National

CBF leader sets retirement in 2012

September 15 2011 by press reports

Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) Executive Coordinator Daniel Vestal announced his retirement at a recent CBF advisory council meeting. With a retirement date effective June 30, 2012, Vestal has been the leader for CBF since 1996 when he replaced founding coordinator Cecil Sherman.

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Flood recovery remains Pa., N.Y. challenge

September 14 2011 by Diana Chandler, Baptist Press

MONTOURSVILLE, Pa. – With water rising a foot every 15 minutes, Noel Carr and his young son Jerico grabbed a few possessions, the dog and five pet chickens before abandoning their home to historic flooding from Tropical Storm Lee. “By this time the water was over our heads and we had no more access to our home,” Carr said Monday, four days after the flooding receded from Montoursville, Pa.

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Vt. Baptists persevere in aiding victims

September 14 2011 by John Evans, Baptist Press

BARRE, Vt. – At a flood-damaged Vermont home, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief assessors offered the residents a win-win solution: They would evaluate the home and have a cleanup crew come work for free. “(T)he people said, ‘No, we don’t want anything to do with religion,’” recounted Terry Dorsett, director of missions for the Green Mountain Baptist Association.

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9/11 survivors reflect during night of hope

September 13 2011 by Melissa Lilley, BSC Communications

NEW YORK – It was hard to listen to the soulful, toe tapping, jazz-like tunes and not clap along, especially during the group’s rendition of “Just a closer walk with thee. ” From all the laughter and smiles, one would not have guessed the crowd to be gathered for an event related to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

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‘Visionary’ leader Cecil Ray dies

September 12 2011 by BR staff

Cecil Armstrong Ray, who led the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC) in the late ’70s, early ’80s, died Aug. 23. Ray, 88, of Georgetown, Texas, is known for promoting the Cooperative Program by giving and going. “Cecil Ray was a visionary leader with many strong qualities,” said Milton A.

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Volunteers feverishly try to fill jobs

September 12 2011 by BR, BSC staff

With Tropical Storm Maria turning away from the United States, disaster relief volunteers breathe a sigh of relief and continue filling jobs across North Carolina as well as other states. When Hurricane Irene hit North Carolina Aug. 27, North Carolina Baptist Men (NCBM) waited in the wings ready to respond to whatever the storm brought.

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Lee’s downpours heighten crisis left by Irene

September 9 2011 by Diana Chandler, Baptist Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Remnants of Tropical Storm Lee are dealing a setback to residents in Pennsylvania, upstate New York and New Jersey still suffering from Hurricane Irene, with organizations such as Southern Baptist Disaster Relief scrambling to meet the escalating needs in the region.

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All SBC annuals now searchable online

September 8 2011 by Mark Kelly, Baptist Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – SBC annuals dating to 1845 now are available online in a searchable PDF format following a joint digitization project by the Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives and Baylor University Central Libraries. The 154 volumes represent a valuable resource for both scholarly research and personal information, said Bill Sumners, director of the Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives.

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Vt. in ‘desperate need’ of mud-out help

September 7 2011 by John Evans, Baptist Press

MONTPELIER, Vt. – As Southern Baptists ramp up recovery efforts in flood-stricken Vermont, an avalanche of requests for assistance is overwhelming available resources. “We’re in desperate need of some mud-out teams,” said Bruce James, evangelism and men’s ministry director of the Baptist Convention of New England (BCNE).

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‘All to Thee’ writer dies at 84

September 7 2011 by Benjamin Hawkins, SWBTS

FORT WORTH, Texas — Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary honored distinguished alumnus and Southern Baptist hymn writer Richard D. “Dick” Baker during chapel, Sept. 7. Flags also flew at half-staff around the seminary campus in memory of Baker, 84, who passed away after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease, Sept.

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