Faith in Transportation

Faith in Transportation

There is more faith in transportation in Detroit, thanks to the efforts of an interdenominational group of faith, clergy and community leaders from Christian, Islamic and Jewish faiths across Southeast Michigan.

The leaders, who announced their YES endorsement and a commitment to collaboratively drive efforts to drive YES votes for regional transit on Nov. 8, get that many of their congregants and community members simply cannot get to where they need to go without improved transit.

Bishop Edgar Vann

Interfaith support spans Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw, and Wayne counties; from Bishop Edgar Vann of the Second Ebenezer Church in Detroit to Rabbi Rob Dobrusin from Beth Israel Congregation of Ann Arbor, to Reverend Barton Beebe from Christ Lutheran Church in Sterling Heights.

“We have enough businesses, educational institutions, hospitals and recreational enterprises to support a dynamic and developing system of connected regional transit in Southeast Michigan,” said Rev. Louise Ott from the Congregational Church of Birmingham.

Rabbi Jeffrey Falick

Rabbi Jeffrey Falick sees the challenges first hand in his community, “We have seniors and people with disabilities that are unable to get to doctor’s appointments and have a difficult time accessing fresh healthy food,” said Falick. “We need to connect our communities and provide affordable regional transit for everyone.”

“Too often I hear from members of our mosque about how the lack of connections create incredible barriers to participation,” said Imam Radwan Mardini of the American Muslim Center in Dearborn. “We know that 68 percent of seniors ages 65-79 have poor access to transit — some of them are a part of our congregation. Southeast Michiganders need and deserve access to reliable regional transit to get where they want and need to go.”

Dozens of faith and community leaders from across religions throughout Southeast Michigan’s four counties endorsed the vote YES for regional transit campaign. They include:

  • Apostle John C. Harvey, Serenity Christian Church, Hazel Park
  • Bishop Edgar Vann, Second Ebenezer Church, Detroit
  • Fr. Richard Leliaert, St. Robert Bellarmine Church, Redford
  • Fr. Robert Scullin, S.J., GESU Catholic Church, Detroit
  • Imam Radwan Mardini, American Muslim Center, Dearborn
  • Imam Steve Mustapha Elturk, Islamic Organization of North America, Warren
  • Rabbi Alana Alpert, Congregation T’chiyah, Oak Park
  • Rabbi Jeffrey L. Falick, Birmingham Temple, Farmington Hills
  • Rabbi Kim Blumenthal, Beth Israel Congregation, Ann Arbor
  • Rabbi Rob Dobrusin, Beth Israel Congregation, Ann Arbor
  • Rev. A. Richard Doss, Fews Memorial CME Church, River Rouge
  • Rev. Aramis Hinds, Breakers Covenant Church International, Detroit
  • Rev. Barton L. Beebe, Christ Lutheran Church, Sterling Heights
  • Rev. Becky Bolander, American Lutheran Church, Clinton Township
  • Rev. Carter M. Grimmett, Good Shepherd UMC, St. Clair Shores
  • Rev. Charlotte Sommers, Northminster Presbyterian Church, Troy
  • Rev. Claude A. May, Oasis of Hope Christian Church, Detroit
  • Rev. Dr. Claude Bass, St. John’s CME Church, Detroit
  • Rev. Dr. Jill Hardt Zundel, Central United Methodist Church, Detroit
  • Rev. Gary Haller, Birmingham First United Methodist Church, Birmingham
  • Rev. Greg Larsen, First Congregational Church, Rochester
  • Rev. Jessie Gutgsell, Assistant Pastor, St. Clare of Assisi Episcopal Church, Ann Arbor
  • Rev. Kevin Johnson, Calvary Presbyterian Church, Detroit
  • Rev. Kevin Turman, Second Baptist Church, Detroit
  • Rev. Louise R. Ott, Congregational Church of Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills Rev. Beth Taylor, St. John’s Episcopal Church, Royal Oak
  • Rev. Robert Cornwall, Central Woodward Christian, Troy
  • Rev. Scott Steiner, St. John’s Episcopal Church, Royal Oak
  • Rev. Susan Bock, Grace Episcopal Church, Mt. Clemens
  • Rev. Theodore Turman, First Baptist Church, Southfield
  • Rev. Tim Spannaus, St. John’s Episcopal Church, Royal Oak
  • Rev. Tyson Kelley, Womack Temple CME, Inkster
  • Sr. Valerie Knoche, IHM, St. Clement of Rome, Romeo


They join the diverse and rapidly growing coalition of businesses, labor organizations, health and hospital systems and other community organizations. Some of the newest supporters include Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Lear Corporation, the UAW, and the Macomb County Chamber of Commerce. To see the entire list of supporters, visit



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