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Adelle M. Banks

Adelle M. Banks, production editor and a national reporter, joined RNS in 1995. An award-winning journalist, she previously was the religion reporter at the Orlando Sentinel and a reporter at The Providence Journal and newspapers in the upstate New York communities of Syracuse and Binghamton.

All Stories by Adelle M. Banks

Fisk Jubilee Singers continue to sing spirituals 150 years later

By Adelle M. Banks — October 6, 2021
(RNS) — ‘Fisk Jubilee Singers are artists and do not limit themselves to just Negro spirituals,’ its director said. ‘There’s versatility in our choice of music when we have celebrations.’

Faith, endurance of civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer revealed in new biography

By Adelle M. Banks — October 5, 2021
(RNS) — ‘She used the Bible in many different ways,’ said Hamer’s biographer. ‘She used it to shame her white oppressors who claimed also to be Christians.’

‘COVID has been harder on us’: Some Black churches remain hesitant to reopen

By Adelle M. Banks — October 4, 2021
(RNS) — Black churches reflect a cautious approach on the part of ministers, reopening task forces and the average people currently not in the pews.

National Baptist Convention USA president questions ‘hypocritical’ mandate views

By Adelle M. Banks — September 29, 2021
(RNS) — The leader of the Black denomination preached about the need to ‘confront our faults in this country,’ pointing to the Jan. 6 insurrection as an example.

Kirk Franklin rereleases ‘Lean on Me’ with virtual global children’s choir

By Adelle M. Banks — September 28, 2021
(RNS) — ‘You have hundreds of kids that are living in marginalized situations,' Franklin said, 'that this song is giving them an opportunity to have a voice.’

Albert Raboteau, expert on African American religious history, dead at 78

By Adelle M. Banks — September 24, 2021
(RNS) — The scholar ‘was the Godfather of Afro-American Religious Studies & the North Star of deep Christian political sensibilities!’ said colleague Cornel West.

Timothy Stewart, Progressive National Baptists’ international president, dead at 64

By Adelle M. Banks — September 23, 2021
(RNS) — ‘He was the first President from the International Region in Progressive’s 60 year history,’ his denomination said.

Cathedral to replace Confederate windows with stained glass reflecting Black life

By Adelle M. Banks — September 23, 2021
(RNS) — ‘This will be one of the first Confederate icons that has come down and been replaced with something else,’ said a cathedral official.

Religious artifacts in new Reconstruction exhibit depict resilience, racism

By Adelle M. Banks — September 22, 2021
(RNS) — ‘Because the church is an engine of so much civically and spiritually and educationally, it’s recognized as a target,’ a museum curator said of Black congregations.

Women making strides in leadership of Black denominations amid hesitancy

By Adelle M. Banks — September 22, 2021
(RNS) — ‘Whenever a woman rises, or ascends, to a leadership position in a national organization, it’s always significant,’ said the Rev. Gina Stewart.

Actress Jessica Chastain looked at more than ‘The Eyes of Tammy Faye’ for new movie

By Adelle M. Banks — September 15, 2021
(RNS) — Tammy Faye Bakker taught ‘everyone is deserving of God's love and grace,’ said Chastain.

Faith leaders backing Okla. death row inmate hail parole board’s commutation request

By Adelle M. Banks — September 14, 2021
(RNS) — Clergy from across the country had advocated for Julius Jones, holding rallies and writing letters in hopes of getting him clemency or release from prison.

Francis Collins ‘a bit’ frustrated with evangelicals amid COVID-19 vaccine push

By Adelle M. Banks — September 10, 2021
(RNS) — Collins said seekers of a religious exemption from new COVID-19 rules would ‘have to really come through with a coherent argument about why that applies in this place.’

9/11 became a catalyst for interfaith relations and cooperation

By Adelle M. Banks — September 9, 2021
(RNS) — Though anti-Muslim sentiments grew in the wake of 9/11, another legacy of that historic day is the evolution and advancement of interfaith cooperation in the United States.

Staccato Powell, disrobed as AME Zion bishop: pioneer or swindler?

By Adelle M. Banks — September 1, 2021
(RNS) — ‘All we are doing now is trying to save those congregations that are in bankruptcy court,’ said the denomination’s senior bishop.
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