This is the Black Christian News Network One podcast. Here are the top stories you need to know about today.
According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, A coalition of primarily Black religious leaders is tapping the brakes on plans to boycott powerful Georgia-based businesses that didn’t vigorously oppose the state’s new election overhaul. Bishop Reginald Jackson said Tuesday he will wait until after a planned virtual meeting with the executives of some of Georgia’s biggest firms to decide whether to move forward with the boycott. “Hopefully, we won’t have to give the signal,” said Jackson, the bishop of the AME Sixth Episcopal District. “We want these companies to speak out publicly against this legislation, to use their lobbying resources to fight voting restrictions in other states and to publicly support federal legislation to expand voting rights.” Jackson and other religious leaders planned a boycott this week to punish companies that sidestepped the debate over the new voting restrictions. Since then, Coca-Cola and Delta Air Lines issued scathing statements opposing the measure, and Major League Baseball pulled the All-Star game from Atlanta. Some Republican supporters of the measure have promoted their own calls for boycotts of Coke, Delta and America’s pastime over their opposition to the measure. And Gov. Brian Kemp has said the firms “caved to fear” from Democrats and other critics of the changes. “I want to be clear: I will not be backing down from this fight. We will not be intimidated, and we will also not be silenced,” Kemp said. The overhaul includes new ID requirements for mail-in ballots, curbs the use of ballot drop boxes, gives the Republican-controlled Legislature more control over local elections and bans outside groups from giving water and food to voters in line. It also expands weekend voting before general elections in some counties. The bishop said he spoke with executives with Coca-Cola and Delta shortly before they came out against the law last week, and that he’s planning to deliver similar messages to executives with Aflac, AT&T, Home Depot, Southern Co. and UPS during their virtual call next week. In the meantime, faith leaders plan to hold a protest soon outside the Augusta National Golf Club, which is set to stage the Masters this week. Augusta National has so far remained silent about the election law, the same strategy its used when confronted with criticism over the club’s demographic makeup. He noted the demonstrations will highlight how Augusta National didn’t invite a Black player to compete in the tournament until 1975 and didn’t admit its first Black member until 1990. His goal, he said, is to “keep the attention on Georgia” during the prestigious sporting event.
According to Greenville News, John Gray’s Relentless Church has secured a space for a new campus near Atlanta, Georgia, the celebrity pastor announced on Easter Sunday. Gray made the announcement during Sunday’s service in Greenville after unveiling plans for major renovation projects on its current Haywood Road campus that includes a covered walkway, new façade, a relocation of the children’s ministry and a handful of other facility upgrades. Gray, who stood on stage with his wife Aventer Gray, played a video for the congregation to see a glimpse of the soon-to-be Georgia campus as they made clear their intentions: “One church, two locations.” “We are going to fill this campus with the love of Christ,” Gray said in the promotional video. “And we’re going to infuse hope into hurting people and we’re going to grow and build disciples. We’re going to create an atmosphere where everyone knows they belong. … Atlanta is in a moment in time and I believe we have something to add.” The campus is located at 4665 Macland Road in Powder Springs, Georgia, according to the video. “That building is not in the works, it’s ours,” John Gray told the Greenville congregation.
According to the Sun Sentinel, Congressman Alcee Hastings, whose life was marked by perseverance, calamity and a comeback, has died. He was 84. Hastings crusaded against racial injustice as a civil rights lawyer, became a federal judge who was impeached and removed from office, and went on to win 15 congressional elections, becoming Florida’s senior member of Congress. He died Tuesday morning, a longtime friend said. His death was confirmed in a statement from his family. In late 2018, Hastings was diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. For much of the ensuing two years, he continued public appearances between medical treatments, but more recently he hadn’t been in public. In recent days, he had been in hospice care. “Alcee was a fighter, and he fought this terrible disease longer than most. He faced it fearlessly, and at times even made fun of it,” said Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness.
According to The Daily Beast, The longtime police officer who was killed in an attack outside the Capitol building last week was “the best father, son, brother, and friend anyone could ever hope for,” his family said in a statement Tuesday. Billy Evans, a member of the U.S. Capitol Police for 18 years, died after a driver rammed into a barricade he’d been guarding with another officer last Friday. His family is now speaking out about what they describe as “the darkest moment of our lives,” which cut short the life of the “warm, funny and caring person we loved.” “His death has left a gaping void in our lives that will never be filled,” Evans’ loved ones said in a statement shared by U.S. Capitol Police. In addition to being a dedicated police officer, Evans is also described as a devoted father to two young children. “The absolute most important thing in his life was his two children, Logan and Abigail. His most cherished moments were those spent with them—building with Lego, having lightsaber duels, playing board games, doing arts and crafts, and recently finishing the Harry Potter series. He was always so eager to show how proud he was of everything they did… Their dad was their hero long before the tragic events of last week.”
According to CNBC, Fani Willis, the Fulton County district attorney, will not prosecute a Georgia lawmaker who attempted to protest the state’s restrictive voter law as it was being signed. Rep. Park Cannon was arrested last month for knocking on Gov. Brian Kemp’s door while he was on live national TV signing the bill into law. She was charged with obstruction of law enforcement and disruption of the General Assembly, but the D.A. has decided to close the case. “While some of Representative Cannon’s colleagues and the police officers involved may have found her behavior annoying, such sentiment does not justify a presentment to a grand jury of the allegations in the arrest warrants or any other felony charges,” a statement from Willis said. The voter law that was signed on March 25 will disadvantage minority voters and has been called “Jim Crow in the 21st century” by President Joe Biden.
According to PEOPLE magazine, Hundreds reportedly gathered Monday to pray and offer support for DMX as he remains hospitalized following a heart attack he suffered on Friday. CNN affiliate News 12 reported that as many as 500 people gathered outside the White Plains, New York, hospital where the rapper and actor is currently being treated. His longtime attorney, Murray Richman, confirmed to CNN Sunday that DMX had suffered a heart attack around 11 p.m. on Friday at his home in White Plains and was taken via ambulance to a local hospital. Richman said then that the artist was on a ventilator. According to News 12, police had to block off the street after a crowd gathered for the prayer vigil for the artist who grew up in Yonkers and who, over the years, has given back to the community by feeding residents on Thanksgiving and donating to the local community center he attended as a youth.
According to CBS Sports, The only opponent Gonzaga could not beat was its last. The previously-undefeated Bulldogs took their first loss of the season, falling 86-70 to No. 1 seed Baylor on Monday in the NCAA Tournament championship game. In a stunningly lopsided season finale the Zags never once led in, Gonzaga’s season ends with a 31-1 record and with Baylor — 73 years removed from its last national championship game appearance — celebrating its first-ever men’s basketball title. Baylor ascended to the top of the sport with style, too, jumping out early to a 9-0 lead. Which turned to 11-1. Which turned into 29-10 less than 10 minutes into the game. It marked the largest deficit Gonzaga faced all season. Baylor guards Jared Butler, MaCio Teague and Jared Butler — long the staples of success for this team — fittingly led the way for the Bears with a combined 56 points and 12 assists.
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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!