Category Archives: National

Round: What will it take to stop the madness?

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By Carol Round
Special to Inside The Pew

“Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it”—Proverbs 22:6 (NIV).

Did you know the recent school shooting at Reynolds High School inFei Wilkening leaves flowers at a growing memorial at the entrance to Reynolds High School on Wednesday, June 11, 2014, in Troutdale, Ore. (Statesman Journal) Troutdale, Ore., marked the 74th one since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., in December 2012? In 2014, so far, there have been 37 school shootings and as of February, about half of the incidents were fatal.

In the latest shooting, at least one student was killed and a teacher was injured by a lone gunman who later took his own life. According to police the teenage gunman had an AR-15 type rifle, a semi-automatic handgun and nine loaded magazines in his possession.

Have school shootings become the norm in our country? According to press reports, each gunman, including the ones involved in the Columbine High School massacre, occurring in 1999 were outsiders – loners who didn’t fit in or who had been influenced by our culture of movie and video violence.

In the case of the Columbine massacre, 12 students and one teacher were murdered by two senior students, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. Although Harris and Klebold’s motives still remain unclear, their personal journals reveal they wanted their actions to rival the Oklahoma City bombing. USA Today referred to the Columbine massacre as a “suicidal attack [which was] planned as a grand—if badly implemented—terrorist bombing.” The two had also been influenced by violent movie and video games, according to the press.

School shootings have sparked debate over gun control laws, the availability of firearms in our country and gun violence involving youths. Discussion has also revolved around the nature of high school cliques and bullying as well as mental illness.

Why has no one stopped to consider that ultimate responsibility not only lies with the parents of the shooters but our society as well? Government cannot fix our broken country. We can’t enact enough laws to stop the madness.

What can we do? As Christians, we have a responsibility—several actually—to not only make sure our own actions reflect our Carol Roundmorals but to help others who are struggling. Can one person make a difference? Yes!

Reflect on these choices:

  • Do your values reflect God’s Word or do you allow culture to define who you are?
  • Do you allow your children to watch television shows or movies or play video games depicting violence or behavior that society deems acceptable?
  • Do you read and study the Bible and pray with your children? Do you attend church regularly?
  • Do you teach your children the value of human life, including accepting others who might be different? Do you tell your children it is wrong to bully others?
  • Do you spend quality time with your children in wholesome activities?
  • Do you teach your children about peer pressure? Do you emphasize the importance of following godly principles instead of the crowd?
  • Are your life choices the ones you want your children to emulate?

This list is only the beginning.  I urge you to reflect on your life and help stop the madness.

Need a speaker for your women’s event? Email carolaround@yahoo.com.

 

 

A son’s sacrifice: ‘The Hornet’s Nest’ strengthens family of fallen soldier

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Terry Burgess, right, and Bryan Burgess

By Grelan Muse Sr.
Inside The Pew

As a youngster in Cleburne, Texas, 101st Airborne Sergeant Bryan Burgess was an exciting and fun-loving kid who loved to climb

Terry Burgess, right, and Bryan Burgess

Terry Burgess, right, and Bryan Burgess

trees and play sports. Like older brothers are prone to do, he was protective of his younger sister, Brandi. Bryan always wanted to be a firefighter, police officer, or a member of the military.

Bryan Burgess chose the latter. He served his country well. He gave his life for his country.

Bryan Burgess, 29, died March 29, 2011, in Afghanistan when his unit was ambushed by the Taliban. According to The Associated Press, another solider was also killed in the attack.

The airborne sergeant’s life is one of many men and women who serve and die for our freedom is told in “The Hornet’s Nest,” a moving documentary now in theaters.

Terry Burgess, father of Bryan Burgess, told Inside The Pew that someone had contacted him about the making of the movie, but, at the time, he really didn’t pay it any attention because he was still grieving his son’s death.

The producers of the movie arranged a meeting with Terry and his family in Dallas and to review the footage of Bryan in action and his fellow soldiers. Terry indicated that it was a moment of joy and sadness but yet uplifting. Footage used in the film shows the ambush that claimed Bryan’s life.

“There was times in the movie we wanted to tell our son to stop and don’t go there,” Terry said.

He said the watching this movie and seeing his son and those brave soldiers give their life of this country renewed his faith in God and God restored him and gave him his purpose and mission to tell the story about these brave men and his son. Terry felt God united them together again in the Spirit.

