Billy Graham (1918-2018)

For six decades, the tall sturdy frame of evangelist Billy Graham graced the TV screens of living rooms the world over. His unmistakable voice boomed over the radio in cars, tool sheds and stores, and left lasting auditory memories with most who listened. The message he had was almost always the same: the Gospel, in its simplest possible form, delivered with decipherable honesty and earnest. It was this plainness in speaking, as well as in his living, that endeared him to millions across the planet.

Early Years: From Dairy Farm to Bible School

Billy- or William Franklin Graham Jr, as his parents had christened him -was born in 1918, to a dairy farming family in Charlotte, North Carolina. It was the year in which the first world war ended- but that seemed a somewhat faint and far off reality from the quiet town which the Grahams called home. Billy’s later life was spent lacing the air waves with his charming Carolinas accent; perhaps God left nothing to chance when putting together the aspects of this exceptional evangelist’s personality. Apparently not even his speech.

Graham’s parents were practising Presbyterians (his mother moreso), who attended the local denominational church with their children on Sundays. They did have regular family devotions as well; but it’s not clear that young Billy was initially stirred by any of the early exposure he had to the Christian message.

It was at a revivalist meeting that Billy Graham got converted. The year was 1934. Mordecai Ham, a travelling baptist preacher, had come into Charlotte and was holding revivalist meetings. Billy was invited to attend by one of his father’s workers, and it was there that he made the formal decision to commit his life to God. Commentators point out that his wasn’t the storybook ‘bad boy turning to Christ’ event; master Graham was no mischievous fella. But he was gripped enough by Ham’s preaching about sin and salvation, to make a life altering decision that day.

Two years later, Billy completed high school. He hadn’t been an exceptional student by any stretch of the imagination; at one point, a teacher of his had warned that he might not make it out of school. Nevertheless, he scaled this hurdle, and went on to study Theology at the Bob Jones College in Tennessee. It’s safe to say that his issues at school probably came down to an apparent nonchalance about school work on his part. After all, he was in fact a bookish lad in his own right- it’s said that he sometimes got so immersed in his reading that he seemed to grow oblivious of his own self.

The Making of an Unshackled Travelling Evangelist

Graham’s time at Bob Jones wasn’t the happiest in his life. He found the rules too stringent, and the doctrine taught and practised there rather shackling (the institution’s authorities were so strict with their students, they screened whatever correspondences came in to them, and what they sent out. Feeling stifled of real spiritual freedom, he transferred to the more relaxed (but nonetheless conservative) Florida Bible School.

His trouble with the Bob Jones College hints at what was a severely polarized church at the time. The liberal Christians, wary of the supposed threat posed by the advances in science and the secularization of society, had retreated to an understanding of the Bible as not inerrant, while racing out of their pews to embrace the ‘progressive’ world beyond their church walls. Conservative Protestants were doing the exact opposite: they stared in defiance at the liberalizing society, railed against what they believed was America’s multiplying evils, and affirmed a straight jacket literalism in their exegesis of the Bible.

But Billy was learning (perhaps not very consciously) to thread a reasonable middle path. In later years, he would come under fire from both sides of the divide: liberals would label his preaching “too simple,” and conservatives would condemn him for being unnecessarily cozy with liberal ideals.

After completing his studies at the Florida Bible School in 1939, Graham enrolled at Wheaton College, hoping to get grounded in the ministerial work he was looking to begin. There, he met Ruth McCue Bell, the grand daughter of a missionary, who would later become his wife. And it was in this period that he preached his first sermon (in a small baptist church), at the behest of an academic dean at Wheaton.

In the decade that followed, Graham briefly pastored a church, worked with a Christian youth organization, and oversaw an alliance of Christian schools. It was at the end of this time that he turned towards itinerant evangelism.

The Start of a Remarkable Ministry

Chroniclers of Graham’s long life point to his visit to California in the early 1950s as the time in which he began to grow in prominence. He had been invited by a Christian organization, Christ for Greater Los Angeles, to preach in their city. When he did begin to deliver sermons there, his simple, earnest message drew people to his meetings. Secular historians say it was down to his charisma; many who were in the crowds insist that it was more the compelling nature of his sermons that brought the masses to the large meeting tents.

