Top stories

Time for churches to consider how to celebrate ‘Pastor Appreciation Month’

SUWANEE, Ga. — One of Mark Marshall’s greatest keepsakes is a notebook filled with letters from church members expressing their love and appreciation for him and his wife. “It was given to me 26 years ago, and I still have it,” said Marshall, a longtime Southern Baptist pastor now serving as assistant executive director of the Georgia Baptist Mission Board.
Georgia Baptist Convention First Lady Kelsie Saefkow is a pastor's wife, mother, nurse and more
FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. – Pastors’ wives often face a unique kind of vulnerability. Many of them feel like they are living in a fishbowl or vainly trying to live up to unrealistic expectations. It has been said that being a pastor’s wife can feel like being a solo traveler on a long trip in a foreign country.
Christ Covenant Church to partner with FBC Sandy Springs
SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. – Sometimes churches struggle in their valiant effort to survive. When a church membership ages and there are few or no young couples with children or teenagers, it becomes difficult to attract other young couples. If a church no longer has a critical mass or enough people in attendance in their worship services those who visit the church may not return be inspired or inclined to return.
Former Georgia pastor Chuck McAlister provides place of solace to injured soldiers
LITTLE MOUNTAIN, S.C. — When wounded military personnel recovering in the Soldier Recovery Unit at Fort Stewart, Ga., are physically able, they venture into the great outdoors courtesy of a big-hearted veteran from South Carolina who knows the value of fresh air and sunshine to the body and soul. Chuck McAlister, who was stationed in Georgia more than 40 years ago as a young Army officer, welcomes injured soldiers onto a 200-acre sanctuary at Little Mountain, S.C., where they can get away from the sterile confines of hospital rooms and experience nature at its finest.
Georgia family visits all 32 NAMB Send cities, sees a need for new churches everywhere
MONTREAL—Numbers don’t do justice in describing the last two years for Kevin and Casey Kilgore and their family, but it’s a start. In just a little more than 24 months, the Kilgores have surpassed 70,000 miles traveled in their RV. They’ve visited and encouraged 265 pastors and missionaries. They’ve been to 48 out of 50 U.S. states.
Northeast Georgia pastor Paul Garrison logs 50 years of ministry and still going strong
TOCCOA, Ga. — As Paul Garrison looks back over a half century of ministry, he sees how the Lord has fulfilled all of his childhood ambitions. With a smile, the Toccoa pastor explains that when he was a toddler, he wanted to be a garbage collector, just like those men he would watch from his window each week. In time, his ambition changed to being a firefighter and later a heart surgeon.
Baptist Life

Photo gallery: Confluence 2023 conference sees commitments to Christ, ministry and evangelism

McDONOUGH, Ga. —  Five people surrendered their lives to ministry at a missions conference for Georgia college students last weekend, and five others made salvation decisions. They were among about 650 co-eds who attended Baptist Collegiate Ministries’ annual Confluence conference at Eagle's Landing First Baptist Church. The focus of this year's conference was evangelism.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — While evolving technology propels the world to new and digital frontiers, Southern Seminary confronted the unique questions of missions in a technological age last month at Future Shock, the 2023 Missions Conference hosted by the Bevin Center for Missions and Mobilization. The event brought together experts on missions and technology to tackle the pressing challenges of modern digital tools and platforms reshaping the global missions' landscape.
As Jesus informed His disciples about His approaching death, He taught the disciples the implications His crucifixion and resurrection would have for His first-century followers as well as His 21st-century followers. Jesus taught His disciples that as His destiny involved a cross, so following Jesus requires a cross for all believers.
The United States has a bloody history and has had more than its share of wars. Jesus revealed in the Scriptures that wars and rumors of wars will be commonplace until the final reward of heaven is realized. Each day, Christians are in a battle of a spiritual nature. These battles are difficult and exhausting. However, these battles are not permanent and are winnable because of God.
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – A child-sized ring, measuring only about 1 centimeter in diameter, tells the story of a distant past, but also the future of a university program. The gold circular object inlaid with a turquoise stone is one of several items discovered during an initial groundbreaking excavation project in the northern Judean Desert – more specifically, the ruins of Herod the Great’s desert fortress, Hyrcania. 
Georgia

Georgia high school football player dies after falling ill on sidelines, district says

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A high school football player died after suffering a “medical emergency” on the sidelines of a game in Georgia, the school district said. The junior varsity team from Windsor Forest High School was playing Monday night when on-site emergency responders rushed to help one of its players, the Savannah-Chatham County school district said in a news release.

