His Charge, His Journey, His Death Dr. Martin Luther


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Atlanta's #1 Christian News Source ATLANTA GEORGIA

JANUARY 2014

VOLUME 1 ISSUE 1

His Charge, His Journey, His Death Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Letter from the Mayor pg 2 Meet the Founder pg 2 GRTL 2014 March for Life pg 3 Bible tools to help your children pg 3 Cover Story pg 4 - 5 Three Powerful Men and Religious Freedom pg 6 www.christianreporters.com P.O.Box 13171 Atlanta, GA 3032 [email protected]

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ABOUT US

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March 13, 2012 Greetings,

As Mayor of the City of Atlanta, it is my pleasure to welcome the Christian Reporters Newspaper as you launch your first issue and begin your new journey in our city. Providing news to the Christian community throughout the Atlanta metro area is an innovative way to keep members informed. The many programs and outreach ministries that you expose to your readers will encourage and assist many of our residents on their own spiritual journeys. Today, as you embark on this exciting new endeavor, the City of Atlanta and I wish you much success and many extraordinary accomplishments in the near future. You have built a foundation of ethical values and faithful service. May you continue to be an inspiration to all, and thank you for making a difference in the spiritual community. On behalf of the people of Atlanta, I salute you! Sincerely, Kasim Reed

Meet the Founder

Minister Etta M. Hicks Etta M. Hicks was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio. She is a divorcee and mother of four boys and six grandchildren. She attended Owens Community College majoring in business and received her certification

in Small Business management from Texas A&M in 2007. She is a born again Christian, a graduate of the William Morgan James Bible Institute in Toledo, Ohio in 1996 where she received her Evangelistic License from the Church of God in Christ (COGIC). On November 22, 2013, Etta graduated from the Minister In Training program (MIT) and was licensed by Bishop Paul S. Morton and Co-Pastor Dr. Debra B. Morton, of Changing A Generation (CAG) Full Gospel Baptist Church. Etta is no stranger to the business world. She owned and operated a Women's Retail Apparel Store for eight years; and she was the Supervisor at Wal-Mart Superstore in Dallas, Texas, where she worked in the Accounts Receivable office. She has arranged entertainment productions, assisted in administrative duties and organizational management with the Office of Ministries at Changing A Generation

(CAG) FGBC . She provides excellence, efficiency, and effectiveness in her services. Etta obeyed the call of God and moved to Atlanta, Georgia in March of 2011, where she now resides. The Lord said He was sending her to “Reshape, Rethink and Reposition" her life; and those things are definitely taking shape. God also spoke to her and said “Atlanta needs a Christian newspaper that will reach a plethora of souls for my kingdom; and, to report prophetic movements in the body of Christ" as He unifies Christian Leaders and the Community. She took heed, and is now watching the vision unfold before her eyes. Etta’s focus is to present excellence in ministry as she endeavors to keep an ear to hear His voice for the vision of Christian Reporters newspaper! Email Etta: [email protected]

community

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'One-Man Radio Theatre' Offers Unique Bible Study Tools Steve Cook is an Atlanta award-winning actor and radio producer. For seven years, he embraced the stages and soundstages of New York and Los Angeles before moving into radio production and voiceovers. Just to name some of his many undertakings he has appeared Off-Broadway with Esther Rolle in The Member of the Wedding, and on television in the daytime drama Days of our Lives. Steve's focus is amazing. After spending eleven weeks and nineteen exhausting hours producing the 1599 Geneva Audio Bible for Tolle Lege Press, Steve just doesn’t stop. This actor, sound designer, father and devoted husband has an authentic love to help parents ‘train up their children in the instruction and admonition of the Lord’ with engaging Bible dramas, interactive study tools and live presentations. Steve Cook has now created a new interactive children’s Bible Study series called, Witness The Bible to help adult’s disciple their kids more effectively at home. There are 3 companion study guides, many mnemonic songs and pdfs, a 35-minute instructional video on Bible memorization, a Bible dice game, and a stage play adaptation of the Gospel of Mark.

