This is the Black Christian News Network One podcast. Here are the top stories you need to know about today.
According to the Daily Mail, Maryland’s governor posthumously pardoned 34 victims of racial lynching in the state dating between 1854 and 1933, saying they were denied legal due process against the allegations they faced. It was a first-of-its-kind pardon by a governor of a U.S. state. Governor Larry Hogan signed the order at an event Saturday honoring Howard Cooper, a 15-year-old who was dragged from a jailhouse and hanged from a tree by a mob of white men in 1885 before his attorneys could file an appeal of a rape conviction that an all-white jury reached within minutes. ‘My hope is that this action will at least in some way help to right these horrific wrongs and perhaps bring a measure of peace to the memories of these individuals and to their descendants and their loved ones,’ Hogan said. Hogan and other state officials attended a ceremony in Towson, Maryland, next to the former jailhouse where Cooper was held. A historic marker was unveiled at the site in a partnership with the Baltimore County Coalition of the Maryland Lynching Memorial Project, the Equal Justice Initiative and Baltimore County. Before signing the pardons, Hogan read the names of Cooper and the other victims including David Thomas, Jim Wilson, Isaac Moore, Jim Quinn, Thomas Jurick, John Jones, John Henry Scott, John Simms, Michael Green, James Carroll, George Peck, John Diggs, George Briscoe, Townsend Cook, Charles Whitley, Benjamin Hance, John Biggus, Asbury Green, James Taylor, Isaac Kemp, Stephen Williams, Jacob Henson, James Bowens, Sidney Randolph, William Andrews, Garfield King, Wright Smith, Lewis Harris, Henry Davis, William Burns, King Johnson and George Armwood.
According to the Montgomery Advertiser, Montgomery’s flags were lowered to half-staff this week as the city mourned longtime pastor, community leader and Montgomery police chaplain Rev. E. Baxter Morris. For nearly 50 years Morris was senior pastor of the city’s historic First Baptist Church on North Ripley Street, the “Brick-A-Day” church that played a prominent role in the Civil Rights Era, including sheltering the Freedom Riders from a mob. He also served as chaplain of the Montgomery Police Department for more than two decades. Morris died Sunday while surrounded by family, the city announced. Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed ordered flags lowered as part of the announcement. “Reverend Morris was a man of God, and he was a man for God,” Reed said. “He answered the Lord’s call to service, time and time again, giving of himself to teach and love others. As one of the great pillars of our community, he championed our people and advocated for everyone. Rev. Morris donated his time to mentor and support our police officers and emergency first-responders, helping to spearhead the Good Shepard program. Along with his wife Rebie, Rev. Morris personified what it means to be a servant leader who exuded a Christ-like love of the Church, family and community.” His longtime church is a state landmark steeped in history. First Baptist got its nickname when members were asked to bring bricks to help rebuild it after an early 20th century fire. It was led by the Rev. Ralph Abernathy during the Civil Rights Era and became the site of mass meetings during the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was speaking at one of those meetings when he learned that his home had been bombed.
According to the Associated Press, A confrontation between Israel and Hamas sparked by weeks of tensions in contested Jerusalem escalated Tuesday as Israel unleashed new airstrikes on Gaza while militants barraged Israel with hundreds of rockets. The exchange killed a number of militants and civilians in Gaza and at least three Israelis. The barrage of rockets from the Gaza Strip and airstrikes into the territory continued almost nonstop throughout the day, in what appeared to be some of the most intense fighting between Israel and Hamas since their 2014 war. The fire was so relentless that Israel’s Iron Dome rocket-defense system seemed to be overwhelmed. Columns of smoke rose from many places in Gaza. By late Tuesday, the violence extended to Tel Aviv, which came under fire from a barrage of rockets launched from the Gaza Strip. The outgoing volleys set off air raid sirens across the city, and the main international airport quickly closed. Hamas said it launched a total of 130 rockets, its most intense strike so far, in response to Israel’s destruction of a high-rise building in Gaza earlier in the evening.
According to Fox 6 News, A champion for Milwaukee, Pastor Jerome Smith was remembered Friday, May 7 after losing his fight with COVID-19. He died at the age of 49 on April 27. Smith co-founded the Joseph Project with U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson’s office. “This has been rough and tough for us,” said Orlando Owens, a Joseph Project volunteer. “We will miss him but we will do the work in his memory.” The program has provided job opportunities and transportation to hundreds facing obstacles, many of whom were incarcerated. “One of the sayings I always remember is you don’t throw away people,” Owens said. “He was the heart and soul of this program. He saw this as his legacy to the world,” said Scott Bolstad with Sen. Johnson’s office. Smith came from poverty, overcame mental illness and survived – becoming pastor of Greater Praise Church of God in Christ on Milwaukee’s north side. He will be remembered forever by those he helped.
According to CBN News, Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church, which is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, announced Thursday that it ordained three women as pastors. The church shared the news in a Facebook post, proclaiming that it was a “historic night.” “We ordained our first three women pastors, Liz Puffer, Cynthia Petty, and Katie Edwards! We’re so grateful to share this moment with you. Our best days are ahead of us!” Appointing women to the position of pastor goes against the traditions of the strictly male leadership within the SBC. Saddleback lists more than 24,000 members and 18 campus pastors, all of whom are male. Even though the newly ordained women are long-tenured staff members, the selection has garnered support and criticism.
According to the Associated Press, Grieving families buried their dead Sunday following a horrific bombing at a girls’ school in the Afghan capital that killed 50 people, many of them pupils between 11 and 15 years old. The number of wounded in Saturday’s attack climbed to more than 100, said Interior Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian. In the western neighborhood of Dasht-e-Barchi, families buried their dead amid angry recriminations at a government they said has failed to protect them from repeated attacks in the mostly Shiite Muslim neighborhood. “The government reacts after the incident, it doesn’t do anything before the incident,” said Mohammad Baqir, Alizada, 41, who had gathered to bury his niece, Latifa, a Grade 11 student the Syed Al-Shahda school. Three explosions outside the school entrance struck as students were leaving for the day, said Arian. The blasts targeted Afghanistan’s ethnic Hazaras who dominate the Dasht-e-Barchi neighborhood, where the bombings occurred. Most Hazaras are Shiite Muslims. The Taliban denied responsibility, condemning the attack and the many deaths.
According to the Associated Press, The mother of a Black man pursued and killed by white men who said they suspected him of a crime says she is “thankful, very thankful” that Georgia has repealed its Civil War-era citizen’s arrest law. Wanda Cooper-Jones, the mother of Ahmaud Arbery, spoke Monday after Gov. Brian Kemp signed House Bill 479, which says bystanders can no longer make an arrest in Georgia if a crime is committed in their presence. “I think the signing of this bill will make people think before they take action into their own hands,” Cooper-Jones said. “Unfortunately we had to lose my son in this manner. Had this bill been in place, I think it will protect young men as they are jogging down the street.” The law is a continuing reaction to Arbery’s death, which was recorded on video by one of three men now charged with murder. The outcry over the shooting also pushed lawmakers last year to pass a new hate crimes law in Georgia, more than 15 years after the state Supreme Court overturned an earlier law. “This bill makes Georgia the first state in the country to repeal its citizen’s arrest statue,” Kemp, a Republican, said before signing the measure. “Today we are replacing this Civil War-era law, ripe for abuse, with language that balances the sacred right of self-defense of person and property with our shared responsibility to root out injustice and set our state on a better path forward.” Those who had long pushed for the repeal said the law was approved in 1863 to round up escaped slaves and was later used to justify the lynching of African Americans. Some other states are now also considering repealing such laws.
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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!