Showing posts with label religion. Show all posts
Showing posts with label religion. Show all posts

Friday, June 23, 2023

Mother Mary Lange, founder of first African American religious congregation, declared venerable

Pope Francis has advanced the sainthood cause of Mother Mary Elizabeth Lange, a Black religious sister who founded the country’s first African American religious congregation in Baltimore in 1829.

The recognition of Lange’s heroic virtue and the advancement of her cause from servant of God to venerable was announced by the Vatican in a decree signed on June 22. The Church will now need to approve a miracle attributed to her intercession before she can be beatified.

Elizabeth Lange, as she was named, immigrated to the United States from Cuba in the early 1800s. Recognizing the lack of education for the children of her fellow Black immigrants, with a friend she established St. Frances Academy in her own home and with her own money to offer free schooling to Baltimore’s African American children.

With the support of Baltimore Archbishop James Whitfield, she founded a school for “girls of color” and then the Oblate Sisters of Providence, the first religious community for women of African descent.

The congregation’s purpose was to provide religious and general education to African Americans. Lange and the other sisters also responded to other needs they encountered over time, including taking in orphans and widows, educating freed slaves, nursing people dying during the cholera epidemic, and cleaning at St. Mary’s Seminary.

Lange took the religious name of Mary and served as the congregation’s superior general for two terms.

Lange founded the Oblate Sisters more than three decades before the Civil War and its resulting abolition of slavery within the United States. Although Maryland supported the Union, it was a slave state when Lange arrived there.

“Mother Mary Lange practiced faith to an extraordinary degree. In fact, it was her deep faith which enabled her to persevere against all odds,” the Mother Mary Lange Guild notes in an online biography. “To her Black brothers and sisters, she gave of herself and her material possessions until she was empty of all but Jesus, whom she shared generously with all by being a living witness to his teaching.”

Lange died on Feb. 3, 1882, at the age of 92 or 93, and her cause for beatification was opened over a century later, in 1991, by Baltimore Cardinal William Keeler.


Sunday, October 25, 2020

Wilson Gregory to become America’s first African American cardinal

Pope Francis announced on Sunday that he would name Washington's archbishop, Wilton Gregory, a cardinal next month, making him the first African American to earn such a title.

Gregory will be one of the 13 cardinals in the new class, a promotion that comes at a time when he is also trying to rebuild trust in an archdiocese rocked by sexual abuse cases.

The move was widely anticipated, as Washington archbishops are typically named as cardinals after their appointments. But it is nonetheless symbolically significant in the U.S. Catholic Church, where Blacks have been underrepresented among the leadership.

Gregory, 72, was appointed as Washington's archbishop last year, taking over for Cardinal Donald Wuerl, who had been accused of mishandling clerical abuse cases.


Sunday, May 24, 2020

Black pastor responds to Trump's return to church call

Pastor Kelcy G.L. Steele of Varick Memorial AME Zion Church (New Haven, CT) released the following statement in response to President Trump’s call for churches to resume worship services:

I’m Kinda confused… Why did we need President Trump to declare churches essential? I mean, I’m glad he realizes that. But Christians already knew that. And, even churches that need to alter their worship experiences, have been tending to their flock with love and assistance in these times of need, right?

Churches are feeding, financially supporting, tending to elderly, proving support for school children, tending to first responders, providing space for testing, providing discipleship and soul care, assisting local and national efforts to keep proper medical information available to people, creating innovative worship experiences, online Bible studies, online small groups, helping people find new jobs, and so much more.

Let’s not forget that churches have helped facilitate many of the 94,000 funerals. And pastors, Rabbis, Imams, chaplains, and people of faith have been the source of strength and comfort during a ton of mourning and fear!

Is it that the president want us to reconvene in dense numbers, where (I know) many of the significant outbreaks of COVID-19 occurred just a little over a month ago! Many of the black bishops, pastors, black, brown, and white Christians and Jews contracted the disease in worship spaces! We know this from contact tracing.

We need more testing partnerships and not a president, who does not have a flattering reputation of worship attendance, who uses the church for impact in a statement for political advantage.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

South Carolina Baptist Convention elects first African American president

The 759 registered messengers to the South Carolina Baptist Convention’s (SCBC) 199th Annual Meeting made history Nov. 12 by electing a Simpsonville pastor as the first African American to serve as president.

