Pastor Jamal Bryant is Headlining a ‘Women Only’ Event to Share Thoughts “From a Man’s Perspective”

Jamal Bryant, pastor of Empowerment Temple AME Church in Baltimore, MD, is headlining a Friday, June 15th, event billed as for “women only.” Continue reading

Who is Michael Bruce Curry, the Black American Episcopal Bishop Scheduled to Speak at Today’s Royal Wedding?

The Reverend Michael Bruce Curry gives a thumbs up as he arrives for his Installation ceremony at the Washington National Cathedral, in Washington, D.C., on November 1, 2015.
REUTERS/MIKE THEILER

The world’s eyes will turn to the U.K. on Saturday May 19, as the British Royal Family welcomes its newest member. The Norman-era Windsor Castle will be the venue for a royal union of Britain and the U.S., as Prince Harry weds actor Meghan Markle.

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Report: Pastor Reginald Wayne Sharpe Jr. is Stepping Down from House of Hope (Macon, GA) Next Sunday

Reginald Wayne Sharpe, Jr.
Reginald Wayne Sharpe, Jr.

According to the black interest blog, Obnoxious Television, Reginald Wayne Sharpe, Jr., will be stepping down as pastor of House of Hope Church in Macon, GA, on Sunday, May 27, 2018. Continue reading

How I Found Eternal Life on Death Row by Pamela Perillo With John T. Thorngren

I grew up in the 1960s in one of the many daisy-chain suburbs surrounding Los Angeles. Seven of us, two adults and five children, struggled for living space in a tiny two-bedroom rental house. My father worked on an assembly line during the day; my mother worked nights as a waitress. Our family was hard-working, but the foundation was dysfunctional—a house built on sinking sand.

Church, religion, and the Bible were unknown. Mother was a pill-popper. I don’t know what she took or where she got them, but she was always looking for sleeping pills when she came home in the morning and something to get her going when she left for work in the evening. Whether down or up, she had a fiery temper and would spank us with whatever implement was handy. I always felt that she cared the least for me. I think that feeling was the lead domino in a spiraling loss of self-esteem. One day, when I was nine, she abruptly ran off with the cook where she worked. Perhaps she would have contacted us had it not been for a car wreck that ended her life shortly thereafter.

Dad, who never had more than a social drink, rapidly found solace in alcohol. One morning, I awoke to find him molesting me. Eventually the police intervened, but he and my brothers were able to convince them that I was only having a bad dream.

That was the proverbial last straw. I felt isolated and unloved by a mother who had abandoned me, a father who had molested me, and siblings who seemed indifferent. So at age 10 I ran away from home, only to be picked up as a runaway. For three years, my life was a vicious recurring cycle: running away from foster homes, being picked up like a stray dog, and being sent back to juvenile hall. All told, I stayed in eight foster homes. Some were nice, but you weren’t allowed to stay in those you liked because you might become too attached. Most gave you food and water and little else.

Emotional Upheaval

While I was in juvenile hall, I learned about drugs from some of the older girls. “A great way to forget your problems,” they said. This was the 1960s, and California was becoming a major narcotics hub. Little was known about the dangers of drugs, and they were easy to obtain. When I was high on the drug Seconal, commonly called “Reds,” my poor self-image disappeared. I was one of the gang (my group of other users). I was accepted. I quickly had friends.

At age 13, I met Sammy Perillo, who was 19. We crossed the border into Mexico and married in “quickie” fashion. To get closer to Sammy and his drug of choice, heroin, I started shooting up. Sammy and I had a beautiful little girl who died as an infant. After he went to prison, I delivered his twins, but only one survived. I never saw Sammy again.

To support my habit and my son, I danced at a strip joint. Needing money (addiction is not cheap), I teamed up with a man named Mike Briddle to rob one of its frequent customers. Fleeing California with Mike and his wife, we hitchhiked to Houston, Texas, where we were picked up by a stranger needing help to move into his new house. Mike noticed that the man had a roll of money. High on PCP (also called angel dust), we murdered him and his friend and left for Colorado.

Our trio stayed in a seedy hotel in Denver when I realized I could no longer withstand the emotional upheaval within, that little glow from a divine coal that was waiting to burst into flames. I confessed to the police, and they extradited me to Texas, where I had been indicted in absentia for capital murder. A swift trial followed, then a verdict of death by lethal injection.

During my daily high in California, I had often said, “Let me die with a needle in my arm.” Now it would come to pass. My own words had condemned me. While I waited in Houston to transfer to a women’s prison before my execution, a woman involved in prison ministry, came to visit. This angel talked about Christ and his path to forgiveness. I was receptive. I was ready. And I was eager to hear more. Under her direction, I recited the sinner’s prayer. After 24 years of being tossed about like a dry chunk of dirt, God poured in the waters of life and began molding me for his purpose.

