This is the Black Christian News Network One podcast. Here are the top stories you need to know about today.
According to Christianity Today, As a TV news reporter and a Church of God in Christ (COGIC) pastor, Loran Mann tried to keep his two jobs separate. And that worked. Mostly. But once in the 1980s, he was first to the scene of a standoff where an armed fugitive on the run after murdering his wife was cornered by police. The man decided he would surrender—but only to the locally famous newsman and man of God. “I got an exclusive,” Mann said. “But the best part is he became a committed Christian.” Mann, a groundbreaking Black broadcast reporter and a COGIC bishop who rose to the top level of leadership in the nation’s fifth largest Christian denomination, died in Pittsburgh on Sunday at the age of 74. On Monday he was mourned throughout the city and celebrated by local religious leaders and broadcast professionals. “He was a lion of the Gospel—outspoken and loving in his proclamation of Jesus Christ,” Episcopal Bishop Dorsey McConnell, who worked with Mann on racial justice issues, told Trib Live. “He was a pastor’s pastor and his leadership was felt across all lines of race and denomination.” The Pittsburgh Black Media Federation said Mann was a trailblazer who inspired many people of color to go into media. He was first a disc jockey, then a TV news reporter, and then a radio station general manager, all while shepherding his growing Pentecostal congregation. “He was one of the first Black journalists in radio and television in Pittsburgh,” said Dee Thompson, one of the founders of the Black Media Federation. “Loran was a pioneer in journalism, not only in Pittsburgh’s Black community, but also the community at large. And not only in Pittsburgh, but nationally.” Just recently elected to COGIC’s ruling board of 12 elders, he was scheduled to preach on May 2, when he passed away. The cause of his death has not been made public. Mann is survived by his wife, Barbara; daughter, Tiana; and son, Loran II.
According to Baptist Press, A hybrid platform has been announced for the 2021 Lifeway Black Church Leadership and Family Conference July 19-23 at Ridgecrest Conference Center. “This past year has drastically impacted our lives and the life of the church,” said conference host Mark Croston, national director of Black Church Ministries for Lifeway Christian Resources. Given the widespread availability of the COVID-19 vaccine for adults, Croston said, “we feel we can move forward with both the onsite and online events. The onsite conference location allows us to spend a lot of time outdoors and to maintain social distancing indoors.” Themed “No Doubt,” based on 1 John 5:13, the conference is designed for the entire family, melding education, mentorship, networking, exhortation, worship, fellowship, a FUGE camp, quality family time and recreation. Special events are designed specifically for women, men, young adults and children. “At Black Church Leadership and Family Conference we are planning a time for rest, recuperation for the attendees, and revitalization for our churches with training that will equip us to be successful in the new post-pandemic paradigm,” Croston said. “Where better to have social distance and spiritual refreshment than at a retreat center in the middle of God’s beautiful creation in the Black Mountains of North Carolina?” Scheduled evening preachers are Charlie Dates, senior pastor of Progressive Baptist Church in Chicago; Ben Mandrell, Lifeway Christian Resources CEO; Haywood Robinson, senior pastor, Round Oak Missionary Baptist Church, Silver Spring, Md.; and F. Bruce Williams, senior pastor, Bates Memorial Baptist Church, Louisville, Ky. The online option offers more than 24 hours of leadership training with 12 months of access to videos of the morning Bible expositions, select workshops and evening worship. In its 28th year, the conference was held solely online in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, and is available on Lifeway Digital Pass. Registration is available at lifeway.com, with discounted early bird registration available through June 1.
According to the The Daily Beast, At least 20 people were killed—including children—when a subway overpass collapsed in Mexico City late Monday, sending several train cars plummeting down onto traffic below. Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said 70 people were hurt but survived the catastrophe, although seven of them have been left in a serious condition. Horrific security footage showed the collapse on the metro’s Line 12, which is suspended about five meters above the busy roadway. “There are unfortunately children among the dead,” Sheinbaum said, adding that a support beam appeared to have failed to cause the collapse. Mexico’s Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard was Mexico City mayor when Line 12 was built. According to the Associated Press, he wrote in an early Tuesday statement: “What happened today on the metro is a terrible tragedy… I am entirely at the disposition of authorities to contribute in whatever way is necessary.”
According to CNN, One man is dead after a tree fell on a car as a tornado touched down in the Atlanta area on Monday. Severe weather threatened more than 100 million people from the southern Plains through the Mid-Atlantic. A tornado warning was issued at about 10:30 a.m. and lasted until 11:15 a.m. ET, with about 450,000 people in its potential path, according to the National Weather Service in Atlanta. An EF-1 tornado with 90 mph winds was confirmed in Douglas County, according to the National Weather Service. The tornado was 250 yards wide and on the ground for a mile and a half. A tornado watch was in effect until 7 p.m. EDT for east-central Georgia, central South Carolina and south-central North Carolina. This included Charlotte and Rockingham in North Carolina, Columbia and Greenwood in South Carolina and Augusta in Georgia. There were several thunderstorm watches, including ones in central Georgia, much of Alabama and eastern Mississippi.
According to NPR News, On Monday, mourners and activists came together for the funeral of Andrew Brown Jr., a Black man shot by police in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, last month. “Enough is enough,” said Reverend Al Sharpton, who gave the eulogy. “How many funerals do we have to have until we tell the Congress and the Senate that you’ve got to do something in these times?” asked Sharpton. Brown, 42, was killed by police while sitting in his car, but the circumstances around his death are still being investigated. Cops say Brown was trying to drive away as officers attempted to carry out search and arrest warrants for him, and that Brown hit a deputy with his car before they started firing. However, relatives who’ve seen a section of police body cam footage described the shooting as an “execution.” Both Sharpton and attorney Benjamin Crump, who is representing Brown’s family, called for the full footage of the shooting to be released to the public.
According to the New York Post, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates — who is worth an estimated $130 billion — and his wife, Melinda, are getting a divorce after 27 years of marriage. The couple said in a joint statement. “After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage.” The statement continued, “Over the last 27 years, we have raised three incredible children and built a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives. We continue to share a belief in that mission and will continue our work together at the foundation, but we no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives. We ask for space and privacy for our family as we begin to navigate this new life.” In 2000, the couple started the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and have since donated about $50 billion to charity for initiatives across the globe. The foundation released a statement about the divorce following the couple’s announcement that said the two will both remain co-chairs and trustees of the organization.
According to The Christian Post, Philadelphia 76ers forward Tobias Harris is averaging nearly 20 points per game this season, and although his skills show on the court, he wants the world to see the light that comes from within him as a follower of Jesus Christ. The professional basketball player played one season of college basketball for the Tennessee Volunteers before declaring for the 2011 NBA draft, where he was drafted 19th overall by the Charlotte Bobcats. A member of the 76ers for the past three seasons, he is gaining a reputation for his gifts on the court as well as his humanitarian work off of the court. His work off the court consists of community outreach for underprivileged youth nationwide and in Philadelphia. “Every day that I wake up understanding how blessed I am, how fortunate I am,” Harris told Pastor William McDowell during a Deeper Worship Intensive “Team Edition” segment released last month. “When I do a lot of the community outreach with the youth, I can easily see the blessings that I’ve had in my life, even as a young kid growing up.” McDowell, an award-winning gospel singer, is the host of a four-week intensive featuring a masterclass of worldwide leaders to equip all Christians to live out their faith. People can sign up for the course and access the material online. During week three of the course, Harris was a featured guest and spoke of the importance of physical and spiritual disciplines that led him to where he is today.
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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!