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'Small-town Billy Graham’ sees 1,600 commitments to Christ in south Georgia crusade

BAXLEY, Ga. — Hundreds of people streamed out of the bleachers at Jimmy Swain Stadium on Wednesday, responding to a call from evangelist Rick Gage to get right with God. In a scene that harkened back to  evangelistic crusades of yesteryear, they crowded around the platform where the man dubbed the “small-town Billy Graham” had just wrapped up  a fiery gospel sermon that warned of judgment for unrepentant sinners and promised eternal life for those willing to turn from their sins and commit their lives to Christ.
East Cobb Baptist is a church that knows God can
MARIETTA, Ga. — On April 8, 1906, the Rev. Charles S. Wing preached a sermon that was published in the New York Tribune. As a part of his sermon, he referred to the “Story of the Engine that Thought it Could.” Despite the steep climb and heavy load, the engine slowly succeeded in pulling the train over the high mountain while repeating the phrase, “I think I can.”
150 students respond to gospel during chapel service at Brewton-Parker College
MOUNT VERNON, Ga. — An estimated 150 students made spiritual decisions during a chapel service at Brewton-Parker College on Tuesday in a scene that President Steve Echols described as amazing. Between 60 and 80 of the students made first-time salvation decisions while others rededicated their lives to Christ. “The Holy Spirit was moving in a way I have never seen before,” said Echols, a longtime preacher and educator. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I have seen some marvelous things of God. But I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything more precious than this.”
Dan Summerlin withdraws from consideration as SBC Executive Committee interim president
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A retired pastor described as “beyond reproach” withdrew his name Tuesday from consideration as interim president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee. Dan Summerlin, the longtime pastor of Lone Oak First Baptist Church near Paducah, Ky., offered no public explanation for his decision, though Executive Committee Chairman Philip Robertson of Louisiana said Summerlin cited his wife’s health as a primary reason.
Harp's Crossing Hollonville bounces back from pandemic with baptisms, salvations
WILLIAMSON, Ga. — Dixie Gilbert was nauseous during worship on Sunday morning and was thinking she needed to go back home. “I was not feeling good at all and was super dizzy and lightheaded,” she told Pastor Chris Watson at Harp’s Crossing Hollonville. “But something kept telling me to stay.” She understood why when, near the end of the service, her 13-year-old daughter prayed to receive Christ.
Warren and Mary Faye Moore encourage ministry to Ugandan poor
In 1894, Uganda became a protectorate of the British Empire, and in 1962 the United Kingdom granted independence to Uganda. Since that time, the landlocked country in East African has suffered extreme poverty and untold hardship. According to World Vision, many older adults will remember “the brutal eight-year reign of Dictator Idi Amin whose regime killed up to 500,000 people, persecuted Christians, and left Uganda a broken nation.”
Baptist Life

SBC Executive Committee leaders recommending Dan Summerlin as interim president

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee will recommend a longtime pastor with “a stellar reputation” and years of denominational leadership experience to serve as their interim president. Dan Summerlin, who recently retired as pastor of Lone Oak First Baptist Church in western Kentucky, would lead the Executive Committee staff until a permanent president is hired.
BRENTWOOD, Tenn. — If you’re looking for a Southern Baptist church, you’re most likely to find one in the South. If you want to find a growing Southern Baptist church, however, you might want to try the Northeast. Analysis of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Annual Church Profile by Lifeway Research revealed the convention is made up of mostly smaller churches dotting the southern United States. Still, more than 1 in 5 churches are outside of the South.
PASADENA, Calif. — Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary student Lachune Boyd performed live before the nation on America’s Got Talent during the fifth qualifying round of the hit show on Tuesday. Boyd, a Master of Music student with a concentration in voice, previously made it past the audition stage with a unanimous decision by the panel of judges.
DALLAS — Julio Guarneri, lead pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in McAllen, was elected to serve as the next executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas on Tuesday during a regularly scheduled meeting of the convention's executive board. The election follows the Executive Director Search Committee’s announcement of his candidacy earlier this month.
Noah’s journey did not begin when he stepped onto the ark.  It began hundreds of years before.  He had walked with God for centuries before the ark. In the book of Genesis, the Bible does not say Noah’s father, Lamech, walked with God.  Or his grandfather, Methuselah, who lived to the ripe old age of 969 years.  Though he is known as the oldest man in the Bible, there is no reference that Methuselah walked with God.