Officers in suburban Atlanta killed a man who tried to steal a police cruiser, investigators say

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. (AP) — Police officers in an Atlanta suburb fatally shot a man before dawn Tuesday after he tried to steal a police vehicle, investigators say. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said police in Lawrenceville were conducting a traffic stop when a vehicle sped by around 3 a.m. The black Kia Sorento made a U-turn and drove back toward the officers, with the driver getting out of the car.

Georgia High School Association approves NILs for student-athletes

ATLANTA – Georgia high school athletes will be able to make money off of their name, image, and likeness (NIL) following a unanimous vote by the Georgia High School Association board. Monday’s vote will put high school athletes on a par with their older brothers and sisters playing college sports. The General Assembly passed legislation two years ago letting student-athletes at Georgia colleges, universities and technical colleges receive compensation for use of their name, image and likeness.

GBI investigating fatal shooting of armed man by officers who say he was making threats

AILEY, Ga. (AP) — Authorities in rural southeast Georgia fatally shot a man who was armed with a gun and had made threats against law enforcement officers, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said Monday. GBI agents are investigating the death late Sunday at the end of a five-hour standoff in Montgomery County. The GBI is routinely called on by local law enforcement agencies to investigate shootings involving officers in the state.
Nation

US Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas is carjacked by three armed attackers about a mile from the Capitol

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar was carjacked by three armed attackers but was unharmed, the Texas Democrat's office said. Cuellar’s chief of staff Jacob Hochberg released a statement Monday night saying: “As Congressman Cuellar was parking his car this evening, 3 armed assailants approached the Congressman and stole his vehicle. Luckily, he was not harmed and is working with local law enforcement.”

Pandas could be gone from America's zoos by the end of next year

WASHINGTON (AP) — Wearing an “I Love Pandas” T-shirt and clutching a panda-covered diary, Kelsey Lambert bubbled with excitement as she glimpsed the real thing. She and her mother, Alison, had made a special trip from San Antonio just to watch the National Zoo's furry rock stars casually munching bamboo and rolling around on the grass. “It felt completely amazing,” Kelsey, age 10, said Friday.

North Dakota state senator, his wife and 2 kids killed in Utah plane crash

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A state senator from North Dakota, his wife and their two young children died when the small plane they were traveling in crashed soon after a refueling stop in Utah, a Senate leader said Monday. Doug Larsen’s death was confirmed Monday in an email that Republican Senate Majority Leader David Hogue sent to his fellow senators and was obtained by The Associated Press.

A 9-year-old girl who vanished from a New York state park has been found safe, police say

MOREAU, N.Y. (AP) — A 9-year-old girl who vanished during a family camping trip in upstate New York was found safe Monday following a two-day search, authorities said. Charlotte Sena was located “in good health” and “a suspect is in custody” in connection with her disappearance Saturday evening, New York State Police said in a statement. Authorities didn’t immediately release further details.
World

Shooting at a major Bangkok shopping mall kills 3, and a suspect is in police custody

BANGKOK (AP) — A shooter opened fire inside a major shopping mall in the center of Thailand’s capital Tuesday afternoon, killing three people before being apprehended, authorities said. Police said a suspect was apprehended less than an hour after the first reported gunshots at the Siam Paragon Mall, long been seen as one of Bangkok's biggest and most upscale shopping destinations.

India tells Canada to remove 41 of its 62 diplomats in the country, an official says

TORONTO (AP) — India has told Canada to remove 41 of its 62 diplomats in the country, an official familiar with the matter said Tuesday, ramping up a confrontation between the two countries over Canadian accusations that India may have been involved in the killing of a Sikh separatist leader in suburban Vancouver.

Armenia's parliament votes to join the International Criminal Court, straining ties with ally Russia

YEREVAN, Armenia (AP) — Armenia's parliament voted Tuesday to join the International Criminal Court, a move that further strains the country's ties with its old ally Russia after the court issued an arrest warrant for President Vladimir Putin over events in Ukraine.

