For some Native Americans, Thanksgiving is a time of mourning, for the meeting between the pilgrims and the Wampanoag began a series of events that led to many tribes being wiped out. But for one Native American pastor, the observance is not a source of historical mourning or regret, rather he celebrated the occasion since a youth growing up on a Virginia reservation.
Ernest Custalow, pastor at Grace Church of Fredericksburg, told The Christian Post that he recalled celebrating Thanksgiving as a child on the Mattiponi reservation. Part of this tradition involved providing a deer and a turkey to officially give to the governor of Virginia to pay their state taxes, a custom that remains to the modern day.
"The way we paid taxes was to kill a deer and turkey to give to the governor of Virginia. We still do that," said Custalow, adding that, "I grew up hunting for the governor." more >>
The pastor of a Houston, Texas, church reportedly refused to host the funeral of a 93-year-old woman who had been a member of his congregation for 50 years because she was not current with her tithing to the church.
According to a My FOX Houston report, Pastor Walter F. Houston of Fourth Missionary Baptist Church refused to bury longtime member Olivia Blair after she died because her lack of financial contributions made her ineligible for the courtesy under the church's bylaws.
The Christian Post reached out to the church for comment on the situation on Wednesday but did not receive a response at the time of publication. more >>
The Christian Defense Coalition and Church on the Hill have announced that they'll be setting up a Thanksgiving place for American pastor Saeed Abedini in front of the White House on Thanksgiving morning, reminding President Barack Obama about the imprisoned husband and father.
"While Americans enjoy the blessings of spending Thanksgiving Day with family and friends, it is important to remember that millions around the world are being brutalized, persecuted and attacked for their Christian faith. Thousands are in prison," Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition, said in a statement.
"Pastor Saeed will not be able to spend this special day with his wife and two young children but instead will be spending it in a cramped prison facing constant violence and persecution," he continued. more >>
Pastors nationwide continued to dialogue and voice strong opinions about the issues surrounding the St. Louis grand jury decision, announced Monday evening, not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, as well as the subsequent demonstrations.
"None of us really knows exactly what happened in the Ferguson shooting. Sadder is that even many Christ followers don't seem to want to know," posted Pastor James MacDonald, founding and senior pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel based in the Chicago area, on Instagram (see below). "What we appear to prefer is lining up without nuanced analysis entirely on one side or the other."
MacDonald gave examples of the views people line up with. "'All police are driven by racial prejudice and out to get racial minorities' – oh please! Or 'all police actions are justifiable and there is no abuse of authority or pent up feelings of righteous anger in our urban centers' – oh please!" more >>
John Hagee, the senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, described President Barack Obama as "one of the most anti-Semitic presidents" in U.S. history while speaking at an event for the Zionist Organization of America.
The Texas pastor received an award from the ZOA Sunday night for his contributions in helping the nation of Israel. During his announcement he took a moment to share his opinion of Obama.
Speaking about the U.S.'s nuclear negotiations with Iran, Hagee asserted that Obama "is anxious to accommodate Iran and its nuclear ambitions. The executive branch is in the hands of one of the most anti-Semitic presidents in the history of the United States of America." more >>
Prominent Christian leaders quickly issued statements and used social media to voice their concerns shortly after a St. Louis grand jury decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown on Aug. 9.
St. Louis County prosecuting attorney Robert McCulloch announced the grand jury's findings during a Monday evening press conference at 9:22 p.m EST.
"The single antidote that will truly alleviate the tension and angst in Ferguson, Missouri, resides in the peace that only Christ can render," said Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, the president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference/Conela. "The prophetic and conciliatory concept of 'Shalom' — a peace where nothing stands missing or broken — presents the prescription for a community divided by race and fear." more >>