LISTEN: Black Christian News Network Podcast, 07/21/16

This is the Black Christian News Network Podcast. Thank you for joining us on this Thursday, July 21, 2016. Here are the top 10 news stories for today.

1. According to Baptist Press, with South Sudan on the brink of renewed civil war, a Southern Baptist-led relief organization and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary remain unrelenting in their ministries there, amid what one aid worker called “a bigger humanitarian crisis than Syria.” “There is no hope [for South Sudan] other than Jesus,” said Ann Rao, founder and president of Living Water Community Transformation, an organization that engages in women’s ministry, church planting, education of children and agribusiness training in the South Sudanese community of Akot. “I don’t even know what else to say. The whole situation is very overwhelming.”

2. According to The Christian Post, Former Congressman Frank Wolf has noted that Christians in Nigeria, who are among the millions of displaced people suffering due to the action of radical groups, are feeling abandoned by Western churches that are failing to speak out on the developing humanitarian tragedy. Wolf, who is a Distinguished Senior Fellow of the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative, told The Christian Post in a phone interview that he was part of a delegate team that visited Nigeria in February, and got to witness first hand the difficulties that internally displaced people face. “People of faith, Christians, feel very much forgotten. Nigeria is fractured and is breaking down in so many ways, and it seems that the world has forgotten about it,” he reflected on his interactions with Christians there. “They feel abandoned by the West, and by the Church in the West. You are not hearing many in the West advocating (for them). They would expect that the faith community in the West, Europe, would be advocating, speaking out,” Wolf told CP.

3. According to Path MEGAzine, even though he has a strenuous schedule as a dedicated pastor and sought after recording artist, Marvin Sapp has fully embraced the title and role of Bishop that was bestowed upon him in July of 2015 by Bishop Neil C. Ellis, presiding prelate of Global United Fellowship. In fact, he has been so dedicated to his assignment that he was recently given even more responsibility as Bishop Ellis announced that Sapp would be one of five leaders given expanded roles as Metropolitan Bishops. In this role, Bishop Sapp will oversee more than 100 churches in the Central Deanery of Global United Fellowship, which includes the states of Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Oklahoma, Ohio and Texas. This role is expanded from his previous role of Bishop over the North Central Province, where he oversaw 75 churches in 10 states.

4. According to The Christian Post, Gospel pioneer Kirk Franklin hit the stage early in the morning Saturday at Together 2016, the millennial-focused prayer and worship gathering held at the National Mall, and led with a prayer that reached to the core of those in attendance. In his prayer, Franklin spoke about the significance of family, and urged women to get their self-worth from God and not what rappers such as yeezy, Jay Z, or Drake say. He then rebuked the temptations that lead couples to divorce and encouraged parents to fight for their marriages. And he ended the prayer by asking God to make a change in him, so that he would be willing to die for his family, to die for the white man, and ultimately to die for every man. During the free event various artists and ministers addressed the vast crowd, commissioning the next generation to unite under the banner of Jesus.

5. According to The Washington Post, police in South Florida shot an unarmed black caretaker Monday as he tried to help his autistic patient. Charles Kinsey was trying to retrieve a young autistic man who had wandered away from an assisted living facility and was blocking traffic when Kinsey was shot by a North Miami police officer. In cellphone footage of the incident that emerged Wednesday, Kinsey can be seen lying on the ground with his hands in the air, trying to calm the autistic man and defuse the situation seconds before he is shot.

6. According to NDTV, Microsoft founder Bill Gates pledged to invest USD 5 billion over the next five years for Africa’s development as he called on leaders in the continent to do everything in their power to realise global peace icon Nelson Mandela’s dream of a bright future for the youth. The billionaire philanthropist’s pledge of USD 5 billion is in addition to the USD 9 billion that he has already invested in Africa. Gates made the pledge while he was delivering the 2016 Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture at the University of Pretoria on the eve of the global peace icon’s birthday.

7. According to The Vertical, without any movement by state legislators in North Carolina to change newly enacted laws targeted at the LGBT community, the NBA on Thursday decided to pull the 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte. “Our week-long schedule of All-Star events and activities is intended to be a global celebration of basketball, our league, and the values for which we stand, and to bring together all members of the NBA community – current and former players, league and team officials, business partners, and fans,” the league said in a released statement. The NBA is focused on the New Orleans’ Smoothie King Center as the host for All-Star Weekend and the All-Star Game on Feb. 19, league sources told The Vertical.

8. According to CBS Sports, if Ray Rice has an opportunity to play in the NFL again, he plans to use his game checks to battle the issue of domestic violence. The former Ravens running back was released by Baltimore in September 2014 after video surfaced of Rice punching his then-fiancée Janay Palmer in an Atlantic City casino elevator. Rice told USA TODAY’s Tom Pelissero on Wednesday that he would donate his entire 2016 salary to organizations and programs aimed at the prevention of domestic violence and the support of its victims.

9. According to Deadline, Cooley High has been set for a remake at MGM with DeVon Franklin, Common and Tony Krantz partnering on the seminal 1975 coming-of-age drama. Seth Rosenfeld will write the script. Set in 1960s Chicago and focused on a group of high school pals with big dreams of getting out of the South Side, Cooley High fell in with a series of terrific coming-of-age films that included American Graffiti, The Lords Of Flatbush and The Wanderers.

10. According to Vibe, Taye Diggs will be joining the cast of Empire for the show’s upcoming third season. The actor, who stars as Inspector Terry English on TNT’s Murder In The First, will portray an Obama-esque politician named Angelo Dubois. Dubois is a Harvard law graduate who focuses on local politics and issues in the community. This will be Diggs second venture onto Fox in the past year. He starred in a multi-episode arc on the Morris Chestnut-lead Rosewood.

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.