Category: Praise Connect Written by Nicole Black
Written By: Logan Patmon
Mega-church pastor Creflo Dollar was arrested Friday after allegedly choking and punching his 15-year-old daughter. In his first public appearance sense he was charged with misdemeanor counts of simple battery and cruelty to children, Dollar denied that the claims were true in front of his Atlanta congregation of 30,000 members before beginning his sermon.
He was arrested shortly after 1am when his daughter called the police and told a Fayette County sheriff’s deputy that her father charged at her and then began punching and choking her after they got into an argument about her attending a party. His 19-year-old daughter also confirmed that the story was accurate.
Dollar told his congregation, which appeared very supportive of him, that he was wrongly arrested and that emotions got involved when he began to argue with his youngest daughter and the situation escalated from there, before he reassured them that he didn’t physically harm his daughter in anyway.
Dollar is one of the most well-known and respected preachers in the metro Atlanta area because of the size of his World Changers Church International and other satellite ministry campuses around the U.S.
Last Updated on Monday, 18 June 2012 13:01
Category: Praise Connect Written by Nicole Black
Community Resource Forum is a 501c3 nonprofit that began when Kenneth L. Scott convened a meeting of case managers from several non-profits and several community stakeholders, to conduct a vendor style expo for a site in Northeast Detroit. They saw that there was a need in our underserved communities for resources, that residents in those communities, were simply not privy, due to a lack of education, finance, technology and a host of other factors. They realized that by conducting that forum, that there was a need for them and that need could be met.
Shortly after the Forum’s founding in October 2010, it established its mission: To empower, stabilize and transform our communities by supplying resources that contribute to the resident’s quality of life via education, finance, health, housing, jobs, law, public safety, senior and veteran services, thus enhancing community awareness and increasing accessibility. It has since become a monthly series of expos and workshops with the aforementioned components, being the cornerstone of the forums.
Community Resource Forum works to collaborate with residents, block clubs, neighborhood associations, churches, schools, social networks, civic and community organizations, in order to connect them to the services of various nonprofits, for profits and government departments on one date, at one time, under one roof at their “No Family Left Behind” events.
As a result, Community Resource Forum will conduct monthly “No Family Left Behind” events throughout the year. The goal is to rotate these forums in different communities within the targeted cities of Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park. Scott said, “As we continue to increase our penetration into these communities and continue to align ourselves with various resources, our hope is that the underserved become better served by having accessibility to these resources”.
We are bringing together over 50 service providers, nonprofits, for-profits and governmental agencies and departments; and conducting over 20 workshops that will help enhance community awareness and increase accessibility to resources that these communities would not be ordinarily be privy.
Join us Saturday, June 9, 2012 between the hours of 9:00am and 3:00pm, at Henry Ford High School, 20000 Evergreen Rd, Detroit, MI 48219, in Northwest Detroit, Kicking It off at 9:00am -10:00 am with Zumba Fitness, Gleaners Community Food Bank, Weight Watchers & FREE Healthcare Screenings (Exercise, Nutrition, A Health Plan & OnSite Health Screenings).
Among the services that will be provided, from 10:00am – 3:00pm are: GED Learning Labs, Career Schools Fair(For Those Seeking Certifications); DTE Bill Payment (DTE & THAW), FREE Onsite Healthcare Screenings (Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, Diabetes, HIV/ AIDS); Budget & Credit Fair (FREE Information From HUD & MSHDA Housing Counseling Agencies); College Fair, (Michigan Colleges & Universities and Historically Black Colleges & Universities); Homeownership Fair (Homeownership Is Back With The Detroit Association Of Realtors), Veteran Services Fair); Housing Options (Rental Information, Section 8, Weatherization; Senior Services Fair (AARP & Others); Housing Rehab Fair (City of Detroit & Others); Resume Writing & Interviewing Skills (Update Your Skills); Assistance With Online Job Applications & Free Email Addresses; Voter Education & Registration (Get Registered & Vote For 2012 & 2013 Elections); Criminal Record Expungement (Wayne County STEP Program); Ask The Lawyer (Child Support, Guardianship, Divorce, Social Security, Landlord/ Tenant Laws, Probate, Living Wills & Trusts); Community Organization Fair; and a Public Safety Fair.
For more information, please call (313)744-6352. Please visit us on Facebook, Community Resource Forum, Bringing Resources To Your Community”; follow us on Twitter @ nofamleftbehind; and log onto our web site, www.CommunityResourceForum.org.
Last Updated on Monday, 11 June 2012 12:49
Category: Praise Connect Written by Nicole Black
More than 270 prospective business owners and caring adults collected at Second Ebenezer Church April 28 for a new business workshop. You might not consider an event with individuals laying on the floor coloring to be an important business seminar, but these new business owners were serious.
