Statement: Jackson County United Methodist Pastors Stand Against Racial Injustice


For too long, white Christians have silently shaken their heads at public displays of racism and voiced their concern in private among one another. As United Methodist Christians and pastors, we want to register a public witness denouncing the actions reported in a recent AJC article concerning the withholding of a black candidate for the job of city administrator and this statement made about Christian life by a member of local government: “I’m a Christian and my Christian beliefs are you don’t do interracial marriage. That’s the way I was brought up and that’s the way I believe,” he said. “I have black friends, I hired black people. But when it comes to all this stuff you see on TV, when you see blacks and whites together, it makes my blood boil because that’s just not the way a Christian is supposed to live.” 
Article Five of our United Methodist Constitution states, “The United Methodist Church shall confront and seek to eliminate racism, whether in organizations or in individuals, in every facet of its life and in society at large. The United Methodist Church shall work collaboratively with others to address concerns that threaten the cause of racial justice at all times and in all places.”  We believe Christian life reflects the truth found in Galatians 3:28, “There is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither slave nor free; nor is there is male and female, for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.”  
We, the undersigned, believe the Christian life is one which seeks to resist racial injustice in every form, and we pledge to work collaboratively to address these current concerns of racial injustice through our churches and community engagement.
Rev. Dr. P. Alice Rogers, Gainesville District Superintendent of The United Methodist Churches
Pastors of Jackson County United Methodist Churches
     Rev. Joshua D. McDaniel, New Liberty UMC, Braselton
     Rev. Sara Maughan, Holly Springs UMC
     Rev. Beth Starling, Dry Pond UMC
     Rev. Mercy Lineberry, Warren Chapel UMC
     Rev. Brent Gilstrap, Ebenezer UMC / Outpost Church 
     Rev. Chris Laskey, Jefferson First UMC / Outpost Church
     Rev. Michael L. Devine, Arbor Pointe Church @West Jackson
     Rev. Kathy Lamon, Commerce First UMC
     Rev. David C. Walters, The Vine Church-Braselton-Hoschton/Flowery Branch
     Rev. Kathy Hardy, Wesley Chapel UMC, Hoschton
     Rev. Andrew Erwin, The Vine Church
     Rev. Marvin Mason, Hoschton UMC
Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson, Bishop of the North Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church