LISTEN: Joe Ligon of The Mighty Clouds of Joy Dies at 80; Frailer-Looking Eddie Long Returns to New Birth (BCNN1, 12/12/2016)

1. According to the Facebook page of Joe Ligon & The Mighty Clouds of Joy of Los Angeles, CA, manager and pastor Isaac Lindsey is heartbroken to share the news that the World’s Greatest Male Gospel Singer – Willie Joe Ligon, Founder and Lead Singer of the three time Grammy Award winning group – The Mighty Clouds of Joy of Los Angeles, California passed away on Sunday, December 11, 2016. Joe was a loving Husband, Father, Grandfather, Brother, Cousin, Uncle, Mentor, and Friend to so many who loved him dearly. As much as Joe cherished his privacy, he always appreciated the expressions of good will from people around the world and from all walks of life. While we mourn the loss of a very good and humble man, we also celebrate his remarkable life as one of the most successful artists in Gospel Music History and hope that it serves as an example to young people around the world to work hard to make their dreams come true, to be willing to explore and push the limits, and to selflessly serve a cause greater than themselves.

2. According to the Christian Post, a propped up and apparently frailer version of controversial megachurch pastor Bishop Eddie Long was paraded before his congregation Sunday as they defiantly sang “I Got the Victory” days after his church denied last Thursday that he was in a hospice. The appearance comes after rumors surfaced last week that Long, who leads New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia, was getting care at a hospice. Long’s assistant, Elder April McLaughlin, told The Christian Post last Thursday that her boss was simply resting and “doing well.” On Sunday, in a 48-second clip, however, Long’s condition appears to have deteriorated. With his arm locked into the arm of one of his male singers for support, Long made his way onstage clapping. The singer then releases him and he claps independently in the video with the vigor of a much older person.

3. According to the Christian Post, a Christian nurse has been fired by England’s National Health Service after several patients allegedly complained that she spoke about Jesus Christ with them, though the nurse insists she simply offered to pray with patients and comforted those who voluntarily spoke about religion. The MailOnline reports that Sister Sarah Kuteh, who has over 15 years of experience, mostly in intensive care, was fired by the Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust after several complaints came in that she discussed religion with parents. Kuteh is now suing for unfair dismissal from her job at Darent Valley hospital in Dartford, Kent.

4. According to the Associated Press, the first African American priest in the US is one step closer to becoming a saint. Father Augustus Tolton, who served in Illinois in the late 1800s, was exhumed from St. Peter’s Cemetery in Quincy on Saturday as part of the long process of being canonized. Tolton was born in 1854 as a slave in Missouri before his family escaped to Illinois. He went on to study in Rome because he was rejected from seminary schools in the US for being black, according to the Father Tolton Guild.

5. According to Newsmax, Sen. Tim Scott is calling on African-American communities to give President-elect Donald Trump a chance to govern, and judge him on “what he does” in the White House. In an interview aired Sunday on CBS News’ “Face The Nation,” the South Carolina Republican, who is currently the only black member of the upper chamber, said minority communities will respond to constructive ideas. Scott said, “If Donald Trump will take the time and spend some time in Cleveland and Detroit and in Charleston and other places, I think he’ll find that people are receptive to the person who invests their time, energy and then their talents into solving problems. Let’s give Mr. Trump a chance.”

6 . According to the Los Angeles Sentinel, congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) was re-elected unanimously last Friday, by the Democratic Caucus to serve as Ranking Member of the Committee on Financial Services for her third term. Waters said, “I am honored to have been re-elected to lead the House Financial Services Committee in the 115th Congress. We face many challenges in the years ahead, with President-elect Trump threatening to dismantle Dodd-Frank, putting our financial stability and consumer protections at risk. It is more important now than ever for Democrats to fight for what they believe in, and I will continue to lead that fight for American consumers and our most vulnerable populations.”

7. According to Entertainment Weekly, Fences star Viola Davis won the award for Best Supporting Actress in a Movie at the 22nd annual Critics’ Choice Awards in Los Angeles Sunday. This marks Davis’ third Critics’ Choice Award. She previously won awards for Best Actress and Best Acting Ensemble in 2011 for her role as Aibileen Clark in The Help. Davis plays opposite Denzel Washington in Fences, which is set in 1950s Pennsylvania and follows a former Negro League baseball player struggling to provide for his family as a garbage collector. Both actors won Tony awards for their performances in the film’s 2010 stage adaptation. The film, which is scheduled for a limited release on Dec. 16 before going wide on Christmas Day, is already a strong contender for the 2017 Oscars race, according to critics.