The first volume in the series, Witness The Bible: Genesis to Jesus, is designed to help new and young believers take hold of the truth of Scripture by presenting actual word-for-word biblical accounts of stories they already know, like Adam and Eve, Noah’s Flood, David and Goliath, and the list goes on. The second volume in the series, Witness The Bible: Mark, dramatizes what many scholars call the “Gospel intended to be presented live” because of its shorter length, more active nature and simpler language. It creates a fun and unique opportunity of long-passage memorization and study of God's Word. The third volume in the series, Witness The Bible: Joseph & Judah, uses the seminal story of redemption and grace from Genesis 37-50 to teach new and young believers about the 7 Spiritual Gifts we have all been entrusted with by God. All three audio drama recordings are featured devotional resources on BibleGateway.com. Steve Cook is available to present the dramas in the Witness The Bible series live at churches, schools, festivals, and conferences. Contact: Steve Cook, Publisher at [email protected] Written by: EM. Hicks

Life Marchers: Marchers gather for pro-life event holding sign "Together for Life" and give representation of prior years of the march.

2014 Georgia March for Life Despite last year's cold temperatures, Georgia Right to Life, is extremely pleased to announce its re-launch of the annual Together for Life event as the 2014 Georgia March for Life. The premier pro-life march will begin on Wednesday, January 22nd at 11:30 a.m. till 2:00 p.m. . This celebratory event begins with prayer and music on the steps of the Georgia Capitol in Atlanta. The special guest this year will be Dr. Robert White, the Executive Director of the Georgia Baptist Convention since January 1993 with more than 1.3 million members. Also, the internationally acclaimed keynote speaker Pam Stenzel will bring her heartfelt words to this occasion. Pam was the product of rape. Now she shares her story all over the world. Pam said, “I don’t even know my ethnicity, but I’m still a human being and I still have value. And I tell people I didn’t deserve the death penalty because of the crime of my biological father.” After you hear from these amazing speakers, there will be a silent march at 1:00 p.m. At the end of the silent walk, a unique citizen lobbying event will allow participants to challenge their legislators to continue the fight to protect all innocent life in Georgia from its earliest biological beginning through natural death, and through the Personhood efforts of Georgia Right to Life. Don’t miss out on life, the most exciting pro-life event of the year. Find out more at www.grtl.org and www.facebook.com/georgiamarchforlife. Written by: EM. Hicks

comments and suggestions Your comments and/or suggestions are welcome and will help us in continuously improving our newspaper. Please send to: Christian Reporters P.O.Box 13171 Atlanta, GA 30324 [email protected] or call us at: 419.944.6901

Memory Scripture “For I know the plans I

have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

COVER STORY

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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. His Charge, His Journey, His Death Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on January 15, 1929 and died on April 4, 1968; the thirty-nine years between his birth and his death would spark a revolution and establish a legacy that shall never be forgotten. Dr. King was a clergyman, activist, humanitarian, and leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement; his non-violent approach inspired a nation of believers, of every ethnicity, to stand, march, hope and dream together that one day freedom would be embraced by all of mankind that was created equal, to be treated equal. From the power and compassion of his “I Have a Dream Speech” to his noticeable influence during the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955 and the historic March on Washington of 1963, Dr. King never wavered in his faith nor his belief in a better, more prosperous life for all of mankind. His goal was never to prove that African-Americans were better than, but only that they would become equal to; his heart’s purpose was that all of God’s people would live the life that God destined for them to live.

His charge to himself and others? Be about a cause that brings about positive change, or become a part of the negativity that cannot help, but breed corruption and discontent.