The festive afternoon was alive with children from toddlers to teens who were getting ready to be business owners for the day at the second annual Lemonade Day Detroit, June 9, 2012.
Lemonade Day Detroit is part of a national effort to teach children how to start, own and operate a business through the simple and time-honored act of running a lemonade stand. The goal is to have 5,000 entrepreneurs hit the streets of Metro Detroit. Children are encouraged to plan everything from their stand location to asking an adult for a monetary loan for supplies.
Presenting sponsor Huntington Bank and event organizers created the April 28 workshop with sessions for the children and their caring adults to answer questions and prepare participants. Booths were staffed by local business people and volunteers who taught attendees how to:
- Organize Your Business Plan and Budget with Huntington Bank
- Create Your Lemonade with Whole Foods
- Advertise Your Stand with The Yaffe Group
- Develop Success Strategies for Your Stand with JR Turnbull Communications
- Register for Lemonade Day Detroit
Huntington’s business planning session was extremely popular with parents, but it was the advertising station and the ability to make your own poster that got the kids’ attention. 10-year-old Nayanna Hollins of Detroit, who was making a sign with a “Sisters” theme with her little sisters, was just one of the dozens of motivated entrepreneurs on-hand who consider Lemonade Day Detroit an important stepping stone to big plans. “I’m going to be a performer when I grow up, but you don’t have to go to college for that, so I’m going to be a doctor or a vet as back-up,” she explained.
“Lemonade Day’s mission is to arm our youth with tools that help them see that they can do whatever they want, and be successful,” said Mike Fezzey, president of Huntington National Bank's East Michigan Region. “Lemonade Day helps walk children and caring adults through every step of setting up a business, and they are also learning life skills. Everyone needs to learn to balance a budget; who knew it could be fun?
“We’re very grateful to Second Ebenezer Church for hosting our first workshop in its wonderful facility,” he added.
Lemonade Day is a part of Prepared 4 Life, a nonprofit that provides experiential programs for children. This year Lemonade Day will expand to 29 cities and more than 200,000 children.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 June 2012 19:05
Category: Praise Connect Written by Nicole Black
By Patrick Keating
CHRONICLE STAFF WRITER
The National Baptist Congress will hold its 106 annual conference at Cobo Center June 10-15, with Rev. Jim Holley, senior pastor at Historic Little Rock Baptist Church, serving as host pastor. According to conference organizer LaDonna Boyd, the theme this year is peace and prosperity in difficult times. The scriptural reference is John 14:27.
The National Baptist Congress was established in 1906 by Rev. Richard Henry Boyd, a former slave, who in 1896 had formed the R.H. Boyd Publishing Corp. Dr. T.B. Boyd III, LaDonna Boyd’s father, is the current president and CEO.
“Every year our theme for the congress changes,” LaDonna Boyd said, adding that the Congress does a traveling school of Christian education.
“So, every year we’re in a different city, and we seek to provide the city with economic development and spreading the Gospel through presentations and classes. We have nationally-noted speakers who are coming, as well as entertainers.”
She said they seek to always leave a city better than they found it. According to Boyd, some 5,000 people are expected to attend, and the conference will generate $5.5 million in revenues for the city. She said hotel, dining and tourism dollars make up a large amount of that revenue, though conference leaders are also encouraging guests to patronize various businesses throughout the city— especially African American-owned businesses.
She also said the Congress also offers scholarship programs to youth across the country.
Boyd also said that the National Baptist Congress likes to visit cities again (they were previously in Detroit 11 years ago), and that all the cities the Congress goes to are the ones where they have the biggest following.
“We like to make those commitments to cities that work with our conference, and always have pleasant experience,” she said. “That’s what mean by our economic development; just bringing a conference of this size into the city to spend dollars.”
Asked if the Congress has any particular goals, and whether they vary from city to city, Boyd said they gave a general schedule they stick with.
“We can incorporate other things into that schedule if necessary,” she said, adding that city officials and key individuals are invited to speak to the congregation and Congress youth, and to get the city involved and excited about the Congress’ arrival.
She said the general goals of the Conference are to bring people out to hear nationally-known speakers and entertainers; and to offer them an array of classes. The Congress also always seeks to increase its membership numbers. That’s a main goal.
This year’s guests include Vickie Winans, Kierra "Kiki" Sheard, Dr. Dorinda Clark-Cole, Rev. Dr. Tellis Chapman, Rev. Dr. James C. Perkins and Rev. Dr. Wayne E. Croft.
Boyd said the Congress offers about 70 classes per year, as well as different seminars. She said the classes are mostly in theology. Courses are offered to people of all ages.
“We have a specific youth congress, and then we have our adult class offerings,” she said. “For the adults we have classes like ‘Why am I Baptist. We teach a class on world religion. One of our classes is called ‘Experiencing God.’ Another one is ‘issues facing the 21st century family’; ‘Survey of the Old Testament’, and it goes on and on.”
