LISTEN: Georgia Church Leaders Apologize to Black Members for Past Lynchings (UCNN, 3/19/2017)

1. AJC – White church leaders in this west Georgia community apologized on Saturday for the religious community’s failure to speak out about the lynching of Austin Callaway and other acts of racial terror during the decades of Jim Crow. They spoke at the dedication of a historical marker acknowledging several lynchings in the area. Their apology comes nearly two months after the white police chief in LaGrange, Lou Dekmar, apologized for his agency’s role in Callaway’s murder in 1940. The service Saturday at Warren Temple United Methodist Church, an African American church, included apologies directly to members of Callaway’s family and other descendants of lynching victims who were in attendance. It was a powerful expression of remorse and contrition for the failings of past church leaders and their congregations.

2. CNN – A car drove up to a White House checkpoint late Saturday night and the driver claimed to have a bomb in his vehicle, two law enforcement officials tell CNN. There was no confirmation that there was any device in the vehicle but security at the White House was immediately upgraded. One person was in custody after the incident and the vehicle was being checked, the sources said. Several streets around the White House were closed in what remained an ongoing situation.

3. NBC – Claude Lewis, co-founder of the National Association of Black Journalists passed away from complications of diabetes at age 82 on Thursday according to the organization. A New York City native, Lewis graduated with a degree in English. He started his career as a reporter and in 1967 made history, becoming the first African-American columnist in Philadelphia writing for the ‘Evening Bulletin.’ As a pioneering journalist, he covered the civil rights movement and interviewed civil rights leaders Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as well as icons Langston Hughes and James Baldwin. During a time when black faces weren’t common in the newsroom, Lewis recognized the need for more opportunities for current and aspiring journalists in the field. In 1973, he co-founded the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists, a founding chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists that would come two years later. Today, NABJ is one of the largest journalism organizations in the country providing career support and resources to journalists of color. Making history again in 1982, he founded the first national African American newspaper ‘The National Leader.’ NABJ President and Social Media Editor for NBC Owned Stations Sarah Glover remembers Lewis as a “gentle soul and quiet man with a boisterous spirit in his journalistic voice” that made an impact.

4. USA Today – Wisconsin pulled off the biggest upset of the NCAA tournament by knocking out defending national champion Villanova, 65-62, in the second round to reach the Sweet 16. The Badgers, a questionable No. 8 seed, fed off their veterans who had been to two Final Fours and now two Sweet 16s — Nigel Hayes (19 points) and Bronson Koenig (17 points), who was in foul trouble down the stretch.

5. St. Louis Post Dispatch – An investment adviser and former St. Louis pastor pleaded guilty to federal charges Wednesday and admitted defrauding 31 victims of $1.08 million. Mark Q. Stafford, 52, of O’Fallon, Mo., pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to mail fraud and filing a false tax return. Stafford admitted that from at least March 2007 to July 2016 he misrepresented investments to clients of the Stafford Financial Firm. Stafford claimed to have opened accounts when he either didn’t deposit the money at all or deposited it in his own account, Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Finneran said in court.

6. USA Today – Two years after a sex-abuse scandal rocked their marriage, Josh and Anna Duggar are expecting their fifth child. The couple — famous for appearing on TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting — announced on their family website that a baby boy is on the way. “For nearly the last two years, we have quietly worked to save our marriage, focus on our children, and rebuild our lives together as a family,” wrote the couple. “As we continue our journey as a family and rebuild our lives, we are delighted to share with you that we are expecting a new baby boy later this year. Beauty comes from ashes and we cannot wait to see and kiss the face of this sweet new boy!”

7. Fox 4 News – An 8-year-old girl was killed by a speeding car right in front of her Fort Worth home. Aja Hill, a first grader at Fort Worth’s Atwood McDonald Elementary, was on spring break riding scooters just doors down from her home on Barron Lane around 4 o’clock Friday. That’s when Fort Worth Police say a black Dodge Charger drove into her, knocked her off her scooter and tossed her several yards. Aja’s mother Tania Jackson said her daughter was spunky and friendly. She was on the Honor Roll, competed in the school spelling bee, and even sang in the church choir. Jackson said an officer told her the car had to be going at least 60 miles per hour. The car did not stop. Aja was taken to Cook Children’s Medical Center where she was pronounced brain dead. Her mother made the decision to take her off life support.

As you go throughout this day, keep this word in mind: Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

Robert Muller said, “To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness.”

God loves you. He always has and He always will. 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 Jesus as your Saviour, today is a good day to get to know Him. Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose from the dead for you. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Thanks so much for listening and remember God’s got you!