PODCAST: Body of Missing Pastor’s Wife Found (UCNN 8.20.20)

This is the Urban Christian News podcast. Here are the top stories you need to know about today.

According to The Kansas City Star, the missing wife of Pastor Adam Carter of Leawood Baptist Church is believed to have died from carbon monoxide poisoning in Arkansas, officials said Wednesday. The body believed to be that of 36-year-old Marilane Carter was found Tuesday morning in the driver’s seat of a vehicle which had been backed into a storage container in Crittenden County, Arkansas. No foul play is suspected. The car’s ignition was in the run position when the woman was found, he said, adding that there’s evidence the car had been running inside the container. It’s believed she died of asphyxiation due to carbon monoxide poisoning, though an official autopsy report had not yet been completed, police Chief Todd Grooms said Wednesday afternoon. William Wolfe, chief deputy coroner for Crittenden County, said the body assumed to be Carter’s, due to the clothing she was wearing, was sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab Wednesday morning, There, investigators will officially identify the woman, as well as her cause of death.

According to the Christian Post, A Trump appointee on Monday temporarily blocked an Idaho law that bans biologically male trans-identified athletes from competing in girls’ and women’s sporting competitions at the high school and university levels, the only law in the country to do so. The “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act,” which was signed into law in March, was halted by David Nye, the chief U.S. district judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho. Nye, who was appointed to the federal bench by Trump in 2017, ruled that plaintiffs suing to overturn the law “are likely to succeed in establishing” that the legislation is “unconstitutional as currently written.” He granted a preliminary injunction against the law. Nye’s decision puts Idaho’s enforcement of the policy on hold until the merits of the lawsuit against it can be considered. The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the state on behalf of a trans-identifying track athlete at Boise State University named Lindsay Hecox and three unnamed plaintiffs.

According to The Kairos Company, With the school year underway in Los Angeles, the L.A. Dream Center has announced that on Tuesday, Aug. 18, they will resume their drive-thru food service to assist families who normally had school lunches to count on for their families. They first introduced this unique gift to the community back in March when the pandemic began. In addition to the meals provided on the Dream Center campus, the Dream Center is now pleased to announce the first-ever “Restart Learning Center,” mobile learning hubs strategically placed throughout Los Angeles to provide a place of safety, accountability and motivation with tutors on board. This is an entirely new form of assistance the Dream Center has embarked on, knowing that education will be particularly challenging for many families without resources and good structure to help their children as they attend school remotely. L.A. Dream Center co-founder Matthew Barnett has repeatedly reminded his staff and volunteers, “It’s no secret that the pandemic and the lock down in Los Angeles are crippling the poorest and most vulnerable among us. When this crisis began, I saw families in tears from overwhelming uncertainty and kids robbed of a normal childhood or adolescence. I saw the rug pulled from under so many in our community. But when life lands a punch, we counterpunch with a force of good. Families throughout Los Angeles need us right now, and providing meals and resources to ensure kids don’t fall behind scholastically are just two of the ways we’re responding to this crisis with every ounce of energy that we have. Right now, all of us at the Dream Center are united in enthusiasm for our latest mantra: ‘Meet the need. Support the comeback.'”

According to Politico, One in four young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 say they’ve considered suicide in the past month because of the pandemic, according to new CDC data that paints a bleak picture of the nation’s mental health during the crisis. The data also flags a surge of anxiety and substance abuse, with more than 40 percent of those surveyed saying they experienced a mental or behavioral health condition connected to the Covid-19 emergency. The CDC study analyzed 5,412 survey respondents between June 24 and 30. The toll is falling heaviest on young adults, caregivers, essential workers and minorities. While 10.7 percent of respondents overall reported considering suicide in the previous 30 days, 25.5 percent of those between 18 to 24 reported doing so. Almost 31 percent of self-reported unpaid caregivers and 22 percent of essential workers also said they harbored such thoughts. Hispanic and Black respondents similarly were well above the average.

According to ESPN, Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields started a petition requesting the Big Ten immediately reinstate the 2020 football season, a petition that had nearly 290,000 signatures as of 11 p.m. ET Wednesday. Fields tweeted Sunday that “this cause is close to my heart” and urged people to sign the petition. The campaign said it is asking the Big Ten to allow its players and teams to make their own choices as to whether they wish to play or opt out of the fall season. The petition follows the Big Ten’s decision to postpone the 2020 season based on medical advice regarding the coronavirus pandemic and a vote from the conference’s presidents and chancellors. In the petition, Fields wrote that the players believe “the safety protocols have been established and can be maintained to mitigate concerns of exposure to Covid 19.” He goes on to say that he believes the players should be able to make decisions about what is best for their health and future.

According to Religion News Service, Trinity Broadcasting Network said it will no longer air the daily Texas-based Kenneth Copeland Ministries program known as “Believer’s Voice of Victory.” Instead, the network will replace it with programming by Steven Furtick, a megachurch pastor who is widely known for his appearances on PreachersNSneakers, an Instagram account that features influencer pastors and their expensive shoes. The change will be effective Oct. 2. Nate Daniels, Trinity Broadcasting Network’s marketing director, said the move is part of a number of changes the network “has been making over the last several years.” Daniels said in a statement, “Just like the world in which we live, TBN is constantly evolving, seeking to provide exclusive programming that is uniquely built for the challenges facing Christians in this moment. As the leading global religious broadcaster, we want to provide our viewers with compelling and dynamic preaching, teaching, news and entertainment.” Furtick leads North Carolina’s Elevation Church, a diverse and youthful congregation described as one of the fastest-growing churches in the nation. The church, as The Charlotte Observer noted, carries an “orthodox Christian message that comes wrapped in a thoroughly modern package.”

According to Billboard, In addition to honoring top gospel artists, this year’s Stellar Gospel Music Awards, which will air on BET Networks on Aug. 23, will honor the late Congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis and those on the front lines of the battle against the coronavirus pandemic. Kirk Franklin is set to co-host the two-hour virtual special, which will air at 6 p.m. ET, with an encore airing at 9 p.m. ET. It’s Franklin’s ninth time as host or co-host of the show, which dates to 1984. His co-hosts this year are Jonathan McReynolds and Koryn Hawthorne, both of whom are also set to perform. Other confirmed performers include CeCe Winans, J.J. Hairston & Youthful Praise, Travis Greene, Marvin Sapp, Tye Tribbett, Tauren Wells, Pastor Mike Jr., Anthony Brown, James Fortune, Kierra Sheard, Zacardi Cortez, DOE and Rich Tolbert Jr. Emerging artists set to make their Stellar Awards debut include Melvin Crispell III, Titus Showers, Group Fire and Keyla Richardson. Donald Lawrence Presents the Tri-City Singers leads the field of nominees with nine nominations. Other top nominees include Franklin and Tasha Cobbs Leonard (eight nods each), J.J. Hairston (seven), Bishop Paul S. Morton (six), John P. Kee (five), Kurt Carr & The Kurt Carr Singers, William Murphy and Pastor Mike, Jr. (four each) and Maranda Curtis and and Fresh Start Worship (three each).

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!