US investigators suspect arson in Texas church fire

JEFF TURNER

An arson inspector in the US said one person is in custody following a fire that heavily a church building Friday evening.

A news release from the Amarillo Fire Department says the fire was reported around 10:30 p.m. at the Community of Christ Church.  The building was heavily involved with fire when the first crew arrived and they called for seven additional fire units. Firefighters were unable to enter the building because of the severity of the fire.

All nearby homes and structures were spared.

Authorities have identified the suspect as Ernesto Pena, 24, of Amarillo. A motive has not been announced.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Texas media outlets report the temperature in Amarillo at the time of the fire was 18°F/-7°C.  It is not uncommon for homeless people to start fires in buildings in an attempt to stay warm. We mention this because it is likely the motive is not anti-Christian bigotry. 

Gospel music trailblazer Carman dies at 65

Gospel artist Carman has died after battling an illness.

A post to Carman’s Facebook page Tuesday thanked his fans for the overwhelming love shown to his family.

A statement from his representative says, “GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame member, CARMAN, passed away Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at a Las Vegas, Nevada hospital, after fighting a series of complications resulting from surgery to repair a hiatal hernia.”

Carman received the House of Hope of Humanitarian Award for his positive influence in the lives of American youth in 2006, other noted recipients of this award include Ronald & Nancy Reagan and Billy Graham.

The Gospel Music Association honored Carman with induction into the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2018. Billboard named Carman “Contemporary Christian Artist of the Year” in 1992 and 1995, and in 1993, his album, Addicted to Jesus, earned the distinction of Contemporary Christian Album of the Year. Carman was Grammy-nominated multiple times as the Best Pop Contemporary Gospel Artist. His recording, “A Long Time Ago in a Land Called Bethlehem” was nominated for “Album of the Year” by the Recording Academy in 1986.

In 1985, the release of his first #1 song, “The Champion,” solidified his place in music history and defined his soul-winning career as one of endurance, grit, dedication, and pure talent. Anyone who knew Carman knows that he counted only this as his greatest lifetime achievement – winning millions of souls to Christ.

Carman Dominic Licciardello was 65.

Loren Harris, Kingdom Heirs baritone, sent to hospital after 1-car accident

Members of The Kingdom Heirs are asking fans to pray for their baritone singer Loren Harris who was sent to hospital with three fractured ribs and three compound fractures in his back after an auto accident.

A post on to the group’s Facebook page says the accident happened February 4, 2021 as he was driving to meet the Kingdom Heirs’ bus in Johnson City, TN, USA.

At last report Lauren was in stable condition.

When love is called hate

Floyd Rogers

Do Christians hate people who reject the Bible?  This may sound like a strange question, but there are people who would have you believe that Christians hate anyone who doesn’t follow God’s teachings. Is this a fair way to portray all who believe disobeying God’s word is harmful? Could what they see as hate be a sign of something quite the opposite? Think about this as we consider something that has nothing to do with religion.

I know a few health-food nuts. They eat a very restrictive diet and they are convinced that anyone who doesn’t do the same is harming themselves. At times they seem very motivated to warn their friends about what they perceive as self-destructive behavior. If one of them told you that you were putting yourself in danger by eating a cheeseburger, would your first thought be that they must hate you? Would you assume they hate anyone else who consumes junk food? Would it be rational to refer to promoters of healthy eating as a hate group? The point I’m making with this analogy is that warning someone about a hazard is a sign of love, not hate. It doesn’t matter if you are talking about health food or sin.

History has taught us that hate is often disguised as protection.  Governments have hidden their oppressive policies under this banner. Because of this, it’s important to question anyone who asks for help enforcing protective actions. But there is a very important difference between forcing others to be safe and warning others about potential dangers caused by the choices they make. It’s easy for those who are eager to find malice in their opponents to overlook this distinction. It’s also something that can be purposely ignored by anyone motivated to deceive. Consider that some who spend an excessive amount of their time, money and resources trying to convince you that people of faith are hateful, just might be the ones who need to check some of their own hate at the door.

Deception is not a sign of love. Warning others of danger is not a sign of hate.

What are your thoughts?

StowTown Records Celebrates A New Release From Triumphant Quartet

SPECIAL STOWTOWN RECORDS

Nashville, TN (February 5, 2021) – StowTown Records has announced the release of a brand new recording from Singing News fan favorite and GMA Dove Award-winning artist Triumphant QuartetBigger Than Sunday features the popular group at its very best, delivering the rich harmonies that have made them a mainstay in the gospel music genre.

Listeners will be delighted by the variety of styles on Bigger Than Sunday. Producers Wayne Haun and Scotty Inman (in his debut as producer) chose to feature several co-producers on this album, and the end result is a cornucopia of fresh sounds. Having worked with many different artists on previous projects, these four co-producers each brought their individual strengths and talents to several different songs on the project. Jason Webb (Amy Grant, TaRanda Greene, Danny Gokey), Joshua Frerichs (TaRanda Greene, Charles Billingsley), Kris Crunk (Ernie Haase & Signature Sound, Joseph Habedank) and Chipper Hammond (Bethel), working closely with Haun and Inman, made this an unparalleled recording experience for Triumphant Quartet.

After nearly two decades of singing and traveling together, Triumphant Quartet members David Sutton, Eric Bennett, Clayton Inman and Scotty Inman are music veterans who have achieved great success. They’ve garnered dozens of radio hits and numerous honors and accolades, including the 2019 Dove Award for Southern Gospel Album of the Year for their recording, Yes. “It has been so exciting to see how God has blessed David, Eric, Clayton and Scotty over the years,” states StowTown Records President Landon Beene. “God has honored their faithfulness and their desire to always present the message in song with excellence. It has truly been our privilege at StowTown to have these guys on our roster, and we we are looking forward to even greater things with this latest release.”

Seven of the ten songs recorded were co-written by group member and prolific songwriter, Scotty Inman. Inman’s fingerprint is on the title cut, as well as “Don’t Miss Jesus,” and “He Walked Out,” among others. “Scotty just continues to excel as a writer,” states group co-owner David Sutton. “We are so excited to see God using him in such a great way, and we are blessed to be able to record such inspiring songs that we believe will bless our listeners.”

Bigger Than Sunday also includes remakes of the popular worship songs “Goodness of God” and “Waymaker,” as well as a medley of their fan-favorites: “When The Trumpet Sounds,” “Somebody Died For Me,” “Chain Breaker,” “Amazing God” and “Saved By Grace.” 

With Bigger Than Sunday, Triumphant Quartet delivers a powerful message in times of uncertainty. This recording reaffirms that God is our hope, our provider and our Savior. He’s more than a character in a book, more than someone we acknowledge or pray to one day a week. He is the King of kings, worthy of all praise and definitely Bigger Than Sunday!

Bigger Than Sunday is distributed by Provident/Sony and is available at digital and retail outlets worldwide. 


Bigger Than Sunday Track List:
Best Thing
Bigger Than Sunday
Don’t Miss Jesus
Goodness of God
He Walked Out
Hope Is Holding Me
How Saved I Am
Sing Hallelujah
Way Maker
Triumphant Medley: When the Trumpet Sounds/Somebody Died for Me/Chain Breaker/Amazing God/Saved by Grace