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Baptist Alliance passes immigration resolution proposed by Phoenix pastor

PHOENIX -- The situation involving undocumented minors showing up in Arizona is being talked about half a world away.

The Baptist World Alliance passed a resolution on the subject during its meeting in Izmur, Turkey.

The resolution was proposed by the Rev. Warren Stewart, pastor of the First Institutional Baptist Church in Phoenix.

Stewart said the issue involving the immigrant minors should be dealt with in a biblical way.

"The Bible talks about being kind to strangers. Jesus is quoted as saying, 'Let the little children come to me,'" said Stewart. "Christians all over, especially Baptists, and the community at large, need to address the crisis in a compassionate, caring way."

The resolution also called for a political solution.

"It does urge the president and Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform so that these matters can be settled once and for all," Stewart declared.

With the Alliance representing millions of American Baptists, Stewart said the resolution should carry a lot of weight.

"Many of them are politically engaged, so it certainly should influence them to get their congresspersons to pass legislation to get this matter settled," he said.

The Handbook of Denominations in the United States says that over 35 million Americans are currently members of a Baptist church.

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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