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Dr. Soaries Issues Letter of Support to RU Football Coach

Contact: Brianna Smallwood, First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens, 732-839-2429

SOMERSET, N.J., Sept. 4, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ -- Rev. Dr. DeForest B. Soaries, Jr., Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens (FBCLG), issues a letter of support to Kyle Flood, Head Coach of the Rutgers University (RU) Football Team, concerning the recent arrest of five current football players. Dr. Soaries has pledged to stand with Coach Flood and the Rutgers Football Team during their time of need.

The letter states:

    Dear Coach Flood,

    I am certain that you and your entire football organization are experiencing high levels of stress in light of recent events. I am writing to remind you that many of us in the community are familiar with your vision, accomplishments and commitment to high standards, and that it is our prayer that the leadership of Rutgers University (RU) and the community at large will consider these events within the overall context of your tenure and work.

    I want you and your entire organization to know that the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens (FBCLG) congregation and communities of faith throughout the state are available to you, your staff, players, and their families for any resources that we may be able to provide. We have a longstanding relationship with RU Athletics, particularly the Women's Basketball and Men's Football teams. For years we have worshipped together, celebrated your victories, and encouraged you in times of difficulty. We are intimately aware that under your leadership the football program has performed many tremendous deeds both on and off the field, both in and off-season, both at RU and in the community.

    You have led this organization with dignity in the fishbowl of university life and college athletics. In this environment, negative events always seem to attract the publicity that positive ones never do and condemnation often comes before consideration. But because in this great land we are considered innocent until proven guilty, our congregation will respond to the needs of your players just as we would any other member of the community.

    Coach Flood, please do not become discouraged. Unfortunately, all parents, pastors, professors and coaches have experiences with young people in their care who have stumbled. In fact, many of us made mistakes in our college years from which we've recovered and gone on to live fruitful lives of service. Our most important work, which you do on a daily basis, is to help young people in need.

    Please continue to lead this fine team as you have in the past; with integrity and passion, and know that the 7000-plus members of FBCLG and churches across the state of New Jersey are cheering and praying for you.

    With Warm Regards,

    Dr. DeForest B. Soaries, Jr.
    Senior Pastor
    First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens

About First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens (FBCLG)
Founded in 1937, First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens is a vibrant community-focused, multi-cultural and historical African-American church located in the Somerset section of Franklin Township, NJ. The church's motto is "Faith in Action." FBCLG bears witness to the gospel of Jesus Christ for spiritual, educational, economic and community transformation. For more information, visit