Social teaching is based on and inseparable from our understanding of human life and human dignity. Every human being is created in the image of God and redeemed by Jesus Christ, and therefore is invaluable and worthy of respect as a member of the human family. Every person, from the moment of conception to natural death, has inherent dignity and a right to life consistent with that dignity. Human dignity comes from God, not from any human quality or accomplishment.
It has always been the hands of the church that helped to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, defend the defenseless and visit the imprisoned.
Dr. Jamal-Harrison Bryant: Minister Of The Next Millennium
Dr. Jamal-Harrison Bryant has broken the stereotype of yesterday’s clergyman. He is the leader of a new breed of ministers who embrace the idea of capitalizing on the ever-increasing marketplace of Internet and technological innovations to spread the gospel. With more than 7,500 members attending weekly services at Empowerment Temple in Baltimore, Maryland, and approximately 35,000 followers on Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace, he believes that “God is not just in the church; He is also in technology.” His mission is to “empower people spiritually, develop them educationally, expose them culturally, activating them politically, and strengthen them economically.”
Under Dr. Bryant’s leadership, his church has expanded into the Empowerment Academy, serving grades pre-K through seven, and the Empowerment Family Life Center. These two institutions serve the community by offering quality education, foreclosure assistance, food and clothing, Christmas gifts, and Single Parents’ Wheels car-buying assistance program. The church has pledged thousands of dollars to get guns off the street and to lower the crime rate.
This new millennium minister is now an impassioned social activist, community developer, and cultural philanthropist; an author, motivational speaker, and TV and radio personality; but most important of all, he is a beloved and devoted father.
Minister Jamal Bryant says, “Every person God ever called is flawed, and so many times we try to hide our issues.”
Watch Pastor Bryant’s War Cry
Minister David Alexander Bullock: Minister Of The Movement
An activist throughout the city of Detroit, Pastor David Bullock has an outspoken, engaging personality that has established himself as a media sensation with a loyal fan base. Relishing in his reputation and driven by a sense of purpose, he is known for having a Bible in one hand and a bullhorn in the other. Although he plans to run for office in hopes of making substantial changes to the city, Pastor Bullock’s first love is practicing ministry as the leader of the Greater St. Matthew Baptist Church. He is active in his community. Recently he took peace to the struggling community of Detroit with a huge ‘Peace BBQ’ Pastor Bullock understands that you must meet people where they are to make them better.
He is crystal clear that he is walking and treading where Jesus would have gone. He is in the streets every day.
The world saw his drive for the community was featured on Oxygen’s Preachers Of Detroit this past season.
Jarvis L. Collier: Minister Of The Poor
Jarvis L. Collier is the Pastor of the Pleasant Green Baptist Church in Kansas City, Kansas. Their ministry is feeding the hungry in a dignified way.The original “Prayer House” coffee house opened in Kansas City in 1970 and a sit-down meal was served to 65-100 people. Now approximately 2,600 meals, delivered to 953 families. The work of 543-Volunteers from 57 different churches, synagogues and community organizations are lead by the support and leadership of Pastor Collier who ‘hears the cry of the poor’ and serves Psalm 69:33 as part of his ministry.
Watch Pastor Collier’s candid conversation about the ministry to the poor:
Bishop Gregory Wilton: Minister Of The Defenseless
Bishop Gregory Wilton was one of Pope John Paul II last episcopal appointments before his death, named Bishop Gregory the seventh Archbishop of Atlanta on December 9, 2004. In that time he has helped to open the doors and protect children.Gregory has been active in the Roman Catholic Church in advocating for the prevention of child sexual abuse by Roman Catholic religious, and for implementing policies to protect the faithful from sexual abuse by Roman Catholic religious.He has been one of the leading bishops in the United States regarding this endeavor.
He made history when he became the first African American to head the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. I personally had the opportunity to sit and chat with him and found his crusade for God to be refreshing. You can see the the holy spirit shine through his eyes. His cause is to raise and better our children for a better tomorrow.
Recently Bishop Wilton has become involved in the anti-violence movement, praying and hoping to save the lives of youth on the street. Bishop Gregory understand the tendency for people to think before they let the seeds of violence take place. He says, “The last thing we need is more firearms in public places, especially in those places frequented by children and the vulnerable.”
Watch Bishop Gregory Wilton champion a school for disadvantaged youth.
Pastor Rudy Rasmus- Minister Of The Homeless and Unloved
Rudy Rasmus is a pastor, author, and global humanitarian with a passion for outreach to the world’s poorest citizens. He often says his primary spiritual gift is “hanging out.”
From his previous life of owning and operating a “borderline bordello,” today Pastor Rudy co-pastors the St. John’s United Methodist Church located in Downtown Houston with his wife Juanita that began with 9 existing members in 1992. St. John’s has grown to over 9,000 members (30% were formerly homeless) in 21 years into one of the most culturally diverse congregations in the country where every week people of every social and economic background and ethnicity share the same pew. A recent in-house poll at the church revealed the number one reason people attend St. John’s is because they can “feel the love” from the parking lot to the pew.
Pastor Rudy founded the Bread of Life, Inc. (a not for profit corporation) with Juanita in December of 1992 and began serving dinners to the homeless in the sanctuary at St. John’s. Years later the Bread of Life has changed the landscape of Downtown Houston providing an array of services to homeless men and women seven nights a week in the Bread of Life facility on the St. John’s campus. The project provides over 12,000 hot meals each month to the homeless men and women, distributes over 9 tons of fresh food weekly to hungry families, and provides shelter to over 100 homeless individuals every night from 6pm-6am in a pioneering “housing-first” initiative called “After Dark” where services are provided during the critical night-time hours.
Make sure that you check out our conversation with Rudy in Pastor Proclaims That It’s ‘Love.Period’ [VIDEO]
Minister A. R. Bernard, Sr- Minister Of Community Affairs And Strengthening of Manhood
Minister Bernard has been named one of Ebony’s Most Influential. There is good reason. He is bringin the presence of Christ to the world . The nation saw him standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and wondered who he was. He has been involved with 74 international offices and with has a presence in approximately 150 nations via the Christian Men’s Network. Under his leadership, CMN has been reborn as ICB, International Christian Brotherhood. The International Christian Brotherhood is a men’s ministry based on the biblical revelation that manhood and Christ-likeness are synonymous. In other words, we believe that a man’s God given identity, purpose and destiny are found only through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
We live in a world where the truth about manhood is obscured and corrupted. ICB believes that we are called to re-present the original intention of God who created men in His image. And we believe that Jesus Christ, as the only incarnation of God, represents the true vision for manhood.
Outreach programs under his leadership include a food pantry serving the community, a Prison Ministry, and various city organizations including the New York Police Department’s orientation.
His nationally syndicated radio show Faith In Practice is one of the most listened to programs in the nation. He says “Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you. Never excuse yourself. Never pity yourself…”
His word is so trusted that he is also the President of the Council of Churches of the City of New York representing 1.5 million Protestants, Anglicans and Orthodox Christians.
Watch his talk about the lens of our lives and what we should be focusing on.
Who is leading in your community?
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