PODCAST: Virginia Megachurch Pastor Dimitri Bradley Dies in Car Crash (UCNN 11.22.19)

According to The Christian Post, Thousands of members from City Church in Richmond, Virginia, are now in mourning after Dimitri Bradley, their lead pastor and founder, was killed in a crash on Interstate 195 Wednesday. Virginia State Police said the 51-year-old pastor died after he crashed his 2016 Cadillac Escalade near Arthur Ashe Boulevard at about 9:30 p.m., WTVR reported. “Last night we lost our father, our brother, our friend, and our pastor. The heart of City Church and the Bradley family is heavy and hurting right now, but through it all we trust God. We thank you for your prayers and concerns for us at this very difficult time. We ask that you give the Bradley family privacy and prayer; and we will have more information forthcoming. We love you all,” the church announced on their Facebook page Thursday. Police investigating the crash suggested the pastor might have been speeding and was not wearing a seat belt at the time of his death. “The trooper’s preliminary investigation reveals [the Escalade] was traveling west on I-195 when it ran off the left side of the road and struck the guardrail. The Cadillac then went over the guardrail, struck a pole, and overturned in the median,” a Virginia State Police spokesperson told WTVR. “[Bradley] was not wearing his seat belt. He died at the scene.” Bradley, who began his career in banking, founded city church with his wife, Nicole, in 1998 to reach the lost in their community. The church boasts a congregation of more than 4,000 today, according to their website. Bradley is also the author of U Mad? a book designed to show readers God’s way of helping people overcome and conquer anger. Ron Carpenter Jr., pastor of the 14,000-member Redemption Bay Area church in San Jose, California, remembered Bradley as a “giant of a man in character and spirit.” He leaves behind wife, Nicole, daughter, Jordan, and son, Julius.

According to Mail Online, 20-year-old college student Katherine Vollmer and several classmates from SUNY New Paltz were exploring cement caves and trails in Kingston’s Hasbrouck Park on Monday evening when they got lost on the way back to their cars. The group was walking along the edge of a cliff after nightfall when Vollmer lost her footing and plummeted 150 feet to her death at around 9.50pm, according to the Kingston Police Department.

According to the AP, President Donald Trump on Friday promoted a debunked conspiracy theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election, a day after a former White House adviser called it a “fictional narrative” and said it played into Russia’s hands. Trump called in to “Fox & Friends” and said he was trying to root out corruption in the Eastern European nation when he withheld aid over the summer. Trump’s July 25 call with Ukraine’s president is at the center of the House impeachment probe, which is looking into Trump’s pressure on Ukraine to investigate political rivals as he held back nearly $400 million. But he repeated his assertion that Ukrainians might have hacked the Democratic National Committee’s network in 2016 and framed Russia for the crime, a theory his own advisers have dismissed. The president in the wide-ranging interview also claimed that he knows the identity of the whistleblower who filed the formal complaint that spurred the impeachment inquiry. Trump said he does not expect to be impeached, claiming Democrats have “absolutely nothing” incriminating, despite days of public testimony by witnesses who said Trump withheld aid from Ukraine to press the country to investigate his political rivals. “I think it’s very hard to impeach you when they have absolutely nothing,” Trump said, adding that if the House did vote to impeach him, he would welcome a trial in the Senate. Trump’s claim on Ukraine being behind the 2016 election interference has been discredited by intelligence agencies and his own advisers. Trump also told “Fox & Friends” that “there was no quid pro quo,” in his efforts to push Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to open investigations of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son’s dealings in Ukraine. The president’s assertion is at odds with sworn testimony by impeachment witnesses.

