August 2018

GuideStone launches new era at Pinnacle Tower

August 23 2018 by Roy Hayhurst, GuideStone Financial Resources

Reflecting on the number of days GuideStone Financial Resources has served hundreds of thousands of participants, O.S. Hawkins noted that Aug. 20, 2018 – the first day at GuideStone’s new home – was a momentous one, following the 100th anniversary of its beginnings in Dallas on July 31, 1918.
 

GuideStone photo
The lobby to GuideStone Financial Resources anchors the top five floors of the 24-story Pinnacle Tower in Dallas. Employees began working from the new offices on Aug. 20.

“In Psalm 90:12, the prayer of Moses says, ‘So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom,’” Hawkins, GuideStone’s president, noted. “We’re good at counting months or years. In the financial industry, we number quarters. But a heart of wisdom counts the days.”
 
GuideStone occupies the top five floors of the 24-story Pinnacle Tower at 5005 LBJ Freeway across the Dallas North Tollway from the Dallas Galleria shopping center.
 
The lease includes signage on the east and north sides of the building, with more than a half-million vehicles passing by daily.
 
John R. Jones, GuideStone’s chief operating officer, said the new space “accomplishes two goals for GuideStone: it helps us in our ongoing efforts to aggressively manage costs and it helps create a workspace conducive to the way we work now, fostering collaboration, innovation and efficiency.
 
“We have always aimed to be a ministry that adopts and operates with best business practices for the benefit of our participants,” Jones said, “and we believe this new space accomplishes both the business and ministry needs of the organization very well.”
 

GuideStone photo
GuideStone Financial Resources has moved to its new offices on the top five floors of the 24-story Pinnacle Tower in Dallas.

GuideStone’s previous home in Dallas’ Uptown neighborhood was sold in December 2017. That building was originally acquired as an investment of GuideStone for the purpose of aiding the organization in providing benefit programs to Southern Baptist participants. Proceeds from the sale continue to drive the benefit programs for Southern Baptists and others GuideStone is authorized to serve as part of its ministry assignment with the Southern Baptist Convention.
 
The sale and relocation are forecast to provide cost savings of $3 million annually as GuideStone shed unused office space and moved to a more cost-effective location. The location, which sits within a 45-minute commute of two-thirds of the workers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, is a prime area of redevelopment with improved highway access over the last several years.
 
“We believe that, just as our Uptown location served us well for the last 29 years, this new location is a long-term solution that will benefit our participants and our employees,” said Hawkins, who has led the SBC entity since 1997. “As we marked our centennial anniversary in 2018 and said goodbye to our old home, we look forward to embarking on this second century of service in our new home with excitement and expectation for all the Lord will do through us as we seek to honor Him through our service to our participants.”
 
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Roy Hayhurst is director of denominational and public relations for GuideStone Financial Resources. Reprinted from Baptist Press, baptistpress.com, news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.)

8/23/2018 12:19:53 PM by Roy Hayhurst, GuideStone Financial Resources | with 0 comments



Boat captain fishes for men, catches 43

August 23 2018 by David Roach, Baptist Press

Like many retirees, you can find James Shepherd, 84, fishing in his boat several days each week. But he’s set apart from many other retirees by what he’s fishing for.
 

Submitted photo
Like many retirees, you can find James Shepherd, 84, fishing in his boat several days each week. But he's set apart from many other retirees by what he's fishing for: souls to win for Christ.

When he and a friend bought a pontoon boat four years ago, he sensed the Lord saying, “Why don’t you fish for men off this?” So Shepherd made signs that said, “Get in the boat – Bible study” and “worship on the water.” Then he launched a ministry of taking people for rides on the Cumberland River and sharing the gospel with them.
 
Over the past four years, Shepherd’s Clarksville, Tenn., ministry has seen 43 people profess faith in Christ as their Lord and Savior.
 
“It’s God’s ministry,” said Shepherd, who has pastored four Tennessee Baptist churches and done itinerant evangelism. “All I’m trying to do is orchestrate what God wants to do with it.”
 
On a typical day of ministry, Bro. Shep – as everyone calls him – docks his boat and has friends come aboard to play Christian music on their instruments. As interested passersby gather, he offers them rides and shares a lesson from scripture during the ride. Preacher friends sometimes volunteer to speak during the boat rides, and laymen volunteer to give their testimonies.
 
