Baptist Life

The first essential element of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God is the understanding and acceptance that we are all accountable to God.  Many today would balk at the idea of accountability to God. Most today would say that we are accountable to God for just the “big” things, like the Ten Commandments. But just to be absolutely clear, I am not merely stating that we are accountable to God for just the “big” things.

MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. – The congregation of a coastal North Carolina church is grieving the loss of its senior pastor’s wife, who died six days after her family’s car was struck by the driver of another vehicle who was seeking to elude police during a chase. Suellen C. Leonard, 44, died on Saturday, March 9, as a result of injuries sustained in a crash that happened Sunday, March 3. Leonard is the wife of Nate Leonard, the senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Morehead City.

WAKE FOREST, N.C. — Southeastern Seminary welcomed more than 450 women on campus last week for its annual Cultivate women’s leadership conference designed to help women discern their callings, grow in faithfulness to God and his word, and lead out as disciple makers. This year’s theme was missional leadership, encouraging and equipping women to leverage their lives to make disciples in their contexts.

KANSAS CITY, Mo—Spurgeon College recently announced the addition of Men’s and Women’s Cross Country to its intercollegiate athletics programs. Abel Spalding has been appointed as head coach. “I am very thankful to announce our new cross country program at Spurgeon College,” said President Jason Allen. “Our athletic programs continue to thrive, and key to their success has been our head coaches. Thus, I am grateful for Abel Spalding and am excited for him to build our program.”

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — Mark Marshall, a longtime pastor and former Lifeway Christian Resources director who has been serving as assistant executive director of the Georgia Baptist Mission Board for the past four years, has transitioned into the role of senior lead strategist overseeing church strengthening efforts. The Mission Board’s executive director, W. Thomas Hammond Jr., made the announcement Tuesday at a meeting of the Georgia Baptist Executive Committee.

PADUCAH, Ky. (KT) – Pastor Jason Medley marvels at how God is rebuilding Mt. Zion Baptist Church. Five years removed from a tornado that swept through the community, destroyed the church’s sanctuary and damaged other buildings, Mt. Zion will vote Sunday to approve construction of a new church building. The plan is to break ground Wednesday on the fifth anniversary of the tornado they refer to as “The Miracle at Mt. Zion.”

First Avenue Baptist Church in Rochelle will host the first Spanish-speaking church in Wilcox County beginning this Sunday, March 17,  at 4 pm. The original initiative came from the Director of Missions of Little River Baptist Association, Dr. Michael Gibbs, who was encouraged to consider the need by a few pastors and laymen. These encouragers appreciate the work that Hispanics are doing on the farms and in other jobs in the county, forming deep and lasting friendships.

With the spring season knocking on our doors, those graduating from high school or college may experience what is commonly referred to as “senioritis.” This affliction is not found in any medical journal, and no treatment can be prescribed. With senioritis, students may find it difficult to concentrate and be prone to daydreaming. With impending graduations also come awards.

God has a plan that He will achieve. God chooses to utilize humans in his grand plan, yet God accomplishes His plan through flawed families and people. The narrative of these verses highlights a family who had forgotten the promises of God. Isaac prayed for a son for his childless wife and she conceived twins.

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.

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