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Pres. Obama and Trump let their guards down at White House

buzzz worthy. . . By Mona Austin President Obama and Donald Trump met for the first time on Thursday to begin talks about the official...

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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Heroic book keeper saves school from shooter with love

buzzz worthy. . .

There are heroes who fight for freedom and the principles for which they stand.  Some heroes dodge bullets to keep others safe while serving in law enforcement. But of those types of heroes are doing their jobs.  Some, like Antoinette Tuff, are ordinary people looking out for their fellowman.

A book keeper from Georgia,  Tuff is a special kind of hero.  On August 20, she stopped Michael Brandon Hill, 20,  from spraying bullets over a Dekalb County school with the AK 47 he held in his hands during a police stand off.

It was an extraordinary feat.

Although later in an interview she said she was very scared, Ms. Tuff was calm, collected and caring during the 911 call, telling the would-be shooter she loved him at one point, while negotiating his safety.

With the finesse of a professional crisis negotiator, in the face of sheer terror, Tuff capitulated Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy in Georgia from becoming a would-be  Sandy Hook.

It's chilling to think that another young, mentally ill man could have become a mass murderer using a firearm as law makers continue to try to discernwhat's best for  gun control reform.

Yet, it is refreshing to know that a person's ability to express unconditional love saved numerous lives.

Moved by her bravery, people all over the country are calling Tuff a hero. A Facebook page has been set up petitioning for Ms. Tuff to be awarded the Medal of Freedom.

And while she did not wear a cape, flash a badge, or wield a super power to deter the villainous behavior, thrugh the power of love Tuff's heroic effort is honorable indeed.

CNN has more. . .

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41st Annual Black Enterprise 100s Report On Top Industrial/Service Companies, Auto Dealerships, Financial Companies and Ad Agencies on Newsstands Now

buzzz worthy. . .
BLACK ENTERPRISE (BE) marks 41 years of listing America’s largest black companies with the publication of the BLACK ENTERPRISE 100s, universally recognized as the most authoritative analysis and annual ranking of the nation’s top grossing black-owned companies. The BE 100s consists of rankings of America’s 100 largest black-owned industrial/service companies, 60 automobile dealers, as well as listings of the top advertising agencies, banks, asset managers, investment banks and private equity firms. The 2013 BE 100s Report: Accelerate Your Business is published in BLACK ENTERPRISE Magazine (currently on newsstands) as well as online atBlackEnterprise.com at http://www.blackenterprise.com/lists/be-100s-2013/.
When BLACK ENTERPRISE first compiled its “Top 100” in 1973, combined sales for the 100 component companies totaled $473 million. Results of the 2013 report show that the top 100 African American industrial/service companies—the core of the BE 100s report—collectively grossed more than $19.1 billion in 2012, a 2 percent increase over the previous year. The BE 100s industrial/service companies employed 53,866 people in 2012, a 3 percent reduction from 2011.
The 60 largest black-owned auto dealers generated an additional $7.2 billion in revenues and employed 8,415 people in 2012. However, despite the rebound of the domestic auto industry, the number of black-owned auto dealerships has yet to return to the levels prior to the beginning of the Great Recession in 2008, when BLACK ENTERPRISE ranked the top 100 largest dealerships.
“The comeback of the American auto industry is a healthy and welcome development for our nation’s economy,” says BLACK ENTERPRISE Chairman and Publisher Earl Graves Sr. “However, until the way is made clear for more African Americans to own dealerships, at least in proportion to their representation before the recession, the recovery of the auto industry is far from complete.”
In addition to the BE 100s listings, the magazine also features profiles of Magic Johnson Enterprises CEO Earvin “Magic” Johnson, RLJ Companies Chairman and 2013 A.G. Gaston Lifetime Achievement Award Honoree Robert L. Johnson and the chief executives of the 2013 BLACK ENTERPRISE Companies of the Year:
Industrial/Service Company of the Year: Hightowers Petroleum, Middletown, OH; CEO, Stephen L. Hightower. Business: Petroleum Products Distribution
Auto Dealer of the Year: March Hodge Automotive Group, Tampa, FL; CEOs, Anthony March, Ernest Hodge. Business: Retail sales for automakers including Mazda, Toyota, Honda, Jaguar, Volvo, Volkswagen, Nissan, Infinity, Land Rover
Financial Services Company of the Year: Vista Equity Partners, San Francisco, CA; CEO, Robert F. Smith. Business: Private Equity (focus on technology)
Advertising Agency of the Year: Walton Isaacson, Los Angeles, CA; CEOs, Aaron Walton/Cory
“Our report on the largest African American-owned businesses in the U.S. highlights the achievements of intrepid entrepreneurs at the helms of top-flight organizations, while providing the most significant barometer of the progress of African Americans as business leaders and producers, not just consumers and laborers, in the global economy,” says BLACK ENTERPRISE Senior VP/Editor-in-Chief Derek T. Dingle. “Year after year, while reporting on the moves of the best of the best, we are inspired by the boundless ingenuity and determination of the CEOs of the BE 100s, worthy of emulation by all entrepreneurs, regardless of race.”

