May 2014

NCMO benefits Red Springs Mission Camp

May 23 2014 by Emily Rojas, BSC Communications

As North Carolina Baptists give to the North Carolina Missions Offering (NCMO), they support the missions and ministry efforts of the Red Springs Mission Camp in Robeson County. The NCMO provides the funds necessary to further efforts to impact lostness through disciple-making in Red Springs and the surrounding communities. This mission camp is one of two in North Carolina – the other is in Shelby.
Larry Osborne, director of the Red Springs Mission Camp, said he enjoys seeing volunteers grow in their understanding of what mission work actually is.
“They come here with one idea of what a missionary is but go home with a whole different aspect of missionary life,” Osborne said.

Red Springs Mission Camp Facebook photo
Boiling Springs Baptist Church in Purlear brought a team to work at Red Springs Mission Camp in April. Here, part of the group repairs bleachers at the park next to the mission camp in Robeson County.

Osborne’s wife, Teresa, is the office manager, and Windell Hunt is the assistant director.
The Red Springs Mission Camp, a ministry of North Carolina Baptist Men (also called Baptists on Mission), opened in 2008. The missions and ministries of the camp depend on the NCMO for support. As local churches give to the NCMO, 15 percent of their gifts are used to support the efforts of the two mission camps in North Carolina.
Volunteer groups staying at the Red Springs Mission Camp engage the surrounding communities in a variety of ways. Some of the camp’s many ministries include visiting and ministering to elderly people in the area, doing yard work, repairing homes and even helping with house cleaning. The camp also holds prayer walks every three weeks, during which staff and volunteers pray with people they meet on the street.
Osborne said these acts of service present an opportunity to share the gospel with the people who live in Red Springs – they provide a way to establish relationships, which is essential for disciple-making. He said volunteers always pray with the people they’ve served after the work is done, and the people in the community are grateful for the love shown through their work.
“They are so in disbelief that people would come out and travel and help them free of charge,” Osborne said.
Osborne said the camp’s goal is “to be a ministry that’s outside of its walls;” to engage volunteers in efforts that express God’s love beyond the walls of churches and ministry buildings and into all parts of daily life. To do this, the camp provides volunteers with opportunities to meet the specific community-based and practical needs of the people. Volunteers can reach out to the entire community by assisting with Christmas and school supply giveaways and serving free Thanksgiving dinners. The camp also recently began holding fire safety and smoke alarm training classes, and it will host its first block party later this year.
Volunteers can also get involved in projects regarding the camp’s facilities. The camp needs volunteers to build additional shower and bathroom facilities for visiting teams to use. There are also additional plans to add a conference room to the back of the existing building. Osborne said that keeping the facility updated in this way is important in creating an environment in which volunteers can prepare themselves for missions work: “We’re set up to go out in the community, serving the community. But before that ever happens, we’ve got to provide a nice place for the volunteers to feel at home,” he said.
While the camp seeks to minister to those who live in Red Springs, Osborne said that the camp’s mission work often impacts the volunteers more than the people they serve. He said he has seen God work in mighty ways through the volunteers’ interactions with each other and with the people who live in Red Springs.
For more information about how you can support the Red Springs Mission Camp through the NCMO, please visit For more information about how you and your church can participate in the mission and ministry endeavors at the Red Springs Mission Camp, please visit Visit and like
5/23/2014 10:21:07 AM by Emily Rojas, BSC Communications | with 0 comments

Students look to make Deep Impact

May 23 2014 by BSC Communications

What missions experiences will your congregation provide your youth this summer? It’s not too late to make plans for life-changing experiences for the youth in your church as registration for the 2014 Deep Impact weeks is now underway.
“Rejoice, Proclaim, Be Glad” is the theme for this year’s Deep Impact. It comes from Psalm 97:1-6 where David praises God for His righteousness and His power over all things.
The goal of Deep Impact is to instill two essential truths in students: The necessity for a deep relationship with Christ and the unmistakable impact this relationship must have upon their lives and the lives of others. 
This summer, Deep Impact will be conducted at 12 different locations: nine in North Carolina and three outside of North Carolina. In addition two mini-weeks will be available at Shelby and Red Springs Mission Camps.
Each week will provide students opportunities for engaging in various ministries for that specific location, including but not limited to: construction, senior adult care, children’s ministry, servant evangelism and sports evangelism.
“One of the unique aspects of Deep Impact is that we try to put people on projects where their gifts are maximized,” said Tom Beam, mobilization consultant for student missions at N.C Baptist Men.
“Each individual is going to choose which project they would like to serve on and then at night, you get to hear those opportunities of how God is working through those ministries.”
Deep Impact weeks at the following locations are full: North Carolina Baptist Assembly at Fort Caswell, Honduras and Cuba.
The three new locations in North Carolina this year are in Pittsboro (June 16-21), Washington (June 23-28) and Wilkes County (also June 23-28). For a complete list of locations and dates, see
For all North Carolina locations, excluding the mini-weeks at the mission camps, registration is $200 per person. The mini-weeks at the Shelby and Red Springs mission camps are $100 per person.
The fees for teams participating in Deep Impact experiences outside of North Carolina may also be found at
For more information on Deep Impact and how your youth group can get involved, contact Tom Beam at To register, visit Visit and like Deep Impact on Facebook.
5/23/2014 10:14:11 AM by BSC Communications | with 0 comments

