LISTEN: Historic Atlanta Black Church Which Was Torn Down for Construction of Stadium Finds New Home; Energy Company Seeks Approval to Demolish Former Trinity CME Church (BCNN1, 8/2/2017)

This is the Black Christian News Network Podcast for Wednesday, August 2, 2017.

1. According to WABE 90.1, a church torn down for the construction of Mercedes-Benz Stadium has a new home. The congregation of Friendship Baptist Church celebrated Sunday, starting with a walk from the old site to the new. Fifty or so people joined the march, beginning at Mitchell Street, where Friendship Baptist stood before it was demolished three years ago. While singing, the churchgoers walked the few blocks to their new building. The church is the oldest black Baptist congregation in Atlanta and it has strong ties to the nearby black colleges.

2. According to the Philadelphia Tribune, despite ongoing local efforts to save a historic Black church from the wrecking ball, Southern Co. has again applied to tear down the former Trinity CME Church on Eighth Street in Augusta, Ga. Built by former slaves in the 1890s, Trinity is considered the birthplace of the Christian Methodist Episcopal denomination. The church has stood vacant since the 1990s, when Atlanta Gas Light settled with the congregation and began removing tons of soil contaminated by a nearby gas plant that operated from 1852 to 1955. Southern Co., now owner of Atlanta Gas Light, is making at least a third effort to demolish the church and has provided members of the Historic Preservation Commission a 180-page report supporting its case, which goes before the commission at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.

3. According to WOKV, hundreds of people filled a Florida church for the funeral of a disabled man who drowned while a group of teens taunted him, did nothing to help him, and recorded his death. Thirty-one-year-old Jamel Dunn died July 9 in a Cocoa retention pond. His body was found July 14. Dunn’s death received international attention after it was discovered that the teens, ages 14 to 18, were heard in the video laughing at him as he drowned. Florida prosecutors will decide whether to file charges against them. Florida Today reports that on Saturday many mourners at Zion Orthodox Primitive Baptist Church wore red at the family’s request. Some wore T-shirts with photos of Dunn on them. Dunn’s red casket was taken by horse and carriage to Riverview Memorial Gardens for burial.

4. According to Mediaite, it hasn’t been nine months since the 2016 election and Democrats are already look towards 2020. Some of the names that have been floating around include Former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Sen. Kamala Harris, and even Sen. Bernie Sanders. However, according to a new report from Politico, President Obama and some of his closest confidants are urging Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick to run. Valerie Jarrett, one of Obama’s senior advisors during his presidency, said that a President Patrick is what “[her] heart desires.” Former White House political director David Simas, who now serves as the CEO of the Obama Foundation, had previously served as Patrick’s Deputy Chief of Staff has expressed his support. Last but not least, Obama himself has privately urged Patrick to think about a 2020 bid, thinking he’s “actual political talent.”

5. According to CBS 46 / WGCL-TV Atlanta, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) is hosting its 41st Annual Training Conference and Exhibition, titled “Rooted in Our History and Investing in Our Future,” from the weekend of July 29th to August 2nd in Atlanta. The conference, which is being held at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta, is aimed at strengthening community partnership between law enforcement professionals and the public they serve. Through a series of high profile sessions that include 21st century policing best practices, race and law enforcement, the use of body worn cameras and citizen journalism, as well a specially designed program for teens, NOBLE is being responsive to the difficulties communities—specifically those of color—face today as well as the changing needs of policing entities.

6. According to the Associated Press, the Trump administration’s tough talk on crime and the treatment of suspects has left black police officers worried that efforts to repair the fraught relationship between police and minority communities could be derailed. A major black law enforcement group is set to hear Tuesday from Attorney General Jeff Sessions days after President Donald Trump said police shouldn’t be “nice” to suspects by shielding their heads as they are lowered, handcuffed, into police cars. The comment, now described by the White House as a joke, angered some cops who said it only served to dial back progress they’d made with the people they serve.

7. According to the Huffington Post, a 16-year-old black teen in Arkansas was fatally shot by a cop while outside a youth treatment center. Aries Clark was at East Arkansas Youth Services on Tuesday – an emergency shelter for youths that his parents had sent him to for behavioral issues – when the shooting occurred. Arkansas State Police told the publication that an officer with the Marion Police Department shot Clark at 7 p.m., moments after arriving. The boy was taken to a hospital where he later died. Marion Police Chief Gary Kelley declined to release information related to the shooting, saying only that two officers have been placed on paid administrative leave, according to KATV.