MH News November 5, 2020

The Reverend Doctor Raphael Warnock qualified for a runoff in his campaign to serve the state of Georgia in the Senate of the United States. Warnock is pastor of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church of Atlanta, Georgia, famous as the congregational home and former pastorate of Martin Luther King, Jr. Warnock holds the PhD degree in theology from Union Seminary/Columbia University in New York City. He will run against the governor-appointed incumbent Kelly Loeffler in January of 2021.


Discharged and disgraced former president Jerry Falwell, Jr. filed a defamation lawsuit against Liberty University asserting the institution had “needlessly injured and damaged his reputation” after his forced resignation earlier this year. Falwell is the son of the founder of the university and has served as president from 2007 to 2020. A series of embarrassing episodes involving sex, alcohol, money, and power undermined his position at the university and led to his termination. He was granted two years’ salary and accrued retirement benefits following his 30 years of service to the institution.


Famed and influential gospel musician Rance Allen died this week at the age of 71. Allen was senior pastor of the New Bethel Church of God in Christ in Toledo and a bishop in the Church of God in Christ. He was most well known as the vocalist and leader of the Rance Allen Group. Allen was born in Monroe, Michigan, which lies between Detroit and Toledo, one of 11 children. With two of his brothers, he founded the singing group in Detroit in 1969.


The announcement last week that Washington DC Archbishop Wilton Gregory is being appointed a cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church raised to nine the number of Americans granted the distinctive red hat and thus eligible to vote when the time comes to elect a new pope. The new total of 13 cardinals from North America (United States and Canada) is still fewer than the 16 from Asia, 18 from Africa, and 24 from Latin America. Oceania, including Australia, counts only 4 cardinals while Europe still dominates with 53 cardinals. Only those 80 years old or younger are allowed to vote in the conclave, and that number today is 128 from 67 different countries. It is the most diverse College of Cardinals in the history of the Church.


US District Judge Robert Summerhays of Lafayette, Louisiana sentenced Holden Matthews to 25 years in prison and ordered him to reimburse churches $2.6 million for setting fires to three African American Baptist churches in the area in 2019. Matthews admitted to burning down the churches not for religious reason but to promote himself as a “black metal” musician. Black metal is an extreme subgenre of heavy metal and has been linked, in some instances, to fires at Christian churches in Norway. Matthew also faces sentencing on state charges related to the events, but the state time may be served concurrently. Matthews has been diagnosed with mental health issues and arrested social development.