HIS CHARGE

Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia, to Reverend Martin Luther King, Sr. and Alberta Williams King. His legal name at birth was Michael King; King's father had also been born Michael King. However, his father decided to change both their names during a 1934 trip to Nazi Germany while attending the Fifth Baptist World Alliance Congress in Berlin. It was during his trip he chose the name Martin Luther King in honor of the great German reformer Martin Luther. Dr. King was born a reformer, a leader, a revolutionary, and a history maker; it was not only in his blood, but it was in his chosen name. A destiny awaited him that would shake the foundation of racism and segregation and impact a world that kept its eyes fixed on the state of American politics, policies, and affairs. Who was this black man from Georgia, causing all this upheaval and uproar? How dare this “colored boy” not fear repercussion enough to go with the flow instead of against the tide? One can only imagine the fire that burned on the inside of Dr. King’s heart that kept him pressing forward even when fear and fatigue told him otherwise. The passion that drove him to stand against and push beyond barriers even when so many voices of reason told him to stand down and not take things too far. Originally, King was skeptical of many Christianity's claims; however, he later concluded that the Bible has "many profound truths which one cannot escape" and decided to enter the seminary. In 1954 at the age of twenty-five, King became pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. King then began doctoral studies in systematic theology at Boston University and received his Ph.D. degree on June 5, 1955, with a dissertation on "A Comparison of the Conceptions of God in the Thinking of Paul Tillich and Henry Nelson Wieman". From his upbringing to his skepticism of Christianity, to his pastoral calling and education, Dr. King’s journey was one of questions, leadership, and commencement – all things used as a catalyst to skyrocket Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. not to success, but into purpose.

The purpose of this article is not to give you a lesson in history or an overview of all of Dr. King’s great accomplishments; as those stories shall be shared for generations to come. The purpose of this article is to ignite a fire and passion inside of you that will empower you to be an agent of change; one who makes a difference in your community just as Dr. King made a difference in his community. Little did he know that the difference he was making would outgrow his community, and inspire individuals from all walks of life and all over the world. He dared himself to speak the words that would pierce ears and challenge traditional beliefs. He dared himself to orchestrate boycotts that would put all participants at risk of being jailed, physically harmed, or possibly killed. He dared himself to not only be the voice of change, but an instrument used to encourage that change on an American society not yet ready to embrace equality. An American society not ready to see color as anything more than that: color. Not only did he write and give speeches that urged so many to get involved, he performed the works. He was arrested for his actions, and led the marches instead of watching from afar and basking in the light of his own glory. Dr. King was a humble servant, not perfect, however willing to be about God’s business until a breakthrough occurred. Out of the many demands and challenges he placed upon himself; the most important challenge he placed upon generations present and future was to never accept what is forced upon you, particularly when what is forced upon you is wrong. Not only wrong for you, but wrong for others as well. His words, his life, and his legacy challenge us all to do better and be better. Although your arms may not embrace the pain of struggle, how dare you not help those who are struggling? We have lost sight of Dr. King’s dream because we are too busy involving ourselves in an abnormal reality that still spews hatred, bigotry, and inequality.

Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. speaks passionately in front of large crowd at the Illinois Rally to celebrate the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights.

