Alabama Pastor Shoots Wife, Kills Himself In Attempted Murder-Suicide

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Parishioners at the True Cornerstone Church on Halls Mill Road in Mobile, Alabama are shocked and saddened after the news that a local pastor, Elder Ulysses Woodward is dead in an attempted murder-suicide at their church last week.

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The tragedy occurred after prophetess Alisha Woodard served up a powerful message, friends say.

“She was the speaker that night and she did a fantastic job. The church was so animated and inspired. Everybody was high in the Holy Ghost,” Pastor Derek Scott Gandy told The Christian Post Wednesday. “We just had an incredible worship experience that night. It was just fire from Heaven.”


Gandy and his wife Kula said Woodard preached from 2 Kings in the Bible about the story of Elisha the prophet and the Shunammite woman.

“She was talking about how the Shunammite woman didn’t ask for the son that she received, but when she received that blessing she fought for the blessing that she had received from the man of God and how even when she went to go get the man of God, when the servant even asked how she was doing, she said it’s well. So she kept the faith, she kept pushing on and going on, and when she got to the man of God she just reminded him,” Kula said.

“She was just encouraging us all that even when things like death is all around, even when it seems like the blessing does not look like it’s gonna be there, just keep on pressing toward it.”

But at the end of the service, Woodard’s husband, Elder Ulysses Woodard, showed up and shot her outside the church and then shot and killed himself. He was pronounced dead at the scene while Alisha was taken to a local hospital where she is reportedly recovering.

The couple led the True Word of Deliverance Church of God in Prichard, but had been estranged for about two weeks now.

“It (the estrangement) was very fresh,” said Gandy.

“She was calling on Jesus, even with the bullet in her she was calling on Jesus,” said Kula.

The victim and the shooter were both friends of the pastor and his wife.

“I can’t preach faith if I don’t live by faith cannot preach determination if you don’t live by it,” said Gandy.

“The Devil is not going to get the victory, at all, he is not going to get the victory,” said Kula. “To be able to come and pray for her and see she was already praying that she was already calling on Jesus, I already knew Jesus was going to take care of her.”

“I’m still alive, that young lady is still alive,” Kula added.

Pastor Grady said Elder Woodard, “wasn’t a monster.”

“I didn’t see this coming. He wasn’t a monster, at least not that I’ve ever seen,” he said.

True Cornerstone Church is accepting donations to help with recovery efforts, as Elder Woodard led police on a brief car chase after shooting his wife, then returned to the church and crashed his vehicle into the building before taking his own life. You can support the church by clicking here. 

PHOTO: True Word of Deliverance Church of God -Facebook


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Songstress H.E.R. Teams Up With Diff Eyewear To Launch Sunglasses Collection

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Aside from her melodic voice, songstress H.E.R. is known for always donning a pair of stylish shades. The California native—whose real name is Gabriella Wilson—has decided to capitalize on her style. According to WWD, she has teamed up with the company Diff Eyewear for the creation of a new collection of sunglasses.

She shared that she wears shades so individuals can focus on her artistry. “It’s easier for people to judge what they don’t like about someone when they know exactly what they’re looking at,” she told Refinery29. “I just want it to be all about the music. Forget the clothes, the looks, the name, the backstory…you’re here for the music.” The accessory that she used to maintain a sense of anonymity has grown into her signature. The line of glasses—dubbed H.E.R. x Diff Eyewear—features four pieces that are all representative of her style. They are each priced at $85. “I want people to feel their inner H.E.R.!” she told Billboard. “When I wear my sunglasses, I feel mysterious. But at the same time, you can still get to know me. Some people when they have shades on, they feel closed off to the world. But I think these glasses do the opposite. They’re a lot more bold and a lot more lively and help someone like me actually be less of an introvert.” The collection launched on February 28.

This isn’t the first time that Wilson has teamed up with a fashion brand to create a collection. In collaboration with Tommy Hilfiger, she launched a line of sustainable garments.

Several Black music artists are taking their influence beyond their industry and stepping into spaces like beauty and fashion. Salt-N-Pepa recently launched a makeup collection in collaboration with Milani Cosmetics. The 90s-inspired line features four products named after the group’s classic songs and albums including two lip kits called “Push It” and “Shoop” as well as the Hot, Kool and Vicious and Very Necessary eyeshadow and highlighter palettes.


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9-Year-Old Creates Art Kit To Celebrate Multicultural Crayon Shades

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A 9-year-old from Virginia is on a mission to promote inclusivity in art. According to the Washington Post, Bellen Woodard launched a project dubbed “More than Peach” that celebrates the variety of multicultural crayon shades.

