Category Archives: Christian News
JERUSALEM, Nov. 25, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Friends of Zion Heritage Center (FOZHC) – with its campus located in the heart of Jerusalem and consisting of the internationally renowned Friends of Zion Museum visited by over 100,000 guests last year – hosted more than 80 distinguished guests representing more than 30 nations on Wednesday November 23rd, 2016 to mark the commencement of Phase II of its Ambassador Institute development initiative. The Ambassador Institute is focused on combatting anti-Semitism through partnership with the Christian community.
Distinguished guests included Ambassadors, Ministers, Members of the Diplomatic Core, Members of Parliament and other honored guests. The late President Shimon Peres served as International Chair of the Friends of Zion Heritage Center up until the time of his death in September of this year. Diplomats in attendance included representatives from Belgium, Brazil, India, Japan, and Russia. The event took place following the Jerusalem Post’s Diplomatic Summit where Friends of Zion president, Dr. Michael Evans, joined Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a keynote presenter.
H.E. Deborah Lyons, Ambassador of Canada to Israel, reflected, “Tolerance, understanding, dialogue and cooperation are part of our people, the same way our trees and mountains are. We are honored to be a part of an event which promotes these shared core values.”
H.E. Martin Weiss, Ambassador of Austria to Israel, said, “Our people share a long history with the Jewish people, and it is more important now than ever that we stand with Israel and create friends around the world.”
The FOZHC is devoted to the celebration of Christian Zionists from around the world who have energetically worked to protect the Jewish people from persecution and whose efforts were instrumental in the creation and establishment of the State of Israel.
The Friends of Zion Museum is a one-of-a-kind multimedia experience that utilizes state-of-the-art technology, immersive video content, touch screens and 3D displays to commemorate the lives and efforts of 33 individuals including biblical heroes, businessmen, academics and military figures who helped forge the everlasting bond between the Jewish and Christian peoples.
Phase I of the development initiative spanned the last 24 months and included over $50 million in investment into the Heritage Center campus and museum.
Phase II will bring the total investment to more than $100 million and will unite the Friends of Zion Research Institute’s communication center and the Ambassador Institute. Currently Friends of Zion boasts over 13 million fans on social media with over 550,000 joining each week, the majority of whom are millennials. The FOZHC is on track to reach its ambitious goal of accumulating 100 million fans in 5 years.
“We are tremendously honored to bring together such a distinguished list of diplomats, statesmen and other honored guests to celebrate the Friends of Zion movement,” says FOZHC President, Michael Evans. “The Friends of Zion Ambassador Institute is an ambitious plan to unite, mobilize and educate the millions upon millions of Christian Zionists from around the world. Phase II will enable us to continue training tens of thousands of Christian Zionists as ambassadors through their smart phones and on social media, while also leveraging adaptive learning to speak up and stand up for Israel in their own countries, college campuses and in political halls of power.”
FOZHC will have a real time social network communication hub providing rapid response to anti-Semitism online and it will be linked to the thousands of Christian TV and radio stations, print media, churches, and universities worldwide with pro-Israel content packages and video clips going out weekly. FOZHC will also collaborate with one of the world’s leading research companies to create Israel’s first Christian Zionist think tank.
About Friends of Zion – Located in the heart of Jerusalem, the Friends of Zion Heritage Center is dedicated to bringing stories of love and heroism to the world. Magnificently told using ground-breaking technology found nowhere else in the nation, visitors experience the unfolding story as though stepping back in time. Accompanied by a moving original musical score, fantastic surround sound, lighting second-to-none and interactive displays that appear to come to life before your very eyes, the Friends of Zion Museum is a once in a lifetime experience for audiences from around the world. Visitors enter a whole new world, where they meet the biblical figures, academics, businessmen, and military officials who, through their faith, have forged an everlasting bond between the Jewish and Christian peoples.
Dr. Michael D. Evans is an award-winning journalist who has served as a confidant to multiple Prime Ministers of Israel and leaders in the Middle East for more than two decades. He has spoken in thousands of churches and appeared on hundreds of network television and radio shows, including Good Morning America, Crossfire, and Nightline, including multiple appearances on the 700 Club. He appears frequently on Fox News, CNN World News, NBC, ABC, and CBS, and his insightful articles and perspectives on Israel and the Middle East have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Washington Times, Jerusalem Post, and newspapers worldwide. Dr. Mike Evans is considered one of the world’s leading experts on Israel and the Middle East, and he is one of the most sought-after speakers on the subject.