HIS JOURNEY

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HIS DEATH At 6:01 p.m., April 4, 1968, a shot rang out as Dr. King stood on the second-floor balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. A bullet entered through Dr. King’s right cheek, smashing his jaw, and then traveling down his spinal cord before lodging in his shoulder. After emergency chest surgery, King was pronounced dead at St. Joseph's Hospital at 7:05 p.m. In a little over an hour the “colored boy” from Georgia was dead; those who had him assassinated, hoped that his “dream of equality and free at last speeches” died right along with him. After such a violent example of what happens when you push a little too hard or go a little too far; who would dare take up the torch and run with the dream Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. so proudly believed in? Who would have the fortitude to see it through and inspire others to join the movement? Indeed Dr. King became an icon of The Civil Rights Movement. During his lifetime, he encountered success, failure, and death all in the name of justice; however, it goes beyond justice in the form of racial equality – Dr. King’s hope was for justice in the form of racial unity. Although we read about his cause, become inspired by his passion, is it really enough? We take one day out of the year to recognize him for his great achievements, but is it really enough? What are we doing to keep the dream alive? As violence increases and drug abuse runs rampant in our communities, why are we not taking up the torch and setting ablaze the system designed to manipulate our common sense; so that we may embrace misery and become victims because of our own incompetence and unwillingness to be different. Dr. King was different. He was a pioneer and a trail-blazer. The claim has never been that he was the only one who made history by sparking a revolution of change for the purpose of civil rights; the claim is that as we celebrate his life let us also remember why he lived. Let us not forget the motivations for his life and death. There was not much about Dr. King’s upbringing, personal life, or family mentioned in this article and for good reason. Talking about his personal life style may touch your heart, but will it change your way of thinking? Will a lesson in history motivate you to be an agent of change? Dr. King’s history has been taught since his death over forty years ago; his legacy has been remembered at least once a year for the last forty plus years. However, have we become any better? Would hearing all the particulars of his marriage to the beautiful Coretta Scott King and their family life inspire you? This article was not written to be liked or debated; it was written to hopefully empower you to make a difference. There are issues in your community that need to be addressed. Are you addressing them? And if you are not, why? We have become a people quick to complain and very slow to act. Let this article move you to make a difference; because until you do, you will be nothing more than a part of the norm instead of the exception. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was and shall always be the exception. Written by: LJ. Hamilton

Picture of the 30 foot statue of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior.

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RELIGION

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Religious Freedom Presidential Proclamation- Religious Freedom Day 2013 Foremost among the rights Americans hold sacred is the freedom to worship as we choose. Today, we celebrate one of our Nation's first laws to protect that right -- the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. Written by Thomas Jefferson and guided through the Virginia legislature by James Madison, the Statute affirmed that "Almighty God hath created the mind free" and "all men shall be free to profess . . . their opinions in matters of religion. " Years later, our Founders looked to the Statute as a model when they enshrined the principle of religious liberty in the Bill of Rights. Because of the protections guaranteed by our Constitution,each of us has the right to practice our faith openly and as we choose. As a free country, our story has been shaped by every language and enriched by every culture. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, Sikhs and non-believers. Our patchwork heritage is a strength we owe to our religious freedom. Americans of every faith have molded the character of our Nation. They were pilgrims who sought refuge from persecution; pioneers who pursued brighter horizons; protesters who fought for abolition, women's suffrage, and civil rights. Each generation has seen people of different faiths join together to advance peace, justice, and dignity for all. Today, we also remember that religious liberty is not just an American right; it is a universal human right to be protected here at home and across the globe. This freedom is an essential part of human dignity, and without it our world cannot know lasting peace. As we observe Religious Freedom Day, let us remember the legacy of faith and independencewe have inherited, and let us honor it by forever upholding our right to exercise our beliefs free from prejudice or persecution and independence. NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitutionand the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 16, 2013, as Religious Freedom Day. I call on all Americans to commemorate this day with events and activities that teach us about this critical foundationof our Nation's liberty, and show us how we can protect it for future generations at home and around the world. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independenceof the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh. BARACK OBAMA

South Africa late President Mandela - Religious Freedom in 2000 PRETORIA, South Africa -- Former South African President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela's 'long walk to freedom' has ended. He died on December 5, 2013 at the age 95 at home after months of declining health. Nelson Mandela's heroism will outlast him throughout untold generations.Mandela will be remembered for standing up to a racist regime, for persevering under persecution, and for leading his country toward democracy. Mandela's move from prison cell to president's office was a living parable of the power of freedom over apartheid. Even those who don't agree with all of Mandela's political or religious views ought to give thanks for the many good things that came from his life and work. As we remember Nelson Mandela, let's pray for a South Africa that experiences the freedom not only of the voting booth but also of widespread gospel reconciliationto God and to one another. Mandela rarely discussed religion outside the arena of religious freedom, but a transcript on NelsonMandela.orgquotes his comments on religion in a 2000 Christian Science Monitor interview. "Religion has had a tremendous influence on my own life. You must remember that during our time -- right from Grade 1 up to university -- our education was provided by religious institutions. I was in [Christian] missionary schools," the transcript records Mandela as saying. "The government [of the day] had no interest whatsoever in our education and, therefore, religion became a force which was responsible for our development. "I appreciate the importance of religion," Mandela said. "You have to have been in a South African jail under apartheid where you could see the cruelty of human beings to each other in its naked form. Again, religious institutionsand their leaders gave us hope that one day we would return." "I have fought against white domination,and I have fought against black domination.I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities,"Mandela told the court. "It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die." During his incarceration,Mandela developed a lung infection that would recur at times for the remainder of his life. The United Nations adopted July 18, his birthday. as "Nelson Mandela InternationalDay". Author Unknown

