Top stories

Georgia pastor uses sports, music to spread the gospel

BUFORD, Ga. – Randy Kennedy, current interim/transitional pastor of Bethany Baptist Church in Snellville is one of the most winsome individuals you will ever meet. He is also versatile – very versatile. The affable minister is not only an excellent preacher, but he has had an effective ministry to many professional athletes through the years. He is an exceptional golfer himself. He knows how to use a very big pencil to challenge and motivate people, and he is a percussionist.
Supreme Court majority seems sympathetic to Christian who objects to designing wedding websites for gay couples
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court's conservative majority sounded sympathetic Monday to a Christian graphic artist who objects to designing wedding websites for gay couples, the latest religious liberty case to land at the highest court.
Tashonda Stephens was working on her GED when she found G-O-D
COLUMBUS, Ga. – Tashonda Stephens had enrolled in an education program at the Columbus Baptist Association to earn her GED. In the process, she found G-O-D. Stephens, a single mom of three boys, surrendered her life to Christ through the Christian Women’s Job Corps of Greater Columbus, a Southern Baptist ministry that’s intended to lift women out of poverty.
Georgia Baptist Mission Board moving out of Sugarloaf property
DULUTH, Ga. – In a move that will provide “an opportunity for more Cooperative Program funds to go to ministry and missions,” the Georgia Baptist Mission Board is moving out of its five-story executive office building into a smaller and more efficient space. The Mission Board has secured a letter of intent from a corporation that wants to lease the building at 6405 Sugarloaf Parkway beginning in the next two months.
Pastor Luis Trejo reflects on a half century of ministry in Georgia and Mexico
HINESVILLE, Ga. – Pastor Luis Trejo of Primera Iglesia Bautista Hispana of Hinesville, Ga., has reached a ministerial milestone – 50 years of service. Trejo’s half-century in the pulpit was celebrated last month at the church where he serves as full-time senior pastor. “The greatest thing in my career,” he says, “has been to know Christ. Everything else flows from there.”
Capitol tours offer Georgia Baptists look at breathtaking Christmas decor while praying for government leaders
ATLANTA - God can use  prayer for government leaders “to make a difference in our lives.” That’s what the Georgia Baptist Mission Board’s Mike Griffin says is the driving force behind the annual Christmas Prayer tour he leads through the state Capitol. Beginning next week, Georgia Baptists will once again have an opportunity to see the Capitol in its Christmas finest while also praying for lawmakers and other political officials.
Baptist Life

Former Southern Seminary professor files defamation suit against SBC, others

MOBILE, Ala. (BP) – A former Southern Baptist seminary professor and his wife have filed suit against the SBC and 10 other individuals and entities connected to the SBC, including Jennifer Lyell and Guidepost Solutions. In a filing made in the Mobile, Ala., Circuit Court, David and Mary Sills allege “defamation, conspiracy, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, and wantonness concerning untrue claims of sexual abuse” initiated by Jennifer Lyell.
DULUTH, Ga. – Christmas season has officially begun, and ACTS2 is in step with four family-friendly Christmas films and several Christmas musical presentations from churches, colleges and other SBC-related entities. And the TV network is looking for more.
Myra Edna Callaway Folsom of Villa Rica, Georgia, passed away Wednesday, November 30, 2022, at her home after a four month battle with cancer at 86 years of age. 
NASHVILLE (BP) – This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in partnership with Lifeway Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, Lifeway publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups. This week’s Bible study is adapted from The Gospel Project curriculum.
NASHVILLE (BP) – Johnny Cash: The Redemption of an American Icon  is a new documentary telling the story of how the legendary musician known as the Man in Black found the light of Jesus Christ.
Georgia

Savannah port terminal to get $410M upgrade amid big growth

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — The Port of Savannah plans a $410 million overhaul of one of its sprawling terminals to make room for loading and unloading larger ships while focusing its business almost exclusively on cargo shipped in containers. The Georgia Ports Authority's governing board approved the project Monday under a plan to expand Savannah’s capacity for cargo containers by more than 50% by 2025.

Robotics manufacturer to build North American headquarters in Georgia

ATLANTA – A German robotic machinery manufacturer specializing in individualized robotic equipment will build a manufacturing plant in Canton to house its North American headquarters, Gov. Brian Kemp announced Monday. Becker Robotic Equipment will invest more than $30 million in a project expected to create 137 new jobs in Cherokee County.

Farmer: Georgia dog injured saving sheep from coyote attack

DECATUR, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia sheepdog is recovering at home two days after killing a pack of coyotes that attacked his owner's flock of sheep, farmer John Wierwiller said. Casper, a 20-month old Great Pyrenees from Decatur, fought off a pack of coyotes who were threatening Wierwiller’s sheep farm, he said. The fight lasted longer than half an hour, left eight coyotes dead and bloodied Casper.

Georgia Power, environmental groups clash over coal ash

ATLANTA – Environmental advocates are calling into question Georgia Power’s plan for closing ash ponds adjacent to coal-burning power plants. Jennette Gayer, director of Atlanta-based Environment Georgia, cited a recent decision by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency denying an Ohio utility’s request to leave coal ash at a closed pond in contact with groundwater. As part of its ash-pond closure plan, Georgia Power is proposing to leave coal ash in contact with groundwater at plants Scherer, McDonough, Yates, and Hammond.
Nation

Unmarked graves, an 'ugly history': West Virginia weighs mine safety

HAVACO, W.Va. (AP) — Mayapple plants sprout in the sunken soil where the bodies lie, their leaves sheltering the unmarked graves like tiny umbrellas. The forgotten burial ground is overrun by four-wheel tire tracks near a path strewn with discarded bottles and other trash.