In this year’s balloting, Alex Sands, pastor of Kingdom Life Church in Simpsonville, was elected by acclamation as president-elect. The president-elect automatically becomes president following a year of service.

Sands was nominated as president-elect by Charleston First Baptist pastor Marshall Blalock, a past president of the state convention. Sands has been serving as first vice president. His church, which was planted in 2003, joined the SCBC in 2005. He has served on the SCBC Executive Board and was vice chairman of the executive-director search committee.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Son of sheriff's deputy faces federal hate crime charges in Louisiana church fires

Federal hate crime charges have been filed against the son of a sheriff's deputy who was arrested in connection with a string of fires at three historically black churches in Louisiana, federal prosecutors announced Wednesday.

Holden Matthews, 21, faces three counts of intentional damage to religious property, which constitute hate crimes under the Church Arson Prevention Act. He was also charged with three counts of using fire to commit a felony, the Justice Department said in a news release after the federal indictment was unsealed.

Holden Matthews, 21, was booked into the St. Landry Parish Jail on three counts of simple arson of a religious building.St. Landry Parish Sheriff Dept. The indictment says the fires were set "because of the religious character" of the properties.

The fires at the three churches, which were all started by gasoline and set from late March to early April, unnerved churchgoers in the St. Landry Parish region — conjuring up images of attacks on black churches in the South during the civil rights movement, and more recently, during the 1990s.

"Churches are vital places of worship and fellowship for our citizens and bind us together as a community," David Joseph, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Louisiana, said in a statement. "Our freedom to safely congregate in these churches and exercise our religious beliefs must be jealously guarded. Today we are one step closer to justice for the parishioners of these churches and the St. Landry Parish communities affected by these acts."

Matthews already faced state charges in the church fires, including violating Louisiana's hate crime law. He has pleaded not guilty in that case.


Sunday, June 09, 2019

After Life: My Journey from Incarceration to Freedom

After Life: My Journey from Incarceration to Freedom, is the true-life story of the woman whose life sentence for non-violent drug trafficking was commuted by President Donald Trump thanks to the efforts of Kim Kardashian West—an inspiring memoir of faith, hope, mercy, and gratitude.

How do you hold on to hope after more than twenty years of imprisonment? For Alice Marie Johnson the answer lies with God.

For years, Alice lived a normal life without a criminal record—she was a manager at FedEx, a wife, and a mother. But after an emotionally and financially tumultuous period in her life left her with few options, she turned to crime as a way to pay off her mounting debts. Convicted in 1996 for her nonviolent involvement in a Memphis cocaine trafficking organization, Alice received a life sentence under the mandatory sentencing laws of the time. Locked behind bars, Alice looked to God. Eventually becoming an ordained minister, she relied on her faith to sustain hope over more than two decades—until 2018, when the president commuted her sentence at the behest of Kim Kardashian West, who had taken up Alice’s cause.

In this honest, faith-driven memoir, Alice explains how she held on to hope and gave it to others, from becoming a playwright to mentoring her fellow prisoners. She reveals how Christianity and her unshakeable belief in God helped her persevere and inspired her to share her faith in a video that would go viral—and come to the attention of celebrities who were moved to action.

Today, Alice is an icon for the prison reform movement and a humble servant who embraces gratitude and God for her freedom. In this powerful book, she recalls all of the firsts she has experienced through her activism and provides an authentic portrait of the crisis that is mass incarceration. Linking social justice to spiritual faith, she makes a persuasive and poignant argument for justice that transcends tribal politics. Her story is a beacon in the darkness of despair, reminding us of the power of redemption and the importance of making second chances count.


Monday, May 13, 2019




National headlines blazed the story: Churchgoers Gunned Down During Prayer Service in Charleston, South Carolina. After a 21-year-old white supremacist opened fire in the church, nine African Americans lay dead—leaving their families and the nation to grapple with this senseless act of terror.

Forty-eight hours later, in the midst of unspeakable grief and suffering, the families of the Emanuel Nine stood in court facing the killer … and offered words of forgiveness. Their demonstration of grace ushered the way for hope and healing across a city and the nation.