“It was Bryan’s spirit that help us through this difficult time,” Terry shared.

A soldier is born

According to Terry, Bryan entered the National Guard right out of high school and was greatly impacted  by the terrorist attacks of 9/11. It was after the attacks that Bryan made the decision to join the Army.

“Bryan told me that his decision was to fight back for real so he joined the Army,” Terry said. “Nine-eleven really hurt Bryan, and he was ready to fight for his country. He was ready for the sacrifice.

“Bryan stated that he wasn’t asking me, he was telling him he was going to join the Army and fight back. I was very, very proud of Bryan for making a decision to what to fight for his country.”

Terry said Bryan’s decision to join the Army provided a mixed bag of feelings. He said his family was proud of Bryan’s decision but, at the same time, they were afraid of the warrior.

“We stood by him because we love him had faith in him; he had faith in God,” Terry Burgess said.

The elder Burgess said Bryan’s faith and spirit carried him where he needed to be, and Bryan believed and lived by it.

Bryan was a member of Glendale church of Christ in Cleburne. Growing up in Cleburne, Bryan Burgess was very active in the church in Sunday school and teaching Sunday school even up until adult life.

Bryan’s Christ-like demeanor was impressionable to superiors and soldiers alike, Terry said.

“Bryan loved the Lord,” Terry said. “Because of what his men saw in him, they stated that they would follow Sgt. Burgess into hell and they pay a heavy price.”

Terry Burgess said he was very happy and pleased about the making of “The Hornet’s Nest” and was ready for the whole world to see these touching moments of this movie.

Learn more about “The Hornet’s Nest” at http://thehornetsnestmovie.com/

The American Bible Challenge returns for another season on GSN

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The American Bible Challenge

By Grelan Muse Sr.
Inside The Pew

Starting Thursday, May 22, the game show platform will once again be implanted with a dose of the good word. On this day, The American Bible Challenge returns to GSN (Game Show Network) at 8 p.m. EST with host Jeff Foxworthy and newly added co-host The American Bible ChallengeKirk Franklin for another season of  quality family entertainment.

The studio-based game features contestants competing against each other by answering questions drawn from the Bible. In addition, the contestants share back-stories about their lives, which is often very interesting and inspiring, and each team plays for their charity of choice.

“I think it’s the only game show ever that’s done that. I think that’s what makes it unique, and to me that’s a big part of the show,” Foxworthy said. “It’s one thing to talk about faith, but when you can see it, when we go in and show what these people are doing in their communities, to me that’s when faith gets interesting, when you can see it in action.”

The American Bible Challenge celebrates the Bible, its teachings, relevance, and place in American culture.

Foxworthy said the success of the show has caught him off guard. At the onset of the game show’s creation, he held the belief that it would have critics from the secular and faith community. In fact, there was no outcry over the show.

“It was such a pleasant surprise, here you’ve got a faith-based show, you’ve got a show about the Bible on a network that’s not a faith-based network and it’s the number one show in the 18-year history of the network. Who saw that coming?” he said.

The comedian lauded the addition of Franklin to the ensemble.

“I think in Season 2, bringing Kirk in was just such a great move. It added so much fun and modern-day relevance to what we were doing.”

Franklin told Inside The Pew at the beginning he didn’t know exactly what he would bring to the show. After learning more about The Challenge, he eventually found his place.

“So I got the call and started finding out more about it. I thought, ‘Okay, well maybe it’ll be cool to work with Jeff and see if there’s a space to try to create something new and try to be a part of something different, Franklin said.

“They allowed me to bring some ideas to the table, and they were really open to those ideas. They thought they were pretty fun. And so I hope I add something that’s kind of fun and entertaining and maybe just try to add a little part that just kind of makes it a little more fun, make it pop a little. I really hope I’m doing that.

Franklin said the show serves many purposes. The American Bible Challenge brings the Bible to life and it crosses racial and generational lines. The show garnered GSN’s highest delivery in its 17 year history; it ranked among the Top 5 cable networks in total viewers, women 25-54 and viewers 25-54 in its time period.

The Christian hip hop of Franklin and Foxworthy’s country influenced humor are solid in this medium.

“It is a great privilege to work with him,” Franklin told Inside The Pew of Foxworthy. “He does things to help other people, like feeding the homeless in Atlanta.”

