PODCAST: John Gray Brings in Fellow Pastors to Help Guide Relentless Church (BCNN1 12.19.19)

According to CBN News, At least nine Christians were recently murdered in Kenya for not reciting the Islamic statement of faith, the Shahada. International Christian Concern (ICC) in an exclusive report said the attack occurred earlier this month when nine Christians who were traveling by bus to Mandera were separated from the other passengers and killed in northeast Kenya. When they would not recite the Islamic creed, the Shahada, they were “paraded out of the bus and shot dead at close range by those believed to be Al-Shabaab militants.” Two passengers are still missing. Local authorities believe they were also killed by the militants. The names of those confirmed as killed are Athanus Kiti, Enos Odhiambo, Kelvin Mandela, Wisely Meli, Tikane Kasale, Leonard Mukanda, Francis Mbuvi, Rodgers Machuka, and Anchari Okerosi. The two still missing are Emmanuel Barasa and Nathan Bett, according to the ICC.

According to The Greenville News, Pastor John Gray announced Sunday that he’s brought on a number of seasoned megachurch pastors to act as advisers to guide him as he leads Relentless Church. The move comes amid a financially rocky first year-and-a-half at Relentless Church that Gray hopes to steady with a move to a new Greenville location in the new year. Gray told the Relentless congregation during a Sunday service where he laid out the church’s 2020 vision that the pastors would work as a presbytery to help govern the church. The pastors include Greg Surratt, the founding pastor of Charleston-based Seacoast Church; Dino Rizzo, the executive director of the Association of Related Churches, of which Relentless is a member; and Chris Hodges, the founder and senior pastor of Alabama’s Church of the Highlands. Gray said he’s had the heart to pastor since he felt God’s calling him to ministry at age 21, but he’s had to learn the business side of running a church. That’s why he’s asked other senior pastors for guidance, he said. “Among them are men with successful churches and ministries behind them, and because we’ve been in personal relationships, I asked them to come in in an official capacity to help oversee the church moving forward,” Gray said in an interview with The Greenville News.

According to NBC News, Two young siblings who disappeared from the front yard of their Jacksonville home over the weekend have been found, authorities said Tuesday. Braxton Williams, 6, and Bri’ya Williams, 5, were last seen at about 11:30 a.m. Sunday outside their home in the Paradise Valley mobile park, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said. “Great News! The Florida AMBER Alert for Braxton and Bri’ya Williams of Jacksonville has been resolved,” the Florida Department of Law Enforcement announced late Tuesday afternoon. “The children are safe. Thank you for sharing! As far as their condition goes, they’re lively and talkative,” the sheriff said. “They asked for a cheese pizza that we quickly delivered to them.” Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said the children appeared to have wandered off and took shelter in a dilapidated pumphouse about 400 yards from their home at about 3:30 p.m Tuesday. Authorities were still trying to get more details from the children.

According to The Associated Press, A swarm of tornadoes and other storms that left a trail of destruction across the Southeast killed four people, injured at least a dozen more and left victims to bundle up against the cold as they picked through pieces of their homes on Tuesday. The death toll rose to four after heavy overnight rains caused flooding in Greenup County, Kentucky. Water rescue crews were called in about 8 a.m. Tuesday to aid two people, and at least one of them died, Kentucky State Police Trooper Bobby King said. He said crews were still trying to rescue another person. National Weather Service teams confirmed at least 18 tornado paths: nine in Mississippi, six in Alabama and three in Louisiana. The number could rise since teams were still surveying damage. Col. Bryan Olier, chief of staff at the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, told a news conference that at least 25 counties were affected, 150 homes reported damaged or destroyed and about a dozen people injured. The Storm Prediction Center logged more than three dozen reports of storm damage from east Texas to Georgia.

According to Reuters, Desert locusts are destroying tens of thousands of hectares of crops and grazing land in Somalia in the worst invasion in 25 years, the United Nations food agency said on Wednesday, and the infestation is likely to spread further. The locusts have damaged about 70,000 hectares of land in Somalia and neighboring Ethiopia, threatening food supplies in both countries and the livelihoods of farming communities, the Food and Agriculture Organization said. An average swarm will destroy crops that could feed 2,500 people for a year, the FAO said. Conflict and chaos in much of Somalia make spraying pesticide by airplane – which the FAO called the “ideal control measure” – impossible, the agency said in a statement. “The impact of our actions in the short term is going to be very limited.” Ashagre Molla, 66, a father of seven from Woldia in the Amhara region 435 miles north-east of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, said he had so far received no help from the government. “I was supposed to get up to 3,000 kg of teff (a cereal grass) and maize this year, but because of desert locusts and untimely rains I only got 400 kg of maize and expect only 200 kg of teff. This is not even enough to feed my family.”

According to USA Today, Herman Boone, the legendary high school football coach portrayed by Denzel Washington in the iconic movie “Remember the Titans,” has died. He was 84. Boone took over as head coach of T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia, in 1971 — the first year the city’s high schools were integrated and consolidated. Led by Boone, who was black, and assistant coach Bill Yoast, who was white, the Titans football team overcame racial tension to go undefeated and win the state championship. Former T.C. Williams principal John Porter informed the school Wednesday of Boone’s death and the school’s football boosters club announced it on Twitter. He wrote: It is with great sadness that we share the sad news of the passing of former Head Football Coach Herman Boone who lead the Titans to the State Championship in 1971.” Boone’s death comes six months after Yoast died in May at the age of 94.

According to Christian Headlines, Christian music star Lauren Daigle visited and performed at the Angola State Penitentiary in Louisiana last week and gave thousands of dollars, as well as a message of hope, to inmates. “In the middle of the pain, in the middle of your problems, in the middle of you being the worst of who you are, He comes and He sits next to you in the process,” she said to the inmates. According to Faithwire, many of the inmates at Angola – the largest maximum-security facility in the US – are serving life sentences. “He doesn’t point the finger, He doesn’t give you shame, He sits with you. I think that’s why He’s called the Savior of the world,” Daigle said during her performance. On Giving Tuesday this year, Daigle hosted a fundraiser to raise money for the inmates. She encouraged fans to give cash donations for the prison to use toward purchasing clothing and phone calls. The Grammy Award-winning artist and her fans ultimately raised $17,000.

You can read these stories and more at BlackChristianNews.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!