Baptist Life

MONROE, Ga. — When it comes to supporting Christian causes, women are “a generous force.” That’s what the Barna Research Group reported in an article released on Wednesday. Barna’s online survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults found women are “quite open-minded” when it comes to the kinds of causes they’re willing to support.

SUWANEE, Ga. — Georgia Baptist churches reported a nearly 17% increase in baptisms last year with the overall total reaching 15,071, up from 12,897 the previous year. “The increase truly is encouraging,” said W. Thomas Hammond Jr., executive director of the Georgia Baptist Mission Board. “We’re overjoyed to see that our churches have come out of the pandemic energized and enthusiastically sharing the gospel.”

ALPHARETTA, Ga. – A young lady sat in a park in a Denver suburb, contemplating her life as a believer and sensing the need to go deeper in her Christian faith. She did not know what steps to take, though, so she closed her eyes to pray and asked God to send someone to help her. Shortly after she opened her eyes, there was Send Network church planting missionary Justin McKay. He was at the park promoting a soccer camp, shared about the church they were preparing to plant and asked her if she knew Jesus.

DALLAS, Texas — A recommendation to make Texas pastor Jared Wellman the next president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee failed overwhelmingly Monday in Dallas. With 81 votes cast, Wellman, an SBC insider who most recently served as chairman of the Executive Committee, lost 50-31, forcing the appointment of a new search committee to begin the process anew.

DOUGLASVILLE, Ga. — Pastor Tim Akin’s vision for First Baptist Church Douglasville is of a “multicultural, multigenerational, multiplying” church. That's why, in November 2022, the church invited Pastor Javier López to begin holding worship services in Spanish. That diversity, and its rewards, were evident Sunday as 12 believers of varying ages and ethnicities were baptized during a bilingual worship service in English and Spanish.

BLACKSHEAR, Ga. —  Georgia pastor Mike Stone will seek the presidency of the Southern Baptist Convention at an annual meeting scheduled for June 13-14 in New Orleans. Mac Brunson, senior pastor at Valleydale Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., distributed a video of Stone explaining why he intends to accept the nomination to run against incumbent SBC President Bart Barber of Texas.

CLARKESVILLE, Ga. – Pastor Chuck Johnson Jr. is thanking God that he and his family escaped a pre-dawn fire Monday that heavily damaged the Hollywood Baptist Church parsonage where they lived. Johnson, his wife, and their five children were sleeping when he awoke shortly after 6 a.m. to a strange noise and the smell of smoke. He looked out his bedroom window and saw the yellowish glow of fire reflecting against trees in the backyard.

WAYCROSS, Ga. — For aspiring math major Bree Howard, it just didn’t add up that South Georgia State College’s Waycross campus had no Baptist Collegiate Ministry. So the sophomore from Blackshear did something about it. She started one. “I’m trying to graduate with a 4.0, and that’s important to me,” Howard said. “But this is way more important. This is eternal.”

ATLANTA, GA — Christian leaders from across the country arrived in Atlanta on Sunday to honor the late Charles Stanley, founder of Atlanta-based In Touch Ministries, calling him a friend, a dedicated pastor, an incredible Bible teacher, a humble servant, a giant in God’s service, and a great example for others to follow.

DULUTH, Ga. – One Sunday morning about three months ago, Greg Teffertiller encountered George, a homeless man who was living in his car at a fast-food restaurant. He was asking for money to buy food and gasoline. Greg explained, “It was an inconvenient time and place for me because I was in a hurry headed for church. I had a choice to make, ‘Was I going to be Jesus or Greg to that homeless man?’ I decided I would help him; and I gave him what he requested. I then invited him to follow me to our church.”

CLAYTON, Ga. — It’s obvious from the moment Pastor Joey Thompson walks into the pulpit at Clayton Baptist Church on Sunday mornings that he has a passion for preaching. He delivers high-energy, gospel-focused sermons, the kind that keep members of his congregation on the edges of their seats as he declares their need to rely on the righteousness of Christ — not their own — to get to heaven.

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — Mary Ann Wilson made her way along a row of tables, picking out children’s books destined for elementary students who have fallen behind in reading. Wilson, a member of Bethel Baptist Church in Sycamore, tucked her selections into a backpack, and, just like that, she has potentially changed the trajectory of a young life.