Some have said that his popularity was helped by local media’s favourable coverage of his crusades, which was in turn the result of his having admirers in the media circles, and his vocal opposition to communism. In a world increasingly torn between Communism (and its associations with militant atheism) and capitalism (cast as allowing for the freedom of religious observances), Graham’s condemnation of the former was sure to endear him to the US’s anti-communist elite and common people.

While it’s reasonable to view his preaching within the historical context in which it took place, we would be rewriting history if we gave it credit for Graham’s success at bringing people to Christ. The single most important factor in the success of his ministry was his dedication to the ‘total Gospel’, and its effectiveness, shown in the transformed lives of those who embraced the message. Besides this, it’s hard to explain how an increasingly skeptical Western society (one in which ‘theologians’ proclaimed that God was dead) would turn out millions of people to hear a preacher repeat the old fashioned gospel?

Going Global

In time, the crowds at the meetings grew so large, and the work of organizing such gatherings became so complex, that Graham and his friends decided to incorporate the ministry. They named it the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA).

With wider media coverage and a more sophisticated media structure, Graham was able to reach other parts of the United States. Millions more were ministered to, and the conversions numbered in the hundreds of thousands. By 1952, the BGEA made its first landing in the United Kingdom.

It was in England, where the state of religion was represented by a staunchly liberal church, that Billy Graham’s international evangelism truly began. Many thought he would not be nearly as well received there; the Brits were supposed to be more measured, prim and proper, not given to the outward expression of emotions and overly simplistic teachings that characterized the American evangelist’s crusades. But they were wrong. After initial opposition by officials within the Church of England, Graham did finally set foot in the UK. And the crowds were just as big (and emotive) as the ones in the United States.

By the time he delivered his final sermon in 2005, Billy Graham had preached to over 215 million people across the world. He was a known bearer of the gospel, recognized for the way in which he was able to persuade his audiences with it. Between his going global and retiring in the mid 2000s, he had touched every inhabited continent of the world with his message. Thanks to his efforts, many accepted Jesus as their saviour.

An Uncommon Man’s Legacy

Graham’s influence stretched over the entire spectrum of human endevour. He was friends with (and counselor to) heads of state, from Dwight Eisenhower to George W. Bush. It’s reported that he had a good relationship with the Queen of England, Elizabeth II. He was also known to have spoken out against dehumanizing the underprivileged, including Black South Africans who were oppressed under that country’s White minority rule for the greater part of the 20th century.

It’s hard to exaggerate Graham’s impact on the Church’s approach to evangelism. His organized, media savvy organization helped take the Gospel farther than most had managed up until his time. His preaching, which emphasized mere (basic) Christianity, became a template for others who came after him.

Billy Graham passed on in February 2018. The world- or much of it -eulogized him. Countless words were spoken of his voice and looks, but also of his humility, faith and love. It’s certain that the man himself would have wanted to be remembered simply as a servant of Jesus, who put the resources of the age to good use in making the truth of God known to all people.

Ikenna Nwachukwu ©2019

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C.S LEWIS: A biography

I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen, not only because I see it but
because by it I see everything else …

C.S Lewis

 

Quick Facts
Full Name: Clive Staples Lewis
Born: November 29, 1898
Died: November 22, 1963 (aged 64)
Work: Writer, Apologist, Poet, Scholar
Most Popular Works: The Chronicles of Narnia, The Screwtape Letters.

Known by friends and family as Jack (a self given name he adopted up after his dog
Jacksie was killed by a car). You could say he was a man born before his time in many
ways or rather still a man who launched the world to new times by his rich imagination
and rigid faith.