Riders often receive cold water from Shepherd. Sometimes he even orders pizza for them.
 
The ministry is funded through donations from individuals and churches.
 
“Lost people don’t want to come to the church anymore,” Shepherd said. “... My job is taking the church to the people instead of asking the people to come to me.”
 
Among the recent beneficiaries of Shepherd’s ministry were a homeless couple named Michael and Monica. In July, Shepherd and some friends spotted them under a bridge on a Saturday, docked the boat nearby and began to play hymns. The couple, both around 40 years old, responded well to a four-minute sermon by one of Shepherd’s co-laborers and agreed to attend church the next day. They also shared that Michael had terminal cancer.
 
At Clarksville’s Second Mile Church the next day, Michael and Monica were saved. They were baptized the following Sunday and have attended faithfully ever since.
 

Photo by James Shepherd
James Shepherd's evangelistic boat ministry on the Cumberland River in Clarksville, Tenn., has seen 43 people profess faith in Christ over four years.

“We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us,” Shepherd said. “But we have to do our part of it, which is faith.”
 
Among Shepherd’s challenges, his wife died two years ago. Then earlier this year, he found his ministry at a crossroads after he had sold his first pontoon boat but felt God leading him to start the ministry again. So he used the majority of his remaining retirement funds to buy a new boat in Nashville, with the confidence God would provide for his needs.
 
“The word got out about me taking my retirement money and spending it,” Shepherd said. “And five weeks ago, I went to my mailbox” to find a check for $25,000 “and a little note that said, ‘Here’s your retirement money back, and here’s $5,000 to operate the boat this summer on.’”
 
As for Shepherd’s future plans, he’s praying to win 96 more people to Christ before the summer ends. When the boat ministry expands, two of his friends have offered to tie their pontoon boats to his so they can take 20-30 people on the river for Bible study at one time.
 
Eventually, however, he has even bigger plans.
 
“I’m waiting for them to put the General Jackson [riverboat] up for sale,” he said, “to have church on the water.”
 
(EDITOR’S NOTE – David Roach is chief national correspondent for Baptist Press. Reprinted from Baptist Press, baptistpress.com, news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.)

8/23/2018 12:19:35 PM by David Roach, Baptist Press | with 0 comments



Southeastern installs 10th faculty chair in honor of Charles Page

August 23 2018 by Lauren Pratt, SEBTS

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (SEBTS) installed its 10th faculty chair, the Charles Page Chair of Biblical Theology, to Charles Quarles during its convocation service Aug. 16. The chair was announced in 2003 at SEBTS while Page was still living, but it was not until 15 years later, with the support of more than 100 donors, that the endowed chair became active.
 

SEBTS Photo
Danny Akin delivers an address at SEBTS' Fall Convocation Aug. 16.

“It brings great, great joy in my heart to know that until Jesus comes again, one of his choice servants will be honored at this institution and rightly so,” said SEBTS President Danny Akin during a lunch following convocation to honor Page and his family. “Thank you for making this possible. This is a good day at Southeastern Seminary.”
 
During the lunch, Jack Fallaw, longtime friend of Page, spoke of Page’s great influence and godly example.
 
“You couldn’t be around Charles very long that you didn’t see there was a power in him that was greater than himself,” said Fallaw.
 
Akin described the tremendous influence Page had on his life, calling him “one of my heroes.”
 
He also gave three reasons why he admired Page: he taught Akin how to love his family, he taught Akin on a public level and he taught Akin one-on-one.
 
Quarles, research professor of New Testament and biblical theology at SEBTS, received his master’s and doctoral degrees in New Testament and Greek from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary. He served as a senior pastor for ten years in Mississippi and Tennessee. He also spent time as a missionary with the International Mission Board in Bucharest, Romania.
 
Before coming to SEBTS, Quarles served as a professor at multiple seminaries, including Clear Creek Baptist Bible College, the Bucharest Baptist Theological Seminary, the University of Bucharest, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Louisiana College. Quarles is also the author of multiple publications.
 
Page received both his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from SEBTS. During his life, Page was widely influential through pastoring multiple churches, including churches in Greensboro, N.C., and North Augusta, S.C. From 1982-1985, Page pastored at First Baptist Charlotte. Page left to serve as pastor of First Baptist Nashville before returning back to First Baptist Charlotte in 1991, where he grew the congregation to 3,500.
 
