A top Iranian official claims that Republican members of Congress directly asked the Iranian administration to hold off on releasing Pastor Saeed Abedini and three other American hostages until the eve of the 2016 elections.
"In the course of the talks for exchanging prisoners, the Republican rivals of the current U.S. administration who claim to be humanitarians and advocates of human rights sent a message telling us not to release these people (American prisoners) and continue this process (of talks) until the eve of U.S. presidential elections," said Ali Shamkhani, Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, according to Tasnim News Agency, a privately owned news agency whose stated aim is "defending the Islamic Revolution against negative media propaganda."
Abedini and three other Americans were released by Iran back in January following a prisoner swap, after years of campaigning for their freedom. more >>
The Bible points to six ways in which the church has proved it can make a true difference, NewSpring Pastor Perry Noble explained in a recent blog post and sermon.
The six "signs" that prove the church can make a difference include devotion, a sense of awe, unity, generosity, sincerity, and salvation.
Scripture points to four ways to live out devotion, Noble explains, including the Apostle's Teaching, fellowship, the breaking of the bread, and prayer. more >>
"Hey, I'm not on the church payroll. Go complain to someone else!"
The moment the words left his mouth, he knew he blew it. His wife was the church's children's minister. Too often he received complaints about the ministry as if it were his responsibility. On that one occasion, he lost his temper after one complaint too many.
We often lose sight of those in churches whose spouses serve on staff. These are the spouses of executive pastors, youth pastors, children's pastors, lead pastors, and others. We have heard from these spouses through thousands of comments at ThomRainer.com. more >>
It's been a decade since North Carolina-based Elevation Church first opened its doors, and lead pastor Steven Furtick is celebrating that milestone along with 40,000 "professions of faith" thus far in his ministry.
In a Twitter post shared with his more than a quarter million followers, the megachurch pastor wrote, "Core team … still together 10yrs & 40k professions of faith later. God is Able ... " The message was accompanied by two photos of Furtick's "core team," one apparently taken 10 years ago and the other one more recently.
Christian Post had featured Furtick in a 2013 special article series called "An Inside Look at a New Generation of Pastors." The series interviewed up-and-coming pastors under the age of 40 who preached orthodox biblical Christianity and were successful in conveying the Gospel message in a way that resonated with today's generation. At the time of the article series, Furtick was 33 and was the founding and lead pastor of Elevation Church, a multi-site church in Charlotte, North Carolina, with an average of more than 14,000 people in attendance each weekend, according to the church. more >>
Bishop Marvin Sapp is one of numerous gospel singers, including Donnie McClurkin, Karen Clark Sheard, Dorinda Clark Cole and Kierra Sheard, that are using their platforms to help Flint, Michigan, in the midst of a water crisis.
Sapp is doing more than just bringing water to the troubled residents of Flint, but also preaching and doubling dollar donations.
The 49-year-old gospel singer and senior pastor of Grand Rapids Lighthouse Full Life Center, who oversees 15 churches in Michigan, Illinois, Ohio and Missouri as bishop over the Central Province of GUF, spoke about his plans to help those in Flint on Feb. 11. more >>
Rafael Cruz, the pastor father of Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz, detailed on a radio program last Friday how he spent hours arguing with a pastor on the plausibility of Christianity before he broke down and surrendered his life to Christ that night.
It is no secret that in December 1974, Cruz, who was a businessman in the oil industry in Canada at the time and was struggling with deep alcohol issues, left his wife and 3-year-old son, Ted, to go Houston, Texas, and continue his life there without his family.
In an appearance on Michael Brown's radio show "The Line of Fire" on Friday, Cruz, the author of the new book, A Time for Action: Empowering the Faithful to Reclaim America, detailed how he was led to Christ during his time in Houston. Cruz also described the monumental confrontation with Pastor Gaylen Wiley that forever changed his life and, ultimately, the lives of his wife and son. more >>