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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Oprah, Loretta Lynn, Gloria Steinem, Sally Ride are the women among Medal of Freedom recipients tht include President Bill Clinton

buzzz worthy. . .
In early August President Barack Obama named sixteen recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the Nation’s highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors. The awards will be presented at the White House later this year.
This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the Executive Order signed by President John F. Kennedy establishing the Presidential Medal of Freedom, as well as the first ceremony bestowing the honor on an inaugural class of 31 recipients.  Since that time, more than 500 exceptional individuals from all corners of society have been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. 
President Obama said, “The Presidential Medal of Freedom goes to men and women who have dedicated their own lives to enriching ours. This year's honorees have been blessed with extraordinary talent, but what sets them apart is their gift for sharing that talent with the world. It will be my honor to present them with a token of our nation's gratitude."
The following individuals will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom:
Ernie Banks
Known to many as “Mr. Cub,” Ernie Banks is one of the greatest baseball players of all time.  During his 19 seasons with the Chicago Cubs, he played in 11 All-Star Games, hit over 500 home runs, and became the first National League player to win Most Valuable Player honors in back-to-back years.  He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977, his first year of eligibility. 

Ben Bradlee
Ben Bradlee is one of the most respected newsmen of his generation.  During his tenure as executive editor of The Washington Post, Mr. Bradlee oversaw coverage of the Watergate scandal, successfully challenged the Federal Government over the right to publish the Pentagon Papers, and guided the newspaper through some of its most challenging moments.  He also served in the Navy during World War II.

Bill Clinton
President Clinton was the 42nd President of the United States.  Before taking office, he served as Governor and Attorney General of the State of Arkansas.  Following his second term, President Clinton established the Clinton Foundation to improve global health, strengthen economies, promote health and wellness, and protect the environment.  He also formed the Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund with President George W. Bush in 2010.

Daniel Inouye (posthumous)
Daniel Inouye was a lifelong public servant.  As a young man, he fought in World War II with the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, for which he received the Medal of Honor.  He was later elected to the Hawaii Territorial House of Representatives, the United States House of Representatives, and the United States Senate.  Senator Inouye was the first Japanese American to serve in Congress, representing the people of Hawaii from the moment they joined the Union. 

Daniel Kahneman
Daniel Kahneman is a pioneering scholar of psychology.  After escaping Nazi occupation in World War II, Dr. Kahneman immigrated to Israel, where he served in the Israel Defense Forces and trained as a psychologist.  Alongside Amos Tversky, he applied cognitive psychology to economic analysis, laying the foundation for a new field of research and earning the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2002. He is currently a professor at Princeton University.

Richard Lugar
Richard Lugar represented Indiana in the United States Senate for more than 30 years.  An internationally respected statesman, he is best known for his bipartisan leadership and decades-long commitment to reducing the threat of nuclear weapons.  Prior to serving in Congress, Senator Lugar was a Rhodes Scholar and Mayor of Indianapolis from 1968 to 1975.  He currently serves as President of the Lugar Center.