Body of 7-year-old Texas girl found, FedEx driver arrested

PARADISE, Texas (AP) — A 7-year-old Texas girl has been found dead, two days after being reported missing, and a FedEx delivery driver arrested in her death, authorities said.

Pentagon chief: US faces pivotal years in countering China

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. (AP) — The U.S. is at a pivotal point with China and will need military strength to ensure that American values, not Beijing's, set global norms in the 21st century, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Saturday.

Pentagon debuts its new stealth bomber, the B-21 Raider

PALMDALE , Calif. (AP) — America’s newest nuclear stealth bomber made its debut Friday after years of secret development and as part of the Pentagon’s answer to rising concerns over a future conflict with China. The B-21 Raider is the first new American bomber aircraft in more than 30 years. Almost every aspect of the program is classified.
World

Sudan's generals, pro-democracy group ink deal to end crisis

KHARTOUM, Sudan (AP) — Sudan’s coup leaders and the main pro-democracy group signed a deal Monday to establish a civilian-led transitional government following the military takeover last year. But key players refused to participate, and no deadline was set for the transition to begin.

From the mission field: Search continues for Johannesburg worshippers swept by flood; 14 dead

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The death toll from the tragic flash flood that swept away members of a church congregation along the Jukskei River in Johannesburg has risen from nine to 14, officials have confirmed. Rescue teams on Monday resumed search operations for at least three people still missing.

From the mission field: Flash flood kills nine at church gathering in South Africa

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — At least nine people died and eight others were missing in South Africa after a flash flood swept away members of a church congregation along the Jukskei River in Johannesburg, rescue officials said Sunday.

Iran reports executions of 4 people it says spied for Israel

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranian authorities executed four people Sunday accused of working for Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency, the state-run IRNA news agency said. Three others received lengthy prison sentences.
Perspectives
Most people no longer get a tax deduction when they donate to charity. That shouldn’t keep you from making donations, but you may want to change your approach. Typically, only taxpayers who itemize deductions can write off charitable contributions.
America’s largest Christmas tree is no longer found at Rockefeller Center in New York City. America’s tallest Christmas tree now resides in Enid, Oklahoma, standing at 140 feet, 75 percent taller than the Rockefeller Center tree. Last year’s tree, dubbed the “Christ Tree,” was ringed with 20,000 multi-colored LED lights, decorated with 10,000 ornaments, and circled with 12 smaller trees.
Georgia’s largest religious organization is still growing both numerically and ethnically. In November, 17 new congregations joined the Georgia Baptist Convention, which has some 1.4 million members in about 3,600 churches.
The ruling that overturned Georgia’s heartbeat law on Tuesday risks the lives of countless unborn babies whose best hope at this point is that the attorney general’s office prevails on appeal.
As we think about all elections, we need to remember that it is imperative that Christians vote and be engaged in this process. It’s one of the most basic rights that we have as Americans and one of the great responsibilities we have as followers of Christ.
Business

Lockheed teams with Israel's Rafael on laser defense

JERUSALEM (AP) — U.S. weapons maker Lockheed Martin Corp. and Israeli defense contractor Rafael on Monday said they will team up to develop a high-energy laser system to defend against aerial attacks. The system will be based on Iron Beam, a laser missile-defense system that Rafael has been developing with Israel's Defense Ministry.

FDA change ushers in cheaper, easier-to-get hearing aids

It's now a lot easier — and cheaper — for many hard-of-hearing Americans to get help. Hearing aids can now be sold without a prescription from a specialist. Over-the-counter, or OTC, hearing aids started hitting the market in October at prices that can be thousands of dollars lower than prescription hearing aids.

Rail workers say deal won't resolve quality-of-life concerns

Most railroad workers weren't surprised that Congress intervened this week to block a railroad strike, but they were disappointed because they say the deals lawmakers imposed didn't do enough to …

Nevada approves $105M in tax incentives for battery plant

RENO, Nev. (AP) — A massive lithium battery recycling plant has been awarded more than $105 million in tax incentives for expanding operations in northern Nevada.

Labor unions vow not to forget after Biden, Democrat-led House and Senate intervene to prevent railroad strike

WASHINGTON (AP) — Legislation to avert what could have been an economically ruinous freight rail strike won final approval in Congress on Thursday as lawmakers responded quickly to President Joe Biden’s call for federal intervention in a long-running labor dispute.
Sports

Georgia State Panthers fall to Northeastern 66-46

BOSTON (AP) — Led by Jahmyl Telfort's 20 points, the Northeastern Huskies defeated the Georgia State Panthers 66-46 on Sunday. The Huskies are now 2-6 with the victory and the Panthers dropped to 5-4.

Georgia Southern, Buffalo to meet in Camellia Bowl on Dec. 27

Georgia Southern and Buffalo will play in the Camellia Bowl on Dec. 27. Both teams won in their previous trips to Montgomery, Alabama. They're both 6-6 and became bowl eligible with close wins in …

Falcons lose close one to Steelers 19-16

ATLANTA (AP) — Ironhead would've been proud of his boys. After a morning trip to their father's grave, Cameron and Connor Heyward played an inspired role in Pittsburgh's first winning streak of the season. Connor hauled in the first touchdown catch of the rookie tight end's NFL career, Cameron anchored a defense that allowed only a single touchdown, and the Steelers made it two victories in a row by holding off the Atlanta Falcons 19-16 Sunday.

Playoff field set: Georgia vs. Ohio State; Michigan vs. TCU

The defending national champions, two Big Ten powers and an upstart that wasn't even expected to contend in its conference this season. Georgia, Michigan, TCU and Ohio State were selected Sunday to play in the College Football Playoff, giving the Big Ten multiple programs in the four-team field for the first time.