Page was influential to many through broadcasts of his sermons from First Baptist Charlotte and weekly, lunchtime devotionals for hundreds of businessmen. Page died in 2005 after a nine-year battle with cancer, but his legacy continues to live on in the installment of the Charles Page Chair of Biblical Theology at SEBTS.
 
During convocation, Scott Pace, associate professor of pastoral ministry and preaching and the associate director of the Center for Preaching and Pastoral Leadership, was installed in the Johnny Hunt Chair of Biblical Preaching, which began in the fall of 2010.
 
Adrianne Miles and Tate Cockrell, newly elected faculty members, signed their names to the Baptist Faith & Message 2000 and the Abstract of Principles, along with the other SEBTS faculty members.
 
Miles is an assistant professor of English and linguistics for the college. Cockrell is an associate professor of counseling and the assistant director of the doctoral ministry program in the seminary.
 
Preaching from Psalm 117, Akin highlighted how missionary John Paton’s life and ministry coincided with the message presented in the shortest chapter in all of scripture.
 
Paton, Akin told attendees, was a man “who risked his life and sacrificed much that a tribe of murderous cannibals in the New Hebrides Islands might praise the Lord for his steadfast love and faithfulness that endures forever.”
 
Akin explained that Psalm 117:1 describes how the Lord is to be magnified among the nations, being praised and extolled by people of every ethnicity.
 
“These people groups are perishing and headed toward hell with no gospel witness, and yet our great God desires that they would praise Him and be saved,” said Akin.
 
Akin also said the Lord is to be magnified because of his nature, which is steadfast and faithful.
 
To view photos from convocation, click here.

8/23/2018 12:19:13 PM by Lauren Pratt, SEBTS | with 0 comments



Harris stands firm amid sermon scrutiny

August 22 2018 by David Roach, Baptist Press

The sermons of a North Carolina pastor turned congressional candidate have become fodder for political attacks and reports in national media outlets – especially his preaching on the family and gender roles.
 

Screen capture from MarkHarrisForCongress.com
GOP congressional candidate Mark Harris has faced criticism for sermons he preached on the family while he was pastor of First Baptist Church in Charlotte, N.C.

But Mark Harris, former pastor of First Baptist Church in Charlotte who is running as a Republican in North Carolina’s 9th congressional district, told Baptist Press it should not be regarded as a “news flash” that a “Baptist preacher preaches the Bible.” Past sermons, he added, don’t “really have any bearing on electing a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives.”
 
“It’s important that we understand family is the foundation of our society and the foundation of American culture,” Harris said, but his political opponents are attempting “to create a distraction. They won’t talk about the issues, such as GDP being up 4.1 percent in the second quarter. And they won’t talk about the lowest unemployment among women, I think, in some 30 years.”
 
The criticism he’s faced for sermon content “probably speaks to the biblical illiteracy” of American culture, Harris said, and “is probably an indictment on the church for doing a very poor job for a generation of explaining and discipling what the Bible says.”
 
Harris resigned First Baptist’s pastorate last year to run for Congress and defeated incumbent Robert Pittenger May 8 in the Republican primary. Harris was president of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina from 2011-2013 and served on the 2016 Southern Baptist Convention Resolutions Committee.
 
The latest burst of media attention surrounding Harris began in July when a political action committee that opposes him highlighted a 2013 sermon in which he said a woman’s “core calling” is to be a godly wife and mother. Women “can be anything and do anything” professionally, he added in the sermon, “as long as you understand your core calling and who you are and that guides everything you do.”
 
“In our culture today, girls are taught from grade school ... that what is most honorable in life is a career, and their ultimate goal in life is simply to be able to grow up and be independent of anyone or anything,” Harris said in the 2013 sermon according to ABC News, adding, “But nobody has seemed to ask the question that I think is critically important to ask: Is that a healthy pursuit for society? Is that the healthiest pursuit for our homes? Is that the healthiest pursuit for our children? Is that the healthiest pursuit for the sexes in our generation?”
 
This month, a flurry of media reports has focused on Harris’ past preaching from Ephesians 5 that wives should submit to their husbands.
 
The political news outlet Roll Call quoted Harris as saying in a 2013 sermon, “Many marriages could save beaucoups of marriage counseling money if they would just understand; husbands love your wives even as Christ loved the church. Wives submit yourselves unto your own husbands as unto the Lord.”
 
