Star-Studded Home-going Held in Harlem for Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts III
Beloved Harlem pastor Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts III, was remembered in a star-studded homegoing service was held last Friday at the Abyssinian Baptist Church where he pastored for 50 years. Butts whose illustrious life as a minister began in 1972 as a 22-year-old youth pastor. Butts, who was also a renowned educator, community advocate and civil rights activist died after a battle with cancer at age 73 on October 28, 2022. In a star-studded homegoing services, he was remembered by clergy from worldwide, community leaders, parishioners, politicians, and many from the entertainment industry. Among those who were in attendance were former President Bill Clinton, Vice President Kamala Harris, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer,New York Gov. Kathy Hochuland NYC Mayor Eric Adams and actors Courtney B. Vance and LaTanya Richardson Jackson. He leaves to mourn his wife of 51 years and his children who said their final farewells during a private burial on Saturday.
Grammy Winner Regina Belle Releases First Christmas Album
Grammy Award-winning songstress Regina Belle has released her first holiday project ‘My Colorful Christmas.’ Belle whose career has spanned thirty-five years said that making a holiday album has always been a dream of hers, but now it’s a reality. The Christmas album reflects on faith, love and family and the spirit of bringing people together during the holiday season. The lead song, “A Cradle in Bethlehem,” a Nat King Cole classic is her favorite holiday song. The 11-track album also features timeless classics such as “Away in a Manager” and “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” and a new song co-written with her late brother Bernard Belle titled “I Had to Leave (A Song from Bernie)”. Another highlight featured is the mother-daughter duet “A Baby Changes Everything” with daughter Sydni Battle.
Hulu Premieres Stunning Falwell Documentary ‘God Forbid’
The sex scandal that brought down the leadership of disgraced evangelical Jerry Falwell Jr., former President and Chancellor of Liberty University is depicted in “God Forbid: The Sex Scandal that Brought Down a Dynasty,” now premiering on Hulu. Liberty University, a Christian college was founded Falwell’s father, Jerry Falwell Sr. ‘God Forbid’ is being told from the lens of the former Miami pool boy Giancarlo Granda who publicly disclosed that he was engaged in a sordid seven-year affair with Falwell’s wife Beckiwho was then 45 when Granda was just 20 years old. Falwell who resigned in August 2020 denied being a voyeuristic participant and blamed his wife for the affair. According to Grande’s version of events, which the film was based on the couple took advantage of him and Falwell who was still in charge of Liberty University at the time, not only had full knowledge of the relationship with his wife but he took intimate pictures of the two together.
Pastor Joyce Meyer Sports New Tattoos
Pastor Joyce Meyer is “Enjoying Everyday Life” with a couple of new tattoos thanks to a tattoo artist whose life she touched through a 2018 sermon on YouTube. Meyer who is the founder of the Texas-based Joyce Meyer Ministries, said that some believers are quick to judge people with tattoos and condemn them to hell whereas bible scriptures do not support those beliefs. According to Meyer, people have confused God’s holiness with a long list of rules to follow like not going to parties, cussing, wearing pants, dancing, and other self-imposed restrictions. The tattoo artist who is living with a bipolar disorder had given up the craft he loved because of churchgoers who had convinced him he was going to go to hell, that was until he saw Meyer’s video that convinced him otherwise. Afterwards, he resumed his craft with the thought that one day he would be the one to tattoo the televangelist with the “I Belong to Jesus” tattoo she spoke of in the video and by chance meeting the pair were connected. Not only did the 79-year-old Meyer get the shoulder tattoo imprinted in a cross saying, “I Belong to Jesus,” but she also got an ankle tattoo that simply reads “Love,” to reminds us to walk in love. As far as the naysayers go, Meyer is not concerned with their opinions.
Christian Rapper Lecrae Releases Final Installation of “Church Clothes”
Lecrae, founder of the Christian hip hop label Reach Records, has pushed the envelope once again with his final installation of his mixtapes series “Church Clothes.” “Church Clothes 4,” which features special guests including Andy Mineo and PJ Morton blurs the lines that some draw between Christian and R&B music making it a perfect blend for those who still stand at the crossroads. This last mixtape has 14-songs including the lead single “Spread The Opps” and the follow up single “Fear Not.” Lecrae who considers himself a “child of hip-hop,” said he grew up with rap music and God transformed him once he became a believer. Some critics believe he no longer has a place as a hip-hop artist, but according Lecrae who first released “Church Clothes” part one in 2012, not so. “Church Clothes 4” is the Houston native’s first solo project released since the drop of the successful 2021 album “No Church in Awhile” with fellow Christian rapper and label mate 1KPhew that won four Stellar Awards this year and a Dove Award last month for Best Rap Album of the Year.