1. According to the Guardian, the Church of England has appointed its first black bishop for 20 years in a move that significantly increases its handful of minority ethnic clergy in senior leadership positions. Downing Street announced that Woyin Karowei Dorgu is to be the 13th bishop of Woolwich, and will be consecrated at Southwark Cathedral on 17 March. Dorgu was born and brought up in Nigeria, and ordained in the UK. Woolwich, in south-east London, has a significant Nigerian population, many of whom worship in black-majority Pentecostal churches rather than the Church of England.
2. According to the Christian Post, family and friends of Dedré Jefferson, 48, a Christian mother, former teacher and vice president of the Alief ISD School Board in Houston, Texas, are now in mourning after police say she was attacked and stabbed to death by her 22-year-old son, Blake Jefferson, after he took some pills on Friday police say. The family pastor said, however, that the son was “having visions” lately. Investigators told local news station WFAA in Dallas that Dedré Jefferson was stabbed multiple times while on the phone with her mother. Police say Blake was treated for a possible drug overdose and charged with murder, but family Pastor Gregg Patrick of The Bridge Southwest Community Christian Center said he could not reconcile the murder with the young man he baptized at 8 years old.
3. According to EEW Magazine News, GRAMMY® and Dove Award-winning Christian Contemporary singer Mandisa Hundley has a heart for Aleppo refugees and others feeling violence, and persecution. In a recent Facebook post, the “Overcomer” songstress rallied support for Preemptive Love Coalition (PLC), an international organization that helps refugees in Iraq and Syria. The group, which has crews on the Aleppo country-side providing food and shelter for those leaving the city, regards itself as “a global community of peacemakers remaking the world by providing lifesaving heart surgeries for children, food and shelter for those persecuted by extremists, education for at-risk children, and small-business empowerment grants so people can put their own lives back together.”
4. According to EEW Magazine News, pastor Shirley Caesar isn’t allowing her elevated level of Internet fame (courtesy of the wildly popular #UNameIt Challenge) to distract from her real mission: helping those in need. The GRAMMY® Award-winning gospel singer fed and gave out toys to thousands of families Sunday, Dec. 18 during her Christmas toy drive. Wearing a sweatshirt from her personal line with “I got greens, beans, potatoes, tomatoes” colorfully inscribed on it— a phrase from her song “Hold My Mule” looped into DJ Suede’s viral, unauthorized remix—Caesar helped make families’ Christmas even brighter. Caesar’s partnership with Toys for Tots, as well as proceeds from the sale of exclusive #UNameIt merchandise, bolstered by rapper Snoop Dogg, made it all possible.
5. According to EEW Magazine News, Bishop T.D. Jakes’ intervention last year during an episode of WE tv’s Braxton Family Values turned into a tough love session. The mega pastor, who went off on Toni, Trina, Traci, Towanda, and Tamar, calling them “flat-out spoiled,” is receiving a big “thank you” from the family matriarch more than a year later. During the WE tv reality family’s Monday appearance on the nationally syndicated T.D. Jakes Show, Evelyn Braxton asked: “Did I ever thank you?” Jakes, the Potter’s House of Dallas pastor replied: “I’ll take it now.”
6 . According to Magic Valley, a Dietrich high school football player originally charged with sexually assaulting a black, mentally disabled teammate after an October 2015 football practice pleaded guilty to a lesser felony Friday, and prosecutors now say it wasn’t a sex crime or racially motivated. John R.K Howard, 19, of Keller, Tex., pleaded guilty Friday in a Twin Falls courtroom to a felony count of injury to a child. He will be sentenced to two to three years of probation, which he’ll likely be able to complete in Texas, and prosecutors will recommend he be ordered to serve 300 hours of community service.
7. According to HipHopDX, Tupac Shakur was announced today to be one of the inductees to the 2017 class of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The late and still influential rapper/actor will be officially inducted April 7 at the Barclays Center in New York, joining other music legends such as Journey, Niles Rogers, Pearl Jam, and Joan Baez, among others. 2Pac was nominated for the prestigious honor this past October and is just the sixth Hip-Hop artist to be named for induction. For artists to be considered for induction, they must pass a vote after a career of 25 years. By this measure, acts like A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul could potentially see induction. So far, N.W.A, the Beastie Boys, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Run-DMC and Public Enemy have all been entered.