Loretta Lynn
Loretta Lynn is a country music legend. Raised in rural Kentucky, she emerged as one of the first successful female country music vocalists in the early 1960s, courageously breaking barriers in an industry long dominated by men.  Ms. Lynn’s numerous accolades include the Kennedy Center Honors in 2003 and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010.

Mario Molina
Mario Molina is a visionary chemist and environmental scientist.  Born in Mexico, Dr. Molina came to America to pursue his graduate degree.  He later earned the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for discovering how chlorofluorocarbons deplete the ozone layer.  Dr. Molina is a professor at the University of California, San Diego; Director of the Mario Molina Center for Energy and Environment; and a member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

Sally Ride (posthumous)
Sally Ride was the first American female astronaut to travel to space.  As a role model to generations of young women, she advocated passionately for science education, stood up for racial and gender equality in the classroom, and taught students from every background that there are no limits to what they can accomplish.  Dr. Ride also served in several administrations as an advisor on space exploration.

Bayard Rustin (posthumous)
Bayard Rustin was an unyielding activist for civil rights, dignity, and equality for all.  An advisor to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., he promoted nonviolent resistance, participated in one of the first Freedom Rides, organized the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, and fought tirelessly for marginalized communities at home and abroad.  As an openly gay African American, Mr. Rustin stood at the intersection of several of the fights for equal rights.

Arturo Sandoval
Arturo Sandoval is a celebrated jazz trumpeter, pianist, and composer.  Born outside Havana, he became a protégé of jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie and gained international acclaim as a dynamic performer.  He defected to the United States in 1990 and later became an American citizen.  He has been awarded nine Grammy Awards and is widely considered one of the greatest living jazz artists.

Dean Smith
Dean Smith was head coach of the University of North Carolina basketball team from 1961 to 1997.  In those 36 years, he earned 2 national championships, was named National Coach of the Year multiple times, and retired as the winningest men’s college basketball coach in history.  Ninety-six percent of his players graduated from college.  Mr. Smith has also remained a dedicated civil rights advocate throughout his career.

Gloria Steinem
Gloria Steinem is a renowned writer and activist for women’s equality.  She was a leader in the women’s liberation movement, co-founded Ms. magazine, and helped launch a wide variety of groups and publications dedicated to advancing civil rights.  Ms. Steinem has received dozens of awards over the course of her career, and remains an active voice for women’s rights.

Cordy Tindell “C.T.” Vivian
C.T. Vivian is a distinguished minister, author, and organizer.  A leader in the Civil Rights Movement and friend to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., he participated in Freedom Rides and sit-ins across our country.  Dr. Vivian also helped found numerous civil rights organizations, including Vision, the National Anti-Klan Network, and the Center for Democratic Renewal.  In 2012, he returned to serve as interim President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Patricia Wald
Patricia Wald is one of the most respected appellate judges of her generation.  After graduating as 1 of only 11 women in her Yale University Law School class, she became the first woman appointed to the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, and served as Chief Judge from 1986-1991.  She later served on the International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague.  Ms. Wald currently serves on the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. 

Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey is one of the world’s most successful broadcast journalists.  She is best known for creating The Oprah Winfrey Show, which became the highest rated talk show in America for 25 years. Ms. Winfrey has long been active in philanthropic causes and expanding opportunities for young women.  She has received numerous awards throughout her career, including the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award in 2002 and the Kennedy Center Honors in 2010.

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Bishop Neil Ellis resigns from Full Gospel Baptist Fellowship

buzzz worthy. . .

One of the foremost voices in the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship (FGBCF), Bishop Neil C. Ellis, the head of the Mt. Tabor Church in Nassau, Bahamas, has resigned. Bishop Ellis served in the fellowship for 20 years, most recently as the 2nd in command. Ellis was next in line in the organization's hierarchy and also served on the Council of Bishops.

