Possible Hate Crime? New COGIC Church Burns on Election Night!

Possible Hate Crime? New COGIC Church Burns on Election Night! This is simply awful, but we just need to pray for the people that would perpetrate an awful crime like this! While much of our land was celebrating a very historic event, those that would seek to keep division, and hate in our land continue to ply their wares. The will of the Lord will always prevail against the hearts of evil men! Our prayers are also extended to the Pastor, and the members of this Church! Read the Details below from the Massachusetts Republican via an article written by Stephanie Barry. This paper is out of Springfield, Massachusetts.

News Story: Bishop Awakens to Nightmare

sbarry@repub.com

SPRINGFIELD – Bishop Bryant Robinson Jr. was rousted from sleep early Wednesday morning to witness a nightmare in the form of a towering inferno.

In place of a nearly finished Macedonia Church of God in Christ, Robinson instead saw a charred outline of a building and flames licking the sky over Tinkham Road.

“You can imagine how I felt this morning. The voice said that the church is on fire. It is burning to the ground,” Robinson said of the 3:30 a.m. telephone call he received about the fire at the predominantly black Pentecostal church. It was scheduled for completion in the spring.

In the wake of the historic election of the nation’s first black president, the blaze drew a phalanx of local, state and federal investigators to probe its origin.

While state arson investigators declined to discuss the details of the investigation during an afternoon press conference, the question of motive hung as heavy in the air as the lingering smoke at the burn site.

“I don’t know. I really want to be optimistic but I’ve been 71 years on this planet as an African-American male, and I’ve experienced hatred and racism,” Robinson said. “I don’t know what the motive is, but in our culture there is a fault line.”

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Springfield’s state Rep. Benjamin Swan noted that they had attended the groundbreaking ceremony at 213 Tinkham Road in spring 2007. It was being constructed to replace the existing church at 201 King St. Robinson said his congregation includes approximately 250 members.

His father, the late Bryant Robinson Sr., an Alabama native, founded the church.

Robinson Jr. earned a doctorate in education from the University of Massachusetts and held high-ranking posts in the Springfield School Department until the mid-1990s when he retired after a nearly 30-year career in which he rose to deputy superintendent, the highest position held to that point by a black educator in the city’s history. He worked as associate pastor of the church under his father until his death seven years ago.

Robinson Jr. assumed the lead clerical position at that time and continued to expand the congregation until it became too large for its current location in the Mason Square neighborhood.

“It was a dream that was some 20 months or so in the making,” Robinson said. “We were so close that we could almost taste it.”

He told reporters he was jarred awake by news of the fire after an evening of celebrating U.S. Sen. Barack H. Obama’s presidential victory.

Kurt N. Schwartz, Gov. Deval L. Patrick’s undersecretary of the state Executive Office of Public Safety, traveled to the church site to stand with city police and fire officials as well as investigators from the state police, the FBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Schwartz said Patrick, the state’s first black governor and a close ally of Obama, had requested briefings on the fire throughout the day, pledging to pour resources into the investigation.

While several officials were careful not to characterize the fire as a hate crime, or even a criminal matter, others referred to the burning as a “hideous” and “heinous” crime.

Swan and Robinson said the blaze conjured up memories of the rash of black church burnings in the South in the mid-1990s.

“I can’t pretend it’s an accident, and I’m not going to pretend I have a motive, but it was a sinister motive at the least,” said Swan, the city’s only black representative in the state Legislature, as he stood across from the smoldering church.

Asked if he thought the blaze could have been coincidental, or accidental, he replied: “Not at all … There’s always going to be somebody that wants to keep us from moving forward.”

After inviting all who attended the press conference to become honorary members of the church, Robinson said he intends to rebuild. “We will build that church, and you will all know when it’s time to celebrate,” he said.

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Why are Black Preachers So Excited About Senator Barack Obama?

