Indiana prison resuming Native American services

PERU, Ind. (AP) – Native American inmates are being allowed to resume religious ceremonies at an Indiana prison following the filing of a federal lawsuit over the issue.

Officials say the Miami Correctional Facility banned Native American services last year because the group lacked the required outside volunteers to lead the services.

The Kokomo Tribune reported that the Department of Correction agreed to reinstate worship ceremonies at the prison near the city of Peru. Prison officials say it will have a chaplain who assists in Native American worship and study at the Pendelton Correctional Facility to help resume the ceremonies.

Gov. Perry baptized in same creek as Sam Houston

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – Gov. Rick Perry has long revered Texas icon Sam Houston and now shares a spiritual connection with one of his political heroes: getting baptized in the same waters.

His spokeswoman said Perry was dunked last month in Little Rocky Creek near the small town of Independence in a private ceremony witnessed only by close friends and family. It’s the same rural and rocky spot where Houston was baptized before becoming the seventh governor of Texas in 1859.

Perry was baptized by the Rev. Mac Richard, the pastor and founder of Lake Hills Church in Austin.

Perry, who will leave office in January and hasn’t ruled out another presidential run in 2016, has extolled his faith throughout his 14 years in office.

Pastor fled home minutes before it was leveled

VILONIA, Ark. (AP) – The pastor of an Arkansas church that’s become a Red Cross shelter said his own home was one of those leveled by the killer tornado that struck the towns of Vilonia and Mayflower Sunday evening.

The Rev. Wade Lentz said he and his family fled their home just minutes before the tornado hit, and returned later to find nothing but a slab. He said he is thankful he and his family are safe. They will rebuild their home.

Baghdad pastor to receive award in Wheaton, Ill.

WHEATON, Ill. (AP) – As violence spreads in advance of this week’s election in Iraq, the vicar of Baghdad’s St. George’s Anglican Church is in the U.S. to receive the annual William Wilberforce Award presented by the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview.

But Canon Andrew White said his heart is with the Iraqi people he’s come to love. White said Baghdad is one of the most dangerous places on Earth, but “perfect love casts out fear.”

The Wilberforce Award is named for the 19th Century British statesman whose Christian commitment led to abolition of the slave trade.

White has worked to bring Iraqis together to end sectarian violence. He says, “If religion gone wrong is the cause of so much violence, religion gone right has to be the cure.”

he thanks God that his wife and children are safe. Although he has to rebuild, Lentz is asking for prayers for others who lost loved ones and must now plan funerals.

The tornado killed eight people in Vilonia, including two children, and three people in Mayflower. A father and his two daughters were killed in the same storm system near Little Rock, while a 55-year-old woman died in northern Arkansas.

Lentz says dozens of people who lost their homes are staying in his church. Several other local churches also are serving as Red Cross shelters.