It’s the story that rocked a city and a nation as it happened … and in the days that followed. Marking the fourth anniversary of the event, executive producers Stephen Curry and Viola Davis, co-producer Mariska Hargitay, and director Brian Ivie (The Drop Box) present EMANUEL. The documentary powerfully weaves the history of race relations in Charleston, the significance and impact of Mother Emanuel Church, and the hope that somehow emerges in the aftermath.

Featuring intimate interviews with survivors and family members, EMANUEL is a poignant story of justice and faith, love and hate, examining the healing power of forgiveness. Marking the fourth anniversary, EMANUEL will be in movie theaters across the country for two nights only: June 17 and 19.

Find theaters and get tickets here: Emanuel In Theaters

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Seventh District Baptist Association raising money to help black churches burned down in Louisiana

The Seventh District Baptist Association, is a 149 year old non-profit religious organization. They are working with the Governor of Louisiana, local leaders, elected officials, the impacted churches and their pastors, other faith organizations and the community to raise money and to ensure 100% of all funds raised will be evenly distributed to the three churches affected by suspicious fires.

The historically black churches have burned in less than two weeks in one south Louisiana parish, where officials said they had found “suspicious elements” in each case. The officials have not ruled out the possibility of arson, or the possibility that the fires are related.

“There is clearly something happening in this community,” State Fire Marshal H. Browning said in a statement on Thursday.

Please donate here and look for upcoming opportunities to help these churches and communities begin to heal: Seventh District Baptist Church Fires St Landry

The Seventh District Baptist Association lead by President Freddie Jack, is comprised of approximately 60 Baptist churches from seven parishes in Southwest Louisiana, which includes the three churches affected by the recent fires. The District meets on a quarterly and annual basis emphasizing Christian Education, Evangelism, Discipleship and fellowship in the Body of Christ.

The District's annual session is held the first week in June where we celebrate our legacy and plan continual ministry events to reach the lost and edify the Saints. The District will be holding its 149th Annual Session in Lake Charles, Louisiana the week of June 2nd.

President Jack requested that a Go Fund Me campaign be initiated to show our support for our church families and the communities affected. We are unequivocally committed to aiding our Sister Churches. The donations received are earmarked specifically for the Seventh District's member churches - St. Mary Baptist Church, Greater Union Baptist Church and Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church. All of your generous donations will be disbursed equally among all three churches for not only rebuilding their sanctuaries, but for the purchase of all necessities lost in the fires, including pews, sound system, musical instruments, etc.

Seventh District and the Pastors and congregations of the St. Mary Baptist Church, Greater Union Baptist Church and Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church thank you and solicit your continual prayers and support as we will overcome this tragedy together because we are ONE BODY IN CHRIST!

Ruth V. Jack, Finance Secretary

Seventh District Baptist Association

Contact information:

Thursday, April 04, 2019

Pope Names Wilton Gregory as New Archbishop of Washington

Pope Francis has tapped Archbishop Wilton Gregory to lead the embattled Archdiocese of Washington, giving the nation's capital its first African-American archbishop a veteran leader who guided the Catholic Church through its clergy sexual abuse crisis in the early 2000s.

The archbishop of Washington is traditionally elevated by the Pope to the college of cardinals, meaning that Gregory eventually could be the first African-American cardinal ever to serve in the Catholic Church in the United States.

Archbishop Gregory has was previously in charge of the Archdiocese of Atlanta in Georgia. He was appointed Archbishop in December 2004, and took office on 17 January 2005.

The Archbishop, who was born in 1947 in Chicago, Illinois, studied philosophy at Niles College and theology at Saint Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelein, Illinois. He was ordained a priest on May 9, 1973 for the Archdiocese of Chicago.

In 1980 Archbishop Gregory obtained his Doctorate in Liturgy at the Pontifical Athenaeum Sant'Anselmo in Rome.

After his priestly ordination, he held the following positions: Parish Vicar of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Glenview; Student in Rome (1976-1979); Professor of Liturgy at Saint Mary of the Lake Seminary in Mundelain, Member of the Archdiocesan Office for the Liturgy and Master of Ceremonies for Cardinals Cody and Bernardin (1980-1983).

In October of 1983 he was appointed titular Bishop of Oliva and Auxiliary of Chicago. He was transferred to the See of Belleville, Illinois, in 1993.