At the organization's annual conference, Presiding Prelate and Founder Bishop Paul S. Morton made the surprising announcement that  Bishop Joseph Walker will become the new head of the organization when he retires in 2015. Implying there may have been dissent in the upper ranks of the FGBCFI, Ellis  said at the July event that he spoke to the Bishop about "stepping out of the process because I didn't think it would be good for the fellowship."

Read more details in the the official press release as follows:

After 20 years of committed and dedicated service to the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship International, the Senior Pastor of Mount Tabor Full Gospel Baptist Church, Bishop Neil C. Ellis, formally resigned as 2nd Presiding bishop, and a member of the Bishop’s Council with immediate effect.
In a letter addressed to the International Presiding Bishop Paul S. Morton, Bishop Ellis stated, “I am satisfied, after much prayer and reflection that the Holy Spirit is now leading me to bring this season of my life in the Fellowship to a close”.
Bishop Ellis expressed gratitude, “to Almighty God for guiding my hearthands and mind over the past 20 years as I have transitioned from role to role in our Fellowship and I wish to express gratitude to you for allowing me to serve.” He further recognized, the members of the Bishop’s Council, for the respect and cooperation extended to him particularly during the last 11 years while serving as 3rd and 2nd Presiding Bishop.
Mount Tabor’s Senior Pastor pronounced a blessing on “Bishop Morton and Lady Morton during your final years on the frontline of the Fellowship; may He be allowed to guide the hands and the work of the International Presiding Bishop-Elect and may God smile upon the future of the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship International.”
The decision comes on the heels of a surprise move that shocked the international and local Christian communities, this past July at the Fellowship’s international conference in Lousiville, Kentucky when Ellis pulled out of a two man race for the leadership of the Christian group in his words, “to avoid a possible division within the fellowship.” Bishop Morton will demit office in 2015.

As announced at the annually FGBCFI conference this past July, Bishop Joseph W. Walker, III will succeed Bishop Paul S. Morton as Presiding Bishop of the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship International.  Morton, who will retire in 2015, founded FGBCFI 20 years ago, made the much anticipated announcement in Louisville, KY among thousands of FGBCFI Conference Attendees and a world-wide television viewing audience.
“I’m humbled and thankful by this God ordained responsibility and opportunity. I’m so grateful for the confidence Bishop Morton and the Bishop’s Council has shown in choosing me as the next Presiding Bishop.  Certainly, I am committed to the positive future of the Fellowship.  I will continue to work hard each and every day to insure that the mission and vision established by our founder is fulfilled.  We will remain strong, committed and undivided during this transition.”

Bishop Joseph Walker pastors one of the largest churches in the United States, Mt.Zion Baptist Church in Nashville, TN, which has grown from 175 members in 1992 to over 28,000 members today.  Mt. Zion Baptist Church is one church, with three locations, offering 30+ ministries for social and economic enhancement of the Nashville community and abroad.

Named as one of the top 20 African-American Pastors in the country by TheRoot.com, Walker sits on noteworthy national boards, including the board of the American Red Cross, and holds a Governor- appointed post on the Tennessee Human Rights Commission. The influential leader, while preaching seven services per week at Mt.Zion Church, has an international internet, television and radio ministry reaching hundreds of thousands around the world.
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For The Love Of A Good Fight – Queendom Study Reveals That Arguing In Relationships Isn’t Necessarily A Bad Thing

buzzz worthy. . .

Queendom.com and PsychTests.com’s latest study on the role of conflict in couples indicates that arguing itself is not a problem – it’s HOW the couple fights that matters.

Montreal, Canada – August 20, 2013. Fighting with a partner is one thing...fighting dirty is another.  Queendom’s study of 27,643 people who took their 
Arguing Style Test reveals that couples who take a negative approach to fighting, both in terms of attitude and technique, are more likely to experience a break-up as a result.

Conflict, arguing, fighting. They are words so intertwined with negativity that they can’t be weaved apart. See a couple fighting in public and people will stare. Hear neighbors arguing through an open window and the surrounding houses suddenly get suspiciously quiet as they listen in. But everyone does it – so why is it a problem?