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. - Religious Freedom Dr. King said, “legally, constitutionally,or otherwise, the state certainly has no such right” to interfere in an individual’s exercise of religion. This statement held true 226 years ago, it held true when Martin Luther King Jr. said it, and it holds true today as we celebrate the work of Dr. King and Religious Freedom Day. The First Amendment guarantees two interrelatedaspects of religious freedom: the freedom to believe and to practice one’s religion and the freedom from government sponsorship of religion. Both are integral to ensuring religious liberty flourishes. Because the First Amendment’s religion clauses ensure we all have true freedom of conscience,we are not told what to believe or prohibited from practicing religion. As a result, people are free to preach in the public square, students are free to voluntarilypray in school, or a woman is free to wear a religious head scarf when accompanying her family to the county courthouse.Itwas this religious freedom that enabled black churches and houses of worship across the country to participate in the civil rights movement and bring about societal change. However sometimes freedom of religion is misidentifiedas the freedom to impose one’s beliefs on others. Whether it is requiring students at a public school to attend a mandatory assembly where a Christian rapper is proselytizing to students or school officials leading prayer at school athletic events, we’ve seen a number of groups and individualsconflate religious freedom with violating the Constitution. This is not freedom of religion. True freedom of religion is the guarantee that all are free to follow and practice their faith — or no faith at all — without governmental influence or interference.Dr. King might have said it best, that the church “is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscienceof the state. It must be the guide and the critic of the state, and never its tool." Freedom of religion also does not differentiatebetween religions, providing none with favor or disfavor. Sadly though, throughout our country’s history, almost every religious group has been the target of discriminationat one point or another. Most recently individualsof the Muslim faith have been targeted with attempted bans on building Mosques and community centers, hateful congressionalhearings on the so called “radicalization”of the American Muslim community, profiling by the FBI simply because of their religious affiliation. As we reflect on the dual importance of this day let us remember that the values of freedom and equality that Martin Luther King Jr. fought so hard for, includes the freedom to practice one’s own religion, free from government interferenceand the right to not be discriminatedagainst for any reason, including religious belief. Author Unknown

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CHURCH DIRECTORY Serving Atlanta and Surrounding Counties

SEEKING CHRISTIAN WRITERS Christian Reporters is looking for energetic, savvy writers who are able to construct solid Christian related articles and stories to be disseminated and published. Ideally, these persons should be naturally and spiritually curious and in-the-know. Articles must be professional and of high quality. Email: [email protected]

Receive Jesus Christ as Lord Father, I confess that I am a sinner. I believe that Jesus Christ died for my sins on the cross and was raised for my justification. I do now receive and confess Him as my personal Savior. Romans 10:9-10 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus and shalt believe in thine heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. If you prayed that prayer with a sincere heart, you are now a child of God. We urge you to prayerfully seek a local church that will aid you in growing as a new Christian.

"My New Year's Day Prayer " Dear Lord, Thank you for granting me the opportunity to cross over to a new year. So far this year I've done well. I haven't gossiped, I haven't lost my temper, I haven't been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or overindulgent, and I am very thankful for that. But in a few minutes, Lord, I'm going to get out of bed, and from then on, I'm probably going to need a lot more help. Amen .