LISTEN: Thousands Pay Final Respects to Megachurch Pastor Eddie Long; Juanita Bynum Calls on People to Show Mercy When Discussing the Life of Bishop Eddie Long (BCNN1, 1/25/2017)

This is the Black Christian News Network Podcast for Wednesday, January 25, 2017.

1. According to the Associated Press, an ex-governor, an NFL Hall of Famer and thousands of others paid their final respects Wednesday to Eddie Long, a pastor who built a Georgia megachurch but whose final years fell under the shadow of sexual misconduct allegations. Long, 63, was senior pastor at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in suburban Lithonia, about 19 miles east of Atlanta. He died Jan. 15 after battling cancer. The service, which began at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, was still underway after 2 p.m. Former NFL player Deion Sanders said during the service, “This man taught me how to face adversity, this man taught me how to stand in the midst of the storm. This man taught me so much of how to even be a man.” Former Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes recalled Long as a friend and confidant who was “a force of nature.”

2. According to the Christian Post, popular televangelist Juanita Bynum called on her social media followers to show mercy when discussing the life of the late Bishop Eddie Long and said she prayed for him and his victims. Long, who led the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia, died in a cloud of controversy after “a gallant private fight with an aggressive form of cancer” on Jan. 15. The controversy stemmed from Long’s refusal to publicly address a cloud of allegations in lawsuits filed by multiple men in 2010 who claimed he engaged them in sexual acts while they were teenage members of his church. Bynum said even though she did not know Long well when the allegations first surfaced, she defended him in her congregation at the time and suffered for it.

3. According to Reuters, Islamist militants rammed a car bomb into the gate of a hotel in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on Wednesday, jumped clear and stormed inside on Wednesday, killing 28 people, government and medical officials said. Gunfire rang out as four militants burst into the Dayah Hotel, which is popular with politicians. A second explosion shook the area shortly afterwards, injuring several journalists and other people nearby.Security forces eventually shot dead all four militants and managed to secure the building, according to Abdifatah Omar, the Mogadishu municipality spokesman. Government websites confirmed this, quoting the security minister.

4. According to NBC 5 Chicago, President Donald Trump vowed Tuesday night in a tweet to send “the Feds” to Chicago if the city did not address its longstanding plague of violence. The city’s crime statistics and use of the word “carnage” (which the tweet includes in quotes) were used on “The O’Reilly Factor” on Fox News and appeared on the presidential twitter feed moments later. The Rev. Jesse Jackson responded to the president’s tweet with one of his own, saying: “We need a plan, not a threat.” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the answer to the city’s unyielding violence can be found in giving police training, supervision and pro-active policing. Emanuel spoke against the controversial stop-and-frisk tactics promoted by Trump.

5. According to the New York Post, Eric Garner’s widow is staying in her housing-project apartment despite a $2.4?million-plus settlement for her husband’s death — because the cash is not counted as disqualifying income. Esaw Snipes got a $500,000, up-front payment following a judge’s order in November, and will receive the rest once a dispute among lawyers involved in the case is fully resolved. Federal rules say she can keep her apartment in the Fulton Houses in Chelsea and won’t even have to pay increased rent, a rep for the New York City Housing Authority said. NYCHA relocated Snipes to Manhattan from Staten Island following Garner’s deadly 2014 takedown by NYPD cop Daniel Pantaleo, according to law enforcement sources. Snipes and her lawyer, Jonathan Moore, both declined to say why she was still in public housing.

6. According to Deadline, Sundance Institute and The Will & Jada Smith Family Foundation will collaborate to support diverse independent artists, they announced recently at the Sundance Film Festival. As part of a two-year commitment, the Foundation will support the Institute’s Screenwriters Intensive and year-round work with diverse independent filmmakers and artists. The Screenwriters Intensive, part of the Institute’s Feature Film Program, provides opportunities for 10 emerging screenwriters from underrepresented communities in a two-day workshop on the creative process. It works in partnership with the Institute’s Diversity Initiative.

7. According to the Grio, while promoting her new Lifetime film Love by the 10th Date, Meagan Good shared her thoughts on America’s newly inaugurated 45th president Donald J. Trump, who she acknowledges is still “a child of God.” Good said, “I’m just going to pray for him. At the end of the day, he’s still a human being. I don’t accept and I’m not OK with a lot of the stuff that has gone on, but he’s still a human being and a child of God.” Still, Good admits she is “bummed” that President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama’s time in the White House has come to an end after eight years in office.