“I love to watch Kirk. It’s fun for me to have somebody to bounce things off of, because when I ask him something it’s usually going to be a pretty funny answer that I did not see coming. He just brings a whole element of fun to the thing,” Foxworthy said.

The most important aspect Franklin and Foxworthy want to bring to the viewers is to show infiltrate the Word into the minds of the lost and encourage believers to re-connect with Bible.

“I had somebody say to me, “Well, we thought of the Bible as a book of rules and then I’m watching the show and I’m like, ‘well, maybe that’s not right,’” Foxworthy points out. And I said, “No, you know what it actually is? It’s the coolest love story ever written.

“That would be kind of my desire, to take people that maybe had never been exposed to it or had a preconceived notion of what it was about and to go, “You know what? It’s not that at all. It’s very personal. It’s the most personal relationship you ever have.”

Texas governor rebaptized in creek where Sam Houston was immersed

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Rick Perry and his wife, Anita (AP Photo/Star-Telegram, Joyce Marshall)

By Melissa Nordell and Mark Ellis
ASSIST News Service

Surrounded by a small group of family and friends, Gov. Rick Perry was publicly re-baptized in Little Rocky Creek near Rick Perry and his wife, Anita (AP Photo/Star-Telegram, Joyce Marshall)Independence, Texas, the same place Sam Houston, the first president of the Republic of Texas, was also immersed.

The prolonged Texas drought left the creek choked with algae, so the local volunteer fire department had to clear a decent place for the governor’s baptism, according to The Texas Tribune.

Mac Richard, pastor of Lake Hills Church in Austin, conducted the baptism in March, the governor’s office reported.

Perry visited nearby Independence Baptist Church after the baptism, played the organ and soaked up the colorful local history. Since 1839, Little Rocky Creek has served as the natural baptistery for the church, which is the oldest continuously operating Baptist church in Texas, according to The Tribune.

Perry hunkered down at the circa-1874 pump organ and belted out a soulful gospel hymn. “It’s not easy to play a pump organ. You’ve got to move your feet while you play,” Phil Hassell, pastor of Independence Baptist Church, told The Tribune. “I thought he played well.”

Hassell showed the governor around the tiny historic church where he was able to see the actual pew where Sam Houston had carved his initials and those of his wife nearly 158 years ago.

“Gov. Perry has a deep and abiding faith in God. Like many people of faith, the governor wished to reaffirm his commitment in a way that holds great personal meaning,” said Felix Browne, a spokesperson for the governor.

Former Perry aide and speechwriter Eric Bearse said he wasn’t surprised that Perry renewed his faith in a private, intimate ceremony. “Baptism is a very personal expression of faith,” Bearse told The Tribune. “He has a deep and abiding faith, and it influences his view of the world and how he lives his life.”

When Sam Houston emerged from having his ‘sins washed away” at the same creek in 1854, he was said to proclaim, “I pity the fish downstream.”

Houston served as governor of Tennessee in the late 1820s and then became the first elected president of the Republic of Texas in 1836, after helping lead settlers to victory in their war of independence from Mexico. Houston was christened in the Catholic Church, a necessity in order to own land when it was Mexican territory.

Later, his wife, Margaret Lea Houston, prayed for him to become a Baptist and God granted her wish after 14 years of persistent prayer. When Texas became a State, Houston represented it in the U.S. Senate and later became its governor.

Fort Worth-area ministry schedules job fair; Yolanda Adams to entertain at fundraiser

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Yolanda Adams

By Jacob Trimmer
Inside The Pew

In Euless, Texas: More than 100 employers will be on the hunt for potential employees, as CareerSolutions, a nonprofit job-seeker ministry, will present its annual job fair on April 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The fair will take place at First Baptist Euless Campus West, 1000 W. Airport Freeway, in Euless. Free resume review and seminars will be available. Learn more at http://www.careersolutionsworkshop.org/job_fairs.html.

In Louisville, Ky.: Christian Hunger Fund founder and president Dave Phillips will host the Rethink Mercy Conference set for AprilDave Phillips 11 on the campus of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville immediately following the Together for the Gospel conference. The Rethink Mercy Conference will feature a pastors’ roundtable discussion on these issues, as well as keynote messages by Al Mohler, author and president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Dhati Lewis, lead pastor of Blueprint Church in Atlanta. Information on the conference can be found at RethinkMercy.org. Also on the site, churches can learn more about joining one of Children’s Hunger Fund’s Mercy Networks.

