• Released inmates receive help with 'new start'

    by Grace Thornton/The Alabama Baptist, posted Tuesday, May 31, 2016 (14 hours ago)

    Photo courtesy of Shepherd's Fold
    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP) -- Imagine what it's like to go decades having someone else make all your decisions for you from the moment you wake up until the moment you go to bed.

    Then imagine -- overnight -- having to start making thousands of decisions a day.

    That's the reality of inmates released from Alabama's prisons every year and it's not an easy thing to process, said Jack Hausen, director of Shepherd's Fold, a ministry that helps recently released men and women re-enter society after ... Read More

  • Prison ministries encourage personal, spiritual growth

    by Carrie Brown , posted Tuesday, May 31, 2016 (14 hours ago)

    Photo from Morguefile.com
    WETUMPKA, Ala. (BP) -- When an inmate enters Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women in Wetumpka, Ala., she loses her old life. But in Alicia Smallwood's eyes, she also gains an opportunity for a new life in Christ regardless of past or present circumstances. 

    "She (the inmate) can't see her kids, can't help the person who is taking care of them. She thinks she has lost everything," said Smallwood, a chaplain. "I tell her that God has cleared her mind of drugs, of men, of stealing. In here it's just her and God, and it's up to her whether she takes advantage of that." 

    In prisons throughout Alabama, chaplains and ministry volunteers share the same message of hope and freedom in Jesus Christ that pastors preach from the pulpit every Sunday. In the setting of a prison, the message of forgiveness of sins is a powerful one, Smallwood said. Not every inmate wants to hear it, but that doesn't stop Smallwood and other Christian chaplains from trying. Read More

  • Mo. pastor Malachi O'Brien to be 2nd VP nominee

    by David Roach, posted Tuesday, May 31, 2016 (13 hours ago)

    ST. LOUIS (BP) -- Missouri pastor Malachi O'Brien will be nominated for second vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention, Oklahoma pastor Brad Graves announced May 31.

    O'Brien has been pastor of The Church at Pleasant Ridge in Kansas City-area Harrisonville, Mo., since 2011 and associate pastor of prayer and church revitalization at nearby First Baptist Church in Raytown, Mo., since 2014. He is immediate past president of the Missouri Baptist Convention Pastors' Conference and has served on the SBC Committee on Committees. Read More

  • Court blocks hospital's attempt to end toddler's life support

    by Samantha Gobba/WORLD News Service, posted Tuesday, May 31, 2016 (15 hours ago)

    CALIFORNIA (BP) -- A federal appeals court on May 20 ruled the family of a toddler clinging to life in a California hospital could have more time to find a new facility to care for him. Doctors declared 2-year-old Israel Stinson brain dead after an asthma attack deprived him of oxygen last month. But his parents dispute his diagnosis and want to give him a chance to recover.

    Jonee Fonseca and Nate Stinson have been fighting to get care for Israel since his hospitalization, but doctors gave up, issuing a death certificate and announcing plans to remove his life support. Despite the parents' protest, the doctors' actions ... Read More

  • 13 incarcerated women receive milestone degrees

    by Marilyn Stewart, posted Friday, May 27, 2016 (4 days ago)

    Photo by Marilyn Stewart/NOBTS
    NEW ORLEANS (BP) -- Having overcome a crisis of faith to complete her college degree, Brenda Thornton walked the chapel stage at the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women.

    Thornton was one of 13 LCIW graduates in the first-ever awarding of bachelor degrees at the prison by New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary's Leavell College, marking a milestone for the program that began five years ago.

    "I'll be honest, I didn't think I would make it," said Thornton, who received a bachelor of Christian ministry degree with a minor in women's ministry May 18. Read More

  • Hispanic church beams Gospel to its community

    by Joe Westbury/Georgia Christian Index, posted Friday, May 27, 2016 (4 days ago)

    Photo by Joe Westbury/Christian Index
    SAVANNAH, Ga. (BP) -- A young mother may turn to 94.7 on her radio dial for health tips for herself and her family as well as children's programming. An auto mechanic may listen to the station to hear a two-way discussion of a previous week's sermon or a broadcast on anger management.

    Radio PESCA, the Spanish word for fish, streams into homes that may never be reached by a knock on the door. Through a variety of ad-free programming, the station seeks to glorify God and direct listeners to a church not too far away -- Primera Iglesia Bautista Hispana, or First Hispanic Baptist Church. Read More