News Of the Day – December 9th

Pastor On Trial For Raping Two Teenage Girls Takes Own Life

A Florida pastor who was on trial this week for raping two teenage girls was found dead in a parking garage Thursday in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, according to the Murfreesboro Police Department. David Rowan, 66, appeared to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to the preliminary investigation. Rowan was awaiting a jury’s verdict regarding his charges for multiple sex crimes involving two teenage girls in 2014. Read more about his arrest and suicide here.


Pastor Who Appeared In Drag For A Television Show Is Fired From Church

An Indiana pastor who dressed as a drag queen on a reality TV show last month has been “relieved of his duties” and will undergo a process of “renewal, reflection, and recovery.” Rev. Craig Duke had served at Newburgh United Methodist Church near Evansville until last week. Friends set up a GoFundMe last week to help the pastor and his family through the next few months, which already has raised more than $23,000 after his “drag mother” Eureka O’Hara, who helped him create his drag persona on “We’re Here,” tweeted about it Sunday (Dec. 5).  Read more about the firing here.


Former SBC President James Merritt Resigns After Sharing Sermon From Gay Son

Former Southern Baptist Convention President James Merritt has resigned from his position as a visiting professor at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary amid controversy that followed his decision to share a short message by his son, who is gay. In response to criticisms from some Christians over his decision to promote his son’s message, Merritt defended his position saying, “Regardless of who preaches Jesus or speaks truth I rejoice when they do because I love Jesus and truth. I can approve a message even when I have disagreements with the messenger. I agree with Paul: love rejoices with the truth. And that is the truth.” Read more about his resignation here


New Study Shows Chewing Gum Could Reduce Spread Of Covid

Could specially-treated chewing gum help fight COVID-19? Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania say yes, and they’re submitting their findings to the FDA. Researchers at Penn have developed a new experimental chewing gum that could slow the transmission of COVID. It works on saliva, which is the main way the virus is spread. University of Pennsylvania scientist Henry Daniell is leading a study that uses specially treated lettuce to make a chewing gum that helps prevent the transmission of COVID. Researchers have taken everyday lettuce and infused it with a protein that can neutralize COVID. Read more about the research here.


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