Through her project, Woodard produces art kits that feature crayon colors that are reflective of different skin tones. She was inspired to launch the project after noticing that her classmates believed the only “skin-color crayon” was peach; a color that didn’t represent her skin tone. She shared with her mother Tosha Woodard that the experience—which was one of many occurrences—left her feeling excluded and she was determined to evoke change; not just for herself but for other youngsters with different skin tones. After going back to school and convincing her classmates that beauty comes in all different shades, she decided she wanted to further her impact. She then launched an art kit that includes crayon colors like tan, mahogany and sienna.

In the kit, which is priced at $5, she includes colored pencils, a sketchbook and a customized postcard. She started the project with $200 that she saved. Woodard is currently focused on making a local impact and is aiming to equip every grade school and preschool student in Loudoun County with a “More than Peach” kit. She also wants to donate art supplies to youngsters whose families are facing financial struggles. She’s received several donations to further her efforts.

“She just has such a remarkable way of expressing herself without reducing others and confronting marginalization,” said her mother. “Honestly, for me, it’s quite emotional seeing the magnitude of her impact and change unfolding right before my eyes.” The youngster has received recognition from elected officials and institutions throughout her community.

The fourth-grader—who has dreams of becoming a scientist, astronaut and actor—wants to inspire others through her endeavors and show that you’re never too young to make an impact.


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Who Will Obama Endorse For President? Candidates Fight For His Support After Biden Wins South Carolina

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Bits & Pretzels Founders Festival In Munich - Day 1

Source: Hannes Magerstaedt / Getty

The race for the Democratic nomination to be president got much thinner over the weekend when two candidates dropped out after Joe Biden won the South Carolina primary on Saturday. It was finally a chance for Black voters to make their electoral voices heard loud and clear by a slate of White House hopefuls who are dependent on the coveted voting bloc to push them to victory on Election Day.

MORE: Stacey Abrams Or Kamala Harris? Joe Biden Running Mate Rumors Heat Up After South Carolina Primary Win

But without the elusive endorsement of Barack Obama, the last Democratic president whose words carry significant weight in his party, it was unclear which candidate would be able to break out and beyond the rest of the pack.

Bernie Sanders won two of the first four primary contests, busting out to an impressive lead among delegates. And Biden’s win in South Carolina along with the departures of Pete Buttigieg, who won the Iowa Caucuses, and billionaire Tom Steyer, left the only other candidates in the race — Mike Bloomberg, Tulsi Gabbard, Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren — as increasingly outside chances for securing the nomination.

All of which means that there is all but guaranteed to be additional candidates suspending their campaign after this upcoming Super Tuesday, during which there are primaries and caucuses being held in 14 states and one U.S territory. Those results will probably thin out the race even more — perhaps dwindling it down to being between just Biden and Sanders — to the point that Obama may be compelled to step in and offer up his endorsement much earlier than he did for the crucial 2016 race that Democrats lost to Donald Trump.

Obama endorsed Hillary Clinton in June of 2016, but chances are that he won’t be able to wait as long to throw his support behind a candidate this time around. The Democratic Party has been reeling from a number of recent losses, including the efforts to impeach Trump. Now, as candidates continue to attack each other — thus beefing up Trump’s arsenal of ammunition expected to be unleashed during the presidential debates — it might be prudent to try to unite Democrats sooner rather than later. And there may be no better way to do that than for the most popular president in the modern era to openly and officially throw his support behind a candidate who Obama says he believes can beat Trump.

With that said, Democrats better not get their hopes up to hear about who Obama is endorsing anytime soon.

Obama reportedly called up Biden to congratulate him for winning the South Carolina primary. But he stopped short of an endorsement for Biden — or anyone else — out of fear that doing so right now could be a bit premature, an unidentified source told CNN.

“We are skeptical that an endorsement coming from us could truly change the political winds right now,” the source said before cautioning that offering support so early in the primary process increases “a very real chance it backfires.”

The source did suggest Obama might increase his visibility, but an endorsement will probably have to wait.

“So he’s prepared to play a vigorous role in coalescing the party around the nominee and working to defeat Trump, but weighing in now likely only divides things worse and weakens his standing for when the Party will need it most,” CNN quoted the source as adding.

The New York Times reported on Friday that Obama might be iffy on supporting Sanders, a candidate who has been accused of not rallying his supporters around Clinton’s nomination in 2016. However, regardless of candidates attacking each other, Obama was expected to let the political cards fall before he offers a full-throated endorsement.

“Mr. Obama hasn’t tried to referee how the current candidates are using his name, image or record, and he has studiously avoided playing favorites,” the Times wrote. “He does have opinions about the race, several of his allies say, but has made it clear that he sees his main role as unifying the party after a nominee is selected and helping ease tensions among warring supporters.”