PORT WENTWORTH, Ga. — For the past 200 years, North Salem Baptist Church has been a constant in coastal Georgia, ministering to area residents through hard times that have included hurricanes, yellow fever, and the Civil War. The congregation held a  bicentennial celebration on Sunday, looking back at a rich history while preparing for what the congregation hopes will be a bright future.

CUMMING, Ga. — A Michigan businessman who died more than a decade ago is helping a Georgia congregation with the cost of a new church building. Construction crews were at the future site of Hope Fellowship on Monday, preparing to pour foundations for what will be the first permanent home for the 5-year-old church plant.

ATLANTA, Ga. — Charles Stanley, the beloved Atlanta preacher whose In Touch Ministries reaches millions of people each day via television and radio, is being remembered as a man of prayer and faithfulness and an unyielding follower of Christ. Stanley died on Tuesday at his home. He was 90. “His legacy is going to continue to touch lives for generations,” said Georgia Baptist Convention President Josh Saefkow, pastor of Flat Creek Baptist Church in Fayetteville.

ATLANTA, Ga. — In Touch Ministries has announced that beloved pastor Dr. Charles Frazier Stanley passed away at 7:30 a.m. this  morning at age 90. Known to audiences around the world through his wide-reaching TV and radio broadcasts, Stanley modeled his 65 years of ministry after the apostle Paul’s message in Acts 20:24: “Life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about God’s mighty kindness and love.”

SUWANEE, Ga. — In a culture where restlessness is the norm, the Barna Group’s latest survey provides some good news for church leaders: Nearly seven in 10 Christians say it is “mostly true” or “very true” that they are satisfied with their churches. Barna, a research organization that monitors cultural and religious trends in America, called that "an encouraging finding."

SUWANEE, Ga. – Georgia Baptist Mission Board Executive Director W. Thomas Hammond Jr. is calling the state’s 3,400 churches to be part of an online gathering to pray for the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting set for June 13-14 in New Orleans.

HAMILTON, Ga. – Most Americans who read the Bible do so because it makes them feel closer to God or because they’re seeking wisdom to make important decisions in their lives. That’s among the newly released findings of the American Bible Society’s annual State of the Bible Survey. The survey conducted in January also found that 44 percent of Americans believe the nation would be worse off without the Bible and 23 percent believe negative influences from media, movies and music are feeding a moral decline.

ATLANTA, GA – Wayne Mote trained for two years and six months to become an Ironman, a title achieved by completing a grueling 116-mile bike ride, a full 26.2-mile marathon, and a 2.4-mile swim. Six months after attaining the title achieved by only the most elite athletes, he collapsed while running in a less grueling triathlon in Peachtree City. He had completed the swimming and cycling events and was running toward the finish line when he collapsed.

This Mother’s Day, May 14th, will see many churches celebrating Children’s Home Day. It’s a special day of prayer and offering to honor and help continue the ministry of Georgia Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Ministries. The Home provides a wide range of services for children in need, with campuses throughout the state of Georgia.  Group Home Care, family care, foster care, counseling, along with programs for children with special needs and education are just some of the ministries offered.

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. – A pastor’s wife, speaker and writer who works to make disciples by cultivating a passion for God’s word will be a headliner at this year’s Georgia Baptist Women’s Spring Event. Kandi Gallaty who, with her husband Robby Gallaty, leads Replicate Ministries, an effort to educate, equip and empower believers to make disciples who make disciples.

From dressing as Roman soldiers in Antigua, Guatemala, to carrying palm fronds on the streets of Lagos, Nigeria, Christians around the world have celebrated Holy Week. For millions of Christians, the week between Palm Sunday and Easter, known as Holy Week, is the most sacred time of the year. It's the week Christians commemorate the passion of Jesus Christ.

August 1, 1834, it was a sunrise to remember. People began walking in the predawn darkness, making their way to the mountain tops of islands scattered across the Caribbean. They summited the peaks in order to see the first rays of a sunrise that would mark the first day of their new freedom. It was a journey they began as slaves and one that would end as they walked down the mountain slopes in freedom.

DAWSONVILLE, Ga. – A black Jeep Grand Cherokee made its way slowly along a narrow U.S. Forest Service road Thursday, bucking and jolting across washouts and fallen tree branches in a remote section of north Georgia, a canoe strapped to the roof. Behind the wheel was Southern Baptist historian Charles Jones whose latest research project took him to a wilderness area along the banks of the Etowah River to look for telltale signs of one of Georgia’s earliest churches where some of the state’s original inhabitants worshipped two centuries ago.

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