Gay marriage now claims the Northeast

May 23 2014 by Tom Strode, Baptist Press

A federal judge has legalized same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania, handing the increasingly successful campaign to redefine mankind’s oldest institution a clean sweep of the northeast United States.

Judge John Jones struck down the Pennsylvania legislature’s 1996 laws that refused to recognize same-sex marriage. Jones, who was nominated by President George W. Bush, declined to block enforcement of his ruling Tuesday (May 20), enabling same-sex couples to begin applying for marriage licenses immediately. Gov. Tom Corbett, a Republican opponent of same-sex marriage, has yet to announce if he will appeal the opinion.

Jones’ ruling followed by a day a similar ruling in Oregon, where a federal judge struck down a 2004 voter-approved amendment limiting marriage to a man and a woman. Judge Michael McShane also refused to stay enforcement of his decision.

Oregon and Pennsylvania became the 18th and 19th states with legalized same-sex marriage in effect. Judges have invalidated gay marriage bans in another eight states – Arkansas, Idaho, Illinois, Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Virginia – since U.S. Supreme Court opinions in June of last year, but those rulings in the states have been stayed while under appeal, as reported by The Washington Post. Federal judges also have ruled same-sex marriages performed in other states should be recognized in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee, The Post reported.

The decisions in Pennsylvania and Oregon mean all the states in the Northeast, as well as those on the West Coast, have legalized same-sex marriage.

Southern Baptist lead ethicist Russell D. Moore said May 20, “This is a story we see, it seems, every week these days. Another court imposes same-sex marriage on another state. We should continue to persuasively set forth the case for why we believe marriage isn’t a creation of the state, to be redefined at will, but is instead an ordinance of God.”

Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, also said in a statement for Baptist Press, “Most of all, let’s remember that the Sexual Revolution can’t deliver on its promises. Let’s be ready to offer a gospel of power for those who will be disappointed by these empty claims of liberation.”

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr., on his May 21 podcast “The Briefing,” said the addition of Pennsylvania to the gay marriage column also means “that a majority of Americans now live in those states that have legal same-sex marriage.”

With the legal system rapidly endorsing gay marriage, Mohler also took note of the workplace, saying, “We need to face the fact that younger Christians in America are going to face a world that most of us as older adults have simply never had to face. They’re going to routinely face – for the entirety of their employment lives – the reality that they can easily be on the wrong side of a cultural controversy that can cost them their jobs, harm them in terms of their professional prospects. ...

“That’s a new thing in this society, and we ought not to let it pass without very sober notice,” Mohler said.

In striking down Pennsylvania’s marriage laws, Jones cited their violation of “equal protection” principles. He wrote in his opinion, “We are a better people than what these laws represent, and it is time to discard them into the ash heap of history.”

In addition to Pennsylvania, the Northeast states that have legalized same-sex marriage are Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont. Delaware and Maryland, which are considered part of the Northeast by some, also have legalized marriage for same-sex couples.

In addition to Oregon, the West Coast states with same-sex marriage are California and Washington. The other states with legal gay marriage are Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and New Mexico. The District of Columbia also has approved same-sex marriage.

In a June 2013 decision that seemed to help open the way for the legalization of gay marriage in the states, the Supreme Court said the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) violated “equal protection” under the Constitution by refusing to recognize gay marriages. The opinion meant same-sex couples gained access to employee, Social Security, tax and other benefits previously limited to heterosexual couples.

In another other opinion last June, the justices ruled on a procedural question that had the effect of allowing to stand a federal judge’s invalidation of a California amendment that prohibited same-sex marriage. The court, however, refused to say states cannot limit marriage to a man and a woman.

(EDITOR’S NOTE – Tom Strode is the Washington bureau chief for Baptist Press.)
5/23/2014 10:10:00 AM by Tom Strode, Baptist Press | with 0 comments

North Carolinians named among SBC committees

May 22 2014 by Baptist Press

Southern Baptist Convention President Fred Luter has named members of the Credentials and Tellers Committee for the June 10-11 Annual Meeting in Baltimore. Eight North Carolinians are among these members.

SBC Credentials Committee named

Dan Eddington, director of missions for the Three Rivers Baptist Association in Illinois, will serve as chairman.

