Charisma News Service

News Service Briefs

The following reports were released during the last month by Charisma News Service. Go to our Web site at 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.


Pastor, playwright and most recently record mogul, Bishop T.D. Jakes has been named one of America's most influential new religious leaders by Time magazine. The leader of the fast-growing Potter's House church in Dallas was featured in the Dec. 11 issue alongside a Catholic priest, a Muslim, a Buddhist, a Jew and a New Age spiritualist as a top "Spiritual Innovator." Jakes' spotlighting by Time as a "multimedia bishop" follows a Dec. 3 recording of a worship album at the new $32 million Potter's House sanctuary. The album will be the first release on a new record label Jakes has launched with EMI Gospel.



Michael L. Brown, founder and president of the Brownsville Revival School of Ministry (BRSM) in Pensacola, Fla., was voted out by the school's board in late December after a dispute over denominational accountability with the Assemblies of God (AG). He intends to launch a similar new school in the city. An official statement, subsequently removed, at the BRSM Web site said Brown was asked to hold AG credentials, but he felt that would be a compromise. In his statement to graduates and students, Brown said the statement presented "a totally misleading

picture of me, my character and my relationship to the...board and [John] Kilpatrick." Brown said that eight out of 10 faculty had resigned and that many of the 1,000 students had expressed a desire to continue their studies under his leadership.



Black Entertainment Television (BET) has been criticized for helping controversial TV evangelist Robert Tilton get back on the air. The network was taken to task Nov. 21 in an article in the online magazine Salon, which says that BET has "snatched [Tilton] from media purgatory." The report notes how his Success-N-Life program features "newly affluent and pleased-as-punch African-Americans." While the network insists that it does not control paid-for programming, Salon says, BET's touted commitment to black empowerment "is called into question when it televises this rather fleshy embodiment of 'the man' coast to coast."



Christian Life College (CLC), a charismatic Bible college in Chicago, celebrated its 50th anniversary in October. The school that began in 1950 with 13 students at Philadelphia Church now has roughly 150. Noted alumnus Dean Merrill, co-author of Fresh Power and vice president of the International Bible Society, and pastor Jack Hayford of The King's Seminary, spoke at the celebration Oct. 29-Nov. 2. CLC, which has a presence in 28 nations, will expand in 2001 to include an online program and a master's degree in practical theology offered in conjunction with The King's Seminary.


Henry J. Lyons, former head of the National Baptist Convention, USA, who is currently serving a prison sentence for racketeering and grand theft, was removed from the pastorate at his church. Members of Bethel Metropolitan Baptist Church in St. Petersburg, Fla., replaced Lyons on Dec. 1 with Joaquin Marvin, a minister at Greater Union Baptist Church in Pensacola, Fla. Marvin also has a criminal past. According to Florida records, in 1991 Marvin was sentenced to two years of community control for passing forged checks, the St. Peters

burg Times reported. Church members, however, say they are unfazed.



Nancy Cole, wife of Christian Men's Network leader Edwin Louis Cole, died Thursday, Dec. 7, of respiratory failure. She was 76. Funeral services were held in Texas Dec. 15, with burial services Dec. 18. The couple had been married more than 50 years. She is survived by three children, seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Other stories featured on the Charisma News Service Web site:

California Church Defies Zoning Laws

Historic Gutenberg Bible Goes Online

Prayer Leader Calls for 'Warfare' to Break 'Zero-Year' Presidential Curse

Sudan Bombs Catholic School

Barna Poll Says Churches Are Making Converts, Not Disciples

If you have a news tip for Charisma News Service, e-mail us at

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