*In a new episode of the hit web series, PRODIGIES, one of America’s youngest ministers, Ezekiel Stoddard, preaches a fiery sermon at the Fullness of Time Church in Capitol Heights, Maryland.
Ezekiel writes his own sermons, leads his family’s gospel group, and is an officially ordained minister — an honor many preachers have not yet received after serving for longer than Ezekiel has been alive.
“I’m a servant for God,” Ezekiel says, “When I was 7 years old, God spoke to me. … I want to be an evangelist — to travel all around the world.” His charisma is unparalleled and his faith is unshakeable.
*A Deerfield, Illinois woman was charged Monday with stalking the Rev. Michael Pfleger — allegedly violating an order of protection he took out against the woman earlier this month.
Lydia Kuzniar, 55, of the 1100 block of Montgomery Drive in Deerfield, was charged Monday afternoon with felony counts of stalking and aggravated stalking in violation of an order of protection, a police source said.
Police arrested Kuzniar at 11:13 a.m. Sunday at St. Sabina Church, 1210 W. 78th Place, where Pfleger is pastor, police said.
*First lady Michelle Obama told those gathered at the annual conference of the African Methodist Episcopal church in Nashville, Tenn., last week, that what Christians do in the quieter moments of their lives is more important than just showing up for Sunday services once a week, says the Christian Post.
“Our faith journey isn’t just about showing up on Sunday for a good sermon and good music and a good meal,” the first lady said to some 10,000 people. “It’s about what we do Monday through Saturday as well, especially in those quiet moments, when the spotlight is not on us, and we’re making those daily choices about how to live our lives.”
“We see that in the life of Jesus Christ. Jesus didn’t limit his ministry to the four walls of the church,” she said. “He was out there fighting injustice and speaking truth to power every single day. He was out there spreading a message of grace and redemption to the least, the last, and the lost. And our charge is to find Him everywhere, every day by how we live our lives.”
*In Hemet, California, an assistant pastor and two elders from Calvary Chapel church were arrested for reading the Bible aloud outside a local Department of Motor Vehicles office.
The three men went to the Hemet DMV Feb. 2 before it opened and one of the men started to read the Bible aloud. Less than 30 minutes later, he was arrested for “impeding an open business” under Penal Code Section 602.1(b), according to attorneys from Advocates for Faith & Freedom, an advocacy group.
A security guard approached Mark Mackey as he was reading the Bible and told him to stop, according to a news release from Advocates for Faith & Freedom. The men believed that they had a First Amendment right to free speech as they were standing in a planter within the parking lot and were located on public property. Further, they were not interfering with any business of the DMV and were not yelling or disturbing the peace.
Ten minutes later, a California Highway Patrolman approached Mackey as he read, took the Bible out of his hands, and arrested him.
As the CHP officer was arresting him and putting him in his patrol car, the two men who were with him — Assistant Pastor of Calvary Chapel Hemet, Brett Coronado, and Ed Flores — asked the officer, “What law was he breaking?”
Instead of identifying a legal violation, the officer asked, “Were you preaching too?” After continuing to ask the officer for the legal violation, Coronado and Flores were also arrested by another CHP officer who had come to the DMV and were also cited for “impeding an open business.”
*SoulPreaching.Com, a prominent website that seeks to “Celebrate and Teach the African American Preaching Tradition” will soon see a change in leadership.
Elder Sherman Haywood Cox II, founder and director of the ministry, has decided to pass on the mantle to Baptist minister George Larry from Los Angeles, California.
Cox started the website while he was attending Vanderbilt Divinity School and will retain partial ownership of the site.
Cox told the Power News Network:
“I thought it was important to take what I was learning at seminary and teach it to those who could not attend such institutions. I didn’t realize that it would grow into a seminar, publishing, audio, and video ministry.”
*Revival is not about a large crowd but it is about broken people who want to get right with God, said the Baptist pastor whose church made the hit films “Facing the Giants” and “Fireproof.”
Depending on the time, place and people, revival can look different, said Michael Catt, senior pastor of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Ga. But all revivals share a few common elements: repentance, confession, restoration and brokenness.
“If we’re hungry and thirsty after God, if there is a desire for more, if there is a holy dissatisfaction with the way things are, believing that surely God died for more than what we are seeing in our typical church today – we start 11 o’clock sharp and end at 12 noon – those are the elements for a revival,” said Catt in an interview for his new book The Power of Surrender: Breaking Through to Revival, released in March.
Catt plainly stated that revival is not about church growth. Rather it is about church “pruning and purifying.”
“[T]aking the things that we swept under the rug and ignored and excused and bringing it out in the open and saying, ‘Lord, we have sinned against you and we ask your forgiveness for what we’ve done,’” said the pastor and film producer.
The prosperity gospel movement and its teachings, however, present a problem to revival because it confuses people, he noted.