Georgia lawmakers to tackle fishing rights issue

Georgia lawmakers passed legislation on the last day of this year’s General Assembly session guaranteeing Georgians the right to fish in navigable portions of the state’s rivers and streams.

State opens mental health crisis center in Macon

ATLANTA – Georgia’s mental health agency has broken ground on the state’s first crisis support center specifically designed for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Crisis Stabilization Diagnostic Center is expected to open at the beginning of 2025 in downtown Macon.

Police say a man and woman are dead after an apparent murder-suicide inside a Georgia Walmart

HIRAM, Georgia (AP) — A man and woman were shot and killed in an apparent murder-suicide Wednesday inside a Walmart in a Georgia town, police said. The shooting took place at about 7:30 p.m. in the Walmart Super Center in Hiram, a small town about 20 miles northwest of Atlanta, police said.

At 91, Georgia's longest serving sheriff says he won't seek another term in 2024

PERRY, Ga. (AP) — A 91-year-old Georgia sheriff has said he will hand in his badge after more than 50 years as the county's chief lawman. Houston County Sheriff Cullen Talton tells WMAZ-TV that he won't seek reelection in 2024 and will step down at the end of his term. “It’s time for me to hang it up, so I won’t run again,” Talton said.

Lahaina residents brace for what they'll find as they return to devastated properties in burn zone

Soon after one of Maui's Japanese Buddhist temples, the Lahaina Hongwanji Mission, burned in the deadliest U.S. wildfire in more than a century, its resident minister was desperate to go back and see what remained.

Tropical Storm Ophelia forecast to make landfall early Saturday on North Carolina coast

Tropical Storm Ophelia was expected to make landfall on the North Carolina coast early Saturday morning with the potential for damaging winds and dangerous surges of water, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

A Venezuelan man and his pet squirrel made it to the US border now facing separation

A 23-year-old Venezuela man is preparing to say goodbye to a pet squirrel he says he brought from his home country on a journey to Mexico. Yeison is among the millions of Venezuelans in recent years …

Historians race to find Great Lakes shipwrecks before quagga mussels destroy the sites

The Great Lakes’ frigid fresh water used to keep shipwrecks so well preserved that divers could see dishes in the cupboards. Downed planes that spent decades underwater were left so pristine they could practically fly again when archaeologists finally discovered them.

Russia says a Ukrainian missile strike hit its Black Sea Fleet headquarters, a serviceman is missing

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine carried out a fiery missile strike Friday on the main headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet and one serviceman was missing, the Russian Defense Ministry said. Photos and video showed large plumes of smoke over the building in Sevastopol in annexed Crimea. The ministry initially said one servicemember was killed but then issued a subsequent statement saying he was missing.

United States and China launch economic and financial working groups with aim of easing tensions

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Treasury Department and China's Ministry of Finance launched a pair of economic working groups on Friday in an effort to ease tensions and deepen ties between the nations. Led by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Vice Premier He Lifeng, the working groups will be divided into economic and financial segments.

Saudi crown prince says in rare interview 'every day we get closer' to normalization with Israel

WASHINGTON (AP) — Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in a rare interview with Fox News on Wednesday that negotiations over Israel means the prospects of normalized relations between both countries “get closer" every day, but that treatment of Palestinians remains a “very important” issue to be resolved.

Russia strikes cities from east to west Ukraine, starting fires and killing at least 2

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian missiles and artillery pounded cities across Ukraine early Thursday, sparking fires, killing at least two people and trapping others under rubble, authorities said, as Poland said it would stop providing weapons to its ally amid a trade dispute.
The cure for whatever ails a Baptist church is more baptisms. Since we only practice believer’s baptism (meaning an individual must personally profess faith in Jesus prior to their baptism), baptisms are a sign that conversions are happening in the context of a church’s outreach ministry. Since baptisms symbolize the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, they are a church’s opportunity to dramatize the gospel on a regular basis. Baptism is an excellent way to celebrate and commemorate new life in Jesus.
It’s been nearly 38 years. God has taken my husband Jimmy and me on a journey through three pastorates and several aspects of denominational work. Like many, we have had our share of highs and lows. One thing I know, it’s worth it. Over the years, I have gained perspectives of ministry from several angles, and it is apparent – the need for ministers to be affirmed, encouraged, and appreciated is great.
Presbyterian Pastor Alexander Lang caused quite a stir recently when he published his blog, “Departure: Why I Left the Church.” Lang never imagined how many hits he’d get when, with full transparency, he laid out the pressures and unrealistic expectations of the pastorate. One commenter wrote, “Whiner.” He hasn’t walked in Alexander’s shoes. I have, maybe not in his specific circumstances, but I can certainly relate.
As we approach the 2024 election cycle, I have some thoughts and concerns. We are clearly in a spiritual battle, not flesh and blood as we seek to restore our American constitutional republic. As American Christians we need to remember that building, raising up foundations, repairing breaches and restoring paths for America’s constitutional republic is a noble and worthy cause.
Let’s confess. We worry. We fret. We sometimes sweat the small stuff. Concern is appropriate when it produces action. If the warning light comes on in my car, I’m prompted to get the mechanic to check it out before I have major issues. A concerned person acts to address a problem. Worrying, on the other hand, is unproductive.

