News Service Briefs



The following reports were released during the last month by Charisma News Service. Go to our Web site at www.charismanews.com to subscribe to the free weekday service or to access full-length versions of each day's stories. The site also includes a search engine so you can access archived news.

THIRD DAY HONORED AT DOVE AWARDS

Christian rock group Third Day and singer Nicole C. Mullen were the big winners at the 32nd Annual Dove Awards held April 26 in Nashville, Tenn. Third Day took home five Doves, including Artist of the Year and Group of the Year, while Mullen was honored in the song and songwriter of the year categories for "Redeemer." In what may have been a controversial move, Raze won in the rap/hip-hop album and song of the year categories despite sexual misconduct charges filed against lead singer Ja'Marc Davis. Other winners included Steven Curtis Chapman for Male Vocalist of the Year, Mary Mary for Urban Album of the Year and Plus One for New Artist of the Year.

C. PETER WAGNER CALLS FOR 'SPIRITUAL HOUSE CLEANING'

Prayer leader C. Peter Wagner has called for Christians to take part in a global "house cleaning" to empower their prayers for the spreading of the gospel. Wagner says that because of idolatry many believers are failing to become all God intends. Coordinator of international prayer initiatives at the World Prayer Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., Wagner announced April 8 the launch of an annual "Josiah Declaration," urging churches to follow the example of the Old Testament king who rooted out idolatry from the Israelites. On Sept. 9, Wagner hopes to see Christians bringing "unclean" objects from their homes for communal church bonfires.

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CHRISTIAN LEADERS LAUNCH TALK SHOWS

Three new talk shows feature well-known Christian leaders. Face to Face With Wellington Boone debuted April 4 on the Fox Family Channel. Boone, senior pastor of the Father's House in Atlanta, will discuss family issues. Paula White, featuring the co-pastor of Without Walls International in Tampa, Fla., started last month on the Black Entertainment Television and targets women. And Tell It Like It Is, a daily radio program featuring former 700 Club host Ben Kinchlow, debuted in early April. It takes on subjects such as family life, race and politics, and can be heard in 25 cities nationwide.

REINHARD BONNKE CLARIFIES STATEMENT ABOUT MCCAULEY DIVORCE

International evangelist Reinhard Bonnke has distanced himself from ministers who "absolved" leading South African charismatic pastor Ray McCauley after his divorce from his wife of 24 years. In a short statement, Bonnke said his name had been added to the list by mistake, "for which Ray McCauley [of Rhema Bible Church in Johannesburg] deeply apologized." Bonnke said he had experienced "great sadness" over the divorce of "my friends." He added: "I would also like to express the conviction that it is not desirable for persons in leadership who are struggling with the tragedy of divorce to compound this further by entering hastily into new relationships." McCauley, who said he believes divorce is a sin, is dating a divorced woman who attends the church.

AFRICAN CHRISTIAN LEADER MURDERED

A top leader of Timothy Training Institute in Mozambique was murdered March 11 in a robbery in Maputo. Antonio Manuel Chilaule, 52, was accosted by gunmen who demanded keys to his vehicle. He turned over the keys but was murdered because he saw the robbers' faces. An assistant, Mafalda Cossa, who accompanied him, also was shot and died later in a Maputo hospital.

EARL PAULK DENIES MOLESTATION CHARGES

Bishop Earl Paulk, 73, of the Cathedral at Chapel Hill in Atlanta, has denied charges of child molestation. He was sued in early April by lifelong member Jessica Battle, a Florida college student who accused Paulk of fondling her and having intercourse with her from the time she was 7 years old until she was 11, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Paulk told his congregation April 11: "All accusations you have been hearing are absolutely untrue, and it will be proven so." The charges are the most serious against Paulk, who faced similar sexual-impropriety accusations in 1992.

JOHN PAULK REINSTATED AFTER SCANDAL

John Paulk has been unanimously voted back as an active board member of Exodus International, North America, which he chaired until the scandal over his visit to a gay bar in Washington, D.C., broke last year. A former gay activist, Paulk initially denied that he had known Mr. P's was a homosexual haunt. He later admitted he had known what the place was and apologized for his actions. Married with two children, Paulk is manager of the homosexuality and gender department at Focus on the Family in Colorado Springs, Colo.

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