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Best Political Pastor Orange County 2009 - Michael Holland

Michael Holland

Michael Holland

19211 Dodge Ave.

Santa Ana, CA 92705

714-544-1319

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In terms of religious figures who poke their heads into politics, Orange County's cup runneth over with the likes of Howard Ahmanson Jr., Wiley Drake and Robert Schuller. But when it comes to counting clergy members who preach for some social cause instead of merely against the Republican bogeyman du jour—immigrants, gays, Barack Obama—we've got a pretty barren manger. There was a time when it looked like Saddleback Church heavyweight pastor Rick Warren might beat a new path for OC religion, what with Saddleback's crusades against AIDS in Africa and hosting of a presidential-candidate forum. Warren landed a plum spot issuing a prayer at Obama's inauguration, but he then proceeded to torch his reputation as affably engaged by condemning gay marriage, and then pretending to the national media he hadn't. But there's no such squishy, political-as-in-"I-play-politics" air about the Reverend Mike Holland of the Church of the Foothills in Santa Ana. He's a "progressive Christian" who leads in deed and words: He performed one of the first gay marriages in OC, has hosted anti-Proposition 8 rallies and regularly screens environmentally themed movies at his church. Of gay marriage, Holland has said, "It's a faith issue first, then a civil-rights issue." Quotes like that remind us there are OC Christians who fight for tolerance instead of merely for their own book deals.
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3 comments
Mary Roberts
Mary Roberts

Gary Collins and St. Mark Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach are also progressive Christians.

Sarah Halverson
Sarah Halverson

Congratulations Mike!

The Rev. Stan Smith, another progressive Christian, told me about this article as well as your sweet comments, Mike! Thank you for humbly mentioning me and my work -I appreciate it so much. However, the truth is, you are well deserved as someone who leads us in our county well and perhaps one of the pastors I most respect. Thank you for following in Jesus' footsteps!

Let's hope this inspires more pastors to step out on the side of justice!

Rev. Sarah HalversonFairview Community Church, Costa Mesa

Mike Holland
Mike Holland

While I appreciate the kind press and supportive words of the OCWEEKLY, there are many other ministers in Orange County with a spiritual conscience that take courageous stands for social justice. My vote for "Most Political Pastor" would be Rev. Sarah Halverson, Pastor of the Fairview Community Church in Costa Mesa. Mike Holland, PastorChurch of the Foothills UCC & DOCSanta Ana, Ca

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