This is the Urban Christian News podcast. Here are the top stories you need to know about today.
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 Christian Post, A leading Christian foster care agency has placed nearly 300 unaccompanied immigrant children in foster homes across the United States in recent months as the U.S. continues to deal with a surge of unaccompanied minors at the southern border. Bethany Christian Services, a Michigan-based nonprofit organization, had placed 299 unaccompanied children in foster care homes nationwide since last November when a federal judge issued an injunction against former President Donald Trump’s use of Title 42 to deport unaccompanied children from the U.S. in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. BCS works to place the unaccompanied children taken into U.S. government custody with foster parents while they wait to be reunited with family already living in the U.S.
According to ABC News, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson vetoed a bill Monday that would have banned gender-confirming treatments for transgender youths in the state. During a news conference with reporters, the Republican governor said the intentions behind the state legislature’s “Save Adolescents from Experimentation (SAFE) Act” were “well-intended but off course.” The act bars doctors from providing gender-affirming health care to transgender minors, including hormones, puberty blockers and transition-related surgeries. Hutchinson said that he had an issue with the bill that would affect patients who are currently taking treatments and how it would affect the mental health of the state’s youth.
According to Daily Mail, Harrowing new details have emerged in a search warrant related to the Circle of Hope Christian boarding school in Missouri, including claims made by a 12-year-old student who said that she was chained to a wall for two weeks, starved and forced to go to the bathroom in a bucket. Boyd Householder, 71, and his wife Stephanie, 55, were charged last month with 102 counts for sexually, emotionally, or physically abusing students for years at their all-female religious reform school in Cedar County. The institution closed its doors in September 2020, around the time authorities executed a search warrant on the Householders’ property and seized multiple items, including suspected instruments of corporal punishment like zip-ties, handcuffs and duct tape, which were mentioned by some of the alleged victims during their interviews with law enforcement officials.
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.
According to Billboard, Justin Bieber surprised fans by sharing Freedom, a gospel-inspired EP, on Easter. The 27-year-old pop superstar’s new release popped up on streaming platforms around 6 p.m. ET on Sunday (April 4). “Freedom on all platforms,” Bieber wrote on Instagram shortly after the new project surfaced. Freedom’s track list includes six songs: title track “Freedom” with Beam, “All She Wrote” (feat. Brandon Love and Chandler Moore), “We’re in This Together,” “Where You Go I Follow” (feat. Pink Sweats, Chandler Moore and Judah Smith), “Where Do I Fit In” (feat. Tori Kelly, Chandler Moore and Judah Smith) and “Afraid to Say” (feat. Lauren Walters). The Freedom EP follows the release of Bieber’s sixth album, Justice, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.
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.
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!