Born in Belfast, Ireland (present day Northern Ireland) into the well positioned family of
Albert and Florence Lewis. As a young lad, his imagination ran free with a particular
fascination of anthropomorphic animals, he and his brother Warnie soon created the
world of Boxen, populated and driven by talking animals. His appetite to read was
stirred and well watered by his parents who stocked the house full of books, his dad
being a solicitor and his mom a graduate of the Royal University of Ireland (a fit quite
rare for women in those days). Lewis himself being a bit prodigy himself was reading by
age three and by five had begun writing stories, he fed extensively and voraciously on
those books, he writes in his autobiography, Suprised by Joy “endless books… There
were books in the study, books in the dinning room, books in the cloakroom, books (two
deep) in the great bookcase on the landing, books in a bedroom, books piled as high as
my shoulder in the cistern attic, books of all kinds” and none was off limits to him.
Life took a not so pleasant turn when his brother Warnie was sent off to boarding
school in England, leaving the young Lewis alone, he became somewhat reclusive,
spending more and more time in books and his imaginary world of dressed animal and
knights in armor. Things went even more sour when he turned 10 and his mother died
of Cancer, he became even more driven into himself and his books, his father never
really fully recovered and this led both boys to feel even more estranged from their
dad. His mom’s death planted a seed of doubt in God, he reasoned that God, if not
cruel, was at least a vague abstraction. About five years down that line around 1912 (in
the tender teen age of 15) and with the additional influence of his boarding school
(where his father had now enrolled him) and, Lewis abandoned the Christian faith and
became an avowed atheist, he later described his young self as being paradoxically
“angry with God for not existing”.

 

By September of 1914 Lewis was sent to Great Bookham, Surrey, to be privately tutored
by W.T. Kirkpatrick, this man had a tremendous effect upon the young Lewis, he
introduced him to classics in Greek, Latin and Italian literature. Being a tutor that must
see result he helped Lewis learn how to criticize and analyze, taught him how to think,
speak and write logically. After nearly three years with Kirkpatrick Lewis had grown in
bounds and leaps in his literary academic prowess, this showed in his success in the
scholarship examinations at Oxford and later in his outstanding performance at
University College, grabbing highest honours in honour moderations, greats and
English. His hardpressing mentor also helped him reinforce his atheistic beliefs, but his
admission to Oxford and the associates he would soon make would cause the budding
Lewis to rethink his God-void universe.

He entered the world of Oxford in 1917 and in a sense he never left, despite the call to
fight in World war 1 and his professorship later in life at Cambridge, he always
maintained his home and friends in Oxford. During World war 1 he and his college
roommate Paddy Moore, made promises to each other, that if either of them should
die in the war, the other would take care of the deceased’s family. Paddy Moore died,
Lewis kept his word and took care of Paddy’s mother, after completing his first degree
in 1920, Lewis decided to share the same lodging with Paddy Moore’s family so that he
could more carefully look out for their needs, this kind gesture got Lewis outside of
himself and taught him patience. Soon the books The everlasting man by G.K.
Chesterton and Phantastes by George MacDonald began to dig through his stony
atheistic heart, he would later write of the book Phantastes “what it actually did to me
was to convert, even baptize…my imagination”

 

The years went on but distress in the stony heart of Lewis only kept increasing, friends
from his student and post student life like Owen Barfield and Nevill Coghill often
pounced on the logic of Lewis’ atheism. He would later meet two more Christians with
whom he became close friends; J.R.R Tokien (author, Lord of the Rings) and Hugo
Dyson. Eventually the two paths converged in Lewis’ mind: one was reason and the
other intuition, he vigorously resisted conversion, noting that he was brought back into
Christianity like a prodigal, “kicking, struggling, resentful, and darting his eyes in every
direction for a chance to escape”. He painted his final struggle to come to God in his
book Suprised by Joy, “You must picture me alone in that room in Magdalen[College,
Oxford], night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my
work, the steady, unrelenting approach of Him whom I so earnestly desired not to meet.
That which I greatly feared had at last come upon me. In the Trinity term of 1929 I gave
in, and admitted that God was God, and knelt and prayed: perhaps, that night, the
most dejected and reluctant convert in all England”

After his conversion to Theism in 1929, Lewis converted to Christianity in 1931, after a
lengthy talk and late night walk with his close friends Tokien and Hugo Dyson. He
became a firm member of the Church of England -somewhat to the disappointment of
Tolkien, who had hoped he would join the Catholic church.
The second world war, proved to be a set time for C.S. Lewis, he spoken on radio from
1941 to 1943 by the BBC while the city was under periodic air raids, these broadcasts
were widely received and ministered greatly to the people, also increasing the
popularity of Lewis. After the war in 1951 he declined a honour by George VI as
Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in order to avoid association with
political issues.

