After last Wednesday night's Bible study at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston ended with nine people losing their lives in a violent act of racial hatred, over 100 worshipers gathered in the very same room just one week later to continue the church's Wednesday night tradition.
Interim pastor Norvel Goff Sr., who's standing in for slain Rev. Clementa Pinckney, said that while Wednesday night Bible studies would never be the same for members of the church, he believed that faith had brought the 100-strong crowd to the same basement room only a week later to continue worshipping the Lord.
"This territory belongs to God," Goff told the crowd at the Bible study, as quoted by CNN. "Bible study will continue. But because of what happened, we will never be the same." more >>
Former and founding pastor of the Richmond Outreach Center megachurch in Richmond, Virginia, Geronimo "Pastor G" Aguilar, who a prosecutor said ran a "tax-free harem," was convicted Wednesday of sexually assaulting two sisters in Fort Worth and Grapevine, Texas, nearly 20 years ago when they were both younger than 14 years old.
A report from the Star-Telegram said a jury in Tarrant County spent less than four hours deliberating before convicting Aguilar, 45, on all seven counts of an indictment that included two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child which carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Aguilar was also convicted of three counts of sexual assault of a child younger than 17, and two counts of indecency with a child, according to WTVR. Each of these second-degree felonies, carry a maximum sentences of 20 years. more >>
Tullian Tchividjian, a grandson of prominent evangelical preacher Billy Graham, who resigned as lead pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Florida Sunday after confessing to an "inappropriate" relationship, continued to vent online Wednesday with at tweet declaring "I'm so, so, sorry."
"I'm so so sorry. I love you all ... fade to black," Tchividjian noted in a Tweet Wednesday.
Tchividjian's former church announced this week that in light of the scandal, the annual LIBERATE conference which he normally led would be canceled and those who had signed up for it already would be refunded registration fees. The LIBERATE website is also closed temporarily. more >>
Conservative members of the United Methodist Church have expressed doubt that a recently approved petition from a local state body of the denomination will influence a change in the Church's position against homosexuality.
During the weekend, a majority of the delegates at the UMC Virginia Annual Conference voted in favor of a petition calling for the denomination to change its position on homosexuality.
Known as Petition 14, the measure called for the striking of language in the UMC Book of Discipline that describes homosexuality as "incompatible with Christian teaching." more >>
WESTMINSTER, Calif. — Musical pioneers who were at the forefront of the Jesus People Movement in the 1960s and '70s performed a half-day long reunion concert held at Calvary Chapel Pacific Coast earlier this month. While some may have hoped for a revival in a more public sense, the event transformed into an intimate look at a family of virtuosos who love Jesus, each other, and their ministries.
Legendary rock and blues vocalist and harmonica player, Darrell Mansfield, told this reporter before the Jesus People Reunion concert began that perhaps this is what God wanted all along. Jesus might not be so much interested in a revival on some grandiose scale, but on a personal level with each of us, individually.
"To me this is a high school reunion and Jesus," Mansfield explained. "I spent so many years touring with these men and women of God that serve the Lord. I have a lot of great memories — globe trotted over the whole world. To be here is a blessing." more >>
In no way am I disregarding, demeaning, or belittling the death of the nine people murdered in a church in Charleston, S.C. Their lives are not insignificant. And grief, sorrow, anger, and desire for justice are all right and healthy responses. But the response to these murders makes obvious two alarming realities about American Christians.
It's astounding and disturbing to observe selective displays of public grief and prayer in America. What does it take to be publicly mourned by Christians—to be shot in church?
When and where was Christian "solidarity" displayed over Memorial Day weekend after 56 people were shot in Chicago, of whom 12 died including a 4 year-old girl and three teenagers? Where was the public display of Christian prayer and hand ringing after 23 people in New York City or 28 in Baltimore were shot, including 9 killed, over the same weekend? more >>