Researchers at Queendom.com as well as 65% of people they studied agree that arguing can be healthy in a relationship (at least to some degree), but there is one caveat: How a couple fights – each individual’s “arguing style,” that is – can mean the difference between healthy conflict resolution and an all-out, spiteful war of words. 

Analyzing data from more than 27,000 people who took their Arguing Style Test, Queendom’s statistics indicate that people who have had a fight that directly led to the demise of a romantic relationship were more likely to use negative fighting tactics or to fight “dirty” (score of 59 vs. 49 for those who have not had a relationship-ending conflict - on a scale from 0 to 100). They also had a more negative attitude toward conflict itself, indicating that they are more likely to believe that nothing can be gained or learned from fighting with their partner.

Queendom’s study also revealed that of those who have had arguments that lead to break-ups:
·        31% refuse to be the first one to apologize after a fight (compared to 24% for those who have not had a relationship-ending fight).
·        33% point out their partner’s faults/character flaws (compared to 20% of those without history of “terminal” fights).
·        38% will purposely “hit below the belt” and make criticisms that they know will hurt their partner (compared to 24% of non-terminal fighters).
·        42% swear/cuss when they fight with their partner (compared to 27% of non-terminal fighters).
·        45% allow old grudges to resurface when arguing (compared to 33% of non-terminal fighters).
·        47% make up right away after a fight (compared to 57% of non-terminal fighters).
·        47% will accept their partner’s feelings and opinions, even if they don’t agree with them (compared to 56% of non-terminal fighters).
·        51% said that when they fight, they want to be the one who wins, no matter what (compared to 44% of non-terminal fighters).
·        60% will bring up ALL the issues that are bothering them at once, rather than focusing on the issue at hand (compared to 47% of non-terminal fighters).
·        62% tend to raise their voice when upset (compared to 50% of non-terminal fighters).
·        66% will admit when they are wrong (compared to 72% of non-terminal fighters).

“Arguing can be a way for a couple to grow and better understand one another – and despite what some couples might think, there are ways to fight constructively,” explains Dr. Ilona Jerabek, president of the company.

 “It’s not a matter of determining who is right and who is wrong, but rather, clarifying why the issue you are fighting over is important, and how you both stand to benefit by resolving it. The belief that happy couples do not or should not fight is false, if not unhealthy. People who are satisfied with their relationship still have their disagreements, but they talk things out, listen to each other’s side of the story, find common ground, focus on finding a mutually-beneficial solution, and speak with tact. And if things get too heated, they take a break, and wait until they’ve calmed down before taking up the discussion again.”

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Monday, August 19, 2013

King’s unfinished symphony of freedom

buzzz worthy. . .

August 19, 2013

Next weekend, we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, best known for Dr. Martin Luther King’s “Dream.”

Fifty years later, the dream challenges us yet. It is alive because it is not static. The dream of equal rights and equal opportunity, of being judged for character, not color, has transformed this nation. Much progress has been forged; much remains to be done.

One way to think about the Civil Rights Movement and Dr. King’s Dream is as a symphony of freedom. The first movement was the movement to end slavery, which required the bloodiest war in American history. Then came the drive to end segregation, the disfiguring legal apartheid of the South. In that victory, the movement freed not only African-Americans but also the South to grow, and opened access to libraries and hotels, trains and restaurants, pools and parks. Rosa Parks could sit wherever she wanted to on that bus.

The third movement was the movement for empowerment, for the right to vote. That movement culminated in the Voting Rights Act, challenging the various taxes and tests and intimidation used to deprive African-Americans of the power of the ballot box. This year, the five conservatives on the Supreme Court weakened the act. Conservative governors are pushing to constrict rather than expand the vote. We still have no constitutional right to vote. Surely, that is the next step toward the dream.

The fourth movement of the freedom symphony features the trumpet call for equal opportunity, and the clash over extreme and growing inequality. Here, Lyndon Johnson’s promise to fulfill the movement’s pledge that “we shall overcome” has been frustrated. African-Americans continue to suffer twice the unemployment as whites. Poor people of color, often isolated in ghettos and barrios, have less access to healthful food, good schools, public parks and safe streets. Inequality is the new de facto segregation, with the affluent withdrawing to gated communities and private schools, and the poor huddled in impoverished neighborhoods.

