One of the best pieces of career and life advice I ever received came from my cousin Julian Goodman, a journalist and former president of NBC, who died July 2 at his home in Florida. He told me to go home.
Financial challenges for the country’s longest running Christian music festival haven’t slowed preparation for the summertime event. The 43rd Ichthus festival will be bustling outside Wilmore this time next week. But, there were concerns soon after last year’s festival that debt problems could silence the music. Ichthus C-E-O Mark Vermillion says a ‘quick fix’ is not expected. “We really believe it’s gonna be a couple of year process to get out of some of the debt..that we’ve had over the past couple of years…and we really don’t know fully how ticket sales are gonna line up,” said Vermillion.
Despite some initial doubt, organizers of the nation’s oldest contemporary Christian music festival are preparing for another show this summer. Work continues on plans for this summer and for the future. Officials have looked into selling the 111 acre farm property, but it hasn't panned out. Finances still have Ichthus officials worried,so they're giving thought to the construction of additional facilities. Then, C-E-O Mark Vermillion says they could open up the property so other events could be staged there.
Increasing diversity has helped improve the education at a southeast Kentucky boarding school. In 1900, Oneida Baptist Institute opened its doors in Clay County. Today, Institute President Bud Underwood says about a quarter of their student population comes from countries outside the United States. Underwood says those international students motivate American-born students to work harder.
The ‘Ark Encounter’ project in northern Kentucky ebbs and flows with the economy. Plans call for the construction near Williamsburg, Kentucky of a theme park based on the bible story of Noah’s Ark. Ark Encounter Senior Vice President Mike Zovath says the company closed this week on the last piece of land needed for the 800 acre park.
A conference will attract 60 to 70 Christian college professors, pastors and students to Georgetown College next week to discuss tensions between churches and Christian institutions of higher education, organizer Roger Ward said. “Christian Life and Witness: From the Academy to the Church” will feature Oxford University professor Paul Fiddes and Yale University professor Nicholas Wolterstorff in the two-day event, which starts Monday, Jan. 23, and continues through Tuesday, Jan. 24.
Recognition of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Junior often brings with it reflection of the past and optimism for the future. Both were experienced in downtown Lexington Monday. Gwendalin Cowan was one of the estimated 14 hundred participants at the annual Unity Breakfast. She says paying homage to Reverend King each year is important, but his message calls for a day to day commitment.
A number of events are scheduled in communities all across Kentucky in recognition of the Martin Luther King Junior holiday. In Lexington this morning, the annual unity breakfast will be followed by the march through downtown and a formal program at Heritage Hall. This afternoon, the Lyric’s ‘Little Dress for Lexington’ community service project will take place the Lyric Theater. The aim is to inspire and bring hope to underprivileged young ladies in the community.
The Church of Scientology spent an estimated $6.5 million renovating the former Florence Baptist Church.
The controversial church has scheduled a grand opening event on Saturday, Feb. 11, at the church, 283 Main St., in a building previously occupied by the Florence Baptist Church. Nick Banks, a spokesman for the Church of Scientology, said the Florence site was chosen for a number of reasons.
An on-line charitable donation program set up for central Kentucky’s non-profits is in the home stretch. An organizer of the “Good Giving Guide Challenge” says it’s exceeded expectations. On line contributions through the Good Giving Guide Challenge have been coming in since late October. Thus far, Bluegrass Community Foundation C-E-O Lisa Adkins says over 140-thousand dollars have been contributed. Adkins says that far out distances the 100-thousand dollar goal set back in October.
There are religious traditions which, carry the same meaning each year, but still undergo some evolution. For example, a central Kentucky Rabbi has noticed several changes in the way Hanukkah is celebrated. Hanukkah, or the festival of lights, runs until December 28th . The eight day religious holiday commemorates the re-dedication of the holy temple in Jerusalem at the time of the second century Maccabean revolt. It’s not unusual to see attendance at Christian churches grow this time of year. And, Rabbi Moshe Smolkin of Ohavay Zion temple says a similar trend is often seen in synagogues.
The spirit of giving infuses the holiday season. But essayist Leslie Guttman found some giving comes unscheduled, prompted by unusual and unforeseen events. This is a story about a star and a bolt of lightning, and what happened after they met.
Workers helped with the transition from bar to church a few weeks ago.
Credit Stu Johnson / Weku
Conversion is a term most often associated with a religious transformation. However, sometimes, a building can also undergo a conversion. Recently, on a hillside in Hazard, a one time local drinking hole took on a more spiritual mission. High atop a hill near the southeastern Kentucky community of Hazard, sits Gospel Light Baptist Church. But, before it became a church, the location was well-known as the Hillbilly Palace Bar. Its conversion was brought about by Pastor Chris Fugate.
By Bill Estep, Lexington Herald-Leader and Jennifer Hewlett, Lexington Herald-Leader
A tiny Pike County church voted Sunday to affirm that it welcomes people of all races, a week after some members touched off a storm of controversy by voting against accepting interracial couples. Members of the Gulnare Free Will Baptist Church voted 16-0 Sunday to make clear that everyone is welcome, "regardless of race, creed or color," and that the church wants to move forward in unity, pastor Stacy Stepp said.
