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.
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.
"Painful truths are hard to tell." Those words were spoken by forensic anthropologist Emily Craig as she explained, to those gathered at Cheapside Park for a memorial service Sunday on the 10th anniversary of the terror attacks, her post-9/11 work in New York.
Fort Knox’s memories of Sept. 11, 2001, now are set in steel. A monument set with a portion of a steel beam from the World Trade Center was unveiled at a ceremony at Fort Knox Firehouse 1 Sunday morning, the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
For half their lives or more, "homeland security," "Osama bin Laden" and "World Trade Center" have been part of the everyday parlance. Their memories of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks are as vivid as those who can pinpoint where they were when Pearl Harbor was attacked or when President Kennedy was assassinated. They are in college now, but they were elementary, middle and high school students when they saw jet planes flown as missiles into buildings.
Tehmina Haider of Elizabethtown cried with millions as she witnessed on television the devastation of the terrorist attacks Sept. 11, 2001. She was home in her eighth month of pregnancy with her fourth child when a friend called and told her to turn on the television. “I was stunned,” she said. “Just stunned, as everybody was.” Haider worried for the nation. She also worried personally about herself and her children.
Happiness still shines through a framed picture of Ben Ehmen, 83, and wife Jeannette Davis, 77, during their first joint trip to New York City. Ehmen scoops his wife off her feet in the photo edited to look like he’s balancing on a tight rope between the two towers of the World Trade Center. The pretend peril livens their certain smiles because, there, enveloped in a symbol of American prosperity, they assumed they couldn’t be safer. Handwritten on the back of the photograph is the date — Sept. 10, 2001.
Various dignitaries gathered Thursday morning at White Castle in Bowling Green for a ceremony to honor first responders a few days before the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. With members of the Bowling Green Fire Department looking on, officials paid tribute to the firefighters, law enforcement and emergency medical personnel who lost their lives during the attacks, while giving thanks to the first responders who continue to risk their lives to protect their communities.
In good weather, retired clergyman Bob Vickers spends much of his time driving his snazzy, green sports car with the top down. On the afternoon of September 11, 2001, Vickers, then Director of the Chaplaincy for the Southern Baptist Convention in Atlanta, was in a van headed to New York, to counsel victims of the attacks. As he approached the city, Vickers was overwhelmed by the sight of billowing smoke, and the silence. “In the far distance you could hear a few sirens, but it was just, it was eerie. It was like another world that I could not imagine”, recalled Vickers. Vickers spent the next two weeks in New York counseling first responders and others. He remembers two firefighters in particular.
There were prayers offered on September 11th, 2001. And, there will be prayers on September 11th, 2011. Some religious leaders in central Kentucky have offered their thoughts on the shape of those 9-11 prayers. People of various faiths will pray this weekend, ten years after the worst terrorist attack on U-S soil. Those prayers will come from within Kentucky’s Muslim community.
People will gather in churches, in parks and on military bases Sunday to mark the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Across Kentucky, events will include prayer, meditation, patriotic music and remarks by public officials.
The 10th anniversary of the September 11th terror attacks is burned in our memories. WEKU reporter Ron Smith says the occasion is meaningful on several levels to a Richmond man. Many Americans shared Mustapha Jourdini’s initial reaction to the events of 9-11. “Aaaaahhh…it’s, it’s very depressing actually, since I heard the news, I’m psychologically depressed,” recalled Jourdini. At the time of that September 12th, 2001 interview, Jourdini was a 24 year-old Eastern Kentucky University student. Today he’s academic advisor in EKU’s Honors program. Jourdini, who’s a native of Morocco, was not only saddened by the loss of life that day.
Almost a year ago, the sounds of gunfire and terror rang out from a part of the Mount Carmel community. Last Friday evening, the sounds heard were that of remembrance, uplifting words and songs. And hope. Some 40 persons came to the McConnell Auditorium on the campus of Mount Carmel High School for a memorial service, called “Light of Hope.” The service honored the memory of the five persons who died in a shooting spree in a trailer park on Route 541, just a half-mile away from the school.
Muslims of all ages across Kentucky and around the world today mark the end of Ramadan and celebrating Eid. The Eid festival ends 30 days of dawn to sunset fasting. It’s also a time to reflect on the last month, a period many Muslims say is the most moving of the year. The timing of Ramadan shifts each year, but its purpose remains constant. It allows Muslims to commemorate the first verses of the Qur’an, which were revealed to the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Muslims not only fast from dawn to sunset. They offer up prayers and share their wealth with people who are less fortunate.
After a state official advised a rural Kentucky school district against having a minister lead prayers before athletic events, Republican gubernatorial candidate David Williams is calling on Democratic Governor Steve Beshear to defend the practice.
Lexington’s Greek Festival presents an annual opportunity this weekend to experience the European country’s culture. The three day event at the Red Mile Clubhouse is hosted by members of the Greek Orthodox Church. Many Kentuckians know relatively little about the Christian faith.