Baptist Press Archive

Friday, August 15, 2014

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  • Sturgis bike rally volunteers move into 'devil's playground'

    by Karen L. Willoughby, posted Friday, August 15, 2014 (3 years ago)

    STURGIS, S.D. (BP) -- Closer to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally's bar scene and with an extra three-hour nightly shift, Baptist volunteers nearly tripled the professions of faith recorded last year.

    The Dakota Baptist Convention-led outreach -- with its popular giveaway of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle -- gave 120 volunteers from at least 20 states and Canada 3,654 opportunities to share three-minute testimonies, up from 2,141 last year, leading to professions of faith by 513 people, up from 178 in 2013.

    "It was a wise decision that Garvon [Golden, DBC executive director] had, to move locations," said Buck Hill, the convention's missions director. "It put us deeper into the jungle, into the devil's playground."

    This was the ninth year for the intentional evangelism ministry in which "catchers" encourage passers-by to enter an oversized venue to listen to one of the "witnesses" tell about how life changed since the volunteer came to know Jesus Christ personally. The pivotal question: "Has anything like this ever happened to you?"

    The reward for listening: a chance to win a new Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

    In previous years, the DBC's evangelism tent was on a corner lot on Main Street across from the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum and about four blocks from the center of the bar scene. This year it was indoors, one of several "vendors" under one roof. The others: a tattoo parlor, leather goods sales and the like.

    Its location was strategic -- across the street from a liquor store and adjacent to a bowling alley that becomes a party hub when the small town of about 6,600 residents hosts nearly a half-million bikers, wannabes and gawkers for what this year was the 74th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Less than two blocks from the evangelism venue were two of the biggest drinking establishments in Sturgis.

    The majority of the rally activity extends about six blocks down each of three streets in the center of Sturgis.

    "Just to show the impact we have, one guy came to us showing a faded and wrinkled playing card that we hand out, with the plan of salvation on one side and a prayer asking Jesus to be the boss of their life," Hill said. "He asked for a new card, saying he prayed that prayer every day, and one of the volunteers asked him if he had ever made the decision to put his life in Jesus' hands. This year he didn't just pray the prayer; he prayed to receive Christ.

    "Another guy came in with a worn-out token," Hill continued, referring to a round token about the size of a half-dollar that had Sturgis Motorcycle Rally 2011 on one side and two websites on the other for follow up, www.sturgosbikegiveaway and www.whatsnext.com. We haven't given them out for a couple of years. It was so faded from him rubbing it that you could hardly read the words on it anymore. That token was so important to him that he found us in the new location, just to get a fresh one."

    The stories ticked off Hill's tongue.

    "A guy who got saved early in the week brought his brother back later in the week," the DBC missions leader recounted. "But the best story happened three times. We did a 7-10 p.m. shift this year because we knew we'd be more in the bar scene. One night nothing was happening, and about 10 minutes to 10 I said to Morgan [Medford, Dakota's church planting catalyst], 'Let's wrap it up.' But Morgan said, 'Let's wait a few minutes.'

    "At straight-up 10 p.m., three people prayed to receive Christ," Hill said. "The next night, the situation was reversed. ... Read More

  • Sturgis impact grows across the nation

    by Karen L. Willoughby, posted Friday, August 15, 2014 (3 years ago)

    STURGIS, S.D. (BP) -- What sounded like a good idea at the time has grown into a national movement known as the "Sturgis method." It involves a three-minute Gospel presentation and the possibility of winning a new motorcycle. Read More

  • Ferguson cleanup organized by church planters

    by Tobin Perry, posted Friday, August 15, 2014 (3 years ago)

    Photo from The Passage
    FERGUSON, Mo. (BP) -- When The Passage Church partnered with local church plants to clean up a St. Louis suburb following rioting, looting and heated protests that erupted there late last week, they weren't doing anything new. Read More

  • After teen's death, Baptists pray & serve

    by Ben Hawkins/Missouri Baptists' Pathway, posted Friday, August 15, 2014 (3 years ago)

    FERGUSON, Mo. (BP) -- Missouri Baptists gathered for prayer Aug. 13 before a fifth night of turbulent protests erupted over the shooting death of an African American teenager by a local police officer. Read More

  • FIRST-PERSON: Ferguson and you

    by John Mark Yeats, posted Friday, August 15, 2014 (3 years ago)

    John Mark Yeats, dean of the College at Midwestern Seminary, shares about an "uncomfortable conversation" he recently had with his son who is African American. The conversation involved racial tensions that still exist today and the fatal shooting of an unarmed black youth by a St. Louis police officer. Read More

  • McConnell discusses religious liberty on panel

    by S. Craig Sanders, posted Friday, August 15, 2014 (3 years ago)

    Photo by Robin Cornete/Kentucky Baptist Convention
    BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (BP) -- Evangelical Christians in Kentucky have "a clear choice in the U.S. Senate race" to preserve religious values, said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in an issues forum with Kentucky evangelical leaders, Aug. 14. Read More

  • Nigeria death toll higher than reported

    by Diana Chandler, posted Friday, August 15, 2014 (3 years ago)

    GWOZA, Nigeria (BP) -- The death toll from Boko Haram's takeover of the predominantly Christian town of Gwoza is nearly 1,000, not the 100 included in many reports, Nigerian relations expert Adeniyi Ojutiku told Baptist Press. Read More

