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Bob Smietana

Bob Smietana is a veteran religion writer and national reporter for Religion News Service.

All Stories by Bob Smietana

Oh Baby, Baby: Amy Grant’s biggest hit turns 30

By Bob Smietana — July 22, 2021
(RNS) — Amy Grant’s ‘Heart in Motion’ sold more than 5 million copies and made her a household name. Thirty years later, the record has been rereleased.

David Platt’s dreams for McLean Bible Church sour as members file lawsuit over elder vote

By Bob Smietana — July 20, 2021
(RNS) — Platt, the best-selling author of ‘Radical’ and beloved Bible preacher, finds his church facing controversy over critical race theory.

Amid revival, Nashville megachurch mourns beloved staff pastor Chris Swain

By Bob Smietana — July 16, 2021
(RNS) — A Nashville megachurch has seen more than 1,000 people baptized and a host of prayers answered in recent months. They also lost a beloved pastor, despite their hopes for his healing.

Abuse prevention advocates want input into ACNA investigation of bishop

By Bob Smietana — July 15, 2021
(RNS) — A group of advocates named #ACNAtoo wants input on an investigation into how allegations of abuse were handled.

ACNA leaders to take over abuse investigation in Upper Midwest diocese

By Bob Smietana — July 13, 2021
(RNS) — Anglican Bishop Stewart Ruch III has taken a leave of absence, saying he made ‘regrettable errors’ in handling allegations of abuse.

Southern Baptist youth pastor and National Guard chaplain suspended after arrest on solicitation charges

By Bob Smietana — July 13, 2021
(RNS) — Fairfield Baptist Church in Tennessee says it is shocked by the arrest of the church's youth minister and will cooperate with authorities.

SBC president Ed Litton announces task force to oversee Executive Committee abuse review

By Bob Smietana — July 9, 2021
(RNS) — At their annual meeting in Nashville last month, Southern Baptists directed their new president to appoint a task force looking into claims that Baptist leaders mishandled abuse allegations.

Billy Graham’s 1940s cottage in North Carolina is listed for sale at $600,000

By Bob Smietana — July 9, 2021
(RNS) — The Grahams lived in the cottage during Billy Graham's rise to fame in the 1940s.

Former Trump official’s God-and-country nonprofit calls CRT a threat to ‘colorblind society’

By Bob Smietana — July 7, 2021
(RNS) — Russ Vought, a former Trump official, blames woke pastors for promoting a dangerous and anti-Christian ideology.

Julianna Zobrist, Christian influencer and author, responds to estranged husband’s accusations

By Bob Smietana — July 6, 2021
(RNS) — Zobrist and her estranged husband, a former World Series MVP, once co-authored a book on faith and family and are now getting divorced.

Liberty University sued by former diversity officer, NFL player Kelvin Edwards

By Bob Smietana — July 5, 2021
(RNS) — The school said in a statement that President Jerry Prevo had determined that hiring Edwards was ‘among his predecessor’s mistakes.’

Curmudgeons or not, atheists like those of other faiths more than Christians do, study finds

By Bob Smietana — July 2, 2021
(RNS) —  A new study found that, while Christians look down on atheists, atheists have positive views of religious folks.

As Southern Baptists begin to grapple with sexual abuse, looming challenges remain

By Yonat Shimron, Bob Smietana — June 28, 2021
(RNS) — One week after the convention closed, an advocate for sex abuse survivors posted to a blog that a registered sex offender has been preaching at a Dallas Southern Baptist church.

New SBC President Ed Litton apologizes for using JD Greear sermon quotes without credit

By Bob Smietana — June 26, 2021
(RNS) — In a statement Saturday, Litton said that while doing research and sermon prep for the passage, he had seen Greear’s sermon and found it helpful.

Christian musician Matthew West deletes ‘Modest Is Hottest’ YouTube video after pushback

By Bob Smietana — June 25, 2021
(RNS) — West said he was poking fun of over-protective dads. Critics say 'Modest Is Hottest' blames women for men's sexual misconduct and is a sign of harmful purity culture.
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