CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 9, 2011 |
He was a man with a booming voice but one that calmed in times of crisis. Whether it was a teenager's personal drama or a community tragedy, the Rev. John Edward Nix-McReynolds was known for his calm, caring and focused demeanor — one that could bring people together. Nix-McReynolds, the senior pastor at Second Baptist Church in Santa Ana, died of liver failure April 2 at UCI Medical Center. He was 57. The church, founded in 1923 in various Santa Ana homes, is Orange County's largest and oldest predominantly black church with a congregation of more than 2,000, including people who come from Riverside and Los Angeles counties to worship.
March 7, 2011
What you say Re "Justices side with funeral picketers," March 3 The Supreme Court somehow was convinced that an anti-gay protest at a veteran's funeral was free speech and thus protected by the 1st Amendment. Try calling a judge a fat slob in court, and your exercise of free speech may result in jail time and a fine. In civil courts the tort of "intentional infliction of emotional distress" is actionable and, if proved, will result in civil penalties against the defendant.
March 3, 2011 |
Ruling in a case that pressed the outer limits of free speech, the Supreme Court on Wednesday said that even anti-gay protesters who picketed the funerals of U.S. troops with signs reading, "Thank God for Dead Soldiers," cannot be sued. In an 8-1 decision, the justices upheld an appellate court's decision to strike down a jury verdict against Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan. Phelps and his family gained national attention ? and stirred deep anger ? for using military funerals as a backdrop to proclaim an anti-gay and anti-military message.
January 13, 2011 |
An extremist church has agreed not to protest outside the funerals of Christina Taylor Green and Judge John M. Roll in exchange for airtime on two radio stations. Margie Phelps, a lawyer for the Westboro Baptist Church, said the decision was not based on outside pressure but rather on how much publicity the church could receive. "It's how many ears we can reach," she said. "That is our job, that is our goal. " The Kansas congregation is known for demonstrating at the funerals of U.S. soldiers, arguing that their deaths are retribution by God for America's acceptance of homosexuality.
January 11, 2011 |
Arizona lawmakers moved quickly Tuesday to try to block protesters from the funeral of 9-year-old shooting victim Christina Green, passing an emergency measure prohibiting protests within 300 feet of any funeral services. In addition to the new law, hundreds of Tucson residents were making contingency plans to try to protect the family of the girl who was slain in Saturday's rampage. The actions were prompted by the Westboro Baptist Church, a publicity-seeking Kansas congregation known for demonstrating at the funerals of U.S. soldiers, arguing that their deaths are retribution by God for America's acceptance of homosexuality.
October 9, 2010 |
Some here suspect that he did it. Some wonder if he needs help. Some reject outright the possibility that Bishop Eddie L. Long ? charismatic pastor of the 25,000-member New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, the man his flock calls the "beloved shepherd" ? could have had sexual relationships with four of his young male proteges, as the men allege in lawsuits. "I know his anointing by God would never allow that to happen," said a clerk recently at a nearby bookstore, which prominently displayed Long's latest self-help hardcover, "60 Seconds to Greatness.
October 6, 2010
The Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday in a case that sorely tests the principle, articulated by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. nearly a century ago, that "we should be eternally vigilant against attempts to check the expression of opinions that we loathe. " The case involves the Westboro Baptist Church, a deranged anti-gay religious group that routinely shows up at the funerals of American soldiers to express its bizarre belief that U.S. combat deaths are divine retribution for America's tolerance of homosexuality.
September 26, 2010 |
Prominent U.S. evangelical leader Bishop Eddie Long vowed on Sunday to fight accusations he coerced four young male members of his mega-church into sexual relationships. The men filed civil lawsuits last week alleging Long used his status as pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church to coerce them into relationships when they were in their late teens. "I'm not a perfect man but this thing I'm going to fight. I feel like David against Goliath but I've got five rocks and I haven't thrown one of them yet," Long told his congregation of around 6,500 in his first public comments on the scandal.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 25, 2010 |
The Rev. Elliott James Mason Sr., who became a pillar of the black community as pastor of Trinity Baptist Church, died Tuesday at his Los Angeles home after an extended illness, his family announced. He was 88. From 1962 to 1985, Mason led the prominent South Los Angeles church as it acquired property and completed the sanctuary. His weekly sermons also were broadcast over KJLH-FM radio, his family said. In 1977, The Times named Mason one of the area's best clergymen, calling him "an articulate minister who sees his teaching feeding his preaching."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 20, 2009 |
A Baptist minister was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of embezzling more than $800,000 from the church he leads in Compton to pay for personal luxuries, including an expensive car and swimming pool, officials said. The Rev. E. Joshua Sims, 47, pastor at Double Rock Baptist Church in Compton, was taken into custody without incident about 9:30 a.m. at his home in Corona, said Steve Whitmore, spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Sims' arrest concludes an 11-month sheriff's investigation, Whitmore said.