Phyllis Schlafly, attorney, author, activist credited with everything from defeating the Equal Rights Amendment, to spear heading Bary Goldwater’s nomination for president of the United States has died. She was also the founder and president of Eagle Forum the powerful nationwide pro-family advocacy group.
Ed Martin who worked closely with her first broke the news to Eagle Forum‘s supporters around the country by email, just minutes before the news was released to the media. In the group’s official statement Martin wrote ” Today, Phyllis Schlafly passed away in the presence of her family at her home in St. Louis, Missouri.
An iconic American leader whose love for America was surpassed only by her love of God and her family, Phyllis Schlafly, an indomitable pro-family grassroots advocate and organizer, was 92 years old. Mrs. Schlafly was preceded in death by her beloved husband Fred and is survived by six children along with 16 grand and 3 great grandchildren.
Phyllis Schlafly spent an astounding 70 years in public service of her fellow Americans. Her focus from her earliest days until her final ones was protecting the family, which she understood as the building block of life. She recognized America as the greatest political embodiment of those values. From military superiority and defense to immigration and trade; from unborn life to the nuclear family and parenthood, Phyllis Schlafly was a courageous and articulate voice for common sense and traditional values. She authored 27 books and thousands of articles. She spoke tens of thousands of times across the United States.
Her joy in life was evident to all through her smile and wit. Funeral arrangements are pending.”
Tributes from conservative leaders across the country are already flooding in,
Rev. Robert A. Crutchfield, Founder of FaithInspires.Org said this hearing of the news, ” I was still a child when Phyllis Schlafly was already known all over the country for defending traditional family values against those of the popular culture. She has helped define the American Pro-Family Movement for almost 7 decades. Even Imagining the Pro-Family Movement without her helping guide it is near impossible. Her contributions have been incalculable. If we find comfort in anything it is that her leadership and wisdom will remain with us for generations. May God’s comfort and strength be the constant companion of her family, and all who knew her as we travel through our grief. ”
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins released the following statement on the passing of Phyllis Schlafly: “Phyllis Schlafly will be remembered for her courageous leadership in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. With the political establishment, the media, and academia all arrayed against her, she organized a grassroots movement that not only stopped the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) but became the foundation for the pro-life, pro-family movement we have today.
“I have little doubt that the political and cultural landscape of America today would have long ago been devoid of true conservatism if not for her leadership. She never surrendered her principles and she never gave in to intimidation.
“Her love for God and this country drove her to fight for the Constitutional principles that founded this nation. We honor Phyllis for the lessons that she taught us all. I’m proud to have stood alongside her for faith, family and freedom,” concluded Perkins.
Presidential Candidate Donald Trump was quoted by THE Hill newspaper as saying “Phyllis Schlafly is a conservative icon who led millions to action, reshaped the conservative movement, and fearlessly battled globalism and the ‘kingmakers’ on behalf of America’s workers and families,” Trump said in a statement Monday night.
“I was honored to spend time with her during this campaign as she waged one more great battle for national sovereignty. I was able to speak with her by phone only a few weeks ago, and she sounded as resilient as ever. Our deepest prayers go out to her family and all her loved ones.”
“I am honored that the Board of the World Congress of Families has elected me to serve as its president, and I look forward to continuing to work to advance the pro-family movement in the US and around the world,” Brown said. “Preserving and promoting the natural family as the core institution of society is an essential task if we are to build strong, stable, healthy communities.”
The World Congress of Families (WCF) is anchored in truths enshrined in the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which provides that, “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion” (article 18), and that, “The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State” (article 16(3)). WCF focuses on providing that protection to which the natural family is entitled, while also protecting the right to freedom of conscience and religion. WCF upholds the rule of law, condemns violence, and respects the dignity and rights of all.
“In recent years, secular leaders around the world have become obsessed with advancing so-called ‘alternative’ family structures. But there is no family structure more valuable and important to children and civilization as a whole than that of a married father and mother raising the children born of their union in an intact and loving family,” Brown said. “The natural family produces the best outcomes for society – promoting child health and well-being, encouraging marital happiness, enhancing economic prosperity, reducing delinquency and criminality, enhancing educational attainment, promoting spiritual growth, and securing liberty and human dignity. I look forward to contributing to WCF’s work to develop and advance pro-family policies around the world.”
The mission of the World Congress of Families is to help secure the foundations of society by uniting and empowering leaders worldwide to respect, protect, and defend:
- the natural family founded on marriage between a man and a woman;
- parental rights and the welfare of children, including their need for both a mother and a father;
- the dignity and sanctity of all human life from conception; and
- freedom of speech, religion, and conscience in an atmosphere of respect for all.