In Port Arthur, Texas: The Port Arthur Christian Women will hold its luncheon titled “Live, Laugh and Love Life” on Friday, April 11, beginning at 11:45 a.m. at the Pompano Club LeChambre  Room, 330 Twin City Highway, Port Neches.  The cost of lunch is $17 per person. Pat Sadler from Nederland will be the special singer; Joann Cravens, well-known humorist from Nederland, will bring the special program. Pat Gordon from Frisco will deliver the inspirational message; her theme will be “Live, Laugh, and Love Life.” Reservations are essential for the luncheon and for the nursery, if needed, and may be made by calling Donna at 409-722-0951 or Gerry at 409-727-8262 by Tuesday, April 8.

In College Park, Md.: Four-time Grammy winning gospel artist Yolanda Adams will headline a benefit concert for EleanorYolanda Adams Roosevelt High School and A Very Taylored Foundation (AVTF) on April 6 at 3 and 7 p.m. at the University of Maryland, 3800 Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, Dekelboum Concert Hall, in College Park. Funds raised will help Roosevelt students and AVTF purchase tables and chairs, build an additional bathroom, and provide scholarship opportunities for students at the Marmanet Secondary School in Kenya. Purchase tickets at www.yolandaadamsconcert.com.

In Chicago:  The Midtown Educational Foundation will hold a benefit breakfast to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Wrigley Field on April 10 at the Chicago law offices of Skadden Arps, 155 N. Wacker Drive, 28th floor. Registration and continental breakfast begins at 7:30 a.m., and the program runs from 8 to 9 a.m. Proceeds will benefit the nonprofit, which provides after-school and summertime enrichment programs for 1,100 at-risk children ages 8-18. Guest speaker is Kevin Saghy, manager of communications for the Chicago Cubs.  Cost is $15 for breakfast and a chance to win tickets to the official 100th anniversary game against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday, April. 23. Register at http://www.midtown-metro.org/champions for further details.

 

Wright: Noah movie shows one man’s courage, faith, hope

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Russell Crowe as Noah

By Rusty Wright
ASSIST News Service

Mount Hermon, Calif. (ANS) – OK, how would you feel if you thought you heard God telling you he was going to destroyRussell Crowe as Noah every living thing on earth with a great flood?

Except he wanted you to build a boat to survive the tumult with a few relatives and a slew of creatures.

Would you jump at the challenge? Run and hide? Ask – as Bill Cosby did in his classic comedy routine portraying Noah – “Right! Who is this really?”

Perhaps you’ll sense how the biblical Noah felt. Paramount Pictures and director/co-writer Darren Aronofsky bring Noah to the big screen in North America and worldwide throughout late March and April. The cast includes Russell Crowe in the title role, Jennifer Connelly, Emma Watson, and Anthony Hopkins.

With breathtaking cinematography, this film imagines some intense struggles for Noah and his family. We see sorrow for lost masses, interpersonal conflicts, and practical realities of living on a creature-packed craft.

Taking Liberties
Paramount says Noah’s story “inspired” the film, but that “artistic license has been taken.” Too much license, feel some. I’m reminded of TV’s iconic psychiatrist Frasier Crane, concerned that an employee was “taking far too much liberty with the liberty-taking!” Readers of the biblical Noah story won’t find there, for instance, the film’s multi-armed fallen angels, its pronounced environmentalist message, or hordes of people fighting to board the ark.

The biblical account is short – mostly Genesis 6-9 – with little detail about ark life. So, yes, the filmmakers took liberties – many. Aronofsky recently told The Atlantic he views the story “as poetry and myth and legend” that helps us understand the world and ourselves.

But the essential framework of the biblical flood story – human evil, divine judgment, hope and salvation – remains in Noah. Consider these facets of that story and their modern implications.

Human Evil; Divine Judgment
Genesis says humanity was a mess: “The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. . . It broke his heart.”

Human corruption prompted him to “destroy every living thing.” But “Noah was a righteous man [who] walked in close fellowship with God.” God told him to build a large boat, specifying precise dimensions and design.

Filmmakers took pains to follow biblical specs for their ark. The production designer had many ideas for the ark’s appearance, but Aronofsky, who is Jewish, insisted, “No, the measurements are right there.” 

