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Ebony Magazine, which describes itself in glowing terms: “It’s More than a Magazine…It’s A Movement!” chose to issue its March issue featuring a series of articles around the theme “Scandal.” A more appropriate title might have been “Slander.”   

Articles focusing on scandals, rumors and lies regarding religious leaders appeared in the glossy, nationally-respected, widely-distributed periodical. Pastors featured included: Zachary Tims (a four-page article titled “What Really Happened to Pastor Zachary Tims), which the article never answers. Then, in a two-page expose, the magazine briefly addresses rumors, lies and scandals regarding Bishop Eddie Long, Father Divine, Rev. Ike, Pastor Terry Hornbuckle, Pastor Jamal Bryant, Apostle Frederick K.C. Price, Pastor Creflo Dollar, Dr. Jeremiah Wright, Jr., Bishop Clarence McClendon, Bishop Hezekiah Walker, Bishop Thomas Weeks and Prophetess Juanita Bynum. The article dredges up negative reports reaching as far back as the 1970s.   

Ebony has hit an all-time low. If this is the “Movement” Ebony references in its monicker, certainly, it is a “movement” that is simultaneously backward and downward.   

For years, African Americans came to love and respect Ebony. We rejoiced as John Johnson became one of the most successful entrepreneurs in history, bootstrapping his way to multi-millionaire status. We were refreshed by the wholesome, family-friendly stories that celebrated the best of Black achievement in all areas of society. Ebony was “our” magazine. It represented who we were and reflected how we were evolving as a culture.   

It is sad that after all the fashion fairs and subscription drives that were also promoted in our churches, that Mr. Johnson’s legacy has come to this.   

Publications are struggling to survive. The Internet has grabbed a huge market share of subscribers who choose to receive their news electronically. At the end of 2012, our leading magazine, Gospel Today announced it would no longer issue magazines in print. However, the Church market, particularly the African American Church market, has long been, and continues to be, one of the most loyal and viable demographics in today’s culture. But church leaders are not ignorant, nor are those that they lead.   

Ebony owes the African American Church a huge apology. Ebony has disgraced the legacy of many leaders who have made huge personal sacrifices to bless God’s people, and in turn, slapped the faces of millions who respect these leaders.   

Christians believe the Bible. Scriptures like, “Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm (Psalm 105:15)”; and, “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. (Gal 6:1)” are guidelines that govern Christian conduct.   

The current issue of Ebony is an affront to Christians. If nothing is done to repair this breach, it must be assumed that this is the “editorial direction” that Ebony intends for its future. As such, Christians must collectively, immediately, and loudly condemn this publication as an enemy of the faith.   

However, if Ebony Magazine wishes to make reparations with the African American Christian demographic, there must be an immediate apology issued in the pages of its next issue, and as well, there must be immediate measures to add to its senior editorial/writing staff a credible, authentic journalist with experience and relationships in the Christian community who will be responsible to edit, write or review and approve any/all articles that relate to the African American Christian community.   

Submitted by Dr. Teresa Hairston


Teresa E Hairston

This petition closed over 2 years ago

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Sign this petition if you care about how Christians are portrayed in the media.


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