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Middle Ground pastor Charlie Cooper proves that ‘it’s hard to keep a good man down’

Charlie Cooper preaches recently at Middle Ground Baptist Church. (Index/J. Gerald Harris)
SYLVANIA, Ga. — Despite his planned retirement, pastor Charlie Cooper knew in his heart that he wanted to still have opportunities to preach. The night before his last Sunday preaching at First Baptist Sylvania in February 2021, Cooper prayed that the Lord would still be able to use him.
One of the teams competing at the 20th annual Holy Smoke barbeque competition. (Photo/Macedonia Baptist Church)
2024 Holy Smoke barbeque competition raises over $17,000 for children's homes
PRESTON, Ga. — Springtime in Preston means that it’s once again time for the Holy Smoke Christian Grilling Competition, sponsored by Macedonia Baptist Church. Other churches in the area also joined to support the barbeque competition, which raises funds for the Georgia Baptist Children’s Home in Meansville and the Methodist Girl’s Home in Americus.
Participants start the 2024
Photo gallery: Nearly 150 participate in 'Miles for Moms' 5K race to support pregnancy center
DALLAS, Ga. — Paulding Pregnancy Services hosted its third annual "Miles for Moms" 5K race on Saturday, with the event starting and ending in the parking lot of Fortified Hills Baptist Church. Nearly 150 participants ran, walked, or strolled to complete the course.
Interceptors missiles are launched into the sky early Sunday, April 14, 2024, in Jerusalem. (AP Photo/Sam Mednick)
Israel hails 'success' in blocking Iran's unprecedented attack
TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Israel on Sunday hailed its successful air defenses in the face of an unprecedented attack by Iran, saying it and its allies thwarted 99% of the more than 300 drones and missiles launched toward its territory. But regional tensions remain high, amid fears of further escalation in the event of a possible Israeli counter-strike.
Stephen Fountain, lead pastor of First Baptist Church of Buford, preaches recently at the church. (Photo/FBC Buford livestream)
Stephen Fountain and FBC Buford are passionate about connecting with the community
BUFORD, Ga. — Stephen Fountain, lead pastor of First Baptist Church in Buford, is a winsome and caring pastor who has led his church to become a loving and compassionate fellowship. He has successfully connected his church with the community because he is intricately bonded with the community himself.
The U.S. Social Security Administration office is seen in Mount Prospect, Ill., Oct. 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)
Unraveling the mystery of ministers and Social Security
The Social Security Act was passed during the Great Depression in 1935. Because Americans' life expectancy was increasing, Social Security was established to provide retirement income for American workers reaching the age of 65 and disability income for those injured on the job. 
Baptist Life

Photo gallery: Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief responds in wake of Conyers tornado

Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers work to clear fallen trees and torn insulation from a yard in Conyers, Ga., Tuesday, April 9, 2024, after an EF-2 tornado struck last week. (Index/Henry Durand)
CONYERS, Ga. — Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief teams deployed this week to assist homeowners in the wake of a tornado that hit Conyers last week. The EF-2 tornado with maximum winds of 115 mph touched down in Rockdale County early Wednesday morning, April 3, according to the National Weather Service. GBDR teams responded to remove downed trees and clear debris.
MARTINEZ, Ga. — Abilene Baptist Church is excited to announce its 250th Anniversary Celebration, taking place this Sunday, April 21, at 10:30 AM at the Columbia County Performing Arts Center in Evans.
FORT WORTH, Texas — More than 900 preschool, children’s, family ministry, pre-teen, church weekday, and disability ministry leaders from the southeast region of the United States gathered on the campus of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary earlier this month for the Heart of the Child Conference, an equipping conference sponsored by four Baptist state conventions.
ALBUQUERQUE (BNM) - Matt Queen spent an hour helping a roomful of people explore how they could approach the gospel in the everyday encounters and conversations of life. Quoting an unknown author, Queen started the conversation honestly. “Evangelism is a conversation between two people who are nervous,” he said.
ALPHARETTA, Ga. — More than 300 women from across the United States and Canada attended a Women’s Evangelism Conference at the North American Mission Board last week.  The event challenged women to be part of what God is doing to expand His kingdom as they proclaim the gospel.
Georgia
A sign for the University of Georgia is seen, May 28, 2004, in Athens, Ga. (AP Photo/Allen Sullivan, File)

Tuition and fees will rise at Georgia public universities in fall 2024

BARNESVILLE, Ga. (AP) — Students will pay more to attend Georgia's public universities and colleges in the the 2024-2025 academic year, with officials saying schools face rising costs and must charge more to maintain a quality education.

State energy regulators OK Georgia Power plan to boost generating capacity

ATLANTA – The state Public Service Commission (PSC) approved a request by Georgia Power Tuesday for a huge increase in electrical generating capacity power utility executives said is needed to meet the growing demands of large industrial customers.

Atlanta airport remains world’s busiest

ATLANTA – Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport retained its distinction as the world’s busiest airport last year, the industry organization Airport Council International reported Monday.

State tax revenues drop by double digits

ATLANTA – Georgia tax collections continued their downward slide last month, declining by 12.6% compared to March of last year, the state Department of Revenue reported Friday. Year-to-date tax receipts were more encouraging, with revenues down a slight 0.5% compared to the first nine months of the last fiscal year.
Nation
Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. James McConville, left, gestures to a student in the new Army prep course at Fort Jackson, S.C., Aug. 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford, File)

New recruiting programs put Army, Air Force on track to meet enlistment goals while Navy will fall short

WASHINGTON (AP) — After several difficult years, the Army and Air Force say they are on track to meet their recruiting goals this year, reversing previous shortfalls using a swath of new programs and policy changes. But the Navy, while improving, expects once again to fall short.

