Baptist Life

People from across Georgia were featured in The Christian Index in 2023. Some are old. Some are young. Some are somewhere in the middle. All are busy impacting their communities for Christ. Here’s a look back at a few of those people.

ATLANTA — Groups of Georgia Baptists took part in a series of prayer tours of the state Capitol over the past week.  Mike Griffin, public affairs representative for the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, led tours, providing insights into how state government operates. As the groups made their way through the Capitol, they made multiple stops to pray for government leaders.

The Georgia Baptist community lost many church leaders during 2023, including Charles Stanley and Michael Catt, the pastors who developed worldwide outreaches through Christian broadcasting and filmmaking.

MOUNT JULIET, Tenn. — With Christmas just around the corner, many Tennesseans are dealing with the aftermath of a series of tornadoes that swept through West and Middle Tennessee on Saturday. Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief teams responded immediately to the storms, and recovery efforts are underway.

HOUSTON, Texas — Georgia preacher Levi Skipper will be heading west to serve as lead pastor of a Texas megachurch. Sagemont Church, a Southern Baptist congregation in Houston, announced Sunday that Skipper had been called as lead pastor. Skipper, with 17 years of experience as a senior pastor, has led the Georgia Baptist Mission Board’s church strengthening and evangelism teams since 2019.

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.

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.

SWAINSBORO, Ga. — Robbie Lane, the starting shortstop on the East Georgia State College baseball team, has hit a grand slam of a different sort in an at bat as an aspiring minister. The 19-year-old baptized 11 of his teammates last week in a shiny aluminum watering trough set up on the baseball field.

Few Southern Baptists would know the name Robert Benjamin Headden, the late Georgia pastor under whose ministry famed international missionary Lottie Moon would be called to China some 150 years ago. By 1873, Headden, pastor of the Cartersville Baptist Church, had earned the reputation of a beloved pastor, dynamic preacher, denominational leader, and ardent supporter of missions, all of which would have been inconceivable 10 years earlier as he lay critically wounded for two days in Gettysburg.

DAWSON, Ga. — Christians in this small southern Georgia town are putting the spotlight back on Jesus this Christmas season, shifting the focus away from Santa who, for generations of Americans, has been the face of the holidays. That shift was on full display at a Christmas party for nearly 1,000 children on Saturday. The jolly old elf wasn’t there, nor were his reindeer, nor elves, nor any other commercialized yuletide decorations.

POWDER SPRINGS, Ga. — More than 200 years ago the Brothers Grimm published a collection of fairy tales about a poor shoemaker who was almost out of food to eat and leather to make shoes. However, during the night, little elves slipped into the shoemaker’s home and worked furiously to make incredibly beautiful and serviceable shoes that permitted the shoemaker to prosper. It is a beautiful Christmas story of goodness and grace.

DALTON, Ga. — A Georgia man’s chance meeting with country music star Chris McDaniel in a Delaware store led to a life-changing encounter with someone far more famous. McDaniel, a founding member of the multi-platinum-selling band Confederate Railroad, had stopped at the store for a soft drink as he prepared to drive back to Georgia. When he walked to the counter to pay for it, a man he came to know simply as Pablo was there with a basket of groceries and no way to pay for them because he had left his wallet at home.

PLAINS, Ga. — The chefs who prepared meals for hundreds of Secret Service agents, Georgia Highway Patrol troopers, National Guard troops, and others providing security during three days of memorials for former first lady Rosalynn Carter have vast experience feeding huge crowds, usually in disaster zones. In their trademark yellow shirts and caps, Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers will spend the next three days in the mobile kitchens where they will prepare tasty cuisine served at no charge.

Renowned for its stunning biodiversity, the Amazon rainforest region is also home to a vast array of people and cultures. “People usually think that the environment doesn’t contain and include people, but it does,” said soil scientist Judson Ferreira Valentim, who lives in Brazil’s Acre state. “There are many different Amazonias and many different Amazonians.”

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission has provided more than 85 ultrasound machines to pregnancy resource centers since 2004 through what the organization calls the Psalm 139 project. That includes 12 machines, which cost, with training included, about $40,000, so far in 2023.