“You cannot force your wife to submit,” Harris told husbands in the sermon. Submission also does not imply “inequality” because God the Son submitted to God the Father even though they are equally divine.
 
Other media reports have noted Harris’ beliefs that homosexual behavior is a choice and that the earth was created by God thousands rather than millions of years ago.
 
In July, The Charlotte Observer published an editorial on Harris’ views of gender roles with the headline “Paging Mark Harris; it’s the 21st century.” An Aug. 8 editorial cartoon in The Observer depicted Harris dressed as cartoon caveman Fred Flintstone with “#Submit” written on his shirt, holding a club and saying to a woman in a #MeToo t-shirt, “Give me that old-time religion.”
 
Harris’ general election opponent Dan McCready tweeted in response to reports on Harris’ sermons, “As a Christian, I believe that we are all created in God’s image. That means men and women are equally valuable and equally capable. My opponent, Mark Harris, is out of step with this district and this century.”
 
Colin Smothers, executive director of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, told BP “a Christian pastor preaching 2,000-year-old Christian beliefs should not be news, but this is the world we live in.” CBMW teaches men and women have equal worth before God but have been assigned distinct roles in the church and the home by scripture.
 
“No matter who cites them – teacher, nurse, fireman, professor or, yes, even a congressional candidate who has preached hundreds of sermons as a pastor – the words of Ephesians 5, Titus 2, and Romans 1 (to pick only a few) are offensive to the world’s sensibilities,” Smothers said in written comments. “Jesus told us it would be this way. But the Christian is called to joyfully embrace the whole Bible as the inspired Word of God and to have our minds made new according to every truth revealed therein. We cannot just pick and choose the truths we think will win more friends, influence more people or win more elections.”
 
Harris advised other pastors to “stick with the Word. That’s what I have been able to rely on. And really I think it has been what has caused us to be able to answer the attacks.”
 
(EDITOR’S NOTE – David Roach is chief national correspondent for Baptist Press. Reprinted from Baptist Press, baptistpress.com, news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.)

8/22/2018 10:54:39 AM by David Roach, Baptist Press | with 0 comments



Church planting leader retires

August 22 2018 by Biblical Recorder Staff

Known for his leadership in church planting, Mark Gray retires from the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC) Nov. 5.
 

“He is not only an effective trainer coach, he is a practitioner of reaching people for Christ through church planting,” said Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer, in a statement to the Biblical Recorder. “Mark has always helped bring out the best in people because he takes the time to invest himself in them.”
 
Gray, who has served as team leader for church planting for the BSC, has worked for the convention for 13 years.
 
Hollifield credited Gray with the growth in church planting but also developing abilities within the leaders of those church plants.
 
“God will provide another great person to lead this work, but the person of Mark Gray cannot be replaced,” Hollifield said.
 
Gray has spent more than 30 years in ministry, serving as minister of youth, associate pastor and senior pastor as well as various roles in church planting.
 
He is a graduate of Mars Hill University (formerly college) and Asbury Theological Seminary. He is pursuing a doctorate at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, where he also holds a master’s degree.
 
He leads Epoch Church, a house church in Greensboro. He and his wife, Esther, have two adult children.

8/22/2018 10:54:28 AM by Biblical Recorder Staff | with 0 comments



Mentoring initiative nurtures churches & seminarians

August 22 2018 by Gary D. Myers, NOBTS

Noah Madden chose New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (NOBTS), in part, due to the lostness in the city. After spending his formative years in Canada, Madden wanted to be involved in gospel witness outside the Bible Belt.
 

Photo by Chandler McCall
George Ross, North American Mission Board missionary in New Orleans (center), speaks during an ordination service for New Orleans Seminary students Dallas Guidry (left) and Noah Madden, who have been in a mentoring initiative at Lakeshore Church. Madden’s wife Tarin (right) participates in the service in support of her husband.

Madden planned to immerse himself in the city, study at NOBTS and apply the practical aspects of ministry in a local church setting.
 
Through a unique residency initiative at Lakeshore Church, Madden not only learned the “ins” and “outs” of local church ministry, but found “a safe environment to practice ministry and make mistakes and learn. It helped me process where I fit in ministry.”
 