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Source: Christianity Today

10 People Killed, 14-Y-O Girl Raped in Attack on Christian College in South Sudan

Persecution watchdog group Open Doors reports that at least 10 people have been killed and a 14-year-old girl was raped earlier this week at a Christian college it helped to construct in South Sudan.

Open Doors said Friday that the attack on Emmanuel Christian College in Goli, Yei County, took place on Monday, though details are still coming out.

The victims at the college, which is a training institution Open Doors constructed in partnership with the Sudan Evangelical Presbyterian Church, include three ECC guards and five students who attended the Emmanuel Christian Academy. The two other victims were a father and son who had been seeking refuge in Goli.

The 14-year-old girl who was raped is the daughter of a staff member, who wasn’t named. The attack also saw the college’s offices, library, classrooms and staff houses vandalized and looted.

It is not year clear who carried out the attack. Witnesses have reportedly placed the blame on the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, which is the war-torn nation’s military. But Open Doors noted that it’s not clear why the soldiers would have attacked the college.

“We call on the international Christian community to rally in prayer around staff at the ECC and the church in South Sudan,” urged JP Pretorius, Open Doors’ regional director for sub-Saharan Africa.

“We also call on the international community to do whatever it can to help bring an end to the hostilities in South Sudan and on the South Sudan government to take swift action to bring the perpetrators to justice.”

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Source: Christian Post

Coptic Christians Show Faith in Jesus With Ancient Tattoo Tradition

Coptic Christians in Egypt enter into this year’s Islamic celebrations of Ramadan under intense pressure, a persecution watchdog group has said, but they are showing their faith in Jesus by continuing a centuries-old tattoo tradition.

Open Doors USA said on Tuesday, the start of Ramadan, that the minority Copts have faced brutal terror attacks on churches and their communities over the past couple of years, with the Islamic State terror group spreading its influence into Egypt.

Instead of cowering in fear, however, many Copts, including children, are preserving the centuries-old tradition of getting tattooed on their wrist with a symbol of a cross.

Originally, when Egypt went from being a largely Christian country to a Muslim one, Christians were tattooed to show their identity and they were required to pay a tax because of their faith, according to the watchdog group.

Today, the Copts are choosing to tattoo their faith as a way to honor the dead and show their faithfulness to Jesus no matter what they are facing.

“To bear a symbol that will never go away means, no matter what, you carry with you a reminder of your commitment to God — and His commitment to you,” Open Doors explained.

“The declaration of your faith is public and available for all to see; there is no hiding your allegiance to Christ when it’s permanently marked on your hand.”

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Source: Christian Post

Pope Francis to Star in 2 Christian Films Coming Out This Month

Pope Francis, born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, is starring in two motion pictures coming out this month.

Marking the first time a pope has ever participated in and appeared in a movie, Pope Francis is featured in “Beyond the Sun,” which follows four friends who are in search of God. He is also starring in “Pope Francis – A Man of His Word,” a documentary.

“Beyond the Sun,” written and directed by Graciela Rodriguez Gilio, is a family movie. According to a statement shared with The Christian Post, the filmmakers wish to bring a message of “hope, joy, and God’s love to all” by using the exploration of Bible stories through the eyes of a group of runaways who wish to discover God.

“‘Beyond the Sun’ is a modern day tale of hope, faith and courage based on stories from the Bible. Featuring an awe-inspiring appearance by His Holiness Pope Francis, the film chronicles the adventures of four young friends in search of God. This uplifting story is intended to spiritually engage and encourage audiences of all ages to live their best life, make good choices and help others,” the film’s synopsis reads.

Rodriguez-Gilio, a psychiatrist turned filmmaker, told The Hollywood Reporter that she was not afraid to ask the 266th pontiff to be in the film because of her time working with him and victims of abuse in Argentina.

“It was easy for me to ask because I knew him from before he was the pope,” Rodriguez Gilio told THR.

“He is used to having cameras in front of him now. He would advise [the crew] and be like, ‘The light is better this way,'” Rodriguez Gilio recalled, adding that Francis showed up to set with rosaries as gifts for the crew.

Distributed by AMBI Distribution, the film will donate all profits to Los Hogares de Cristo and El Almendro. “Beyond the Sun” was released May 15.

The second film, “Pope Francis – A Man of His Word,” set to release May 18, is a documentary by three-time Academy Award nominee Wim Wenders. The film is intended to be a personal journey with Pope Francis rather than the typical biographical documentary.

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Source: Christian Post