- Created on 24 May 2013
Rev. Dr. Derrick Rhodes, Senior Pastor of the Kelley Chapel United Methodist Church, will hold a special service for the reconsecration of the newly renovated church sanctuary. The service will be held Sunday, May 26, 2013, at 9:30 a.m. and will include a time of recognition and appreciation.
The community is invited to participate. Light refreshments will be served in the Life Center immediately following the service.
Kelley Chapel United Methodist Church, built in 1898, has been named a 2009 and 2012 Church of Excellence and a top 100 United Methodist Church nationally. It is located on the corner of Kelley Chapel Road and Flats Shoals Parkway, 3411 Kelley Chapel Road, in Decatur.
The Church Campus includes: the Main Sanctuary (current church), Senior Center (original church), Jules Mainor Family Life Center, Kelley Chapel Cemetery, and the Administrative Office Building.
- Created on 23 May 2013
The Most Rev. Wilton D. Gregory, sixth archbishop of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, was recently awarded a Doctorate in Theology, honoris causa, by Catholic Theological Union (CTU), located in Chicago, at its 45th annual commencement.
Archbishop Gregory, who was appointed by Pope John Paul II in 2004, has played a leading role in the U.S. Church.
In November 2001, he was elected the first African American president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, following three years as vice president. Under his leadership, the "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People" was implemented.
- Created on 22 May 2013
Victory for the World Church has announced the opening of their 2013 Summer Camp – Camp Laser. Camp Laser is open to youth, ages 5-15, beginning on May 28, 2013 and ending on August 2, 2013.
The camp will operate Monday through Friday, from 9 am – 4 pm, with before care from 7 am – 9am and after care from 4 pm – 6:30 pm. The camp is participating in the Summer Food Service Program. Meals will be provided to all eligible children free of charge.
"Every summer parents look for safe places to send their children for recreation and education. Places that will provide cultural exposure, intellectual stimulation and spiritual enrichment. The Victory Summer Camp offers that place for children." said Dr. Kenneth L. Samuel, Senior Pastor and Organizer. Our youth will be take part in theme-based weekly activities. Themes include Animal Kingdom, Camp Laser Get's Fit and Healthy Eating, Exploring Science, All About Georgia and may others.
Camp activities include drama, dance, music and visual arts, swimming, arts and craft, among others. Field trips are also part of the ten-week summer camp which include Zoo Atlanta, bowling, children's museum and skating.
Camp Laser is open for registration. For camp fees and information regarding the Summer Food Service Program, contact our church office at 678-476-6000 or visit www.victoryfortheworld.org.
- Created on 23 May 2013
In the homily to his morning Mass Wednesday, Pope Francis said that Christians must stop perpetuating narrow definitions of ‘good’ and embrace atheists as God does — for the work they do to make the world a better place, reports Raw Story.
“The Lord created us in His image and likeness, and we are the image of the Lord, and He does good and all of
- Created on 21 May 2013
Sony BMG Music Entertainment has settled a lawsuit filed in 2005 by attorney James J. Walker of Walker and Associates, a Black-owned, Atlanta-based law firm that represents gospel artists. After almost a decade of litigation, the settlement is a major win in the battle for the rights of urban artists, the attorney said.
Walker said the settlement was concluded in early May, the day before the trial was supposed to start. He said the case has been “life-changing.” He said he has gotten feedback from all over the world in the David v. Goliath scenario—a billion-dollar company against a small, Black-owned firm.
“We felt strongly all along that this was a case we had to fight in order to protect artists and their right to choose effective legal representation and other forms of representation, including the best manager, attorney, publicist, accountant in protecting themselves as artists,” said company spokesman Kenny Walker.
Filed in 2005 in federal court in Connecticut, the lawsuit alleged that Verity Records, now called RCA Inspirational, and its president, Max Siegel, along with Verity parent company, Zomba Enterprises, and Provident Distribution “set out to deprive gospel artists of effective representation in their contract negotiations” to hack down their compensation from the use of their copyrights and intellectual property. Walker said company representatives coerced his clients into firing him and defamed his character, robbing him of income. Zomba Enterprises is now owned by Sony.
When contacted by the AFRO, Elizabeth Young, the spokeswoman for Sony Music Entertainment, said the company had no comment.
Walker said the case shines a light on the persistent exploitation of Black artists within the music industry.
“It’s endemic to urban music, in general,” he said. “There’s an undercurrent that ‘These are Black folks; they’re not that smart.’ There’s a racial undertone that no one wants to talk about…. You walk into the labels and everyone’s White and all the artists are Black.”
Industry observers agree that Walker is one of a few lawyers who successfully represent gospel’s leading artists. From 1999-2002, for example, Walker said he secured top-dollar royalty payments for nearly two dozen artists on the popular “WOW” albums. The series, launched in 1998, became a vehicle for lesser-known artists to gain exposure, revolutionizing the music genre.
Sony representatives, according to the lawsuit, employed “trickery and deceit” to convince those gospel artists—including high-profile clients like Grammy winners Hezekiah Walker, Donald Lawrence and Twinkie Clark and legendary songwriters like David Frazier and V. Michael McKay—to terminate Walker. The ploys included threats that they would not be included in future projects if they brought the assertive attorney to the negotiating table, according to the lawsuit.
Some of those artists folded, according to news reports.
“When I filed the lawsuit, five out of 10 people didn’t agree with my decision,” Walker said. “Now that the settlement has been announced, 12 out of 10 are saying, ‘Great job…I wish I would have stayed with you because I’ve been screwed… I need your help.’”
Frazier admitted that he left Walker after he tangled with the music corporation.
“James had gotten me great payments because he was aggressive,” Frazier, who wrote the 2004 gospel hit “I Need You to Survive,” told the Los Angeles Times in 2005. “But my first goal is the ministry of Christ. And as my mama said, ‘If you aren’t heard, you aren’t doing God’s work.’ So I found a new lawyer.”
Walker said when he lost about 20 existing and potential clients, he filed the suit.
While some in the gospel music industry supported Walker’s activism, others disdained the litigation as an affront to the spiritual mission of their music.
“The Bible speaks of Christians not suing one another,” Rev. Robert Lowe of Mount Moriah AME Church in New York and chairman of the Gospel Artists Progressive Movement told the LA Times. “This is Jesus’ music and it is governed by the rules of God. Our artists have not gotten our fair share, but the Bible prefers things are decided at a table rather than in the courtroom.”
In 2005, Walker predicted that despite the censure from gospel industry insiders, he would prevail and, when he did, his critics would come onboard.
“Pastors and Christian folk have this tendency to think you’re not supposed to litigate; you’re supposed to pray, scream the name of Jesus, talk in tongues and hope Jesus works it out. But there comes a time when you have to pray that God gives you the wisdom and resources to work it out [yourself],” Walker said.