Within the United States Episcopal Conference, the Archbishop has held a number of positions including, President (2001-2004), Vice-President (1998-2001). He is currently Chair of the Committee on Divine Worship.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

U.S. Bishops give go-ahead to diocese’s Sister Thea Bowman sainthood effort

The U.S. bishops gave their assent to the canonization effort launched for Sister Thea Bowman by the Diocese of Jackson, Mississippi.
The assent, on a voice vote, came Nov. 14, the third day of their fall general meeting in Baltimore. The “canonical consultation” with the body of U.S. bishops is a step in the Catholic Church’s process toward declaring a person a saint.
Sister Bowman, a Mississippi native and the only African-American member of her order, the Wisconsin-based Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, was a widely known speaker, evangelizer and singer until she died of cancer in 1990 at age 52. She even made a presentation at the U.S. bishops’ spring meeting in 1989, moving some prelates to tears.
“The faithful in, and well beyond, the Diocese of Jackson,” have asked for her canonization process to begin, said Bishop Joseph R. Kopacz of Jackson, who became bishop of the diocese in 2014. “Even well before I arrived in Jackson, the requests were coming in.”
Sister Bowman, Bishop Kopacz said, was “an ambassador of Jesus Christ and an apostle of reconciliation,” adding she was “singing, teaching and inspiring until the very end.”
He noted that “the church embraced Sister Thea from her early years, but there were times when she felt like a motherless child.” It never deterred her, though, Bishop Kopacz said. “We pray that Sister Thea’s voice will be a beacon of hope” to victims of clergy sexual abuse.
Bishop Kopacz liberally sprinkled his remarks with quotes from Sister Bowman.
“We unite ourselves with Christ’s redemptive work when we make peace, when we share the good news of God within our hearts,” she once said. “We celebrate the presence and proclamation of the word made flesh. It is never an escape from reality,” she also said.
At another point, Sister Bowman told her audience, “Go! There is a song that will never be sung unless you sing it. … Go tell the world, go preach the Gospel, go tell the good news.”
Sister Bowman was a trailblazer in almost every role: first African-American religious sister from Canton, Mississippi; the first to head an office of intercultural awareness; and the first African-American woman to address the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Sister Bowman led the Jackson Diocese’s Office of Intercultural Awareness, taught at several Catholic high schools and colleges, and was a faculty member of the Institute of Black Catholic Studies at Xavier University in New Orleans.
She took her message across the nation, speaking at church gatherings and conventions, making 100 speaking engagements a year, but spreading cancer slowed her. Music was especially important to her. She would gather or bring a choir with her and often burst into song during her presentations.
In addition to her writings, her music also resulted in two recordings, “Sister Thea: Songs of My People” and “Round the Glory Manger: Christmas Songs and Spirituals.”
When Sister Bowman spoke at the U.S. bishops’ meeting in June 1989, less than a year before her death from bone cancer and confined to a wheelchair, she was blunt. She told the bishops that people had told her black expressions of music and worship were “un-Catholic.”
Sister Bowman disputed that notion, pointing out that the church universal included people of all races and cultures and she challenged the bishops to find ways to consult those of other cultures when making decisions. She told them they were obligated to better understand and integrate not just black Catholics, but people of all cultural backgrounds.
Catholic News Service reported that her remarks “brought tears to the eyes of many bishops and observers.” She also sang to them and, at the end, had them all link hands and join her in singing “We Shall Overcome.”
Boston Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, who served as bishop of the Diocese of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands from 1985 to 1992, said Nov. 14 that Catholics in his former diocese “really revere Sister Thea and I’m really glad to see this coming to fruition.”
By the mid-1990s, Catholic schools in Gary, Indiana, East St. Louis, Illinois, and Port Arthur, Texas, opened bearing Sister Bowman’s name.
She also was the focus of books, including 1993’s Thea Bowman: Shooting Star — Selected Writings and Speeches, 2008’s This Little Light: Lessons in Living From Sister Thea Bowman, and 2010’s Thea’s Song: The Life of Thea Bowman.
Redemptorist Father Maurice Nutt, observing the 20th anniversary of Sister Bowman’s death in 2010, said he believes the late nun is a saint. Though not officially canonized, “Sister Thea is canonized in the hearts of all who knew and loved her,” he said.