Other committee members, listed by state, are:

ALABAMA – Cade Farris, First Baptist Church, Wedowee; Greg Hyche, First Baptist Church, Brent.

FLORIDA – Pat Mobley, Hillcrest Baptist Church, Pensacola.

GEORGIA – Tom Rush, Berean Baptist Church, Social Circle.

KENTUCKY – Donavon Burton, Beacon Hill Baptist Church, Somerset; Gregg Farrell, Crossland Community Church, Bowling Green; David Stokes, The Baptist Church at Andover, Lexington.

LOUISIANA – Gary Mack, Franklin Avenue Baptist Church, New Orleans.

MISSOURI – Bradley Graves, Calvary Church, Joplin; Thomas Johnston, Lexena Baptist Church, Liberty; Ben Kendall, Calvary Baptist Church, Republic; Malachi O’Brien, Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church, Harrisonville; Phillip Shuford, First Baptist Church Ozark, Nixa.

NEW MEXICO – Bruce Morrison, Church at the Butte, Elephant Butte.

NORTH CAROLINAMichael Dickerson, First Baptist Church, Durham; Corey Smith, Grace Baptist Church, Wake Forest.

TENNESSEE – Van Richmond, New Life Church, Nashville.

TEXAS – Larry Craig, First Baptist Church Troup, Tyler; Johnny Derouen, Travis Avenue Baptist Church, Fort Worth; Donald Kim, The Village Church, Fort Worth; Evan Lenow, Birchman Baptist Church, Fort Worth; Waylan Owens, Birchman Baptist Church, Fort Worth.

Tellers Committee named for SBC

Danny Decker, pastor of First Baptist Church, Warsaw, Mo., will serve as chairman.

Other committee members, listed by state, are:

ALASKA – Ruby Stogsdill, First Baptist Church, Soldotna.

GEORGIA – Royce Hulett, Oakland Baptist Church, Hazlehurst.

KENTUCKY – C.J. Adkins, Westmoreland Baptist Church, Ashland; Erdie Carter, Glasgow Baptist Church, Glasgow; Richard Hardison, Great Crossing Baptist Church, Georgetown; Rickey Hatley, Beacon Hill Baptist Church, Somerset.

LOUISIANA – Jay Adkins, First Baptist Church, Westwego; James Bynum, Franklin Avenue Baptist Church, New Orleans; Aristide Marshall, Franklin Avenue Baptist Church, New Orleans.

MISSOURI – Doug Austin, Bethany Baptist Church, Cape Girardeau; Gregg Boll, Crane First Baptist Church, Lees Summit; Josh Hall, Selmore Baptist Church, Ozark; Steve Patterson, First Baptist Church, Webb City; Diann Patterson, First Baptist Church, Webb City.

NEW MEXICO – John Russo, First Baptist Church, Fort Sumner.

NORTH CAROLINA Luke Lunceford, Perkinsville Baptist Church, Boone; Forrest Mills, Shiloh Baptist Church, Wake Forest; Allen Mustian, Central Baptist Church, Nolina; Teresa Ray, Durham Memorial Baptist Church, Durham; Scott Smith, The Summit Church, Wake Forest; Kevin York, Friendly Grove Baptist Church, West Jefferson.

OKLAHOMA – Rick Gettens, Mind of Christ, Lawton.

WEST VIRGINIA – Paul Harris, Abundant Hope Baptist Church, Barboursville.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Compiled by the Baptist Press staff. The BR staff contributed to these releases.)
5/22/2014 2:38:36 PM by Baptist Press | with 0 comments

Korean pastor is 3rd SBC president nominee

May 22 2014 by BP staff

Dennis Manpoong Kim, pastor of Global Mission Church of Greater Washington in Silver Spring, Md., will be nominated for president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) during the June 10-11 SBC annual meeting in Baltimore, Texas pastor Dwight McKissic announced yesterday May 20.
“The SBC will not have to compromise integrity, leadership, sound doctrine, CP support, missions/evangelism/discipleship commitment, or any expectation of an SBC President by electing Dr. Kim. His leadership among Maryland Baptists is significant in how he has grown a strong, vibrant ministry outside of the South and he is equipped and uniquely positioned to lead the Southern Baptist Convention in growing in areas and among cultures where we have not traditionally had a strong impact,” McKissic, pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas, wrote in an open letter to Southern Baptists stating his intention to nominate Kim.


Dennis Manpoong Kim

Kim, who has served as president of the Korean Council of Southern Baptist Churches in America, has pastored Global Mission Church for 23 years. Since March 2013, the congregation – which has a predominantly Korean membership and is the largest church in the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware – has reported more than 1,000 salvation decisions, the BCMD said in a news release.

Kim is the third announced nominee for SBC president, joining Arkansas pastor Ronnie Floyd and Kentucky pastor Jared Moore.

