A 128-person delegation comprised of leaders from the Pentecostal Church of God proclaimed their support for Israel and an undivided Jerusalem with a signed declaration of prayer presented to the Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat on Sunday.
Scott said the declaration and the group’s visit is not simply symbolic of its support for Israel, but is going to be felt through action.At a time when replacement theology and apathy are pervasive in the American church, “understanding the theology of the situation is paramount,” Charles Scott, general bishop of the Pentecostal Church of God told Travelujah, the only Christian social network focused on travel to the Holy Land.
“We intend this to be a juggernaut,” he said.
Scott estimates that the ripple effect of this visit will reach a quarter million of the church’s constituents. The goal, Scott said, is education about Israel through literature and media, and ultimately, tourism to Israel.
This is apparently the first time a denomination itself has made a public stand with Israel. The Pentecostal Church of God is a 91-year old denomination founded in Chicago in 1919. Its membership consists of 620,000 people in 60 nations. Of 37 districts within the United States, more than half were represented on this trip to Israel and most of the trip participants were on their first trip to Israel.
The group met Barkat at Jerusalem’s City Council chambers and presented him with the written declaration, which is also hanging up at the Church of God headquarters in Joplin, Missouri.
“We wanted this to be a demonstration that we really supported Israel, not just in declaration but in covenant,” Wayman Ming Jr., general secretary of the Pentecostal Church of God, explained to Travelujah.
Robert Stearns, director of Eagles’ Wings ministry which hosted the trip as part of their Watchmen on the Walls program, told Mayor Barkat this large delegation was evidence that “a new kind of Christian was coming forth on this earth.”
“We will not remain silent” in support of Israel, he said.
Barkat said that the group were “shareholders in the city.” He urged the leaders to go back to their members and encourage more trips to Israel. Tourism also blesses Jerusalem by creating new jobs for Israel’s poorest city, he noted.
Barkat was elected mayor of Israel’s capital city in 2008. One of his goals is to bring 10 million tourists a year to Jerusalem. Representatives from Eagles Wings and the Pentecostal Church of God have joined the cause to help make that goal a reality.
Nicole Jansezian writes for Travelujah (www.travelujah.com) the only online social networking community focused on learning about the Holy Land and providing Christian interest travel products and services to Christians worldwide. The Israel-based spiritual travel portal allows users to learn about the Holy Land, create and share content, and book unique, high quality travel experiences through a network of Christian guesthouses, hotels and to