Salvage crews race against the clock to remove massive chunks of fallen Baltimore bridge

SPARROWS POINT, Md. (AP) — Nearly three weeks since Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed under the impact of a wayward cargo ship, crews are using the largest crane on the Eastern Seaboard to haul the wreckage to a nearby salvage yard.

Biden's latest plan for student loan cancellation moves forward as a proposed regulation

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden’s latest plan for student loan cancellation is moving forward as a proposed regulation, offering him a fresh chance to deliver on a campaign promise and energize young voters ahead of the November election.

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators shut down airport highways and key bridges in major US cities

CHICAGO (AP) — Pro-Palestinian demonstrators blocked roadways in Illinois, California, New York and the Pacific Northwest on Monday, temporarily shutting down travel into some of the nation's most heavily used airports, onto the Golden Gate and Brooklyn bridges and on a busy West Coast highway.
World
Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak meets students as he visits Haughton Academy to outline plans for the banning of single use vapes, in Darlington, England, on Jan. 29, 2024. (Ian Forsyth/Pool Photo via AP, File)

UK lawmakers will vote on a landmark bill to gradually phase out smoking

LONDON (AP) — British lawmakers will on Tuesday debate and vote on the government's plans to introduce a landmark smoking ban that aims to stop young people from ever smoking.

Israel’s military chief says that Israel will respond to Iran’s weekend missile attack

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s military chief said Monday that his country will respond to Iran’s weekend attack, but he did not elaborate on when and how.

From the mission field: World donors pledge $2.1 billion in aid for war-stricken Sudan to ward off famine

PARIS (AP) — World donors pledged more than $2.1 billion in humanitarian aid for Sudan after a yearlong war that has pushed its population to the brink of famine, French President Emmanuel Macron said Monday.

Biden hosts Iraqi leader after Iran's attack on Israel throws Mideast into greater uncertainty

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Monday hailed the "unprecedented military effort to defend Israel" on Monday as he hosted Iraq’s leader at the White House and his administration aims to prevent an escalation in Mideast hostilities following Iran’s weekend attack.
Perspectives
In a recent breakfast meeting with Pastor Todd Wright of Midway Church in Villa Rica, our conversation turned to the importance of leaving a legacy for those who will come behind us. It was a meaningful discussion for many reasons, but I was reminded of the words of King Solomon in Proverbs 13:22: “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children” (NKJV).
Recently, my wife, Carolyn and I were eating a sandwich for lunch in one of our favorite restaurants. We were quietly talking about a lot of things when suddenly my wife pointed out a little bug which was sitting on the window ledge.
More than 2 million people flocked to northern Italy in 2015 to take a rare glimpse at the Shroud of Turin, purportedly the burial cloth in which the crucified Christ was wrapped and which now bears His image. Around the same time, CNN featured the shroud in the first of several documentaries attempting to uncover the “historical Jesus” by examining such relics.
We are once again looking forward to our 2024 public affairs training events. Our theme for this year’s training will be the same as last year, "Living for Christ in the Public Square."
There have been serious debates as to whether preachers should include humorous quotes and illustrations in their sermons. Some parishioners want their preacher to be prim and proper and preach with a sense of earnestness and gravity.
Business
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell speaks Tuesday, April 16, 2025, in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Fed chairman Powell says elevated inflation will likely delay rate cuts this year

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell cautioned Tuesday that persistently elevated inflation will likely delay any Fed interest rate cuts until later this year, opening the door to a period of higher-for-longer rates.

China's economy grew 5.3% in first quarter, beating expectations, though weak spots remain

HONG KONG (AP) — China’s economy grew faster than expected in the first quarter of the year with help from policies and stronger demand, though signs of weakness in the troubled housing market persisted.

Government says Ford remedy for Bronco Sport gas leaks doesn't fix the problem

DETROIT (AP) — The U.S. government's auto safety agency has opened an investigation into a Ford recall for gasoline leaks from cracked fuel injectors that can cause engine fires, saying in documents that the remedy doesn't fix the leaks.

Driver of electric Ford SUV was using automated system before fatal Texas crash, investigators say

DETROIT (AP) — The driver of a Ford electric SUV involved in a February fatal crash in Texas was using the company's partially automated driving system before the wreck, federal investigators said Thursday.

Freight railroads ask courts to throw out new rule requiring two-person crews on trains

Four railroads have asked federal appeals courts to throw out a new rule that would require two-person train crews in most circumstances, saying the mandate is arbitrary, capricious and an illegal abuse of discretion.
Sports
Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Reynaldo Lopez throws to a Houston Astros batter during the first inning Tuesday, April 16, 2024, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)

Reynaldo López pitches 6 scoreless innings, Braves beat Astros 6-2

HOUSTON (AP) — Reynaldo López struck out seven over six scoreless innings, Orlando Arcia homered and the Atlanta Braves won their third straight, 6-2 over the Houston Astros on Tuesday night.

Ozzie Albies put on injured list by Atlanta Braves with broken right big toe

HOUSTON (AP) — Second baseman Ozzie Albies was put on the 10-day injured list by the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday because of a broken right big toe. Manager Brian Snitker didn’t give a timetable for Albies' return.

Despite weather glitch, the Paris Olympics flame is lit at the Greek cradle of ancient games

ANCIENT OLYMPIA, Greece (AP) — Even without the help of Apollo, the flame that is to burn at the Paris Olympics was kindled Tuesday at the site of the ancient games in southern Greece.

Austin Riley leads the Braves to a 6-1 victory over the Astros

HOUSTON (AP) — Austin Riley had three hits, including an RBI single in a four-run ninth inning as the Atlanta Braves pulled away for a 6-1 victory over the Houston Astros on Monday night.