MH News July 3, 2019

The largest Hispanic evangelical Christian network has announced plans to assist in welcoming and caring for the thousands of immigrants and refugees crossing the southern boarder of the United States. The campaign, called “For His Children” will coordinate resources and distribution with both the federal government and with other Christian groups who shared their concern. According to NHCLC president Samuel Rodriguez, the effort will include housing and will including housing in church buildings as well as private homes, just as soon as the logistics are worked out with the federal government. This effort is a revamping of an earlier program called Convoy of Hope that dates to 2014. The NHCLC is part of a larger network of Christian groups concerned about the situation, organized under the name Evangelical Immigration Table.


A strong backlash within the United Methodist Church has succeeded in electing progressive representatives to the 2020 General Conference of the Church. A report from the liberal Mainstream UMC shows that 76 percent of annual conferences in the United States passed legislation rejecting the Traditional Plan adopted by the 2019 General Conference in the on-going struggle to deal with gay membership, gay ordination, and gay ordination within the church. Conferences in Oklahoma, Alabama, Kentucky, Western Pennsylvania, and South Georgia resisted this liberal trend and elected conservative representatives. The traditional approach—rejecting gay marriage and ordination—has been led by a national group called the Wesleyan Covenant Association; their delegate support has declined from 35% in 2019 to 26% for 2020. The international branches of the United Methodist Church remain the center of opposition to homosexual inclusion.


The Pentecostal Church of God, one of the smaller Pentecostal groups in the United State and around the world, has voted to allow women to become bishops in the denomination. The historic vote occurred as the group celebrated its 100th birthday in an event in Dallas, Texas, that drew representatives from 50 of the 67 countries where they are active. Each country has a bishop and all 36 districts in the United States has a bishop. Each district elects its own bishop and this new rule gives the districts permission to elect women as bishops. Women already serve as pastors in the denomination. A larger Pentecostal group, the Assemblies of God, recently elected a woman as general secretary.


Christian theologian and apologist Norman Geisler has died at the age of 86 after a short illness. Geisler was a prolific author, with more than 127 titles to his name, including one scheduled for release next year. He also was one of the writers of the 1978 Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy. He helped found Southern Evangelical Seminary in North Carolina and Veritas International University in California, as well as the International Society of Apologetics. Geisler was born and raised in a non-Christian home in Michigan and received degrees from Wheaton College, William Tyndale College, and Loyola University. He represented the conservative wing of the Evangelical community, especially in its approach to the Bible, commonly called inerrancy. Geisler is survived by his wife, six children, fifteen grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.