PODCAST: Charles Stanley Retires as Pastor of First Baptist Atlanta (BCNN1 9.14.20)

This is the Black Christian News Network One podcast. Here are the top stories you need to know about today.

According to The Christian Post, After nearly 50 years of serving as senior pastor at First Baptist Church Atlanta, Charles Stanley announced during a pre-recorded streaming service on Sunday that he is stepping down. The megachurch said Stanley will be replaced by Dr. Anthony George. “Earlier this month, I informed the board that I felt the time had come for me to step down as senior pastor,” Stanley said. “I have many wonderful memories. But as much as I love being your pastor, I know in my heart this season has come to an end.” Stanley, a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention and who will turn 88 later this month, will become pastor emeritus. “To say I didn’t rush this decision would certainly be an understatement,” he said. Stanley, who’s been with First Baptist since 1969, said he’s not retiring and will remain active with In Touch Ministries, which was founded in 1992. The church said in a statement on its Facebook page, “We are forever indebted to this man of God—not only our faithful pastor, but also a pastor to millions around the world.” George, who assisted Stanley as the church’s associate pastor since 2012, stated, “Thank you for being strong and of good courage through every battle that you’ve had to fight, through every trial you’ve had to overcome.” “You have stood tall and confident through all these years while at the same time remaining dependent and prayerful before an almighty God. Because you were a yielded vessel the Gospel of Jesus Christ, through you, has blanketed this globe. Truly, God has been with you wheresoever you have gone.” In his message, Stanley said he was “so grateful” for George. “Thanks to Anthony’s leadership and his love for you and his love for God. I have no doubt that there are many great days ahead for the First Baptist Church of Atlanta. My hope is that the greatest days are still ahead.”

According to KTLA, After two deputies were shot and left in critical condition Saturday night, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department released surveillance footage that appears to show the shooting in Compton. Hours after shots were fired, the search for the shooter was ongoing, officials said. The deputies were working with the department’s Transit Services Bureau and sitting inside a patrol vehicle parked near the Blue Line Metro station in Compton when the shooter approached them, according to the department. They were parked along 101 East Palmer St., across from the station, when the gunman came up “from behind” just before 7 p.m., Captain Kent Wegner said during a news conference later Saturday night. He said the deputies were facing southbound, and the shooter walked up from the north. “He walked along the passenger side of the car,” Wegner said. “He acted as if he was going to walk past the car. And then he made a left turn directly toward the car, raised a pistol and fired several rounds inside of the vehicle, striking both of the sheriff’s deputies.” Both deputies were left in critical condition with multiple gunshot wounds, officials said. They underwent surgery at St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood within four hours of the shooting. One of the deputies is a 31-year-old woman who is married and has a 6-year-old son, and the other deputy is a 24-year-old man, according to Sheriff Alex Villanueva. He said they were both graduates of Class 437. On its Facebook page, the department posted a video of that class’s graduation ceremony at East Los Angeles College on July 11, 2019. “They just graduated, and in fact, I swore them into office just 14 months ago,” Villanueva said. “These are real people doing a tough job, and it just shows the dangers of the job, in the blink of an eye.” While the shooter remains at large, 14 homicide detectives and several other investigators are working to find them based off video collected from cameras in the area and a “very, very generic suspect description” given by the male deputy who was shot, Wegner said. He said the deputy was only able to describe the shooter as a “dark-skinned male.”

According to Mail Online, The president of a Massachusetts chapter of the NAACP has sparked outrage by declaring that there is ‘no such thing as blue lives’, in the aftermath of the LA sheriffs shooting. Bishop Talbert Swan, a Pentecostal preacher from Springfield, Massachusetts, tweeted after two officers were ambushed in Compton, Los Angeles, on Saturday evening. ‘There’s no such thing as BLUE LIVES…’ he tweeted. ‘Stop comparing your JOB with my LIFE… Your CAREER is a choice, my BLACKNESS isn’t. #BlackLivesMatter #BlueLivesMatter’ He argued that there were double standards when it came to the shooting of police and the shooting of protesters. ‘Something is wrong in America when white people can’t see the hypocrisy in expressing outrage and tweeting #BlueLivesMatter over two cops being shot only 17 days after they applauded and raised over $1 million to defend a white supremacist who murdered two #BLM protesters.’ Swan’s comments were ‘liked’ more than 35,000 times, but also met with anger on social media. ‘Why can’t you understand that not all cops are the same?’ asked one person. Another replied: ‘Such hate, “Bishop”.’ Another pointed out that police ‘choose to protect and serve everyone’. ‘They run towards danger to save your black life if they can. Think about that, and pray for them,’ said one. Another replied: ‘Their JOB which is to put their LIVES at risk to protect your LIFE!’

