Baptist Life

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.

WEST POINT, Ga. – Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers don’t receive pay for the work they do, unless they count the smiles, thank yous and hugs. “We get our necks hugged a lot,” said Ronnie Register, a retiree from First Baptist Church in Sparks, Ga. who, along with his wife, Linda, has responded to disasters across the country. “The people we help are so overwhelmingly appreciative.”

FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. – A wildly successful discipleship event that drew some 1,300 youth to New Hope Baptist Church in March has been showcased in The Christian Post, an online evangelical publication based in Washington. The Disciple Now gathering, held on New Hope’s north campus from March 24-26, involved students in grades seven through 12 and provided small group Bible studies led by college students and large group events led by nationally acclaimed speakers and worship bands, the publication reported.

VILLA RICA, Ga. – Localized revivals that have been popping up across Georgia don’t appear to be slowing. More churches reported mass numbers of salvation decisions over the past week, including Villa Rica’s First Baptist Church where 53 people surrendered to Christ between Thursday and Saturday. “We’re definitely seeing a move of God in Georgia like we haven’t seen in a long, long time,” said Villa Rica Pastor Kevin Williams.

WEST POINT, Ga. – A week after a tornado demolished an entire neighborhood around Bethel Baptist Church, Pastor Chris Hendricks stood among the ruins on Sunday and declared that “our God has delivered us.” Members of the congregation gathered beneath a tent on the Bethel parking lot for Sunday worship, a brilliant sun beaming down on the twisted lumber that used to be their church building.

PRESTON, Ga. – Residents in this southwestern Georgia farming community have a name for the sweet aroma that was rising Saturday from barbecue grills scattered across the grounds of the the Macedonia Baptist Church community center. They call it holy smoke – and for good reason.

MACON, Ga. – Pastors have the most important jobs and perhaps the toughest as they work to share Jesus in a culture that is growing increasingly resistant to the gospel, the leader of the Georgia Baptist Mission Board said Thursday.

CORDELE, Ga. – Retired Navy Chief Petty Officer Terry Ryan spent 20 years serving in the U.S. military. Now, he’s in the Lord’s army. Ryan, pastor of Penia Baptist Church outside Cordele, spent much of his military service as a flight technician aboard a Lockheed P-3 Orion plane, searching the oceans for enemy submarines.

WEST POINT, Ga. – When Sherry Bennett heard hailstones pounding against her roof and walls early Sunday morning, she worried it would put dents in cars in her neighborhood. Turned out the hail was the least of her worries. An EF-3 tornado with winds up to 165 mph picked up her Jeep Cherokee and slammed into the side of her house. The twister also ripped the roof off her house, carried away her garage, and blew two neighboring homes away entirely.

BOWDON, Ga. – The small town of Bowdon is the latest to experience a localized revival with more than 32 people making salvation decisions on Saturday at a ministry outreach that drew some 900 people. Several local churches worked together to organize the event – dubbed Love Loud Bowdon – that showered people with a variety of gifts ranging from appliances to groceries. “The whole purpose is to show the love of God,” said Mountain View Baptist Church Pastor Scott Estes.

ATLANTA — In 1846 the railroad town of Marthasville, Georgia, was booming. The town, formally called “Terminus,” was no longer a terminus. A rail bridge had been completed over the Chattahoochee River and the Western and Atlantic Railroad was pressing westward. The Executive Committee of the Georgia Baptist Convention decided to take an unprecedented move. For the first time in its 25-year history, a specific location would be targeted for planting a church.

GAINESVILLE, Ga. – Georgia is seeing revival on college and university campuses where 119 students have made salvation decisions since early January. Beverly Skinner, collegiate ministry catalyst for the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, said the new believers were introduced to Jesus by young Christians involved in Baptist Collegiate Ministry who have shared the gospel with 3,965 of their fellow students between early January and mid-March.

PEACHTREE CITY, Ga. – Localized revivals that have been happening in congregations across Georgia have now reached the state’s Deaf ministries where five people are set to be baptized in coming weeks. While not the largest number of salvation decisions seen this year among any particular faith community, it is a significant number in a state where 3.1 percent of the population live with hearing impairment.

VALDOSTA, GA – Joseph York, the 20-year-old son of the Tommy and Greta York, walked down the aisle during the recent Bible conference at Northside Baptist Church in Valdosta. He made a commitment to Christ and became a candidate for baptism. Tommy, who serves as a deacon and Sunday School teacher at Northside had the privilege of baptizing his son on the following Sunday and explained that the baptismal candidates were lined up so far that it created a traffic jam at the baptistry.

SUWANEE, Ga. – Pastors are feeling increasingly dissatisfied with their jobs and more than 40 percent have considered leaving the ministry in the past 12 months. That’s according to data released this week by the Barna Group, a research organization that monitors trends related to values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors. 

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – Brent Leatherwood pledged Monday that the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission stands ready to represent Southern Baptists well in an America beleaguered by darkness and division. “We will build and reconstitute this team to meet the demands of the times we find ourselves in, fulfill the assignment given to us by our churches over a century ago, and do all we can to bring honor and glory to the name and saving grace of Jesus Christ,” Leatherwood said at an installation service hosted by Brentwood Baptist Church.

AUBURN, Ga. – The Georgia Baptist Mission Board’s church strengthening team will be crisscrossing the state in May with a series of regional roundtables that will focus on the triumphs and trials church leaders are encountering as they work to reach their communities and the world with the gospel. "We anticipate engaging with new and old friends to listen and learn from one another about how God is moving throughout our state,” said Levi Skipper, the Mission Board’s lead strategist for church strengthening.

CLAYTON, Ga. – Not only will 30 young Southern Baptist ladies be chosen to spend summer break in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, they’ll also get paid for it. That is if they’re chosen to work at Camp Pinnacle, the Woman’s Missionary Union get-away just outside Clayton, a resort town in north Georgia.

MACON, Ga. – Anthony Wilson challenged Georgia Baptist leaders on Tuesday to help shape the destinies of people, even if it means taking extraordinary actions to get them to Jesus. “If we’re going to reach the many lost souls in this state, we can’t do it by conventional means,” said Wilson, pastor of Church 180 in Hampton and second vice president of the Georgia Baptist Convention. “We can’t do it the way it was done before I was born. We have to do something unique. The message has to stay the same, but the methods must change.”

SILVER CREEK, Ga. – Localized revivals that have been popping up across Georgia over the past year reached Silver Creek where 21 people made salvation decisions at a Thursday evening sportsmen’s banquet at Pleasant Valley South Baptist Church. “You could sense the presence of the Holy Spirit,” said Pastor Philip May. “It was all ages of people who got saved.”

CUMMING, Ga. – In a nation where senior citizens make up the fastest growing segment of the population, Ricky Thrasher offers an important reminder to church leaders: “The soul never wrinkles.” Thrasher, head of the Georgia Baptist Mission Board’s chaplaincy program, is offering strategies to help church leaders reach the 56 million people 65 and older whose bodies may be giving out but whose souls will live forever.

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