Kim is a member of the Pastors’ Task Force on Evangelistic Impact and Declining Baptisms, a national task force convened by the North American Mission Board to address the continued decrease in baptisms among Southern Baptist churches. He also served on the SBC Resolutions Committee in 2012 and 2013.

Following the historic presidency of Fred Luter, Kim would lead Southern Baptists “to continue our growing ministry to a rapidly diversifying America,” McKissic, an African American, wrote. He noted that Kim is bilingual in Korean and English and has traveled to more than 40 countries to do ministry.

Global Missions Church has produced more than 50 International Mission Board career missionaries, McKissic wrote, and has planted churches in Maryland, Virginia, Washington State, North Carolina and South Korea.

“Either of the announced nominees for President, thus far, are fine men,” McKissic wrote. “But, our Convention will be better served if Dr. Kim wins the election. By virtue of training, experience, missions travel, Kingdom expansion, cooperation, church development and discipleship ministries, Dr. Kim is by far the most qualified, announced candidate for the Office of President of the Southern Baptist Convention. Dr. Kim’s church gave 4.5% of their church budget to the Cooperative Program last year, while engaged in local, state, national, and global missions as a church family.”

The full text of McKissic’s letter on behalf of Kim is available at

In addition to serving at churches in South Korea and the U.S., Kim has taught courses at Southern, New Orleans and Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminaries.

He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Korean institutions; a master of arts in theological studies with a concentration in pastoral counseling from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Boston, Mass.; a master of divinity from Southern Seminary in Louisville, Ky.; and a doctor of theology in pastoral psychology from Boston University in Boston, Mass.

Kim is the author of Pulpit Counseling, Answer with the Bible! and other books. He has translated more than 60 books from English to Korean.

(EDITOR’S NOTE – Compiled by David Roach, chief national correspondent for Baptist Press, the Southern Baptist Convention’s news service.)
5/22/2014 12:47:49 PM by BP staff | with 0 comments

Operation Inasmuch: Ramp efforts continue in spite of storm

May 22 2014 by Jim Edminson, NCBAM Communications

This year’s Rampin’ Up! was nothing like the inaugural event two years ago. On the eve of this April 26 biennial wheelchair ramp-building event, multiple tornadoes touched down in eastern North Carolina. Early assessments of the destruction confirmed a total of seven tornadoes had left widespread damage during the April 25 storm. Some winds reached 125 mph.
Within hours after the storm, North Carolina Baptist Men (or Baptists on Mission) disaster relief teams were activated to help with clearing debris – many of these teams were set to be at the homes of ramp recipients early on April 26.
But what appeared to be a deterrent to many receiving needed ramps has turned out to be an exhibition of the commitment of North Carolina Baptists and Baptist Men to be the hands and feet of Jesus serving the frail aging and their neighbors statewide.
Rampin’ Up! is produced by North Carolina Baptist Aging Ministry (NCBAM) and N.C. Baptist Men in conjunction with N.C. Operation Inasmuch. The first Rampin’ Up! in 2012 resulted in more than 300 wheelchair ramps built.

NCBAM photo
A HillSong Baptist Church group works on a ramp in Chapel Hill.

This year as NCBAM began to publicize the event, the ministry was inundated with requests for needed wheelchair ramps – more than 400 requests have been received since Jan. 1.
NCBAM Call Center specialists tackled the arduous task of processing each of the requests. It can take two days to four weeks from receiving an initial request to do research, find funds and put building teams into place.
Requests for wheelchair ramps continued to come in after an April 25 news report by High Point’s Fox 8 urged people needing help to call before May 3. The next morning 29 phone messages left by people who had seen the report were waiting for NCBAM’s Call Center staff.
North Carolina Baptists build more wheelchair ramps than any other religious or nonprofit group in the state. Since its inception in 2009, NCBAM has coordinated the build of nearly 2,000 ramps.
That’s just a portion of all the ramps built statewide because not all Baptist ramp projects are coordinated through NCBAM. Some are coordinated by Baptist Men and others by local churches. Almost every week, somewhere in North Carolina, a Baptist ramp-building team is constructing a wheelchair ramp.
The large number of wheelchair ramp requests and the April 25 storm left a distinctive imprint on this year’s Rampin’ Up! What was to be a one to two weekend event is spreading over multiple weeks and many Saturdays.
The teams involved are determined to meet the needs. Those who have helped with disaster relief have rescheduled their builds and are now adding new builds to accommodate the needs. The total calls attributed to the Fox 8 story resulted in 35 new wheelchair ramp requests the week before the May 3 deadline.
“The mission of NCBAM is to help aging adults keep their independence,” said Sandy Gregory, NCBAM’s director.
“Wheelchair ramps are often the piece of the puzzle that allows them to do just that – to remain independent and safely living in their homes.”
For Marthenia Fearrington of Chapel Hill, her new ramp built by members of HillSong Baptist Church of Chapel Hill brings greater independence. The 83-year-old says being able to safely go outside her house is not only a necessity, but offers her greater peace of mind.
“It’s been difficult getting me in and out of my home,” she said. “I’ve had to wait for help because I couldn’t do it on my own. I’ve fallen several times, and it can make you scared.”
The congestive heart patient can no longer plant flowers in the beds she tended for nearly 38 years. But she says having more opportunities to just sit outside and enjoy the sunshine on warm days will bring her much joy.
“I appreciate getting my wheelchair ramp,” Fearrington said. “I appreciate NCBAM and everyone who built it. I thank them, and I thank God for sending them to help me.”
5/22/2014 12:38:07 PM by Jim Edminson, NCBAM Communications | with 0 comments

