LISTEN: Black Christian News Network Podcast, 07/07/16

This is the Black Christian News Network Podcast. Thank you for joining us on this Thursday, July 7, 2016. Here are the top 10 news stories for today.

1. According to Reuters, four police officers were fatally shot and seven wounded by snipers in Dallas, authorities said, during one of many demonstrations held in cities across the United States against the second fatal police shooting of a black man in two days. Dallas Police Chief David Brown said in a statement two snipers in elevated positions shot 11 officers, killing three. Police said on Twitter later a fourth officer had died. At least one more was in surgery. Brown also said later one suspect was cornered in a garage in downtown Dallas, although there was no word on the second reported sniper. Television footage showed a heavy police presence, with officers taking cover behind vehicles on the street. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Dallas law enforcement community and the Dallas Area Rapid Transit officers killed and injured this evening,” Governor Greg Abbott said in a statement.

2. According to the Christian Post, in an epic and poignant reaction to the gruesome killing of Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old black man who was shot dead on Tuesday by Baton Rouge police officers, Savanna Hartman, a pastor, mother and spoken word poet challenged white Christians to stand with her against deadly force and racism. “As white people you could say this is not a color thing. You could say it’s a sin thing. You could say it’s not one versus the other. But the fact of the matter is that we as white people have got to accept our actions, we have to accept our role in this. We have to accept where we have let them down. We have to apologize and we have to do better. We have to do better,” Hartman said in a 10-minute video posted on her Facebook page titled “my very honest thoughts on ?#?AltonSterling? and what’s happening to the black community right now.” “Black lives do matter. And it does not make me a bad person to just say black lives matter. They all do. They all do. They all do. Don’t change it to all lives matter. Say their lives matter. Their lives matter,” Hartman said.

3. According to Charisma News, prominent pro-life leaders in the African-American community now mourn the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, who were killed this week by police officers. Pastor Stephen Broden, Bishop Jim Lowe and Evangelist Alveda King said, “Our youth, children and families are understandably devastated by the recent killings. We pray for the loss of the families of these dead men. Their lives matter very much to us and to God. Humanity, every human life matters. We call for a moratorium on violence and immediate investigations into these deaths.”

4. According to Baptist Press, a concurrent spiritual retreat, leadership development week and a family vacation characterize the Southern Baptist 2016 Black Church Leadership and Family Conference July 11-15 at Ridgecrest, N.C.Southern Baptists from across the U.S. will be encouraged to launch, engage and advance into their destiny, as is the conference theme, drawn from Nehemiah 4:14, said Mark Croston, national director of Black Church Partnerships for LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). “The 2016 Black Church Leadership and Family Conference is one of the leading conferences uniquely designed to coach and empower leaders of color,” Croston told Baptist Press. “This event will show you practically how to amp up your team, be more productive, cultivate teamwork and create a vibrant ministry.”

5. According to Religion News Service, just as their religious ancestors did exactly two centuries ago, members of the AME Church made a pilgrimage to Philadelphia on Wednesday (July 6) for the opening of the denomination’s General Conference. They gathered not only to remember their history, but to continue to forge a path toward racial justice.

6. According to the Associated Press, Hillary Clinton is adding a campaign stop to her swing through Pennsylvania on Friday to address one of the largest black religious denominations in the country. The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee will address the African Methodist Episcopal Church’s general conference, which is marking the organization’s bicentennial in Philadelphia. It’s meeting at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Clinton visited Mother Bethel AME Church, the birthplace of the denomination, in January. African-Americans are among the most loyal Democratic voters and a key coalition for Clinton. They supported her overwhelmingly in the primary election and are expected to do the same in November.

7. According Fox 2 Now, the St. Louis Regional Bomb and Arson Unit is investigating a fire at a north St. Louis church which was also tagged with racist graffiti. The incident occurred overnight Tuesday around 1:45 a.m. at Greater St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, located at Gilmore and Harney avenues in the Walnut Park East neighborhood. Police arrived shortly after the burglar alarm sounded and found the church ablaze. Pastor Titus D. Irving estimates the church sustained more than $75,000 in damage. “This just shows you the level of hate in our city,” he said. “It’s happening even across our country.”

8. According to Sports Illustrated, San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick compared Tuesday’s shooting of Alton Sterling by police officers in Baton Rouge, La., to a modern-day lynching in an Instagram video he posted on Wednesday. The video appears to be recorded by a witness and has garnered public outrage since it started circulating on social media. The footage shows two police officers pinning down Sterling, a 37-year-old black man, before fatally shooting him. Multiple gunshots can be heard during the video. “This is what lynchings look like in 2016!” Kaepernick wrote. “Another murder in the streets because the color of a man’s skin, at the hands of the people who they say will protect us. When will they be held accountable? or did he fear for his life as he executed this man?”

9. According to Charisma News, Ed Upton, aka famed rapper DMX, nearly lost his life to a reported drug overdose in February, but now he touts his plans to become a pastor. “It’s almost like the prodigal son,” DMX said in a radio interview. “He who is dead is now alive; he who is lost is now found.” DMX says he feels called to be a pastor, and he believes his influence in the music world has allowed him to create a platform.

10. According to USA Today, Beyoncé is speaking out in the wake of the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. The singer’s official website now displays a statement mourning “these robberies of lives” and urging readers to contact their local politicians. “We all have the power to channel our anger and frustration into action,” the call to action reads. “We must use our voices to contact the politicians and legislators in our districts and demand social and judicial changes.”

That’s all for today. You can read these stories and more online at

In closing, remember, God loves you. He always has and He always will. He loves you so much that the Bible says in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you don’t know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, why don’t you get to know Him today. Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose by the power of God for you. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Thanks for listening. May God bless your day.