Gabriel C. Stovall

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9/11: When 3,000 folks woke up on a bright Sept. day

COVINGTON, Ga. (BP) -- The thing that activates my pen today, on the 17th anniversary of 9/11, is something that actually rendered me speechless when I first heard about it -- the abruptness of death intruding in what seemed to be an ordinary day After a pretty emotional weekend at The Covington News -- the metro Atlanta newspaper where I serve as sports editor -- covering the shooting of Covington Police Department officer Matt Cooper, complete with the magnanimous outpouring of community support for the wounded officer and his family, I heard of the sudden deaths of two high school students.

Why I’m staying in the Southern Baptist Convention

ATLANTA (BP) -- Almost 24 hours after the back-to-back deaths of Alton Sterling and then Philando Castile by the trigger hand of police officers last summer, my Facebook inbox lit up. Nearly a dozen people, who I called brothers in Christ, were saying they had had enough. They were tired of watching black men get cut down by policemen's bullets. They were nauseous, they said, of seeing white people scratch their collective heads trying to figure out why people of color were so traumatized by these deaths. ...

FIRST-PERSON: Churches that ‘blossom & thrive’

Regardless of their ethnic makeup, churches can "blossom and thrive," Gabriel Stovall writes, through "intentional concerted efforts to look more like the communities we're planted in."