Pastor John Gray was a no-show for Sunday morning service at his Relentless megachurch in South Carolina, just days after it was reported that the church received an official eviction notice.
Gray spoke to his congregation via video from an undisclosed location. The embattled pastor delivered a message of defiance and hope, even as his church undergoes an eviction filed by the former owners.
In a calm voice, Gray explained that his absence was "pre-planned before there was a setup with a camera to serve papers to our church."
Photo by Marcus Ingram/Getty Images
Gray also noted that he was not in church so he could take "a necessary day” with his wife, Aventer Gray, to "build my marriage so that it can be healthy and vibrant."
Gray was the subject of cheating rumors and an extramarital affair with a woman in the Atlanta area.
The church's month-to-month lease expired last week. The Redemption Church, which owns the property, filed documents in court to evict the church.
Gray claimed the lease was paid and his church was not in default.
"We have paid what we owe, according to our agreement, and everything is going to be shared at the right time trough the proper legal channels," he said. "But until then, we, the Relentless Church, will continue to have service and we will maintain the moral ground."
Gray did not address rumors that he may be moving his megachurch to Atlanta.
For years Edward Long, son of the late Bishop Eddie Long, dropped by the downtown Atlanta office of "Hurricane" Dave Smith, vice president of programming and operations at Radio One. He often left his phone number, flyers, demos and notes requesting a meeting with Smith.
New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Macon, Georgia is capitalizing on the hype surrounding the Netflix thriller Bird Box. The film stars Sandra Bullock as a mother-of-2 who battles an unknown force to save the lives of her children.
The world media was in an uproar after Pope Francis declared "hell does not exist". Frantic Catholics took to Twitter.com in hopes of finding an explanation for the Pope's statement. Many asked, "If hell doesn't exist, why did Christ die on the cross for our sins?"
Tameka Raymond, the ex-wife of singer Usher Raymond, is urging her Twitter.com followers to learn the Koran in the aftermath of the al-Shabab massacre of 148 Christian students at a University in Kenya.
Pastor Jamal Bryant raised eyebrows when he inserted a popular hip hop catchphrase into his fiery sermon at the Empowerment Temple in Baltimore, MD, on Sunday.
Bryant recited the title of a popular Chris Brown song when he told his flock"These hoes ain't loyal!" Surprisingly his congregation cheered and stomped their feet as if in agreement with the pastor's description of young women who may have lost their way in life.
President Barack Obama and his well-heeled family -- first lady Michelle Obama and their daughters Malia and Sasha -- attended Sunday's Easter service at the 19th Street Baptist Church, where he also visited the Sunday before his first inauguration in 2009.
The very Reverend Dr. Derrick Harkins oversaw the service -- as he did in 2009.
"Let me just say, to the first family, to the President of the United States, Barack Obama, to the first lady of the United States, and Miss Malia and Sasha, we welcome you," Harkins said, according to a pool reporter at the service.
Jackson family matriarch Katherine Jackson, 82, raised all 8 of her children to be Jehovah's Witnesses. Even at the peak of his fame, superstar Michael Jackson continued going door-to-door spreading the scripture and handing out copies of The Watchtower. But Michael, who did not observe holidays or birthdays as a child, broke with religious tradition by treating his own children to lavish birthday parties at his Neverland ranch.
When Katherine Jackson took custody of Michael's kids, Paris, 15, Prince Michael, 16, and Blanket, 11, after Michael's untimely death in 2009, the children attended meetings in Kingdom Hall with Mrs. Jackson, went door-to-door as their father did, and encouraged their friends to convert to Jehovah's Witnesses.
Photos of Pope Francis kissing the feet of young male inmates at a detention center are drawing mixed reactions. Partly because the pope broke from longstanding tradition and also kissed the feet of 2 women detainees as part of the pontiff's Easter celebrations. The papal tradition of washing and kissing feet is usually reserved for kissing the feet of other male priests. Women have never been included in the papal tradition until Pope Francis' era. Apparently Pope Francis has been routinely washing and kissing the feet of the poor and downtrodden for years.
Florida Atlantic University officials have reversed their decision to suspend a student who objected to a highly offensive classroom assignment, WPTV reports.
Florida Governor Rick Scott has demanded a detailed investigation into the activities of professor Deandre Poole, right, who instructed his class to write the name "Jesus" on a piece of paper, place it on the floor and stomp on it.
The gays are in an uproar over comments made by Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson, who is considered to be the frontrunner for Pope Benedict XVI, who resigned on Feb. 28 due to ongoing medical issues.
