Baptist Life

Does your church need to develop a culture of peace? Are you ready to learn how? Join me at Midway Church, Villa Rica, Ga for the SOWING PEACE CONFERENCE, April 18-20, 2024.  One doesn’t have to read the Bible very deeply to find that PEACE is at the very core of being a Christian. PEACE in our hearts? PEACE IN OUR HOMES? A PEACEFUL culture in our churches?

Mark Hern, senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Duluth, Georgia, has been strengthening discipleship in his church. In the process, he’s seen that “a natural part of discipleship is equipping people to go.” Duluth is one of the most diverse cities in the U.S., and the church reflects that diversity.

TIFTON, Ga. — Amid a secular culture prone to reject the gospel, Christians must be more persistent than ever to fearlessly proclaim the name of Jesus, preachers told Georgia Baptists who gathered Monday at Northside Baptist Church in Tifton for the final day of a two-day evangelism conference. “In the time and place and culture we live in, there is a growing conspiracy against the name of Jesus, but we must not be afraid or ashamed to proclaim who He is and what He has done,” said H.B. Charles, pastor at Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla.

MACON, Ga. — Ingleside Baptist Church in Macon announced Dr. Justin Nalls as its next lead pastor Sunday after a nine-month search. Ingleside’s Pastor Search Committee and Board of Overseers recommended Dr. Nalls as the lead pastor candidate on Feb. 15 via a church e-newsletter and video. The church body voted him in as its next lead pastor on Sunday at an afternoon called church conference.

NASHVILLE, Tenn.   —  An Associated Press report on Friday said the status of a federal investigation into the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee’s handling of sexual abuse is unclear.

TIFTON, Ga. — Georgia Baptists passionate about sharing the gospel shouldn’t be deterred by church folks “looking like they were weaned on dill pickles.” Instead, they should gladly share the good news with others, regardless of where they live or how they live. That was the combined message of two preachers at the latest of the Georgia Baptist Mission Board’s Called to Witness evangelism conferences that began Sunday night in Tifton.

When we visited our eldest daughter Paula in pediatric residency at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, she was working with “bald-headed children” suffering from cancer.  I enquired how she was handling such a heart-rending sight.  She cited this top-rated hospital’s most encouraging success rate.  Of course, children were still dying, and they and their parents had to come to terms with that.  Although I love answering questions, I would hate to be a parent confronted by a dying child who asks:  “What is it like to die?”

Rev. James Harold Reynolds, Jr., 73, of Rome, Ga., passed away on Friday after a sudden illness of pancreatic cancer. Jim was born on September 24, 1950, to Rev. James Harold Reynolds and Charlotte Swindle Reynolds in Lindale. Ga. Jim graduated from Pepperell High School in 1968.

PEACHTREE CITY, Ga. — It was an easy decision for First Baptist Church of Peachtree City to financially support Mission Georgia, the statewide outreach to orphaned children, human trafficking victims, and others in need. “We believe the causes that Mission Georgia engages are critically important to God,” said Pastor Joey Rodgers. “They are also causes our church has traditionally prioritized.” First Baptist of Peachtree City led the state in giving to the Mission Georgia offering over the past year, contributing $23,623.50 to help the Georgia Baptist Mission Board bring hope and healing to the hurting while compassionately sharing the gospel.

DALLAS, Texas — GuideStone trustees have unanimously elected Stephen Allen as their new chief legal officer to replace Harold Loftin Jr. who plans to retire later this year. Allen is the former senior vice president, general counsel and assistant secretary for ONEOK, a publicly traded Tulsa, Oklahoma-based Fortune 500 company where he worked for almost 18 years. He will oversee the Legal and Government Affairs teams within GuideStone as chief legal officer.

I asked Stevie, who turns 7 this week, to name something he would run from.  “A T-Rex, a raptor, and a stegosaurus,” he answered without a pause. “Can you think of something smaller?” I asked. “Oh, ok, a baby T-Rex,” he replied.  I laughed out loud.

