This is the Black Christian News Network One podcast. Here are the top stories you need to know about today.
According to Dallas Morning News, Health officials, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, joined Bishop T.D. Jakes Monday in an attempt to quell distrust about COVID-19 vaccines, especially within the Black community. For Conversations With America: Understanding the COVID-19 Vaccine, Fauci and Jakes of The Potter’s House were joined by Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, a viral immunologist and lead scientist on the coronavirus research team at the National Institute of Infectious and Allergic Disease’s Vaccine Research Center, and Dr. Onyema Ogbuagu, an infectious disease specialist and associate professor at Yale School of Medicine. Corbett has led a team of scientists working on the Moderna vaccine, and Ogbuagu was a principal investigator of a Pfizer vaccine trial at the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation. The virtual panel was co-hosted by Dr. Jill Waggoner, a Dallas-based family medicine practitioner. It was broadcast live Monday afternoon on YouTube, where a recording is available on Jakes’ channel. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease official and adviser to President Biden, said that distrust about the vaccine must be approached carefully. “You have to respect the skepticism in the African American community,” Fauci said. “You can’t just ignore that.” One of the first topics discussed was the speed at which the vaccines were developed. Corbett said she understands why terms like “Operation WarpSpeed” can sow doubt or questions about getting a vaccine that was created so quickly. “There have not been any particular parts that have been skipped throughout the process,” Corbett said. To make sure the vaccine was effective for all populations, Fauci said that vaccine trials went the “extra mile” to make sure enough minority groups were included, though he wished trials could have recruited even more. “We’ve got to get the representation because we want to be able to say, ‘We’ve tested the vaccine on people who look like you and we know it’s safe and effective,’” Fauci said.
According to Daily Mail, A teenage suspect has been arrested in a ‘mass murder’ which left six people dead, including a woman who was eight months pregnant, at a home in Indianapolis. The victims were found dead of apparent gunshot wounds early Sunday morning at a home on Adams Street in the Northeast side of Indianapolis in Marion County. They were identified as mother Kezzie Childs, 42, father Raymond Childs Jr, 42, their 18-year-old son Elijah and 13-year-old daughter Rita. Kiara Hawkins, 19, was also killed, along with her unborn baby boy. Hawkins’ link to the family is unclear. A seventh victim, described by police as a teenage boy, suffered gunshot wounds and was hospitalized in critical condition. He is expected to survive. On Monday morning Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Chief Randal Taylor announced that a juvenile had been arrested. He did not provide further information about the suspect but said investigators believe they acted alone. Police had previously said multiple suspects could have been involved. WRTV reported that the suspect is a 17-year-old male member of the Childs family, and that the shooting may have been sparked by a domestic dispute. The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office has not announced official charges against the suspect but WRTV said they are expected to include murder/intentional manslaughter with a handgun and attempted murder. ‘Yesterday, we promised swift justice for this heinous act. Today, we delivered on that promise,’ Taylor said in a statement after the arrest. ‘While removing the alleged perpetrator of yesterday’s mass murder from our neighborhoods does not bring back the lives senselessly lost, hopefully, it will bring us one step closer to healing as a community. I am grateful to all of the IMPD officers and criminal justice partners who have worked tirelessly for the last 30 plus hours to bring justice for these victims, their friends and families, and our entire community.’
According to CBN, Stephen Lungu, a well-known evangelist and retired CEO of African Enterprise (AE), died Jan. 18 in Malawi in southeastern Africa from COVID-19 complications. He was 78. The announcement of Lungu’s death appeared on the AE website. The statement noted that the evangelist had diabetes for several years and was not able to fight off the virus. “We all prayed. However, it has pleased the Lord to rest him,” Stephen Mbogo, who succeeded Lungu as AE’s international CEO in 2014,” said in a tribute. Mbogo also cited Psalm 116:15: “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants.” Known as “the Billy Graham of Africa,” Lungu grew up in a dysfunctional family in Zimbabwe, living on the streets and becoming involved in street gangs. In his testimony given several years later, Lungu recalled as a teenager leading his gang to throw “petrol bombs” into an evangelistic tent meeting in the city of Harare. Instead of initiating the attack, he said he ended up going forward to give his life to Christ as the words of the preacher touched his heart. He was uneducated and illiterate, but Patrick Johnstone, a British missionary and author of the prayer guide, “Operation World,” became his mentor. According to AE, over the years Lungu became a powerful evangelist, first working with the Dorothea Mission and then with African Enterprise.