The pastor of a small Pike County church that voted against accepting interracial couples as members said he will ask the congregation to overturn the decision. Stacy Stepp, pastor of the Gulnare Free Will Baptist Church, said he will seek a new vote on the issue, perhaps as early as Sunday. Stepp said he is confident members of the church, which has about 45 members, will overturn the earlier decision.
The Gulnare Baptist Church sits empty Tuesday, just days after church members allegedly voted to exclude interracial couples from being members of, or participating in various services at, the church.
Credit Chris Smiley / Appalachian News-Express
When Suzie Harvill asked her parents to welcome her black, South African boyfriend into their Island Creek home for a visit, the traditional baptist couple was reluctant. More than a year later, however, the couple considers the young man a part of their family and have now vowed to stand by he and Suzie in a battle that has pitted them against elders in the Harvill’s Pike County church — a battle which may also have lasting repercussions on the church’s financial status.
An official with the National Association of Free Will Baptists said it would be good for a Pike County church to reconsider its vote against accepting interracial couples as members. The Gulnare Free Will Baptist Church, where members approved the resolution by a vote of 9 to 6 Sunday, is self-governing, so the church hierarchy can't overturn the decision or make members of the church do so. However, Keith Burden, executive secretary of the national association, said Wednesday he hoped the local conference of churches can encourage the Gulnare congregation to reconsider its vote.
A small Pike County church has voted not to accept interracial couples as members or let them take part in some worship activities. The decision has caused sharp reaction and disapproval in the Eastern Kentucky county. "It's not the spirit of the community in any way, shape or form," Randy Johnson, president of the Pike County Ministerial Association, said of the vote.
Heavy rain could not keep Gracie Mann from her appointed rounds Sunday afternoon. The Crossroads Elementary School third-grader pulled a wagon through her neighborhood to collect toys for the Marine Toys for Tots program. And by 2 p.m., just halfway through her planned two-hour walk, she'd already exceeded her goal of 20 toys. She was feeling her neighbors' generosity.
Next Sunday marks the beginning of the season of Advent in the Roman Catholic Church—-the spiritual preparation for Christmas. But it will also mark a major milestone for millions of Catholics across the country, including the 200,000 members of the Archdiocese of Louisville.
At age 3, while brushing her teeth, Ashleigh Lirot looked up at her mother and said, “I didn’t come out of your tummy, did I?” Patty Lirot asked her daughter if she remembered how she became a part of the family. “Yes,” Ashleigh replied. “You flew on an airplane to Guatemala.” Lirot told Ashleigh about her birth mother and the poverty that exists in Guatemala. She explained her birth mother wanted Ashleigh to have a loving family who could take care of her. November is National Adoption Awareness Month and National Adoption Day is Saturday.
The United States Postal Service is unveiling the annual Christmas Madonna and Child stamp at the Sisters of Charity Motherhouse at Nazareth Friday. It will be the first year the stamp has been unveiled to the public outside New York City. The post office at Nazareth has been open since the early 1800s when hundreds of Sisters and students attending Nazareth Academy lived on the campus.
All you have to say is the word ‘immigration’ today and it’s likely to spark some debate. The growing population of immigrants, both legal and illegal, has also prompted lengthy discussions inside Kentucky’s churches. Many believe they should welcome strangers into their communities Many congregations across Kentucky may be divided when considering the proper response to illegal immigration.
Immigration is the focal point of this week’s 64th annual assembly of the Kentucky Council of Churches. Delegates gather Thursday and Friday in Georgetown. Council Executive Director Marian Taylor says the organization, comprised of 12 distinct Christian traditions, has already adopted a statement on immigration. She says it calls for a path to legalization for people who already live in this country. “It lays out the value of family re-unification….that we need to do more to be humane to people who are separated from families….we have talked about the need for a solution that is fair to all workers including those who are already here and are not immigrants,” said Taylor.
RICHMOND, Ky. – Ron Smith, long-time reporter/producer with WEKU-FM at Eastern Kentucky University, has received a national award for excellence in religion reporting from the Religion Newswriters Association. Smith received a second-place award for radio and podcast reporting for a segment on young Muslims’ efforts to improve Americans’ perception of Islam.
Small deeds after a loss — a garage painted and a lawn mowed for a grieving mother. They were jobs Lou Ann Abbott’s late son, Tim, a basketball coach and educational aide, might have done, but they were finished Wednesday by his players. On the afternoon of Aug. 2, Burgin Independent School's first day of classes, Tim Abbott, 45, died of an apparent heart attack while walking his dogs at Millennium Park in Danville. The weeks that followed have brought sorrow and attempts at healing for those who loved him.
A gay rights group in Berea is launching a new advertising campaign Monday to highlight pro-Fairness statements made by members of the city council. Bereans for Fairness took the quotes from an October 2010 candidate survey published in The Berea Citizen. The group contends six of the eight council members support an anti-discrimination law that has stalled in the body over the summer.
The longest running contemporary Christian music festival in the United States will keep on running in 2012 . Despite financial challenges, Ichthus organizers have committed to another festival. Attendance at Ichthus dropped dramatically when the Christian Rock festival moved from April to June several years ago. Once unique in the nation, Ichthus also faces competition from numerous Christian rock festivals. This summer, the bleak financial picture prompted the concert’s organizers to put its property near Wilmore on sale. Nevertheless, with some belt-tightening, Ichthus CEO Mark Vermillion says they can host another festival.