It is interesting to note that with the increase of Lewis fame came other pressures,
numerous invitations to entertain guests, grant interviews, give lectures and preach
sermons. And even though he felt called by God to write, he likewise felt it was
required of him to counsel all those who came all the way to his home. As his books
became popular he was flooded by letters, and because he believed that it was Gods
will for him to answer most of this mail himself stating that there were “no ordinary
people” he took his time to write with care to each correspondent regardless of age,
education, or place in society, needless to say this consumed many hours each week.
Joy entered his life in 1956, literally. Joy Davidman, an American writer also a convert
from Atheism to Christianity became Mrs Lewis. She and her two teenaged kids
changed C.S. Lewis’ life for the better. His happiness can be seen in a note he wrote to a
friend soon after they got married “it’s funny having at 59 the sort of happiness most
men have in their twenties… ‘Thou hast kept the good wine till now’.” She brought him
love, companionship and tow stepson with all its accompanying drama, she also
encouraged him to renew his writing of apologetics. Unfortunately his Joy was short
lived as she died of Cancer 4 years into their most blissful marriage. Lewis was quite
devastated by this loss and describes his experience of bereavement in his book A Grief
Observed, he expressed his feelings in such a raw and personal manner that he
originally released it under the pseudonym N. W Clerk to keep readers from associating
the book with him. Funny enough, many friends recommended the book to Lewis as a
method of dealing with his own grief.

 

C.S. Lewis was a reputed Scholar, prolific writer and noted Novelist who infused Biblical
themes in his story lines, his novel, The Pilgrim’s Regress following John Bunyan’s style
in The Pilgrims Progress was the first of Christian publications he would make and more
were sure to follow. The Chronicles of Narnia in particular, which has been adopted
both into feature films and programs carries the biblical theme of Christ (Aslan in this
case) who basically gives his life for the salvation of those He loves and comes back to
life again. His book, Mere Christianity was voted best book of the twentieth century by
Christianity Today in 2000, he has been called “The Apostle to the Skeptics” due to his
approach to faith, presenting a reasonable case for Christianity, other books in this class
include, The Problem of Pain and Miracles. In 2008 he was ranked by The Times as the
eleventh on their list of “the 50 greatest British writers since 1945”
Lewis died at the Kilns on November 22, 1963, buried beside his brother who passed on
10 years later, he authored more than 70 titles, including works of science fiction,
fantasy, poetry, letters, autobiography and Christian apologetics, Lewis’ book sales are
reported to be more than 2 million annually.

References
http://www.britannica.com/biography/c-s-lewis
http://www.biography.com/.amp/people/cs-lewis-9380969
http://www.explorefaith.org/lewis/bio.html
http://www.wikipedia.com/wiki/c._s._lewis
http://www.christianitytoday.com/history/issues//issue-7/cs-lewis-profile-of-hislife.
html#storystream
http://www.cslewis.org/resource/chronocsl/

KAREN KINGSBURY – A Biography

BRIEF INTRODUCTION

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Karen Kingsbury is an American Christian novelist. She was a sports writer for the Los Angeles Times and later wrote for the Los Angeles Daily News. Her first book,”Missy’s Murder (1991)”, was based on a murder story that she covered in Los Angeles. During this time, she had an article published in “People Magazine”

She has written more than 50 novels, with five co-written, and has nearly 13 million copies of her novels in print. She is the #1 New York Times and USA today best selling novelist with the last dozen books published topping bestseller lists.