Trio wins Nobel Prize in physics for split-second glimpse of superfast spinning world of electrons

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Three scientists won the Nobel Prize in physics on Tuesday for studying how electrons zip around the atom during in the tiniest fractions of seconds, a field that could one day lead to better electronics or disease diagnoses. The award went to Pierre Agostini, Hungarian-born Ferenc Krausz and French-born Anne L’Huillier for their work with the tiny part of each atom that races around the center and that is fundamental to virtually everything: chemistry, physics, our bodies and our gadgets.
Perspectives
To put myself through seminary, like many a financially struggling student, my wife and I had to find odd jobs. The Lord opened the door for me to work at a local jewelry store in the Crabtree Valley Mall for about 30 hours per week. It was there that I really learned to appreciate diamonds.
As ministers of the gospel, none of us desires to fake sincerity in our pulpits. However, even with the best of intentions, we can be susceptible to it at times. One definition of sincerity from Merriam-Webster is “honesty of mind; freedom from hypocrisy.” As we consider the definition of sincerity, we can better understand how we can fall into faking it.
Blessing or curse? Joy or pain? Good memories or bad? Spiritual soldier or spiritual casualty? If we were to ask 100 adults about their childhoods as ministry kids we’d likely get 100 different answers.
When you look around your church you may notice that a lot of young people are missing. It is a common complaint as I speak in local churches that congregations are aging and young people are leaving or just not attending anymore. There are more factors than can be addressed in one column, but I want to take a moment and tell you ways that you can help stand in the gap for your church.
The cure for whatever ails a Baptist church is more baptisms. Since we only practice believer’s baptism (meaning an individual must personally profess faith in Jesus prior to their baptism), baptisms are a sign that conversions are happening in the context of a church’s outreach ministry. Since baptisms symbolize the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, they are a church’s opportunity to dramatize the gospel on a regular basis. Baptism is an excellent way to celebrate and commemorate new life in Jesus.
Business

Robin Rhodes retiring from Georgia Press Association leadership post

ATLANTA – Thirty years ago, the newspaper industry was just beginning to feel the first ripples of what would become a massive wave of change brought on by the internet. That same year – 1993 – Robin Rhodes was stepping up from a staff position at the Georgia Press Association to take the organization’s helm as executive director. Thanks to her leadership, newspaper executives across the state made the transition to the digital world smoothly instead of fighting it.

A fight over precious groundwater in a rural California town is rooted in carrots

In the hills of a dry, remote patch of California farm country, Lee Harrington carefully monitors the drips moistening his pistachio trees to ensure they’re not wasting any of the groundwater at the heart of a vicious fight.

In a good sign for China's struggling economy, factory activity grows for the first time in 6 months

China's factory activity in September recorded its first expansion in six months, an official survey said Saturday, providing another sign that the world's second-largest economy is gradually improving after its post-pandemic malaise.

United Autoworkers strikes spread to Chicago and Lansing as 7,000 more workers join the picket line

DETROIT (AP) — The United Auto Workers union says its two-week strike against Detroit automakers will spread to 7,000 more workers at a Ford plant in Chicago and a General Motors assembly factory near Lansing, Michigan. Union President Shawn Fain told workers on a video appearance Friday that negotiations haven’t broken down but Ford and GM have refused to make meaningful progress. Jeep maker Stellantis was spared from the third round of strikes.

Fed's preferred inflation gauge doubles, spurred by higher gas prices

WASHINGTON (AP) — An inflation gauge closely tracked by the Federal Reserve rose in August, boosted mainly by higher gas prices.  Friday's report from the Commerce Department showed that prices rose 0.4% from July to August, up from just 0.2% the previous month.
Sports

Acuña wins Baseball Digest player of the year; Cole and Bautista also honored

NEW YORK (AP) — Ronald Acuña Jr. was selected major league player of the year by Baseball Digest and eBay after hitting 41 home runs and stealing 73 bases for the Atlanta Braves. The outfielder beat out two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels, who didn't play after Sept. 3 because of injuries.

Falcons quarterback Ridder vows to shake off rough day in 23-7 loss to Jaguars

LONDON (AP) — Desmond Ridder hasn't put up big numbers in his handful of NFL starts for the Atlanta Falcons. At least he hadn't thrown many interceptions, though. Until Sunday.

Lawrence, Ridley and defense help Jaguars beat Falcons 23-7 in London

LONDON (AP) — Calvin Ridley is making the most of his second chance, in more ways than one. The wide receiver held on to a touchdown pass — after a couple of key drops last week — to help the Jacksonville Jaguars beat the Atlanta Falcons 23-7 on Sunday at Wembley Stadium.

US loses its seventh straight Ryder Cup in Europe

GUIDONIA MONTECELIO, Italy (AP) — The best collection of players at Marco Simone had flags from their eight countries draped around their shoulders as they took turns clutching and thrusting the gold Ryder Cup, the very trophy that turns them into one nation, one team, with one purpose.