Monday, October 29, 2012



“If you are a single black woman regularly attending church and tithing, or you are a woman with children that accompany you to church, please open your mind to the expressed dangers within the walls of your house of worship, because far too often, black women go to church to pray to God, and black men are there to game on, feed on and prey on them like predators…

The ills suffered by women in black churches under patriarchal philosophies of male superiority are shocking. Throughout the pages of this book are real stories about churches and the pastors that run them.

These are true accounts of men charged with spiritual enrichment and development of communities—behaving in damaging, abusive ways toward women and children… My goal always has and always will be to expose uncomfortable truths in black culture in relationships.” — Excerpted from the Introduction (pgs. xvi-xviii).

*It’s hard to imagine that whoever coined the phrase, “The closer to church, the further from God,” could possibly have had as long a laundry list of complaints about Christianity as disbeliever Deborrah Cooper. Actually, Ms. Cooper’s issues are mostly with the black males in the Black Church, whether in the pulpits or the pews.

This fearless feminist levels so many accusations against brothers it’s frightening. But she does make a persuasive case by way of a compelling mix of statistics and anecdotal evidence.
She chides black females for being the most religious demographic in the country, since they’re getting little out of religion besides pie-in-the-sky promises. Meanwhile, their pastors are pressuring them to tithe 10%, even though such a directive is apparently nowhere to be found in the bible.

The author further alleges that an unholy arrangement exists whereby African-American women are basically being exploited by pimps posing as preachers. She says that these ruthless exploiters zero-in on the vulnerable and lonely with low self-esteem, make them dependent, promise them riches, and use a combination of seduction and intimidation to keep them under control.

Her incendiary verbiage will undoubtedly strike most folks as extreme, but Cooper sees stirring up controversy as her only hope of shaking sisters out of the doldrums. That’s why she summarizes by saying, “As long as black women allow themselves to be dazzled by fast-talking black men and their weapons of religion, we will always be at the bottom… Church leaders have proven themselves to be undeserving of your devotion or of your respect, and most certainly undeserving of your money.”

A damning indictment of black ministers as little more than predators in cleric’s clothing.

Read more here:

Atheists Behind the Black Church Veil

By Eric Redmond

Statistics on the religious beliefs of African Americans are part of Western cultural literacy. Many are familiar with the findings that reveal African Americans to be among the most religious ethnic group in America, largely holding a particular Christian expression of belief. In 2009, the Barna Group found that "blacks were the group most likely to be born again Christians (59 percent, compared to a national average of 46 percent) and were the ethnic segment most likely to consider themselves to be Christian (92 percent did so, versus 85 percent nationally)."

Similarly, in 2011, Barna examined 15 years of religious beliefs among Americans and found that African Americans are "the segment that possesses beliefs most likely to align with those taught in the Bible." Specifically, African Americans were more likely than other segments to say that they believe that God is "the all-knowing, all-powerful, and perfect Creator of the universe who still rules the world today," and were the most likely to engage in church-centric activities, and to read the Bible other than at church events during a typical week. According to Barna's research, African Americans are only half as likely as either whites or Hispanics to be unchurched. Therefore, the announcement of the report justifiably noted, "From the earliest days of America's history, a deep-rooted spirituality has been one of the hallmarks of the black population in the country. . . [and] the passage of time has not diminished the importance of faith in the lives of African Americans.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Voter Registration Day at G'Life

G'Lifers Ebony Jackson, Marcisha Bradley, First Lady Lisa Jones Johnson
On Saturday October 7, Gifts of Life Ministries hosted a voter registration day at the church and reminded people about the upcoming election and the Voter ID law that will take effect this November. Between the hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, music and fun, the church informed people on the importance of voting and help people understand the voter ID laws. In addition, Pastor Johnson offered a critique of the upcoming presidential election and the importance of down ballot voting--voting for the races that are down on the ballot.

Voter Registration Day was part of an ongoing project the church sponsored by the Survivor Power Hour (Sunday School) and Social Justice Ministry and the Class of G'Life.

G'Lifers getting the attention of motorists for voter registration day
Ivory Bryant engages with a resident about voting

G'Lifers Keanna Thomas and Rev. Alma Brown

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Hope House Christian Counseling Center Will Host Forgiveness Series

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1

Rev. Dr. JoAnn Nickleberry
In your own personal life, do you have a tendency to genuinely forgive from the heart or do you allow yourself to hold onto a grudge? Looking back on past experiences, have your reactions affected you positively or negatively? Do not allow others wrongdoings to take you captive and burden your heart! It is important to understand that when we are unable to forgive others, we are living in bondage to the one we are unable to forgive.

“To not forgive, to hold on to a grudge, to hold on to a spirit of unforgiveness is like taking poison and expecting it to kill the other person.”

Hope House Christian Center and will begin its Fresh Start Recover Series by hosting a 6-week series focused on Forgiveness. Titled Forgiveness: Getting Beyond Your Past, the Rev. Dr. JoAnn Nickleberry will help participants address major issues and hurdles in forgiveness, while assisting them in dealing with the pain of hurt. The series goal is to led people on the path of forgiveness so they can recognize and realize what God has in store for them. The series starts Friday October 12 and meets every Friday until November 16. Below are the dates for the series. If you will be attending or have any questions concerning this Series please respond by emailing me or calling 901-496-4443 (asap). This will reserve your seat and insure the correct amount of workbooks and study material is provided for everyone.

1st. Session: Forgiveness - Friday October 12, 2012 @ 6:30 pm.
2nd. Session: Forgiving Others – Friday, October 19, 2012 @ 6:30pm
3rd. Session: Forgiving Ourselves – Friday, October 26, 2012 @ 6:30pm
4th. Session: When You Can’t Forgive – Friday, November 2, 2012 @ 6:30pm
5th. Session: Forgiving Our Families – Friday, November 9, 2012 @ 6:30pm
6th. Session: Reconciliation and New Life – Friday, November 16, 2012 @ 6:00 pm

Hope House
2399 LaRose Ave.
Memphis, Tenn. 38114