As with Madden, most Southern Baptist seminary students see local church ministry as an important complement to classroom studies. The “hands-on” experience of the local church ministry enlivens and enhances the academic work of the classroom. But few receive the type of intentional mentoring Madden received.
 
Lakeshore’s Equip L1 and L2 Residency provides an opportunity for NOBTS students to gain intentional firsthand ministry experience through mentoring in the local church as a complement to the classroom experience rather than a replacement.
 
The idea flows out of a real need in New Orleans. Students like Madden arrive at NOBTS full of evangelistic fervor and ready to serve, but finding a ministry opportunity can be daunting. Churches often lack the financial resources to hire students in ministry and rarely have a formalized strategy to shepherd and mentor students who serve in their church.
 
When George Ross came to New Orleans in 2013 as a SEND missionary with the North American Mission Board (NAMB), he quickly identified this issue. While some students were able to work and volunteer in local churches, few churches had intentional channels for hands-on mentoring to help the students thrive. Ross believed that both the churches and the students were missing an opportunity.
 
“To grow and become equipped ministers, students need someone to invest in them,” Ross said. He was convinced that ministry coaching and a focused, church-based learning experience would help students maximize their time in seminary.
 

An opportunity arises

 
Through his role with NAMB, Ross became involved in the replant of the former Pontchartrain Baptist Church, a congregation that had struggled since Hurricane Katrina. The church decided to close its doors and allow Canal Street Church to plant a new congregation – Lakeshore – in the old building. Lakeshore Church takes a team approach and is led by planter Bo Smith along with Ross and Madden. Both Smith and Ross are bivocational, meaning each has a full-time job outside the church.
 
With a burgeoning church plant and no full-time pastor, Ross knew seminary students would have a place to serve at Lakeshore, so the Equip residency was born out of a desire to ensure that the relationship was mutually beneficial. Lakeshore would make an eternal investment in the lives of students as the students poured their lives into the church’s ministry.
 
“When a student leaves the residency, we want them to be a better-prepared leader, a better-prepared pastor, husband, father … we want to help mold them in these areas,” Ross said.
 
Lakeshore uses NAMB’s L1 and L2 Church Planting Pipeline Training, which prepares students for the next steps of the NAMB church planting approval process.
 
The two-year residency program at Lakeshore started in 2016 with five residents. Madden and four others in the residency group completed the program in May. The church recently ordained Madden, who will continue to serve at Lakeshore.
 
Madden and his wife Tarin heard about the residency from a seminary neighbor before the program’s official launch and it sounded like a good fit. After a conversation with Ross, Madden sensed that he should apply during his first year of seminary.
 
Madden said the residency program helped him wrestle with church ministry issues that are difficult to address in a classroom setting. On a weekly basis, Madden and the other residents have the opportunity to apply what they learn at NOBTS and Equip in practical ways through the ministry of Lakeshore Church, he said.
 
“For me, two areas of the residency were most helpful – one being my emotional health and the other was understanding my personal strengths and weaknesses,” he said. “The residency helped me to be emotionally aware of grief and frustration, and it helped me with staff relationships.”
 

Replicating the model

 
While Ross is involved directly in the Equip residency at Lakeshore, which will have 16 residents this fall, his idea helped foster a small movement in the New Orleans area, with 39 NOBTS students serving in a leadership capacity as residents at other church plants. Some serve as children’s ministers, youth ministers and mission coordinators; others serve in pastoral ministry roles.
 
One of the results of the intentional residency efforts is a renewed commitment among seminary students to spend time off-campus interacting with people who need the gospel. In the process as students are being equipped to lead churches or church plants, local churches and church plants are being invigorated.
 
“They are serving in church plants in capacities that have enabled us to see an incredible church planting movement happen in this city,” Ross said. “So a lot of churches are doing the residencies, and there are a lot of churches doing some type of leadership development. I am very grateful for that.”
 
The Equip residency and similar efforts benefit from a new partnership between NOBTS and NAMB. Students who are training for church planting ministry at NOBTS or its undergraduate Leavell College can earn up to 19 hours of course credit toward a degree through the residency.
 
For more on the NAMB/NOBTS partnership, visit nobts.edu/namb.
 
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Gary Myers is director of public relations for New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Reprinted from Baptist Press, baptistpress.com, news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.)

