The Council of Bishops of the Church of God in Christ (COGIC), the largest African American Christian denomination in the nation with 6.5 million membership, and where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., delivered his last speech on the eve of his death in Memphis, will present the “Centennial Journalist Award” to Bankole Thompson, a leading journalist of the Obama era.
Thompson, will receive the “Centennial Journalist Award”, April 26, at Cobo Convention Center in Detroit during the 100 year celebrations of the Michigan/Canada jurisdictions of COGIC.
In an April 4 letter to Thompson, the COGIC Council of Bishops noted, “You were selected in recognition of the outstanding journalistic and editorial skills you have employed in addressing important and critical issues in our community.”
Thompson, editor of the Michigan Chronicle, where his editorial leadership has put the paper on front street, has written two didactic books on President Obama. He is one of the first journalists in the country to have a series of exclusive sit-down interviews with Obama.
COGIC’s recognition of Thompson as a “Centennial Journalist,” at the turn of the century for COGIC, the dominant African American Christian denomination, underscores the work he’s done in the wake of the historic presidency of Barack Obama, the most important political development in this century.
Thompson has been forcefully speaking to the critical issues framing the Obama era. For example, in the last six years he has been a member of the weekly “Obama Watch” Sunday evening program on New York radio WLIB-1190AM. The hour and a half program is simulcast in New Jersey and Connecticut.
Former White House spokesman Robert Weiner, wrote the epilogue to Thompson’s second book titled “Obama and Christian Loyalty,” which deals with Obama’s faith posture on issues, black theology and politics, the role of the religious right, Rev Jeremiah Wright and the influence of faith in national politics.
Weiner described the book which came out at a time when some prominent figures in the religious right were questioning Obama’s faith, and a Pew Research showing others wrongly believed the president is a Muslim, as “an important reference on the intersection of religion and presidential politics.”
COGIC’s First Assistant Presiding Bishop and the Guest Chaplain of the 102nd Congress, P.A. Brooks, praised the book as a lasting contribution to understanding the faith and policy vision of America’s first black president.
Source: New Pittsburgh Courier Online | Stephan Broadus