Salvation, Hope, Promise

Noah built his ark and took aboard his wife, their three sons with their wives, plus pairs of animals, birds, and crawling creatures. Elaborate computer-generated imagery portrays the animals for film.

Rain poured, underground water erupted, and floodwaters covered the earth. Every human, bird and land animal not in the ark perished. The waters receded, the earth dried, and the ark inhabitants disembarked. God promised never again to destroy the earth by flood, offering the rainbow as a pledge reminder.

Faith; Future

If you attend the film, I suggest reading the biblical account first, then again after the screening. Noah’s story has much for a 21st-century audience, including two nuggets about faith and the future.

The New Testament lauds Noah for his faith. He was not perfect.

“Wickedness is in all of us,” he tells his wife in the film. His own drunkenness – depicted in the film – led to embarrassment and family conflict. But his faith in God mattered. I came to faith as a skeptical university student. It has made all the difference in my life.

Concerning the future, Jesus indicated his second coming would be “like it was in Noah’s day” with people carrying on their Rusty Wrightroutines and unaware of impending peril. “You also must be ready all the time,” he continued, “for the Son of Man will come when least expected.”

I want to be ready.

Rated PG-13 (USA) for “violence, disturbing images and brief suggestive content”

Rusty Wright is an author and lecturer who has spoken on six continents. He holds Bachelor of Science (psychology) and Master of Theology degrees from Duke and Oxford universities, respectively. His website is: RustyWright.com.

 

Registration under way for free youth pastor summit in Tulsa, Houston

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By Jacob Trimmer
Inside The Pew

In Tulsa, Okla., and Houston: Student Leadership University will hold its annual Youth Pastor Summit in Tulsa on April 7 andlogo in Houston on April 8. Registration is free. Visit http://www.slulead.com/ to register.

In Dallas: Paul Quinn College and the 10th District of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church will partner together to play host to a job fair on Wednesday, April 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the campus of the college, 3837 Simpson Stuart Road. There is no cost to either employers or future employees. Contact Kelsel Thompson at kthompson@pqc.edu for more additional information.

In Baton Rouge, La.: More than 500 faith leaders from across Louisiana will descend on the state Capitol Building on April 1 for a Faith Day at the Capitol rally to demand Governor Bobby Jindal and state legislative leaders to provide leadership to secure passage of legislation that will curb the high mass incarceration rates in the state. Louisiana has the highest incarceration rate in the world. The rally is slated to run from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.; a press conference will follow. Visit www.piconetwork.org.

In Dallas: Save April 15 at 11:30 a.m. on the calendar! Hope Mansion, a nonprofit organization in Cedar Hill that helps womenTracey Mitchell ages 18-35 who experience crisis pregnancies, has planned its Extraordinary HOPE women’s luncheon with guest speaker Tracey Mitchell (author of Downside Up). The conference to will take place at The Tower Club in Thanksgiving Tower, 1601 Elm St. in Dallas. Tickets are $30 per person; $240 for table of eight. Contact Jennifer Wulff, luncheon chair, at info@hopemansion.org.

In Shreveport, La.: Centenary College of Louisiana’s World House for Environmental Sustainability, in cooperation with community partner Shreveport Green, will host Chad Pregracke, CNN Hero of the Year for 2013, Thursday, April 3. The Living Lands and Waters founder and president will deliver a convocation at 11:10 a.m. and a workshop-styled lecture at 4 p.m. in Kilpatrick Auditorium. Both events are free and open to the public. Visit www.centenary.edu.

In Katy, Texas: The Katy Christian Women’s Connection will hold a fashion show luncheon on Thursday, April 17 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Golf Club at Cinco Ranch, 23030 Cinco Ranch Blvd. Cost is $18 per person. Take a sneak peek at the latest fashions from La Centerra’s. The guest speaker is Oklahoma native Deborah Cerkovnik. Deadline for reservations is noon on Monday, April 14. Email katyCWC@gmail.com for more information.

Christian nonprofit and events roundups are run weekly. To get your event listed, contact Jacob Trimmer at pewnews@aol.com.

American youth give Pope Francis unique anniversary gift

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Catholic Extension

Special to Inside The Pew

To celebrate the March 13 anniversary of Pope Francis’ election, the youth of America, with the help of Catholic Extension, areCatholic Extension giving him a unique gift: a close-up look at their efforts to extend beyond themselves and “make some noise.”