ROME, Ga. — Hall of Fame College Football Coach Mark Richt will be the featured speaker at Shorter University’s 2023 President’s Gala on December 7. Richt, a committed Christian, philanthropist and author, served as the head football coach for the University of Georgia and the University of Miami for 18 seasons.

DALTON, Ga. — Boxes of Kleenex are always at the ready in the sanctuary of McFarland Hill Baptist Church. They’re for wiping tears of joy among a growing congregation that nearly ceased to exist just more than a decade ago. The 83-year-old church that sprouted from an old-fashion brush arbor service had fallen into a funk, and worshippers were leaving in mass. By 2011, the congregation had dwindled to about 35 regular attendees, and they were shouldering some $330,000 in church debt. They had cut off electricity to the gym and canceled the insurance to save money. They didn’t see a path forward. They were considering shuttering the church permanently.

CORDOVA, Tenn. — Former Southern Baptist Convention president and Tennessee Baptist pastor Steve Gaines announced to his congregation at Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova on Sunday that he has been diagnosed with kidney cancer. Gaines has served as pastor of the Memphis-area church since 2005. Gaines said that he has “a great team of doctors in Memphis who are treating me.” He added that he plans to go to M.D. Anderson in Houston to consult with their physicians.

SNELLVILLE, Ga. — The Georgia Baptist Convention annual meeting added a new feature to the programming at the recent gathering at Snellville’s Church on Main. Six different forums provided helpful information on a stage adjacent to the display area. The "second stage" panels proved to be so popular, the mission board will continue the practice next year.

THOMSON, Ga. — Some have been miserable for days because of aching teeth. Others have cavities in need of immediate attention. But Ron Belcher is convinced the people gathered for appointments at a mobile dental clinic parked outside Washington Heights Baptist Church have an even greater need, a spiritual need. So the deacon tells them about Jesus as they wait their turns with one of the volunteer dentists who help to care for Georgia’s 1.3 million uninsured residents.

ROCK SPRINGS, Ga. – Confetti is no longer limited to sports championships, weddings and New Year's Eve celebrations. Peavine Baptist Church in Rock Springs recently celebrated the 300th baptism of the year by launching a deluge of confetti in the sanctuary. Joel Southerland, lead pastor at Peavine, has a history of emphasizing the absolute importance of reaching the lost. He has been a successful pastor and has led evangelistic initiatives for the Georgia Baptist Mission Board and the North American Mission Board.

SNELLVILLE, Ga. — Fayetteville pastor Josh Saefkow will serve a second one-year term as president of the Georgia Baptist Convention, the state’s largest religious group with some 1.4 million members. Saefkow, with his winsome personality and unwavering work ethic that had him crisscrossing the state for preaching engagements and meetings throughout his first term, had no opposition and was elected by acclamation.

SNELLVILLE, Ga. – Georgia Baptists are projected to give more than $60 million through the Cooperative Program and a series of special offerings to cover the cost of sharing the gospel throughout the state, across the nation and around the world. That total represents a projected 4.2% increase in the Cooperative Program budget, a needed shot in the arm for what been described as the greatest evangelistic initiative of the modern church age.

SNELLVILLE, Ga. — Georgia Baptists have given an additional $1.7 million to the International Mission Board to support missionaries serving around the world. Georgia Baptist Mission Board Executive Director W. Thomas Hammond, accompanied by Finance Committee Chairman Steve Browning, Executive Committee Vice Chairman Stephen Fountain, Administration Committee Chairman Tim Oliver presented the check to IMB President Paul Chitwood at the Church on Main in Snellville.

SNELLVILLE, Ga. – Organizations that receive funding from the Georgia Baptist Health Care Ministry Foundation have reported 1,585 salvation decisions so far this year, the leader of the philanthropic group reported Monday. Executive Director Larry Wynn told the Georgia Baptist Executive Committee that the foundation’s grant recipients have introduced 21,421 people to Christ since it was created from the sale of the state’s Baptist hospitals in 2005.

« Prev | 1 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 30 | Next »
Currently viewing stories posted within the past 7 years.
For all older stories, please use our advanced search.