MH News August 22, 2019

The Black Church PAC hosted a forum for Democratic presidential hopefuls. More than 5,000 young black Christians listened as Julian Astro, Pete Buttigieg, Cory Booker, Ernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren showed up to address the crowd and answer questions. The event was the brainchild of Rev. Michael McBride, founder and pastor of The Way Christian Center in West Berkeley, California. “Too many Democrats are afraid of race,” he said, “and they’re afraid of race. That’s why the black church must step up.”


Simmons College of Kentucky hosted a gathering to commemorate the arrival in Virginia in 1619 of the first African to be brought to the original colonies and sold as a slave. Her name was Angela and she was bought by a white man in Williamsburg, Virginia. The event, held at St. Stephens Baptist Church in Louisville, marked the conclusion of a 40 Days of Prayer campaign. Speakers included Rev. Samuel Tolbert, Dr. Frank Smith, Rev. Martin Linebach, Dr. Cynthia Campbell, Bishop Frank Reid, host pastor Dr. Kevin Cosby, and fifteen others. The event was co-sponsored by Baptist Seminary of Kentucky, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Presbyterian Church USA, National Baptist Convention of America, and the Archdiocese of Louisville.


The streaming content producer Netflix released their new documentary on the secretive religious group known as The Family. It is a five-part documentary that profiles a network of mainly Evangelical leaders that has been focused on influencing elected leaders since its founding in Seattle in 1935 by Abraham Vereide. The documentary is based on two books by journalist Jeff Sharlet: The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power (2008) and C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy (2010). The Family was led for many hears by Doug Coe, who famously was instrumental in the Christian conversion of Watergate conspirator Charles Colsen almost 50 years ago. Coe and The Family also started and now sponsor the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington and around the country.


Twelve United Methodist leaders met secretly in Indianapolis this past week to design and unveiled a proposal for the breakup of the United Methodist Church. The Church has been in turmoil over how to respond to the questions of LGBTQ membership, marriage, and ordination. At their General Conference earlier this year, the majority of voters in St. Louis decided to keep (and strengthen) prohibitions even though the majority of United Methodist delegates in the United States favored a more progressive stance. The plan coming out of Indianapolis would allow the 12-million-member United Methodist Church to create a new, fully independent body for the traditional churches while preserving the existing denomination for more progressive people.


Northfield, Massachusetts 
On the property made famous by the 19th century evangelist Dwight L. Moody (1837-1899), a west coast Catholic college is opening a New England campus. Thomas Aquinas College of Santa Paula, California is the sponsoring school and the curriculum offered to the 60 students expected to matriculate this week will be the “fully integrated, classical program” focused on reading great books in the light of Catholic faith offered at the mother school (est. 1971). The property once housed the Northfield Seminary for Young Ladies, and later the Northfield School for Girls, a boarding school founded by Moody in 1879. That school evolved into one of the elite college preparatory schools in New England, using the name Northfield Mount Hermon. The Green family purchased the original campus property, inclusive of the birthplace and burial site of Moody. They gave the largest parcel to the Thomas Aquinas College and a smaller piece (with the grave and homestead) to a new entity, called The Moody Center, which is being developed into a conference center.