Baptist Life

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.”

CLEVELAND, Ga. — Truett McConnell University is excited to announce the appointment of Brandi Wood as the new Director of Marketing & Communications, effective April 15. Announced by TMU's Vice President of Advancement, Dr. Stacy Hall, Wood will oversee the strategic storytelling of the university across multiple channels.

As churches gather to proclaim the good news of Easter, they do so in a culture filled with skeptics and cynics. Some don’t believe Jesus was crucified, buried, and resurrected to new life. Others accept that it happened but don’t believe it matters in their daily lives.

Being called to bi-vocational or vocational ministry is unique and as rewarding as it is terrifying. Compound that with being a single adult, and the calling to ministry that once felt like a spiritual high now feels like an island of isolation. Carrying the burdens of day-to-day ministry alone will often feel less than whole compared to the American ideal of a married couple with a family and pet.

from a stranger-turned-best-friend. Gonzalez, who is pastor with Celebration Church’s Lower St. Bernard campus in Violet, in 2020 was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a rare form of blood cancer. Since then, Gonzalez has battled a myriad of emotions and has seen God move through others’ encouragement, prayer and His healing power.

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.

Before former International Mission Board worker Allison moved back to the United States, she’d already developed a deep love for and passion to reach the Central Asian diaspora. Working with Central Asian refugees and asylum seekers in Europe opened her eyes to the felt needs of the people, as well as their spiritual condition. The story of a Central Asian friend of hers often comes to mind.

Four-legged, fluffy, bright eyed, and sporting a yellow Arkansas Baptist Disaster Relief harness, Quigley could be found at Balboa Baptist Church over the weekend comforting volunteers and survivors.  The Aussiedoodle is the first therapy dog in Arkansas Baptist Disaster Relief history. He and his owner, Deb Norris, who has volunteered with ABDR for several years, had their first deployment together on Saturday following the EF-2 tornado that touched down in Hot Springs Village on Thursday. 

CHICAGO — It started as a weekday worship service to their community, then it exploded as migrants arrived in Chicago. “We’re riding the wave,” Pastor Nick Kim said of the swell of new residents who turned out for a Wednesday morning service. Kim referred to the surfing language used by famed pastor and church planter Henry Blackaby to describe a move of the Holy Spirit in his Canadian community.

Most college students typically spend their spring break visiting home or going on a big trip with friends, but this spring break, a group of students from the Shorter University Baptist Collegiate Ministries decided to forgo the usual relaxation and fun in favor of being of the hands and feet of Christ. They packed their bags and headed almost 2,000 miles away from Shorter to serve the small town of Livingston, Montana. 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — For the first time in twenty years, the Southeastern region of the Evangelical Missiological Society met on The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s campus, on Saturday, March 16. Over thirty presenters arrived on campus to engage mission concepts and strategies from a biblical perspective and to commend sound mission theory and practice to churches, mission agencies, and schools of missionary training worldwide.

I have a sweet friend who is going through a really tough time. It breaks my heart. She sent me a text message one day this week saying, “It feels like I’m walking through mud but I gotta keep moving.” I have thought about this a lot since I received that message.

As summer approaches, the decision of where to invest your child's time and your resources becomes paramount. We understand the multitude of options available for summer camps and the importance of selecting one that aligns with your child's interests and aspirations. That's why we urge you to consider SURGE Music Camp as the ultimate destination for your budding musician.

Shorter University's The Hawkeye magazine has won its second first-place award. The Fall 2022 issue won first place for the 2022-23 academic year in the American Scholastic Press Association magazine contest. This issue featured stories about Shorter University’s international students, covered the death of Queen Elizabeth II, and many other stories about Shorter’s students and staff.

Wynona Tipton Elder, retired professor of psychology and counseling at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, died Friday, March 15. She was 89. “The Southwestern Seminary community is grateful for Dr. Wynona Elder’s years of service to students and colleagues alike,” said President David S. Dockery. “We offer our prayers and Christian sympathy to her family and friends during this time of loss.”

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. — Pastors of Hispanic Protestant churches in the United States maintain immense gratitude for their role, but many face financial struggles. Their congregations reflect diverse worship styles, but they have a unified desire to reach and serve their communities.

Was Aaron under-punished for fashioning the golden calf, while Moses was over-punished for striking the rock? Let’s begin answering this two-fold question posed to me by examining Exodus 32, where in response to Moses’ almost six-week absence the impatient Israelites prevailed upon a surprisingly weak Aaron to fashion a golden calf out of their gold rings (such an idol was quite familiar in Egypt where bulls were sacred).

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.

Laura Martinez’s letter to her supporters in Mexico is reminiscent of New Testament letters. Recently, she wrote about adapting quickly to the culture, climate, geography, and gastronomy of Colombia. She enumerated the differences in seasons and interpretations of certain Spanish words, and she was pleasantly surprised the quality of water in Colombia is higher than where she’s from in Mexico.  

A team of Arkansas Baptists recently embarked on a Brazil vision tour.  Arkansas Baptist State Convention Missions Team Leader Dr. Sam Roberts led the group of six pastors – four of whom brought their wives – on the missions trip. They traveled to Assu, Brazil, where they were able to meet, help train, encourage, and build relationships with church planters as well as International Mission Board missionaries in the area.  

In a mountainous South Asian state, many people lack access to safe drinking water. The Living Water Well Project focuses on 43 communities across nine districts in this South Asian country that are in great need of clean drinking water. Local Send Relief partners worked together to identify and assess the communities to confirm locations with the greatest need.

The pictures were terrifying.  A few weeks ago, half of a tractor trailer dangled over the side of the Clark Memorial Bridge which connects Kentucky to southern Indiana at Louisville.  Far below was the Ohio River.  Reporters flocked and spectators stared in horror as emergency workers rushed to the scene.

I hate death. I despise it more than anything else. In the brief time it takes you to read these few words, it is estimated that more than 500 people will have passed away around the world. The certainty of death causes many to become anxious or worrisome, and the heavy burden of grief that accompanies losing a loved one can seem unbearable.

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