Baptist Life

Unknown vandals ransack Missouri church

WARSAW, Mo. — The New Home Baptist Church sits outside of Warsaw, just down the road from the Baptist Ridge Camp of Fellowship Baptist Association.  In late November they were plagued by a series of increasingly drastic vandalism incidents. The damages from four separate incidents are estimated to be in the tens of thousands of dollars, according to church officials.

Have you ever been so filled with the joy of the Lord or overcome with appreciation that He has met a secret or public need, or He has saved your bacon AGAIN, and you just can’t get over that He still puts up with you, or He has pulled you out of a pit or brought you out of bondage, and you could write a Psalm or sing a song about it? 

Our daughter, Missie, takes after her mother and is a lover of “lists.” Missie is 39 years old, has a form of autism, is developmentally delayed and basically operates on about an 11-year-old level. She loves to make Christmas lists. Now mind you her first sentence when she sends a list is always, “I don’t want much this year,” and then the list starts!

Virginia O'Hanlon's letter to the editor of The New York Sun in 1897 asked if Santa Claus is real, triggering a response from the newspaper declaring that, yes, there is a Santa Claus. What follows is a parody of that famous editorial declaring that, yes, there is a Jesus Christ.

Angolans in remote areas transformed by gospel

When a shepherd heard of the Great Shepherd, his answer to the invitation to follow was “yes.” When men and women in a fishing village heard of the man who multiplied loaves and fish, their answer to the call was “yes.” When internally displaced women heard of their home in heaven, their answer to the question of whether they wanted an eternal home was, “yes.” 

NEW ORLEANS — Jamie Dew, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary president, called on graduates Friday to see graduation day not as a season of life ending, but rather the beginning of a time of much greater importance. Dew recalled his high school graduation to illustrate and explained how he felt at the time that life and everything familiar to him was ending until his principal corrected him, saying, “It’s not over. It’s just beginning.”  

ROME, Ga. — Shorter University hosted its 6th annual President’s Gala this past Thursday, breaking its record with attendance and fundraising for student scholarships. The evening started with a VIP reception in the Price Learning Center, which included music by student Even Wyatt, hors d’oeuvres, and pictures with former University of Georgia Coach Mark Richt.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — After a March 2020 tornado destroyed the Rev. Jacques Boyd’s Nashville church, his friend, the Rev. Vincent Johnson, lent him space to worship in. Nearly four years later, Boyd has offered to return the favor for the exact same reason.

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.

Knock-knock, Who’s there? Luke. Luke who? Luke through the peephole and find out! Yes, it’s a corny joke, but aren’t most knock-knock jokes? When I read Psalm 103, the one repeated word is “Who.” When I consider the greatness and attributes of God, who can compare? No one, that is who.

The term “good” functions as a key concept in Genesis. In Chapter 1, “good” occurs seven times to describe God’s creation (vv. 4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31). In Genesis 3, however, a change takes place because of the first sin of humans and its consequences. This chapter affirms that human sin marred God’s created order as well as individual human beings, family life and the world.

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.

I remember exactly where I was the first time I heard the name Lottie Moon. I was sitting at the Sunday dinner table talking with my aunt, who worked at Lifeway (then known as the Baptist Sunday School Board). One of the jobs she had at the time was to produce and distribute envelopes for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, a yearly opportunity for churches to come together in a spirit of cooperation to give directly to missionaries around the world.

WAKE FOREST, N.C. — During Friday's fall commencement ceremony, Southeastern Seminary and The College at Southeastern celebrated 228 Great Commission graduates representing 29 states and 19 countries. Joining the thousands of Southeastern alumni serving around the world, these graduates are being sent to serve local churches and make disciples wherever God calls them.

KANSAS CITY, Mo—Hundreds of new graduates received their diplomas Friday during the 74th commencement exercise at Midwestern Seminary and Spurgeon College. President Jason Allen began the graduation ceremony by recognizing God’s continued faithfulness to His Church in providing yet another group of God-called men and women to be and make disciples of Jesus Christ.

SIMPSONVILLE, S.C. — A South Carolina church that focuses heavily on reaching the unchurched baptized 141 new believers on December 3. Wayne Bray, lead pastor of First Baptist Simpsonville/Upstate Church, called the mass baptisms "thrilling." “I’m overwhelmed,” he told his congregation in his Sunday morning sermon. “God is doing something supernatural, not just in this place but on every campus today.”

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.

RICHMOND, Va. — As new International Mission Board missionaries gathered for a special commissioning service near Richmond, Virginia, on Thursday, six representatives of the Myanmar Baptist Churches USA fellowship traveled from Maryland. They were on-site to support one couple who represents a historic milestone for the Southern Baptist Convention.  

Following his recent diagnosis of kidney cancer, Steve Gaines shared in a video update Dec. 7 that his doctors said the cancer has spread to his lungs. Gaines, former Southern Baptist Convention president and a Tennessee Baptist pastor, appeared in the video with his wife, Donna. Gaines first announced his cancer diagnosis Nov. 19 to Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, which is one of the largest congregations in both the SBC and the Tennessee Baptist Convention.

It was just a normal meeting of some Zambian pastors and a few workers from Christian organizations. When Randy Windham stood up and handed a sign-up sheet to the person next to him, they had no idea that ministry as they knew it was about to change. “I’ve been to a training on how to plant churches,” the International Mission Board missionary told them. “I’d love to share this knowledge. If you are interested, just sign up and we’ll set a time for training.” 

MANSFIELD, Texas — From meeting each other in the classroom at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2007, to serving in a church 20 minutes from the campus, Spencer (’07, ’13) and Shelley (’08) Plumlee have been following God’s will to make the biggest Kingdom impact possible. Through discipleship and remembering where they came from, they help show Christ’s love in the Mansfield, Texas, community and beyond.

Jimmy Dukes, a visionary and innovator who served New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Leavell College as a faculty member and administrator for more than four decades, died Monday at the age of 81. Dukes was integral to the founding and establishment of Leavell College, the ground-breaking and highly successful NOBTS prison theological education system, and the NOBTS extension center system that made theological education accessible to pastors without resources for education.  

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.

A middle schooler recently told his mother he didn’t like Sunday School because he knew all the Bible stories already.  I got a little bit tickled but beg to differ with that young man.  Even though I am 62, every single time I open God’s Word He speaks to me.

My brother Ken and I were in prison when our sister was born. At least it felt like prison. Our grandmother—we called her Mama Hudgins — piled four quilts onto our skinny bodies — bedded down in a cold, unheated room—turned the calendar toward the wall so that we wouldn’t strain our eyes trying to figure out the date, pulled the light chain and shut the door.

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