Former Christian Post Reporter Nicola A. Menzie Solicits Support for New Magazine!


Hello World,

As you may or may not know, I came of age in the 90s otherwise known as the golden age of black entertainment (although there are some shows out now that are giving me hope that black entertainment is enjoying a resurgence). One of my favorite shows back in the 90s was “Living Single,” which was about brand new adults making their way in  NYC (basically a black “Friends” before there was “Friends). I watched the show just about the time that I was making my way as a brand new adult in the A.

I identified with no one character more than the others, but I did feel a certain kinship with the character Khadijah James, who was portrayed by Queen Latifah. Khadijah was the editor and publisher of the upstart Flavor magazine and as such found herself on the brink of economic disaster a few times.

Queen Latifah in Living Single.

Queen Latifah in Living Single.

I didn’t have the courage to start my own magazine, but as a new journalist, who couldn’t find a job for a while, I worked with a woman who started her own magazine and saw the financial challenges of doing so up close. One of the highlights of working for this new magazine was meeting Diddy who was Puffy back then. It was so much fun, but most of all, I admired the drive of the woman who launched the magazine!

Well, now, I know of another brave woman who is endeavoring to start a new magazine, and I hope that you will support her in this much needed endeavor! Below is information from Nicola A. Menzie’s Kickstarter page! She needs $15,000 to launch the magazine and has until Jan. 22 to raise the entire amount or she doesn’t get any of it!

Hello. Welcome to the Kickstarter campaign for Issue No. 1 of Faithfully Magazine.

Faithfully Magazine is a News and Lifestyle publication that advocates for, celebrates and informs Christian Communities of Color by centering the conversations, issues and events they say are important to their faith and to their lives.

My name is Nicola A. Menzie and I am the founder and editor of Faithfully Magazine ( I live in New York City and have been writing, blogging, tweeting (and sometimes complaining) about happenings in Evangelical Christianity for the past eight years or so (five years professionally).

I’ve long been a believer, but entering the world of Evangelical Christianity as a member of the press was eye-opening. I soon learned the names, the quirks and the controversies that really set people off (like Osteen and Bell, “sowing seeds” and the prosperity gospel).

More than anything, I learned that Christian news media is saturated with the perspectives, voices and concerns of White Evangelicalism. And very few of their publications and websites have Christians of Color in decision-making roles or who contribute to their editorial direction.


Faithfully Magazine goes to press in January and we’re soliciting contributions from diverse writers, illustrations, photographers and other creatives for an impactful premiere issue. The goal right now is to publish the magazine as a quarterly, with this Kickstarter campaign being used to raise the necessary funds to produce Issue No. 1.

Some stories on deck for the full-color, 80-page premiere issue include:

  • Christians of Color sharing in their own words how they are moving forward under a Donald Trump presidency;
  • A diverse survey of responses on whether, due to the 2016 campaign, the term “Evangelical” should be dumped or redeemed;
  • A gripping feature on a former felon who came to faith in prison and still has to answer for his alleged crimes;
  • A revealing Q&A with rapper and pastor Trip Lee that includes his thoughts on the presidential election and how he cares for a faith community of both Trump and Clinton voters;
  • A sit-down with the husband-and-wife leaders of Crossover Church, a popular urban ministry that’s also a millennial magnet.

If you have some compelling content or story ideas, send me an email (namenzie @ We’re also looking to develop regular columns.

The image below is of a mock cover to give you an idea of our direction.



I was a staff reporter for The Christian Post for several years. Before that, I worked with companies like CBS News, AOL News and even — where I started out about 13 years ago as an editorial intern (yes, I love hip-hop). Most recently, I’ve written about Christians from diverse backgrounds strategizing to address police violence and African-American responses to Donald Trump. I’ve also interviewed the Christian activist who rocked a major conference and the pro-life movement with her remarks on Black Lives Matter. I also study Theology and am on course to (finally!) complete my Master of Divinity degree in 2017.

Below  is a video of Nicola discussing her vision for Faithfully Magazine

Join me in supporting Nicola! And please go to her Kickstarter page to find out how you can contribute AND what you will receive for your generous contribution!

Any thoughts?

Memorial Events Celebrating the Life of Pioneering Journalist Gwen Ifill to be held at Metropolitan A.M.E. Church Friday & Saturday


Hello World,

I’ve wanted to be a journalist since I was in the fifth grade. Now that I am a journalist, I am so thankful for those ahead of me who paved a path that I travel on today. Gwen Ifill, a fellow member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorprated and a pk, was the first black woman to moderate a vice-presidential debate in 2004 and host a national political talk show on television, Washington Week in Review now Washington Week, starting in 1999. In February, Ms. Ifill was part of the first female team to moderate a Democratic presidential debate. Sadly, on Monday, she died of cancer. Below is a video of CNN’s Don Lemon tearing up as talks about his admiration for Ms. Ifill whom he met at a National Association of Black Journalists convention.

