Baptist Life

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.

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 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. 

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.

LEXINGTON, Ga.  — The last two years have been a whirlwind for Pastor Matt Bartlett and Lexington Baptist Church in Lexington. At its recent low point, the 176-year-old church had 39 people in attendance, with half being from the pastor’s own family and friends.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. — At a recent Georgia Baptist evangelism conference in Tifton, Ga., Keith Fordham was recognized for his godly service of 50 years as a vocational evangelist. His fundamental goal in life is to glorify the Lord by helping those who are lost find salvation and eternal security in Jesus Christ.

SNELLVILLE Ga. — The Church on Main will not soon forget Hannah’s baptism. A 15-year-old with cerebral palsy, Hannah was nonverbal and communicated through a device that tracked her eye movements and generated speech for her. Through that device, she told her mother she had committed her life to Christ and wanted to be baptized.

BRUNSWICK, Ga. – At Marshes of Glynn Baptist Church in Brunswick, pastor Darrell Joiner is seeing the results of focusing on discipleship, evangelism, and service to the community. When Joiner was called to the church in November 2020, he says the average Sunday attendance was about 35. Today, Sunday School and Sunday services attract more than 100, and the church continues to grow.

This spring, as many college students around the country turned their thoughts to beaches and parties, some had other things on their minds. Groups of students from colleges and universities across Georgia used the pause in the school year to go and tell others about Jesus. Georgia Baptist Collegiate Ministry students and leaders traveled to other nations, states, and communities to share the good news.

VILLA RICA, Ga. — When Todd Wright was called to Midway Church in 1996, he was recognized as an effective and passionate preacher. He also knew that a pastor was responsible for carefully shepherding the flock of God. But early in his ministry Wright realized that an effectual pastor must be skilled as a leader.

ARDEN, N.C. — Bruce Frank, lead pastor of Biltmore Church in Arden, N.C., will be nominated for president of the Southern Baptist Convention during the convention's annual meeting this summer. Tennessee Pastor John Mark Harrison said he plans to nominate Frank at the meeting, which is scheduled for June 11-12 in Indianapolis.

ONTARIO, Calif. — Trustees on the presidential search committee have nominated Adam Groza, vice president for enrollment and student services, as the candidate to serve as Gateway Seminary’s next president. “After a thorough selection process, we are thankful to be able to unanimously present a candidate to the full board,” said J. Robert White, chair of the search committee.

CLEVELAND, Ga. — Truett McConnell University President Emir Caner has a dream, a vision, a goal of having resident housing for 1,000 students on campus who can be trained to be warriors for Christ. A proposed dormitory would provide housing for an additional 400 students for the growing university.

Jeff Iorg, retiring president of Gateway Seminary, was elected as the next Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee president/CEO during a special-called trustee meeting in Dallas, Thursday, March 21. Iorg transitions to the new role after 20 years at Gateway. He enters the position at a crucial moment in SBC life, as the EC copes with financial and legal challenges amid the denomination’s reckoning with sexual abuse and declining baptisms, among other concerns.

Adam Greenway, who was forced out as president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in September 2022, filed a personal injury lawsuit against the seminary and the past chair of its trustee board. The lawsuit, filed March 20 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, asserts the seminary administration and the then chairman of the trustee board, “began a defamatory campaign against Dr. Greenway that included both specific false statements, along with publication of a narrative that created a substantially false and defamatory impression.”

CHATSWORTH, Ga. — After 45 years of a pastoral, teaching, and mentoring ministry and almost a quarter of a century as pastor of Holly Creek Baptist Church in Chatsworth, Dr. Danny Cochran has retired from full-time ministry. His fervent prayer is that he will be able to continue to encourage pastors and help churches as God grants him the opportunity to do so.

SUWANEE, Ga. — With a final count now complete, Georgia Baptist churches saw a 40% increase in baptisms over the past year and a more than 106% increase since 2020. Steve Foster, an evangelism consultant for the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, said reports from the state’s churches showed 21,151 new believers were baptized in 2023, up from 15,127 in 2022.

SUWANEE, Ga. — Pastors are comfortable with artificial intelligence for graphic design and marketing but not for preparing sermons, the Barna Group found in a survey done earlier this year. Barna, an organization that monitors cultural and religious trends in the U.S., said in an article that concerns among pastors about artificial intelligence appear to be easing for some administrative tasks.

For over a quarter of a century, from 1895 to 1921, the Woman’s Missionary Union of Georgia published a monthly paper called The Mission Messenger. In the beginning, it was written and published by a small band of volunteers, mostly state WMU officers. They understood the need to inform and inspire the Baptists women of Georgia to support missions. The early editions were four pages long, and a subscription cost 10 cents a year.

CLEVELAND, Ga. — Truett McConnell University hosted a Friends and Family Weekend on Friday and Saturday for students, alumni, faculty, staff, trustees, and partners for a variety of exciting activities. The featured speaker for the special weekend was Riley Gaines, who was introduced by University President Dr. Emir Caner as a 12-time All-American swimmer for the University of Kentucky with 5 SEC titles.

SUWANEE, Ga. — Georgia Baptist churches have been posting some impressive numbers when it comes to baptisms and Cooperative Program giving. W. Thomas Hammond Jr., executive director of the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, said Cooperative Program giving was up 10.6% in January and February compared to the same two months last year, and that the baptism count was up more than 40% in the past year.

ATLANTA, Ga. — Georgia Labor Commissioner Bruce Thompson’s announcement that he has been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer that has spread to his liver has triggered an outpouring of prayer from his fellow Southern Baptists across the state. Thompson, a member of First Baptist Church of Woodstock, said he will provide updates on his health as they become available.

BOWMAN, Ga. — A spiritual movement that began in Georgia in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic is continuing in Bowman where 60 people made salvation decisions at a Wednesday evening wild game dinner. “It was incredible,” said Chris Pritchett, pastor at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church where some 550 people had tickets for the meal that included bison, duck, wild boar, rabbit, and alligator,

SUWANEE, Ga. — After a couple of stress-filled years, the majority of America’s pastors are feeling better about their ministries. That’s according to research from the Barna Group, an organization that monitors cultural and religious trends in the U.S. In an article last week, the Barna Group said 90 percent of pastors surveyed said they felt more confident in their calls to ministry than they did when they first started, a sure sign that the nation’s preachers are no long feeling “discouraged, depleted and defeated by their day-to-day work.”

CLEVELAND, GA – John Yarbrough has one of the most impressive ministerial resumes imaginable.  He has been a successful pastor. He has academic credentials to be envied. His denominational engagement on the associational, state, and national levels is extraordinary. His preaching opportunities have taken him to 48 states and seven foreign countries.

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