Black Bishop of Israel, Dr. Glenn R. Plummer, speaks exclusively with the Michigan Chronicle.

It has been a hectic rollercoaster ride for the Bishop of Israel, Dr. Glenn R. Plummer, since moving to the Holy Land in 2020.  An African American with deep Detroit roots, Plummer is in rare air as the first-ever Bishop of Israel after being consecrated by the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) in 2019.

“I was selected by the Presiding Bishop and General Board earlier that year,” said Plummer.  “They had to present it to the General Assembly, which is the whole body of the Church of God in Christ comprised of six-and-a-half million members, and they unanimously ratified me with enthusiasm to establish a jurisdiction in the country of Israel.”

While Plummer and his wife, Dr. Pauline Plummer, the First Lady of Israel, left their Detroit-area home amid much enthusiasm and spiritual exhilaration attached to their historic assignment in the Holy Land, their arrival was met with overt opposition.

The backlash and attacks on the Plummers were rooted in the belief that they had come to Israel to proselytize, meaning to evangelize and attempt to convert Jews to Christians.  Proselytizing is heavily frowned upon in Israel.  In early March of this year, legislation was proposed by Ultra-Orthodox Jewish lawmakers that Christians could face prison time for encouraging conversions to their faith.  According to the Associated Press, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stopped the passage of the proposed bill.

“We were met with enormous resistance because of the false accusations,” Plummer told the Michigan Chronicle.  “And the attacks came mostly from the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, hitting us both on social and mass media platforms.”

Plummer said that Israeli newspaper articles were published with statements deceptively edited to falsely state that Plummer and his wife came to Israel to proselytize.  Video clippings were also altered and aired to convey the same message.

In addition, Plummer said the government of Israel had some blame for the backlash against him and his wife.   According to Plummer,  Aryeh Deri, who held a high ministerial post in the Israeli government under Prime Minister Netanyahu, refused to grant needed visas for the Plummers to stay in Israel.

“Deri told us that we had to get out because of the accusations that we were missionaries and came to Israel to proselytize,” said Plummer, who lives with his wife in an upscale section of Jerusalem.  “It was Deri’s decision not to give us the visas.”

Plummer believes that much of the resistance, attacks, and denials of visas went beyond the false claims of proselytizing and touched directly on his ethnicity as a Black Christian from America.  He noted that white evangelical Christian church leaders from America, who have a significant presence in Israel, have not endured similar pushback and attacks in the Holy Land.

It felt racist to me,” Plummer told the Chronicle, adding this was the first time he had referenced race in an interview to describe the treatment he and his spouse endured in Israel.   “Although it felt racist to us, I don’t believe that they hate Black people…I want to be clear about that.  I think what we’ve gone through is based on ignorance.”

Plummer said the hostility against him and his partner in faith and marriage has calmed down significantly, adding that many Jews in Israel have come to their defense, including some in the government, media, and even the Ultra-Orthodox Jewish sector, one of the primary sources of the attacks on the Plummers.

When asked about his real mission, Plummer said, “I am an establishmentarian.  I am in Israel to establish a jurisdiction for the Church of God in Christ.  I will establish a jurisdiction and lay a foundation for another bishop and others, upon my demise or exit, to build upon that.”

Beyond his role as Bishop of Israel, Plummer said his other mission is to build better, stronger, and lasting communications and relationships between Israelis and African Americans.  Plummer noted that 17 years ago, he founded the Fellowship of Israel and Black America (FIBA) in partnership with the late Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein.

“FIBA is focused on a number of initiatives to build bridges and help the understanding and relationship between Black Americans and the State of Israel,” Plummer said.  “FIBA supersedes my role as Bishop of Israel for the Church of God In Christ because FIBA involves working with more than Black church folks from COGIC or the Baptist or the Methodist or other denominations.  It goes beyond just working with Jewish people and their faith.  We seek to connect African Americans and Jewish people regardless of their faith or non-faith.”

Plummer is no stranger to Israel or its people, having visited the Holy Land more than 20 times before moving there in 2020.  Before being consecrated as the Bishop of Israel, Plummer, for more than 40 years, was – and still is – a powerbroker in Christian television.  While living in Metro Detroit, he successfully created three national television networks (Christian Television Network, The NRB Network, and The Impact Television Network).  Plummer is the President & CEO of WLPC-TV28 (Comcast 397) in Detroit, with a regional viewership of 2.5 million.

Licensed in the ministry since 1979, Plummer was the senior pastor of Ambassadors for Christ Church in Redford, Michigan, in 1999 and founded his second church, The Midtown Church in Detroit, in 2014.

In late September into the early days of October 2023, the Plummers returned to America from Israel to see family and friends.   However, when the Israel-Hamas War began on Oct. 7, Dr. Pauline Plummer, an entrepreneur, singer and recording artist, television personality, and founder and CEO of Covenant Daughters International Ministries Inc., had already returned to Israel – alone.  The Bishop remained in the United States to attend meetings on Oct. 11 but planned to fly out soon afterward to join his wife at their home in Israel.  The war impeded their plans.

“All of the airlines going into and coming out of Israel had been canceled,” Plummer said about his attempts to reunite with his wife.  “I was on Facetime with my wife all day, every day, with rockets and sirens going off in Israel.  She was in the house by herself.  There was a moment when I felt that she wasn’t going to get out of Israel.”

Plummer said getting his wife back to Metro Detroit took one week.  When asked if the couple would return to Israel with the war intensifying, the Bishop of the COGIC Israel Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction said, “First of all, our home and our mission are there.  I’ve built a major state-of-the-art media center in Israel.  So we have made some decisions that at some point we will go back…Israel is our home.”

No one knows how the Israel-Hamas War will or will not play out, especially if other countries and/or proxies become involved in the fighting.  However, the Bishop of Israel gives his perspectives on the deadly war.

“If Israel lays down its weapons, it will be the end of Israel,” he said.  “If Hamas lays down its weapons and surrenders, it will be the end of the war.  I believe at the end of the day, Israel will be much more secure, and there will not be a Hamas to threaten it.  And there will be a Palestinian state that comes out of this war, but Hamas cannot be the governing body.  The international community will have to go into Gaza, led by a NATO team of countries and the United Nations.”













About Post Author

From the Web

Skip to content