Preach 'boldly,' SEBTS graduates exhorted

May 22 2014 by Ali Dixon, SEBTS Communications

Ministers must take care to “preach the gospel boldly” and not waste their lives, guest speaker Andy Davis told graduates at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary’s spring commencement.

The 259 students receiving degrees represented 34 states and five countries. Graduates included 38 students receiving associate’s and bachelor’s degrees from The College at Southeastern, the seminary’s undergraduate school, and 18 receiving a master of arts in intercultural studies from the college.

“The world desperately needs radical transformation,” Davis, pastor of First Baptist Church in Durham, N.C., said at the May 16 ceremony in Binkley Chapel. “The Lord has commanded us to proclaim the only message there is for the transformation of human souls.”


SEBTS photo
More than 250 graduates take their place in line at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary’s 2014 spring commencement. The students were urged to “preach the gospel boldly” in a culture that is increasingly hostile to Christianity. 

Davis’ oldest daughter Jenny was among the graduates.

“Look back at all you have done ... as an offering to your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” Davis said.

He called graduating students to have grateful hearts and give God all the glory for their accomplishment, looking ahead to a life of fruitful service.

Davis earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from MIT. While working as an engineer, he earned his master of divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. In 1998, he graduated from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary with a doctor of philosophy in church history. He is a visiting professor of historical theology at Southeastern.

The world will oppose efforts to advance God’s Kingdom, Davis warned. “America is changing before our very eyes. It is less comfortable with the Christian faith than ever before in its history,” he said.

Preaching from 1 Corinthians 3, Davis said, “every human being faces two great threats” – losing their soul and wasting their life, adding that avoiding those pitfalls requires believers to build their lives on the foundation that Jesus Christ has laid, he said.

“A foundation is something that is established and can’t be moved,” Davis said. “Every other foundation for life will be swept away by judgment.”

Davis asked those in the audience if they were saved. “Have you fled to the cross?” he said. “Repent and believe in Jesus.”

Davis said, “As you go forth in the world, preach the gospel boldly. Jesus is the gold, silver and costly stones that we have to offer the world.”

Each day “begins as straw and you can spin it into gold,” Davis said. “Put the eternal God onto display.... Graduating class of 2014, don’t waste your life on wood, hay and straw.”

Mark Liederbach, vice president for student services and dean of students at Southeastern, honored the parents and spouses of graduates.

To watch Davis’ message online, visit

(EDITOR’S NOTE – Ali Dixon is a news and information specialist at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.)
5/22/2014 12:16:46 PM by Ali Dixon, SEBTS Communications | with 0 comments

Southwestern criticized for admitting Muslim

May 22 2014 by Gary K. Ledbetter, Southern Baptist Texan/Baptist Press

A Palestinian Muslim who assisted Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Gezer archaeological project in Israel was admitted to the school’s Ph.D. in archaeology program, in an apparent exception to the seminary’s admissions policy.

Seminary President Paige Patterson told the Southern Baptist Texan on May 16 that the student enrolled at Southwestern last year because “he had no other options for Ph.D. work in his field” and because Patterson hoped to win him to saving faith.

Patterson had admitted three other non-Christian students to schools he led over nearly four decades; all came to Christ during their tenure as students, he told the Texan in a phone interview. One, a former Syrian Orthodox priest, was saved during his second semester at Southwestern, after chapel, and has since married and become a professor at Baylor University.

Patterson said he granted this most recent exception after taking counsel from other seminary administrators but that “the final decision was mine alone.”


Paige Patterson

“We required that the student would agree with our moral standards while a student at Southwestern. It was no problem for him,” Patterson added.

Seminary trustees were not advised prior to the exception being granted but were briefed on the situation in a letter sent from Patterson on May 16.

Steven James, Southwestern trustee chairman and pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Lake Charles, La., told the Texan on Monday that the trustee executive committee has a scheduled meeting in September and will “discuss this issue and will deal with it accordingly at that time.”

