Gospel Round up

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Pope Visits Canada to Apologize to Indigenous People

Pope Francisrecently wrapped up a nearly weeklong “penitential pilgrimage” to Canada to atone for the Catholic Church’s role in the abuse of Indigenous children in the Canadian Indian residential school system. The Canadian government has said that physical and sexual abuse were rampant at the schools, with students beaten for speaking their native languages. Pope Francis delivered an apology to residential school survivors saying “taking away children, changing the culture, changing the mentality, changing the traditions, changing a race” amounted to genocide. The church-run residential schools were said to have abused generations of Indigenous children who were forcibly removed from their homes and made to attend these government-funded boarding schools to assimilate them into the Christian Canadian society. 

Gospel Singer Jekalyn Carr Receives the Key to the City of Atlanta

Award-winning gospel singer/author/beauty entrepreneur Jekalyn Carr was presented with the Key to the City while in Atlanta during Stellar Awards weekend at an all-star celebrity basketball game. Natalie Hall, Atlanta’s commissioner presented the key to Jekalyn and proclaimed it as “Jekalyn Carr Appreciation Day”. Jekalyn once hailed as the “Baby Shirley Caesar,” was born in Arkansas and first began performing in her church’s choir when she was just 5 years old. Carr received her first Stellar Award at age 16. The now 25-year-old has since built a beauty brand and had the distinct honor of being the youngest host for the prestigious Stellar Awards, not once but twice. Jekalyn shared her hosting duties this year with another young gospel powerhouse, Kierra Sheard-Kelly making this the first time the awards show was hosted by two females. 

Story Deepens for Flashy Brooklyn Pastor Robbed During Livestreamed Service

Bishop Lamor Whitehead of the Leaders of Tomorrow International Ministries in Brooklyn, NY, made headlines when he was robbed mid-sermon during a livestream of a service held at his Canarsie storefront church. Bishop Whitehead and his wife were robbed at gunpoint of allegedly nearly $1 million dollars’ worth of jewelry. Whitehead also claimed that the thieves pointed a gun in his 8-month-old daughter’s face during the attack. Since the airing of the news, Whitehead has drawn criticism about everything from to his church priorities to the lavish jewelry, clothing, and Rolls Royce he is often seen sporting in the neighborhood Whitehead, who maintains he receives no salary from the church and attributes his wealth to multiple streams of income and good investments.  We now know Whitehead is no stranger to law enforcement, he was named in court papers in 2020 by a former parishioner who claimed he bilked $90,000 from her retirement savings, promising to help her buy a home despite of her bad credit history. This is a claim he vehemently denies.  His checkered past also includes a five-year prison stint for a $2 million identity theft scam. He was released in 2013. For now, Leaders of Tomorrow International Ministries remains open.

NC Chick-fil-A Owner Apologizes for Offering to Pay an Employee in Food

A Henderson, North Carolina Chick-fil-A came under fire for advertising a “Drive Thru Express” volunteer program offering to pay employees in meals instead of monetary pay. The offer was for five free entrée meals for every hour worked. The franchise owner posted the offer on Facebook soliciting volunteers has since been deleted after receiving public backlash. In accordance with U.S. federal laws, set by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) established so that each employee is entitled to compensation for every hour worked.  This alternative form of payment proposed by the directly goes against the federal laws.  “Most restaurants are individually owned and operated, and it was a program at an individually owned restaurant,” said a spokesperson for Chick-fil-A.  In the statement, it was further added that “the program was not endorsed by Chick-fil-A, Inc.” a fast-food restaurant chain founded in 1946 as a Christian-based corporation.

Kathie Lee Gifford Brings Bible to Life in Musical Film “The Way”

Four-time Emmy Award winning TV personality, author and screenwriter Kathie Lee Gifford announced her latest work which is a compilation of Bible stories brought to life by music in a film called “THE WAY.” THE WAY is set to debut in movie theaters as a special one night only event on Thursday, September 1, 2022. The film which runs 75 minutes features narrations by an all-star group of artists including BeBe Winans, Larry Gatlin, Danny Gokey, Nicole C. Mullen, Jimmy Allen, and others. “I am so excited to bring these extraordinary, epic stories to life on the big screen. “Today’s culture tends to view the Bible as an ancient text that is no longer relevant, but my hope is that this film, with modern music and visual storytelling, will reignite the passion for truth in today’s culture and in a younger generation.” said Gifford. Tickets for limited time event can be purchased online at thewaymusic.com.

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