Local pastors visit Israel, see sacred sites
Christian leader of pro-Israel movement speaking locally this weekend
Four local pastors have been to Israel, seeing the sacred sites from The Bible. The trip has given them a deeper context for their sermons, and also made them passionate advocates for preserving the Jewish homeland.
“It really brought things to life,” said Russ Peters, pastor of Alabama Full Gospel Fellowship on Route 63 in Shelby.
He was in Israel for about a week in February, joining about 30 other pastors from the United States, including Dan Thurber – Oak Orchard Assembly of God in Medina; and Randy LeBaron of the Albion Free Methodist Church. Tim Lindsay, pastor of Harvest Cristian Fellowship in Albion, attended an Israel trip in February 2016 through the organization, Christians United for Israel.
One of the leaders of CUFI is in Orleans County this weekend, speaking with churches and local leaders. Pastor Victor Styrsky, Eastern Regional Director of Christians United For Israel, spoke this morning at the Free Methodist Church and Harvest Christian Fellowship. He also will be speaking at 6:30 this evening at Alabama Full Gospel.
“We want to help people understand Israel,” LeBaron said. “Victor does a great job explaining it.”
Styrsky also met with local church leaders at a breakfast Saturday morning at Tillman’s Village Inn.
The pastors on their trip to Israel visited many sacred sites – The Sea of Galilee, the Garden of Gethsemane, Golgotha, and the Garden Tomb.
“We also spent time learning from many leaders, meeting and showing support to the Israeli soldiers, praying at the Western Wall, experiencing a traditional Shabbat meal in someone’s home, and going to the Holocaust Museum,” he said.
After Lindsay, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship, attended a trip in February 2016, he shared the importance of Christians speaking out for Israel. The three other local pastors also have become vocal advocates for Israel. They say the Jewish people continue to be persecuted.
“The church is more awake and aware and willing to come to support Israel,” Lindsay said. “Israel gets a bad rap. So many times people have tried to destroy the Jewish people.”
Christians United for Israel has 3.3 million members. The organization has emerged as a powerful voice for Israel.
CUFI believes that the Jewish people have a right to live in their ancient land of Israel, and that the modern State of Israel is the fulfillment of this historic right.
“I believe God’s covenant with Israel is an eternal covenant,” Lindsay said.
CUFI says Christians need to speak out against any acts of terrorism against Israel, and support the country’s efforts to protect itself.
Lindsay and LeBaron last July attended a CUFI Washington Summit, hearing from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The pastors also met with New York representatives in Congress, asking them to support Israel.
The local pastors said it was a blessing to attend the trip to Israel together in February. The pastors are part of the Pastors Aligned for Community Transformation, which is hosting the event at Alabama Full Gospel this evening.
PACT also has made supporting the fight against drug addiction a local community priority.