She is really good like that!

Some of her novels are being developed into movies by hallmark Films including The Bridge and A Time to Dance which aired in 2015. The 23 book Baxter family novel series is being adapted to a television series. Lightworks Media and Roma Downey have the rights to develop the series.

Kingsbury also does public speaking and through national events she reaches more than 100,000 each year not to mention, Karen Kingsbury co-wrote her first song, “Walls” with Gary Baker and Richie McDonald; it appeared on McDonald’s inspirational album, I Turn to You and hit Christian and Country radio in January 2009. She wrote the song, “Tell Me to Breathe”, that will go on to be included on the upcoming album from Marie Osmond . She also wrote “Miracles Happen”, a Christmas song sung by Richie McDonald which now appears on McDonald’s CD, “If every day could be Christmas”.

She is multi-talented like that!

 

PERSONAL/FAMILY LIFE

Karen Kingsbury was born in June 8, 1963 in Fairfax Virginia as the oldest of 5 children. Her family moved around a lot because of her fathers job with IBM. She graduated with a degree in journalism from Cal State University Nothridge in 1986. After she graduated she worked for the Los Angeles Times as a sports writer.

New York Times Bestselling Author Karen Kingsbury poses for portraits in the Hancock Welcome Center on February 24, 2015. (Photo by Ty Hester)

New York Times Bestselling Author Karen Kingsbury poses for portraits in the Hancock Welcome Center on February 24, 2015. (Photo by Ty Hester)

She married her husband on July 23, 1989. They found out they were expecting their first child, Kelsey, on their sixth month anniversary. Their third child, Austin, had a severe heart defect and had heart surgery at three weeks old. They adopted three sons from Haiti which are Sean, Josh and EJ.

Kelsey, her daughter, is an actress and is married to Kyle Kupecky a Christian recording artist and they have a son. Tyler, her second oldest child is becoming a screenwriter and Sean, Austin and EJ are students at Liberty University, while Austin is in high school.

Karen Kingsbury’s father died due to complications from diabetes. She chose to start eating healthier and to cut out sugar and as a result lost 70 pounds between January and November in 2007.

Amazing right!

 

HER WRITING ACHIEVEMENTS

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She has authored an impressive number of novels which include

 Standalone novels

(1) Between Sundays

(2) The Bridge – this was made into a television movie in 2015 shown on The Hallmark Channel

(3) The Chance

(4) Coming Home

(5) Divine

(6) Fifteen Minutes

(7) Like Dandelion Dust

(8) Oceans Apart

(9) On Every Side

(10) Shades of Blue

(11) This Side of Heaven (w/ friends from Cody Gunner series)

(12) Unlocked

(13) Where Yesterday Lives

(14) When Joy Came to Stay

(15) Angels Walking series

(16) Angels Walking

(17) Chasing Sunsets

(18) A Brush of Wings

(19) Heart of the Story collection

(20) The Family of Jesus

(21) The Friends of Jesus

 

9/11 Series

(22) One Tuesday Morning

(23) Beyond Tuesday Morning

(24) Remember Tuesday Morning – former title Every Now

 

The Lost Love series

(25) Even Now

(26) Ever After

(27) Red Gloves series

(28) Gideon’s Gift

(29) Maggie’s Miracle

(30) Sarah’s Song

(31) Hannah’s Hope

 

Forever Faithful series

(32) Waiting for Morning

(33) A Moment of Weakness

(34) Halfway to Forever

(35) Timeless Love series

(36) A Time to Dance – made into a television movie in May 2016 and shown on The Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel

(37) A Time to Embrace

 

Cody Gunner series

(38) A Thousand Tomorrows

(39) Just Beyond the Clouds

 

Redemption series – BAXTER ONE

(40) Redemption

(41) Remember

(42) Return

(43) Rejoice

(44) Reunion

 

Firstborn series – BAXTER TWO

(45) Fame

(46) Forgiven

(47) Found

(48) Family

(49) Forever

 

