LISTEN: Marvin Winans Marks 30th Anniversary of His Church (BCNN1 10.06.19)

According to the Daily Mail, A neighbor of Botham Jean who was a key witness in the murder trial of Amber Guyger has been shot dead in Dallas. Joshua Brown, 28, was gunned down outside an apartment complex in the city’s Medical District around 10.30 pm on Friday. He was rushed to nearby Parkland Memorial Hospital, where he died from his injuries. Witnesses say they heard several gunshots and saw a silver sedan speeding out of the apartment complex’s parking lot shortly after. Police have not apprehended or publicly identified a suspect in the fatal shooting. Brown was a neighbor of both Jean and Guyger, and his shocking slaying comes just 10 days after he broke down on the witness stand as he recounted the night Jean was fatally shot by Guyger. Last Tuesday, Guyger was found guilty of murder, and was subsequently sentenced to 10 years in prison.

According to Religion News Service, Thirty years ago, Pastor Marvin Winans was singing with three of his brothers in the gospel group The Winans and touring with his musical play, “Don’t Get God Started,” after its Broadway run. He also started a church. Beginning with just eight members meeting in the basement of his house in the Detroit suburb of Birmingham, Winans became the pastor of Perfecting Church, a Pentecostal congregation that soon became a place where young adults could develop their spiritual lives. “The church just began to grow because we would go into the Dairy Queen, wherever we could find young people, and tell them they need to come to church,” he recalled in an interview Tuesday (Oct. 1) with Religion News Service. “And when they came, they stayed and we grew very fast.” Fast forward three decades and Winans is marking the anniversary of his church, now with 1,800 members in the Motor City, while remaining committed to helping his community through the schools and ministries he has started to help train youth and give women a safe place to live. For Perfecting Church’s Oct. 11 anniversary gala, Winans, 61, has invited social justice activist Bryan Stevenson to speak. BeBe and CeCe Winans, his singing siblings, also are slated to perform. To be a Grammy-winning pastor, however, is to live a double life: Though officially retired from singing, Winans still agrees to some requests. Earlier this year, he was featured at the Super Bowl Gospel Celebration and with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s “Gospel Goes Classical” concert. “What stands out to me about Marvin Winans musically is just the beauty and seemingly effortless vocal technique,” said Bil Carpenter, author of “Uncloudy Days: The Gospel Music Encyclopedia,” who said the Detroit senior pastor was the “backbone” of The Winans. “I have been in events or services where he wasn’t on the program. He was just there. Someone handed him the mic. It was as if he had rehearsed. He picks up on other people’s songs and sings them better than they sing them.” “All I can tell you is, music is what I do,” Winans stated. Winans said the anniversary gala will help raise money for the transitional home as well as for a new edifice that has long been under construction on a 20-acre campus in Detroit. After it opens, he hopes to be consecrated as bishop of Perfecting Fellowship International, a network including more than a dozen churches in the U.S., the U.K. and South Africa. He said it’s fitting to have Stevenson, a lawyer who works to exonerate wrongly convicted prisoners, as the speaker for his church’s anniversary. Winans said he has visited the museum and lynching memorial Stevenson’s Equal Justice Initiative opened in Montgomery, Alabama, last year. “We want to stand on the side of justice equality,” Winans said. “We want to stand against the inequalities of our people. And that doesn’t make me a civil rights preacher. It just makes me a preacher that understands the importance of civil rights.”

According to the Daily Mail, Amber Guyger witness Joshua Brown (center) was targeted for death in an ‘assassination,’ his family’s lawyer told DailyMail.com in an exclusive interview Sunday. And S. Lee Merritt (right) said he is refusing to rule out that police were somehow involved in the shooting that took Brown’s life just two days after his evidence had helped convict the Dallas cop of the murder of neighbor Botham Jean in a nationally watched trial. ‘It is a possibility,’ Merritt said. ‘I don’t have any evidence other than the timing, but I am not ruling anything out. ‘But what I do know is that Joshua was targeted. This was an assassination. He pulled into his parking lot and he was shot. The perpetrators fled. They didn’t steal anything from him. This is a kid who had no gang ties, there was no lover’s quarrel. He was an AirBnB host and roofer. All the usual suspects of crime, drugs and sex, are simply not there.’

According to Assist News, Details have emerged of the circumstances surrounding the death of a pastor’s wife who was abducted by armed assailants from her home in Kaduna state, central Nigeria, on 14 September. Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) reports Mrs Esther Katung, whose husband is the minister in charge of the Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA) Prayer House in Birnin Gwari Local Government Area (LGA) of Kaduna state, was seized during an attack by armed men of Fulani ethnicity at around 11.45pm on 14 September. Mrs Katung’s husband Rev Ishiaku Katung sustained injuries during the attack. Mrs Katung’s captors initially demanded N5000000 (around US$ 13850.00) for her release. They later agreed to a payment of N400000 (around US$1105.00). However, released abductees who had been held with her confirmed that Mrs Katung, who was pregnant, had died after suffering a severe beating the day before the ransom was received. The abduction and murder of Mrs Katung is part a spate of kidnappings for ransom that have increased across Nigeria. In Kaduna state, church leaders and their families are particularly targeted. Several have been seized from their homes or church compounds by well-armed assailants reportedly of Fulani ethnicity. In the south of the country, three Catholic priests from the Enugu Diocese were killed within a five month period following abduction or attempted abduction by Fulani assailants.

