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SBC under investigation: What’s this talk of a subpoena and grand jury?

NASHVILLE – The U.S. Department of Justice has begun an investigation of the Southern Baptist Convention in the wake of an internal probe that found the Executive Committee had mishandled sex abuse allegations over a period of years. Executive Committee lawyers told The Associated Press that federal investigators have already issued a subpoena. They didn’t specify whether that subpoena was civil or criminal. Meanwhile, the Department of Justice is neither confirming nor denying that it is investigating, saying “grand jury matters are secret.”
Jimmy Scroggins, Ken Adams in Georgia this weekend for SPARK conference
ALPHARETTA, Ga. – Two pastors who have seen massive growth in their churches in Florida and Georgia will be featured speakers at the SPARK total church conference’s regional training events on Saturday. Jimmy Scroggins, lead pastor at Family Church in South Florida, will be at First Baptist Church in Alpharetta, and Ken Adams, pastor at Crossroads Church in Newnan, will be at Byne Memorial Baptist in Albany.
North Metro First Baptist Church relocating to Barrow County
LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. - Under the leadership of pastor Frank Cox, North Metro First Baptist Church will move to a new location for the second time. Most pastors would not have the grit or grace to even contemplate such a monumental endeavor, but Cox has been the pastor for 42 years and has rightfully won the favor and support of his congregation.
US Department of Justice investigation targets multiple SBC entities, leaders say
The U.S. Department of Justice has initiated a probe of the Southern Baptist Convention that includes multiple national entities, denominational leaders said. “Individually and collectively each SBC entity is resolved to fully and completely cooperate with the investigation,” SBC leaders said in a joint statement released late Friday.
God’s little helper: American Indian boy helps mission team lead 30-plus to Christ
JONESBORO, Ga. – A 10-year-old American Indian boy who came to faith in Christ last week in Montana has inspired a mission team from Jonesboro’s First Baptist Church with his enthusiasm for reaching others with the gospel. The boy they knew as Billy was one of 33 people who the Jonesboro mission team led to Christ last week at the Fort Belknap reservation. Delaney Gosart dabbed tears during a church gathering Wednesday as she talked about Billy’s contagious enthusiasm for serving “Creator Sets Free,” his tribe’s translation for Jesus.
First Baptist Tifton calls multi-talented preacher, singer, musician as lead pastor
TIFTON, Ga. – TJ Mauldin is one of those rare individuals who can sing like he belongs on a record label and preach so vividly that Bible passages come to life. That’s how people describe the 37-year-old who has been called as the new lead pastor at First Baptist Church in Tifton. Mauldin arrived at the southern Georgia church 11 years ago as a 26-year-old, part-time contemporary worship leader strumming an acoustic guitar, but Pastor Wayne Roe and others quickly recognized that he was an incredibly gifted preacher, too.
Baptist Life

Georgia Baptist Convention’s annual meeting being moved to Augusta’s Warren Baptist Church

AUGUSTA, Ga. – This year’s Georgia Baptist Convention annual meeting is being moved from Augusta’s Marriott Convention Center to nearby Warren Baptist Church, a move that will provide significant cost savings. “We’re grateful for the hospitality of the people at Warren Baptist,” said Georgia Baptist Mission Board Executive Director W. Thomas Hammond Jr. “They have everything we’re looking for in an annual meeting venue – a spacious sanctuary, plenty of meeting rooms and ample parking.”
NASHVILLE (BP) – A Department of Justice investigation into the Southern Baptist Convention is currently directed at one entity and no individuals. As of Monday only the SBC Executive Committee had been subpoenaed.
NASHVILLE (BP) – John Yeats, who served 25 years as Southern Baptist Convention recording secretary, describes the SBC Annual as “one big aggregation” of all that Southern Baptists accomplish in the span of two days each June.
ALPHARETTA, Ga. – The last few years have witnessed world-changing events that have disrupted supply chains and limited access to food for many people. Southern Baptists will, on Aug. 28, recognize Global Hunger Sunday to raise support for those in need.
LIMA, Peru (BP) – An ongoing partnership between First Baptist Church Hesperia, Calif., and Morado de Dios in Lima, Peru, has been a blessing for both churches, First Baptist Pastor Richard Spring said. First Baptist’s most recent trip resulted in 102 salvations.
Georgia

Prehistoric fish may spawn in Georgia: 1st time in 50 years

Scientists and students embarking on a census of Georgia lake sturgeon have found three females with mature eggs — an indication that the prehistoric fish may be reproducing in Georgia for the first time in a half-century. Polluted water and markets for caviar and fish meat had wiped the species out of the Coosa River in the 1970s. University of Georgia associate professor Marty Hamel says the Georgia Department of Natural Resources began reintroducing lake sturgeon 20 years ago, after the Clean Water Act cleaned up the river

Family seeks federal inquiry into Georgia drug raid death

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — The family of a Georgia woman killed by gunfire last year as sheriff's deputies executed a search warrant at her cousin's home are asking the Justice Department to investigate. Attorneys for 37-year-old Latoya James' family say the case bears striking similarities to the 2020 drug raid that resulted in the death of Breonna Taylor in Kentucky.

