A Christmas Message from Rev. Charles F. Johnson

As we enter this most holy season of the year, we turn our hearts in humble gratitude to God for the mission and ministry God is giving us through Pastors for Texas Children.  It is remarkable what God has allowed us to accomplish together in four short years.

Because of you and your witness, faith leaders and educators are banding together all over Texas to stand firm for public education as a provision of God’s Common Good.

Not only do we have 2000 pastors and congregational leaders here in Texas, but we are also expanding our mission to other states. Pastors for Oklahoma Kids is up and running and conducting a successful mission on behalf of public schools there. We have organizational meetings happening now in Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi, and robust conversations with leaders in Arizona, Arkansas, Alabama, Missouri, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

The most significant part of our witness is the actual compassionate assistance and help we are able to provide for neighborhood and community public schools. Countless thousands of churches are now joining in creative partnership in school improvement projects and one-on-one child mentoring and tutoring. Children are growing and learning. Teachers are empowered and encouraged. Lives are being touched and changed.

In short, God’s Word of Love is becoming fleshed out.

We were able to bring our witness to bear in grassroots communities all over Texas to block private school vouchers once again in the Texas Legislature. We have become a trusted moral voice in Austin.

Influential media such as the Dallas Morning News, Washington Post, Austin American Statesmen, NPR, Texas Tribune, Houston Chronicle, and Baptist Standard are taking note of our work.

Our own social media messaging has gained a large following this past year, mobilizing and encouraging a strong pro-public education message, as well as underscoring our bedrock conviction for religious liberty and church/state separation.

Many education advocacy groups are recognizing our work and witness together. We spoke at the annual meetings of Texas Association of School Administrators, Texas Association of Community Schools, and many other gatherings of influential educators. On your behalf, we were privileged to accept the “Friend of the Year” award from Friends of Texas Public Schools.

Denominational groups such as the Baptist General Convention of Texas that birthed us, the United Methodist Church, and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship are initiating mission partnerships with PTC.

Furthermore, national organizations such as the wonderful Network for Public Education and the Center for American Progress have recognized our work and created platforms for our message. National public education advocates such as Carol Burris, Diane Ravitch, and Randi Weingarten have become good friends and colleagues to us.

There is much work yet to do. But, for now, as we slow down and enjoy our families and congregations this Christmas, we pause and give thanks.

And we remember that “the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it.”

God’s peace to you all!

Rev. Charles Foster Johnson – Executive Director, Pastors for Texas Children