According to Reuters, U.S. presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren’s campaign has fired a senior staff member following complaints of ‘inappropriate behavior’. Campaign spokesperson Kristen Orthman said the leadership had received multiple complaints over the past two weeks about Richard McDaniel, Warren’s national organizing director, and hired outside counsel to investigate. ‘The campaign determined that his reported conduct was inconsistent with its values and that he could not be a part of the campaign moving forward,’ Orthman said in a statement. Orthman did not give details about the nature of the complaints against McDaniel. In a statement, McDaniel said: ‘I have separated from the campaign and am no longer serving as National Organizing Director. ‘I have tremendous respect for my colleagues despite any disagreements we may have had and believe departing at this time is in the best interest of both parties. I would never intentionally engage in any behavior inconsistent with the campaign or my own values. If others feel that I have, I understand it is important to listen even when you disagree. I wish the campaign and my colleagues well.’ Warren’s campaign to win the Democratic nomination for the 2020 presidential contest has been gaining ground in recent weeks. She has been rising in public opinion polls, and earlier on Friday she reported an increase in fundraising between July and September. Warren, a U.S. senator from Massachusetts, last week edged past former Vice President Joe Biden for the first time in a major national opinion poll.

According to Fox News, Researchers claim to have identified an anchor from St. Paul’s shipwreck on the island of Malta. According to Christian tradition, the apostle was shipwrecked on the Mediterranean island during an ill-fated first-century journey to Rome. “The ship struck a sandbar and ran aground. The bow stuck fast and would not move, and the stern was broken to pieces by the pounding of the surf,” according to the Acts of the Apostles. “Once safely on shore, we found out that the island was called Malta.” Acts also notes that four anchors were dropped from the ship and subsequently cut loose, enabling the ship to run aground. The Bible Archaeology Search and Exploration (BASE) Institute believes that it has identified evidence of the shipwreck, which occurred around 60 A.D. In a post on the organization’s website, BASE says that four ancient anchors were recovered by local divers, adding that only one of the anchors has been preserved. “The fourth anchor was preserved as part of a deceased diver’s legacy to his widow,” BASE writes. The organization, which is led by Bob Cornuke, also believes that the shipwreck happened in St. Thomas Bay on Malta’s southern coast, as opposed to in what is now known as St. Paul’s Bay in the north of the island. “In Acts 27, Luke narrates the story of Paul traveling to Rome on a large Alexandrian grain freighter. This ship endured one of the worst storms in history, eventually shipwrecking off the coast of Malta,” explained Cornuke, in an email to Fox News. “Luke’s amazing details include everything from the vessel’s nautical headings, the type of storm, the ship’s direction of drift, geographical landmarks on Malta, reef configurations, and even the depths of the seafloor. Every detail, including how every man on board, including Paul, survived is mentioned.” Citing maritime charts and the Biblical description of the area where the ship ran aground, BASE believes that St. Thomas Bay “has all the earmarks of a prime suspect,” with regard to the wreck’s location.

According to The Christian Post, New Orleans Saints Linebacker Demario Davis was fined thousands of dollars for wearing a headband during last Sunday’s game that reads “Man of God.” The 30-year-old Saints captain, a third-round pick by the New York Jets in the 2012 draft, took to Instagram to tell his followers that he was fined $7,017 by the league for a uniform infraction. The infraction occurred in the Saints’ 33-27 win over the Seattle Seahawks on Sept. 22. Davis wore a gold headband with the phrase “Man of God” in black lettering across the front underneath his helmet. The headband was visible during moments in which Davis had his helmet off. Davis and his headband were also featured prominently in a video the Saints posted to YouTube before the Seattle game showing Davis pumping up his teammates during a pre-game huddle. The league has historically been strict when it comes to policing what players are allowed to wear with their game-day uniforms. According to the league dress code, players are not allowed to wear bandannas or any unapproved headwear on the field, even if they are worn underneath the helmet. Additionally, players are barred from wearing or displaying any “personal messages” unless the messages were approved in advance by the league office. “So, I got fined $7K for my headband. Should I continue to wear it, or nah?” Davis asked his Instagram followers, adding the hashtag “#LetThePeopleDecide.” Davis told Fox Business this week that he will never again where his “Man of God” bandana while playing in an NFL game after he was fined by the league for a uniform infraction. “I was not expecting the fine because I had worn the headband before, but once I realized that it was against the rules, I was in a conflicting position,” Davis explained. “Should I continue to wear it because of the messaging or would I follow the rule? Which would bring ultimate glory to God?” A minimum fine for a second offense is over $14,000. According to Nola.com, Davis did not wear the headband in last Sunday night’s game against the Dallas Cowboys.

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In closing, remember, God loves you. He always has and He always will. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you don’t know Jesus as your Saviour, today is a good day to get to know Him. Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose from the dead for you. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Thanks so much for listening and may God bless your day!