The Jewish Observer
News from Middle Tennessee's Jewish Community | Saturday, April 13, 2024
The Jewish Observer

Don Finto Letter to the Editor, March 2024

NASHVILLE (JANUARY 22, 2024) —Today, a group of Christian pastors, leaders, influencers, and neighbors throughout the Nashville area have signed the following letter in a coordinated action with one another to support the Jewish community since the atrocities of October 7th and the resulting rising antisemitism.

To our Jewish Friends and Neighbors:

The events of October 7th were barbaric, and the growing antisemitism that has arisen in an insane turn of news events is stunning. Jewish people are being demonized at levels we have not seen since the 1930s.

As leaders and members in the church, we feel the heart of Daniel when he confessed the sins of his forefathers. Daniel took upon himself the sins of his people, even though he was not personally guilty of those sins. He read from Jeremiah about what God was doing in his day, then prayed, “We have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and turned away from your commands,” (Daniel 9:5).

In like manner, we want to acknowledge the sins of our Christian forefathers and take them upon ourselves. The church has sinned against you. The church exiled you, confiscated your wealth and even killed you during the Inquisition in Spain in 1492. Many in the church turned away as you were killed in the gas chambers of Germany, Austria, and Poland in the last century. Even now, you are being reviled and persecuted, often feeling unsafe in our schools and universities in the United States of America. We are appalled at all of this and are determined to stand with you and to do everything within our power to protect you from such horrific acts in the future.

If the church, through the centuries, had simply obeyed our own scripture, there would have been no Inquisition in 1492 and there would have been many more Dietrich Bonhoeffers and Corrie ten Booms during the Holocaust.

We grieve over this, wanting you to know there are a growing number of us who are committed to stand with you during this moment in time. In heart and soul, we love you rooted in the common faith of your ancestors, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob/Israel. We commit to standing with you and walking beside you through these uncertain and difficult days.

Don Finto, Pastor Emeritus, Belmont Church
Patricia Heaton, Actress, Producer
Barbara Ann Jeter, King's Hill House of Prayer
R. T. Kendall, Author & Former Pastor of Westminster Chapel, London

Kristi McLelland, Teaching Pastor, Church of the City & Williamson College

Fady al Hagal, Executive Director International Leadership Coalition

James Goll, Founder, God Encounters Ministries
Tod McDowell, Executive Director, Caleb Global
Ricky & Sharon Skaggs, Musician, Singers

Michael W. & Debbie Smith, Recording Artists
Steve Allen, Lead Teaching Pastor, Belmont Church
Mick Antanaitis, Elder, Belmont Church
Jerry Bryant, Worship City Alliance
Darren Tyler, Lead Pastor, Conduit Church, Franklin
Saado Family, Bible Israel Tours, Jerusalem & Nashville
Michael McNally, Christians United for Israel
David & Sydney Clayton, Ethos Church
Scott & Heidi Cunningham, Ark of Israel
Rob Rogers, Pastor, Grace Chapel
Jeff Dollar, Pastor, Grace Center
Dave Buehring, Lionshare Founder & President
Pastors Carl & Leann Albrecht, The Well, Nashville
Russ Corley, Minister, Madison Church of Christ
Dr. Charles Parker, Elder, Mt. View Baptist, Antioch
Mark & LeeAnn Rampulla, Pastors, Southview Church, Spring Hill

Ronnie Meeks, Pastor Emeritus, Spring House Church, Smyrna

Pastor Karen Johnson
Pastors David & Casey Long
Bob Perry, Founder, Workplace Prayer
Keith Roberson, Pastor, New River Fellowship
Reverend Sam Clarke
Dr. Marianne Clarke

Steve Fry, Senior Pastor, The Gate Church
Gregg & Shelvi Gilmore, Welcome Home International
Pastors Mark & Patricia Douglas
Pastor Daniel Morris
Pastor Bryce Harper
Marlene Tidwell, Director TN Governmental Prayer Alliance
Joyce Breazeale, TN Governmental Prayer Alliance
Tommy Waller, Founder, HaYovel
Sean Steckbeck, Shaliah Global
John Slayden, Elder, Harpeth Hills Church
Janet Slayden, Community Ministry Leader
Pastor Garrett Waltz
Elder Barry Towles
John Diffendorfer, Lead Pastor, Mercy Collective
Pastor Phil Dillingham
Connie Dillingham
Marion Farrar, TN Prayer Network, Founder Nashville Women Conf.

Jeff Richfield, A City on Its Knees
L. Barrington Allen, Founder & President, Total Life Victory
Mark Janbakhsh, Business Owner
Diane Janbakhsh, Executive Director Non-profit
Myron & Carol Goodwin, Grace Chapel
Ben & Emily DuBose, Local Business owners
Henry Headden, Business Owner, Franklin
Betsy Headden, Acts 13 Ministry
Mike Fulsom, Elder, Belmont Church
Paul Heil, Elder, Belmont Church

Mark Brower, Elder, Belmont Church
Bill Cox, Elder, Belmont Church
Jim Davis, Elder, Belmont Church
Phil Kendrick, Elder, Belmont Church
Kelly Napier, Elder, Belmont Church
Dan Wothke, Elder, Belmont Church
Mark Arnold, Founding Partner, Charter Resource Group

Tricia Arnold, Former Academic Director, New Hope Academy

Tiffany Atkinson, Freedom's Promise

Lucy Karen Clay, Sanctity of Life
Nise Davies, Eternal Heiress Ministries
Pastor Jason Ford
Michelle Foreman, Kline Preston Law Group
Gary Glover, CEO & President Glover Group Entertainment

David Hooper, Nashville Attorney
Chris Hooper, Grace Chapel
Mandy Justice, Eternal Heiress
Blaine Kimball, Caleb Global
Doug Mann, Retired Staff Pastor
Dabney Mann
Munday & Jennifer Martin, Contagious Love International

Michael McClanahan, Youth With A Mission
Jane McDonald, VP Silverpointe Properties
Kristine Stroupe, Grace Center
Candice Douglas Taylor, Executive Coordinator
Andy Zimmerman, Toward Jerusalem Council II
Donna Finto-Burks, Belmont Church

Beth Baltuth, Grace Community Church Bram Maas, Olive Tree Church
Larry Tomczak, Christian Journalist Michael & Paula Blanton

Beverly Joan Boulware
Sheryl Cook
Matt & Deanna Dolan, Grace Chapel Elizabeth Forster
Becki Fortner
Mark & Pat Gaw
James & Patricia Gee
Bonnie Gloth
Kendal Hewitt
Kay Hudgins
Joe & Margie Hudson
John Huie
Joan & Tom Hutchinson
Mau & Alberta Ly
Carlotta McKee
John & Katie Moessner
Karen Moore
Chris & Connie Moore
Charlie Moore
Farrar Moore
Amber Northrop
Edna Salyer
Mary Shelton

Paul & Mary van Hoesen
Darci Wantiez
Brett, Rebecca & Josiah

Whitley N. Stephens, Lover of Israel

John & Susan DeLuca
Mandy & Marshall Arledge

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