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Politics

Apopka Pastor Joins Rick Santorum, Other Conservatives on Israel Trip

August 14, 2014 - 6:00pm
A Florida pastor will be joining a once-and-possible future presidential candidate in a trip to Israel in the days to come.

Pastor Doug Bankson of the Victory Church World Outreach Center in Apopka will be joining religious and social conservatives, including former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., in heading to Israel on Sunday for a three-day trip. Besides preaching in almost every state and around the globe, Bankson has served as president of the Apopka Ministerial Alliance and chaired the Apopka City Chamber of Commerce.

Bankson, Santorum and their group will head to Israel to show American support for that nation during the current crisis in Gaza and to offer prayers for peace. But, on Friday, Santorum fired a shot at President Barack Obamas policies in regard to Israel.

"This trip will be an important opportunity as representatives of the American people to show our solidarity with the people of Israel, Santorum said. Our goal is to tell Israel's leaders and its people that Americans support them despite President Obama's inconsistent rhetoric and actions regarding their country.

Most of groups time in Israel will be spent in Jerusalem. They are scheduled to meet with Ron Dermer, the Israeli ambassador to the United States. The group is also planning to speak to Israelis impacted by the recent violence.

Santorum upset former Gov. Mitt Romney, R-Mass., in the Iowa caucus back in 2012 and strung together wins in 10 other states before ending his bid for the Republican presidential nomination. Looking ahead to 2016, Santorum has left the door open to another presidential bid.

Santorums and Banksons group has a distinct Iowa flavor. Hawkeye State conservatives radio host Simon Conway, Pastor Cary Godron of Cornerstone World Outreach based out of Sioux City and Bob Vander Plaats, the president of the Family Leader, will be going to Israel with Santorum and Bankson. Vander Plaats is one of the most prominent social and religious conservatives in the state and a major force within the Iowa GOP.

Other conservatives included in the group are former U.S. Rep. Gresham Barrett, R-S.C.; businessman Foster Friess who is well-known for his support of social and religious conservatives at the the national level; and conservative pundit Quin Hillyer. Christian novelist Joel Rosenberg will join the group when it reaches Israel.


Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinetstatenews.com or follow him on Twitter: @KevinDerbySSN

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