“That is the role and responsibility of the trustees,” James said. “I have a concern, obviously, about the spiritual condition of the young man in question; we don’t want to do anything to jeopardize that. And then from the executive committee meeting in September we will make any adjustments that need to be made.”

“If it needs to come to the full board, it will come to the full board,” he added.

James said he has not received any other information about the student’s enrollment except what was contained in Patterson’s letter and had not spoken with Patterson about it.

Wade Burleson, an Oklahoma blogger and pastor who had disagreed with Southwestern’s leadership on other occasions, brought the matter to light in a post dated May 16 and titled “Southwestern Baptist Islamic Theological Seminary and the Center for Cultural Engagement and Firing.” Burleson, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church, Enid, Okla., mentioned in the blog post a recent and unrelated faculty dismissal, though without any details. Burleson later removed the last name of the Muslim student from his blog.

In the letter to trustees, Patterson wrote of the student: “[He] is a peace loving man who worked several years with us at Tel Gezer. Finishing his M.A. in Archeology at a Jordanian university, he had few options if any in Israel or Jordan. He asked about our program. He agreed to abide by all our moral standards, which he has done. He is also open to professors and students.

“Unfortunately, the story released is not really about [the student], about whom the author cares little as is indicated by placing him at risk. The author is constantly on my case along with his following and much frustrated that he has enjoyed so little success,” Patterson wrote.

Patterson also expressed concern for the student’s perception of Christians because of the incident and also that trustees would be unfairly blamed for something “of which you are not guilty.”

“... I have made it clear to all that this was my decision. No one else should be blamed. I am answerable to the faculty, to the Board and to you for all that I do including this.”

Patterson closed his letter by asking the trustees to pray for the student, “that this will not turn him away from the Way.”

On the admission section of its website, the school says it “assumes the student has been identified as a prospective minister by announced intent, proven conduct in accordance with Christian standards set forth in the Bible, active church involvement, and unqualified approval from the church where they are currently members. Among the required credentials for graduate-level courses are “a mature Christian character,” “evidence a desire for Christian ministry (shown through the application process),” “a record of active church service,” and “promise of continued intellectual and spiritual growth.”

Also, “Applicants must demonstrate church membership and active church involvement to apply for admission to the seminary. Active membership and involvement in a local church is also required of all students for continued enrollment,” the website says.

Rabbi Herbert Waller of Louisville, Ky., earned a degree at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in the years of moderate leadership, and the wife of Waller’s successor “at one time had considered enrolling in Southern’s doctoral program before the seminary’s change in theological direction,” according to an Oct. 26, 1999 story in Baptist Press.

Prior to becoming Southwestern’s eighth president in 2003, Patterson served as president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C. from 1992-2003, and before that was president of Criswell College in Dallas for 17 years.

(EDITOR’S NOTE – Gary Ledbetter is editor-in-chief of the Southern Baptist Texan.)
5/22/2014 11:57:30 AM by Gary K. Ledbetter, Southern Baptist Texan/Baptist Press | with 0 comments

NCBM assembles mobile hospital in Miss. disaster

May 21 2014 by Mike Creswell, BSC Communications

N.C. Baptist Men and Women (NCBM) disaster relief volunteers are setting up a mobile disaster hospital in tornado-ravaged Louisville, Miss. in a unique and history-making project done in partnership with the North Carolina state government.    
The tornado hit Louisville and surrounding Winston County April 29, leaving 10 dead and massive destruction of property. A hospital serving the more than 19,000 county residents in this rural area was left in ruins.

A week later a specially trained team of 25 NCBM volunteers arrived to set up a temporary mobile hospital that is expected to serve the area for a year or more. On Monday, May 5, the team began assembling the Transformers-like units into a working hospital.      
Responding to storms across the country is nothing new for the disaster relief volunteers serving with NCBM. Their response to Hurricane Katrina in Gulfport, Miss. in 2005 included more than 40,000 volunteers and construction of 715 homes over a two-year period.

But this Louisville assignment is different. The mobile disaster hospital (MDH), which ships out on 18 tractor trailer loads, is owned by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and assigned to the North Carolina Office of Emergency Medical Services (NCOEMS).

NCOEMS frequently partners with NCBM on disaster relief efforts. In 2011 the agency asked NCBM to partner with the agency on setting up the hospital when it is deployed.


BSC photo by K Brown
A specially trained team of 25 NCBM volunteers arrived to set up a temporary mobile hospital that is expected to serve the area for a year or more. On May 5 the team began assembling the Transformers-like units into a working hospital.

"This is most unusual. NCOEMS asked us to fill a crucial role as an official partner on this large-scale effort," said Gaylon Moss, disaster relief director for NCBM. "We are grateful for the opportunity to work closely with the mobile disaster hospital. It will provide a great service to the Louisville community," he added.