According to Religion News Service, The presidents of two historically Black universities — one Catholic, the other Protestant — have announced that they are participating in a COVID-19 vaccine study. President C. Reynold Verret of Xavier University of Louisiana and President Walter M. Kimbrough of Dillard University said Wednesday (Sept. 2) they are taking part in the Phase 3 trial of the Ochsner Health System. They said they have received injections and are reporting and monitoring any side effects or symptoms. Ochsner Health said in July that it is one of 120 sites across the world that plan to enroll as many as 30,000 trial participants, with half receiving the vaccine and half receiving a placebo. Neither the investigators nor the patients will know which they have received. “Overcoming the virus will require the availability of vaccines effective for all peoples in our communities, especially our black and brown neighbors,” the two men wrote in a letter to the faculty, staff and students at their institutions. “It is of the utmost importance that a significant number of black and brown subjects participate so that the effectiveness of these vaccines be understood across the many diverse populations that comprise these United States.” Xavier is a Roman Catholic school and Dillard is affiliated with the United Methodist Church and the United Church of Christ. The two presidents, whose schools are located in New Orleans, encouraged members of their academic communities and other institutions to take part in a COVID-19 vaccine trial. “Upon our enrollment, we were fully informed, and any possible risks that would exclude us from the study were disclosed,” they said in the letter. “We are both well.” Aware that some people question participating in such research, they noted that regulations now exist to guide the proper conduct for medical studies. “As presidents of HBCUs, we do recall unethical examples of medical research,” they said. “We remember the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, which misused and caused harm to African Americans and other people of color, undermining trust in health providers and caretakers.”

According to The Christian Post, The top official of Sudan’s education regulatory body claims he erroneously omitted Christian education on a list he sent to all public schools in August directing them to teach only the subjects on the list. Christian leaders have raised concerns that Christianity won’t be taught in schools, despite the admission, because educators qualified to teach the subject haven’t been hired. In Sudanese schools, Christian students are required to study Islam and some educators have forced students to convert. Director-General Omer Ahmed al-Garay of National Centre for Curriculum and Educational Research, said in a letter that he did not intentionally omit Christianity from school subjects in NCCER’s previous directive, according to the U.S.-based Morning Star News. “In reference to our previous letter dated Aug. 23, 2020, regarding the school subjects, we wish to consider the new timetable attached. The old timetable had unintended error,” Al-Garay wrote. The official said many Christians called him to ask why Christianity had been omitted from the list of school subjects. “I apologize to Christian brothers who called asking why Christianity was dropped out from the school subjects,” Al-Garay wrote. Islam has long been taught in schools in Sudan and now deposed President Omar al-Bashir had vowed to adopt a stricter version of Sharia (Islamic law) and recognize only Islamic culture and the Arabic language after the country’s secession from South Sudan in 2011. While a transitional government, led by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, was sworn in last year, an Islamist “deep state” rooted in Bashir’s 30 years of power remains influential.

According to The Christian Post, VIVE Chicago, a nondenominational church that is one of many VIVE campuses across the country, raised $100,000 to pay off area residents’ medical debt, according to an announcement shared with The Christian Post. The church partnered with the New York-based nonprofit RIP Medical Debt, which was able to use the donation to pay off $19 million in medical debt. VIVE Lead Pastor Adam Smallcombe said in a statement shared with CP that for many people, financial debt “is a type of modern-day slavery imprisoning whole families and even generations into a cycle of poverty.” “As the church and as Christians our mandate is to liberate people from all kinds of oppression because only free people can truly free people,” Smallcombe said. “That’s why we felt as leaders it was necessary to bring this initiative to our church and they responded with bold faith and generosity.” The church’s donation was part of the overall “For Chicago” campaign, which aims to abolish $78 million in medical debt for approximately 71,000 families in Cook County.

According to Mail Online, Married former Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum came out as bisexual in an interview with Tamron Hall on Monday. ‘You didn’t ask the question but I don’t identify as gay. I identify as bisexual. I’ve never shared that publicly before,’ Gillum, once considered a rising star of the Democratic party, said. The bombshell admission came as part of Gillum’s first interview since the ex Tallahassee mayor was found ‘inebriated’ in a South Beach hotel room in March, along with a male escort who overdosed on crystal meth. Gillum’s wife, R. Jai, also spoke about her husband’s struggles during the interview and said she was aware of his bisexuality before they married in 2009. The 41-year-old father-of-three entered a rehab facility to deal with alcohol abuse shortly after the incident and revealed to Hall that he has ‘cried every day’ since his sudden fall from grace. Gillum called the incident a ‘wake-up call’ and said he remains hopeful of redeeming himself. ‘Everyone believes the absolute worst about that day. At this stage, I don’t have anything else to have to conceal,” Gillum said. ‘I literally got broken down to my most bare place, to the place where I wasn’t even sure that I wanted to live. Not because of what I had done but because of everything that was being said about me. What was most hurtful was this belief that I was somehow living a lie in my marriage and in my family. That was the most hurtful to me. Because I believe we are all entitled to mistakes, and I believe we are entitled to those mistakes without having every other respectable and redeeming part of our lives invalidated. I’m still here by the grace of God. So much of my recovery has been about trying to get over shame. Shame is not that I did that, but I am bad.’

You can read these stories and more at BlackChristianNews.com .

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!