Below are her funeral arrangements which were released by the National Association of Black Journalists.

Trailblazing journalist Gwen Ifill will be remembered at a pair of events this weekend at Metropolitan A.M.E. Church, 1518 M St. NW, Washington, DC 20005.

Ifill, a Metropolitan member since 1989, passed away Monday at 61. She was the co-anchor and managing editor of the PBS NewsHour and moderator of Washington Week with Gwen Ifill, the longest-running primetime news and public affairs program on television. A lifelong AME, she is the sister of Presiding Elder Rev. Earle Ifill, president of the Connectional Presiding Elder’s Council, and Presiding Elder of the Atlanta East District-Atlanta North Georgia Conference of the AME Church’s Sixth Episcopal District.

Community Tributes: Friday, November 18, 2016 6 PM – 10 PM

Family, friends and colleagues will gather at Metropolitan AME Church for community tributes to Ifill. The Rev. Dr. Ronald E. Braxton, Presiding Elder of the Potomac District, Washington Conference and a former pastor of Metropolitan, will preside over the tributes.

Service of Celebration: Saturday, November 19, 2016 11 AM

The Rt. Rev. William P. DeVeaux, retired AME Church Bishop and a former pastor of Metropolitan, will preside.

The family requests in lieu of flowers that donations be made to establish a Memorial Scholarship fund at Metropolitan AME Church. Checks should be made payable to: Metropolitan AME Church, memo line: “In memory of Gwen Ifill.”  Mail to: Metropolitan A.M.E. Church 1518 M Street, NW Washington, DC 20005 or Rev. Earle Ifill,  P. O. Box 92485 Atlanta, GA 30314 Cards and messages of condolence may be sent to the address above.

Any thoughts?

Resilience & the Bible: How to Use Scriptures to Bounce Back From – Domestic Violence…

A Repost in Honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month...

Hello World,

My husband and I enjoyed “Straight Outta Compton” last year because it was a classic American dream story plus we grew up with the music that was featured in the movie. But a MAJOR portion of the story was left out as I discovered when I watched “Surviving Compton: Dre, Suge & Michel’le” on Lifetime last Saturday! For all of Dr. Dre’s talent as an artist and a producer, he straight abused his ex- wife Michel’le Toussaint, whose music I also enjoyed as I was growing up.

So because October has been designated as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I decided to repost a feature from earlier this year…Check it out below…Hopefully, it well help someone…

deborah resize

I am pleased to introduce author Deborah Hall-Branch, who is a domestic violence survivor, mother of three daughters and a happy wife of nearly 22 years. However, during her first marriage, she was beaten by her ex-husband. Branch credits three Bible verses for helping her to be a survivor of and thrive after domestic violence.

“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”  2 Corinthians 4:8-9

“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” 1 Peter 1:6-7

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

When and why did you get married the first time?

I got married, I believe, we were young, when I was 18. We were junior high school and high school lovers. We met in junior high school. We didn’t really date although we called ourselves dating, and then we went to high school together, and we stayed together. After our last year of high school, we got married. He was in the military, and we got married. I believe that was 1972. I have so put this out of mind, but I believe it was 1972. I was raised in the apostolic faith, and we did not believe in divorce. And if you had a boyfriend, which was something new for them to allow me to have, you know a boyfriend coming around and coming to your house, they automatically felt like if this child don’t get married, they’re going to get involved intimately, and then we’re going to have a baby on our hands, and that’s going to be a stain on the family and the church. And so they said, ‘We’re just going to get them married.’ I was living at home with my mom in Philadelphia where I was born and raised. My boyfriend was a preacher’s son in the Church of God in Christ.

Tell me about your marriage. Was it a good marriage in the beginning? When did your marriage change?

He went off to the military, and he got involved in drugs and started using them heavily. And that became our life. His drug addiction became our life. And then it became his abuse. It was the military, addiction and abuse. When he got out of boot camp, they sent him to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. He was there for about a year and half, and then they sent him overseas to Madrid, Spain. We had two little girls, one behind each other. I stayed at home with my mom and kept the girls there. When we first got married, we were young and we were happy. We called ourselves a little family. He was really a nice guy. I thought that we were in love with one another and to this day, I believe it was love, but we didn’t understand the format of love.

