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WRAP-UP: EC considers DC convention, mission board mergerNASHVILLE (BP) -- The Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee has given the District of Columbia Baptist Convention (DCBC) 90 days to "secure" the "the removal of any churches from its fellowship that have demonstrated a faith or practice affirming, approving or endorsing homosexual behavior," according to a recommendation adopted by the EC Feb. 20.
If such churches remain in friendly cooperation with the DCBC after that period, the DCBC will lose its authorization "to receive and disburse Cooperative Program and other SBC contributions," the EC stated during its Feb. 19-20 meetings in Nashville. Read More
BGCT: Decision on CBF driven by 'biblical truth'DALLAS (BP) -- The Baptist General Convention of Texas' decision to stop forwarding churches' contributions to the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship reflects a commitment to the biblical view of marriage, say the convention's president and executive director.
"I am very grateful for the consistent, steady way in which the BGCT has held to God's Word," BGCT President Danny Reeves said according to a news release from the convention. "We lovingly say to all people the truth that marriage is to be between one man and one woman." Read More
LGBT hiring policy highlights CBF factionsDECATUR, Ga. (BP) -- The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship's decision to lift its absolute ban of hiring homosexual and transgender individuals has drawn diverse reactions from within the Fellowship -- and predictions that churches on both sides of the ideological spectrum could break ties with the CBF.
"The reality is that we're liable to lose some churches -- on the left and on the right," Steve Wells, a Houston pastor who served on the CBF committee that recommended revising the Fellowship's hiring policy, told Texas' Baptist Standard newsjournal. "I really don't believe it will be that many." Read More
CBF nixes 'absolute' LGBT hiring ban, maintains it for leadersDECATUR, Ga. (BP) -- The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship's Governing Board has voted to lift the Fellowship's "absolute prohibition" of hiring homosexual and transgender employees.
But CBF "leadership positions in ministry" and missionary roles still will be limited to individuals "who practice a traditional Christian sexual ethic of celibacy in singleness or faithfulness in marriage between a woman and man," according to a hiring "implementation procedure" also adopted by the Governing Board. Other positions will be open to "Christians who identify as LGBT." Read More
FROM THE COLLEGES: Gardner-Webb's Frank Bonner sets retirement; HBU profs to lead 'Prepared to Answer' simulcast
Gardner-Webb University President Frank Bonner sets retirement; Houston Baptist University professors to lead 'Prepared to Answer' apologetics simulcast Feb. 17. Read More
State papers celebrate milestones, consider futureNASHVILLE (BP) -- Milestone anniversaries of two Baptist state newspapers have occasioned reflection on the present ministry of state papers and their future role among Southern Baptists.
The Alabama Baptist celebrated 175 years of continuous publication today (Feb. 6) with a birthday party in Marion, Ala., site of the paper's founding. North Carolina's Biblical Recorder marked 185 years of ministry Jan. 17. Read More
Virgin Islands pastor: Baptists' concern 'genuine'ST THOMAS, U.S.V.I. (BP) -- The "genuine" love and concern of fellow Southern Baptists are what U.S. Virgin Islands pastor Lawrence Turnbull cites as perhaps his greatest appreciation while recovering from two devastating hurricanes of 2017.
"There's a love and a concern ... the folks show that are genuine," Turnbull told Baptist Press after attending an appreciation dinner Southern Baptist leaders hosted for pastors on the islands Jan. 27. Read More
3rd Virgin Islands crusade to continue imparting hopeST CROIX, U.S. Virgin Islands (BP) -- Devastation and suffering among Hurricane Irma and Maria survivors in the U.S. Virgin Islands were palpable to Florida Baptist Jeffery Singletary, who led a mission trip to the islands months before the storms.
His heart's response was a series of "Feeding the Five Thousand" crusades that reaped 620 decisions for Christ and fed thousands both spiritually and physically, Singletary, a regional catalyst with the Florida Baptist Convention, told Baptist Press. A crusade on St. Croix Jan. 28 -30 will be his third.
"I knew they had four great needs -- food, clothing, shelter and hope," Singletary said. "Red Cross could help provide food and clothing. FEMA could help provide shelter. But only the church of Jesus Christ can provide real hope." Read More
Puerto Rican evacuees aided by Fla. BaptistsORLANDO, Fla. (BP) -- More than 200,000 hurricane survivors from Puerto Rico have trekked to Florida for refuge, with several Baptist churches in central Florida at the forefront of ministering to their needs.
"The Florida Baptist Convention is excited to partner with the churches in the central Florida region as they respond to the needs of the Puerto Rican community moving into the area," said Tommy Green, the convention's executive director.
Another 100,000 Puerto Ricans are projected to arrive in Florida in the coming months as a result of catastrophic damage from Hurricanes Maria and Irma last September across the U.S. territory. Read More
Building sales: State conventions cite various factorsNASHVILLE (BP) -- At its annual meeting this fall, the Colorado Baptist General Convention (CBGC) announced plans to sell its Denver-area office building and relocate to a smaller facility nearby.
As CBGC executive director Nathan Lorick put it, the convention's "desire in selling our building is to maximize the reach of our dollars through minimizing our space needs" and "to have our staff be more mobile."
Those sentiments appear representative of at least eight state conventions that ... Read More