Thursday, September 06, 2018

With Voting Rights Act weakened, black church networks seek more voters

The months ahead of midterm elections, often a time of lower turnout among African-Americans and others, have become a focus of passionate activity by black Christian leaders.

“The attacks on the Voting Rights Act and other setbacks in civil rights have alerted the faith community that we need to take action,” said the Rev. Barbara Williams-Skinner, co-chair of the National African American Clergy Network. “We need to be proactive and not reactive.”

It’s been five years since the Supreme Court invalidated a key provision of the VRA, and voters in almost two dozen states face stricter rules. In response, black denominations and networks focused on people of color and the poor are gearing up in hopes of getting more people to the ballot box in November:

This week, leaders of the African Methodist Episcopal Church plan to continue their “AME Righteous Vote” initiative with mobilization briefings, Capitol Hill meetings and a “Call to Conscience” vigil at Lafayette Square across from the White House.

* Faith in Action, the grassroots organization formerly known as PICO National Network, hopes to reach more than a million people in 150 cities with phone calls and door-to door visits before Election Day on Nov. 6.

* A “Lawyers and Collars” program co-led by the Skinner Leadership Institute and Sojourners plans to train clergy on voter protection, hold meetings with state elections officials and spend Election Day at the polls with lawyers to assist voters.

* Stricter rules at polling places — such as ID laws — could lead to people being turned away on Nov. 6. Pastors and other leaders can serve as advocates on their behalf, said Williams-Skinner, who is also CEO of the Maryland-based institute.

“We’re saying that vulnerable voters need to have protection and we believe that the most respected leaders (and) the influential stakeholders should be there,” she said. “As they stand in line with people, people will stay in line no matter what happens.”

Read more: With Voting Rights Act weakened, black church networks seek more voters.

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

Aretha Franklin's family says pastor's eulogy was offensive

The late Aretha Franklin's family said Monday that it found an Atlanta pastor's eulogy delivered at the Queen of Soul's funeral last week to be offensive and distasteful.

The eulogist, the Rev. Jasper Williams Jr., was criticized for a political address at the Friday funeral that described children being in a home without a father as "abortion after birth" and said black lives do not matter unless blacks stop killing each other.

"He spoke for 50 minutes and at no time did he properly eulogize her," said Vaughn Franklin, the late singer's nephew, who said he was delivering a statement for the family.

Franklin said that his aunt never asked Williams to eulogize her, since she didn't talk about plans for her own funeral. The family selected Williams because he has spoken at other family memorials in the past, most prominently at the funeral for Franklin's father, minister and civil rights activist C.L. Franklin, 34 years ago.

His eulogy "caught the entire family off guard," Vaughn Franklin said. The family had not discussed what Williams would say in advance, he said.

"It has been very, very distasteful," he said.

He said it was unfortunate because everyone else who participated in the ceremony was very respectful.


Tuesday, March 06, 2018

Black churches host screenings of ‘Black Panther’

(RNS) — Xavier Cooper went straight from his shift as a cook at a fast-food restaurant to an early showing of the “Black Panther” movie — sponsored by his church.

As his elders at Jonahville African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in Huntersville, N.C., had hoped, the film had a profound effect on the young man, a leader in the church’s youth group.

Cooper exited the theater with a buoyed confidence about his dreams after spending two hours watching the futuristic kingdom of powerful black people in Wakanda.

“Being an African-American, it shows you that you can do anything you want to,” said Cooper, 17, who wants to own his own record label and production studio.

Across the country — from California to Chicago to Virginia — members of black churches have bought out theaters for screenings and dressed in their favorite African attire to see a superhero who looks like them. And others, from a New York multicultural congregation to a Detroit Muslim professor, are also tapping into the movie’s messages they hope will be particularly affirming to young people of a range of races and religions.

The Rev. Latasha Gary, Cooper’s youth minister, said 67 people attended the Feb. 16 showing organized by their church near Charlotte, and dozens had to be turned away when they ran out of seats.

Black youth get tired of seeing negative depictions of people of their own race in movies, said Gary, who wore a yellow and brown African dress to the movie showing. “When we found out that this was going to be an epic tale that actually was written by black writers, costumes designed by black costume designers, we were just, like, ‘We have to go see it.'”

