Facing mounting turmoil and disenchantment among his flock, the Rev. Kevin R. Johnson, prominent senior pastor of the storied 103-year-old Bright Hope Baptist Church in North Philadelphia who famously criticized President Barack Obama for failing black Americans last year, will effectively resign his post on Oct. 31.
Several congregants of Johnson's church told the Daily News in Philadelphia that the pastor announced that it was "crystal clear" that the time had come for him to move on after a testy meeting with the church's leadership on July 17.
"I have enjoyed Philadelphia," Johnson is said to have told his parishioners, "but the Lord has told me it is time to move on." He told the church that because his wife is "gainfully employed" as a lawyer, he would be taking his time to find another church. more >>
The Episcopal Church celebrated the 40th anniversary of the denomination's ordination of the first women as priests Tuesday. In 1974, 11 women were ordained at the Church of the Advocate in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Celebrations for the occasion included a service held last Saturday at the Church of the Advocate and hosted by the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania.
An appeals court has ruled in favor of a small diocese in Illinois that broke away from The Episcopal Church over theological differences, including the denomination's appointment of openly gay Gene Robinson as bishop.
In a ruling handed down Thursday, the Illinois Fourth District Appellate Court sided with the Anglican Diocese of Quincy over the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago.
The ruling upheld a lower court decision that ruled the Quincy Diocese's property and funds to be the possession of the Anglican Church North America, the more theologically conservative group that the diocese presently affiliates with. more >>
An African-American church in Washington, D.C. that has been in operation for over 100 years will soon be closing down because the property has been sold.
Leadership at the Alexander Memorial Baptist Church of the Georgetown neighborhood recently agreed to a sale of their church property.
"All that remains in wealthy Georgetown are four black churches. Soon, there will be only three," reported Sam Ford of WJLA-TV. "… [T]he pastor and trustees of the 106 year old Alexander Memorial Baptist Church are about to sell the church — set to be turned into condominiums or townhouses — for $6.5 million." more >>
The largest Presbyterian denomination in the United States released a statement Tuesday demanding that President Barack Obama push Israel and Hamas towards negotiating a ceasefire immediately.
"The situation is escalating beyond control. The bloodshed and wielding of power in the contested land is unconscionable," reads the statement from the Presbyterian Church (USA) Office of the General Assembly."Just as the United States has moved swiftly to provide $47 million in humanitarian assistance to Gaza, America also must lead the way in insisting on a ceasefire and enabling negotiations."
The statement also said that the PCUSA leaders "urge President Obama to use all the diplomatic weight afforded the highest office of this nation to end this conflict, and support all steps toward lasting peace in the Middle East." more >>
The normally outspoken and media-engaged Pastor Mark Driscoll of Seattle-based Mars Hill Church, who has attempted to stay away from the spotlight for several months since being embroiled in controversy this past year, admits that it has been a tough season for the church and it is time for reconciliation.
In a 30-minute video on the church's website in which he primarily addresses the Mars Hill congregation (or family), Driscoll admits to the mishandling of a transitional period in which church leaders were dismissed in an uncaring fashion.
"Substantive organizational changes were really caused by our church going to multiple locations and leaders being spread out across our various locations," Driscoll explains in the video released over the past weekend. "At the time we were not, I was not, as sympathetic or empathetic as we should have been." more >>