Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Close to 200 community members gather in front of Bridgeton City Hall for the first annual “Hate Has No Home Here.” Image by Michael Schuelke

Adventist Mayor Leads Local Anti-Hate Rally

Story by LaTasha Hewitt

Albert Kelly, mayor of Bridgeton, N.J., and a member of Allegheny East Conference's Bethany church in Bridgeton, recently hosted an anti-hate rally on the steps of Bridgeton City Hall to support the “Hate Has No Home Here” (HHNHH) initiative.

The idea originated with leaders of the Vineland (N.J.) Public School System, who endeavor to make students feel “safe and valued regardless of ethnic background, language, race, etc.” Ross Stanger, the supervisor of instruction, contacted Kelly to help spread the HHNHH message.

Kelly supported the idea and reached out to the local clergy in Bridgeton. “I am so happy that so many members of the clergy were present and actively supported the rally; not just with their participation but also financial donations,” says Kelly. “That’s why I am proud to be the mayor of the great city of Bridgeton!”

During the hour-long program, several community pastors offered encouraging words and prayers for the residents. Senate President Stephen Sweeney of the New Jersey Legislature offered words of support to the congregants. A local church band performed gospel musical selections, and the program concluded with a selection from a combined community choir.



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