This installment of the Faith In the Valley Justice Interview Series is a conversation about political violence in California's Central Valley. Participants think through political violence as not reducible to white-nationalist protest violence, but rather political violence as constitutive to the structural reality of America itself.
In this interview, Bishop Turner describes the social inequalities that face his parishioners in Stockton, California.
He highlights how these inequalities form a way of life that COVID-19 has exacerbated and he points listeners toward the need to construct a new normal in the Central Valley that is not rooted in inequality but in inclusion.
Lastly, Bishop Turner describes the benefits of faith-based community organizing, as he details his journey from “mercy” ministries to social justice-oriented ministries.
Bishop Rufus Keith Turner, native of Richmond, California, has called the San Joaquin Central Valley home since 1995. He is the founding pastor of Victory In Praise Church of Stockton, a thriving multi-cultural, non-denominational congregation that transcends class and social status, focusing its ministry on the unchurched.
Bishop Rufus is the presiding bishop of Visionaries Pursuing Excellence (VPE), thirteen churches that are submitted to Bishop Turner’s leadership. He serves as a mentor and support to other pastors throughout California.
Bishop Turner has a heart and desire to see communities within the Central Valley transformed and the many structural inequities eradicated. In 2016, he launched a VIP Social Justice ministry that works in conjunction with Faith in the Valley and PICO California. He believes in their mission to educate our communities concerning the power of their voice and pen and to unlock the power of people that will bring about needed change for our communities.