Ex-police chief to run Georgia Bureau of Investigation

ATLANTA (AP) — Gov. Brian Kemp is naming a former police chief of two suburban Atlanta counties as the next director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Michael “Mike” Register would replaced Vic Reynolds. Kemp in June named Reynolds as a superior court judge in Cobb County. Register was police chief in Clayton County and then in Cobb County.

Kemp announces $350 cash assistance to low-income Georgians

ATLANTA – Gov. Brian Kemp announced Monday he plans to distribute one-time $350 payments to Georgians enrolled in certain public benefit programs.  Kemp said the total amount distributed will be more than $1 billion.  
Nation

Yellen tells IRS to develop modernization plan in 6 months

WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has directed the IRS to develop a plan within six months outlining how the tax agency will modernize its technology, customer service and hiring. With Democrats' big climate, tax and health care bill now law, the tax agency is set to receive nearly $80 billion over 10 years.

NASA's moon rocket moved to launch pad for 1st test flight

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA's new moon rocket has arrived at the launch pad for its first test flight. The 322-foot rocket emerged Tuesday night from its mammoth hangar at Florida's Kennedy Space Center. It took nearly 10 hours for the rocket to make the four-mile overnight trip to the pad. NASA is aiming for an Aug. 29 liftoff for the unmanned lunar test flight.

Biden signs massive climate and health care legislation

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has signed Democrats’ landmark climate change and health care bill. It's the “final piece” of the president's pared-down domestic agenda as he aims to boost his party’s standing with voters ahead of midterm elections.

US: Drought-stricken states to get less from Colorado River

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — U.S. officials have announced that two U.S. states reliant on water from the Colorado River will face more water cuts as they endure extreme drought. The move affecting Arizona and Nevada came Tuesday as officials predict levels at Lake Mead, the largest U.S. reservoir, will plummet even further than they have. The cuts will place officials in those states under extraordinary pressure to plan for a hotter, drier future and a growing population.
World

Crimea 'sabotage' highlights Russia's woes in Ukraine war

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Fires are burning and ammunition is still exploding at a depot in Crimea. That comes a day after the latest suspected Ukrainian attack on a military site in the Russia-annexed peninsula. The attacks have highlighted the challenges facing Moscow. Russia seized the peninsula in 2014. It was once a secure base that Moscow’s forces have used to launch attacks — and it was a staging ground for the start of the Feb. 24 invasion.

Ukrainians flee grim life in Russian-occupied Kherson

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Residents who have fled the Russian-occupied city of Kherson say conditions in the Black Sea port just north of the Crimean Peninsula have become increasingly grim. The southern city was the first to fall to Russia’s invasion. But Kherson remains at the heart of the conflict and Ukraine’s efforts to save its vital access to the sea.

Taiwan, China hold opposing military drills amid tensions

HUALIEN, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan is staging military exercises to show its ability to resist Chinese pressure to accept Beijing's political control over the island. The drills Wednesday off the southeastern county of Hualien follow days of Chinese missile firings and incursions into Taiwan's sea and airspace by ships and planes from the People's Liberation Army, the military wing of China's ruling Communist Party.