  • 2nd VIEW: LifeWay explores sale of 14.5-acre property

    by Shawn Hendricks, posted Friday, August 15, 2014 (3 years ago)

    LifeWay photo
    NASHVILLE (BP) -- LifeWay Christian Resources is exploring opportunities to better utilize its downtown Nashville corporate offices, which could mean the sale of some -- or all -- of the 14.5-acre property, Thom Rainer said in a letter to the organization's staff. Read More

  • CALL TO PRAYER: Join the Movement

    by Ronnie W. Floyd/SBC president, posted Friday, August 15, 2014 (3 years ago)

    Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd launches "Join the Movement" to rally Southern Baptists to pray for a Great Awakening in the U.S. Read More

  • EDITORIAL: La Verdadera Paz

    by Michael A. Gonzales, posted Friday, August 15, 2014 (3 years ago)

    Hoy vivimos en tiempos donde la paz no existe en muchas partes del mundo. Parece mentira pero cuando levantamos un periódico para ver las noticias del día, siempre vemos que la guerra continúa en Irak e Israel está atacando a Gaza o vice versa. ... Read More

  • En medio de la crisis de la frontera, el gobierno se une a grupos religiosos

    Por David Roach, posted Friday, August 15, 2014 (3 years ago)

    NASHVILLE (BP) -- La oleada de niños no acompañados de Centro América que ilegalmente cruzan la frontera estadounidense ha impulsado renovadas discusiones de cómo el gobierno y las organizaciones religiosas pueden unirse para llenar las necesidades humanitarias durante tiempos de crisis. Algunos sostienen que tales uniones son útiles tanto para los grupos religiosos como para el gobierno.

    Foto provista por el Southern Baptist Texan
    La relación entre el gobierno y los equipos de ayuda en desastres de la Convención de los Bautistas del Sur de Texas (SBTC por sus siglas en inglés) es una "combinación perfecta," le dijo Scottie Stice, director interino del ministerio de ayuda en desastres de SBTC, a Baptist Press. "Trabajar con el gobierno no es nada inusual."

    Más de 47.000 niños fueron aprendidos por la Patrulla Fronteriza de EE.UU. por cruzar la frontera ilegalmente entre octubre de 2013 y mayo de 2014, con la posibilidad de 90.000 aprensiones para fines del año fiscal el 30 de septiembre de 2014, reportó el Instituto Brookings. En comparación, 24.481 niños no acompañados fueron aprendidos en 2012 y 38.833 en 2013.

    El número masivo de niños que huyen de la pobreza y la violencia en Centro América ha impulsado al gobierno federal a llamar a los grupos religiosos para que ayuden, incluyendo a los Hogares Bautistas de Niños de Georgia y Ministerios de Familia; BCFS, una organización colaboradora de la Convención General Bautista de Texas (BGCT por sus siglas en inglés); Hombres Bautistas de Texas, colaborador de BGCT; y Ayuda en Desastres de SBTC.

    La mayoría de los destacamentos de AD de SBTC ocurren en respuesta a peticiones de las iglesias, las asociaciones bautistas, los gobiernos locales, el estado de Texas y, en el caso de la crisis de inmigración, el gobierno federal, dijo Stice.

    Cuando la Agencia Federal de Manejo de Emergencias contactó a AD de SBTC en mayo, los bautistas del sur de Texas respondieron proveyendo 434 jornadas de voluntariado en la estación de la Patrulla Fronteriza de Brownsville durante un período de tres semanas. ... Read More

  • Crecimiento de la urbanización muestra impacto en la plantación de iglesias

    Por Joe Conway, posted Friday, August 15, 2014 (3 years ago)

    Foto de Susan Whitley/NAMB
    ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP) -- Muchos plantadores de iglesias -- Dhati Lewis y D.A. Horton entre ellos -- definen la ciudad como el lugar de reunión de la diversidad y la densidad. Ambos hombres son plantadores de iglesias urbanas y han sido descritos como misiólogos prácticos. Read More

  • 19,000 cruces y el PC extienden el alcance de la iglesia

    Por Karen L. Willoughby, posted Friday, August 15, 2014 (3 years ago)

    BAYFIELD, Colorado (BP) -- Una exhibición de 19,000 cruces blancas de 12 pulgadas va visitando varios lugares en Bayfield, Colorado. Las cruces son una estrategia de evangelismo de First Baptist Church. Read More

  • Golden Gate anuncia la compra de campus; requiere cambio de nombre

    Por Ben M. Skaug, posted Friday, August 15, 2014 (3 years ago)

    MILL VALLEY, Calif. (BP) -- El Seminario Teológico Bautista Golden Gate ha firmado un contrato de compra para el emplazamiento de un nuevo campus principal en el sur de California al este de Los Ángeles cerca del Aeropuerto Internacional Ontario. Read More

  • EDITORIAL: La Verdadera Paz

    Por Michael A. Gonzales, posted Friday, August 15, 2014 (3 years ago)

    Hoy vivimos en tiempos donde la paz no existe en muchas partes del mundo. Parece mentira pero cuando levantamos un periódico para ver las noticias del día, siempre vemos que la guerra continúa en Irak e Israel está atacando a Gaza o vice versa. ... Read More