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At least 22 dead in Memorial Day weekend storms that devastated several US states

Patti Manley, 69, moves a shredded American flag as she gathers branches from the backyard of her mother's home on Morningdale Place in Mehlville, Mo., Monday, May 27, 2024, following a violent storm and possible tornado Sunday evening. (Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)
A series of powerful storms swept over the central and southern U.S. over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, killing at least 21 people and leaving a wide trail of destroyed homes, businesses and power outages. The destructive storms caused deaths in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kentucky and were just north of an oppressive, early season heat wave setting records from south Texas to Florida.
Nihar Kolakalurinhar, a graduate student from India, and Mark Riggins met on a mission trip in Hyderabad, India only to unexpectedly meet again in Atlanta. (Index/Charles Jones)
Unexpected reunion at Briarlake Church leads to ministry opportunities
DECATUR, Ga. — Standing 6 feet 5 inches tall, Mark Riggins stands out in a crowd and the choir loft of Briarlake Church, in Decatur. So, it may not be out of the ordinary when someone walks up and says, “We’ve met before.”
Beverly Skinner, right, the Georgia Baptist Mission Board’s collegiate ministry catalyst, poses with Georgia campus ministers at the 2024 Collegiate Summit held near Memphis, Tenn.
Georgia collegiate ministry leaders join others for largest-ever Summit Conference
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Twenty Georgia Baptist Collegiate Ministry campus ministers (full-time, part-time, and volunteer) joined more than 700 other BCM leaders from across the United States and Canada in early May for the 2024 Collegiate Summit held near Memphis, Tenn. This was the largest showing for the equipping event that is held every three years and is organized by the Baptist Collegiate Network.
The graduates of the first commencement program for the NOBTS Certificate Program, front row, pose with the NOBTS administrators and faculty, rear. (Index/J. Gerald Harris)
New Orleans Seminary's Church Training Institute holds inaugural commencement
DULUTH, Ga. — Cross Pointe Church in Duluth was the site of the first commencement for Georgia’s New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary’s Church Training Institute. The ceremony was complete with all the dignity one might expect at such an auspicious event.
Chaplain William
A chaplain's story: The life of William E. “Billy” Dodson
WESTFIELD, Ind. — On February 18, 1966, under the heading, “Navy Seeks Ministers as Chaplains,” Baptist Press posted the following: “The Southern Baptist Chaplains Commission has put out a call for Baptist ministers ready for immediate commission and active duty in the United States Navy. The demand was brought on by a Navy adjustment of the number of Baptist chaplains and by the stepped-up manpower needs resulting from the war in Vietnam.”
Scott Cates records his podcast, Grounded. (Photo/Courtesy Scott Cates)
Scott Cates’ podcast is having a profound impact on multitudes of people
TIGER, Ga. — Scott Cates, a Georgia Baptist pastor, is touching thousands of lives from Tiger, a town that sits at the base of 2,856-foot Tiger Mountain, a prominent Blue Ridge Mountain peak in the far northeast corner of Georgia.
Baptist Life

Hispanic pastors mobilize youth to pray on National Day of Prayer

Hispanic student leaders and youth gather to pray on the National Day of Prayer, May 2, in Gainesville, Ga.
GAINESVILLE, Ga. — On Thursday, May 2, hamlets, towns, and cities across America observed the National Day of Prayer in churches, civic centers, community complexes and public venues. In Gaineseville, a group of Hispanic youth pastors mobilized scores of second-generation Hispanic youths to pray for the United States.
I love being a pastor. Those are not words I would have expected to have written as a teenager or even during my early college years.
When I was younger, Memorial Day was the holiday that truly marked the beginning of summer. I was oblivious to those who decorated graves, never wondering how the cemeteries were suddenly covered with brightly colored flowers. Decades passed. Now I understand the import of the holiday.
What if? How many times have you lived in the “what if” world? I find myself there quite often. "What if" is a question that we ask ourselves where we imagine what “might” happen or what “might have” happened.
MOUNT VERNON, Ga. — Brewton-Parker College is pleased to announce the appointment of  Brandon Braddy as the new vice president of Advancement and Alumni Relations. With a wealth of experience from his previous roles in public service and the banking industry, Braddy is well-equipped to lead the college’s advancement efforts, focusing on community engagement, donor relations, and strategic growth.
Georgia

Georgia entering vacation season short of game wardens

ATLANTA – With the traditional summer vacation season getting underway, Georgia continues to suffer from a chronic shortage of game wardens to serve its 2 million hunters and 600,000 to 700,000 anglers.

Despite surging demand for long-term care, providers struggle to find workers

The hardest part of Culix Wibonele’s first job in long-term care was not getting injured.

Workers at Georgia school bus maker Blue Bird approve their first union contract

FORT VALLEY, Ga. (AP) — A year after they voted to unionize, workers at a Georgia school bus manufacturer have approved their first contract.

Growing publisher buying 10 newspapers in Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A rapidly growing publisher is buying 10 newspapers in Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi from a company owned by Alabama's public pension fund.
Nation
Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency forensic anthropologist Carrie Brown looks at objects in a lab at Offutt Air Force Base, Monday, May 20, 2024, in Bellevue, Neb. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Military labs do the detective work to identify soldiers decades after they died in World War II

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. (AP) — Generations of American families have grown up not knowing exactly what happened to their loved ones who died while serving their country in World War II and other conflicts.

At least 13 dead in Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas after severe weather roars across region

VALLEY VIEW, Texas (AP) — Powerful storms killed at least 13 people and left a wide trail of destruction Sunday across Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas after obliterating homes and destroying a truck stop where dozens sought shelter in a restroom during the latest deadly weather to strike the central U.S.

