March 9, 2017

Dear President Donald J. Trump, Vice-President Mike Pence, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson,

Over the past two Administrations, our country has been a leader in saving the lives of millions of mothers, children, and families in developing nations because of our commitment to uplifting the world’s poorest.

We know our international affairs budget is a mere one percent of the total U.S. budget. Severe cuts to the 150 account, such as the 37 percent figure that has been widely reported in the media, will accomplish very little in the important effort to balance the overall budget. Yet, these pennies to the dollar translate into millions of lives saved. 

We write as leaders of faith to showcase a united front of support for the 150 account for global health, humanitarian assistance and development. Because this is a fraction of our budget, we ask that each area remains fully funded.

From Genesis to Revelation, the Scriptures compel us to care for the marginalized—to care for the widow, the orphan, and the refugee. Moses, Ruth, Solomon, and the Prophets call us to take a stand for those who have no voice. Jesus models healing the sick, raising the dead, and cleansing the lepers. He implores us to care for the prisoner, the naked, the hungry, and the thirsty. And James tells us this is the heart of religion (1:27). The single thread of the Bible is to lay down our lives for one another.

If we can protect the lives of mothers and children, we can intervene not just to save lives but also to establish a foundation of health and wellness to uplift communities, societies, and nations out of extreme poverty.

Beyond our calling to care for the world’s poorest as a moral or economic commitment, this is also in the best interest of our national security. We know that development is a critical prevention tool that protects nations from becoming fragile and failed states that are ripe breeding grounds for violent extremism and terrorism.

Supporting foreign assistance isn’t just the right thing to do; it’s the smart thing to do.

We welcome the opportunity for continued dialogue with you and your Administration.



Kenny & Christiev Alphin, Artist (Big & Rich), Nashville, TN

Scott Arbeiter -- President, World Relief, Baltimore, MD

Andi Ashworth Editor, Art House America, Nashville, TN

Walter August, Jr. -- Author, Sr. Pastor & Chairman of Bethel’s Family Church, Houston, TX

Daphene Baines --Ministry Assistant, Christian Education, Southern Baptist Church, Cincinnati, OH

Steve Bell -- Executive Vice President, Willow Creek Association, S. Barrington, IL

Steve Berger -- Sr. Pastor, Grace Chapel Leipers, Fork, TN

Kenton & Laurie Beshore -- Senior Pastor, Mariners Church, Irvine, CA

Lisa Bevere -- Author, Speaker & Co-Founder, Messenger International, Colorado Springs, CO

Emily Blackledge -- President, African Leadership, Inc., Brentwood, TN

Jill Boes, RN, BSN -- Clinical and Outreach Director, Hope Clinic for Women, Nashville, TN

Dr. Matthew Myer Boulton -- President and Professor of Theology, Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, IN

Leigh Brandenburg -- International Missions Team, Mount Pleasant Presbyterian Church, Mt. Pleasant, SC

Colleen Buroughs -- Founder, Watering Malawi, Birmingham, AL

Christine Caine -- Founder, Propel Women, Costa Mesa, CA

Tony Campolo, PhD -- Author & Speaker, Eastern University, St. David’s, PA

Fr. Joe Carnes Ananias -- Former Associate Rector, Christ Church, Mt. Pleasant, SC

Rick Carter -- Child Survival Program Dir., Compassion International, Colorado Springs, CO

Mary Beth Chapman -- Author, Franklin, TN

Steven Curtis Chapman -- Artist, Franklin, TN

Michael Coleman -- Founder and Executive Director, Hope Inspired Ministries, Montgomery, AL

Clay Collier -- Director of Global Outreach, Bel Air Church, Los Angeles, CA

Shannon Conforti -- Director of Family Health, Christian Flights International, Lexington, KY

Jennifer Cooke -- Manager, Amy Grant, Nashville, TN

Chaz Corzine -- Manager, The MWS Group, Franklin, TN

Rev. Beverly Crowetipton – Sr. Pastor, Fairview United Methodist Church, Greenville, SC

David Dark -- Author, Professor of Religious Studies, Belmont University, Nashville, TN

Rev. Brandon Dasinger -- Teaching Pastor and Director of Missions, Frazer United Methodist Church, Montgomery, AL

Chris Devaney -- Executive Director, Children’s Nutrition Program in Haiti, Chattanooga, TN

Frank Dimmock -- Global Poverty Alleviation Catalyst, Presbyterian Church, Louisville, KY

