When members of Columbia Road Baptist Church in North Olmsted, Ohio first learned that Brian Mitchell, 31, was accused of raping a teenager under his charge, they were shocked.
Mitchell – a former youth pastor, volunteer, father of three and husband to a woman whose family had been in their church for several generations – was "well-liked" and clean-cut.
"The comments around here of course is trying to understand what he was thinking during it. We don't know what led him to do such a thing," Columbia Road Baptist Church Assistant Pastor, Bill Giallourakis, explained to The Christian Post in an interview Friday. more >>
Leading Southern Baptist Convention ethicist Russell Moore and other faith group leaders have sent a letter calling out Congress for lagging far behind the states in passing common-sense criminal justice reforms, arguing these reforms are a "conservative legacy."
Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, and seven other conservative leaders, have signed onto a letter urging Republican congressional leaders to pass federal sentencing reform legislation and other measures similar to ones passed at the state level that have helped reduce recidivism and crime rates and have also helped greatly reduce taxpayer burden in states.
The letter was sent on Thursday to House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R- La., and House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Ore. It specifically mentioned three pieces of legislation that are a part of a larger criminal justice reform effort being led by House Judiciary Committee Chair Bob Goodlatte, R-Va. more >>
A 43-year-old mother and her 25-year-old daughter accused of having an incestuous marriage were arrested in Duncan, Oklahoma, last Friday.
The illegal relationship came to light after investigators with the Department of Human Services began investigating children inside the couple's home in August. more >>
The Rev. Franklin Graham has decried Chicago's homicide rate of over 500 people killed this year alone as a "grim milestone."
In a Facebook message posted on Wednesday, the head of Samaritan's Purse and Billy Graham Evangelistic Association reflected on the nearly 3,000 shootings that have resulted in 546 deaths this year, as reported by the Chicago Tribune and other local and national news outlets.
"This is a grim milestone. So far in 2016, more than 500 homicides have been committed in the city of Chicago. Ninety people were murdered just in August alone. One of them was a cousin of NBA star Dwyane Wade," wrote Graham. more >>
Islamic radicals attacked 200 Christians at a Catholic mass in Indonesia, including children, and forced a priest to flee the church after he was threatened by the mob who harassed him as he read the Bible during a memorial service.
AsiaNews reported on Wednesday that the incident occurred earlier this week at the church of St. Peter Purwosari, near Surakarta in Central Java, where 200 Christians had gathered to celebrate mass 1,000 days after the death of one of their loved ones.
Usually such commemorations are held at the house of a family member, but this time village elders gave permission for the gathering to take place at a public facility, due to the large number of people. Several non-Catholics, including the village chief, were also in attendance. more >>
Horror erupted at a senior home in Chicago, Illinois, in the wee hours on Monday when Allen Smith, 80, a retired Baptist minister and Yale Divinity School graduate was allegedly shot dead by a wheelchair bound, 67-year-old pastor during an argument over the Bible.
The Chicago Tribune said Smith and his alleged killer, Ted Merchant, a resident of the community who also ran a church at the senior home known as the Senior Suites of Rainbow Beach, were on the back patio of the property having their regular talk about Bible passages when he pull a gun and shot Smith dead.
Merchant fled the scene in his motorized wheelchair but was arrested three blocks away at about 1:05 p.m., according to the Tribune. He was later charged with first-degree murder and was set to appear in bond court on Wednesday. Police say the shooting was caught on camera. more >>