What we know about the young missionaries and religious leader killed in Haiti

A family member of a U.S. missionary couple says the couple and a Haitian man who led a religious organization have been fatally shot by criminal gang members in Haiti’s capital. Davy Lloyd's …

Discerning beholders find beauty in cicadas

With rich reds, gentle greens and basic blacks, Nature's screaming, crawling artwork is the epitome of rare beauty — at least in the eyes of some beholders. To others, it may seem just creepy.
World
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in the prime minister's office in Jerusalem, June 25, 2023. (Abir Sultan/Pool Photo via AP, File)

Netanyahu says deadly Israeli strike in Rafah was the result of a 'tragic mistake'

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that a “tragic mistake” was made in an Israeli strike in the southern Gaza city of Rafah that set fire to a camp housing displaced Palestinians and, according to claims by local officials, killed at least 45 people.

Papua New Guinea says Friday’s landslide buried more than 2,000 people and formally asks for help

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — A Papua New Guinea government official has told the United Nations that more than 2,000 people are believed to have been buried alive by last Friday’s landslide and has formally asked for international help.

Iran further increases its stockpile of uranium enriched to near weapons-grade levels, watchdog says

VIENNA (AP) — Iran has further increased its stockpile of uranium enriched to near weapons-grade levels, according to a confidential report on Monday by the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, the latest in Tehran's attempts to steadily exert pressure on the international community.

Nigerian government is cracking down on illegal mining operations

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria's government is cracking down on illegal mining, making dozens of arrests of unlicensed miners since April for allegedly stealing the country’s lithium, a critical mineral used in batteries for electric vehicles, smartphones and power systems.
Perspectives
 When the renowned evangelist D.L. Moody was asked to have a campaign in England, a skeptical pastor protested, “Why do we need this ‘Mr. Moody’? He’s uneducated, inexperienced, etc. Who does he think he is anyway? Does he think he has a monopoly on the Holy Spirit?” A discerning minister stood up and responded, “No, but the Holy Spirit has a monopoly on Mr. Moody.”
Growing up, my family went to a lot of revival meetings. Not only did we attend the revivals at our home church, but we would also attend revivals at neighboring churches and camp meetings. At the time, those revivals typically lasted a week, and rarely would we miss any service.
When Jack Brown’s son Adam graduated from high school, the father decided to write down the most important things his son needed to know as he started college and stepped into life’s next chapter. ​This going away present contained 511 reminders about how to live a happy and rewarding life.
One of the distinctive characteristics of my home church was the clear invitations offered by my pastor each Sunday. Added to his encouragements for people to repent of their sins in order to follow Christ were the consistent appeals for baptism and church membership. Nearly every weekend, he also proposed the possibility that God was likely calling some to ministry as he admonished us to discern the Lord’s leading.
As many of you know, we are approaching the Georgia primary election on May 21. It is a time for Georgians to make their voices heard for those they support for the General Election coming up on Nov. 5, 2024. 
Business
Cashiers process purchases at a Walmart Supercenter in North Bergen, N.J., Feb. 9, 2023. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez, File)

Major retailers are offering summer deals to entice inflation-weary shoppers

NEW YORK (AP) — Americans who spend Memorial Day scouting sales online and in stores may find more reasons to celebrate the return of warmer weather. Major retailers are stepping up discounts heading into the summer months, hoping to entice inflation-weary shoppers into opening their wallets.

Friday's preholiday travel breaks the record for the most airline travelers screened at US airports

ATLANTA (AP) — A record was broken ahead of the Memorial Day weekend for the number of airline travelers screened at U.S. airports, the Transportation Security Administration said Saturday. More than 2.9 million travelers were screened at U.S. airports on Friday, surpassing a previous record set last year on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, according to the transportation security agency.

Massive wind farm proposal in Washington state gets new life from Gov. Jay Inslee

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Thursday rejected a recommendation to cut a proposal for what would be the state's largest wind farm in half, giving new life to the $1.7 billion project.

Norfolk Southern will pay $15 million fine as part of federal settlement over Ohio derailment

The federal government agreed to a $15 million fine for Norfolk Southern over last year's disastrous derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, and the railroad promised to pay more than $500 million to complete the efforts to improve safety that it announced after the crash and address community health concerns.

Justice Department says illegal monopoly by Ticketmaster and Live Nation drives up prices for fans

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department filed a sweeping antitrust lawsuit against Ticketmaster and parent company Live Nation Entertainment on Thursday, accusing them of running an illegal monopoly over live events in America — squelching competition and driving up prices for fans.
Sports
Washington Nationals pitcher Mitchell Parker (70) delivers in the first inning against the Atlanta Braves, Monday, May 27, 2024, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart)

Rookie lefty Parker logs another strong start as the Nationals beat Morton and the Braves 8-4

ATLANTA (AP) — Mitchell Parker pitched five-hit ball into the seventh inning and CJ Abrams homered, helping the Washington Nationals beat the depleted Atlanta Braves 8-4 on Monday.

Hiroshi Tai wins NCAA golf title and helps Georgia Tech advance

CARLSBAD, Calif. (AP) — Georgia Tech sophomore Hiroshi Tai survived a triple bogey on his 17th hole with a closing par for a 1-under 71, and it was just enough to win the NCAA men's golf title Monday at La Costa.

Braves' Ronald Acuña is placed on IL after second season-ending knee injury in 4 years

ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Braves placed outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. on the 10-day injured list on Monday after the reigning NL MVP sustained a season-ending torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Acuña was hurt in the Braves' 8-1 win at Pittsburgh on Sunday.

Newgarden goes back-to-back at Indy 500 to give Roger Penske record-extending 20th win

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Josef Newgarden put his cheating scandal behind him to become the first back-to-back winner of the Indianapolis 500 since Helio Castroneves 22 years ago and give Roger Penske a record-extending 20th win in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”