*The prison guards at the California Rehabilitation Center (CRC), a Level II correctional facility in Norco, Calif., rushed in when they saw a group of inmates submerging a man’s head in the communal sinks, thinking they were preventing a race-related murder, says worldcalifornia.com.
“The guards come in wanting to know why the races are all together. They thought we were trying to drown the guys, but we were just baptizing them,” said Cary White, the man who was baptizing the three new believers on that day.
White had received a seminary-level education while serving his sentence in CRC through The Urban Ministry Institute (TUMI), a program developed by World Impact and facilitated by Prison Fellowship to provide seminary classes to prison inmates and the urban poor.
The program has been so successful in curbing violence behind bars that prison guards and the California Department of Corrections have taken notice, some even inviting TUMI into their prisons. This year TUMI is expanding from five to 26 California prisons.
*Maia Campbell is coming back full force and ready to share her story.
The troubled actress says in a recent interview with Get Noticed Media that her life, as we’ve witnessed, has not been a fairytale, and she has dealt with some serious demons.
While she’s getting ready to release her latest single, “Make Em Say,” she’s already looking ahead thinking about writing a book about her life called “Sagittarius.”
She plans to tell the world all of her business, from her battle with drugs to her rise and fall in the industry.
But that’s not all. Like a lot a black actors, she’s wants to work with Tyler Perry on a film based on her late mother Bebe Moore Campbell’s book “72 Hour Hold.”
The struggling actress also admits that she’s aware of being seen “out there”:
“I know the last time everyone saw me, I was way out there on the other stretch of the road. I got myself together, I’ve been sober for two years and I’ve been stable and very [aware] of how this industry works. I’ve been in this industry since I was a little girl so I’m a professional. I am very able to jump back into these waters and swim deep and get it in. So let’s get it poppin’.”
*Ted Williams, also known as the Man with the Golden Voice, has kicked his crack and alcohol habits and now thanks God for his rehabilitation, says Black Christian News.
Ted Williams was seen panhandling in Ohio a year ago and became famous when a video of him speaking went viral. Receiving millions of hits, the video made him an overnight superstar. However, he still battled his drug and alcohol addiction, stalling his journey to sobriety.
A year after that video Ted is living in a home with a fireplace and a huge walk-in closet. During an Entertainment Tonight report he testifies that it’s a “Hallelujah moment” every day when he wakes up.
*The recession was a double-barrel blow to American congregations: directly hurting their budgets while also stretching them thin due to increased needs for counseling, emergency housing and other social services.
But the worst seems to be over, according to a report released today that found that one in 10 have begun to recover from the loss, and more than 40 percent are now stable or increasing financially.
The “Holy Toll” report, based on the 2010 Faith Communities Today national survey of more than 20 religious groups, found that more than half (57%) of U.S. congregations reported their income had declined due to the recession.
Researcher David A. Roozen, director of the Hartford Institute for Religion Research, said larger congregations seem to be recovering more easily as endowments and investment income rebound, and more members who can help them grow their way out of deficits.
His theory echoes last month’s State of the Plate report by the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and Christianity Today International’s church management team, which found smaller churches had suffered a disproportionate drop in giving last year.
Roozen’s survey, based on data from more than 11,000 congregations, found the recession had hurt congregations across the spectrum, surprising researchers who “almost always find differences” between evangelical and mainline Protestant churches.
Nine percent of congregations said the recession had prompted layoffs or furloughs, and just over a quarter of congregations reported salary freezes or reductions.
*Eminem has reportedly refused to perform at the BRIT Awards after organizers refused to tell him if he’d won one of the two awards he is up for.
The rapper was set to make a special appearance with Rihanna on their track “Love The Way You Lie” at the award ceremony next month, but has pulled out after producers wouldn’t tell him if he’d won in the categories he is nominated in, Best International Solo Male Artist and International Album – according to website M Is For Music.
Rihanna has already been confirmed as a performer at the awards, which will also see live appearances from Cee Lo Green, Adele, Arcade Fire, Mumford And Sons, Take That, Tinie Tempah and Plan B.
Eminem, meanwhile, is scheduled to appear at the Grammys, where he is nominated for 10 awards surrounding his last album “Recovery.”
The BRIT Awards 2011 take place on Feb. 15 at London’s The O2 venue.