Baptist Life

Spreading the gospel requires Christians to go and tell, Hispanic Georgia Baptists were told at a Spanish-language evangelism conference in Clayton on Saturday. Pastor Gerardo Mendoza, who leads Misión Bautista Cristo Vive, hosted the Georgia Baptist Mission Board event at Clayton Baptist Church. More than 220 participants heard Pastor Martín Vargas of Iglesia Real in Hollywood, Fla., and Ramón Osorio, director of Ethnic-Linguistic Church Planting at the North American Mission Board, speak on the need to share Jesus with others.

CORDOVA, Tenn. —  Bellevue Baptist Church pastor Steve Gaines reported major improvements with his cancer in a video posted Firday. In November 2023, Gaines shared with his congregation that he had been diagnosed with kidney cancer, then in December shared that the cancer had spread to his lungs. On Friday, he said the cancer polyps in his lungs and the cancer in his rib were gone, according to his latest PET scan. The cancer in his kidney has also “gone down significantly,” he said.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The SBC Executive Committee’s presidential search team is recommending longtime educator Jeff Iorg as the organization’s next leader. The Executive Committee said in a statement Friday that Iorg will be presented for a vote at a meeting March 21.

A Spartanburg-area pastor will be nominated to serve as president of the 2025 Southern Baptist Convention’s Pastors Conference. Fred Luter, pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, told The Courier on Thursday, Feb. 29, that he intends to nominate D.J. Horton, senior pastor of Church at The Mill in Moore, during this year’s conference in Indianapolis.

PAMPA, Texas — Late February wildfires ravaging the Texas Panhandle continued to burn from northernmost Hutchinson County across the region, prompting Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott to issue a disaster declaration for 60 counties on Tuesday, Feb. 27, as the fires doubled in a single day. Southern Baptists of Texas Disaster Relief crews immediately responded to the emergency and continue to do so.

MAUI, Hawaii – Yasushi Nemoto pastors Kahului Union Church on Maui on the opposite side of the island from Lahaina. As the fires started burning on August 8, 2023, Nemoto and others in Kahului were not completely aware of what was going on that day. Then, the sheer volume of smoke signaled the severity of the situation. Intense winds from a Pacific hurricane hundreds of miles south of Hawaii combined with a dry summer to generate a rapid fire.

ATLANTA — Senate lawmakers have given a thumbs up to legislation intended to protect religious rights from being infringed upon by state and local governments. Senate Bill 180, which passed 33-19 along party lines, now goes to the House for consideration.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary professor David Allen will be nominated for president of the Southern Baptist Convention at the annual meeting in June.

BETHLEHEM, Ga.— Those who drove east on Highway 316 to the University of Georgia football games last fall may not have noticed Georgia Baptists’ largest church in worship attendance. Pastor Jason Britt and his excellent staff have been faithfully serving Christ and doing their work without much notice from those outside the Barrow, Oconee, and Walton County area, yet mobilizing hundreds of people to build one of the fastest-growing churches in America.

Brody won almost $6,000 last week in Sunday School.  Cash was the next top winner with $5,800.  The money was flowing freely.  Caleb made $3,107, Gavan: $1,638, Sky: $1,156, and on and on.  Poor Hannah ended up with only $707, but it was more than she had walked in with.  I told them “It PAYS to go to Sunday School.” OK, the money wasn’t real and they had to give it all back, but it was fun while it lasted.

CROSSVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee pastor Jared Moore, described as a man who “faithfully represents salt-of-the-earth Southern Baptists,” will be nominated for SBC president at this year’s annual meeting in Indianapolis. Oklahoma pastor Dusty Deevers announced Wednesday that he plans to nominate Moore, pastor at Homesteads Baptist Church in Crossville. “You have a man in Jared Moore who loves Christ, his church, and the SBC and wants to see the SBC using all of its tremendous resources to accomplish the Great Commission faithfully,” Deevers said.

We are going on a trip soon that will be out of the country. I have a huge “to-do” list before I can leave that involves both things I need to do for work and things I need to do to get myself ready for the trip. As I was thinking about my “to-do list” I thought about God.