Sunrise series – BAXTER THREE

(50) Sunrise

(51)Summer

(52)Someday

(53) Sunset

 

Above the Line series – BAXTER FOUR

(54) Take One

(55) Take Two

(56) Take Three

(57) Take Four

 

Bailey Flanigan series – BAXTER FIVE

(58) Leaving

(59) Learning

(60) Longing

(61) Loving

(62) Children’s books

(63) Always Daddy’s Princess

(64) The Brave Young Knight

(65) Far Fluttery

(66) Go Ahead and Dream

(67) Let Me Hold You Longer

(68) Let’s Go On a Mommy Date

(69) Let’s Have a Daddy Day

(70) The Princess and the Three Knights

(71) We Believe In Christmas

(72) Whatever You Grow Up To Be

 

Gift books

(73) Forever Young

(74) Be Safe Little Boy

(75) Stay Close Little Girl

(76) Forever My Little Boy

(77) Forever My Little Girl

(78) True crime

(79) Missy’s Murder

(80) The Snake and the Spider

(81) Deadly Pretender: The Double Life of David Miller

(82) Final Vows

 

E-shorts

(83) The Beginning – prequel to THE BRIDGE

(84) Elizabeth Baxter’s 10 Secrets to a Happy Marriage

(85) I Can Only Imagine

 

Treasury of Miracles Books

(86) A Treasury of Christmas Miracles

(87) A Treasury of Miracles for Women

(88) A Treasury of Miracles for Teens

(89) A Treasury of Miracles for Friends

(90) A Treasury of Adoption Miracles Devotional

 

She has also featured in some movies such as:

(1) Like Dandelion Dust (2009)

(2) Gideon’s Gift (September 2015)

(3) The Bridge (December 2015)

(4) A Time to Dance (May 2016)

 

SOME LESSONS FROM KAREN KINGSBURY

karen-kingsbury-3

(1) She has the passion to inspire people(of different ages)through her books, movies, songs and speeches; which we should also show forth in our dalily life ( and bring sustained sparks in people’s lives.

 

(2) She has a helping and faithful heart as shown by the help she rendered by adopting the three Haitian children and by having faith in God concerning her own biological son that came down with a heart disease at the early stages of his life.

 

(3) She shows excellence and creativity in all her works, which should also be part of our lives especially in whatever field we may be relevant in.

 

Other lessons are embedded in this biography, so let me not say it all.

 

Search it out by yourself!

 

She lives with her family in Tennessee, United States Of America.

 

References:

(1) New release today

(2) Simon and Schuster

(3) Wikipedia

 

-The Christ A Poet Team Biographies Team

TYLER PERRY – A BIOGRAPHY

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Tyler Perry (born Emmitt Perry Jr.; September 13, 1969) is an American actor, director, screenwriter, playwright, producer, author, and songwriter, specializing in the gospel genre. Perry was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, as Emmitt Perry, Jr., the son of Willie Maxine Perry (née Campbell) and Emmitt Perry, Sr., a carpenter. He has three siblings. Perry once said his father’s “answer to everything was to beat it out of you”. As a child, Perry once went so far as to attempt suicide in an effort to escape his father’s beatings. In contrast to his father, his mother took him to church each week, where he sensed a certain refuge and contentment. At age 16, he had his first name legally changed from Emmitt to Tyler in an effort to distance himself from his father. Tyler Perry’s inspirational journey from the hard streets of New Orleans to the heights of Hollywood’s A-list is the stuff of American legend. Born into poverty and raised in a household scarred by abuse. Many years later, after seeing the film Precious, he was moved to relate for the first time accounts of being molested by a friend’s mother at age 10; he was also molested by three men prior to this, and later learned his own father had molested his friend. A DNA test Perry recently took confirmed that Emmitt Sr. is not Perry’s biological father.