According to CBN, A Catholic priest was kidnapped and murdered last week in northern Nigeria by a group of unidentified armed men who first asked for ransom money from the priest’s diocese before killing him. John Gbakaan, the parish priest of the Saint Anthony Church in Gulu, in the diocese of Minna was found dead on Jan. 17 alongside the road from Lambata to Lapai in the state of Niger, according to the Catholic missions website fides.org. Gbakaan, his brother, and another priest had gone to visit his mother in a neighboring state. The trio was ambushed and abducted by armed assailants on Jan. 15 during their return trip. At first, the kidnappers asked for a little more than $78,000 in ransom and later reduced the amount to a little more than $13,000. Gbakaan’s body was found on Jan. 17 near the site of the kidnapping. Fides.org reported that the priest had been allegedly murdered with a machete in such a way that made identification of the body difficult. Gbakaan’s vehicle was also found near the site of the killing. There has been no further information on Gbakaan’s brother and it’s assumed he’s still being held by the kidnappers.
According to FOX 5 Atlanta, Detectives have arrested a Gwinnett County teenager accused of scamming hundreds of thousands of dollars from Kroger. Officials with the Gwinnett County Police Department say 19-year-old Tre Brown ended up scamming over $980,000 from the grocery store where he worked on Steve Reynolds Boulevard. “This person who was stealing decided to go real big,” Gwinnett Corporal Collin Flynn said. In just two weeks, detectives believe Brown created over 40 returns for non-existent items ranging from $75 to over $87,000. “This employee was essentially creating fake items. Taking those items and returning them to a credit card he had and just making up prices for those items,” Flynn said. Officials say Brown would take the money from the returns and put them on credit cards, using the money to buy clothes, guns, shoes, and two vehicles – one of which he totaled. “The first one he did was in the range of 10 dollars and as he continued to get away with it the prices continued to go up until he made a return of over 87,000 that returned to a credit card,” Flynn said. Police began an investigation into Brown after Kroger employees noticed the transactions. After his arrest, police were able to return a large sum of money from the alleged theft. The teenager is charged with theft by taking.
According to CBN News, Hank Aaron — one of Major League Baseball’s greatest home-run hitters — passed away Friday at the age of 86. Atlanta Braves chairman Terry McGuirk said in a statement Friday morning the team is “absolutely devastated” to learn of Aaron’s death, describing the athlete as “a beacon for our organization first as a player, then with player development, and always with our community efforts.” “His incredible talent and resolve helped him achieve the highest accomplishments, yet he never lost his humble nature,” continued McGuirk. “Henry Louis Aaron wasn’t just our icon, but one across Major League Baseball and around the world. His success on the diamond was matched only by his business accomplishments off the field and capped by his extraordinary philanthropic efforts.” As a black man playing from 1954 to 1976, Aaron faced danger, discrimination, and those who sought his defeat simply for the color of his skin. But the 25-time All-Star and MVP didn’t let the hurdles ahead of him keep him from pressing forward. His resolve, he said, came from his Christian faith. When Aaron was playing — first with the Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves and then with the Milwaukee Brewers — he was protected by the FBI. Extra security measures were always taken when he was on the field over concerns for his physical safety. In fact, Aaron often slept in the ballpark on the evening before his games. At the end of his 1973 season, Aaron hit 713 home runs — one home run shy of beating Ruth’s iconic record. At the start of the next season, on his very first time at bat, Aaron matched Ruth’s record. That night, according to ESPN, Aaron called his mother to tell her: “I’m going to save the next one for you, mom.” Four days later, on April 8, 1974, surrounded by the largest crowd the Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium had ever hosted, Aaron kept his word to his mother: He broke Babe Ruth’s record.
According to The Associated Press, Dave Chappelle tested positive for the coronavirus just before his comedy show scheduled for Thursday, forcing his upcoming appearances to be canceled, a spokeswoman said. Chappelle was expected to perform Thursday through Sunday at Stubb’s Waller Creek Amphitheater in Austin, Texas. Those shows have been canceled and Chappelle is quarantining, his representative Carla Sims said in a statement. She said that Chappelle is asymptomatic. Chappelle had been performing socially-distanced shows in Ohio since June, and moved his shows to Austin during the winter, Sims said. Rapid testing for the audience and daily tests for Chappelle and his team were instituted.
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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!