According to Daily Mail, USA Gymnastics allegedly kept Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles in the dark about its investigation into sexual abuse by Larry Nassar after becoming aware of her concerns about the sports doctor. Biles was one of the three gymnasts who were flagged to USA Gymnastics (USAG) officials as being uncomfortable with Nassar in June of 2015 – sparking a secret five-week internal investigation into the national team’s longtime physician. A new report published in the Wall Street Journal on Thursday claims that the investigator leading that probe never spoke to Biles, and when the concerns were passed to the FBI in late July 2015, her name was not mentioned. The report, based on interviews with people with knowledge of USAG’s response to Nassar allegations and a documents submitted to Congress, suggests that then-chief executive Steve Penny specifically left the star gymnast out of the probe and ignored the possibility that she may have been abused by the doctor – just as the organization ramped up its efforts to solidify her as the face of the sport. Biles didn’t learn that Nassar was under investigation until more than a year after her concerns were brought to the attention of USAG, after the 2016 Rio Olympics. And no one at USA Gymnastics approached her about the doctor, who was given an effective life sentence in 2018, until after she publicly revealed that she was one of his victims in January of that year. Biles, now 22, declined to be interviewed for the WSJ report but retweeted a link to it hours after it went live, writing: ‘Can’t tell you how hard this is to read and process. The pain is real and doesn’t just go away…especially when new facts are still coming out. ‘What’s it going to take for a complete and independent investigation of both USOPC and USAG???’

According to Daily Mail, 21-time Grammy winner Kanye West announced to his 29.4M Twitter following on Monday that he and Dr. Dre’s sequel to his hit gospel album, Jesus is King Part II, is ‘coming soon.’ Surprisingly, it’ll be the first collaboration between the 42-year-old rapper-designer and the 54-year-old hip-hop mogul (born Andre Young). ‘He’s the definition of a true talent: Dre feels like God placed him here to make music, and no matter what forces are aligned against him, he always ends up on the mountaintop,’ Kanye wrote in Rolling Stone back in 2010. West also admitted that he ‘bit’ his ‘entire sound’ from the six-time Grammy winner’s 1999 song, Xxplosive, off his second studio album 2001. Tickets went on sale Monday morning for the Calabasas father-of-four’s opera Nebuchadnezzar taking place one night only this Sunday at the Hollywood Bowl.

According to Nashville Tennessean, A trio of contemporary Christian artists lead nominations for the genre at the 2020 Grammy Awards. Australian duo for KING & COUNTRY, gospel mainstay Kirk Franklin and Christian pop singer Danny Gokey score two nominations each to the upcoming ceremony, the Recording Academy said Wednesday. For KING & COUNTRY and Gokey compete in Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song — the former for Dolly Parton collaboration “God Only Knows,” the later for “Haven’t Seen It Yet, and Best Contemporary Christian Music Album, for “Burn The Ships” and “Haven’t Seen it Yet,” respectively. Gokey earned his second and third career nominations Wednesday; for KING & COUNTRY, a two-time Grammy winner, earned its fifth and sixth. Franklin, a 14-time Grammy winner, landed nods in Best Gospel Performance/Song (for “Love Theory”) and Best Gospel Album (for “Long Live Love”).

According to Daily Mail, Tom Hanks was stunned to discover he is related to Mr Rogers – the legendary children’s TV star he plays in the new biopic movie A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. The famous entertainers share a distant relative in Johannes Meffert, who was born in 1732, and are actually sixth cousins according to research through Ancestry.com. And Hanks and his actress wife Rita Wilson were truly surprised when Access Hollywood broke the news on the red carpet for his new film. When a reporter told them about the connection, an incredulous Wilson shot back, ‘No, impossible’. No you’re pulling our leg.’ ‘It all just comes together you see,’ Hanks said. Fred Rogers, who died in 2003, hosted Mr Roger’s Neighborhood from 1968 to 2001. ‘I would like to see if Johnny Depp is related to Fred Rogers,’ Hanks joked. Rogers’ widow Joanne was equally thrilled by their connection. ‘That is just wonderful! Now that is amazing, and Fred would have loved it. He loved family tree stuff,’ she told Access Hollywood.

You can read these stories and more at UrbanChristianNews.com.

In closing, remember, 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 may God bless your day!