He had started using drugs when we got in high school, but he kept it a secret. I didn’t know about that at all. But just before he enlisted in the military, he became withdrawn and he was hardly ever home. And I started seeing signs of drug use. He wasn’t bathing as much because he was a well-groomed man. He believed in being well-groomed and clean. He wore the best of everything, and I just started seeing him going down. And because I was sheltered in my youth, I didn’t know that what I was seeing were the signs of drug addiction. We stayed married for 14 years. Probably only four of those years were good.

Then he started beating me, and I let him. He tore down my self-esteem by saying things to me like, ‘Nobody’s going to want you but me,’ ‘If you leave me, nobody else is going to take you in,’ and ‘You got two children. Nobody else is going to be bothered with that. They’re not going to take you and them.’ And I started believing it. My mom knew what was going on, and my father just didn’t bother with it. My mom used to say, ‘You need to get out of it. You need to get away from him,’ but I just believed that was a way of him showing me his love. That he was just having bad days because of the drugs and so I needed to understand or find out a way to make his days happy so that when he would get high, he would not beat on me.

He didn’t abuse our girls physically, but what I discovered later on as I became more in tune with what was happening to me was that they were being emotionally abused.

How and when did you decide to leave and divorce your ex-husband?

One day, a little something in me that I know now is the power of God, didn’t feel like playing house with the devil anymore. Believe it or not, I put him out, packed up his stuff and put him out! I surprised my own self. I couldn’t believe I got the courage to do it, to put him out. He came home one evening and we got into a big fight, and he went to bed. The next day, he got up and he was sick. He was sick all of a sudden. I know it was the drugs. And I took advantage of that time when he was down. I knew he couldn’t fight me back. So I just packed his stuff up and told him he had to go. He was so sick that he didn’t fight me back. He just left and went to his parents.

When he left, he didn’t try to come back but he became my tormentor. He would come to the house and bang on the door and try to force me to let him come in. He would stand out in front of the house and just stand there. And me and my girls would just lock ourselves in the house, and I would peep out of the window. Sometimes, we would be too scared to lay down and go to sleep because we thought he would break in on us. And this went on for some time. Sometimes when I would leave to go to work, he would follow me to the bus stop. They were tactics to keep me in bondage to him and his abusive ways. I finally divorced him in 1986, but I kicked him out years before then. In my mind, I was still in bondage to the affirmation of faith that I grew up with that did not believe in divorce whether you were abused, whether it was adultery or anything. You were married until death did you part.

What convinced you to finally divorce your ex-husband?

It had to be the power of God that started working in me that convinced me to divorce him, to set me free because I knew without a shadow of doubt that I didn’t have it in me. I would have just put him out and we would have remained separated for the rest of our lives. One morning I just woke up. I had started a new job and the people that I was around, they were outgoing people, they were party people. I had never been around those type of people before. And it was doing a change in me. A young lady was working in my office, and she reached out to me and we became best friends. And she started showing me there was more to life than what I knew. And I started allowing all of that to deprogram me because I had to be deprogrammed from fear. I was reading a newspaper one day at work on my lunch break, and I just happened to go into the section where the attorneys advertised their businesses and I saw where one attorney could file for your divorce and it would cost you but x amount of dollars and so I called him. I went to him and saw him, and I was fearful the whole time because I wondered what my family was going to say, was my ex-husband going to retaliate against me, but I went through with it anyway.

How did you change after your divorce?

I started going to a new church, not the church I grew up in, and I found a freedom I had never known about before. It was an evangelistic church. The pastor at this church used to be a member of the church I used to go to when I was growing up, but I didn’t know him then because I was a child. His teaching was free from what I raised up in, and I was just loving it. I started going to theology school which was a big change because at my former church women just didn’t do things like that, and it was just a whole brand new life for me. The name of the school is Deliverance Evangelistic Bible Institute in Philadelphia, and I got an associate’s degree in Theological Studies.

How did you meet your current husband and were you against marriage at that point?

I never said I wasn’t going to get married again because I loved married life. I just said I wasn’t going to let anyone in my life until I had discovered my own life. I met my current husband at the new job I where I was working when I met the outgoing friend. We working at J.G. Hooks, a clothing manufacturer. He was working there when I started and his testimony is that when he first saw me, he told the guys he was working with that he was going to make me his wife. I didn’t even like him at first. He would speak to me every morning, and I would just growl at him. This went on for about a year and a half.

When did you things change between you and him?

