Daily Archives: November 6, 2017

Wooding: ‘Persecution has finally come to America’

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International journalist’s comments came after the deadliest mass shooting in Texas history

By Michael Ireland
Chief Correspondent for ASSIST News Service

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, TX (ANS – Nov. 6, 2017) – While ANS Founder, Dan Wooding, was speaking on Nov. 5 at a Southern California church about persecution around the world on the occasion of the 2017 International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, a rifle-wielding shooter burst into the sanctuary of the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, killing 26 people – including children.

Wooding, 76, had been sharing with the congregation at Hosanna Christian Fellowship in Bellflower, Calif., about persecution that has been taking place in countries like Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Nigeria, and North Korea, when the alleged gunman, who has been identified as 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley, according to law enforcement officials, went on a shooting spree and was later found dead in his vehicle.

“When I heard the news, I knew that persecution has finally come to America,” he said. “For so long, terrible atrocities against believers have beendan-wooding-hosanna-christian-fellowship taking place in different parts of the world, but now it is here, and I wonder if we are ready to deal with it.”

Law enforcement officials have said the alleged shooter was formerly a member of the United States Air Force who was court-martialed with a dishonorable discharge for assaulting his wife and child, according to an Air Force spokeswoman, and who had a domestic dispute with his in-laws who at times have attended the church in Sutherland Springs.

Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains are in Sutherland Springs, Texas, following the horrifying and deadly shooting rampage during a Sunday morning service at First Baptist Church.

“The evil at work in this tragedy is incomprehensible,” said Jack Munday, international director of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team. “It’s impossible to understand what could drive a young man to do something so inhumanly cruel. While we don’t have all the answers, we will do everything we can to comfort the grieving and give peace to those in despair as we bring the hope of Jesus.”

Franklin Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, shared, “My heart is heavy for the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas, who have lost more than 20 of their sons, daughters, husbands, wives, parents, and friends today in this senseless act of brutality. My prayers are with this community and church.”

Even as the shooting developed in Texas on Sunday, Billy Graham Rapid Response Team chaplains remained deployed in New York City following last week’s terror attack which killed eight people on a bike path. Both efforts follow closely on the heels of the group’s ministry in Las Vegas following the concert attack, which killed 58 people.

Among religious leaders who have spoken out in response to yesterday’s shooting, are Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, founder and president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews (The Fellowship), who has been working for four decades to build bridges of understanding between Christians and Jews, and who called the deadly attack on a church near San Antonio on Sunday “terror” that seeks to undo decades of growing interfaith goodwill and return religions to past centuries of conflict.

“Terror that penetrates into a house of prayer is particularly evil and cruel, and seeks to undo decades of bridge building by and between people of faith,” Eckstein said. “Sadly, there are people who want to turn us back toward old circles of hatred.”

Eckstein added that The Fellowship was “shocked and sickened by this evil act, and our hearts and prayers go out to the victims and their loved ones.”

“Christians, Jews and moderate Muslims should join together in condemning such attacks and work together to prevent further violence,” he said.

Dr. Ronnie Floyd, president of the National Day of Prayer said: “When attacks of hate and terror happen in our places of worship, they shake us to the core. We must beg God for His mighty hand of protection on our nation and the world. May God be with the victims of this shooting. Only God is our refuge in these times of trouble.”

Dr. Floyd is the senior pastor of Cross Church and president of the National Day of Prayer, which each year mobilizes millions of Americans to unified public prayer for the United States of America. He’s the immediate past president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Dr. Robert Jeffress, senior pastor of First Baptist Dallas, said: “Today’s horrific church shooting is every pastor’s worst nightmare and is proof of the reality of evil. Although the Bible never diminishes the pain of evil, it does promise that one day when Christ returns, evil will be defeated forever. Until that time, we pray that the members of First Baptist Church, Sutherland Springs, will experience the promise of Psalm 34:18: The Lord is close to the broken-hearted.’”

Feature image: Mourners participate in a candlelight vigil held for the victims of a fatal shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017, in Sutherland Springs, Texas. (Darren Abate/The Associated Press). Left photo, Dan Wooding speaking at Hosanna Christian Fellowship in Bellflower, Calif. (ASSIST News).

Michael Ireland is a volunteer internet journalist serving as Chief Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service, as well as an Ordained Minister, and an award-winning local cable-TV program host/producer who has served with ASSIST Ministries and written for ANS since its beginning in 1989. He has reported for ANS from Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Israel, Jordan, China, and Russia. You may follow Michael on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/MichaelIrelandMediaMissionary.com, and on Twitter at @Michael_ASSIST. Please consider helping Michael cover his expenses in bringing news of the Persecuted Church, by logging-on to: https://actintl.givingfuel.com/ireland-michael  

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, SiriusXM partner to launch channel

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Special to Inside The Pew

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association announced its partnership with SiriusXM for the launch of “The Billy Grahambilly graham station on sirius radio Channel,” a limited-run channel headlined by world-renowned Christian evangelist, Billy Graham.

“The Billy Graham Channel” debuted Monday, Nov. 6 and will run through Friday, Nov. 17, at 11:59:59 p.m. ET on channel 145 on satellite and via streaming.

Launching in celebration of the acclaimed preacher’s 99th birthday, SiriusXM listeners nationwide will have access to the preacher’s timeless, inspiring messages from his seven decades of ministry.

“On Nov. 7, Billy Graham celebrates his 99th birthday and we, along with SiriusXM, thought a channel featuring some of Mr. Graham’s most memorable messages would be a fitting way to mark the occasion. ‘The Billy Graham Channel’ is the kind of gift Mr. Graham would greatly appreciate: it helps point others to the hope found in Jesus Christ,” said Jim Kirkland, executive director of Audio Media at the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

“Billy Graham has inspired millions of Americans with his uplifting messages of hope, courage, love, and forgiveness,” said Dave Gorab, vice president and general manager of Talk Programming at SiriusXM. “We are honored to be part of Billy Graham’s 99th birthday celebration by bringing this limited engagement channel to SiriusXM listeners coast to coast.”

In addition to the catalog of Graham’s motivational messages and sermons, “The Billy Graham Channel” will also include personal reflections on the pastor’s life by family and friends including Billy Graham’s son, Franklin Graham, and his daughter, Anne Graham Lotz. The channel will also showcase remarks from Presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush.

Born in 1918, evangelist Billy Graham has preached the Gospel to nearly 215 million people in more than 185 countries and territories. Since the 1949 Los Angeles Crusade that vaulted Mr. Graham into the public eye, he has led hundreds of thousands to make personal decisions to live for Christ, which is the main mission of his ministry.

In addition to the SiriusXM partnership, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s audio ministry, Billy Graham Radio, accomplishes the mission of the association – to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world – by producing a number of online and broadcast programs. The newest program in the ministry’s line-up is GPS: God. People. Stories. Each weekly GPS podcast features an inspiring story of how God has worked in someone’s life. Decision Minute is a one-minute feature that airs on more than 600 radio stations. To listen to the programs, visit www.billygraham.org/radio.