FFRF Demands That Church Stop Mentoring Elementary Students

ChurchLeaders | 10/15/2019 | Staff
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The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) has issued a warning to Kingsport City Schools regarding a partnership one of the district’s schools has with a local church. Christ Fellowship Church, located in Kingsport, Tennessee, has a mentoring program for students at John Adams Elementary School. This relationship, claims the FFRF, violates the Constitution’s requirement for there to be a separation between church and state.

“The partnership between Christ Fellowship Church and John Adams Elementary School impermissibly advances religion,” wrote Dante Harootunian, Legal Fellow for the FFRF. “[It] communicates a message of school district endorsement of religion and is marked by excessive entanglement between the school district and the church.”

FFRF - News - Release - Screenshot - Video

FFRF’s news release includes a screenshot of a video posted to Christ Fellowship’s Facebook page. The post, which advertises the mentoring program and has since been removed, asks, “Have you ever been a mentor or been mentored? Does walking in the life of a child to show the love of Jesus, influence in a positive direction, and offer an opportunity to be all God designed for them to be pull on your heart strings?”

The church’s website currently still mentions the mentoring ministry, but with less direct religious language than the Facebook post had: “One of the ways CF is making a tangible difference in the lives of children in our region is through our Mentor Program in partnership with John Adams Elementary School. Mentors from our church consistently meet with the child they’re mentoring to show love and influence them in a positive direction.”

FFRF - Nonprofit - Madison - Wisconsin - Community

The FFRF, a nonprofit based in Madison, Wisconsin, says that a “local community member” alerted the organization to the partnership between the church and the school. The FFRF has taken issue with the program’s purpose being for students to “see the love...
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