8/22/2018 10:54:09 AM by Gary D. Myers, NOBTS | with 0 comments



Charlotte woman celebrates 65 years of perfect attendance

August 22 2018 by Dee Dee Vogt, BR Editorial Aide

July 2018 marked Mary Payne’s 65th year of perfect attendance in Sunday School. She’s been a member of Berryhill Baptist Church in Charlotte since 1963.
 

Despite recent health-related difficulties, Payne continues to teach Sunday School, training other teachers and shepherding her class of older adults.
 
Her advice to younger Sunday School teachers? “Training, training, training! If you aren’t being trained, you aren’t prepared.”
 
The daughter of a pastor, she remembers churches with sawdust floors and pews of wood and cement blocks. When her father preached, he counted on seeing his wife, six sons and daughter sitting nicely on the pew, Payne recalls. She often accompanied her father to prisons and alleyways ministering to those who needed to hear the gospel.
 
Drawing on those early days, Payne has spent 55 years ministering in all areas of Baptist life, leading Mission Friends, Girls in Action (GAs), choir and 40 years as a Woman’s Missionary Union director. But Sunday School has always been her favorite time.
 
“I see people coming in just for service and I think, ‘They miss out on so much,’” she said.

8/22/2018 10:53:50 AM by Dee Dee Vogt, BR Editorial Aide | with 0 comments



Former missionary, longtime Cooperative Program leader retires

August 22 2018 by Biblical Recorder Staff

From his experience on the international mission field, Mike Creswell knows the value of cooperating.
 

Creswell, who retired Aug. 20 from his role as senior consultant with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC), has served the BSC since 2004.
 
“Mike Creswell has been a very capable professional in the work of educating Southern Baptists about the value of Cooperative Program (CP) and challenging them to support missions through CP,” said Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC executive director-treasurer, in a statement to the Biblical Recorder.
 
“I consider him to be one of the best in this assignment all across the [Southern Baptist Convention].”
 
In his various roles at the BSC, he has utilized his writing and photography skills to tell the stories of God’s work through the missions and ministries supported by the Cooperative Program (CP) and the North Carolina Missions Offering.
 
“Although he is rather quiet, his ability to think creatively and design ways to promote CP speak volumes about that which is dear to his heart,” Hollifield said. 
 
“He has challenged us to provide our resource materials in ways that enable non-English-speaking Baptists to learn more about the value of cooperative mission support. 
 
“One of the most effective tools for increasing support for missions through CP that Mike was instrumental in developing is called 52 Sundays. It is a DVD that churches can use to show short clips during worship of missionaries serving Christ in their assigned location of service.” 
 
Hollifield also shared of Creswell’s leadership in helping churches affiliate with the BSC and the SBC.
 
“He has convinced their leaders that we can accomplish much more cooperating together than we can working as a single church unit,” Hollifield said.
 
Prior to joining the BSC, Creswell and his wife, Christie, were missionaries in Belgium and England with the International Mission Board (IMB). He had worked as associate editor of The Commission, IMB’s missions magazine for eight years at the headquarters in Richmond, Va.
 
He has traveled the world reporting on missions work. He also served the South Carolina Baptist Convention on its public relations team.
 
A native of S.C., he is a graduate of the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C., and
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C.
 
The Creswells have two adult daughters; both live in South Carolina.

8/22/2018 10:53:34 AM by Biblical Recorder Staff | with 0 comments



Creedmoor pastor killed in car accident

August 21 2018 by Biblical Recorder Staff

Marc Tilley, senior pastor of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Creedmoor, died in a car accident Aug. 10.
 

“The way he carried himself and the vision he had for the church was certainly a draw,” said David Herman, associate pastor, to WNCN. “He was a great friend and a mentor to me. And, certainly, it was a blessing to work with him each and every day.”
 
Tilley and his wife, Candi, were traveling home after dinner when they were rear-ended by a truck. The couple had stopped at a stop sign at the intersection of Highway 56 and West Lyon Road in Butner when the accident occurred.
 
Tilley died at the scene, but Candi Tilley, who was driving, was injured and taken to the hospital. She was later released.
 
“There’s devastation, obviously, in a tragedy like this,” Herman said. “But, for us as believers, the hope that we have [is] that we’re going to see him again.”
 
A memorial service was held Aug. 15 and drew more than 1,000 people, a WNCN report said.
 
