The following is from the Nov. 5, 2007, edition of The Dallas Morning News. The Rev. Evans Biney, a recent graduate of SMU, is the focus of this story. Dr. William J. Bryan III, one of Mr. Biney's professors and director of the intern program at Perkins, also was interviewed.

African pastor ministers to North Texas congregation of immigrants

Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News

Swaying to the Afro-Caribbean melodies of Papa Dan & the Kenya Boys, the Rev. Evans Biney takes to the pulpit each week, leading his congregation of mostly African immigrants in prayer, song and Bible study.

"I am blessed that through the glory of God I can help people from my country with my ministry here," said the 44-year-old minister, who is originally from Ghana.

The congregants of his Richardson storefront church hail mostly from Ghana, Liberia and Kenya, with a handful from Sierra Leone. Some were forced to leave because of war, but others left in search of better lives in the U.S. Most live in Wylie, with some of the congregants in Richardson and Dallas. Many live near one another so they can help each other with the difficulties new immigrants face.

"We have all left our homes, one way or another," said Mr. Biney's wife, Faustina, 35, who teaches Sunday school at Rapha's World Ministries. "We have all had to sacrifice. We are very supportive, because we know we cannot do it without each other."

Mr. Biney, who teaches lessons on healing and deliverance, has also brought ethnic and religious diversity to Southern Methodist University's Perkins School of Theology, where he recently graduated with a master's degree in church ministry and where he hopes to someday get his doctorate.

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