PODCAST: Pastor Rickie Rush Accused of Sexual and Physical Abuse (BCNN1 9.22.20)

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According to The Dallas Morning News, five former congregants of Rickie Rush’s Inspiring Body of Christ Church in Dallas, Texas, have made allegations of sexual abuse and physical assault against him. One woman alleges he repeatedly sexually abused her when she was a teenager. Three teens, now grown, say he brutally beat them with paddles. The most devastating discovery for Renee, the first victim to come forward publicly to The News: Her sister and nephew were among the accusers. For years they had been too afraid to confide in each other. The News pieced together this story by reviewing hundreds of pages of documents including court depositions, police affidavits, church memos, school records, photographs, memoirs, calendars and therapists’ evaluations. More than 50 people were interviewed about various aspects of the church Renee attended. Most people The News spoke with were too fearful to be identified as saying anything negative about the church, citing the pastor’s consistent warnings against doing so. All once stood by him. Now they want the public to know the many faces of Pastor Rickie Rush. Rush did not personally respond after The News detailed the allegations to him in emails and a letter. A lawyer, Michael Heiskell, released a statement on Rush’s behalf emphasizing that some of the allegations date back decades and asked that judgment be withheld until “all of the relevant facts and circumstances are revealed.” “These matters, upon initial review, appear to be specious claims unsupported by credible, compelling evidence,” the statement said. “Pastor Rush’s life work of Christian service and his 30 years of leading The Inspiring Body of Christ Church in its benevolent mission has stood the test of time.”

According to The Christian Post, New York City megachurch Pastor A.R. Bernard’s battle with COVID-19 was a lonely one. He was placed on oxygen, watched his life flash before his eyes, and began to have out-of-body experiences when he was hospitalized in March. Bernard, the 67-year-old pastor of Brooklyn’s 37,000-member Christian Cultural Center, said the virus desensitized him to death and the “spirituality of death.” And it forced him to reckon with the reality of darkness. “I began to shake, my body began to tremor uncontrollably, and things began to get dark,” Bernard said in an interview with The Christian Post. “I was sleeping. But every time I closed my eyes to go to sleep, I felt like I was floating in the dark. It became increasingly intense.” According to the COVID Tracking Project, the U.S. and its territories have reported more than 6.7 million cases of the coronavirus and over 191,300 deaths related to COVID-19 as of Sunday. Globally, COVID-19 has affected nearly 30 million people and factored into the deaths of over 957,900, according to data from Johns Hopkins University & Medicine. “I’m watching people being brought in on stretchers, sitting up and taken into other rooms, and then within a half-hour, sometimes an hour, they were carried out, laid down with a sheet over their faces,” Bernard said. “People were dying around me and I inquired, of course, and found out that it was COVID related.” With nearly 1 million worldwide perishing after contracting COVID-19, some have wondered what spiritual impact the virus is having and whether there is a demonic component to it. CP interviewed Christian pastors and performers who’ve contracted the virus to talk about their experiences and any spiritual revelations they might have had as they battled the illness. Many patients died alone due to hospital restrictions on visitors, and Bernard recalled his experience as being extremely “lonely” as his health took a severe decline. With a preexisting condition of asthma, the respected minister said he was placed on oxygen while he literally watched life flash before his eyes.

According to Daily Mail, Donald Trump said Monday that he will wait to announce his nomination to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg until Friday or Saturday – after funeral services have concluded for the late justice. ‘I think it’ll be on Friday or Saturday,’ Trump said of the impending announcement for his third Supreme Court nomination. ‘And we want to pay respect. We, it looks like, it looks like we will have probably services on Thursday or Friday, as I understand it.’ ‘I think in all due respect we should wait until the services are over for Justice Ginsburg,’ he told the Fox & Friends panel during a Monday morning call-in interview. ‘And so we’re looking probably at Friday or maybe Saturday.’ Ginsburg, who was lovingly referred to as RBG, will be honored in a viewing outside the Supreme Court building later this week, according to pandemic-era guidelines. The president also claimed to the Fox News morning show panel that he has narrowed his list of potential nominees to five different people. ‘I’m looking at five, probably four, but I’m looking at five very seriously,’ Trump said. ‘I’m going to make a decision on either Friday or Saturday. I will announce it either Friday or Saturday, and then the work begins,’ he continued. ‘Hopefully, it won’t be too much work, because these are very qualified people. No matter how you would look at it, these are the finest people in the nation. Young people. Pretty young for the most part.’ The president has signaled an impending announcement following the death of Ginsburg last week, claiming it’s his ‘obligation’ to nominate a new justice ‘without delay. With Ginsburg’s passing, only two of the remaining eight justices are women, prompting Trump to promise over the weekend he will nominate a female. There are four women who have made the shortlist, a source with knowledge of the process said, according to Politico – Amy Coney Barrett, who is considered the front runner, Kate Todd, Barbara Lagoa and Allison Jones Rushing. RBG died at the age of 87 late last week due to complications from her ongoing battle with pancreatic cancer.