Melinda Doolittle – Artist, Franklin, TN

Jean Duff -- President, Partnership for Faith and Development, Washington, DC

Jenny Eaton Dyer, PhD -- Executive Director, Hope Through Healing Hands, Nashville, TN

Gary L. Edmonds -- President/CEO, Food for the Hungry, Phoenix, AZ

Cathleen Falsani -- Author & Religion Columnist, Laguna Beach, CA

Paul Frank, PhD -- Executive Director, SIL LEAD, Inc., Washington, DC

Bill Frist, MD -- Chairman, Hope Through Healing Hands, Nashville, TN

Jeanette Fuccella -- Executive Director, Hearts with Haiti, Raleigh, NC

Gary Furr, PhD -- Pastor, Vestavia Hills Baptist Church, Birmingham, AL

Eric Geary -- Lexington Leadership Foundation, Lexington, KY

Bob Gladney -- Executive Pastor, First Baptist Church Jackson, Jackson, MS

Mike Glenn -- Sr. Pastor, Brentwood Baptist Church, Brentwood, TN

Amy Grant – Artist, Nashville, TN

Jennifer Grant – Author, Wheaton, IL

Andrew Greer -- Artist, Songwriter, & Author, Franklin, TN

Garrett Grigsby -- Executive Director, Christian Connections for International Health, Sterling, VA

Rev. Dr. David Gushee -- Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics Director, Center for Theology & Public Life, Mercer University; President, Society of Christian Ethics, Atlanta, GA

Tracie Hamilton -- Philanthropist & Mother, Franklin, TN

Scott Hamilton -- Olympic Gold Medalist & Philanthropist, Franklin, TN

Rev. Alison P. Harrity -- Rector, St. Richard’s Episcopal Church, Winter Park, FL

Dan Haseltin --Artist, Jars of Clay, Franklin, TN

Esther Havens -- Humanitarian Photographer, Dallas, TX

Brandon Heath -- Recording Artist, Nashville, TN

Marcus D. Holman -- Missions Pastor & President of Bethel’s Family Church Global Reach, Houston, TX

Lynne Hybels -- Advocate for Global Engagement, Willow Creek Community Church, S. Barrington, IL

Christopher Ingram -- Senior Pastor, Yates Baptist Church, Durham, NC

Velvet Kelm -- President, The {M}edia Collective, Franklin, TN

Joyce Kinley -- President, Church Women United State of Ohio and Church United of Greater Cincinnati Inc., Cincinnati, OH

The Rev. Dr. Russ Levenson, Jr. -- Rector, St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, Houston, TX

Rev. Elizabeth Mangham Lott -- Sr. Pastor, St. Charles Baptist Church, New Orleans, LA

Chuck Love -- Lead Pastor, Beechland Baptist Church, Louisville, KY

Charlie Lowell -- Artist, Jars of Clay, Franklin, TN

Anne Lucas -- Director, e3 Mission, Mobilization, & Medical, Birmingham, AL

Rev. Damon Lynch, Jr. & Barbara Lynch --Pastor and First Lady, New Jerusalem Baptist Church Cincinnati, OH

Heloise Maconochie, PhD -- Visiting Scholar, Early Childhood Education and Care, Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne, IN

Ray Martin -- Emeritus Executive Director, Christian Connections for International Health, McLean, VA

Sarah Masen – Artist, Nashville, TN

Mike McBrayer -- Minister, Vestavia Hills Baptist Church, Birmingham, AL

Joe McIlhaney, MD -- Founder and Chair, The Medical Institute for Sexual Health, Plano, TX

Greg McMorrow, MD -- Board member, Christian Flights International, Perryville, KY

Jedd Medafind -- President, Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO), McLean, VA

David Moberg -- SVP & Group Publisher, HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Nashville, TN

Steve Moore -- Chairman of the Board, The Shalom Foundation, Brentwood, TN

Elisa Morgan -- President Emerita, MOPS International, Colorado Springs, CO

Ken Morris -- Missions Pastor, Church of the City, Franklin, TN

Jeff Moseley -- President/Founder, Fair Trade Services, Brentwood, TN

Heidi & Erik Murkoff -- Author; Co-Founders, What to Expect Foundation, Los Angeles, CA

Dr. Bryan L. Myers -- Professor of International Development, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA

