Home Christian Awareness

Christian Awareness

Celebrated Pastor Bishop J. Drew Sheard Continues Community-Service Outreach Efforts and...

Senior pastor of the Greater Emmanuel Institutional Church of God in Christ (GEI — ), Bishop J. Drew Sheard recently reinvigorated his ongoing 30-year...

Franklin Graham talks impeachment, evangelism prior to Decision America Tour stop...

Some of that’s by design, like Franklin’s frequent appearances on Fox News, but some of it comes from campaigns like the Decision America Tour...

Liberating voice- First African American Preaching Conference at Truett

More than 300 registrants from 21 states gathered at Truett Theological Seminary September 24-26 for the first annual African American Preaching Conference. Rev. Josh Scott,...

Waters stir across Missouri, nation on ‘Baptism Sunday’

GREEN CITY – From northeast Missouri to the furtherest point in the southwestern corner of the state, baptistries, rivers, farm ponds and stock tanks...

COGIC’s The Whole Truth Announces winners of 2019 ’40 Under 40...

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Church of God in Christ (COGIC) award-winning e-magazine, The Whole Truth (TWT) reveals the names of its 40 Under 40 Award recipients. The Whole Truth magazine is excited to award and recognize 40 young, dynamic leaders who are praying, praising, learning, volunteering, texting and tweeting their way to success in business, church and community. We are more than proud of each of their vast accomplishments and TWT is delighted to acknowledge the contributions of each of the 40 Under 40 recipients through this unique award mechanism. Robert Coleman, Jr. the Managing Editor of TWT and COGIC’s Public Relations Director says, “The 2019 TWT 40 Under 40 Awards provides an opportunity to highlight and showcase some of the incredible young adults who are making a difference in their communities around the country.” He went on to say, “The 2019 recipient list includes a state representative, doctors, doctoral and master’s degree holders, pastors, entrepreneurs, musicians, a former juvenile corrections officer, and more.” “With over 6 million members globally, it’s difficult for many of us to realize the greatness that is occurring outside of our own sphere of churches, jurisdictions and communities,” stated April Quillen, Editor of The Whole Truth. “40 Under 40 is only a snapshot of the amazing accomplishments flowing throughout our denomination among some truly phenomenal young adults. I am thrilled to be part of such a showcase of COGIC’s very own. Congrats to all!” The winners of the 2019 TWT 40 Under 40 Award are: 1. Sarah Anthony Lansing, Michigan2. Krystal Bracy Durham, North Carolina3. Karen Burks Metairie, Louisiana4. Korie Christian-Moreland Rochester, Pennsylvania5. Kalynn Clinton St. Louis, Missouri6. Keren Clinton St. Louis, Missouri7. Tequila Dorris Joliet, Illinois8. Otis Dupree Bowie, Maryland9. Jason Erby Richardson, Texas10. Timothy Fair Auburn, Alabama11. Steven Fluker Hill Lithonia, Georgia12. Sidney Frye II Rochester, Minnesota13. Katrina Garrett Alexandria, Virginia14. Noah Gordon Arlington, Tennessee15. Christian Green Claremont, California16. Ebony Green Columbia, South Carolina17. Mosaic Griffin Wichita, Kansas18. (Mr.) Morandon Henry Richmond, California19. Jennifer Hudson Atlanta, Georgia20. Anthony Hudson, Sr. Cincinnati, Ohio21. Michael Hunt Waldorf, Maryland22. Cedric Jackson, Jr. Cleveland Heights, Ohio23. Breana Jelks Montgomery, Illinois24. Aliyah Joseph Sherwood, Arkansas25. Terry Kidd Houston, Texas26. Jacqueline King Cordova, Tennessee27. Ms. Christian Lewis Detroit, Michigan28. Wayne Martin, Jr. Atlanta, Georgia29. Erinna McKissick Saginaw, Michigan30. Tena McQueen Lufkin, Texas31. Carl Patten II Atlanta, Georgia32. Kylese Hammond Charlotte, North Carolina33. Jacquetta Ransom Grovetown, Georgia34. Angela Sims Kansas City, Kansas35. Brandon Smith Baton Rouge, Louisiana36. Sophia Strother Pflugerville, Texas37. Christin Thorpe Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania38. Tony Torain II Owing Mills, Maryland39. Julius Van Hook Hercules, California40. Kelly Webb II Minneapolis, Minnesota An awards reception will be held during the 112th Holy Convocation of the COGIC on Thursday, November 7, 2019, at 4:30 pm at the St. Louis America’s Center. Purchase tickets HERE. The Church of God in Christ is one of the oldest Pentecostal denominations in the country and the 4th largest Protestant group in the United States with churches in over 105 countries worldwide and a membership of nearly 6.5 million adherents. The Whole Truth (TWT) is the #1 award-winning e-magazine of the Church of God in Christ. Established 124 years ago, TWT is one of the oldest religious quarterly magazines in the world. ### Contact Robert Coleman Jr.[email protected](901) 235-2160

