An African-American church in Washington, D.C. that has been in operation for over 100 years will soon be closing down because the property has been sold.
Leadership at the Alexander Memorial Baptist Church of the Georgetown neighborhood recently agreed to a sale of their church property.
"All that remains in wealthy Georgetown are four black churches. Soon, there will be only three," reported Sam Ford of WJLA-TV. "… [T]he pastor and trustees of the 106 year old Alexander Memorial Baptist Church are about to sell the church — set to be turned into condominiums or townhouses — for $6.5 million." more >>
In the midst of an unprecedented number of unaccompanied Central American children migrating across the Mexican-American border, Conservative and progressive Evangelicals have called upon Congress to authorize additional funds to address the crisis. The letter, signed by the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference's Samuel Rodriguez, Sojourners' Jim Wallis, and World Vision's Richard Stearns, also asks the legislative branch to resist calls to weaken a human trafficking bill.
"Children are vulnerable even in the best of circumstances and warrant special protection beyond that offered to adults," stated the Evangelical Immigration Table letter. "This vulnerability is compounded among children who flee situations of criminal gangs, sexual violence, trauma and extreme poverty, without their parents to accompany them. Evangelicals are guided by Jesus' admonitions to welcome and protect children."
The White House suggested recently that it might be open to modifying a 2008 trafficking law, which currently allows migrant children to stay in the country for up to several years before receiving a hearing, but Evangelicals pushed back against any sort of amendment to the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act more >>
Frustration with an all-white main cast in "Exodus: Gods and Kings" was voiced earlier this week in the hashtag campaign, #BoycottExodusMovie.
The Old Testament epic is directed by Ridley Scott and stars Christian Bale as Moses, Aaron Paul as Joshua, John Turturro as Seti, Ben Kingsley as Nun and Sigourney Weaver as Tuya. Earlier this month, Entertainment Weekly released initial photos of the film release, which Twitter users quickly pointed out showed that while Moses, Pharaoh and other Egyptian royalty were played by white actors, black actors were cast as slaves.
This is not the first time that biblical films have been criticized for "whitewashing." In an op-ed for Sojourners last year, Ryan Herring noted that his initial excitement for "Noah" and "Exodus" turned to "disdain" after realizing that "not a single one of the leading roles in either movie was given to a person of Middle Eastern descent." more >>
A retired 79-year-old Methodist Minister who died after setting himself on fire on a busy street in Grand Saline, Texas, revealed in a suicide note made public by police that he did it in honor of the many African-Americans who were lynched in the United States, and implored the community to repent of its racist past.
"Many African-Americans were lynched around here, probably some in Grand Saline: hanged, decapitated and burned, some while still alive. The vision of them haunts me greatly," wrote Charles Robert Moore in the concluding paragraph of his suicide note, according to the Tyler Morning Telegraph.
"So, at this late date, I have decided to join them by giving my body to be burned, with love in my heart not only for them — but also for the perpetrators of such horror but especially for the citizens of Grand Saline, many of whom have been very kind to me and others who may be moved to change the situation here," he ended. more >>
The following essay originally appeared on the Reformed African American Network's website.
Over the past few years, there's been an undercurrent of frustration among minority leadership in evangelical circles. This has occurred especially among those in the reformed theological tradition. It has often seemed that every conference, leadership panel, or blog entry seems to feature maybe one Black, Asian or Hispanic voice and even that one voice has an odd stench of "token" to it. Not that the lone minority is was trying to be something that they're not. In fact, they are quite genuine in their approach. But the minority voice seems to be chosen by the organizers to be the "token" to appease the pleas of diversity from the masses. It almost feels like when your mom tried to do the Cabbage Patch dance to prove she was hip: "We love you and thanks for trying but you obviously don't get it."
The frustration hit critical levels a few years ago in the wake of the "Elephant Room 2″ web conference. Finally, a minority voice is asked to speak on issues in the church on a global platform from the place of expertise and not as a matter of ecclesiological voyeurism! Wait…no…you picked…T.D. Jakes? To see if he affirms the Trinity and rejects the prosperity message? For real? more >>
A North Carolina pastor may be deported following his arrest in June for lying about his immigration status on job application papers.
Jose Armando Siliezar-Sevilla, 48, a husband and father, has lived in the United States since he emigrated from Honduras in 1989. According to NC Dream Team, Siliezar-Sevilla took work as a construction worker, but found that the income was insufficient."
Desperate to make ends meet, he became involved in drug dealing. In 1993, he was charged and convicted of drug possession and served time for two and a half years. After completion of his time in state prison, he was deported to Mexico despite being a Honduran national," the website states. more >>