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 access each day's stories. The site also includes a search engine so you can access archived news.
STEVEN CURTIS CHAPMAN SWEEPS DOVE AWARDS Steven Curtis Chapman swept this year's Dove Awards, walking away with six trophies at the 31st annual ceremony held in Nashville, Tenn., Apr. 20. Winner of 44 trophies through his 12-year career, Chapman also walked away with Male Vocalist of the Year, Pop/Contemporary Recorded Song of the Year and Pop/Contemporary Album of the Year. Michael W. Smith took home two Doves, Song of the Year and Songwriter of the Year, for "This Is Your Time," a song he wrote in memory of Columbine High victim Cassie Bernall. Other winners included SonicFlood, Praise and Worship Album of the Year; Jaci Velasquez, Female Vocalist of the Year and Spanish Language Album of the Year; Sixpence None the Richer, Group of the Year; and Ginny Owens, New Artist of the Year. A listing of Dove Award showtimes can be found at www.gospelmusic.org.
SHERIFF CRITICIZED FOR RECRUITING CHURCHES TO PRAY AGAINST CRIME A county sheriff has been criticized for recruiting churches to help the fight against crime by praying. Michael Davidson made the appeal to 90 pastors in the San Juan, N.M., area in a letter he sent out accompanying a video documentary about revival. The sheriff mailed out copies of Transformations, produced by the Seattle, Wash.-based spiritual warfare research organization, The Sentinel Group, which records how four cities were dramatically changed through united intercessory prayer. Davidson said he did not believe that he had "crossed the line" between church and state. But he did write a personal check to San Juan County to reimburse the cost of the video and the mailing.
NO EVIDENCE OF 11TH-HOUR EVANGELISM ON DOOMED PLANE Widely circulated reports of a pastor leading fellow airline passengers in a prayer of salvation minutes before crashing are untrue, according to flight investigators. The dramatic 11th-hour evangelism had been credited to Linda Knight in e-mail accounts sent around the world following the Jan. 31 crash of Alaska Airlines flight 261. Knight and her husband, Joe, co-pastors of The Rock Church in Monroe, Wash., were among the 88 people on board who died. Spokespersons for the National Transportation Safety Board and Alaska Airlines said tapes of the plane's final minutes revealed "no record of anyone preaching" and that the investigation concluded that "no such conversation" occurred. The rumored incident had been "painful" for families of crew and passengers, reports said.
REVIVAL IS A 'MYTH,' RESEARCHERS SAY Despite the talk about revival in America, the Barna Research Group's (BRG) annual survey of religious beliefs found no significant change in recent years, other than a "comeback" in regular Bible reading. "There does not seem to be revival taking place in America," BRG president George Barna said. Only a small increase in the proportion of men who are born again was recorded between 1990 and 2000. Church attendance by men dropped in the last decade, according to the random study of 1,000 people.
Keith Green's Widow Says Second Marriage Is Over
Writer and speaker Melody Green, widow of singer Keith Green and president of Last Days Ministries (LDM), has announced the breakup of her second marriage. In a statement issued March 27, the LDM board of directors said that Green was "deeply saddened to report that her marriage to Andy Sievright is coming to an end." He had filed for divorce in February, after her January petition for a legal separation. The couple have been in marriage counseling the last eight years, after being married in 1991, the statement said. Sievright said that he yet hoped his marriage could be saved.
Ex-President Challenges Teens to Stand for Christ
Former President Gerald Ford told 60,000 teens at Teen Mania's "Stand Up!" rally in Detroit in mid-April that his faith readied him for taking over the Oval Office after President Richard Nixon's resignation in 1974. "When our country was in such a crisis, I thanked God for all He had done to prepare me," Ford said.
Other stories featured on the Charisma News Service Web site:
Pro-Family Group Blasts 'How to Be Gay' College Course
Radical Missionary Approach Produces Messianic Muslims
Cuban Communists Spread Gospel
American Missionaries Held for Alleged Drug Smuggling in Africa
House Church Leader Burns 'Useless' Smuggled Christian Literature