PODCAST: Rev. Olu Brown of Impact Church in Georgia announces retirement (BCNN1 5.17.21)

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According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, The Rev. Olu Brown of Fulton County’s prominent Impact Church announced on Sunday that he plans to retire as lead pastor. His retirement from the progressive church takes effect in June 2022. Brown, a native of Lufkin, Texas, said he is leaving to pursue entrepreneurial and consulting opportunities full time with churches, businesses and nonprofits. Brown, 43, founded the Sylvan Road church in East Point 14 years ago with an initial 25 “Impacters.” Currently, Impact has a weekly attendance of 5,000. “This is not the end of Impact Church, it’s just a transition of leadership,” he said. Among its members is Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who spent her inauguration day with an interfaith worship service there in 2018. In a sometimes emotional sermon, Brown talked about his faith journey and said local churches over the decades “saved my life.” As a young African American male, “I had a lot of choices and a lot of those were not good choices,” he said in a subsequent interview. The ministry initially met in Brown Middle School and later moved to its current location in what was then an abandoned warehouse in a blighted area of the city. Over the last year or so, the church offered COVID-19 testing and became a vaccination site. It has formed partnerships with local government, businesses and educational institutions to help residents in the area. His decision to move on was not difficult to make. “I think leaders know they are on a timeline and know they begin with an end in mind,” he said. “I knew this 14 to 15 years ago when I started. Now that part of God’s call on my life has come to an end, it’s time for me to normalize next,” he said. Robert M. Franklin Jr. , the James T. and Berta R. Laney chair in Moral Leadership at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology and former president of the Interdenominational Theological Center, called Brown “a church pioneer, who has established inspiring innovations in 21st century urban ministry that has been copied by others.” A successor has not been named and will be determined by United Methodist Church officials in the North Georgia Conference.

According to NBC News, A toddler was found dead Saturday morning in the middle of a Texas street, authorities said. “The incident is being investigated as a murder and the investigation is active and ongoing,” the Dallas Police Department said in a release. “Officers are canvassing the area and asking for the public’s assistance, specially any neighbors who may have any knowledge or video regarding this incident.” The unidentified boy was discovered with multiple wounds about 5:30 a.m. CT in the 7500 block of Saddleridge Drive, Executive Assistant Chief Albert Martinez told NBC Dallas-Fort Worth. He did not provide details about how the child was killed, but said investigators believe an “edged weapon” was used. Martinez also described the circumstances of the case as “unusual.” “Unfortunately a small child was lost today in our city through a violent act and we will pursue justice to find whoever did this and bring some sort of closure, not only to family but to the community,” he said, according to the news station. “… We are shocked. We are very angry about what has happened to this small child.” Antwainese Square, who lives in the neighborhood, was on a morning walk when she saw the child’s body on the street. She initially thought it was a dog, she told NBC Dallas-Fort Worth. But as she got closer, Square noticed she was looking at a body and called 911. “The baby didn’t have shoes, he didn’t have a shirt on and he was just laying there …,” Square, a mother of three and an educator, said. “For a kid to have to go through that, that’s just disturbing, and that’s disturbing for me to carry all day.” The FBI’s crime scene unit has been called to assist Dallas police in the investigation.

According to the Associated Press, Israeli warplanes unleashed a new series of heavy airstrikes at several locations of Gaza City early Monday, hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signaled the fourth war with Gaza’s Hamas rulers would rage on. Explosions rocked the city from north to south for 10 minutes in an attack that was heavier, on a wider area and lasted longer than a series of air raids 24 hours earlier in which 42 Palestinians were killed — the deadliest single attack in the latest round of violence between Israel and the Hamas militant group that rules Gaza. The earlier Israeli airstrikes flattened three buildings. There were no immediate reports of injuries, and in the predawn darkness there was little information on the extent of damage inflicted early Monday. Local media reports said the main coastal road west of the city, security compounds and open spaces were hit in the latest raids. The power distribution company said airstrikes damaged a line feeding electricity from the only power plant to large parts of southern Gaza City. In a televised address on Sunday, Netanyahu said Israel’s attacks were continuing at “full-force” and would “take time.“ Israel “wants to levy a heavy price” on the Hamas militant group, he said, flanked by his defense minister and political rival, Benny Gantz, in a show of unity.

According to the Associated Press, The immunologist who leads the COVID-19 response in the United States said Sunday that “the undeniable effects of racism” have led to unacceptable health disparities that especially hurt African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans during the pandemic. “COVID-19 has shone a bright light on our own society’s failings,” Dr. Anthony Fauci said during a graduation ceremony for Emory University. Speaking by webcast from Washington, Fauci told the graduates in Atlanta that many members of minority groups work in essential jobs where they might be exposed to the coronavirus. He also said they are more likely to become infected if exposed because of medical conditions such as hypertension, chronic lung disease, diabetes or obesity. “Now, very few of these comorbidities have racial determinants,” Fauci said. “Almost all relate to the social determinants of health dating back to disadvantageous conditions that some people of color find themselves in from birth regarding the availability of an adequate diet, access to health care and the undeniable effects of racism in our society.” Fauci said correcting societal wrongs will take a commitment of decades, and he urged the graduates to be part of the solution.

According to the Daily Mail, Nearly 90 percent of Washington DC’s gas stations had run out of fuel by Friday. It came despite Colonial Pipeline ramping up deliveries in the wake of the cyberattack that shut down its system for six days. Widespread panic buying is still ongoing, which has left filling stations across the Southeast out of gas – even in areas far from the pipeline. The average national gasoline price climbed to almost $3.04 on Friday, which is the most expensive since October 2014. President Biden said supplies should start to return to normal this weekend. Colonial Pipeline announced late Thursday it had restarted its entire pipeline system after the six-day disruptive shutdown. Some states experienced modest improvements but still had a lot of gasoline outages, including North Carolina where 70 percent of gas stations had run dry.

According to the Daily Mail, conservative commentator Candace Owens is continuing her take-down of Chrissy Teigen, labeling her a Hollywood ‘predator’ similar to Harvey Weinstein and Jeffrey Epstein who has publicly victimized women for years. Owens tweeted on Friday that Teigen has been able to get away with ‘victimizing’ people for years because she was ‘protected by Hollywood.’ Owens, 32, has recently unearthed vile tweets Teigen, 35, made in the past as she accused the model of ‘hypocrisy’ after apologizing to Courtney Stodden.

According to the Associated Press, John Legend will headline a concert to mark 100 years since the Tulsa Race Massacre. Legend will play the Remember and Rise event at ONEOK Field in Tulsa on May 31. Other performers and speakers will be announced later. The concert is sponsored by the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission, which seeks to educate people about the attack by a white mob that killed an estimated 300 people, most of them Black. Concert organizers plan to televise the concert, but details were not given.

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!