If chosen, Cardinal Turkson will become the first black Pope. But his chances are growing slimmer by the hour as the gays vent their outrage over the Cardinal's response to Christiane Amanpour's question about the Catholic Church's child sex scandal spreading to Africa.
Rapper The Game is no stranger to controversy. With every album release The Game pushes the envelope of respectability and morality. The Game's latest album cover is already stirring debates among the religious set on social networking websites.
On the west coast rapper's 5th studio album titled Jesus Piece, Jesus is portrayed as a gang banger with a red bandana covering his face. The color red signifies the Bloods, a violent west coast gang that The Game is known to be affiliated with.
A DeKalb man was sentenced to 18 years in prison for beating his 5-month-old son to death, The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.
Benjamin Edetanlen's attorney used the bible to justify the horrific beatings that resulted in the infant's death in 2004.
“Mr. Edetanlen firmly believed in the adage, you know, spare the rod and spoil the child,” defense attorney Ingrid McGaughey said with a straight face.
But prosecutors argued that the abuse based on the archaic bible passage went far beyond normal discipline procedures. The infant died from blunt force trauma, brain injuries and a broken leg, reports the AJC.
A Sikh woman with a full beard and sideburns became an overnight Internet sensation after she wrote a mature, thoughtful response to an evil post on reddit.com.
Unbeknownst to Ohio State University student Balpreet Kaur, another student snapped a photo of her and uploaded the pic to social news commentary message board reddit.com in the website's "funny" thread.
When Kaur found out what the prankster had done she wrote a thoughtful comment under her own photo.
Over 20,000 people are expected to attend Muslim prayers before the start of the Democratic National Convention on Friday in Charlotte, NC.
Jibril Hough, a spokesman for the Bureau of Indigenous Muslim Affairs (BIMA), said Friday's prayers are to hold the political parties accountable, and to "anesthetize" Americans who harbor anti-Islamic opinions.
There is no word on if President Obama -- who was raised Muslim -- will speak at the prayer meeting which will "target the Patriot Act, the NYPD, the National Defense Authorization Act, and anti-Shariah sentiment," according to The Blaze.
The Blaze points out that a request by a Catholic Cardinal to say a prayer at the 2012 Democratic National Convention was denied. But the DNC is partnering with the Bureau of Muslim Affairs for Friday's 2-hour Muslim prayer event.
rejected a wedding because the couple was black. Yes, kids, racism still exists in America -- especially in the South. This is not news.
Charles and Te'Andrea Wilson planned to hold their wedding in a predominantly white church in Mississippi that they are not members of.
They sent out the invitations to their wedding, but the day before the wedding their pastor informed them that the predominantly white members of First Baptist Church of Crystal Springs did not want a black wedding performed there.
"I wanted to make sure their wedding day was a special day," said Weatherford."
Pastor Stan Weatherford performed the wedding in another church. In response to the media attention, a few church members expressed dismay.
According to former Church of Scientology members, actor Tom Cruise settled the divorce quickly with Katie Holmes in order to protect his cult from negative press.
Steven Hassan, a cult expert, told The NY Post, “(Church leader) David Miscavige dictated Tom’s divorce deal. Scientology wanted a gag order as soon as possible to stop further negative information coming out. They would have agreed to allow Katie to raise Suri as a Catholic, as long as she doesn’t say anything bad about Scientology to Suri or the public.”
The Bible preaches using the rod sparingly to subdue and "train up" an unruly child.
But Fayette County police allege that Creflo Dollar, the charismatic founder and leader of World Changers mega-church in Stone Mountain, skipped the rod and, instead, used his bare hands and fists to beat his youngest daughter into submission.
What should have been a private family discussion exploded onto the national headlines and fueled debates on how far parents can go when disciplining their own children.
Dollar, 50, was arrested early Sunday morning after his 15-year-old daughter, Lauren Dollar, called Fayette County police at 1 a.m. to report that her father choked and punched her during an argument that escalated out of control. Police noted "superficial abrasions" on the teen's neck.
Dollar admitted he "restrained" his daughter after she "became very disrespectful" when he told her she couldn't attend the party.
Lauren told police the altercation wasn't the first incidence of violence in the Dollar home, and that she felt threatened in the home.
World Changers Pastor Creflo Dollar was arrested and charged with simple battery, family violence and cruelty to children in Fayette County early Friday.
Dollar was booked into the county jail at 2 a.m., according to Channel 2’s Tom Jones. He was released on $5,000 bond Friday morning.
