In an amazing story of redemption he shared with his congregation on Sunday, Tennessee pastor Phillip Robinson forgave the man who murdered his father in cold blood almost 30 years ago.
Robinson's father, Wayne, was tragically shot dead outside the Tennessee grocery store he owned by gunman Ron Hammer in 1986. Hammer, who now identifies as a Christian, joined Phillip Robinson via Skype on Sunday to share his conversion story at Robinson's New Vision Life Baptist Church in Murfreesboro and described how the pastor's forgiveness "changed his life."
"I gave my life to Christ in October of 1996, but I've never really received the full blessings that Christ wanted me to have until one day He whispered and told me, 'Well, you haven't confessed to the Robinson family.' And I sat and wrote a letter to Mrs. Robinson (pastor's mother) and it was 20 years after the crime had taken place. And I told [her] how I had taken your father's life and how it was an accident and that I never meant to hurt anyone," said Hammer to Robinson before his congregation on Sunday. more >>
A Virginia megachurch that was recently hit by scandal surrounding their founding pastor has announced a new interim pastor and new name.
Richmond Outreach Center, a large church located in the Commonwealth's capital, released a statement last Friday announcing a name change and new interim pastor.
"The Board of Directors of the Richmond Outreach Center announced today the church has installed a new transitional pastor and changed the church's name to Celebration Church and Outreach Ministry," the board announced on Facebook. more >>
A Virginia pastor and his wife were stabbed multiple times in their sleep on Monday morning allegedly by a 21-year-old man they'd taken into their home nine months ago and treated like a "grandson."
Pastor Hugh Mayes of Shiloh Baptist Church in Carson, and his wife, Carol, were reportedly sleeping when an intruder stabbed them multiple times in the chest, according to Sussex Detective Derrick McKenzie. The injured couple was airlifted to a nearby hospital for surgery and their condition is currently unknown.
The suspect, 21-year-old Maxim Lloyd Chisholm, is now on the run from authorities. Church members told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that Chisholm is a state champion wrestler who attended Cosby High School in Chesterfield. Mayes and his wife had taken him into their home and had been helping him for the last nine months. more >>
Two bishops from a Catholic Archdiocese have announced their resignation over an investigation into the potential failures of the church body to protect minors from a sexually abusive priest.
The Vatican recently accepted the resignations of Archbishop John Nienstedt and Auxiliary Bishop Lee Anthony Piche, both of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
These resignations were connected to an ongoing investigation regarding the archdiocese's culpability in the criminal actions of a pedophile priest. more >>
This Memorial Day weekend marked a historic uptick in violence in many US cities. Three cities seem to symbolize our national woes the most - Baltimore, Chicago, and Ferguson. In Baltimore 9 people were killed and 29 shot. Chicago marked 12 killed and 44 wounded. The police in Baltimore and the other cities seem to be moving with unprecedented caution. Further, self initiated policing has slowed down significantly. The morale of law enforcement officers is at a decadal low. Therefore, both violent and petty crimes may flourish in several "hot spot" cities this summer. In Ferguson, sky rocketing crime rates continue despite greater civic involvement by citizens and a massive change in municipal personnel. Law enforcement seems to be becoming more difficult in key cities.
Does the violence in these cities mark the unofficial beginning of a new season of urban violence? Is this the beginning of the worst season of both rioting and lawlessness the US has seen since 1968 after the assassination of Dr. King? Last September I wrote that rioting in DC was possible after the Ferguson riots broke out in August 2014. I had no idea that there would be such a dramatic increase in both incendiary rhetoric and demonstrations. Our cities are still vulnerable to problems and riots. 175 metro areas supported the "hands up don't shoot" initiative and 50 cities protested the death of Eric Garner with "I can't breathe" demonstrations. A myriad of cell phone videos from South Carolina to Mckinney, Texas have started to erode public respect for our policemen. There is no reason why there will not be more riots and spontaneous violence this summer - except for the grace of God.
We can turn this bus around, though! But it must be done very decisively and strategically. Smoldering "urban anger" is still burning. This is not just a race problem. There is interplay between class, poverty, and race. When all three of these things converge, people feel disenfranchised and excluded from the American dream. more >>
A Vatican City spokesman has announced the creation of a new tribunal meant to deal with cases against Roman Catholic bishops who failed to stop sexual abuse of minors by priests.
Centered on examining allegations against bishops who failed to report sexual abuse cases to authorities, the tribunal will be held within the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
"Pope Francis will appoint a secretary and permanent staff for the new department, which will have a five year period to develop and evaluate the effectiveness of these new procedures," reported Vatican Radio on Wednesday. more >>