Strikes against automakers spread to 38 locations in 20 states, Stellantis and GM are targeted

The president of the United Auto Workers said Friday the union will expand its strike against major automakers by walking out of 38 General Motors and Stellantis plants in 20 states. Ford was spared additional strikes because the company has met some of the union’s demands during negotiations over the past week, said UAW President Shawn Fain.

Energy Department announces $325M for batteries that can store clean electricity longer

The Energy Department is announcing a $325 million investment in new battery types that can help turn solar and wind energy into 24-hour power it said Friday morning. The funds will be distributed among 15 projects in 17 states and the Red Lake Nation, a Native American tribe based in Minnesota.

Rupert Murdoch, whose creation of Fox News made him a force in American politics, is stepping down

NEW YORK (AP) — Rupert Murdoch, the 92-year-old Australian media magnate whose creation of Fox News made him a force in American politics, is stepping down as leader of both Fox's parent company and his News Corp. media holdings. Fox said Thursday that Murdoch would become chairman emeritus of both companies, effective at board meetings in November.

Jeep maker Stellantis makes a new contract offer as auto workers prepare to expand their strike

General Motors and Stellantis announced fresh layoffs Wednesday that they blamed on damage from the United Auto Workers strike, and the labor standoff grew more tense just two days before the union was expected to call for new walkouts.

Railroads work to make sure firefighters can quickly look up what is on a train after a derailment

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — In the chaos after a Norfolk Southern train careened off the tracks and caught fire in eastern Ohio in February, it took roughly 45 minutes for firefighters to learn exactly which chemicals were involved. Now the railroad industry is trying to ensure that never happens again.

Bowers catches 2 of Beck's 3 scoring passes to power No. 1 Georgia past UAB, 49-21

Tight end Brock Bowers caught two of Carson Beck's three touchdown passes, including a 41-yarder that helped No. 1 Georgia overcome a sluggish start, and the Bulldogs beat UAB 49-21 on Saturday night.

Ronald Acuna Jr. joins exclusive 40-40 club, Morton leaves game in 1st as Braves beat Nationals 9-6

Ronald Acuna Jr. joined the exclusive 40-40 club, pitcher Charlie Morton left the game in the first inning and the Atlanta Braves beat the Washington Nationals 9-6 on Friday night.

Grainger, Carroll team up to give Georgia State best start ever with 30-17 win over Coastal Carolina

CONWAY, S.C. (AP) — Darren Grainger threw for one touchdown and ran for another and Georgia Southern defeated Coastal Carolina 30-17 in a Sun Belt Conference opener on Thursday night. Grainger was 15 of 26 for 191 yards and kept the ball 13 times for 47 yards to help the Panthers (4-0) extend their best start in school history. Marcus Carroll carried 29 times for 150 yards and a score.

Albies' 100th RBI, Acuña's 140th run and Olson's 53rd homer lift the Braves past the Nationals 10-3

WASHINGTON (AP) — Everyone knows about Ronald Acuña Jr., his bid to join the 40-40 club and his MVP candidacy. Matt Olson leads the majors in homers. The NL East champion Atlanta Braves know Ozzie Albies is doing his part, too. Albies went 4 for 6, including his 32nd homer, and topped 100 RBIs in a season for the second time by driving in four runs, Acuña scored his 140th run of 2023 — the most in the majors in 16 years — and Olson delivered home run No. 53 to lift Atlanta past the last-place Washington Nationals 10-3 on Thursday night.