Among Evangelicals, A Kinship With Jews
Some Skeptical of Growing Phenomenon
By Alan Cooperman
Sunday, January 8, 2006
He also has a personal story. The pivotal moment of Mooneyham's childhood came at age 7 when his parents, in the middle of a divorce, took him and his three sisters to a church parking lot in Burlington, N.C., and parceled them out to relatives for a few weeks. Those few weeks turned into years. The family never came together again.
Nearly 45 years later, the pastor was watching television before a Sunday morning church service when he came upon an infomercial by Rabbi Yechiel Z. Eckstein, founder of a group called the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. Eckstein was standing in Israel with an elderly woman from Russia who said she was finally home.
"She started crying, he started crying, and I started crying," Mooneyham said. "Then I said, 'Lord, help me, because I'm really going to throw my congregation a curveball today. We're going to help Jews -- we're not going to witness to them, we're just going to help them. Because I know what home means.' "