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Senate Chaplain Barry Black Shares First-hand Account of Capitol Attack — and More News Shorts


In this week’s Adventist news round-up, Senate Chaplain Barry Black shares his first-hand account of the U.S. Capitol attack, plus stories about Atlantic Union College, Heidi Cruz’s Adventist upbringing, and more.

Senate Chaplain Barry Black Shares His First-hand Account of the U.S. Capitol Attack. Senate Chaplain Barry Black shared his chilling first-hand account of the U.S. Capitol attack with ABC7. I knew that there was a very real possibility that I would not get out of the debacle alive," Chaplain Black said. "Yes, I did." Black revealed that he could see the violent mob approaching the Capitol building from his office window inside the building. He sprinted for his life and said a prayer while he ran to a secure room. As I was literally running to a secure location, I was thinking about how grateful that in my daily cardio workout, I run hills,” Black explained.

On January 7, Blacks prayer closed the joint session of a shaken Congress following the certification of the 2020 election results. Use us to bring healing and unity to our hurting and divided nation and world,” he prayed.

Many under the U.S. Capitol dome, including lawmakers, staffers, and Capitol Police officers, are still coping with trauma from the deadly attack on January 6. Black serves as pastor to all of those groups and said many police officers who were on duty that day have come to him seeking help and answers. From ABC 13 News, “Senate Chaplain reflects on Capitol attack, hopes for healing and unity in the aftermath.”

London Seventh-day Adventist Church Adjusts Its Homeless Ministry during Pandemic. This Is Local London reports that the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Chiswick, West London, has a ministry to help the daily struggles and challenges faced by local homeless, including offering a shower service and sit-down hot meals. Unfortunately, it was forced to shut down in March of last year due to the global pandemic. So, the church changed its service, aiming to provide the Grab & Go, which opened in January 2021. The finance of the service is completely covered by a combination of church member donations and the church establishment. 

At the earliest possible opportunity, the church hopes to open up its shower service again. Eventually the church community hopes that with the return of normal life, the drop-in service can recommence and alongside that the camaraderie between guests and volunteers alike will resume. London streets normally house an estimate of 4,227 rough sleepers every night. From This Is Local London, “Why a Grab & Go service is just what West London needed…

Atlantic Union College Sells Former Campus Property. According to the Worcester Business Journal, Atlantic Union College in Lancaster has found a buyer for its campus three years after the school officially closed permanently. The site is under agreement, with a deal planned to close in September. The news of the pending deal, first reported by the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, came as the sale of portions of the campus closed with the Worcester Registry of Deeds. Those sales, which totaled roughly $1.2 million, include multi-tenant residential buildings on campus and a home on Main Street about two blocks south of campus.

Orlando Pacheco, the Lancaster town administrator, said the town is encouraged by the prospect of a new use of the campus despite not yet knowing more details. "We're encouraged for a lot of reasons," Pacheco said. The college is a major part of the town, Pacheco said, and having the campus brought back to active use at some point will be beneficial to the town, the new school and Atlantic Union, which was unable to attract enough new students in its final years to stay solvent. The town will be an active partner in helping with the transition of the campus, he said. From Worcester Business Journal, “Atlantic Union College finds buyer for shuttered Lancaster campus.”

Heidi Suzanne Nelson Cruz, wife of Senator Ted Cruz, Was Raised in Adventist Missionary Family. Conan Daily reports that Heidi Cruz was four years old when she started accompanying her missionary parents, dentist Peter Christian Nelson and dental hygienist Suzanne Jane Rouhe Nelson, to Africa where they performed missions through the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Both her paternal and maternal grandfathers were doctors. Her great-great-grandfather was a doctor and former president of Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, San Bernardino County, California. Her maternal grandfather lived in Africa where he served a mission and worked at a hospital in the former Belgian Congo.

She attended Valley View Adventist Academy in Arroyo Grande, San Luis Obispo County, and Monterey Bay Academy in La Selva Beach, Santa Cruz County, California. She earned her bachelors degree in economics and international relations from Claremont McKenna College. From 1994 to 1995, she attended Solvay Brussels School in Brussels, Belgium, where she earned her masters degree in European business. From Conan Daily, “Heidi Nelson Cruz biography: 13 things about Ted Cruz’s wife.”


Please note: Spectrum news round-ups are an aggregation of regional, national, and international publications around the world that have reported on stories about Adventists. As such, the accuracy of the information is the responsibility of the original publishers, which are noted and hyperlinked at the end of each excerpt.


Pam Dietrich taught English at Loma Linda Academy for 26 years and served there eight more years as the 7-12 librarian. She lives in Yucaipa, California.

Image credit: from The Hill’s coverage.


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