A Christian bishop takes the heat of persecution after moving to Israel to continue his ministry.
With more than 6 million members in its congregation, the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) is the largest African-American denomination of believers in the United States.
In a recent move to give Israel a bishop, the church sent Bishop Glenn Plummer together with his wife, Pauline, who also happens to be a doctor.
In an interview by CBN News, Bishop Plummer said that he finds it vitally important for America to have a relationship with Israel.
"I have found, we have found, that it's vitally important that African Americans have a relationship with Israel. So, building a bridge is our primary purpose."
Bishop Plummer adds that they came to build a bridge for Black America, not just for COGIC.
The Christian couple have long since advocated for Israel, setting their sights on the Holy Land and dedicating their lives to the place of their new ministry.
With heartfelt prayers to encourage and accompany them, the Plummers were sent off to Israel by their members at COGIC during their annual convention at St. Louis in late 2019.
But the couple's great expectation of the Holy Land came up with unexpected opposition after they met with several persecutions as they arrived.
Bishop Plummer commented,
"There's a word they use called 'missionize.' I hadn't quite heard that word before but there's been these accusations.
"They twisted it to say, 'They're coming here to convert Jews. They're coming here to baptize Jews. They're coming here to proselytize Jews.'"
Not only are there accusations. There were misleading headlines surrounding their coming. Some even went out of their way to release doctored videos.
Because of the accusations that went on against them, the missionary couple began to receive death threats. It was a testament to how evangelism is a taboo to Israel. Even the idea of missionary activities of any kind is considered as a sensitive subject among Jews.
All these persecutions hurt Bishop Plummer and Dr. Plummer and seemed like a betrayal.
"It was hurtful. It's like you're being a friend to someone and then you're betrayed by your friend, and you can imagine what that hurt feels like," Dr. Plummer explains.
The situation escalated even more when well-known rabbis in Israel called the government to forcefully remove the couple out of the country.
Jonathan Feldstein, an orthodox Jew who has spent his life bridging the gap between Jews and Christians, became witness to the struggle of the Plummers.
"They've been subject to a great deal of hostility. Some of it with, I believe, with misunderstanding, and some of it with some ill-intention," Feldstein said.
Amidst all the accusations thrown at them, the Plummers still stand with their conviction and reason for coming - to bless Israel and build a bridge for a stronger relationship between the African Americans and the Jews.
Bishop Plummer made his conviction clear again.
"We're here. There's nothing anyone can do to us to stop us from loving Israel and loving the people of Israel. We love this place.
I'm just responding in love and I'm praying for those who feel they need to persecute us."