Shea remembered as voice of Graham crusades

George Beverly Shea, whose signature baritone voice was a standard feature of Billy Graham crusades for more than half a century, died April 16 at age 104. He died after a brief illness, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association announced. Shea, who was 10 years older than Mr. Graham, met the famous evangelist seven decades ago […]

Image of dark-skinned Satan has long history

When some people recently started questioning whether the Satan character on The Bible miniseries resembled President Obama, others posed a broader question: Why does Satan need to be dark-skinned at all? Religious experts and historians say the controversy points to a centuries-old tradition where dark is bad, light is good. “It’s just part and parcel […]

Bob Edgar, UM pastor, led NCC and Common Cause, and served in Congress

The Rev. Bob Edgar, a Democratic congressman and United Methodist minister who went on to lead the National Council of Churches through a painful series of restructuring cuts, died suddenly Tuesday (April 23) at age 69. The man religious leaders remembered as a “bridge builder,” suffered a heart attack and had been exercising on a […]

Rosa Parks kept faith with AME Church

WASHINGTON—A bronze statue of civil rights heroine Rosa Parks was unveiled at the U.S. Capitol on Feb. 27, a day for members of her African Methodist Episcopal Church to celebrate one of their own. President Obama, capping an hour-long ceremony in Statuary Hall, recalled the desegregation of public buses in Montgomery, Ala., after a yearlong boycott that […]

Religious groups sought delay of decision on gay scouts, leaders

The decision by Boy Scouts of America to postpone any change in policy about gay membership was fueled by an “outpouring of feedback.” Much of that reaction came from a sector with strength in numbers: the religious groups that comprise the majority of the Scouts’ chartered organizations. On Monday (Feb. 4), two days before the […]

Q&A: Are church musicians and ministers allies—or rivals?

Eileen Guenther, the national president of the American Guild of Organists, reveals behind-the-scenes church struggles in her new book, Rivals or a Team?: Clergy-Musician Relationships in the Twenty-First Century (MorningStar Music Publishers). Dr. Guenther, an associate professor of church music at UMC-affiliated Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., and the former organist at Foundry United […]

Filmmaker Spike Lee puts his focus on faith

WASHINGTON—Spike Lee is not about to give up filmmaking but—at least for a moment or two—he sounded a bit like an expert on the challenges facing the church as he promoted his new movie, Red Hook Summer. “Any church whose members are senior citizens and there’s no youth coming behind, they’re going to die out,” […]

Q&A: Gospel artist writes about The Whitney I Knew

In his new book, The Whitney I Knew (Worthy Publishing), gospel artist BeBe Winans describes his 28-year friendship with singer Whitney Houston. Mr. Winans, 49, and his sister CeCe performed with Houston and sang at her funeral in February. His older brother, Marvin, gave the eulogy for the service at New Hope Baptist Church in […]