CLEVELAND, Ga. — Truett McConnell University has named Danny Hendrix associate vice president for development and church relations. Vice President of Advancement Stacy Hall made that announcement on Wednesday. In the position, Hendrix will cultivate and maintain positive relationships with donors, prospective donors, and churches while implementing comprehensive fundraising strategies that help meet the university’s needs.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A Nashville newspaper reported Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Justice has wrapped up a year-and-a-half-long investigation that sought to determine whether Southern Baptist Convention leaders were criminally responsible for mishandling sexual abuse allegations. The Tennessean said federal investigators concluded the probe last week without charging any SBC leaders.

When the Apostle Paul wrote his second letter to the church at Corinth, he declared, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (II Cor. 5:17). When Christ saves an individual, that person does not remain the same. A transformation takes place.

LAS VEGAS – Las Vegas might be the most known, and unknown, place on earth. Most people know it’s a place where slot machines outnumber ATM’s; a place where you can play golf at midnight; and a place where, if you so desire, you can order a $3.99 ribeye at 3 a.m. But very few people know the Las Vegas that Alabama natives Joseph and Kristen Gibbons know.

Eric Patrick’s journey from dispensing medicines to saving souls as a church planter transported his family 40 miles north of downtown Dallas to the burgeoning town of Little Elm, Texas. After seven years as a pharmacy tech and eight as a pharmacist working for two large hospital systems, the Florida native felt God pulling him in a new direction in 2019. He stopped practicing pharmacy and began teaching financial literacy and running a web-based marketing business to support his family.

TIFTON, Ga. — Final arrangements are underway for the latest in a series of Called to Witness evangelism conferences that begins Sunday evening at Northside Baptist Church in Tifton. Hundreds of people are expected to attend the event that will provide inspiration to go tell others about Christ and information on the most effective ways to do it.

I once served a church as transitional pastor that had a basketball gym. Local FBI employees used the gym once a week to play basketball. One day I was alone in the church office and an FBI agent came and asked me a question about facilities. I didn’t know the answer and explained to him that I was new at the church and was only there until the next senior pastor was called. He responded, “That’s okay. I heard the church was under new management.”

Quintell Hill, pastor of Multiply Community Church in Monroe, N.C., and president of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, will be joining the International Mission Board  as African American church mobilization strategist starting April 1. Hill shared the news with members of his church on Sunday, during their morning service. The IMB announced the transition via internal communication sent to staff Monday morning. 

Usually, when two or more men meet for the first time, the conversation eventually turns to employment. “So, what do you do?” will be asked of each, and the answers will be disclosed. We tend to search for a level of commonality or interest in how people make a living. Our purpose also gives us a sense of identity.

God provides, God guides, and God directs the steps of those who seek Him. In this passage, God provides guidance in the relationship between Isaac and Rebekah.

KENNESAW, Ga. — A menu of wild boar, venison, and alligator, mixed with an ample serving of the gospel, proved to be an irresistible combination at Kennesaw First Baptist Church’s wild game dinner where 28 people made salvation decisions. “God is alive and well in Kennesaw,” lead pastor Perry Fowler said after the Saturday event. “He is blessing, and His kingdom is being built.”

MACON, GA – In Bibb County ask for directions to Cathedral Coffee and you will find Northway Church, a thriving fellowship in middle Georgia that is also worth a visit. Northway Church in Macon started as a mission of Vineville Baptist Church in 1995 and held its first service in 1998 as Vineville North Baptist Church. For four years Vineville Baptist and Vineville North operated as one church, two locations.

STERLING, Va. — There was no brainstorming, no focus group, no research that went into it. Jefferson Hernández had not given a moment’s thought to what he and his wife Carol would call their new church in Sterling. Not until one day, when he was unexpectedly asked the name of his new church plant, and Jefferson said the first thing that popped into his head.

NEW ORLEANS — A packed house of more than 1200 women gathered for Abide 2024 at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Leavell College on Feb. 23-24 to worship and embrace a calling to be “Women of Prayer.” “We chose the theme ‘Women of Prayer’ because prayer is a vital discipline in the life of the believer,” said Tara Dew, wife of president Jamie Dew, adjunct professor and director of the NOBTS ministry wives certificate program, Thrive.

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