When police arrived at the Dollar home they found a 15-year-old girl who told them Dollar choked her when she tried to leave the home to attend a party. Creflo and his wife, Taffi, built a custom home in Fayette County in 1996.
According to public records the 7401 square foot mansion is valued at $1.2 million. The Dollars paid $21,367 in property taxes in 2011.
Dollar is the founder and senior pastor of World Changers Church in College Park. The megachurch has over 30,000 members. Dollar made headlines last year when he refused to accept former members of embattled preacher Bishop Eddie Long's church after Long settled a lawsuit with four men who accused him of sexual misconduct.
JC Penney has launched a Father's Day ad featuring a same-sex gay couple and their two children. The ad copy reads: “real-life dads Todd Koch and Cooper Smith with their children, Claire and Mason.”
The gay marriage-friendly campaign comes on the heels of President Obama's endorsement of same-sex marriage earlier this month -- a move some critics believe was politically motivated.
A week after Obama's surprise announcement, the national media went into overdrive promoting same-sex marriage in all platforms. Some media outlets announced recent polls showing support for gay marriage steadily increasingly among the black community.
But the fact remains that in the 32 states where same-sex marriage is banned by law, blacks were the major contributing factor against gay marriage.
Blacks who fear that the traditional family is under attack in America believe that children need both a mother and a father.
33-year-old Jamie Calloway of Ohio was arrested last night and booked into the Montgomery County jail on a misdemeanor charge of menacing by stalking.
According to a Montgomery County Sheriff's Office spokesperson, the alleged stalking victim is a female corrections officer whom Calloway became attached to during a previous stint in jail on unrelated charges. Calloway allegedly slashed the woman’s tires, called her home repeatedly, and sent her packages in the mail.
Recent studies show that almost half of all hospitalized psych patients suffer from religious delusions or religious persecutions. Many of those studied were schizophrenics.
To their family and friends, Arthur and Jolie Huntington were the perfect couple. He was a respected, longstanding member of the U.S. Secret Service, and she was a housewife who home-schooled the couple's two children, 12 and 15.
Arthur Huntington, 41, is the cheapskate who refused to pay a Colombian hooker $800 for a night of "high quality" sexual services on April 12 -- launching the biggest internal and external investigation into the agency in 150 years.
After being stripped of his top secret clearance and placed on suspension, Huntington was among the first of the 11 agents under investigation to be fired.
Now, the submissive wife of the disgraced former agent vows to stand by her man.
An actor accidentally hanged himself while re-enacting the death of Judas in an Easter play. The tragic accident took place in the town of Itarare, in the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
The actor, Tiago Klimeck, 27, hanged himself when he jumped off of a 4-foot perch with a stage noose around his neck. The noose was attached to a vest, like the kind used in movies, which is designed to break his fall and give the illusion that he was being hanged.
But the vest malfunctioned -- or wasn't secured properly. So when Klimeck jumped, the vest slid up and crushed his trachea (airway). Once his trachea was crushed, he could neither cry out nor breath. It was a slow and agonizing death. Klimeck's cast members in the play didn't realize he was choking to death.
Outraged Catholics are calling for a boycott of CBS network following rapper Nicki Minaj's bizarre Grammy Awards performance last night.
The talentless Minaj, 29, arrived at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards dressed in a red satin Versace cape with a Caucasian man dressed as the Pope on her arm. Later in the telecast, Minaj acted like a woman possessed -- performing her single "Roman's Holiday" with bizarre satanic rituals which included levitation and an exorcism onstage before a shocked Grammy audience.
"Nicki’s disturbing performance at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards was a blatant attack on the Catholic church," wrote one outraged blogger.
If the stage was set as a Jewish Holocaust, or a black slavery set or some kind of mockery of Muhammad and Islam glorifying slave owners, there would be outrage. But because its the Catholic church that Minaj is mocking, somehow it’s allowed.
Other blogs are calling for the boycott of CBS and its sponsors, saying the Grammy's are increasingly relying on shock and vulgarity to attract more viewers to the show.
The Catholic League was also not amused by Minaj's performance.
“Perhaps the most vulgar was the sexual statement that showed a scantily clad female dancer stretching backwards while an altar boy knelt between her legs in prayer,” Bill Donohue, the president of the Catholic League told CBS New York.
“None of this was by accident, and all of it was approved [by] The Recording Academy, which puts on the Grammys. [Whether] Minaj is possessed is surely an open question, but what is not in doubt is the irresponsibility of The Recording Academy. Never would they allow an artist to insult Judaism or Islam,” Donohue said.