Long-time NCBM disaster relief worker and coordinator Sharon Chilton-Moser was asked to assemble a team of volunteers to learn how to set up the hospital. For the past three years the 45-member team has trained twice a year.

Monday, May 5, was the first time the team has actually assembled the hospital at the site of a disaster. Local crews worked around the clock to remove more than 100 truckloads of storm debris beside a factory which was left with a tattered roof by the tornado.

A large flat concrete foundation was left.

Next door, another factory lay in piles of debris and twisted metal fragments. A forested area behind and beside the site were left with downed trees and broken stumps sprinkled with metal fragments.

While a ramp to the concrete slab was built Monday morning, the North Carolina volunteers, sporting their traditional bright yellow caps and T-shirts, assembled five hard-sided temporary but air-conditioned buildings to house segments of the Mississippi emergency response staff and the emergency medical service personnel. The dozens of workers had been working under simple awnings before then, under cloudless skies with temperatures in the upper 80s.

Monday afternoon Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant along with a large contingent of state and local leaders, administrators for FEMA and state agencies came to tour the hospital as it was being assembled. Bryant said the temporary hospital was urgently needed both to meet medical needs and keep physicians, nurses and other medical personnel working.

Officials said the total number of homes destroyed was being counted a week after the tornado strike. Cost was estimated at more than five million dollars, but that number was preliminary and expected to increase.

The city of Louisville is surrounded by miles of rural farmland and forest; the nearest hospital is 30 or more miles away.

Asked to put a price tag on the work of the NCBM team, one leader said it was, "Priceless." Jim Craig is director of Mississippi's Office of Health Protection.

Craig recalled the work of NCBM volunteers who responded to Hurricane Katrina and praised the long-term cooperation with the Mississippi state government agencies. "We appreciate ya'll coming. We really do," he said.

Meanwhile in North Carolina, the chief of emergency medical services, was agreeing with Craig's "priceless" assessment of NCBM's contribution.

"You can't put a price on the contributions of NC Baptist Men and our partnership with them. You cannot quantify it with a dollar amount. I'm so grateful for our partnership with NC Baptist Men, Gaylon Moss and the others," said Regina Godette-Crawford, chief of North Carolina's Office of Emergency Medical Services.

"We signed a memorandum of agreement three years ago and it has been invaluable. You can't put a price tag on that. The volunteers and their spirit of cooperation in partnering with us have been great. They train with us, they work with us, we deploy together," she said. "I look forward to future initiatives with NC Baptist Men.”

As tractor-trailers pulled into the Louisville hospital site, two large crates were unloaded from each trailer. Each crate contained two standard hospital beds, bolted down for transport, plus an assortment of wiring and plumbing connections ready to be plugged together.

But each of these customized crates had plywood panels installed on the sides; once these were removed, the units were lined up together with a forklift tractor operated by NCBM volunteer Rex Wood, a member of Denver Baptist Church, Denver N.C.

Sharon Chilton-Moser said the complete hospital was not being installed, because some of the units are canvas tents which would not hold up for the longer deployment period anticipated in Louisville.

The completed hospital will have a mobile surgical unit and a 12-bed care unit with two full-fledged emergency bays, a pharmacy and X-ray equipment.

"We're just getting the shells set up so far, Mrs. Chilton-Moser said Tuesday. "We still have oxygen systems, plumbing and electrical systems to get installed and then tons of cleaning to do," she said.
Cleaning must meet the considerable hospital standards, she said, meaning every surface will be cleaned three times.

Once the hospital is fully set up, she said, the team will train local workers to maintain the system and keep it operational. One crucial element is having electrical power, which will be provided by generators until the local electrical system can take over the task.

Millie Smith told how severely the Louisville area had been impacted. She coordinates special medical needs for the Mississippi State Department of Health.

The 114 residents of a senior citizen home had to be evacuated to a church gym before they were moved to other facilities or families. Because the city's dialysis clinic was destroyed, 51 dialysis patients have to be transported many miles each day to other counties for treatment.

"The nearest major trauma center is 90 minutes away in Jackson," said Smith. She was pleased with the mobile hospital's arrival for two reasons.

First, the mobile hospital would provide care and keep their professional staff working. "This is going to be nationally known. We are so excited," she said.

Second, she was happy NCBM volunteers were on site to help. She knew of them already: When she and other emergency workers took part in a disaster response exercise in Goldsboro, NC, NCBM volunteers cooked their meals for them.

"I wish my Dad were here. He passed away last August," she said, explaining he was a Baptist minister who had worked with a Chinese mission of First Baptist Church in Greenwood, MS. He was 89.

"He would be so pleased that you are doing this and I really appreciate it," she said.