Kenya's Odinga says he will challenge close election loss

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Opposition figure Raila Odinga says he will challenge the results of Kenya’s close presidential election with “all constitutional and legal options.” Odinga spoke Tuesday, a day after Deputy President William Ruto was declared the winner. His promise of a challenge brought new uncertainty to East Africa’s most stable democracy. Now the country faces weeks of disputes and the possibility that the Supreme Court will order another election.
Perspectives
As conversations about the overturn of Roe vs. Wade have swirled, Christ followers must ask themselves how they can become active not only in word, but deed. Rather than being known for what we speak against, we must seek the Lord and ask what we can do. In my opinion, churches should have an overarching Pro-Life Ministry as a part of their mission’s focus. This Pro-Life Ministry could include foster care and adoption, pre- and post-natal care, caring for vulnerable families, single moms, and many others.
As we prepare for the 2023 Georgia legislative session, issues like sports gambling are being discussed especially since it’s an election year. And, once again, there is not anything truly good about legalizing gambling! Sports gambling, while it is being done illegally in our state now, will be exponentially worse if made legal, especially in terms of addiction.
Facing stress is a fact of life. How we manage our stress says a lot about our depth of faith and how much we rely on God each day. When we manage stress effectively, we can find peace in a stressful world.
The Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act, commonly referred to as Georgia’s Heartbeat Law, was ruled constitutional and was put into full effect by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on July 20. This legislation outlaws abortions after it is determined that there is a heartbeat. This kind of legislation, even with its exceptions, will save thousands of innocent human lives.
As soon as word began to spread about the massive and deadly flooding in Kentucky, Georgia Baptists responded. As Dwain Carter, who oversees those efforts for the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, describes their mission, Disaster Relief volunteers bring “help, hope and healing while transforming lives with the Gospel.”
Business

US retail sales were flat in July as inflation takes a toll

WASHINGTON (AP) — The pace of sales at U.S. retailers was unchanged last month as persistently high inflation and rising interest rates forced many households to spend more cautiously. Retail purchases were flat in July after having risen 0.8% in June, the Commerce Department reported.

Amazon workers in upstate New York file for union election

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon workers in upstate New York filed a petition for a union election on Tuesday, launching a major labor fight against the company. A spokesperson for the National Labor Relations Board says the petition was filed for a warehouse in the town of Schodack, near Albany. To qualify for a union election, the NLRB requires signatures from 30% of eligible voters. The agency now has to verify if the workers are qualified to seek an election.

Dubai sees air travel surge, expects FIFA World Cup boost

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The chief executive of Dubai International Airport says the hub saw a surge in passengers over the first half of 2022 as pandemic restrictions eased. Paul Griffiths, who oversees the world's busiest airport for international travel, told The Associated Press Wednesday that he expects the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Qatar to further boost traffic to the city-state's airfield.

Walmart, tracking vast changes for customers, thrives in Q2

NEW YORK (AP) — Walmart reported better-than-expected second-quarter results as more Americans looked to cut costs on groceries at the nation’s largest retailer in the face of surging inflation. Those rising prices, however, meant that customers were cutting back on non-necessary purchases.

American Airlines places deposit on 20 supersonic planes

DALLAS (AP) — American Airlines says it has agreed to buy up to 20 supersonic jets that are still on the drawing board and years away from flying. American announced the deal Tuesday with Boom Supersonic. Neither company is giving financial details, such as how much American is paying in what they call a non-refundable deposit. It has been nearly 20 years since the last supersonic passenger flight by Concorde, the British-French plane.
Sports

Musk tweet joking about buying Manchester United causes stir

LONDON (AP) — Elon Musk has caused a stir by tweeting that he was buying the English soccer team Manchester United. But several hours later on Wednesday, he said it was a joke. It comes as the billionaire Tesla CEO faces a legal battle in the U.S. after backing out of a deal to buy Twitter for $44 billion. With his billions and seemingly unlimited potential to buy the best soccer players in the world, Musk would have been a welcome prospect for many Man United fans who want to see the club back at the top of the game.

Georgia governor touts Bulldogs 4-peat for Atlanta in 2025

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia’s governor has high hopes for his alma mater. Atlanta is set to become the first two-time host of college football’s national championship game in 2025. Governor Brian Kemp sees no reason the Georgia Bulldogs can’t be going for their fourth straight title when the game returns to the city. Atlanta is reveling in its selection as a repeat host, boasting that it has everything needed to pull off another thrilling event.

Braves sign rookie OF Harris to $72 million, 8-year contract

ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Braves have signed rookie outfielder Michael Harris II to a $72 million, eight-year contract to remain with his hometown team. The 21-year-old Harris is the youngest player in the majors. His early-season promotion has bolstered the Braves’ hopes for another championship run. The deal runs through the 2030 season with team options for 2031 and 2032. If both option years are activated, the total value of the contract would be $102 million over 10 years.

Serena Williams loses to Raducanu; US Open next

MASON, Ohio (AP) — Serena Williams has fallen to 0-2 in matches since announcing “the countdown has begun” on her career. She lost 6-4, 6-0 to U.S. Open champion Emma Raducanu in the Western & Southern Open on Tuesday night. The 40-year-old Williams said last week in a Vogue magazine essay and an Instagram post that her career was winding down.