Bobby Ross Jr. is an author at Religion News Service.
All Stories by Bobby Ross Jr.
At 87, ‘disaster deacon’ opens his heart — and church — to flooding victims
By Bobby Ross Jr. — June 17, 2019
TULSA, Okla. (The Christian Chronicle) — Across the Midwest, 28 Red Cross and community shelters in five states have tended to the victims of flooding, tornados and other natural disasters. Many of those shelters are at houses of worship.
To Botham Jean’s parents, fatal shooting still feels ‘as if it just happened’
By Bobby Ross Jr. — May 30, 2019
DALLAS (RNS) — Almost nine months have passed since an off-duty police officer entered Botham Shem Jean’s apartment and opened fire, killing the church song leader. Bertrum and Allison Jean reflect as a racial unity summit paid tribute to their slain son.
Evangelical financial watchdog faces scrutiny over backing of errant megachurch
By Bobby Ross Jr. — May 29, 2019
(RNS) — Critics say the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability ignored 'glaring improprieties' in Harvest Bible Chapel’s finances for way too long.
Judge vacates former youth minister’s sex abuse convictions
By Bobby Ross Jr. — March 29, 2019
(RNS) — A Pennsylvania judge has overturned the conviction of a former Church of Christ youth minister accused of abusing children at the youth camp he oversaw. The judge said he "reluctantly" ruled that the statute of limitations for reporting the allegations had expired.
Racial concerns prompt Christian university in Oklahoma to rename auditorium
By Bobby Ross Jr. — March 6, 2019
OKLAHOMA CITY (RNS) — A Christian university renamed an auditorium on campus due to concerns that the venue's namesake — a famed preacher — had made racist remarks in the past.
Church elders let confessed abuser attend services; now judge has banned him
By Bobby Ross Jr. — March 4, 2019
UNIONTOWN, Pa. (RNS) — Elders at a Pennsylvania Church knew that a former youth minister and camp leader had confessed to abuse. But they still allowed him to come to church services until a judge ordered him to stay away.
Pennsylvania prosecutor fights clergy sex abuse as she maintains Catholic faith
By Bobby Ross Jr. — February 27, 2019
EBENSBURG, Pa. (RNS) — When local district attorney Kelly Callihan referred an abuse claim against her family’s erstwhile pastor to state authorities, she initiated a series of investigations that renewed the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse crisis nationwide.
IRS’ ‘church parking tax’ sparks questions and concerns
By Bobby Ross Jr. — February 7, 2019
(RNS) — An obscure provision of the 2017 tax overhaul may end up costing churches and other houses of worship.
Bible study and skateboards meet at Skatechurch
By Bobby Ross Jr. — January 29, 2019
TULSA, Okla. (RNS) — The Skatechurch ministry at First United Methodist in Tulsa hopes to reach skateboard fans with the Bible.
In border wall fight, Kentucky congressman mixes compassion with concern
By Bobby Ross Jr. — January 22, 2019
(RNS) — U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie balances his faith and his politics when it comes to immigration. The Republican congressman supports building a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Texas GOP leader who is Muslim declares victory over bigotry
By Bobby Ross Jr. — January 11, 2019
(RNS) — The vote ends a bid to unseat a Tarrant County GOP vice chair by those who consider any follower of Islam as a soldier in a 'stealth jihad.'
Cyntoia Brown: Christian university’s prison program ‘changed my life’
By Bobby Ross Jr. — January 11, 2019
(RNS) — Cyntoia Brown, who was recently granted clemency for a murder she committed as a teenager, says a program run by a Christian college in Nashville, Tenn., helped her turn her life around.
Interfaith service blesses Oklahoma Democrat Kendra Horn for her new role in Congress
By Bobby Ross Jr. — December 17, 2018
OKLAHOMA CITY (RNS) — A diverse group of religious leaders blessed Kendra Horn, a newly elected U.S. representative, as she prepares to take office. Horn, an Episcopalian, is the first Democratic woman elected to Congress from Oklahoma.
Texas GOP dispute pits religious freedom against claims of ‘stealth jihad’
By Bobby Ross Jr. — December 11, 2018
FORT WORTH, Texas (RNS) — The appointment of a Muslim doctor to a county's party leadership has fractured the Republicans of Tarrant County.
Houses of worship helping solve foster care crisis in Oklahoma
By Bobby Ross Jr. — November 27, 2018
EDMOND, Okla. (RNS) — In the Bible Belt state, churches have become a crucial community partner with government officials to address a foster care crisis.