As tractors moved metal fragments with non-stop clanging and as people gathered for a press conference, the NCBM volunteers continued their orderly, efficient assembly of the hospital. Gray was the predominant hair color for the volunteers; most of them are retired.

Gerald Stancil is not retired; he drives a truck for a farmer in Clinton, where he is a member of Serenity Baptist Church. Assembling the real hospital is more rewarding to him than the practice, "I just want to help people as best I can, whatever I can do," he said.

Asked how long the hospital project would take, volunteer Larry Gragg said, "I have no idea how long we'll be here. It doesn't matter. We'll get the job done and then we'll go home." Gragg is a 15-year disaster relief volunteer veteran. He went on several disaster relief assignments during 2013.

Six of the volunteers are from Pleasant Garden Baptist Church near Greensboro. Member Roger Howerton of Randleman, N.C., said he has been doing disaster relief ministry for 12 years. His most recent assignment was three weeks responding to the ice storm which struck Greensboro earlier this year. Asked where else he has served, he answered Texas, West Virginia and Mississippi. "I can't remember them all," he said. "We go a lot." When the Pleasant Garden team is not responding to disasters, they build wheelchair ramps for people who need them.

Two other Pleasant Garden members were Wayne and Patsy Skeen. "We serve anywhere there's a hurricane," she said. "We get the bigger blessing out of helping in disaster relief. People are just so thankful for everything you do and it is a blessing to know that you can help somebody some way."

(EDITOR’S NOTE – Mike Creswell writes for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.)
5/21/2014 12:04:05 PM by Mike Creswell, BSC Communications | with 0 comments

Life is a university: Mission:Dignity offers hope, help

May 21 2014 by GuideStone Resources

Noel Edwards and his wife, Sue, have been well educated by God during Noel’s 55 years of service as a pastor.
“Life is a university and God is always teaching us things,” Noel Edwards said. “Sacrifice was at the center of our ministry.”
Sue shared that Noel was always giving of his time.
“If someone needed him at one o’clock in the morning because of sickness or death, he would just go. God sent him there to minister and that’s what he did,” Sue said.
“There were times that required sacrifice – where we had to do without – because the money just didn’t go far enough,” Noel said.
“But we found out in our ministry that as we ministered to people, and then as we had needs, they ministered to us,” Sue said.

GuideStone photo
Noel and Sue Edwards are thankful for the help they receive through Mission:Dignity. Sunday, June 22 is Mission:Dignity Sunday.

One of their fondest memories from their days in the ministry was the kindness of a local grocer when they were down to their last $2. Noel ‘tells that when the store owner was dying, he’d called his sons together and asked for a promise.
“‘I want you boys to promise me something,’ he’d said, ‘I want you to promise you’ll never see a school teacher or a minister want for anything they need.’ And those boys did promise.”
It wasn’t too long until one son had the opportunity to make good on that promise.
“We’d had a lot of illness and Sue had nearly died when our baby daughter was born and we just — we had just run out of money. I was up, really just praying, talking to the Lord about what we were going to do because we didn’t have any money, and we didn’t have any groceries,” Noel remembered.
The next morning, Noel and Sue scraped together $2 and he headed off to the store.
As Noel came in the front door, one of the grocer’s sons approached him and asked him to join him in the back of the store.
“The grocer said, ‘Brother Edwards, first of all, I want to tell you what you’ve meant to us and to this community. I feel you have needs that aren’t being met,’ he said, ‘you’re not buying much. Are times hard for you?’” Noel replied that they were.
“And the grocer said, ‘I want to tell you that until times get better, anything that you need, you come down here and you get it. If you ever get to the point where you can pay for it, that’s fine. If not, that’s fine too,’” Noel continued.
God has seen the Edwards through some tough times over the years, but they don’t complain.
“We’ve been able to minister to others because we’ve been there. So tragedy — those things that hurt – can also become a blessing,” Noel said.
“His ultimate goal was, not only to help us, but then to let that be a part of our learning experience so that we could know how much it means to bless other people. God blesses us in order that we can in turn bless others,” he added.
Keeping food on their shelves hasn’t always been easy, but today the Mission:Dignity program is helping the Edwards with groceries and other essential needs.
John Ambra, director of development for the Mission:Dignity program, said, “We are grateful to all the donors who make it possible for people like the Edwards to not only survive, but to also continue their ministry to others.”
“Words just don’t express how much we appreciate the people who help us through Mission:Dignity,” said Noel. “It’s a life saver for us.”
Mail gifts to: Mission:Dignity, GuideStone Financial Resources SBC, 2401 Cedar Springs Rd., Dallas, TX 75201-1498. Visit

Related Story:

Mission:Dignity continues to bless hundreds each month
5/21/2014 11:55:51 AM by GuideStone Resources | with 0 comments

Displaying results 21-30 (of 97)
 |<  <  1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10  >  >|