A news conference Tuesday, June 7, 2011, will announce the formation of the International Communion of Evangelical Churches (ICEC). The brainchild of Bishop Harry Jackson, president of the High Impact Leadership Coalition and pastor of New Hope Christian Church, in the Washington, D.C., area, the group of churches and ministries hopes to "answer the international cry for urban churches to participate in both evangelism and community transformation."
"ICEC has been formed to create a structure for church planting, foreign missions and societal impact starting with the US, but eventually reaching around the world," the ICEC news release stated. "The founding churches believe there must be a balance between the foundational work of evangelism along with discipleship and the 'prophetic work' of speaking out nationally on matters of public policy."
The group will draw leaders from across broad ethnic and theological streams, including in its founding leadership African Americans, Caucasians, Hispanics and international leaders. At Tuesday's news conference, Jackson will be joined by fellow ICEC leaders Bishop Joseph Mattera (New York, N.Y.), Bishop Eugene Reeves (Woodbridge, Va.), Bishop J. Alan Neal (Ramstein, Germany), Rev. Dr. Larry Palmer (Waldorf, Md.), Rev. Aubrey Shines (Tampa, Fla.) and Rev. Kyle Searcy (Montgomery, Ala.).
Speakers will address the most recent remarks delivered by Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam, who, on May 17, offered words of "warning" to America's spiritual leaders as he addressed the American Clergy Leadership Conference's prayer breakfast in Chicago. Jackson suggested that the controversial leader's comments on America's spiritual condition were warranted, but explained that the ICEC will point the nation toward biblical solutions.
"ICEC believes that America needs a Third Great Awakening in which the indigenous church of America returns to its biblical design. Farrakhan is right about one thing," Jackson noted, "somebody needs to repent. The clergy needs to lead the way to renewing America by repenting and changing their personal and moral direction."