After the pope challenged youth to “make some noise” at World Youth Day in July, Catholic Extension asked young people to answer his call by dedicating a day to prayer, service or philanthropy – an “Extension Day.” They then encouraged young people to document their Extension Day on video.

More than 70 videos were received involving thousands of youth from 47 dioceses across the U.S. Top videos were determined by social media support and a panel of judges, including Father Dave Dwyer, director of Busted Halo; Rev. Father Mark Mary, co-host of EWTN-TV’s popular Life on the Rock program; and actor Chris O’Donnell.

This week Cardinal Francis George, chancellor of Catholic Extension, is presenting a selection of the videos in a special report to Pope Francis. Finalists will be chosen and announced later this month. In addition to the chance to have their videos viewed by Pope Francis, recipients will be eligible for grants to benefit their ministry. Based on the response, Catholic Extension hopes to make Extension Day an annual event.

“We were overwhelmed not only by the number of youth participating in Extension Day, but also by the compassion and creativity of their good works,” said Joe Boland, vice president of mission at Catholic Extension. “Young Catholics in America are extending the love of Christ in so many ways, and we believe that sharing this with Pope Francis will be a meaningful gift to him.”

Catholic Extension, which is a national organization that supports people, ministries and churches across America, has a special relationship with young Catholics, providing more than $3 million annually in support of programs that engage youth and nurture future Church leaders. To watch Extension Day videos and learn more about Catholic Extension, visit http://www.extensionday.org.

 

Conn. pastor dies in church after confessing adultery

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Bobby and Christine Davis

By Mark Ellis
ASSIST News Service

Bishop Bobby Davis, pastor of the Miracle Faith World Outreach Church in Bridgeport, Conn., dropped dead March 9 inBobby and Christine Davis church after his wife confronted him publicly about an infidelity in his past.

Bishop Davis, pastor of the church since its founding in 1967, was pronounced dead at Bridgeport Hospital. He and his wife, Christine, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last June. Bobby was a repeat guest on Trinity Broadcasting and also spoke at Promise Keepers seminars.

“After the service on Sunday the bishop’s family asked us to remain in the church and the bishop confessed to us something that happened long ago,” Judy Stovall, an elder of the church, told the Connecticut Post. “He wanted to come clean with all of us. He wanted to ask our forgiveness.”

“We were shouting, ‘We forgive you, we love you.’ But the stress of all of it — he had a heart attack,” Stovall said. “I held his head as he lay on the floor. … Our congregation is hurting now.”

The Christian Post reported a slightly different version of the incident, based on a congregant who wished to remain anonymous.

“He (Bishop Davis) had confessed it (infidelity) personally to his wife prior to the service, and she called a meeting after church with just the members and the members stayed. He wasn’t there at the time; he was somewhere else apparently. Neither of them were in the service that morning. They had one of their pastors do the service,” according to the source.

“From what I was told, she (Christine Davis) told the congregation what he had done. And so, when he comes through the door he had no idea what he was walking into. So it wasn’t even, ‘We’re gonna make an announcement today,’ in a unified way as a couple,” the source noted.

“I’m told that when he walked through the door she basically told him, ‘Tell them what you just told me,’ which is what induced the heart attack, because it’s not like he was walking into it knowing,” the source told the Christian Post.

“She said it and he said, ‘Yes, that’s right.’ She asked him to say who exactly it was. And he said, ‘Well, it doesn’t matter [because] that person has passed. God forgive, let’s get past it.’ Apparently it was his family members who reacted out in anger, from what I understand. It was not the congregation,” the source noted.

“It got physical. One of the sons attacked him. I was told one of the daughters poured water on him. It was like something out of, not even like the Old Testament, but a bad reality TV show,” said the source. “My heart is so devastated because it could have been handled in a private manner.”

Bishop Davis was known as a very black and white preacher. He also had an affiliation with The Potters House and Bishop T.D. Jakes.

According to a church biography, the couple initially held prayer meetings in the home of Christine’s mother. In 1987, they moved to the Harriet Street building in Bridgeport, and in 1998 they opened a new church facility in suburban Monroe.

Church leaders buying out theaters for screenings of ‘Son of God’

Published by:

Diogo Morgado

By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (ANS) — American church groups are seeking to “take over” entire theaters for screenings of “Son of God,” theDiogo Morgado upcoming movie from 20th Century Fox, about the life of Jesus Christ, and based on the hit “Bible” miniseries.

