This is the Black Christian News Network One podcast. Here are the top stories you need to know about today.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Curtis Williams Sr. loved people and was a kind-hearted man known to do anything for anybody. He died April 21 due to COVID-19 complications. Williams, 64, was a pastor at Mount Olive East Missionary Baptist Church for more than 25 years and worked at Ford Motor Co./Rouge Steel for 30 years before he retired. Educated in the Detroit Public Schools system, Williams graduated from Southeastern High School, was ordained as a minister obtaining a Certificate of Ordination, received a bachelor’s degree from Lewis College of Business and a Honorary Doctorate of Divinity degree from Bible Baptist Seminary, S.J. W. School of Theology. Williams had a love for people and a thirst to help spread the word of God. He faithfully served as a jail clergy member, comforted and visited the sick, officiated weddings and funerals and provided premarital counseling. He was a Southfield resident before moving to the Manor of Novi Nursing Home several months ago due to complications from a stroke. Williams was sent to St. John Providence Hospital in Novi after coming down with a fever. He died about a week and a half after his wife received a letter from the nursing home stating that a worker at the nursing home had the virus. His close-knit family talked with him via video chat while he was in the hospital. “We couldn’t get to him and couldn’t say goodbye. It was hard watching him suffer. It’s like a light switch,” said his daughter Ola Martin. “Nobody wants to be alone. That was the worst part about it,” she said, as she thought of her father being alone in the hospital for the last few days of his life. Williams leaves to cherish his memories his devoted wife, Ola Faye Williams; two daughters, two sons, three grandchildren, two sisters and two brothers, and a host of relatives and friends.
According to the Christian Post, Insight Church Pastor James E. Ward Jr. says he is on a mission to bring racial healing to the nation and “God’s blessing to black America” through 40 Days of Humility, Prayer, and Fasting. And he’s hoping America will join him. The Skokie, Illinois, preacher recently catapulted to the national stage through his connection to Julia Jackson, one of his most devout parishioners and mother of 29-year-old Wisconsin father Jacob S. Blake, who was shot multiple times by a police officer in Kenosha on Aug. 23. Blake is currently “in a spinal injury rehabilitation center in Chicago.” His shooting was one of several primarily deadly encounters between black men and local law enforcement that sparked civil unrest over racial justice and inequality since the killing of George Floyd in the custody of Minneapolis Police Department officers in May. “The issue that we see in society surrounding race, the protest, the rioting, those things communicate to us that there is a serious problem in our nation and unfortunately in most cases we are not … equipped to solve the problem that we know needs to be solved,” Ward told The Christian Post in an interview Friday. He is convinced that when it comes to race, America is wrestling with a deep-rooted spiritual problem that must be addressed with a spiritual response. And that’s why he launched the national spiritual prayer movement on Sept. 25 that will culminate with a livestreamed prayer for the nation on Nov. 2 from Washington, D.C. “40 Days asks all Americans to fervently pray and fast before God for racial harmony and healing in America prior to the national presidential election,” the movement said in a statement to CP. The group has also launched an initiative called the Zero Victim Community Development Corporation, which was “prayerfully designed to restore and strengthen black lives and families across our country.” “Part of the expression of our prayer is prayer with action and this new Zero Victim Development Corporation is us engaging to act on behalf of what we believe, and really beginning to target how to bring God’s blessing to black America,” Ward said.
According to Daily Mail, Two suspects have been arrested on murder charges in the shooting death of a Florida pastor who got caught in the middle of a gun battle outside a Miami flea market last month. Police say Latravia Bell, 20, and Nathaniel Roberson, 31, have been charged with first-degree murder. Bell is also facing additional charges of possession of a gun by a convicted felon. A third suspect was still on the loose on Friday afternoon. Police have said the pastor, Gregory Boyd, 54, was not the intended target and was struck by a stray bullet as he was walking back to his car outside a shoe store September 10. Boyd was the pastor of New Birth Outreach Ministries. He and wife Dorothy had been married for 23 years. Miami-Dade Detective Argemis Colome told WFOR-TV they received help from the community and studied surveillance video to get the two suspects in custody. Both Bell and Roberson confessed to their involvement in the shootout, according to police. A third suspect, identified as Mikal Norman, remains at large.
According to the The Charlotte Observer, At least nine cases of COVID-19 could be connected to a Charlotte church’s convocation events from last weekend, Mecklenburg County officials tweeted late Saturday. County public health officials urged all people who attended the events at United House of Prayer for All People at 2321 Beatties Ford Road to get tested for the coronavirus. The county said that free COVID-19 testing will be available Sunday at StarMed Health, 4001 Tuckaseegee Road. People can find a testing site near them in Mecklenburg at: https://meck.co/3ka8gLE. Church officials could not immediately be reached for comment.
According to the Daily Post, American actor and producer, Tyler Perry, has joined the End SARS campaign. The billionaire expressed disgust about the situation in Nigeria. He noted that Africa’s most populous country should be one of the greatest on earth. Perry tweeted his reaction to ongoing nationwide protests on Saturday. “I hate that a country, with enormous potential to be one of the greatest in the world, is going through so much horror. I stand with Nigeria. #ReformTheNigeriaPolice #ENDBADGOVERNANCE”, he tweeted.
According to Mail Online, The new Archbishop of York has slammed Downing Street for snubbing his predecessor – Britain’s first black archbishop – of an automatic life peerage. Stephen Cottrell said he was ‘disturbed’ by news that John Sentamu – head of York’s diocese for 15 years – would not be given a seat in the House of Lords, saying it was a ‘custom of many years’. A government spokesperson said Sentamu, 71, who retired in June, was left off the list to keep numbers in the House of Lords down. While there is no automatic right for archbishops to be given a life peerage, his predecessor David Hope and the former archbishops of Canterbury Rowan Williams and George Carey were all made life peers when they stepped down. ‘Disturbed to find out today that whether it be through negligence or intent my predecessor + Sentamu has not been given the peerage that has been the custom for many years,’ said Archbishop Cottrell. ‘I trust this will soon be rectified. @UKHouseofLords will benefit from his voice. Given the deluge of peerages to friends and family, of which not one was black, I sincerely hope this is an oversight that will be rapidly corrected.’ He added that there is a ‘growing feeling’ that the Government has not prioritised confronting ‘deep-seated racial inequalities’.
According to Daily Mail, ESPN NFL reporter Vaughn McClure has been found dead at his apartment in Atlanta at age 48. No cause of death has been announced for the journalist, who covered the Atlanta Falcons for the sports channel’s NFL Nation section. McClure covered the team during their Super Bowl LI run in 2017 and was a regular contributor on ESPN’s television and radio coverage of the Falcons and the NFL. ‘We all loved Vaughn,’ John Pluym, senior deputy editor for digital NFL coverage at ESPN, said in a statement. ‘He had a heart of gold. He was so helpful to our reporters. In the last few hours, we’ve heard so many stories about how Vaughn had helped them with a story or how he put in a good word for them with a coach or player.’ Tributes on Twitter poured in from across the football world, including from teams, players and other sports reporters. ‘We are saddened to learn of the passing of ESPN’s Vaughn McClure,’ Falcons team president Rich McKay said in a statement. ‘He was an earnest, thoughtful reporter who had a passion for his craft and the relationships he held. He will be missed dearly and we are holding his family, friends and associates in our thoughts and prayers.’ The Bears also put out a statement, which read: ‘Saddened by this loss and sending our sincere condolences.
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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!