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'Victory for religious freedom': Georgia church won't face fines for evangelistic outreach

FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. — A local official has backed off threats to fine Flat Creek Baptist Church for hosting an evangelistic outreach that he claimed violated zoning regulations. The outreach involved a car show that attracted more than 1,200 people to Flat Creek Baptist Church on Saturday.
Longtime SBC leader Willy Rice throws support to Mike Stone
NEW ORLEANS — Longtime Southern Baptist leader Willy Rice said Monday he intends to be the one to nominate Georgia pastor Mike Stone for SBC president at the annual meeting in New Orleans next week. “He is one of the few guys I know who possess the strength to stand in this current moment and the wisdom to know what to do,” Rice, pastor of Calvary Church in Clearwater, Fla., said in announcing his intention to make the nomination.
Pastors believe their primary role is getting people prepared for eternity, survey finds
BETHLEHEM, Ga. — Researchers from the Barna Group have identified stark differences of opinion about ministry between pastors and unchurched people in the communities they serve. “Eighty-four percent of pastors believe the church’s main role is to tell others about Jesus,” Barna said in an article published last week. “Non-Christians, on the other hand, think local churches should focus outward, providing practical help for people in their community.”
Big crowds gather at Fayetteville church in defiance of county officials' threat to levy fines
FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. — More than 100 vintage and classic automobiles were spread across the Flat Creek Baptist Church campus on Saturday in defiance of government officials who had threatened to levy a hefty fine if the congregation didn’t cancel a car show. “We’re not doing this in a spirit of rebellion,” said Pastor Josh Saefkow, standing amid hundreds of car enthusiasts and church members. “We’re doing this out of a commitment to Christ because there are people in this parking lot right now who are broken and in need of a Savior. That’s why we’re doing this event, to point men, women, boys, and girls to Jesus.”
Flat Creek Baptist Church going ahead with evangelistic outreach despite government official's threat to levy $1,000 fine
FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. — Flat Creek Baptist Church plans to have the car show Saturday despite threats by a local official to slap the congregation with a $1,000 fine. “If they have a car show, they will be fined,” said Fayette County Administrator Steve Rapson. Rapson’s actions have exponentially heightened interest in the annual car and organizers are planning for what’s expected to the largest crowd ever.
Georgia Baptists sharing the gospel one backpack at a time
CLARKSTON, Ga. — Georgia Baptists are taking the gospel to the state’s rapidly growing refugee population one backpack at a time. In fact, backpacks have become crucial evangelistic tools in Georgia, a state that’s home to more than 1 million people who were born in other countries — often in places that are hostile to the gospel.
Baptist Life

Q&A: SBC presidential candidates Mike Stone, Bart Barber discuss Guidepost, Saddleback, other issues

SUWANEE, Ga. – Georgia Pastor Mike Stone is promising to stand up against what he describes as a “cancel culture” within the Southern Baptist Convention if he’s elected SBC president. Meanwhile, Texas Pastor Bart Barber says he wants to finish tasks he began after being elected to the post a year ago.
MOUNT VERNON, Ga. — Brewton-Parker College is excited to announce the addition of several new majors to its academic offerings. The new degrees will meet the demands of today's job market and provide students with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in their chosen careers. Beginning in the Fall 2023 semester are majors in Secondary Chemistry Education, Secondary English Education, Special Education, Music Education, and concentrations in Forensic Science and Pre-Athletic Training. Additionally, majors in Marketing and Sport Management will be available starting in Spring 2024.
BRENTWOOD, Tenn. — Most churches have some type of security measures in place during worship services. Pastors point to intentional plans and armed church members more than other measures, but compared to three years ago, fewer say they have plans and more say they have gun-carrying congregants. Numerous fatal shootings have occurred at churches in recent years.
Truett McConnell University is proud to announce that its Hans Hut School of Business has received the prestigious notification of candidacy from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs. This significant recognition comes shortly after the university’s recent membership acknowledgment by the council, further highlighting the institution’s commitment to excellence in business education.
This April, 15 pastors and church planters from the North American Mission Board’s Send Network traveled to Frankfurt, Germany, to learn from and collaborate with International Mission Board missionaries and local partners. These Send Trips are part of a newly formed partnership between the IMB and Send Network, the church-planting arm of NAMB.

Atlanta council OKs funding construction of police and firefighter training center

ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta City Council early Tuesday approved funding for the construction of a proposed police and firefighter training center, rejecting the pleas of hundreds of opponents who packed City Hall and spoke for hours in fierce opposition to the project.

Chemical plant operator repays Georgia fire departments $37K for gear, overtime costs fire

BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) — The operator of a Georgia chemical plant where a raging fire erupted in April is reimbursing fire departments for damaged equipment and overtime pay accrued battling the blaze. Glynn County commissioners on Thursday accepted a check for around $37,000 from Pinova, which produces turpine resins used in glues and other adhesives in the port city of Brunswick.

