Immigration Forum Set for July 12 in Bridgeton

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Bethany Grace Community Church (31 N. Pearl St., Bridgeton, NJ 08302) is the location of a forum focusing on “Immigration Policies” that will be held on Thursday, July 12, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. The forum is part of the church’s “Perspectives Forum” series scheduled for the summer. The forums address hot-topic issues and feature panelists holding various views on the subject matter.

Admission fee to the forum is a non-perishable food item to be distributed at the church’s food pantry program. The forum is open to the public, but seating is limited. To register, visit

The basic structure of each forum allows for each panelist to present their informed opinion on the topic. The audience participates in asking questions through index cards presented to the panelist by the moderator. Each panelist gives a closing statement.

The panelists for the July 12 Immigration Policy forum include Bert Lopez, Rev. David Mallory, Maryam Nassari, Steve Fernandez, Second Congressional District Republican Candidate Hon. Seth Grossman, J.R. Carman, and Second Congressional District Independent Candidate William Benfer.

Adalberto “Bert” Lopez is the public affairs manager at Atlantic City Electric, where he has served in a variety of roles for more than 30 years. Lopez is the producer and host of a weekly show “Latino Motion with Bert Lopez,” which airs on NBC 40. The program highlights issues impacting the South Jersey Latino community, while advancing the understanding of Latino culture and contributions to society. Lopez is past president and founder of the Hispanic Alliance of Atlantic County.

Rev. David Mallory is senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Richland, a position he has held since 1969. He is a retired administrator of the N.J. Department of Human Service, having served in State government for 42 years. He served his last nine years as the local office manager of the Cumberland County office of the N.J. Division of Child Protection and permanency, previously known as DYFS. He received his BA in sociology and his Master of Divinity degrees at the Virginia Union University in Richmond, VA, where he participated in the civil rights movement. He received his Master of Social Work Administration at Rutgers University, and studied advanced statistics at Rowan University.

Maryam Nassari is a resident and community volunteer in Vineland. She has been involved in local businesses since opening her first flower shop, Blossoms Flowers & Gifts, in 1993. Today, she manages Finer Flowers & Gifts on Landis Avenue with her parents. She is also an agent with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Realtors. Nassari and her family immigrated to the United States from Iran in 1985 and she became a U.S. citizen in 1999.

Seth Grossman graduated Atlantic City High in 1967, Duke University in 1971, and Temple Law School in 1975. He has been an attorney in Atlantic and Cape May counties since. He helped create Atlantic City’s Chelsea Neighborhood in 1975. In 1986, he won a city-wide election and served as an independent on City Council for the next four years. In 1988. Grossman won the Republican primary election by a single vote. Grossman then was elected an Atlantic County freeholder. Since 2006, Grossman has taught at Atlantic Cape Community College. He is the Republican candidate for the NJ Second Congressional District.

William Benfer is currently running for New Jersey’s Congressional Representative seat in District 2 as an Independent, non-affiliated candidate. The lifelong resident of Millville has worked for the State of New Jersey both as an employee of the State Parks and Forestry services at Belleplain State Park and as a corrections officer at Southern State Correctional Facility. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Multimedia Design.

Steve Fernandez is a member of Vineland BRIDGES and Engineers for Social Justice & Peace.

John Robert “J.R.” Carman was in the golf business for 35 years and has worked in every capacity in the business, having been employed at six clubs and resorts. Along with his brother Ted, J.R. and his father built the Running Deer Golf Club in Pittsgrove. For the last seven years, he has been employed at the PSEG Nuclear Station at Salem/Hope Creek as a security supervisor. J.R. is currently in his junior year at Wilmington University as a Cyber & Network Security major. J.R. founded the N.J. Constitutional Republicans in 2017.

The panel will be moderated by Dr. Robin “Rob” Weinstein, founding pastor of Bethany Grace Community Church. He is also the founder and president of the M25 Initiative and co-founder of the Cumberland County Code Blue Coalition.



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