Pointing heavenward and wiping away tears, pastor Fred Luter was elected in New Orleans as the first black president of the predominantly white Southern Baptist Convention. “To God be the glory for the things that he has done,” said Luter moments after more than 7,000 Southern Baptists leapt to their feet, cheered and shouted “Hallelujah” when he was declared their next leader.
c. 2012 Religion News Service RANDALLSTOWN, Md. (RNS) With the Southern Baptist Convention poised to elect its first African-American president at its meeting next week in New Orleans, the mostly black congregation at Colonial Baptist Church is equal parts excited and astonished.
c. 2012 Religion News Service WASHINGTON (RNS) A former staffer of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has filed suit against the watchdog agency, saying that it rescinded a job offer because she is Muslim and had worked for a Muslim advocacy group.
c. 2012 Religion News Service (RNS) In a building swap, the Crystal Cathedral has announced it will move its congregation to a smaller Roman Catholic church after the iconic Protestant megachurch was sold to the Catholic Diocese of Orange, Calif.
c. 2012 Religion News Service (RNS) The boyhood home of civil rights leader Malcolm X and the neighborhood where the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was born have been named "endangered" historic places by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
c. 2012 Religion News Service WASHINGTON (RNS) Attorney General Eric Holder and other legal experts strategized with black religious leaders on Wednesday (May 30) about new restrictive state voting laws that could affect their congregants by reducing early voting and requiring identification.
c. 2012 Religion News Service (RNS) A Southern Baptist leader who works on gay outreach has criticized recent anti-gay comments by two Baptist pastors in North Carolina, saying they "show a complete lack of understanding of how to minister to those struggling with this particular temptation."
c. 2012 Religion News Service (RNS) A majority of Southern Baptist pastors surveyed said they think it would be good for the nation's largest Protestant denomination to have an African-American leader.
More than two dozen faculty members have resigned from Shorter University, a Baptist school in Georgia, after it required them to sign a “personal lifestyle statement” that condemns homosexuality, premarital sex and public drinking.
c. 2012 Religion News Service WASHINGTON (RNS) Prison Fellowship founder and former Nixon aide Chuck Colson was memorialized Wednesday (May 16) at Washington National Cathedral in a service steeped in Scripture and prayers about prison and redemption.
c. 2012 Religion News Service (RNS) Southern Baptist leader Richard Land has issued a lengthy public apology for his racially charged comments about the Trayvon Martin case, and said he has sent a personal letter to President Obama seeking forgiveness.
c. 2012 Religion News Service (RNS) When the Supreme Court ruled that a Christian student group could only be recognized at a small public law school if it accepted non-Christians and gays as potential leaders, some lawyers and campus advocates grew nervous.
c. 2012 Religion News Service (RNS) The predominantly white United Methodist Church and five historically black denominations -- after more than a decade of discussions -- have entered a full communion agreement.
c. 2012 Religion News Service WASHINGTON (RNS) Americans marked the National Day of Prayer Thursday (May 3), with Christians gathering on Capitol Hill to defend their right to pray as nonbelievers observed a "Day of Reason."
c. 2012 Religion News Service (RNS) In a move that will give bishops more flexibility to remove ineffective pastors, the United Methodist Church voted on Tuesday (May 1) to end guaranteed clergy appointments.
A new White House report that offers guidance on public-private partnerships between the government and faith-based groups leaves critical questions unanswered and does not resolve the issue of religious groups’ ability to discriminate in hiring and firing, two church-state experts have said.