Dr. Kenneth Samuel is the Pastor for the World Church in Stone Mountain, which has dual standing as an Independent Baptist Church and an active congregation of the United Church of Christ. He currently resides in Ellenwood, Georgia and is the proud parent of his daughter Kendalle.
As a well-respected pastor and civil-rights leader, Rev. Samuel has always been an outspoken activist for equal rights for all.
“My life has always been about our love for Jesus never being separated from our passion for Justice. I have engaged myself in the struggle for Human Rights through many agencies. Most recently, I serve as Vice-Chair of the African American Leadership Council for People for the American Way. In the past, I was a past President of the DeKalb County, Georgia Branch of the NAACP and an elected Georgia delegate to the last four Democratic National Conventions. I believe that we must all walk the same road to justice and equality.”
It is in part his experience working towards civil rights for all, as well as his strong adherence to faith, that propelled Rev. Samuel to speak out against the so-called Religious Freedom Restoration Act in Georgia, which he is certain could open the door for discrimination against people who are gay or transgender.
“When I heard about the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, I knew instinctively that I had to be public because this would be an injustice to gay and transgender people in Georgia. People of faith already have religious protections. The freedom we have in place does not give any of us the right to harm others. This proposed legislation will do harm to others in the name of religion.”
Rev. Samuel touches on just some of the reasons he opposes this mean-spirited and harmful legislation.
“As an African American pastor in Georgia, I have fought long and hard for African American civil rights in this country—in the name of religion and in the civil rights through legislation. I am supporting my LGBT family against this legislation because I don’t believe my love of God means I have to discriminate against another group. We all can work together and not send the message that because you are different, you don’t get certain privileges. That’s wrong. God loves us all and we were all made equal, so we deserve equal respect.”
He adds, “Let’s be clear – we have religious protections in place. Our American values are in line with our religious protections because everyone is treated fairly. This proposed legislation will set up situations that support discrimination. It is not American to tell everyone they have a right to decide and follow through on discriminating against another person just because of who they love”SHARE THIS STORY