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. — American evangelicals have complex perspectives on immigration and want a nuanced political response, but most want Congress to act soon. A Lifeway Research study sponsored by the Evangelical Immigration Table found evangelicals are increasingly concerned about the number of recent immigrants to the U.S. but still believe Christians have a responsibility to care for those who are in the country illegally.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (KT) — A heart devoted to giving to missions is nothing new for second-grader Catherine Coaty, exemplifying the message of Isaiah 11:6: “And a little child shall lead them.” For the past three years, the youngster has been a catalyst to fuel passion for missions giving at GracePointe Baptist Church. Since last February, she has raised and given $3,224 to missions.

MARIETTA, GA – Steve McEntyre has had two careers that have called for him to rescue the perishing, first as a firefighter and now as a minister. McEntyre, pastor of Cheatham Hills Baptist Church in Marietta, served 21 years as a firefighter in Cherokee County. “Pastors and firefighters are all about rescuing the perishing,” he said. “It takes passion and an unquenchable resolve to rescue people from burning buildings. And it takes the same kind of driving force and sense of calling to seek to rescue people from the fires of eternal retribution."

ATLANTA — The Republican majority in the state Senate, with help from Democratic colleagues, have pushed through a proposal that could legalize sports gambling in defiance of Georgia’s largest religious organization, which called for the measure to be quashed. The Senate voted 41-12 on Tuesday to pass Senate Resolution 579, another step toward putting a proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot for Georgia voters to ratify or reject.

KYIV, Ukraine — For Luba, the pain of the past two years is hard to put into words. Her husband was killed when their house in Bakhmut, Ukraine, was bombed, and Luba was forced to flee her homeland. But thanks to Send Relief partners who helped her along the way, Luba says she now believes in God because she’s seen His love in the people who helped her. 

WAKE FOREST, N.C. — Created in God’s image, humanity was made for flourishing and relationship with him. However, in our cultures and in our own lives, we see confusion about what it means to be human, and we encounter challenges to living faithfully before God in this world.

CLEVELAND, Ga. — Truett McConnell University’s Hans Hut School of Business hosted its second annual Idea Labs contest in early February. Open to all Truett McConnell University students, the contest serves as a platform for budding entrepreneurs to showcase their innovative ideas in pursuit of scholarships and startup capital.

Thirty years is a long time to wait for help. Yet, the Romanian pastor had faithfully prayed since he was 8 years old for someone to come alongside him to serve and love his people.  Meanwhile, Jan McMurphy sat in Olive Branch, Mississippi, wrestling with God about an “itch” for the mission field she couldn’t shake.

CONYERS, Ga. —  More than 400 pastors and other Christian leaders gathered at First Baptist Church in Conyers for the Georgia Baptist Mission Board’s Called to Witness evangelism conference Sunday and Monday.

As a child of the 1980s, I have come to realize my age more frequently. Today’s kids will never know the thrill of going to the video store on the weekend to rent a movie, fighting your sibling for the toy in the cereal box or joining the Columbia House Cassette Club. They were great times, but time does not stand still.

Genesis 21 ends with the comment, “And Abraham lived as an alien in the land of the Philistines for many days.” God does call believers to live as aliens — that is, to live in a counter-cultural fashion. Abraham lived in the context of an unbelieving culture that practiced child sacrifice. Deuteronomy 12:31–32 prohibits child sacrifice.

CONYERS, Ga. — Reaching the lost requires Christians to step outside their comfort zones to reach people who desperately need Jesus, preachers told Georgia Baptists on the second day of an evangelism conference in Conyers. “If we’re going to reach this culture, we’re going to have to go to some places that will make us uncomfortable, and we’re going to have to do some things that make our people become uncomfortable,” said W. Thomas Hammond Jr., executive director of the Georgia Baptist Mission Board.

CONYERS, Ga. — For  1.4 million Georgia Baptists to be successful in getting the gospel into every home in the state, they simply need to do what should come natural to all believers — tell others about Jesus. That was a theme of the Georgia Baptist Mission Board’s Called to Witness evangelism conference that kicked off  Sunday evening at First Baptist Church in Conyers. “Once you fall in love with Jesus, you can’t contain it,” said Robert Smith Jr., professor of preaching at Samford University’s Beeson Divinity School.

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