Finally, he invited me to go to dinner one day. I said, ‘Are you kidding?’ He said, ‘No, I just want to take you to dinner.’ I said to him, ‘Well, I’m going away for the weekend. I’ll think about it over the weekend when I’m gone, and when I come back, I’ll let you know.’ Well, I figured when I came back that he would have moved on away from that and wouldn’t want to go out with me. But when I came back, he said, ‘Well, did you make up your mind?’ I said, ‘You still want to go?’ And he said, ‘Yeah!’ So we went out that Saturday. He was so nervous when he went out. He was knocking things over. I just sat there and looked at him and laughed. I took my hand and put it on his hand and said, ‘Calm down. Why are you so nervous?’ He said, ‘I’ve never dated no one like you before. You’ve got so much class and you’re nice.’  He was 28 years old at the time, and I was 29 or 30 somewhere in there. That night, he also took me to see Stephanie Mills and the Whispers. We went to the show first and then he took me to dinner and then he told me he wanted to take me by his family. He also took me to meet his family. I thought that was really weird. He took me to meet his mom, his dad, his siblings, his nieces and nephews, all in that one night. I don’t know what he told them, but they were all excited and happy like we were in a relationship and would be engaged. But I believe he must have told them what he told me later on, he said he knew we were going to be married.

What happened then?

After that first date, though, he asked me out again, but I said no. I wasn’t really into being in a relationship then. I was just getting to know me, and me and my girls were having a wonderful time. I was feeling happy, and I didn’t want nobody infiltrating that. I felt God’s peace like I had never felt it before. And that peace felt like protection to me. But he kept asking me out, and I got tired of it. He was asking me out every other day. That went on for about two months. I finally said, ‘Okay, I’m going to give him one more opportunity.’ This time we really got a chance to talk, and he shared some things with me about his life. He loved his parents. He loved his sisters. He loved his nieces and his nephews. And they were a very close-knit family. That really impressed me, but he wasn’t a Christian at the time. He was religious at the time, but he eventually did become a Christian. So we kept going out, but we didn’t share it with our co-workers. We dated for about three months before I let my daughters really get to know him. Before then, I really watched him around his family, particularly how he handled his nieces.

How did he propose and when did you get married?

We got married on October 22, 1994 after we dated for three years. Believe it or not, he bought my rings after the first time we went out. He didn’t know if I was going to go out with him again or not. And he didn’t know my ring size or anything. They are beautiful rings. They look like a rose with a diamond in the middle. He came over to my house, and the girls rallied around him because they loved him by then. All of a sudden in the living room, he got down on one knee and he pulled this ring out. He said, ‘Deborah, would you marry me?’ My mouth flew open, and I said, ‘Where did you get this ring?’ He looked at my mother, who was living with me, my father was dead by then, and said, ‘Would you allow me to marry your daughter?’ She said, ‘Yes.’ I looked at her like, ‘How you gonna say yes, and I haven’t even made up my mind yet?’ But I said, ‘Yes.’ I told him, ‘I’m probably gonna have to get this ring sized,’ but it fit perfectly.

How is this marriage different from first marriage?

My husband is a very compassionate, loving guy, not to say we haven’t had difficulties in our marriage, because we have. But I told him in the beginning, I would never ever live in an abusive situation again.

How did your Scriptures help you to bounce back?

Well, the first one helped me because every day, I made a new decision over my life. And I demanded things of myself in order to begin the process of bouncing back after my divorce. The first thing I demanded was that I be truthful to myself. That divorce happened, and it was nothing that I did although I probably could have helped some things, but it was gonna happen. So I made some demands of myself to change the outlook of my life. I had to face the fact that it was over so I forced myself to get dressed and go out, see new people, start enjoying life. If I had to, I would have moved out of the area I lived in. I started declaring God’s word into my life each and every day and 11 Corinthians 4:8-9 were some of the Scriptures I used as my declarations.

And with 1 Peter 1:6-7, by that time, the Lord had started letting me understand that trials are gonna happen in your life and sometimes, you would feel like just giving up. With me looking at those Scriptures, I came to realize it was never really about my ex, it was all about me and my faith and that I was being tested in the fire. By me being tried in the fire, it was going to give God glory.

11 Timothy 1: 7 helped me to discover that I did have power because the abuse had lowered my self-esteem. I discovered that God had not given me a spirit of fear so where that fear came from, it didn’t come from God. And then I learned that love was not abuse. I used to think that when you hit me, you loved me. I know now that real love doesn’t hurt you.

THEONA coverDeborah Hall-Branch was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. After working many years in the health field, a job separation nudged her to begin writing about her life’s experiences. Deborah is a multi-genre published author and co-author who speaks and teaches about abuse warning signs, its devastating aftermath and how to break free to women, children and men.  Her most recent work is  THEONA, “tantalizing faith-based women’s fiction with a surprising end.” For more information, go to

For more Bible scriptures online, go to

Any thoughts?