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Rev. Maria Swearingen and Rev. Sally Sarratt: Advocating for Better Immigration Policies


From speaking out against bigotry to advocating for immigration policy reform, two co-pastors at the helm of Calvary Baptist Church in Washington, DC, remain committed to keeping immigrant families together.  

Throughout this year, Revs. Maria Swearingen and Sally Sarratt have been fighting back against many of the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant and anti-refugee policies — particularly the termination of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the threat of taking Temporary Protected Status (TPS) away from immigrants from countries marred by violence and public health crises.

“The thought of losing someone because our system of government can’t collectively establish a just and workable immigration system is a challenging space to be in pastorally, because it’s unconscionable and unfathomable,” Swearingen said.

As a sanctuary church, Calvary provides critical resources, outreach and information for vulnerable immigrant families. Although the threats of deportation loom over members of their congregation, the women remain steadfast in their ministry.

“We’re just trying to follow the threads of where faith is leading us on this journey together,” Sarratt said.

Swearingen and Sarratt first met in a South Carolina church, where they fell in love. “Falling in love with each other pressed us outward into the community,” Swearingen said.

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