Barna recently did a similar study in their case focused on Church planters. They came to many of the same conclusions. Pastoral stress is a real issue, that we in the church world will have to develop solid practical answers to. The answers we have obviously aren’t working like we need them to. -Pastor Crutchfield
WASHINGTON, April 28, 2016 /Christian Newswire/ — Research released from the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE) this week shows that the majority of evangelical pastors in the United States serve in small churches with significant personal financial challenges. Pastors also report that they are not familiar with resources to help them and do not confide in anyone outside their household about financial stress.
“The vast majority of pastors do not have their own radio or TV show, robust church staff, or megachurch attendance,” said Leith Anderson, NAE president. “Rather they faithfully serve in small churches and face financial challenges stemming from student debt, low salaries and medical expenses. And sadly, they often feel they have no one to turn to for help.”
The poll, conducted by Grey Matter Research in July 2015, found that of the 4,249 pastors surveyed 80 percent serve in congregations with fewer than 200 people, and 55 percent have fewer than 100 people in their church. Half of the pastors serve in churches with annual budgets under $125,000 that must cover the cost of the church facilities, programs and pastor/staff payroll. Fifty percent of pastors receive less than $50,000 per year in compensation with 30 percent having student loan debt averaging $36,000.
Many pastors also struggle to secure long-term financial stability. Thirty-three percent have under $10,000 in retirement funds. Twenty-nine percent have $0 in personal savings.
Over 85 percent of pastors said they did not receive financial training from their seminary. Many pastors (37 percent) are not familiar with what resources their denomination offers for personal finances. Over a third of pastors said they have no one outside their household in whom they can confide about the things that stress them financially.
This spring, with support from Lilly Endowment Inc., the NAE launched a multiyear initiative to address economic challenges facing pastors. The initiative will focus on connecting and resourcing denominations, churches and pastors in the area of pastor finances.
Download the full report at NAE.net/pastorresearch.
The mission of the National Association of Evangelicals is to honor God by connecting and representing evangelical Christians. The NAE includes more than 45,000 churches from nearly 40 denominations and serves a constituency of millions. Founded in 1942, the NAE is currently led by President Leith Anderson.
Follow the NAE at NAE.net.
PASADENA, Calif., and ROTTERDAM, Netherlands, April 21, 2016 /Christian Newswire/ — The Ark of Noah Foundation in Pasadena has entered into a strategic collaboration with the owner of the full size replica of the Ark of Noah to move the Ark to the cities of Fortaleza and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Noah’s Ark will be in Fortaleza for the 2016 Olympic Games and Rio de Janeiro for the Paralympic summer games. The Ark is a massive replica that is interactive, informative, cultural Biblical event center. Noah’s Ark provides a Judeo-Christian, Bible based experience for young and old.
Once in Brazil the Ark will be using techniques that include virtual and augmented reality to tell original different biblical themes and stories in an interactive and challenging way. Brazil has a total population of over 190 million people who are 28% Protestant and 60% Catholic.
The builder of the Ark, Johan Huibers, is extremely excited to see that one of his visions gets realized. In his autobiography “The Unsinkable Dream” the builder speaks about his dream in which he sees the “Ark” in the port of Rio de Janeiro.
The Ark of Noah Foundation together with its partners are actively involved in financing the entire project. The US crowd funding campaign starts now, private investors and international donors will be approached shortly as well.
Noah’s Ark opened its doors in July 2012 for the general public and has been on display for four years already. This construction has the real dimensions of the Ark mentioned in the Bible; about 95 feet wide, 75.5 feet high and 410 feet long and weighs about 2500 tons.
It is envisioned to use the proceeds of the use of the Ark of Noah in Brazil to build Ark of Hope centers throughout the country. These centers will provide social, educational and practical support to the underprivileged people in Brazil.
MERCER ISLAND, Wash., Jan. 26, 2016 /Christian Newswire/ — Healthy, flourishing workplace culture makes for increasingly effective organizations.
That’s the upside for 62 faith-based organizations across the U.S., Canada and Australia, which have just been honored as Certified Best Christian Workplaces by the Best Christian Workplaces Institute (BCWI).
BCWI’s FLOURISH Model measures eight essential factors of a thriving, healthy culture: fantastic teams, life-giving work, outstanding talent, uplifting growth, rewarding compensation, inspirational leadership, sustainable strategy and healthy communication.
The Certified status reflects a “healthy-to-flourishing” culture, meeting predetermined standards of excellence on each of these eight factors. BCWI pioneered and perfected the anonymous, online employee survey instrument that compiles and calibrates individuals’ responses.