Dr. King knew this final movement was the most difficult. He saw Johnson’s war on poverty being lost in the costly folly of Vietnam. He worried that we might be “integrating into a burning house.” He was murdered while standing with sanitation workers organizing for dignity and a decent wage. When he died, he was organizing a new march on Washington — a Poor People’s Campaign that would bring the impoverished of all races and regions to a Resurrection City in Washington, D.C., to demand a renewal of the war on poverty.

The fourth movement — the movement for real equality of opportunity — remains unfinished. Its agenda speaks to poor and working people of all races: full employment, a living wage, child nutrition, a good public education from pre-K to affordable college, high-quality health care, affordable housing in vibrant communities, workers empowered to share in the profits and productivity they help to produce.

We have gained freedom without equality. Globalized capital and communications have been used to push workers down rather than lift them up. We continue to squander scarce resources policing the globe. Inequality has grown worse, and the middle class is sinking.

The symphony of freedom is unfinished, but its powerful themes still resound and stir its listeners. Dr. King called on each of us to march for justice. He understood the power of people of conscience when they decide to act. As we remember his dream, we are called to action, for there is more work to be done.

From the Chicago Times
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Oprah and Jakes extend "Lifeclass' at Megafest

buzzz worthy. . .

Another "Lifeclass" with Oprah has been added to Megafest.  Ticket holders may attend the "Lifeclass" session at 9:00 a.m. an 11:00 a.m.Bishop Jakes and Oprah will focus on family in both show recordings, which will be both be held on August 29, 2013.


The NAACP Image Award-winning series "Oprah's Lifeclass" is a richly interactive experience where millions of students from countries around the world participate in inspiring conversations with Oprah Winfrey on-air, online and via social media. For each class, Oprah is joined by a hand-picked expert, and together they interact with viewers to share principles and tools that can help people live more meaningful and fulfilling lives. Follow @OprahsLifeclass on Twitter and join the conversation using #Lifeclass.

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Introducing Michael Bethany

buzzz worthy. . .
Popular singer, minister of music and recording artist, Michael Bethany, recently released his debut single
"Favor (Grace)" to gospel radio.   

"Favor (Grace)" is a mid-tempo praise and worship song that showcases Bethany's incredible vocals.   This radio and Sunday-morning ready anthem speaks to God's unending grace and is melodic, moving and passionate. The single will be the first off of Bethany's future album release anticipated for the first quarter of 2014.  

"Favor (Grace)" will also be featured on the 2013 fall release Worship & Flow compilation presented by Myron Williams and Flow Records. 
In Dallas, the land of Gospel heavy-hitters such as Fred Hammond &Kirk Franklin, Bethany has been able to make a name for himself as a featured vocalist, songwriter and producer.   Relocating to Dallas in 2005, Bethany joined the legendary Fred Hammond to head up fHammond Family Entertainment Inc.   Since that time he has gone on to write several songs on Hammond's GOD LOVE AND ROMANCE andLOVE UNSTOPPABLE Cds including the Number 1 and BMI Christian Award wining hit "They That Wait."   Bethany can also be heard on Marvin Sapp's "Here I Am," and Kirk Franklin's "Hello Fear." Most recently Bethany also contributed as co-writer for super group United Tenors first radio single "Here In Our Praise."

Bethany is a featured artist at Franklin's House of Blues Gospel Brunch and was honored by Dallas-based radio station KHVN with the 2013 Homegrown Honors Male Vocalist of the Year award.  He will also take part in Bishop TD Jakes' Megafest later this month as part of the Man Power Praise & Worship team. 

Bethany continues to serve as Music and Worship Director at Highpoint Church, a thriving ministry in Arlington TX (Pastors Gary and April Simons). 

With a solid foundation and bright future Michael Bethany is poised to impact the gospel music world by creating and sharing quality music and empowering the present generation through Word inspired messages and songs.

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