“We defend the marginalized and show them the true Living God.” Pastor Rudy reminded me through my conversation with him.

Pastor Rudy Rasmus is an author, pastor, street ethicist, and global humanitarian with a passion for outreach to our world’s most impoverished citizens. Pastor Rudy co-pastors the St. John’s United Methodist Church located in Downtown Houston with his wife Juanita. During these trying times Pastor Rudy is imparting words of hope  and love. Particularly to  reminding us that our Elders should be the ones helping us  choose or paths.

“Elders,  you should watch over these young men. They need you to help them on their road. Don’t fall into line  and think that our young brothers are just going to know what to do. We are failing in that.”

Beginning with 9 existing members in 1992, over 12,000 people (4,000 of the total were homeless or formerly homeless) have walked down the aisle and joined St. John’s making it one of the most culturally diverse congregations in the country where every week people of every social and economic background share the same pew. He attributes the success of the ministry to a compassionate congregation who has embraced the vision of tearing down the walls of classism, sexism, and racism and building bridges of unconditional love, universal recovery, and unprecedented hope.

I had the opportunity to speak with him just before the holidays and asked him why did he start the ministry and why is it flourishing?

He laughed, “Jesus would help you out if you were lost on the street why shouldn’t we reach out to our brother and pick him up when he needs it. I learned that lesson. I took hold of the hands that helped me. I want to teach others to help others. Then others learn he is real and they teach others. It’s what we are called to do.”

Pastor Rudy truly believes in helping by hiring those who need a helping hand The current intake counselor at St. John’s Bread of Life ministry was, herself, in the long line of the homeless and hungry. Over  7,000 meals served there each month. The receptionist, was a victim of  Hurricane Katrina, A former addict and victim of childhood incest and abuse now oversees HIV testing and education to the homeless.

Not one to rest on his laurels Pastor  Rudy has written  a book “Pressing Against the Wounds of a Broken World” Touch- Pressing Against the Wounds of a Broken World.”, recorded an album  “Pastor Rudy Rasmus – Touch: Pastor Rudy Experience, Vol. 1″ and  runs his ministry T.O.U.C.H.

This is what TOUCH really means:

T (truth and transparency)

O (others focused)

U (unconditional love and acceptance)

C (compassion for one’s community)

H (unprecedented HOPE)

He left me the following words of wisdom when I asked him how to strengthen my prayers.

He looked at me in a fatherly way and smiled,  “Remember there is life-altering power in seeking first to understand then to be understood. Then you use that for  Him.”

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