According to Hilary Lewis, writing in the Hollywood Reporter, “Various religious organizations throughout the country have been buying out screens and distributing tickets to groups of thousands of people for ‘Theater Take-Overs’ on Thursday, Feb. 27, the night before the film’s officially released, according to production company Lightworkers Media.”

The story went on to say that Crossroads Church in Cincinnati is bringing thousands of people to a Cinemark theater, where “Son of God” will be showing on 13 screens at the same time.

“Our church bought out every screen in the theater,” Crossroads’ Brian Wells said in a statement. “If anyone comes to the theater to see another movie that night, they’ll be out of luck, unless we have a few extra tickets to give them!”

There are a few other theater buyouts for “Son of God” scheduled at Cinemark locations throughout the country, according to the theater chain’s marketing and communications head James Meredith.

“It’s very interesting to see this level of excitement around the movie,” Meredith said. “The interest level for meetings, events, screenings and buyouts seems to be on par with that of major blockbuster, tent pole or franchise movies.”

Mega-church pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., is buying out screens in eight different theaters throughout Orange County.

“I’ve seen most of the films about Jesus produced in the past 50 years, and ‘Son of God’ is the best,” Warren said. “We’re excited Jesus is back on the big screen, and we’re going to fill the theaters. I want every other faith leader in America to do the same. Whether you can buy out a whole theater, or just one screen, now is the time to show up. This is a rare opportunity to bring the story of Christ into our mainstream culture.

“We want to see Jesus in movie theaters where sight and sound can open up our senses and let grace come in. The message of the Gospel deserves to be on the big screen – and this is our chance to see it there.”

Besides supporting the film, Warren is also partnering with LifeWay Christians Resources to release a Bible study for movie.

The small group curriculum resource by Warren is said to be the “perfect companion” to “Son of God,” produced by husband-and-wife team Mark Burnett and Roma Downey. The study became available Feb. 15, two weeks before the movie hits theaters Feb. 28.

“Son of God: The Life of Jesus in You” is a DVD small group Bible study, which features Warren explaining how you can find your purpose in studying the life of Jesus, and is available at LifeWay Stores and www.lifeway.com/n/Product-Family/Son-of-God.

“There’s nothing more important you can do with your life than spending time getting to know Jesus,” said Warren. “Through the Son of God study, people will receive practical teaching on the life of Jesus and its impact on individual lives and life purpose. Jesus’ teaching trans forms from the inside out.”

The six-session study features video clips from the theatrical movie and custom videos from Pastor Warren explaining Jesus’ teachings and their impact on people’s lives. Topics include baptism, temptation, suffering, death, resurrection and ministry. Scenes from the movie such as Jesus being baptized by John the Baptist will help illustrate each topic.

Other churches and organizations, ranging in size from 10,000 to 4 million, are distributing tickets for a “Theater Take-Over.” Some pastors will also buy out screens showing the film in Spanish and Korean. There’s even a Catholic “Theater Take-Over” planned for Miami.

The Hollywood Reporter story also stated that various business leaders throughout the country are also donating tickets to churches and non-profits.

“Son of God” is a version of the hit “The Bible” miniseries, featuring new and used footage, focused just on the story of Jesus Christ. The Bible averaged 11.4 million viewers during its five-week run on the History Channel and became the top-selling miniseries on DVD of all time.

Mark Burnett and wife Roma Downey, said in a statement, “We’re very excited that the community is mobilizing to support ‘Son of God.’ The grass roots support is so important and the faith community is amazing when it mobilizes. Our hope is that the story and message of Jesus Christ will reach tens of millions of people nationwide.”

Burnett and Downey promoted the film at last week’s National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., where President Obama spoke to an audience of religious and secular leaders from around the world.

“We are going to spend around $10 million on commercials, and that is nothing. You may not even see a commercial for this. … The only chance we’ve got is the church community spreading the word,” Burnett said at the prayer breakfast, where 30 minutes of the film was shown to the audience. “We carried the backpack so far. We made it; we unbelievably got it in theaters everywhere. It’s now a great time for people to bring groups and bring people with them who need this message, who need to know who Jesus is.”

To find out more about the film, and see the trailer, go to www.sonofgodmovie.com.