Baptist Life

RICHMOND, Va. — As new International Mission Board missionaries gathered for a special commissioning service near Richmond, Virginia, on Thursday, six representatives of the Myanmar Baptist Churches USA fellowship traveled from Maryland. They were on-site to support one couple who represents a historic milestone for the Southern Baptist Convention.  

Following his recent diagnosis of kidney cancer, Steve Gaines shared in a video update Dec. 7 that his doctors said the cancer has spread to his lungs. Gaines, former Southern Baptist Convention president and a Tennessee Baptist pastor, appeared in the video with his wife, Donna. Gaines first announced his cancer diagnosis Nov. 19 to Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, which is one of the largest congregations in both the SBC and the Tennessee Baptist Convention.

It was just a normal meeting of some Zambian pastors and a few workers from Christian organizations. When Randy Windham stood up and handed a sign-up sheet to the person next to him, they had no idea that ministry as they knew it was about to change. “I’ve been to a training on how to plant churches,” the International Mission Board missionary told them. “I’d love to share this knowledge. If you are interested, just sign up and we’ll set a time for training.” 

MANSFIELD, Texas — From meeting each other in the classroom at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2007, to serving in a church 20 minutes from the campus, Spencer (’07, ’13) and Shelley (’08) Plumlee have been following God’s will to make the biggest Kingdom impact possible. Through discipleship and remembering where they came from, they help show Christ’s love in the Mansfield, Texas, community and beyond.

Jimmy Dukes, a visionary and innovator who served New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Leavell College as a faculty member and administrator for more than four decades, died Monday at the age of 81. Dukes was integral to the founding and establishment of Leavell College, the ground-breaking and highly successful NOBTS prison theological education system, and the NOBTS extension center system that made theological education accessible to pastors without resources for education.  

BAXLEY, Ga. — Georgia-based evangelist Rick Gage rocked the Bible Belt in 2023 with his powerful brand of preaching in a series of crusades attended by tens of thousands. In his final crusade of the year, some 17,000 people packed into an open-air amphitheater just outside Jackson, Miss., for four nights of preaching. More than 2,000 people made decisions for Christ.

A middle schooler recently told his mother he didn’t like Sunday School because he knew all the Bible stories already.  I got a little bit tickled but beg to differ with that young man.  Even though I am 62, every single time I open God’s Word He speaks to me.

My brother Ken and I were in prison when our sister was born. At least it felt like prison. Our grandmother—we called her Mama Hudgins — piled four quilts onto our skinny bodies — bedded down in a cold, unheated room—turned the calendar toward the wall so that we wouldn’t strain our eyes trying to figure out the date, pulled the light chain and shut the door.

Do you ever feel like you hear the phrase “Just a minute” quite often? Well, I know at my house I do. It feels like you can call a name and they seem to answer, “Just a minute.” I can ask someone to put away their items scattered around the house and they will say, “Just a minute.” A request can be made to get the mail and I normally hear, “Just a minute.” Sometimes when I have heard “Just a minute” enough I make the decision to just do it myself.

MONROE, Ga. — Pastors are sometimes depressed, distressed, discouraged, despondent, dejected, disconsolate, disheartened, even doleful. However, that is not true of Mike Peavy, pastor of Gratis Church in Monroe, Ga. At least a recent visit with him gave every evidence that he is a joyful, compassionate, dedicated pastor who always seems to see the glass as half full rather than half empty.

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