Jared Sawyer Jr., a 16-year-old from Atlanta, Ga., who has been preaching for more than half of his life, was ordained as an associate minister at his Baptist church over the weekend and among supporters on Facebook offering him praise were others concerned about his lack of formal theological training.
"I like his ambition but he really should get a seminary degree first or study Theology....too many incompetent self-proclaimed pastors here," wrote Marion Morris on WSB-TV's Facebook page featuring video coverage of Sawyer's ordination. The news item had about 5,700 "likes" and more than a thousand shares, and the on-going about debate about Sawyer's ordination has led to hundreds of comments.
"You do not need a 'degree' to preach God's word. When He (God) calls and we answer, the only documents we need comes from the word of God, not a seminary," wrote Dennis Bates, who made frequent comments on the social network in defense of Sawyer. more >>
Growing up in South Central Los Angeles and as the son of a Crips gang founder, Tommie Scott's environment was conducive to a lifestyle of crime, violence and poverty. However, desperate to change, the soon to be ordained chaplain gave up his past to work with youth in Las Vegas who want the same change for themselves.
Scott's past experiences led him to use his story as an example of hope for gang members as he does through his work with the Nevada Clark County School District and his ministry for at risk youth at Trinity Life Center Church.
"After coming to Christ, a natural burden for the lost formed in me," Scott told The Christian Post. "Pastor Kleg Seth, who led me to Christ, came up with the idea of a basketball outreach, and more so with the youth, because I lost about 30 friends to guns and drugs during my teen years." more >>
Even with school policies, bills and statutes created to protect students against cyberbulling, the issue still prevails and is rapidly increasing as the influence of technology grows, says Sarah Ball, a teen bully-victim-turned-advocate.
The only time that Americans seem to empathize with online bullying is when a new headline about a teen committing suicide makes waves through the media, she emphasizes, other times, the topic's importance remains latent.
"Some school districts don't even incorporate cyberbullying into their bullying policies. The majority of the time, people, peers and adults don't take what is happening seriously until a child, a teen ends their life," said Ball to The Christian Post. more >>
A 27-year-old mother of five allegedly abandoned her children to party with a boyfriend using government checks meant to help with their care while her severely disabled 3-year-old daughter starved to death in a filthy bug-infested home they shared with their father in Philadelphia, Pa.
The mother, Carmen Ramirez, began skipping out on the children, ages 3 through 9, and their father, Carlos Rivera, 30, last summer because she decided that she wanted to start having fun, according to a report in The Philadelphia Enquirer. Among her children was 3-year-old Nathalyz Rivera, who suffered from a genetic condition that left her partially blind and unable to walk or talk.
In court on Tuesday, prosecutor Gwenn Cujdik charged that not only did the mother walk out on the children, but the father repeatedly left disabled Nathalyz in the care of her young siblings while he did odd jobs. more >>
North Miami Beach police are investigating the death of a man who reportedly stepped in to break up a brawl at a pre-baptism party in Miami Beach, Fla.
"It was so chaotic that once the police arrived, there were people running everywhere," Thomas Carney, North Miami Beach director of Police Services, told The Christian Post in an interview on Wednesday. Carney said an argument about utensils at the Saturday night pre-baptism party escalated into a fight. When 21-year-old Wilson Alexis stepped in to intervene, two shots were fired and he died in the hospital.
Jameson Joseph, whose godson was supposed to be baptized on Sunday, hosted the party and posted a notice on the social networking site TAGGED. The notice reportedly attracted a much larger crowd than he was expecting, and Carney said that once neighbors saw the big party, they also came out to join it. "They planned to feed the number of guests they invited and that was it," Carney explained. "Once you see between 80 and 100 people that weren't invited, you start running out of things." more >>
Young people's struggles and anxieties are not new, and their failure to get married or find a life-long job in their early 20s is no reason for their parents and grandparents to judge them, says historian Jon Grinspan.
"Their plight seems so 21st century: the unstable careers, the confusion of technologies, the delayed romance, parenthood and maturity," but "many of the same concerns and challenges faced the children of the Industrial Revolution, as the booms and busts of America's wild 19th century tore apart the accepted order," Grinspan wrote in an op-ed for The New York Times. In the piece, he told stories of 20-somethings still living with parents and waiting for love, and how they dealt with their problems in the 1800s.
"For rootless 20-somethings, each national shock felt intimate, rattling their love lives and careers," the historian wrote. more >>