LISTEN: Donald Trump Inaugurated as 45th President of the United States; Gospel Singer Donnie McClurkin Calls on Christians to Pray for Trump (BCNN1, 1/20/2017)

This is the Black Christian News Network Podcast for Friday, January 20, 2017.

1. According to Reuters, Donald Trump took power as the 45th president of the United States on Friday and pledged to end what he called an “American carnage” of rusted factories and crime in an inaugural address that was a populist and nationalist rallying cry. Striking a defiant tone, Trump said the American middle class has been devastated by the outsourcing of jobs abroad. The Republican told thousands of people gathered on the grounds of the National Mall, “From this moment on, it’s going to be America First.” Trump, 70, takes over a country divided after a savage election campaign. A wealthy New York businessman and former reality TV star who has never held public office, Trump will set the country on a new, uncertain path at home and abroad.

2. According to CBN News, While Trump’s election and inauguration have been met with some disapproval, Pastor Donnie McClurkin says it is time for Christians to focus more on prayer than protests. In a recent interview with Studio 5, the gospel recording artist admitted he was not a Trump supporter, but he is still in prayer for the president-elect to do well in office. McClurkin said, “This is our President and the Christian bodies who are protesting need to stand down now and we need to follow the law of the scriptures and pray that he succeeds. There should be no one hoping for his fall or demise.”

3. According to the Christian Post, Creflo Dollar of World Changers Church International in Atlanta, Georgia, has spoken out on the death of controversial Pastor Eddie Long by wondering whether people “were ever worthy” of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church leader’s “grace.” Dollar wrote in a message on Facebook Tuesday, “We will forever be appreciative of the great love you have shared with us all, and we will continue to be impacted by the way you ministered to the saints, loved people, and sacrificed continually for the betterment of this world.” New Birth announced in a statement on Sunday morning that Long had died after “a gallant private fight with an aggressive form of cancer.”

4. According to Relevant Magazine, President-elect Donald Trump has been criticized for the lack of diversity in his cabinet, among his supporters and his top advisors. The American public will continue watching closely to see whether he will elect and support leaders who are representative of the diversity in our country and this Friday, his administration helped make history in that respect as Mike Pence was sworn in by Justice Clarence Thomas. Justice Thomas is the longest serving-African-American Supreme Court Justice. In the press release announcing the inauguration details, Vice President-elect Mike Pence said, “It will be my honor to take the Oath of Office to defend our constitution from a man who has dedicated his life to the same noble pursuit.”

5. According to USA Today, hours before Donald Trump took his oath of office, Obama supporters offered a simple final message to the outgoing president: Thank you. On social media Friday, the hashtag #ThankYouObamas began trending on Twitter as people shared photos and appreciation for the nation’s first African-American family. Many pointed out that despite facing criticism, Obama and his family never lashed out and acted with “grace and integrity.”

6 . According to EEW Magazine News, Bounce TV will world premiere the 25th Annual Trumpet Awards, the prestigious annual event celebrating African-American achievements and contributions, on Sunday, January 29 at 9:00pm ET. An all-star Gospel Tribute featuring Shirley Caesar, Erica Campbell, Jekalyn Carr, Le’Andria Johnson, Travis Greene and Derek Minor has been added to the star-studded ceremony. Bounce recently acquired all assets of The Trumpet Awards and now owns, produces and exclusively premieres it.

7. According to Reuters, Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook is averaging a league-best 30.6 points per game this season but was a conspicuous absentee from the starting lineups announced by the NBA on Thursday for next month’s All-Star Game. Instead of Westbrook, Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry and James Harden of the Houston Rockets were selected as the starting guards for the Western Conference in voting by fans, current players and the media. Curry, the league’s Most Valuable Player in 2015 and 2016, will make his fourth All-Star appearance while Harden, averaging 28.9 points this season, gets the nod for a fifth time. The other Western Conference starters were Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs and New Orleans Pelicans big man Anthony Davis.