Next-Generation Ministry PULSE Celebrates Opening of Downtown Headquarters

MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- PULSE, a global, next-generation ministry based in Minneapolis, will be celebrating the opening of their new downtown headquarters with...

A tale of Uganda’s Jewish community

Between the cornfields and the banana trees sits a synagogue in the Ugandan village of Putti. This is how 19-year-old Jonah Stocki described in amazement...

Photos of the Week

(RNS) — Each week Religion News Service presents a gallery of photos of religious expression around the world. This week’s gallery includes the Hindu Ganesh Chaturthi festival, Shiite commemorations of Ashura, and more. Afghan Shiites flagellate themselves with chains and blades to mark Ashura, outside the Abul Fazel Shrine in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Sept. 10, 2019. Ashura falls on the 10th day of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar, when Shiites mark the death of Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, at the Battle of Karbala, in present-day Iraq, in the 7th century. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi) Faithful hold statues of the Virgin Mary as they attend Pope Francis’ weekly general audience, at the Vatican, on Sept. 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini) Orthodox Christians and clergy take part in a procession along Nevsky Prospect in St.Petersburg, Russia, to mark the anniversary of the Alexander Nevsky Monastery on Sept. 12, 2019. Russian Orthodox faithful commemorate the date of September 12, 1724, when Russian Tsar Peter The Great transferred the relics of prince Alexander Nevsky from the town of Vladimir to St. Petersburg, the new capital of Russia at that time. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky) Pastor Jeremiah Saunders stands among the ruins of his church that was destroyed by Hurricane Dorian, in High Rock, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, on Sept. 11, 2019. “I spoke to the water: ‘Peace, be still.’ It never listened,” Saunders said with a wide smile and then grew serious as he focused on the task that tens of thousands of Bahamians now face on two islands devastated by the Category 5 storm: the clean-up. (AP Photo / Ramon Espinosa) Devotees participate in a procession with a large statue of elephant-headed Hindu god Ganesh in Mumbai, India, on Sept. 12, 2019. Every year millions of devout Hindus immerse Ganesh statues into oceans and rivers in the ten-day long Ganesh Chaturthi festival that celebrates the birth of Ganesh. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool) An Indian Muslim man sells blades used by Shiite Muslims to flagellate themselves to mark Ashura in Mumbai, India, on Sept. 10, 2019. Ashura falls on the 10th day of Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar, when Shiites mark the death of Hussein, the grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, at the Battle of Karbala in present-day Iraq in the 7th century. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool) A view of the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan on Sept. 9, 2019. New official data obtained by The Associated Press shows a spike in Jewish settlement construction in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem since President Trump took office in 2017, along with strong evidence of decades of systematic discrimination illustrated by a huge gap in the number of construction permits granted to Jewish and Palestinian residents. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean) People carry a statue of the Virgin of Charity, or Our Lady of El Cobre, on her feast day in Havana, Cuba, on Sept. 8, 2019. Cuba’s patron saint is important to both observant Catholics and followers of Afro-Cuban Santeria traditions in Cuba. (AP Photo/Ismael Francisco) People at a Mass celebrated by Pope Francis at the Monument Mary Queen of Peace, in Port Louis, Mauritius, on Sept. 9, 2019. Francis arrived in the Indian Ocean nation of Mauritius to celebrate its diversity, encourage its ethical development and honor a 19th century French missionary who ministered to freed slaves. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

