A Delaware pastor's spiritual hymn written to remember the nine Christians killed in the shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, last week is now touching the lives of countless believers, as many churches around the world have started to include it in their worship services.
The hymn's writer, Carolyn Winfrey Gillette who co-pastors Limestone Presbyterian Church in Pike Creek, Delaware, with her husband, Bruce, has written spiritual songs about other tragic events such as the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and 9/11.
Her latest hymn, "They Met to Read the Bible" that addresses the shooting in Charleston has gone viral on Facebook and has been written about by various secular media outlets, including The New Yorker. more >>
Thousands of mourners gathered in Charleston, South Carolina, on Friday for the funeral of Democratic State Sen. Clementa Pinckney, pastor of the Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, as President Baraxk Obama delivered an impassioned eulogy for the respected leader he remembered as "a man of God who lived by faith."
Grieving relatives, Emanuel AME church members, politicians and members of the community were present at the College of Charleston's TD Arena to pay their respects more than one week after Pinckney and eight others were gunned down during a Bible study at his church.
"Giving all praise and honor to God," Obama began. "The Bible calls us to hope, to persevere and have faith in things not seen. They were still living by faith when they died, Scripture tells us. They did not receive the things promised, they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on Earth." more >>
Former and founding pastor of the Richmond Outreach Center megachurch in Richmond, Virginia, Geronimo "Pastor G" Aguilar, who a prosecutor said ran a "tax-free harem," was convicted Wednesday of sexually assaulting two sisters in Fort Worth and Grapevine, Texas, nearly 20 years ago when they were both younger than 14 years old.
A report from the Star-Telegram said a jury in Tarrant County spent less than four hours deliberating before convicting Aguilar, 45, on all seven counts of an indictment that included two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child which carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Aguilar was also convicted of three counts of sexual assault of a child younger than 17, and two counts of indecency with a child, according to WTVR. Each of these second-degree felonies, carry a maximum sentences of 20 years. more >>
Tullian Tchividjian, a grandson of prominent evangelical preacher Billy Graham, who resigned as lead pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Florida Sunday after confessing to an "inappropriate" relationship, continued to vent online Wednesday with at tweet declaring "I'm so, so, sorry."
"I'm so so sorry. I love you all ... fade to black," Tchividjian noted in a Tweet Wednesday.
Tchividjian's former church announced this week that in light of the scandal, the annual LIBERATE conference which he normally led would be canceled and those who had signed up for it already would be refunded registration fees. The LIBERATE website is also closed temporarily. more >>
A coalition of African-American pastors vowed this week that there will be massive civil disobedience if the U.S. Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage in a ruling on the matter expected this month.
At a press conference in Memphis, Tennessee, members of the Coalition of African-American Pastors joined Christian ministers at the Church of God in Christ's historic Mason Temple to warn the Obama administration to prepare for massive civil disobedience among pastors and clergy if state bans on gay marriage are deemed unconstitutional.
"If they rule for same-sex marriage, then we're going to do the same thing we did for the civil rights movement," said Rev. Bill Owens, president and founder of CAAP. "We will not obey an unjust law." more >>
Conservative members of the United Methodist Church have expressed doubt that a recently approved petition from a local state body of the denomination will influence a change in the Church's position against homosexuality.
During the weekend, a majority of the delegates at the UMC Virginia Annual Conference voted in favor of a petition calling for the denomination to change its position on homosexuality.
Known as Petition 14, the measure called for the striking of language in the UMC Book of Discipline that describes homosexuality as "incompatible with Christian teaching." more >>