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MinistryWatch’s Top 10 Stories for the Month of March

Charlie Kirk, Liberty University, American Bible Society Among Top Stories

The following stories had the most page views at the MinistryWatch website during the month of March. We present them here in a “countdown” format, from 10 to 1. The first few sentences of each story are reproduced below. To read the entire story, click on the link. To read the Top 25 stories of 2023, click here.

  1. Multiple Christian Boarding School Employees Face Criminal Charges

The founder of a Christian boarding school and his wife were arrested Mar. 1 on first-degree kidnapping charges and abuse allegations. Larry Charles Musgraves Jr., 57, was arrested on the property of the boarding school, and his wife, Carmen Musgraves, 64, was arrested hours later after arriving at the sheriff’s department to look for her husband. Another employee, Caleb Sandoval, was also charged with abuse or neglect of a child for hitting a student multiple times, causing a bloody nose, during boxing training.

  1. New Year, New Lawsuit for Olivet University

World Olivet Assembly, a movement founded by controversial Korean-born leader David Jang, continues to face legal problems in the U.S. A group of four students from Jang’s Olivet University in California have sued the school, claiming they were victims of trafficking and visa fraud. Promised scholarships and schooling, they say they were largely confined to campus and forced to provide unpaid manual labor in violation of U.S. law.

  1. Evangelical Divide

While a majority of American evangelicals may be united by fundamental spiritual beliefs, they are by no means in agreement on a variety of hot-button subjects, according to a new study released last week. The report, issued by Infinity Concepts and Grey Matter Research, reveals that a majority of American evangelicals call themselves politically conservative, but 24% labeled themselves moderates and another 12% politically progressive.

  1. Lifeway Christian Resources Revenue Recovery

Lifeway Christian Resources, a Nashville-based non-profit entity of the Southern Baptist Convention and provider of Christian resources, has seen its revenue bouncing back since it hit a low in 2020. According to Ben Mandrell, Lifeway president and CEO, the revenue for 2023 was $277 million, up 12% from 2022 and up over $70 million from the low of $206 million in 2020. “We did it by returning to our roots,” Mandrell told Publishers Weekly. “The original mission of Lifeway was to serve local churches.”

  1. Liberty University Fined $14 Million by Department of Education

The federal Department of Education imposed its largest-ever fine under the Clery Act against Liberty University as part of a settlement agreement it reached with the school. According to a Department of Education press release, Liberty was fined $14 million for “material and ongoing violations” of the Clery Act, “including with respect to its published crime statistics and treatment of sexual assault survivors.”

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  1. American Bible Society to Shut Down Faith & Liberty Discovery Center

Over the past decade, the American Bible Society spent nearly $100 million to build and operate a state-of-the-art interactive museum in Philadelphia that explains the role of the Bible and a Christian worldview in the nation’s founding, as well as in the ongoing history of the nation. At the end of this month, the museum will permanently close. The ABS will lay off the entire staff of the Faith and Liberty Discovery Center (FLDC). The FLDC is a separate LLC, wholly owned by the American Bible Society.

  1. Did Evangelicals Break Haiti?

The news coming from Haiti is not good. It’s not been good for years, for decades, but today it’s even worse. Gangs now control much of the country. It is essentially a failed state, with the lowest per capita income of any country in the western hemisphere, and among the lowest on the planet. These are hard realities, but evangelicals need to face a hard reality of our own when it comes to Haiti. The country has also been the beneficiary of more aid and missionary effort from evangelicals than any other country over the past half-century, and the time has come to ask if our helping—however good our intentions—has hurt.

  1. Former Seminary President Sues School for Defamation

A feud between a Southwestern Baptist seminary and its former president appears headed for federal court. Lawyers for Adam Greenway, who resigned as president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in September 2022, alleged in a complaint filed March 20 that the school and the chair of its trustee board defamed Greenway, violated the terms of a non-disparagement agreement and made him “unemployable.” “The actions of Defendants have exposed Plaintiff to public hatred, contempt, and ridicule,” the complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, alleges.

  1. Charlie Kirk Calls Pastors in the US a ‘Joke’

On Wednesday, Dream City Church held its monthly Freedom Night in America event with guest speaker Andrew Sedra. The multi-site church based in Phoenix, Arizona, hosts the gathering in partnership with Charlie Kirk and Turning Point USA Faith (TPUSA). According to its website, Dream City Church launched Freedom Night in America “in an effort to continue winning the American Culture War.”

  1. Wycliffe Bible Translators to Sell Florida Headquarters

The nation’s largest Bible translation organization is selling its 272-acre headquarters for an undisclosed price. The Orlando Business Journal (OBJ) first reported the listing. Wycliffe has selected a brokerage team from Orlando-based First Capital Property Group to market the property. First Capital’s listing describes the property as a “unique headquarters campus in southeast Orlando.”  It says the property “provides an unrivaled opportunity for a full campus user looking for their own headquarters within the metro area.”