“Attaining BCWI Certification is not easy,” said BCWI President Al Lopus. “About half of the organizations we survey achieve Certification, and many organizations survey multiple years before receiving this distinction.”
Since 2003, BCWI has served more than 700 faith-based organizations throughout North America and beyond.
The organizations Certified between July 1, 2015 and January 20, 2016 are:
Bethlehem Baptist Church – Minneapolis, MN
Church of the King – Mandeville, LA
Community Christian Church – Naperville, IL
Cornwall Church – Bellingham, WA
Cross Point Church – Nashville, TN
Crossroads Christian Church – Evansville, IN
Eastminster Presbyterian Church – Wichita, KS
Experience Life Church – Lubbock, TX
First Free Church – Onalaska, WI
Floris United Methodist Church – Herndon, VA
Gateway Church – Southlake, TX
Harvest Church – Billings, MT
Legacy Christian Church – Overland Park, KS
Mountain Christian Church – Joppa, MD
Park Community Church – Chicago, IL
Redeemer Lutheran Church – Fort Collins, CO
River Pointe Church – Richmond, TX
Valley Ranch Baptist Church – Coppell, TX
Vineyard Cincinnati – Cincinnati, OH
The Wesleyan Church – Fishers, IN
PARACHURCH AND MISSIONS
Apartment Life – Euless, TX
Care Net – Lansdowne, VA
Christian Veterinary Mission – Seattle, WA
Compassion Canada – London, ON, Canada
CRISTA Ministries – Seattle, WA
English Language Institute/China – Fort Collins, CO
The Gideons International – Nashville, TN
Joni and Friends – Agoura Hills, CA
Kids Around the World – Rockford, IL
Miracle Hill Ministries – Greenville, SC
Novo Ministries – Oklahoma City, OK
Reasons to Believe – Covina, CA
Vision House – Renton, WA
Water Mission (formerly Water Missions International) – Charleston, SC
Willow Creek Association – South Barrington, IL
World Concern – Seattle, WA
WorldServe Ministries (Canada) – Surrey, BC, Canada
Bethlehem College & Seminary – Minneapolis, MN
College of Biblical Studies-Houston – Houston, TX
Crossroads Bible College – Indianapolis, IN
Grace School of Theology – The Woodlands, TX
Olivet Nazarene University – Bourbonnais, IL
Briarcrest Christian School – Memphis, TN
College Heights Christian School – Joplin, MO
King’s Schools – Seattle, WA
Lionheart Children’s Academy – Euless, TX
Seattle Urban Academy – Seattle, WA
Toledo Christian Schools – Toledo, OH
Valley Christian Schools – Cerritos, CA
CAMPS AND CONFERENCE CENTERS
CRISTA Camps – Seattle, WA
WinShape Retreat – Mount Berry, GA
CRISTA Media – Seattle, WA
Jewish Voice Ministries International – Phoenix, AZ
KSBJ – Humble, TX
LightMelbourne – Mitcham, VIC, Australia
PRODUCTS & SERVICES
Association for Biblical Higher Education (ABHE) – Orlando, FL
CapinCrouse LLP – Greenwood, IN
Christian Family Care – Phoenix, AZ
Classical Conversations – West End, NC
Garland Heart – Plano, TX
Lead Like Jesus – Spartanburg, SC
Samaritan Ministries International – Peoria, IL
About Best Christian Workplaces Institute
The Best Christian Workplaces Institute is an international non-profit, research-based, organizational development and human resources consulting firm, with head offices in Mercer Island, Washington. Their vision is to see Christian workplaces set the standard as the best, most effective places to work in the world. Learn more at www.bcwinstitute.org. Find weekly success stories at blog.bcwinstitute.org and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bestchristianworkplacesinstitute.
HUME, Calif., Aug. 19, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ — An uncontained forest fire threatens Hume Lake Christian Camps, located in the Sequoia National Forest. The Hume Community is asking Christians around the world to pray for the protection of the camp and the continued safety of all camp staff and firefighting personnel.
“We are trusting God, and we are asking you to pray. Please help us mobilize the Christian community around the country to pray,” says Dathan Brown, Executive Director.
Hume Lake Christian Camps is a year-round youth camp and adult retreat center providing epic, high-energy, life-changing programs for churches, schools, teams and groups. Since 1946, more than one million campers have gone through this ministry and experienced the love and power of a life lived in Christ through recreation, music and speaking.
The Rough Fire began with a lightning strike on July 31, 2015 and now encompasses over 30,900 acres. It has crossed the King’s River and has progressed within miles of the homes and ministry buildings of the camp. All non-essential personnel have been evacuated successfully. About 30 full-time staff remain to help keep the utilities, kitchen and other infrastructure running for the firefighting Command Post now situated on the camp grounds.