While the movie tells a fictional story, some religious leaders said its lessons about generosity and brotherhood and sisterhood promote their values. Some also saw specific ties to their faith.

“It’s not a perfect movie but it has so many affirming messages,” said the Rev. Warren H. Stewart Sr., pastor of Phoenix’s First Institutional Baptist Church, which organized an outing to see the movie. Among them, he said, were “mutual respect and affection toward one another, being made in God’s image and likeness. Even with the death of the star … I saw immediately the concept of death and resurrection, the fact that he came back to life.”

Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago hosted screenings of the movie and created a “Black Panther Study Guide” that calls the historical Ethiopian Empire the home of the biblical Garden of Eden and “the real Wakanda.” It reminds that the Ethiopian Orthodox Church “has her own pope.” The movie’s lead character T’Challa is “a king, a leader, a mentor, and a reflective spiritual individual,” the guide says.

The Rev. Otis Moss III, senior pastor of the church, told Auburn Seminary’s Voices: “T’Challa, if you take away his suit, he gets his real power from the spirit, the spirit of the panther. In other words, he gets his power from the Holy Ghost.”

The Rev. Hodari Williams, pastor of New Life Presbyterian Church in College Park, Ga., planned a sermon series related to the movie after attending a Feb. 15 screening organized by his predominantly black church. Among his themes is not keeping your gifts to yourself. As Wakandans learned in the movie, he hopes his church will “make our resources the resources of the community.”

Williams, who wore a blue and white dashiki from Ghana when he saw the movie, said he also wanted young people to gain a sense of the beauty of the African continent.

“In our history books, it’s been taught that it’s a land of savages and people who have no regard for humanity or God,” said the pastor, whose church is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). “This movie conveyed a deep connection to spirituality and the ancestors and how one cannot lead without that kind of spirituality and a superhero himself is very in tune with the ancestors and the creator of the universe.”

Leaders of predominantly black churches were not the only people of faith who wanted to get young people into the theaters for the popular movie.

The Rev. Jacqui Lewis, the African-American pastor of Middle Collegiate Church in New York City, said her congregation’s white youth director took a multicultural group of teens to see “Black Panther” on Feb. 15 and they have since used Trinity United Church of Christ’s study guide.

“You know how teenagers are all about the superheroes, the kind of projection of the good we hope is in ourselves out on the screen,” said Lewis. “For that to be larger-than-life black folk was moving to our white children as well as our black children.”

Khaled Beydoun, an associate law professor at the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, treated a group of 17 Muslim students to the movie on Friday (Feb. 23). The Muslim educator said “they were totally enthralled by the film.”

Given the significant percentage of Muslims in this country who are black, his goal was to help young nonblack Muslims bridge divides in a diverse city where schools are often segregated.

“If these young Arab, Muslim kids begin to see black people as members of their own, I think that can do a lot to erode racism in places like Detroit, but also nationally,” said Beydoun, author of the forthcoming “American Islamophobia.”

Cooper, of the AME Zion church in North Carolina, also noticed the movie’s universal themes of common humanity, which he said reminded him of the bond he has between “my brother in Christ, my sister in Christ” in his youth group.

“In my youth group, we loved the movie,” said Cooper, who planned to see it again. “It was the best movie I’ve seen.”


Saturday, August 19, 2017

Pastor quits Trump's evangelical advisory board

A.R. Bernard, the pastor of the Christian Cultural Center Megachurch in Brooklyn, New York is the first religious leader to step down from President Trump's evangelical advisory board. Trump blaming the violence in Charlottesville on both sides was the final straw for Bernard. Read his statement on why he stepped down below:

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Black Ministers Demand Fair Equitable Budget From Congress

Rev. Raphael Warnock of historic Ebenezer Baptist Church will lead a group of African American clergy from across the nation on Capitol Hill Tuesday, July 18th to demand a fair and equitable budget from Congress .

The group is demanding Congress to reject both the immoral budget proposed by the Trump Administration and the equally unjust health care bill that the Senate may have a procedural vote on in the coming weeks. A vote initially scheduled for Tuesday has been postponed.

