Church of God Partners with Anti-Trafficking Summit

The North Georgia Church of God state offices and the Church of God Care Division are partnering with Atlanta’s City of Refuge and the House of Cherith to sponsor an Anti-Trafficking Summit set for April 11-12, 2019.

The Summit is based upon the premise and to raise continual awareness that “Slavery Still Exists.” More than 2,000,000 people are trafficked each year; age 12-14 is the average age of a victim of human trafficking; 40% of victims were recruited by immediate family members; and $290 million is spent annually on sex trafficking in Atlanta, Ga. alone.

City of Refuge is an inner-city Atlanta ministry that exists to bring light, hope, and transformation to individuals and families. It is run by Bruce Deel, an ordained bishop in the Church of God who, along with his wife Rhonda, founded the ministry over 20 years ago after they recognized the desperation of need in an area of Atlanta where they had been assigned to close a church. Since then City of Refuge has grown to multiple locations with support from churches, corporations, and Fortune 500 companies.

House of Cherith, run by City of Refuge, serves as a safe and refreshing home for victims of sex exploitation and trafficking. As the number one city in the United States for sex trafficking, Atlanta is home to an estimated 12,400 transactions [source: Urban Institute] each month. The goal of House of Cherith is to provide women with the opportunity for rescue, restoration, and a chance to start a new life.

“House of Cherith exists to RECLAIM. RENEW. RESTORE. survivors of human trafficking,” Deel stated.  Begun in 2014, HOC provides both short-term and long-term housing, case management, social work programs, trauma informed care, medical, mental health and vision care as well as spiritual and vocational training. More than 700 survivors have benefitted from the services offered.

Church of God Women’s Ministries has adopted House of Cherith as their 2018-2020 “Women With A Mission” project. Last fall, state and regional Women’s Ministries leaders took a day trip to the City of Refuge to observe in person the work that is being accomplished through the ministries of House of Cherith. The 2018-2020 goal is to raise funds for a shelter for young mothers and their children caught in the tragedy of human trafficking.

“There are only 200 spaces available and we have already had a significant number of registrations,” Deel stated. “This will be a significant, faith-driven event, and comes at a time when there have been some recent high-profile arrests.”

Session presenters for the two-day Summit will include Jerry Redman of Second Life of Tennessee, Kelsi Deel with House of Cherith, Dr. Vanessa Snyder with Richmont University, Ann Kerr from True North Ministries, and Jessica Lamb with Atlanta Redemption Ink.

Registration for The Summit is $99 until March 11 and includes all sessions and meals on-site. The event begins on Thursday night, April 11 at 5:30 and concludes on Friday night, April 12 at 8:30 p.m.

For more information and to register, visit

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