After Dorian, Baptist leader and Bahamas native sees devastation, resilience

(RNS) — The president of the historically black Progressive National Baptist Convention traveled to the Bahamas island of Grand Bahama this week to assess the damage from Hurricane Dorian and came away with stories of damage and determination. The Rev. Timothy Stewart, a Nassau native and resident, visited the island Wednesday (Sept. 11) and has also fielded calls from clergy of his denomination’s 30-some churches in the Bahamas. The PNBC, with an estimated 2.5 million U.S. and international members, is spearheading an initiative to raise funds and collect supplies for the devastated islands of the country. Stewart said the PNBC started its new ministry year on Sept. 1, the day Dorian hit the Bahamas with Category 5 force, leaving at least 50 dead and at least 1,300 people missing. The denomination’s new focus is “In Pursuit of Wholeness” — a timely topic, Stewart said. RELATED: Black clergy vow to forge their own path “We’re looking at the revitalization of the community,” he said. “I think it seems as though God knew something even before I did.” Stewart talked to Religion News Service on Thursday about what he has seen and heard of Dorian’s aftermath, how people in the Bahamas have been affected, and how he views the tragedy as an opportunity to put his faith into action. The Rev. Timothy Stewart, president of the Progressive National Baptist Convention and native of Nassau, Bahamas. Courtesy photo The interview has been edited for length and clarity. What has struck you most as you have just visited Grand Bahama? What has struck me most probably would have been the tremendous devastation and, simultaneously, the resiliency of the people, the ability of the people to want to recover from that disaster. Can you give me an example of what you saw? I saw many homes where the contents of those homes were basically thrown out of the home, number one. Number two, I observed varying degrees of structural damage. And we saw persons doing their best to clean up and to try to determine what would be the next step that they would take. What did you do or what did you say to these people that you saw this week? Well, first, we prayed with them. Secondly, we assured them that we as a convention will assist and do all that we can to help in whatever way we possibly can with regards to bringing relief and bringing assistance at this time. A team from the Progressive National Baptist Convention prays with a man while visiting Grand Bahama island to assess damage from Hurricane Dorian. Photo courtesy of PNBC In light of what you have seen, what are your main plans in relation to that relief and assistance? I think it will be multifold. One, it would be, obviously, directing and also providing funds so that persons and especially leaders of churches would be assisted with regards to some of the repairs necessary for churches and also for membership homes. And secondly, I think the opportunity to provide supplies, food, nonperishable and other items, water and some basic necessities would be definitely helpful. And then I think thirdly, when the stage requires it, we will try to provide some building material where and when we can, and fourthly, be available for counseling, fellowshipping and ministry opportunities also. So are churches in the affected areas serving as shelters? Not many because most of them have been compromised. Even the ones that were serving as shelters, most of them have been compromised. That’s too bad. Is there anything else particularly you’d tell me that you’ve heard from clergy, pastors, lay people in your denomination or beyond who’ve been affected in any of the islands of the Bahamas? Oh, yes. On the island of Abaco I’ve heard from, just today, a pastor who literally lost everything, had to evacuate, come to Nassau. He and his family and others are now living under very, very humbling conditions. But they are grateful for the opportunity to be accommodated where they are: A two-bedroom house is trying to accommodate 12 people. Most of us, we find that difficult to even imagine. And that particular pastor then mentioned to me another pastor who lost his wife. He told me about another pastor who, I think, lost a daughter or two. So we’re talking about some very, very tragic and some very dramatic experiences. Some of the damage from Hurricane Dorian that a team from the Progressive National Baptist Convention saw while visiting Grand Bahama island. Photo courtesy of PNBC In addition to being a president, you are also a pastor. What do you say to a pastor that tells you this kind of story? One does one’s best to prayerfully encourage persons and to just assure them that they have our prayers and that they have our support, and anything we can do to assist, we’ll do everything that we could. Nassau was not in the direct path of this storm and was not severely or critically impacted. But we have members in our church who lost loved ones like parents and siblings. And also some of the evacuees would have been family members and some of them have to live with them. In other words, even though you’re not impacted by the storm or the elements of the storm, you’re certainly impacted by the consequences of the storm. Are you working with other religious groups in the Bahamas? I’m working with other religious groups in the Bahamas to a certain extent. But I’m also working with some additional religious groups in the United States of America. Are there particular faith groups beyond the Bahamas, like in the U.S., that have been helpful already? Yes. The National Baptist Convention USA, Inc.; the National Baptist Convention of America; the Lott Carey Foreign Mission Convention in addition to our convention. A team visiting Grand Bahama recently included: the Rev. Tyrone Pitts, Progressive National Baptist Convention general secretary emeritus, from left, the Rev. Lavette McFall, executive assistant to the president, the Rev. Timothy Stewart, PNBC president, Michael Pintard, minister of agriculture and member of Parliament for Marco City in Grand Bahama, PNBC General Secretary A. Wayne Johnson, Saboto Caesar, minister of agriculture, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Courtesy photo Since you just listed several predominantly African American religious groups, have you heard from or been contacted by predominantly white religious groups offering help? I have not, but I know that there was a mention in the Bahamian Baptist Convention (of) some response from the Southern Baptist Convention. As a religious person and a denominational leader, do you feel like your faith is being tested through this difficult tragedy? I don’t think my faith is being tested through this tragedy. I believe that this tragedy gives me an opportunity to affirm my faith and to apply my faith. Apply it in any particular way? Well, first, we see Scriptures in a new light, where you have to appreciate the reality of suffering on the one hand and, secondly, you also begin to acknowledge God’s mercies even in the midst of trying circumstances. The truth of the matter is, had the hurricane hit Nassau instead of where it did hit then it meant that the entire Bahamas would have been commercially and, for the most part, developmentally crushed. Because Nassau would be the center of most of what fuels the entire Bahamas. In spite and in light of what has been a very tragic, very horrendous situation, we are forced to still see the grace of God.