Tyler fought from a young age to find the strength, faith and perseverance that would later form the foundations of his much-acclaimed plays, films, books and shows. While Perry did not complete high school, he earned a GED. In his early 20s, watching an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show, he heard someone describe the sometimes therapeutic effect the act of writing can have, enabling the author to work out his or her own problems. This comment inspired him to apply himself to a career in writing. He soon started writing a series of letters to himself. The letters, full of pain and in time, forgiveness, became a healing catharsis. His writing inspired a musical, I Know I’ve Been Changed, and in 1992, Tyler gathered his life’s savings in hopes of staging it for sold out crowds. He spent all the money but the people never came, and Tyler once again came face to face with the poverty that had plagued his youth. He spent months sleeping in seedy motels and his car but his faith – in God and, in turn, himself – only got stronger. He forged a powerful relationship with the church, and kept writing. In 1998 his perseverance paid off and a promoter booked I Know I’ve Been Changed for a limited run at a local church-turned-theatre. This time, the community came out in droves, and soon the musical moved to Atlanta’s prestigious Fox Theatre. Tyler Perry never looked back and so began an incredible run of 13 plays in as many years, including Woman Thou Art Loosed!, a celebrated collaboration with the prominent Dallas pastor T.D. Jakes.

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In the year 2000, I Can Do Bad All By Myself marked the first appearance of the now-legendary Madea. The God-fearing, gun-toting, pot-smoking, loud-mouthed grandmother, Madea, was played by Perry himself. Madea was such a resounding success, she soon spawned a series of plays -Madea’s Family Reunion (2002), Madea’s Class Reunion (2003), Madea Goes To Jail(2005) – and set the stage for Tyler’s jump to the big screen. In early 2005, Tyler’s first feature film, Diary of a Mad Black Woman, debuted at number one nationwide. His ensuing films, Madea’s Family Reunion, Daddy’s Little Girls, Why Did I Get Married?, Meet The Browns, The Family That Preys, I Can Do Bad All by Myself, Why Did I Get Married Too?, For Colored Girls, Madea’s Big Happy Family,Good Deeds and Madea’s Witness Protection have all been met with massive commercial success, delighting audiences across America and around the world. He also starred in the Rob Cohen directed Alex Cross and helped release Academy Award-nominated Precious, a movie based on the novel “Push” by Sapphire, in conjunction with his 34th Street Films banner, Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Films and Lionsgate.

tp bookPerry’s first book, “Don’t Make a Black Woman Take Off Her Earrings: Madea’s Uninhibited Commentaries on Love and Life”, appeared on April 11, 2006. The book sold 30,000 copies. The hardcover reached number one on the New York Times Best Seller list and remained on the list for 12 weeks. It was voted Book of the Year, Best Humor Book at the 2006 Quill Awards. (An unheard-of feat for a first-time author). However, he is one of the few that write yet people write about them; Melvin Childs’ “Never would have made it” is one of such masterpieces.

In 2007, Tyler expanded his reach to television with the TBS series House of Payne, the highest-rated first-run syndicated cable show of all time. His follow up effort, “Meet the Browns”, was the second highest debut ever on cable – after “House of Payne”. In late 2012, Perry teamed up with Oprah Winfrey in an exclusive deal to bring scripted programming to her cable network, OWN, and launched with the half hour sitcom, “Love Thy Neighbor”, and the hour-long drama, “The Haves and The Have Nots”, which made its debut in 2013. Not one to rest on success, Tyler Perry and his 350 Atlanta-based employees have been hard at work. His latest films include “Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor”, released in March 2013 and his 34th Street Films banner,” Peeples”, released in May 2013. In late 2013, Tyler starred in “A Madea Christmas”, adapted from his stage play by the same name. In 2014 he was seen in 34th Street Film’s production where he also directed, Single Mom’s Club and a new show for OWN entitled If Loving You Is Wrong, based on the film, premiered in the Fall of 2014.

Tyler most recently garnered rave reviews for his role opposite Ben Affleck in David Fincher’s box office hit, “Gone Girl”. On September 25, 2014, it was announced that Perry was expecting his first child with his girlfriend, Gelila Bekele. On November 30, 2014, Bekele gave birth to their son Aman Tyler Perry.