At 7:30 Wednesday the 19th Hume Lake Christian Camps provided the following update,
Wednesday, August 19, 2015 – 7:30pm
As the fire advanced towards Hume today, we were asked to evacuate the remaining staff at 4:30pm today. As of 6:00pm, all remaining support staff have left Hume Lake. Our fire team, a core utilities team, and over 400 firefighters remain to defend structures. For more information, watch this video from our Executive Director. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more updates.
HOUSTON, Jan. 30, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ — Bear Creek Church opened its doors on Sunday to 27,500 square feet of new ministry space for preschoolers, children and adults following eleven months of facility construction.
After reaching capacities in several areas, church members committed $4.1 million to the building campaign, allowing construction to begin on February 17, 2014. Bay-IBI Group and Sterling Structures provided architectural and construction services throughout the project.
With 16,000 square feet dedicated to a preschool and children’s wing that includes 15 new classrooms, both ministries now have the capabilities to grow by 50 percent and reach 250 new preschoolers and 200 new children.
A worship area for children has also been added to the new building, bringing this space into proximity with children’s classrooms and enhancing security. This area is nearly 5,000 square feet and will allow approximately 300 children to gather together at one time.
The adult ministry gained seven new classrooms spanning 6,500 square feet. This space allows 500 new adults to connect to a discipleship group within the church.
Alongside its expanded ministry space, Bear Creek also added 260 new parking spaces to accommodate guests and members.
“This new building allows us to present the gospel to our community in a much broader way,” said David Welch, lead pastor at Bear Creek Church. “With church construction in America reported to be down by 80 percent since 2002, we feel blessed that we have faithful members who are willing to commit and follow through with a giving-campaign on such a large scale. I can’t wait to see the greater things that God will accomplish through our expanded ministries.”
Bear Creek Church
Bear Creek Church’s mission is to make fully devoted, fully developing disciples of Christ. Located at the crossroads of West Houston, Katy and Cypress, Bear Creek Church strives to reach multiple communities and neighborhoods throughout the city. Pastor David Welch has served at Bear Creek Church since 2001, and his vision is for the church to be a gospel-centered environment where every person is moved to worship God passionately, grow together authentically, serve others sacrificially and share Christ everywhere. For more information, visit www.bearcreekchurch.tv.
GLENDALE, N.Y., Dec. 27, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ — The family of slain NYPD officer Rafael “Ralph” Ramos was given a letter from the President of Faith Evangelical College and Seminary (Tacoma, WA), Dr. Michael Adams, during the first of two funerals held last night, December 26. Officer Ramos was working towards a BA in Religion as a distance student so he could qualify to be a police chaplain.
Photo: The letter presented to the Ramos Family indicating the posthumous conferral of a BA in Religion with honors to Officer Rafael Ramos.
A delegation of clergy conveyed the letter that announced the degree, which was nearly complete, would be conferred within weeks “with honors.” The actual diploma will be presented to Mrs. Ramos at a subsequent ceremony following a meeting of faculty and trustees for the institution.
Distinguished Alumnus of the college and a civilian chaplain on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, the Rev. Rob Schenck, D.Min., led the presentation. He was joined by retired NYPD chaplain and the 3rd U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom the Reverend Dr. Suzan Johnson-Cook, and the director of the Christian Defense Coalition and pastor of the Church on the Hill in Washington, the Reverend Patrick J. Mahoney.
Schenck, Johnson-Cook, and Mahoney first paid their respects to Officer Ramos by presenting the letter to his open casket before handing it to Mrs. Ramos, who was visibly moved. She had earlier told Faith Evangelical College and Seminary president Dr. Michael Adams that her husband valued his studies very highly and “constantly talked about earning his degree.”
Schenck, Johnson-Cook, and Mahoney will attend the second, larger funeral Saturday morning as well as the graveside committal.
Rev. Schenck said, “It was one of the greatest honors of my 37-year ministry career to convey this honor to a fallen hero and outstanding churchman. Officer Ramos was an extraordinary man and the comments made publicly and privately by his family, friends, and colleagues bore testimony to that fact.”
Ambassador Johnson-Cook said, “The service for Officer Ramos was like a family reunion for the NYPD. The camaraderie is like nothing else. I spent 21 years as a police chaplain but I never grow tired of it. It was as touching as ever.”
Rev. Mahoney said, “Mrs. Ramos lit up when we presented the letter of conferral to her. Her countenance changed. It was stunning to see her reaction. It was a little bit of sunshine in an otherwise very gloomy time.”