As I read the story of Michael Brown who was shot and killed August 9th, 2014 by Darren Wilson, a police officer, in Ferguson, Mo., and the other recent shootings, my heart immediately went out to the family. The pain of losing a child, I'm told, is one of the most difficult to endure.
The Baltimore decision once again fueled the flames of racism and hatred, but what if we looked through a different lens...
What if more people knew that many of America's founders did not support slavery? The truth is that many of the Founding Fathers were responsible for planting the first seeds of equality and for the eventual end of slavery. John Quincy Adams was often referred to as the "hell-hound of abolition movement" for his efforts against slavery. As historian David Barton rightly noted, "This was a fact made clear by Richard Allen. Allen had been a slave in Pennsylvania but was freed after he converted his master to Christianity. Allen, a close friend of Benjamin Rush and several other Founding Fathers, went on to become the founder of the A.M.E. Church in America. In an early address 'To the People of Color,' he explained: 'Many of the white people have been instruments in the hands of God for our good, even such as have held us in captivity, [and] are now pleading our cause with earnestness and zeal'." more >>
ORLANDO, Fla. — As pockets of East and West Baltimore erupted in flames and riots Monday night over the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray who died on April 19 after suffering serious injury while in police custody, a diverse coalition of Christian leaders from across the country gathered at First Baptist Orlando church Tuesday to discuss ways in which the church can intervene and prevent these eruptions before they even start.
On Tuesday night, ahead of The Reconciled Church: Healing the Racial Divide Summit set for Wednesday at the Orange County Convention Center, Bishop Harry Jackson, chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition and senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Washington, D.C. was busy on stage at the student center building of First Baptist Orlando, convincing the group he had gathered to join him on his mission to get a reconciled church and stand in the gap for change.
They had dinner and watched a WBAL TV 11 report showing clergy marching against the violence in Baltimore and praying in the street, creating a barrier between police and angry agitators. more >>
When the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC) gathers in Houston this week, we are united by a simple symbol: a cross. And like that cross, our shared mission is both vertical and horizontal. Vertically, we stand connected to God and His kingdom. Horizontally, to our left and to our right, we stand connected to family, culture, society and community. The members of our 40,000 Hispanic Evangelical churches in the U.S. care deeply about issues that lie along both these planes, issues such as faith, life, family, religious liberty, education and immigration.
I would like to propose something different for prospective candidates vying for a presidential nomination and courting the Hispanic vote or the Evangelical vote: don't talk about diversity, talk about inclusion. Don't talk about opting out, talk about opting in. It's time to remind Americans that we are not only one nation under God, but we are also a nation of liberty and justice for all.
This Wednesday, over 1,000 Hispanic Evangelical pastors at our national convention will have the opportunity to hear from two Republicans who embrace the Christian conservative ethos of the NHCLC — Jeb Bush and Mike Huckabee. While there are any number of "wedge" issues that candidates and their campaign supporters use to distinguish themselves from others, where the candidates stand on immigration and education reform will be critical not just to secure the support of the NHCLC but to reach the constituents of the more than 40,000 Evangelical Hispanic churches we represent. What I would like to hear is how candidates plan to reclaim the mantle of compassionate conservatism in which families and faith come first, and political orthodoxy provides a path to success rather than circles of division. more >>
A nearly $16 million East Baltimore community center and apartment complex under construction were burned to the ground Monday night during riots that engulfed the Maryland city following the funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old man who died while in police custody earlier this month.
The community center and apartments were part of a project initiated by the Southern Baptist Church in Baltimore, which is located across the street. The church's pastor, Rev. Donte Hickman Sr., remains optimistic in the face of the massive fire that was witnessed by at least 60 congregants.
"We're going to rebuild. We're going to come back strong from this," said Hickman, who believes rioters are to blame for burning down the building that was to provide housing for senior citizens. more >>
Freddie Gray, the Baltimore man who died last week while in police custody, was laid to rest after an emotional funeral service on Monday where Christian leaders hailed him as a "martyr."
The suspicious death of Gray, 25, on April 19, has sparked nationwide protests and calls for justice after it was revealed that he was fatally injured while being taken into custody by police in West Baltimore on April 12 on weapons charges.
According to his family, his larynx was crushed and his spinal cord was "80 percent severed at his neck," as he rode in a police paddy wagon and he slipped into a coma before dying one week later. more >>
American business magnate and potential presidential candidate Donald Trump has blamed President Barack Obama for the riots that broke out Monday night in Baltimore City, arguing that Obama, as an African-American leader, has failed to have a positive impact on the "thugs who are destroying" the city.
"Our great African-American president hasn't exactly had a positive impact on the thugs who are so happily and openly destroying Baltimore," Trump wrote in a Twitter message Monday night.