Why are Black Preachers So Excited About Senator Barack Obama? There has been a quite a clamor raised over noted black preachers expressing excitement over the Presidential Prospects of Senator Barack Obama. Charisma Magazine has posted editorials expressing their concern and disdain that Bishop T. D. Jakes, Pastor Kirbyjon Calwell, Prophetess Juanita Bynum, and several other noted black preachers have mentioned to the media that they are excited about the candidacy of Senator Barack Obama. Each of these noted black preachers has done nothing to damage their 501 C-3 status by endorsing Senator Barack Obama. What is the big stink about?

Is it a sin for a black preacher to express noticeable excitement about the prospects of a black man being elected President of the United States? There are many black preachers who are nothing short of astonished that a black man is really this close to being The President of the United States. Should a black preacher be exempt from reveling in this moment as most Black Americans are? Haven’t black preachers gone through many of the same trials that most blacks in America have? Are these black preachers practicing bigotry because someone that looks like them is this close to ascending to the highest office in this land?

I feel like it is quite hypocritical for many in the Christian Media to attack black preachers for being excited about Senator Barack Obama. It would be entirely foolhardy for a group of people that has suffered oppression in this land, to not become excited about noticeable benchmarks of progression. Many of these noted black preachers are still the descendants of slaves. How could anyone deny their right to be excited about this moment in history?

The Religious Right and The Conservative Media are primed to send every black preacher that even acknowledges being excited about Barack Obama to Hell. They will ask how could a black preacher support a man that doesn’t oppose abortion? I will acknowledge that most black preachers oppose abortion, but we also oppose the systemic mistreatment of many in our pews. How can so many in the Religious Right rally around abortion to such a great degree, but turn a deaf ear against crime and poverty in our inner cities?

How can we ardently fight so hard for babies that we can’t see, while we neglect speaking out against policies that so adversely affect the millions of children that live in our inner cities? How can we rally so vehemently about abortion and gay marriage, but say nothing about mean-spirited policies that adversely affect our urban areas? I have no doubt that God opposes abortion, but he also opposes the mistreatment of the poor. As a member of a race that owns 1/2 of 1% of this nation’s wealth, I will boldly state that something is wrong in this nation. It is time for a change in this land!

Are black preachers expecting Senator Barack Obama to be a Saviour of Sorts to Black America? No,we are not as a matter of fact we are not even expecting him to be a scaled down version of Moses either. However; his candidacy is refreshing and an inspiration to so many in our inner city areas. How could we not be excited in this moment? How could we not be excited about seeing a black man marching further than any other black man has? Let us enjoy our moment. Many in The Religious Right will call Senator Obama everything short of the Anti-Christ in the coming General Election. Many black preachers followed The Religious Right’s Rallying Against Gay Marriage and Abortion and supported George Bush in 2004 only to reap one of the worst Presidential tenures ever endured by many of their members.

Yes, it is fair for a black preacher to be excited about the possibilities of a Modern Day Joseph Story playing out before our very eyes. It is not racist to acknowledge the great accomplishment of one’s own. Why is it that black preachers can’t stand up for policies that greatly affect their own communities? Are black preachers shallow because we don’t share the same viewpoint as The Religious Right that God is a Republican? Black Preachers are excited about this moment in time. Don’t attack us for appreciating great strides made by one of our own!

Respectfully Submitted,

Pastor Stephen F. Smith

Senator Barack Obama Speaks to African-American Fathers on Father’s Day!

Senator Barack Obama Speaks to African-American Fathers on Father’s Day!  Senator Barack Obama addressed the congregation at the Apostolic Church of God in Chicago, IL on Father’s Day, June 15, 2008.

In Defense of Rev. Jeremiah Wright!

Pastor Gaye of Trinity United Church of Christ in St. Petersburg, FL speaks in response to the attacks in the media on Candidate Barack Obama regarding remarks made by his Pastor Rev. Wright.

Obama Asked About Donnie McClurkin!

Obama Asked About Donnie McClurkin! I don’t agree with him on this one, and obviously I have a very strong opinion on this one, but I want to hear from you on this one!