Real-life ‘Fast and Furious’: Car sent flying over tow truck in Georgia, video shows

VALDOSTA, Ga. (AP) — It looks like a scene from a Hollywood blockbuster. A sedan rockets into the air after driving up the ramp of a flatbed tow truck on a Georgia highway. And the whole crash is caught on video by an officer's body camera. Shocked motorists and law enforcement watched in horror as the Nissan Altima was launched 120 feet down the highway in Lowndes County, according to a police report on the May 24 crash.

Police in Atlanta arrest 3 behind bail fund supporting protests against police training complex

ATLANTA (AP) — Police on Wednesday arrested three key Atlanta organizers who have been aiding protesters against the city's proposed police and fire training center. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced its agents and Atlanta police had arrested three officers of the group that runs the Atlanta Solidarity Fund, which has bailed out protesters and helped them find lawyers. Charged with money laundering and charity fraud are Marlon Scott Kautz, 39, of Atlanta; Savannah D. Patterson, 30, of Savannah; and Adele MacLean, 42, of Atlanta.

2 dead in shooting after high school graduation ceremony in Virginia capital

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Seven people were shot, two fatally, when gunfire rang out Tuesday outside a downtown theater where a high school graduation ceremony had recently concluded, causing attendees to flee in panic, weep and clutch their children, authorities and witnesses reported.

Police in South Florida arrest 3 suspects in Memorial Day beach shooting

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (AP) — Police in South Florida arrested two suspects over the weekend and a third on Monday following a Memorial Day shooting along a busy beachside promenade that injured nine people. Detectives from the Hollywood Police Department took Ariel Cardahn Paul, 16, into custody on Sunday night and Lionel JeanCharles Jr., 18, on Monday afternoon, the agency said in a news release. On Saturday, Hollywood detectives and the U.S. Marshal's Task Force arrested 15-year-old Jordan Burton.

Plane that crashed in Virginia lost contact with air traffic controllers during ascent, feds say

WASHINGTON (AP) — The pilot of a business jet that flew over Washington and crashed in a remote part of Virginia appeared to be slumped over and unresponsive, three U.S. officials said Monday, recounting observations by fighter pilots who intercepted the wayward flight. The revelations came as federal investigators trudged through rugged terrain to reach the site where the plane slammed into a mountain Sunday, killing four people.

Hoskin wins another 4-year term as chief of Cherokee Nation, country's most populous tribe

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) — Cherokee Nation’s Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. won reelection to another four-year term as leader of the nation’s most populous tribe, according to unofficial results posted Monday on the tribe's website. Those results, which are expected to be certified later Monday by the tribe's Election Commission, show Hoskin won nearly 63% of the vote in the four-way race for chief.

Papa Jake survived D-Day on Omaha Beach, now he's a TikTok star

COLLEVILLE-SUR-MER, France (AP) — World War II veteran Jake Larson, a 100-year-old American best known on social media under the name “Papa Jake," enjoyed giving hugs to the many fans he met during his trip to Normandy for D-Day commemorations. Larson, who has more than 600,000 followers on TikTok, attended a ceremony on Tuesday at the American Cemetery marking the 79th anniversary of the assault that led to the liberation of France and Western Europe from Nazi control.

Normandy marks D-Day's 79th anniversary, honors WWII veterans

ON OMAHA BEACH, France (AP) — An overwhelming sound of gunfire and men’s screams. That’s how World War II veteran Marie Scott described D-Day, as Tuesday's ceremonies got underway in honor of those who fought for freedom in the largest naval, air and land operation in history. This year's tribute to the young soldiers who died in Normandy also reminds veterans, officials and visitors what Ukraine faces today.

Collapse of major dam in southern Ukraine triggers emergency as Moscow and Kyiv blame each other

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — The wall of a major dam in southern Ukraine collapsed Tuesday, triggering floods, endangering Europe’s largest nuclear power plant and threatening drinking water supplies as both sides in the war rushed to evacuate residents and blamed each other for the destruction. Ukraine accused Russian forces of blowing up the Kakhovka dam and hydroelectric power station on the Dnieper River in an area that Moscow controls, while Russian officials blamed Ukrainian bombardment in the contested area.