Jena Lee Nardella -- Co-Founder, Blood:Water &Author, Palo Alto, CA

Jennifer Nettles -- Artist (Sugarland), Nashville, TN

Lindsey Nobles -- COO, If: Gathering, Austin, TX

Christy Nockels -- Artist & Speaker, Franklin, TN

Nathan Nockels -- Music Producer, Franklin, TN

Paul Osteen, MD -- Associate Pastor, Lakewood Church, Houston, TX

J. Jeffrey Palmer -- Executive Director, Baptist Global Response, Nashville, TN

Jackie Patillo -- President, Gospel Music Association, Nashville, TN

Charlie Peacock -- Music Producer & Artist-in-Residence, Lipscomb University, Nashville, TN

Dr. John M. Perkins -- Civil Rights Activist, Author & Preacher; Co-Founder of Chrisian Community Development Association Jackson, MS

Miles Phelps -- Director, City for the Nations Lexington, KY

Richard Ramsey -- Outreach Pastor, North Metro Church Marietta, GA

Mark & Vickie Reddy -- Directors, The Justice Conference, Chicago, IL

Dr. Gus Reyes -- Director, Christian Life Commission, Texas Baptists, Austin, TX

Marlene Rickert, FNP-BC -- Medical Director, Hope for Haiti Foundation, Raleigh, NC

Dr. Samuel Rodriguez -- President, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, Sacramento, CA

Doug Roe -- Senior Pastor, Vineyard Church, Dayton, OH

Ash Rogers -- Executive Director, Lwala Community Alliance, Nashville, TN

John Rogers -- Associate Pastor for Campus Ministry, University Presbyterian Church, Chapel Hill, NC

Rev. Dr. Gabriel Salguero -- President, National Latino Evangelical Church, Pastor, Calvario City Church, Orlando, FL

Rev. Edwin Sanders II -- Sr. Servant, Metropolitan Interdenominational Church, Nashville, TN

Scott Sauls -- Sr. Pastor, Christ Presbyterian Church, Nashville, TN

Jo Saxton -- Director, 3DM; Author & Speaker, Minneapolis, MN

Dan Scott -- Sr. Pastor, Christ Church Nashville, Nashville, TN

Michael Shelly -- Outreach Pastor, Real Life Church, Clermont, FL

Lott Shudde -- Manager, Third Day, Brentwood, TN

Leslie Smart -- Executive Director, Christian Flights International, Lexington, KY

Angie Smith -- Author & Speaker, Franklin, TN

Anita Smith -- President, Children’s AIDS Fund International, Washington, DC

Michael W. Smith -- Singer/Songwriter, Franklin, TN

Shepherd Smith -- President, Institute for Youth Development, Washington, DC

Durwood Snead -- Director of GlobalX, North Point Community Church, Atlanta, GA

Anne Stafford, MD -- Pediatrician, University of Alabama-Birmingham, Birmingham, AL

Rev. Becca Stevens -- St. Augustine’s Chapel; Founder, Magdalene/Thistle Farms, Nashville, TN

David Stevens, MD, MA -- CEO, Christian Medical and Dental Associations, Bristol, TN

Andrea Summer, MD -- Co-Director, International Adoption Clinic, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC

Jason Surratt -- Pastor of Stewardship and Global Missions, Seacoast Church, Charleston, SC

Cathy Taylor, DrPH, MSN, RN -- Dean & Professor, Belmont University, Nashville, TN

Debbie Taylor -- Artist & Mother, Nashville, TN

Steve Taylor -- Recording Artist & Filmmaker Nashville, TN

Third Day -- Christian Band, Atlanta, GA

David Vanderpool, MD -- Founder, LiveBeyond Thomazeau, Haiti

Dr. Charlie Vittitow -- Missions Director, Southeast Christian Church, Louisville, KY

Stephaine H. Walker, MD -- Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Vanderbilt University Overseer, Mt. Zion Baptist Church Health Care Ministry, Nashville, TN

David K. Walmer, MD, PhD -- Family Health Ministries, Duke Global Health Institute Triangle Global Health Consortium, Durham, NC

Kathy Walmer, MSN, CPNP -- Executive Director, Family Health Ministries, Durham, NC

Barrett Ward -- Founder & CEO, Live FashionABLE, Brentwood, TN

Rev. Dr. Rob Weingartner -- Executive Director, The Outreach Foundation, Franklin, TN

Bruce Wilkinson -- President & CEO, Catholic Medical Missions Board, New York, NY

Kimberly Williams-Paisley -- Actor & Philanthropist, Franklin, TN

Jessica Wolstenholm -- Author & Co-Founder, Grace for Moms, Brentwood, TN