Durham native Marcus “Marc” Randall Tilley was a graduate of North Carolina State University. While studying for his mechanical engineering degree, Tilley was called into ministry his sophomore year. He received a master of divinity degree from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary in Cordova, Tenn. He had a doctorate from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C.
 
Tilley had been with Pleasant Grove for 18 years and has served as a pastor for more than 30 years.
 
He is survived by Candis Kimrey Tilley, his wife of 34 years; daughter, Katie Tilley Johnson; parents, Dolphus and Nancy Tilley; brother, Dan Tilley.
 
Memorials to Pleasant Grove Baptist Church will be sent to the Southern Baptist Convention Cooperative Program to be used for missions. Send to P.O. Box 745, Creedmoor, NC 27522-0745.
 
Charges have been filed against Clifton Alexander Smith Jr. of Henderson. He is facing several charges, including failure to decrease speed as necessary to avoid colliding with a vehicle, failure to stop for a stop light, and no operator’s license for class of vehicle driven. The district attorney’s office is considering other charges.

8/21/2018 12:29:48 PM by Biblical Recorder Staff | with 0 comments



Youth ‘Re-imagine’ parables of Jesus

August 21 2018 by Chad Austin, BSC Communications

Middle and high school students from across North Carolina took a fresh look at some of the most well-known teachings of Jesus throughout the summer as part of summer Youth Weeks held at the North Carolina Baptist Assembly at Fort Caswell.
 

BSC photo
Students participate in a game during Youth Weeks at Fort Caswell.

Re-imagine” was the theme of youth weeks, which drew nearly 6,500 teen-agers from more than 270 churches to the North Carolina coast over the course of seven weeks in June, July and August.
 
The theme verse was Psalm 78:1-2, “My people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth with a parable; I will utter hidden things, things from old” (NIV).
 
“Most of the students have heard these parables that Jesus told,” said Merrie Johnson, senior consultant for youth evangelism and discipleship with the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC), who coordinates youth weeks for the state convention each year.
 
“We’ve just tried to help the students dig into them a little deeper.”
 
Campers explored biblical themes like repentance and salvation from the parables of the lost sheep, the lost coin and the lost son from Luke 15:1-8; forgiveness from the parable of the ungrateful servant in Matthew 18:21-35; loving and serving others from the parable of the good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37; and sharing the gospel from the parable of the sower in Luke 8:1-5. Each week featured a different camp pastor, who unpacked the biblical, historical and cultural background of the passages and provided points of application through daily preaching during morning and evening services.
 
Those principles were reinforced with the campers through worship, personal and small group devotions, and other related activities.
 
“In all of these parables, (Jesus) is teaching about the coming kingdom of God, and He’s given people this beautiful picture of what His Kingdom is going to look like,” Trevor Atwood, lead pastor at Boro City Church in Murfreesboro, Tenn., told campers during one of his messages at Youth Weeks.
 
“Jesus tells stories to get people to re-imagine their idea of the Kingdom of God.”
 
Over the course of the summer, more than 360 youth made a first-time decision to trust Christ as Savior, and nearly 900 more rededicated their lives to Him. Additionally, 15 answered a call to vocational ministry.
 
Johnson said she saw God move in other ways, as well.
 
“God moved mightily all summer and in ways that weren’t necessarily reflected in the number of decisions that were made here at camp,” Johnson said. “The change has been much deeper.”
 
One area where Johnson said she saw God working in the lives of students was related to the concept of biblical forgiveness.
 
“We spent a whole day emphasizing forgiveness, and that was perhaps the most moving aspect of the summer,” Johnson said.
 
“Students have realized how unforgiveness keeps them from experiencing life with God and life with family and friends to the fullest.
 
“That’s been a moving thing to see and represents change at a deeper level than we’ve seen in the past.”
 
Campers also surpassed a major milestone in the on-site missions component of Youth Weeks.
 
This year marked the eighth summer that campers have been packing meals that are delivered to Haiti, and 2018 marked the packaging of the two millionth meal. With each meal that is distributed in Haiti, the gospel is also presented.
 
Campers also gave more than $75,000 collectively to the youth weeks’ missions offering that covers the costs of delivering and distributing the meals in Haiti.
 
“Go, God!” Johnson said. “We’re not planning to stop.”

8/21/2018 12:29:32 PM by Chad Austin, BSC Communications | with 0 comments



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