Floyd M. Schoenhals is a retired Bishop in Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He earned a master of divinity degree from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. He served as a pastor of congregations in Louisiana and Oklahoma before he was first elected bishop in 1994. The Oklahoma Conference of Churches instituted an award in his name to recognize his ecumenical and interfaith accomplishments.

“He’s very much devoted to God, to Allah, and he’s very much devoted to love for humanity. And so, that is the kind of wisdom that I appreciate, but he’s also humble. He’s not a person who has pursued a life of power. He’s not pursued a life of personal prestige. He’s not pursued a life of having many possessions. He’s lived very simply. He doesn’t draw attention, intentionally, to himself. He’s more concerned about what God’s people, of all faith traditions, are doing for the sake of the world that God created and the world that God loves…”

“I am also very impressed with the Movement called “Hizmet.” These are people of, primarily in Turkey, but perhaps, I think, in other locations throughout the world, who’ve been very much inspired and moved by the teachings of Mr. Gülen. And so they have not really formed an organization, so to speak, but they have devoted themselves in voluntary ways to a lot of projects throughout the world, for education and disaster relief, charity projects, all of which lift up humanity as a whole…”

“The Hizmet Movement gives us a whole different perspective of what Islam is really about. It’s about establishing peace in God’s world. Salaam. And that’s, I think, the most significant way that it represents Islam in the world. And I wish, only wish that there were more ways that media, especially in the United States would tell the stories about Hizmet, so that people would see that what they see most of the time on television is not the real story of what Islam is about. So they represent Hizmet, the followers, the participants in Hizmet represent Islam in a very, very positive way.”