France's spectacular abbey Mont-Saint-Michel celebrates 1,000th birthday

PARIS (AP) — France’s beloved abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel has reached a ripe old age. It's been 1,000 years since the laying of its first stone. The millennial of the UNESCO World Heritage site and key Normandy tourism magnet is being celebrated until November with exhibits, dance shows and concerts. French President Emmanuel Macron is heading there on Monday.
As we recognized our graduates in a worship service recently, I made the comment that, “It’s been a loooong time since many of us graduated from high school.” A light chuckle rippled through the congregation as people briefly recalled their own graduation. I reflected, also, with a sense of disbelief at how fast the past 40-plus years since high school have flown.
The only beef I have with my fellow Kentucky native and 16th President of the United States Abraham Lincoln is that he never joined a church. I’m quite sure he was a Christian, not to mention a great leader and honest man. Yet, history tells us he never officially connected with a local congregation. So what’s the big deal, many would say, especially in an age of cascading commitment and denominational decline?
As the Crisis Response Director for Send Relief, my objective is to help local churches in the United States understand the importance of training their volunteer teams in disaster relief and partnering with the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief network. Preparation is a crucial part of ministry because it empowers us to be more effective as we seek to be used by God to reach and minister to others.
Every election cycle someone says, “This is the most important election in the history of our nation,” or some variation of this statement. There is no doubt that elections have consequences and this is a significant time in our nation’s history. I also believe it is not too soon to begin considering some of the issues of the day. With the 2024 presidential race underway, it is incumbent upon us as Georgia Baptists to engage responsibly and thoughtfully in the political process. We are citizens of heaven, certainly, but also stewards of the earthly realm, and it is in this dual citizenship that our challenge lies.
COLUMBUS, Ga. — While preaching at Salem Baptist Church in Dalton recently, I met a dear woman who asked me to pray for her brother, Bobby Jones, who has been missing in action since November 28, 1972. He was fighting in Vietnam when he was either killed in action or captured by the North Vietnamese.

Recalled pillows linked to 10 infant deaths still being sold on Facebook Marketplace, US agency says

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal safety regulators are urging consumers to stop using baby pillows that have been linked to 10 infant deaths but are still being sold on Facebook Marketplace, despite being recalled two years ago. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said Tuesday that Boppy Newborn Loungers are no longer legally for sale but it has found thousands of them on Facebook Marketplace since the 2021 recall began.

Hundreds of journalists strike to demand leadership change at biggest US newspaper chain

NEW YORK (AP) — Journalists at two dozen local newspapers across the U.S. walked off the job Monday to demand an end to painful cost-cutting measures and a change of leadership at Gannett, the country's biggest newspaper chain. The strike involves hundreds of journalists at newspapers in eight states, including the Arizona Republic, the Austin American-Statesman, the Bergen Record, the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, and the Palm Beach Post, according to the NewsGuild, which represents workers at more than 50 Gannett newsrooms.

Norfolk Southern is first railroad to give all workers sick time but all see progress in labor talks

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Norfolk Southern became the first major freight railroad with deals to provide paid sick time to all of its workers Monday, but the other railroads are making progress with nearly 60% of all rail workers securing this basic benefit since the start of the year.

Saudi Arabia cuts in oil supply could mean higher gas prices for US drivers

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Saudi Arabia will reduce how much oil it sends to the global economy, taking a unilateral step to prop up the sagging price of crude after two previous cuts to supply by major producing countries in the OPEC+ alliance failed to push oil higher. The Saudi cut of 1 million barrels per day, to start in July, comes as the other OPEC+ producers agreed in a meeting in Vienna to extend earlier production cuts through next year.

Tragedy that left 5 dead or missing puts spotlight on safety in Alaska charter fishing industry

Charter fishing industry experts in southeast Alaska say they're eager to learn the cause of a tragedy that left five people dead or lost at sea. A boat called the Awakin was found partially …

Braves recall Muñoz, acquire former Yankees right-hander Heller from Rays

ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Braves recalled right-hander Roddery Muñoz from Triple-A Gwinnett and outrighted left-hander Lucas Luetge to Gwinnett before Tuesday night's series opener against the New York Mets. The Braves on Tuesday also acquired right-hander Ben Heller from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for international bonus pool money.

PGA Tour, Europe to merge with Saudis and end LIV Golf litigation

The most disruptive year in golf ended Tuesday when the PGA Tour and European tour agreed to a merger with Saudi Arabia's golf interests, creating a commercial operation designed to unify professional golf around the world. As part of the deal, the sides are dropping all lawsuits involving LIV Golf against each other effective immediately.

Former USFL president launching spring football league for high school players

The former president of the latest version of the United States Football League is launching a spring football league for high school players. Brian Woods, who stepped down as the USFL’s president at the end of last year, said his Prep Super League will begin next year with a six-week season.

Phillies' Nola loses no-hit bid on homer in 7th against Tigers

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Aaron Nola lost his no-hit bid against the Detroit Tigers on Nick Maton's three-run homer into the second deck with two outs in the seventh inning on Monday night. Nola had faced the minimum through six innings and struck out 10 with two walks. He ran into trouble in the seventh when two batters reached on a walk and fielding error. But the righty still had two outs when he hung an 0-2 breaking ball to Maton and the third baseman crushed one into right to make it a 5-3 game.