Obama may have offered a hint at who he was planning to endorse while speaking at the Singapore Expo in December. At the time, he said he thought that a woman would make a better president than… well, just about anybody else.

“Now women, I just want you to know; you are not perfect, but what I can say pretty indisputably is that you’re better than us (men),” Obama said. “I’m absolutely confident that for two years, if every nation on Earth was run by women, you would see a significant improvement across the board on just about everything … living standards and outcomes.”

If that wasn’t clear enough, Obama had some more to say on the topic in no uncertain terms.

“If you look at the world and look at the problems, it’s usually old people, usually old men, not getting out of the way,” Obama added. “It is important for political leaders to try and remind themselves that you are there to do a job, but you are not there for life, you are not there in order to prop up your own sense of self-importance or your own power.”

The words “old people” and “old men” coupled with the phrase “You are not there for life” got some people wondering who Obama could ever be talking about. Was he referring to Warren and her progressive values that seem to fall right in line with the policies championed by Obama when he was president? It should be noted that more than 230 former Obama campaign alumni have come out in support of Warren.

Obviously, Obama’s name carries major weight. USA Today reported in November that a survey it conducted “asked likely Democratic voters whom among the party’s past presidential nominees would have the most influence on their vote today. Two-thirds named former president Obama, who moved out of the White House almost three years ago.”

It would be seen as a devastating failure for Biden if Obama did not endorse his candidacy. But we may never truly know how Obama feels about this slate of Democratic candidates since it’s expected that he will fall in line with his party and rally behind whoever becomes the nominee.

With 34 percent of the pledged delegates at stake on Super Tuesday, the following states and U.S. territory are scheduled to hold primaries or caucuses this week: Alabama, American Samoa, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont and Virginia.


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Black Women Take A Stand For Heart Health

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The ever-growing heart disease epidemic disproportionately impacts Black women. Studies show that 49 percent of African American women, aged 20 and older, are battling with cardiovascular diseases. Women of color across different industries are taking a stand and using their platforms to spread awareness about heart health disparities.

For professional softball player A.J. Andrews, the cause hits home. The Akron Racers player—who became the first woman to win a Rawlings Gold Glove Award—says watching her father struggle with high blood pressure and her grandmother battle with diabetes prompted her to take action to advocate for individuals within the Black community who are battling heart disease. “For me, it was something that was always very important,” she told NewsOne at the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women 2020 Red Dress Collection fashion show. “Spreading awareness about health conditions tied to heart disease is definitely a passion of mine. It truly feels like its directly sourced at the Black community. We need to put the focus on health education. It’s important to explore how to combat things that may be genetic. You have to have the determination to decide that you don’t want to become another statistic. You really have to put your mind to everything that you can do to not succumb to a disease that affects so many of us.” She also added that it is important for influential individuals lend their voices to draw attention to heart health throughout the country.

This Is Us star Lyric Ross echoed Andrews’ sentiments. “Everybody needs to be aware of the effects of heart disease and people in the communities that are impacted by it most need to be lifted up,” she told NewsOne at the fashion show. “It’s scary because its the No. 1 killer of women. If we could create dialogue around the issue and bring people together to address it and take action it would be powerful.”

According to a study released by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, psychological stress is often linked to heart disease in African Americans. Several initiatives have been created to change the narrative surrounding heart health in the Black community including the Know Diabetes by Heart project which is a collaboration between the American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association.


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Sister Duo Launches Fitness Brand To Empower Women Of Color

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Sister duo Cornelia and Julia Gibson are on a mission to make the wellness space more inclusive. According to Black Enterprise, the two women joined forces to create a fitness product company where Black women could see themselves reflected.

The company—dubbed Toned by Bagged Em—features an array of yoga mats that include imagery of women of color practicing yoga. The three mats, that are a part of the Toned Yoga Mats collection, includes illustrations of a Black woman sketched by their mother. The woman is donning coily tresses and fitness gear while practicing different poses. The mats are the first product to be released under their collection. The sisters—who started their business after raising over $2,000 within two months through a Kickstarter campaign—say their mission is to empower women of color along their wellness journeys and work towards increasing the representation of Black women in fitness products.

“Our own experiences maintaining our health and physique has lent us firsthand experience on how hard it is to remain encouraged and motivated to stay in shape,” read a statement on their website. “We realized that we are among a group of women that make up a large part of the fitness community, but still feel ignored and misunderstood.  That is why we created Toned by BaggedEm. We identify with a plethora of issues that often impede a woman’s fitness motivation like body image issues, hair maintenance and sometimes just plain ol’ lack of energy.  Our ultimate goal is to create a brand that tells women that we are most beautiful when we push ourselves.”

Many entrepreneurs are carving out spaces for Black women in the world of wellness. Christina Rice founded a social wellness club for women of color dubbed OMNoire.


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