Wednesday, October 03, 2018Download All Stories
Greear's call to pray for SBC entities embracedNASHVILLE (BP) -- Southern Baptist Convention President J.D. Greear's call to pray and fast Oct. 8 for the presidential search committees at five SBC entities has been embraced by leaders of associations and state conventions.
Meanwhile, some Baptists have drawn encouragement from God's faithfulness through previous periods of entity transition, including two previous occasions when five entities sought chief executives during the same year.
The five entities currently seeking presidents are the SBC Executive Committee, the International Mission Board, LifeWay Christian Resources, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Read More
Annie Armstrong Easter Offering tops $61 millionNEW YORK (BP) -- Kevin Ezell, president of the North American Mission Board (NAMB), announced to trustees during their meeting that the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for North American Missions broke the $60 million mark for the first time ever in 2018, with Southern Baptists giving $61.1 million.
"We are so thankful to not only break $60 million but to break $61 million at the same time," Ezell told trustees. "We are indebted to you and to your pastors and what an incredible thing that is."
Ezell, delivered the announcement to trustees at a dinner during their Oct. 1-2 meeting in New York City. Church planting missionaries, some NAMB staff and special guests were also in attendance. Ezell walked through previous record-setting years, recounting the victories Southern Baptists have shared through the years. Read More
S.C. church serves community in Florence aftermathDILLON, S.C. (BP) -- Southern Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers came to bring help, healing and hope to Hurricane Florence survivors in Dillon, S.C. And they were met with overwhelming support and appreciation from the community and their host, First Baptist Church of Dillon.
Dillon County, with a population of about 30,000, has suffered three major disasters from storms in the last four years. Flood waters in 2015 devastated much of the state from Columbia to the coastal areas. Hurricane Matthew hit in 2016 and Hurricane Florence followed in September this year with its heavy, unceasing rains, which caused much flooding that damaged homes and businesses, some for the second time since 2015. Read More
Alaskans embrace 'Vision Plan for a New Tomorrow'WASILLA, Alaska (BP) -- An Alaska Baptist Convention "Vision Plan for a New Tomorrow" was approved by messengers at the ABC's 73rd annual meeting, Sept. 25-26 at First Baptist Church in Wasilla.
Sweeping changes include a decrease in Cooperative Program giving from 37 percent to 20 percent to Southern Baptist Convention causes; a restructuring from four associations to six regions; and a potential name change.
"This came out of discussions at Executive Board meetings," said Randy Covington, executive director/treasurer of the Alaska Baptist Convention since 2016, about the CP decrease. "If we're going to reach our state for Christ, we're going to have to keep more money at home. Read More
A return to Mao era persecution in China?CHINA (BP) -- Police raided church services Sept. 30 in various Chinese provinces in escalating persecutions said to be "returning to those evident in Mao's era."
Government officials disrupted services at five or more churches in at least four provinces in central, southern and southwestern China, removing crosses, blocking entrances, disbanding worship and harassing members, International Christian Concern (ICC) reported today (Oct. 3).
"Christians in China are bracing themselves for the worst clampdown since the Cultural Revolution," ICC Regional Manager Gina Goh said in the ICC press release. "The scale and tactics employed by the authorities are unprecedented and disturbing. Every day there are churches across China that become fresh victims of persecution." Read More
ERLC, BGEA back coach in appeal to Supreme CourtWASHINGTON (BP) -- The Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and other organizations have urged the U.S. Supreme Court to review a lower court decision they contend violates the First Amendment rights of public school teachers and coaches.
The court has twice rescheduled a conference to consider whether to accept the appeal, according to First Liberty Institute, which represents a coach in the case.
The ERLC joined the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) and seven other groups in support of a Washington state high school football coach who was suspended for kneeling and praying on the field after games. In their friend-of-the-court brief, the organizations requested the high court review a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling against Joseph Kennedy and overturn that opinion. Read More
Jerry Brown veto sparks pro-life gratitude, reliefSACRAMENTO, Calif. (BP) -- Pro-lifers in California and across the country are celebrating a surprising win delivered by the state's pro-abortion rights governor, Jerry Brown.
Brown vetoed a bill Sept. 30 that would have required the state's public universities to provide abortion drugs for students by Jan. 1, 2022. A longtime supporter of abortion rights, the governor said in his veto message that the legislation is unnecessary because such abortion services "are widely available off-campus."
"What a refreshing thing, to see someone do the right thing, even if it means siding against one's tribe," Southern Baptist ethicist Russell Moore said. "Governor Brown and I disagree on some important things -- the right to life for unborn children being one of them. But I am thankful indeed to see him veto this measure that would put abortion-inducing drugs on campuses across the state of California. Read More