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A series of powerful storms swept over the central and southern U.S. over the Memorial Day holiday weekend, killing at least 21 people and leaving a wide trail of destroyed homes, businesses and power outages. The destructive storms caused deaths in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kentucky and were just north of an oppressive, early season heat wave setting records from south Texas to Florida.

DECATUR, Ga. — Standing 6 feet 5 inches tall, Mark Riggins stands out in a crowd and the choir loft of Briarlake Church, in Decatur. So, it may not be out of the ordinary when someone walks up and says, “We’ve met before.”

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Twenty Georgia Baptist Collegiate Ministry campus ministers (full-time, part-time, and volunteer) joined more than 700 other BCM leaders from across the United States and Canada in early May for the 2024 Collegiate Summit held near Memphis, Tenn. This was the largest showing for the equipping event that is held every three years and is organized by the Baptist Collegiate Network.

DULUTH, Ga. — Cross Pointe Church in Duluth was the site of the first commencement for Georgia’s New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary’s Church Training Institute. The ceremony was complete with all the dignity one might expect at such an auspicious event.

WESTFIELD, Ind. — On February 18, 1966, under the heading, “Navy Seeks Ministers as Chaplains,” Baptist Press posted the following: “The Southern Baptist Chaplains Commission has put out a call for Baptist ministers ready for immediate commission and active duty in the United States Navy. The demand was brought on by a Navy adjustment of the number of Baptist chaplains and by the stepped-up manpower needs resulting from the war in Vietnam.”

TIGER, Ga. — Scott Cates, a Georgia Baptist pastor, is touching thousands of lives from Tiger, a town that sits at the base of 2,856-foot Tiger Mountain, a prominent Blue Ridge Mountain peak in the far northeast corner of Georgia.

GAINESVILLE, Ga. — On Thursday, May 2, hamlets, towns, and cities across America observed the National Day of Prayer in churches, civic centers, community complexes and public venues. In Gaineseville, a group of Hispanic youth pastors mobilized scores of second-generation Hispanic youths to pray for the United States.

NEWNAN, Ga. — After almost three years of prayer, deliberation and a national quest, the Pastor Search Team of Newnan’s First Baptist Church recommended Joel Engle as their new senior pastor. The congregation’s response to the recommendation was overwhelmingly positive, and Engle’s first Sunday in the pulpit was May 5th. 

NASHVILLE. Ga. — Pastor Paul Keffer of First Baptist Church of Nashville says he believes revival is critical in the life of a church. “I realize that there are a lot of churches that no longer make revival part of their church schedule,” he explains, “but I believe there are times when we need renewal and refreshing.”

HIAWASEE, Ga. — Macedonia Baptist Church and pastor Wade Lott have an evangelistic spirit and a passion for seeing people come to faith in Jesus Christ. This spirit is reflected in all the church says and does. In April, that spirit led to the church hosting a successful revival that saw many come to faith in Jesus. Though the event is over, the response continues.

ALPHARETTA, Ga. — Meeting at the offices of the North American Mission Board in metro Atlanta on Monday and Tuesday, May 6-7, members of NAMB’s Board of Trustees gained a greater understanding for the diversity of the city and the challenges that come with reaching it with the gospel.

CUMMING, Ga. — It has been said that a pastor’s compassion echoes in eternity, leaving imprints on every heart, and that his preaching pours drops of wisdom into the cup of our understanding. Those words could aptly describe the ministry of Dr. Robert Preston “Bob” Jolly.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A statue of the late Rev. Billy Graham set to stand inside the U.S. Capitol to represent North Carolina will be unveiled next week in a ceremony. House Speaker Mike Johnson, other congressional members and the family of the Charlotte-born evangelist are expected to attend unveiling of the 7-foot tall bronze statue on Thursday in the National Statuary Hall, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association said in a news release.

COMMERCE, Ga. — In another encouraging sign of revival spreading across Georgia, 24 individuals made professions of faith at a recent event at Beaverdam Baptist Church in Commerce. Jon Reed, a Georgia Baptist evangelist, reported that there is a spiritual awakening taking place at Beaverdam.

JONESBORO, Ga. — Georgia Baptist Women held their annual Women’s Spring Event at First Baptist Jonesboro on Friday and Saturday, April 26 and 27. More than 650 women were encouraged by inspirational messages, met with missionaries, participated in mission projects, and gathered and interacted with like-minded sisters in Christ to grow in their faith and relationships with each other.

DULUTH, Ga. – Six incoming college freshmen from across Georgia have received Student Achievement Award scholarships that go to the state’s top scholars.

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. — Baptisms, worship service attendance and small group participation all grew among congregations affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention in 2023, while the recent slide in total memberships slowed.

ELBERTON, Ga. — For Kevin Vaughn, pastor of the growing Rock Branch Baptist Church, the path to effective ministry has not been without formidable struggles. Vaughn remembers being “a normal kid growing up,” whose family did not attend church regularly. It was Vaughn’s grandparents who took him to church and the children’s programs offered.

WATKINSVILLE, Ga. — “We were just laymen helping to start a church in Franklin, Tenn., when Gabe Norris and I realized just how hard it is for the church in America to meet new people,” said Ken “KT” Thomas, president and co-founder of Connect Ministries. After having this realization, Thomas and Norris soon quit their jobs at Lifeway Christian Resources and started Connect Ministries, a nonprofit organization based in Watkinsville that helps church members meet new people in their surrounding communities and share the gospel with them.  

W. Thomas Hammond Jr., executive director of the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, and his wife Kerri led Georgia Baptists in a time of corporate prayer via livestream Wednesday morning on the National Day of Prayer.

In a troubling sign for many congregations, half of pastors say they are often or frequently lonely, according to a report of clergy health. Pastors may be healthy in many other areas, but most say they struggle with feeling lonely, according to a report from the Hartford Institute for Religion Research.

This Thursday, May 2, is the National Day of Prayer. It was established by a joint resolution of Congress in 1952, and the date was set to the first Thursday in May by President Ronald Reagan in 1988.

Daniel Holland, a rising senior at Georgia Southern University, has been selected as state president of Baptist Collegiate Ministries for 2024-2025. Holland, a marketing major, says he plans to attend seminary after graduation, and his ultimate desire is to serve as a pastor.

Protests on U.S. college campuses opposing Israel’s continuing military campaign against Gaza reflect the views of a significant minority of Gen Z voters, a recent online survey revealed.

FORSYTH, Ga. — Last Saturday, April 20, some 250 Georgia college student leaders gathered at Maynard Baptist Church in Forsyth for Equip, a day of equipping leaders to be on mission on their campus, in their community and around the world.

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