She said the classes are all Bible-based in addressing current issues within society.
She added that they have classes on marriage and parenthood, too.
Classes are only taught during the congress. There’s no “campus”, per se, though their offices are in Nashville.
She said most attendees try to do a little of everything offered during the conference.
“There are so many offerings,” she said, adding that there’s a full day of available activities.
“We, of course, encourage everyone to take part in the class sessions, and at least hear our morning assemblies,” she said.
The first class starts at 7 a.m., followed by the general assembly at 9.
“It goes all day, and we actually close it out about midnight, because we have a late service that starts at 10 p.m. in the host hotel,” she said.
Boyd said the overall mission of the National Baptist Congress is Christian education and leadership skills. She said the Congress has always been a resource for pastors and ministers and their congregations.
Last Updated on Monday, 11 June 2012 12:23
Category: Praise Connect Written by Patrick Keating
Approximately 30 religious leaders joined with Police Chief Ralph Godbee, Barbara McQuade, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, and other community leaders in the community room of the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners on May 23 to announce the launch of Detroit Night Walks, a program designed to help prevent crime and stabilize neighborhoods.
“Too many people in our neighborhoods and in our communities are being preyed upon,” said Pastor James Warfield of Mt. Vernon Missionary Baptist Church. “We want to reverse that trend and pray for and pray with our various neighborhoods.”
Warfield, who is also a Detroit Police commissioner, said he, Bishop Edgar L. Vann II of Second Ebenezer Church and Minister James Booker have convened a powerful group of clergy to lead in this effort.
“We have a foundation of more than 30 churches who have answered this clarion call,” Warfield said. “We are following the benchmarking best practice model the nationally renowned Boston TenPoint Coalition strategy, where clergy-led patrols in that city led to a 61.2 percent decline in crime.”
Warfield added that we have all the power to drive the change that we need in Detroit.
“There is nothing so wrong with Detroit that collectively all our good cannot fix,” he said.
Bishop Edgar Vann called Detroit Night Walks a true partnership between clergy, the community and law enforcement.
“This is the culmination of the process that has taken many months, and we believe that together we can change hearts, change minds and change lives.”
Vann also said the group isn’t evangelizing, but added that there’s a spiritual component to crime prevention. He asked clergy from around the city to join with them.
Booker, a retired police officer, executive director of M.A.D.E. Men, and organizer of the Youth Voice Clergy Team of the Harriet Tubman Center, said that churches involved in this program represent 16 different zip codes within the city.
Booker added that, most importantly, these churches and their congregations represent the face of Detroit and the community.
Quentin McKinnon, chief of staff of the Youth Voice Executive Board, and a junior at Cody High School, spoke of being held up at a bus stop two years ago.
“I was startled, I was scared,” he said of the effects of the robbery of his watch, his MP3 player and headphones. “Every day I had to plan ways to go home, switch the different streets and it was a scary experience.”
Months later, Youth Voice came to his school, and he got involved with efforts to stem violence at the bus stops. He said people were being robbed every day.
McKinnon asked how many more will be hurt before Ceasefire is implemented.
“We need Ceasefire,” he said.
McQuade, who said she was proud to be with youth leaders and clergy leaders who are saying they won’t allow Detroit to be defined by violence, called Youth Voice a wonderful organization.
“It has brought young people together to empower them to be part of the solution,” she said.
She noted that Ceasefire came about through the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention. The Department of Justice put together a program to bring together cities that have had challenges with violence, which is how she became involved.
“Detroit is not alone,” McQuade said. “We certainly have intolerable levels of violence, but we’re not the only city in America with these kinds of challenges. So the Department of Justice and the White House have brought together six cities, including Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Memphis, San Jose and Salinas, California, to share ideas about best practices and ways to reduce violence.”
McQuade said Ceasefire, which has been successful in Boston and Chicago, is one of those great ideas.
“They have two very different models, and we looked at them, and we adopted the Boston model and are bringing it to Detroit.”
She called it an intervention and prevention strategy to try to change that culture of violence.
“One essential piece of it is this Night Walks program,” she said. “It’s a wonderful way for the community to walk together in peace and say ‘we will not tolerate violence in our community.’”
McQuade said one of the theories behind the Ceasefire model is that in big cities people feel somewhat anonymous and alienated, whereas people in small towns people feel accountable, because everyone knows everyone.
“Ceasefire tries to directly drill down on individuals to identify the people most responsible for gang violence and violent crimes,” McQuade said.
She said the collective community won’t tolerate people who victimize others.
The first phase of training for up to 500 clergy and lay persons took place on Friday at Second Ebenezer Church, followed by prayer rallies on Saturday.
Last Updated on Monday, 11 June 2012 12:24
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