SAN DIEGO – Their names may not immediately ring a bell but a group of 30-something-year-old church leaders are spiritual mentors to some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry.
Two of these pastors of the rich and famous are Rich Wilkerson Jr., who officiated Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's wedding, and Chad Veach, known for his young adult's ministry and whose senior pastor, Judah Smith, mentors Justin Bieber.
While both Wilkerson and Veach do not consider themselves celebrity pastors, their influence has reached music stars and athletes alike. Despite their sphere of influence, both agree that they simply aim to spread God's message while remaining true to who they are. more >>
Several family members of a prominent Chinese pastor who was sentenced to 12 years in prison last month have eluded state authorities and safely made their way to the United States, China Aid has confirmed.
Zhang Shaojie's daughter, Zhang Huixin, son-in-law, Sun Zhulei, and 1-year-old granddaughter, Sun Jiexi, were aided by Chinese Christian convert and activist Bob Fu's organization, reported the Associated Press. The family was originally based in Southeast China before arriving in Dallas, Texas, on Monday.
Zhang's controversial sentence blamed the pastor for gathering crowds to "disturb public order," a decision which ChinaAid argued constituted religious persecution and the Chinese government's attempt to hold back the growth of Christianity. more >>
Two influential pastors in Dallas, Texas, are at odds on what they both believe the appropriate Christian response should be to the recently-publicized border crisis involving children entering the United States illegally and unaccompanied.
The unprecedented influx of young children and teens trying to illegally enter the United State along the country's southwestern border has "triggered a political and humanitarian crisis," according to NBC News.
According to Robert Jeffress, pastor of First Baptist Dallas, the most compassionate thing the U.S. government can do to address the border crisis, heightened by the influx of unaccompanied alien children, is to secure the country's border with a fence. more >>
Bayless Conley was back at the pulpit at Cottonwood Church in Los Alamitos, California, this past weekend after suffering a near-tragic boating accident in January.
Although Conley had already returned to the California megachurch, his Saturday appearance was the very first time he preached since the accident, which had left him in critical condition.
The senior pastor was grateful to be back at the pulpit, writing after services, "Well, I did it. Preached (first) time since the accident. Thanks be to God, I had enough vocal strength to get through the entire message." more >>
Despite the heated political debate about whether or not to deport the tens of thousands of immigrants who've entered the U.S. illegally through Texas, Christian charities operating in border states say they're serving those in need with a heart of Christ.
"The need is massive," pastor Chad Mason of Calvary Baptist Church in McAllen, told The Christian Post Saturday. "The goal is to do the best we can to serve with the heart of Christ in Matthew 25. We still have a lot of work to do."
Mason estimates that last month alone, Catholic Charities and other volunteers in McAllen helped 6,000 Central Americans who've crossed into Texas seeking refugee status for asylum in the United States. more >>
The National Latino Evangelical Coalition will be working with faith-based organizations across the country to open up 600 beds to Central American children who have crossed into the country without their parents.
President of the NaLEC Gabe Salguero explained that over a period of 18 months, starting in August, churches and camps will likely receive thousands of children — the majority of whom are from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador — while they are waiting to be placed with their parents who are already in the United States or family members in the countries they are from.
"We have 15 partners on the ground where we're housing the kids, we're receiving them, feeding them, providing them with education," Salguero told The Christian Post, noting that the sites are located in Texas, Florida, Illinois, New York and California. more >>