Faith leaders will address the many ways the proposed budget will negatively impact African American families and communities, including deep cuts to education, Medicaid, civil rights, community development block grants and housing vouchers. The budget will also likely create an environment for predatory lending to increase.

Some of the clergy assembled will participate in direct social action on Tuesday afternoon 2 p.m. following scheduled meetings with lawmakers.

Faith leaders will also debut an aggressive social media campaign to amplify calls for Congress to withdraw the controversial healthcare bill that could strip life-saving health coverage from millions of Americans. #BlackClergyUprising #BlackClergyVoices

What:  News Conference

News Conference:

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

10:30 a.m. – 11:30am: U.S. Capitol Building / East Front of the U.S. Capitol (across from the Supreme Court and First Street)

Noon: Closed door meeting with Senators

2:00 p.m.: Social Action Demonstration / Russell Building Rotunda


Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock, Rev. Dr. Teresa Hord Owens, Rev. Jimmie R. Hawkins, Rev. Dr. Barbara Williams Skinner, Rev. Dr. Leslie Copeland Tune, Bishop Frank Madison Reid, Rev. Dr. Cynthia Hale, Rev. Dr. Donald Gillett,Rev. Aundreia Alexander,
 and Rev. Dr. Willie Gable.

Tenisha Bell

Sunday, January 08, 2017

The hypocrisy of the black church when it comes to homosexuality

By George L. Cook III African American Reports. [EMAIL]

I know for some homosexuality and the black church is a sensitive subject but it's one that requires discussion.

Kim Burrell's recent homophobic rant further exposed the hypocrisy of the black church when it comes to homosexuality. It's time to call the church in it. Listen to my thoughts on this topic below.

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Here's what Detroit's black pastors want Donald Trump to know

In an effort to flip the script and court African American voters, Republican nominee Donald Trump is trying to broaden his appeal by attending Saturday service at a black church in Detroit. While some welcome his presence, many prominent African American pastors in the community are less enthused and more skeptical of his intentions. Watch those pastors express their views below.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Pastor to protest Trump's visit to Detroit church

In an effort to reach out to African-American voters, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump will make his first foray into black churches with a visit to Great Faith Ministries Church in Detroit on Saturday and tape an interview with Bishop Wayne T. Jackson.

Rev. W.J. Rideout III, Pastor of All God's People Church in Detroit, said he'll lead a protest at the church against Trump. He isn't upset with Jackson opening his church and TV network to Trump, adding, "That's business. But I don't want him to think that he can come in here and get our votes."

"Donald Trump is an opportunist, and this guy will reach out to get a vote from the worst fish in the sea. He doesn’t care if he gets a vote from a rock. He just wants to get into the White House," Rideout said. "He’s outsourcing jobs overseas. Yet you’re talking about making American great again."

“I think he’s a racist, I think he’s a bigot and I think he doesn’t have a care for human kind,” Rideout said about Trump.


Saturday, November 28, 2015

Black pastors to Trump: No endorsement.


It appears that the Trump Campaign has been caught in a lie. A meeting has been scheduled between Trump and 100 black clergy on Monday November 30, 2015 . The meeting was described by the campaign in a press release as, "a coalition of 100 African American Evangelical pastors and religious leaders who will endorse the GOP frontrunner after a private meeting at Trump Tower."

Several members of a group of prominent African American ministers have stated they aren't even going to the meeting and are making clear that they have made no commitments to endorse Donald Trump.

Monday, November 02, 2015

U.S. Episcopal Church Installs First Black Leader

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, installed Sunday as the first black leader of the U.S. Episcopal Church, urged Episcopalians to evangelize by crossing divides of race, education and wealth.

Curry used the example of his own mother being given Communion at a white Episcopal parish before desegregation, and how that act persuaded his father to join the denomination, and eventually become a priest.

"God has not given up on the world and God is not finished with the Episcopal Church yet," Curry said, during a joyous ceremony in the Washington National Cathedral.

Curry, 62, succeeds Katharine Jefferts Schori, who was the first woman in the job and is ending her nine-year term. He served about 15 years as leader of the Diocese of North Carolina before he was overwhelmingly elected last summer to the top church post. He grew up in Buffalo, New York, and earned degrees from Hobart College in Geneva, New York, and Yale Divinity School.

Read more: U.S. Episcopal Church Installs First Black Leader