Mississippi students walk out to protest end of faith program

In what may be a nationwide first, a group of students in the small town of Tylertown, Miss., are staging a walkout because of the end of their beloved religious program.The First Priority program in the school district about 50 miles west of Hattiesburg, Miss., allowed students to pray, hear speakers, sing and take part in other faith-based activities, WLBT reports.District officials told the station that the program is not being targeted. — Mississippi event hall owners refused interracial couple’s wedding citing ‘Christian Beliefs’Wade Carney, Walthall County, Miss., schools superintendent, said that the key issue is that such programs cannot take place during school teaching time. The students can take part in the program before or after classes, he said.The students, however, are following in the footsteps of people who’ve preceded them in Mississippi.They have announced they will not return to class until First Priority is reinstated. They have been sitting outside and chanting during their demonstration.“When I got to school, I just went there and protested because I feel like we deserve to have First Priority in school because children these days need God,” Tylertown High School senior Aaliyah Lewis told the station.— Colorado State Univ. defends white students in ‘Wakanda Forever’ blackface photo“We’ve had First Priority every year,” senior Kaitlynn Brown said. “I just love seeing all of us come together and basically share the gospel with each other.”First Priority meets monthly.Parents seem to be supporting the students, bringing them water and sandwiches as they demonstrate outside.Carla Brown, whose two grandchildren attend the high school, told the station that not everyone attends church and the First Priority program may be the only way children can practice their faith.“I come to support them,” Brown said. “They’re trying to take First Priority from them. They’ve had it now for 15 years and I support them”Carney said that the group meeting time policy applies not only to First Priority but all student organizations.

Christian Awareness