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Perry describes himself as a Christian. Many of the themes in his work reflect theology and social behavior indicative of the predominantly Black Church culture, such as the many scenes in both his stage and screen work that feature church settings and worship styles commonly found in predominantly African American churches, including showcases of gospel artistes and artists.

Listen to Tyler Perry and you’ll hear a man who hasn’t forgotten about the people that have helped him reach the top of a mountain he could once only dream of climbing. He has been intimately involved and donated generously to civil rights causes through work with the NAACP and NAN. He also strongly supports charities that focus on helping the homeless, such as Feeding America, Covenant House, Hosea Feed the Hungry, Project Adventure, and Perry Place – a 20-home community that Tyler built for survivors of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. In January 2010, Perry pledged $1,000,000 via The Tyler Perry Foundation to help rebuild the lives of those affected by the earthquakes in Haiti. On July 20, 2009, Perry sponsored 65 children from a Philadelphia day camp to visit Walt Disney World, after reading that they had been turned down. He wrote on his website, “I want them to know that for every act of evil that a few people will throw at you, there are millions more who will do something kind for them”.

Tyler Perry is definitely one of the lights in our present generation and in this month of April we celebrate him.

DR. MYLES MUNROE – THE BIOGRAPHY

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Myles Munroe, OBE, (20 April 1954 – 9 November 2014) was a Bahamian evangelical christian evangelist and ordained pentecostal minister who founded and led the Bahamas Faith Ministries International (BFMI) and Myles Munroe International (MMI). He was chief executive officer and chairman of the board of the International Third World Leaders Association and president of the International Leadership Training Institute as well as the author of numerous books.[1]

Munroe died with his wife and 7 others in a private plane crash on 9 November 2014.

EARLY LIFE AND EDUCATION
Born Myles Egbert Munroe in 1954 in Nassau, Bahamas, Munroe grew up poor in a family of eleven children. Raised in the Nassau suburb of Bain Town, he was a life-long resident of the Commonwealth. Munroe became a Christian during his teenage years, later attending Oral Roberts University (ORU) where he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts, Education, and Theology in 1978 and a Master’s degree in administration from the University of Tulsa in 1980. Munroe was also the recipient of honorary doctoral degrees from various schools of higher education and served as an adjunct professor of the Graduate School of Theology at ORU.

PERSONAL LIFE
His wife, Ruth Munroe, served as co-pastor with him at BFMI. Together, the couple had two children, Myles, Jr. (known as Chairo), and a daughter, Charisa.

Christian ministry Following his graduation from the University of Tulsa, Munroe founded Bahamas Faith Ministries International in the early 1980s.

DEATH
Munroe and his wife were reportedly killed in a private plane crash during airport approach on 9 November 2014. Bahamian officials stated their aircraft struck a crane at a ship yard near Grand Bahama International Airport. Munroe and the other passengers were en route to Freeport, Grand Bahama for a conference. He died at the age of 60.

AWARDS AND HONOURS
1998: OBE for “services to religion”.
1998: Bahamian “Silver Jubilee Award” for service to the Bahamas in the area of “spiritual, social and religious development”.
2004: “Alumnus of the Year”, Oral Roberts University amongst others

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Munroe was the author and coauthor of numerous books and Biblical-related study guides as well as a featured speaker on motivational and Bible-study recordings. In addition, he was a contributing editor for various Bible editions including The Believer’s Topical Bible, The African Cultural Heritage Topical Bible, and was a contributing writer for Charisma Life Christian Magazine, and Ministries Today.

Myles Munroe on Relationship
Pass it On Kingdom Principles: Preparing for Kingdom Experience and Expansion
Rediscovering the Kingdom
The Most Important Person on Earth
Understanding Your Potential
Waiting and Dating
The Spirit of Leadership
The Principles and Power of Vision
Understanding the Purpose and Power of Prayer
Understanding the Purpose and Power of Women
Understanding the Purpose and Power of Men
God’s Big Idea
Overcoming The Crisis
Principles and Benefits of Change
Releasing Your Potential
Purpose and Power of Love and Marriage