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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.
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.
Baptist Life

Tim Akin to lead Georgia Baptist Education Commission; Chuck Jonas new vice chairman

DULUTH, Ga. — A metro Atlanta pastor will lead the Georgia Baptist Education Commission, which provides scholarships to college students and monitors campus trends on behalf of the 1.4 million-member Georgia Baptist Convention. Tim Akin, pastor at First Baptist Church of Douglasville, was elected chairman of the commission on Tuesday in meeting that highlighted an ongoing spiritual movement not only on the state’s three Georgia Baptist-affiliated campuses but also in the Baptist Collegiate Ministries operating on public universities.
SUWANEE, Ga. — A faith-based organization that handles retirement accounts and investments for Southern Baptists is warning its clients to be on the lookout for scammers requesting payments via wire transfers or by sending money via Zelle.
BRENTWOOD, Tenn. — After meeting with church music leaders for multiple listening sessions, Lifeway Christian Resources announced the decision to continue operating for another year. “Lifeway exists as a ministry partner for the local church. We are committed to churches and their leaders to support the ways God is using them,” said Ben Mandrell, Lifeway president and CEO. 
DALLAS — GuideStone Financial Resources Chief Investment Officer David Spika has announced his intention to retire at the end of the year. Brandon Pizzurro, who has worked at GuideStone since 2017 and is most recently director of public investments, will succeed Spika.
RICHMOND, Va. — International Mission Board trustees approved the appointment of 72 full-time, fully funded missionaries during their meeting Wednesday and Thursday near Richmond, Virginia. The missionaries participated in a Sending Celebration Wednesday evening, hosted by Swift Creek Baptist Church in Midlothian, Virginia.

Man convicted of stealing $1.9 million in COVID-19 relief money gets more than 5 years in prison

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia man was sentenced Monday to more than five years in federal prison for organizing a scheme that stole nearly $2 million in government aid intended to help businesses endure the coronavirus pandemic. A U.S. District Court judge in Brunswick sentenced 41-year-old Bernard Okojie after a jury in March convicted him of fraud and conspiracy charges.

Corrections officer Robert Clark killed in line of duty; attacked by inmate at Smith State Prison

ATLANTA – An inmate at Smith State Prison in Glennville has been charged with killing a correctional officer who was escorting him from the dining hall. Correctional Officer Robert Clark, 42, was assaulted from behind with a homemade weapon Sunday as he was escorting inmates Layton Lester and Marko Willingham, according to a news release from the Georgia Department of Corrections.

Legislative committee to meet in Clarkesville to talk about fishing

CLARKESVILLE, Ga. – The House Study Committee on Fishing Access to Freshwater Resources will hold its next meeting on Oct.12 at the Habersham Electric Membership Corporation in Clarksville.

Airbnb guest who rented a room tied up, robbed Georgia homeowner at gunpoint, police say

Police say a man who used Airbnb to rent a room in Georgia ended up robbing the home’s owner at gunpoint. A homeowner in the metro Atlanta suburb of Buford called Gwinnett County police saying an armed man who had rented his basement through the room-sharing app had fled after stealing his wallet.

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.

Few Americans say conservatives can speak freely on college campuses, poll shows

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans view college campuses as far friendlier to liberals than to conservatives when it comes to free speech, with adults across the political spectrum seeing less tolerance for those on the right, according to a new poll.

Government shutdown averted with little time to spare as Biden signs funding before midnight

WASHINGTON (AP) — The threat of a federal government shutdown suddenly lifted late Saturday as President Joe Biden signed a temporary funding bill to keep agencies open with little time to spare after Congress rushed to approve the bipartisan deal.

Tropical Storm Philippe threatens heavy rains and flash floods in Leeward Islands, forecasters say

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Tropical Storm Philippe is threatening to unleash heavy rains and flash flooding in the northeastern Caribbean on Monday before eventually spinning north into the open Atlantic, where it could strengthen into a hurricane around midweek, forecasters say.

11 people are dead after Mexico church roof collapses

CIUDAD MADERO, Mexico (AP) — Eleven members of Monica Segura's family were gathered inside the Santa Cruz church in northeast Mexico for the baptism of her 1-year-old nephew when the roof collapsed killing at least 11 people. Segura and others were near a side of the church when the roof fell Sunday and managed to escape with relatively minor injuries. Her 10-year-old daughter was buried in the rubble and remained in intensive care Monday, among 13 people who were still hospitalized.

Nobel in medicine goes to 2 scientists whose work enabled creation of mRNA vaccines against COVID-19

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Two scientists won the Nobel Prize in medicine on Monday for discoveries that enabled the creation of mRNA vaccines against COVID-19 and that could be used to develop other shots in the future.

Indonesian president launches Southeast Asia's first high-speed railway, funded by China

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has inaugurated Southeast Asia’s first high-speed railway, which begins its commercial operations on Monday, a key project under China’s Belt and Road …
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.
It’s been nearly 38 years. God has taken my husband Jimmy and me on a journey through three pastorates and several aspects of denominational work. Like many, we have had our share of highs and lows. One thing I know, it’s worth it. Over the years, I have gained perspectives of ministry from several angles, and it is apparent – the need for ministers to be affirmed, encouraged, and appreciated is great.
Presbyterian Pastor Alexander Lang caused quite a stir recently when he published his blog, “Departure: Why I Left the Church.” Lang never imagined how many hits he’d get when, with full transparency, he laid out the pressures and unrealistic expectations of the pastorate. One commenter wrote, “Whiner.” He hasn’t walked in Alexander’s shoes. I have, maybe not in his specific circumstances, but I can certainly relate.

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.

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.

Braves tie season record with 307 homers, going deep 3 times in 10-9 loss to Nationals

ATLANTA (AP) — One final power milestone for the Atlanta Braves was especially memorable for Marcell Ozuna. The Braves homered three times to tie the major league season record of 307 but lost their regular-season finale 10-9 to the Washington Nationals on Sunday as Jacob Young drove in two runs with a go-ahead single in the ninth.