Peete

St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Houston


Imam Waleed Basyouni

Clear Lake Islamic Center, Clear Lake


Rev. Dr. C. Clay Pickens

Brentwood Baptist Church, Houston


Rev. Michael Dunn

First Christian Church, Houston


Rabbi Samantha Kahn

Congregation Emanu El, Houston


The Rev. James L. Grace

St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Houston



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