According to The Associated Press, A woman suspected of sending an envelope containing the poison ricin, which was addressed to White House, has been arrested at the New York-Canada border, three law enforcement officials told The Associated Press on Sunday. The letter had been intercepted earlier this week before it reached the White House. The woman was taken into custody by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Peace Bridge border crossing near Buffalo and is expected to face federal charges, the officials said. Her name was not immediately released. The letter addressed to the White House appeared to have originated in Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police have said. It was intercepted at a government facility that screens mail addressed to the White House and President Donald Trump and a preliminary investigation indicated it tested positive for ricin, according to the officials. The officials were not authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

According to The South Florida Sun Sentinel, The parents of NFL running back James White were in a turn lane in Broward County on Sunday afternoon when a 32-year-old motorist plowed into the side of the vehicle, killing Tyrone White, a Miami-Dade police captain. Tyrone White’s wife, Lisa White, sustained life-threatening injuries. The crash happened around 1 p.m. in the 11800 block of Griffin Road in Cooper City. Daniel Chamberlin was driving a 2018 Subaru east on Griffin Road when he hit the passenger side of the Whites’ 2014 Volkswagon Passat, according to a police report. The impact caused the Passat to strike a curb and then flip, trapping the Whites inside. As witnesses tried to help the motorists, Chamberlin’s car caught fire. Chamberlin did not sustain life threatening injuries. Lisa White was taken by air ambulance to Memorial Regional Hospital. Tyrone White was pronounced dead at the scene. James White was scheduled to play with the New England Patriots on Sunday night against the Seattle Seahawks but was inactive.

According to Daily Mail, The Emotions singer Pamela Hutchinson has died at 61 after years battling ‘health challenges’ the group shared on Facebook. Hutchinson – who sang ‘Best of My Love’ in the R&B outfit with her sisters – died Friday, they announced Sunday. ‘In loving memory, we are saddened to announce the passing of our sister, Pamela Rose Hutchinson, on Friday, September 18, 2020,’ a statement on the page read. ‘Pam succumbed to health challenges that she’d been battling for several years. Now our beautiful sister will sing amongst the angels in heaven in perfect peace.’ The statement continued: ‘During this time, the family kindly asks for fans and friends to respect our privacy. We appreciate all kind words, photos, and videos you may want to post for our beloved Pamela and of course your loving prayers. ‘A life so beautifully lived deserves to be beautifully remembered. We love you, Pamela!’ The Chicago-born group wrapped up in saying, ‘Thank you and as always, You Got The Best of Our Love.’ The Emotions’ biggest hit came with the 1977 song ‘Best of My Love,’ which won the Grammy for Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus. The upbeat song has been featured in a number of high profile films, including 1997’s Boogie Nights, 1999’s Summer of Sam, 2006’s Mission Impossible III and 2006’s The Holiday.

According to E! Online, Justin Bieber teamed up with Chance The Rapper to create a new gospel-inspired track filled with positive vibes and love. Bieber dropped the music video to his new single “Holy” at midnight on Sept 18. In just the first few hours, the video gained millions of views from fans online. However, it’s almost unfair to call the new visual “a music video” as it’s realistically a five-minute movie, according to the singer himself. In the visual, the Grammy winner and his love interest, singer and actress Ryan Destiny, are making ends meet as he works as a construction worker and she works in a nursing home in a small town. The young couple, though having a difficult time, find a way to keep their heads above water, until they get evicted from their room in a motel. While walking alongside a highway, they’re met by a man in a military uniform—played by Wilmer Valderrama—who takes them home to a warm house and meal. The song and video from Justin, who frequently speaks out about his Christian faith, are both heartwarming and hopeful. As noted in an Instagram post, the “Intentions” singer wrote, “The new era begins.” Justin’s pal and fellow beloved artist Chance The Rapper, who makes a perfect addition to the track, is also featured throughout the video.

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!