October 2018

‘Love One Another’ 2019 National Day of Prayer theme

October 31 2018 by Diana Chandler, Baptist Press

“Love One Another” is the theme for the 2019 National Day of Prayer event president Ronnie Floyd announced Oct. 30.

Anchored in John 13:34, the theme seeks to mobilize the nation in prayer on May 2 in every U.S. locale across generational, ethnic and linguistic lines, said Floyd, senior pastor of the multisite Cross Church in northwest Arkansas.
“I realize that our task today is daunting and quite intimidating,” Floyd said in his Facebook announcement, “but it is not impossible.
“I don’t have all of the answers, and I don’t think anyone of us would have all of the answers,” he said, “but we do know ultimately Who does have all of the answers, Who has a greater passion and a greater vision to redeem the world. And that’s Jesus Christ, the living Son of God.”
Floyd, a former Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) president, announced the theme and scripture during a two-day National Leadership Summit ending today at the Pinnacle Hills campus of Cross Church in Rogers, Ark.
National Day of Prayer is seeking to reach the nation’s 328 million people in 3,142 counties and 19,510 incorporated places, including cities, towns [and] villages.
“The vast majority of America does not look like us, believe like us, talk like us and understand us,” Floyd said. “But that also goes to the opposite side. We do not look like the majority of America. Nor do we believe like the majority of America, nor do we talk like the majority of America, and we certainly do not understand the majority of America.”

Screen capture from Facebook

Nearly a third, 29 percent, of Americans are nonreligious, ranging in extremes from religious resistance to solid secularism, Floyd said, referencing Pew Research Center numbers released in August. Juxtaposed to the nonreligious are 17 percent of Americans that Pew categorized as Sunday stalwarts, Floyd said, “meaning religious traditionalists actively involved in their faith and engaged in their congregations.”
“The remaining persons beyond these extremes,” Floyd said, “… believe all kinds of things and participate in all kinds of ways in American life today.”
At least one event in every city, town and county of America, in more than 350,000 churches spanning 200 denominations, and including all generations, ethnicities and languages spoken in U.S. is the prayer effort’s goal.
“Wouldn’t it be absolutely remarkable that one day,” Floyd asked, “the National Day of Prayer is heard in every language that is spoken in the United States?”
In addition to Floyd, the summit offered insight from 14 national leaders spanning ethnicities, Christian denominations and generations, and including both sexes.
Kie Bowman, senior pastor of Hyde Park Baptist Church and The Quarries Church of Austin, Texas, was among summit presenters. He encouraged attendees to mobilize their churches in prayer.
“Take the prayer meeting out of the closet,” said Bowman, who preached the 2018 SBC Annual Meeting sermon in Dallas. “It’s time for prayer to go to the group. It’s time to take it to the congregation. It’s time to take it to the public square.
“Prayer meetings change the world,” he said. “And in those settings, the Holy Spirit speaks.”
Additional National Day of Prayer information is available on the event website, nationaldayofprayer.org, and its Facebook page.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Diana Chandler is Baptist Press’ general assignment writer/editor. Reprinted from Baptist Press, baptistpress.com, news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.)

10/31/2018 10:51:48 AM by Diana Chandler, Baptist Press | with 0 comments

California seafarers’ ministry touches the world

October 31 2018 by Karen L. Willoughby, Baptist Press

About 2,000 ships that can be as long as four football fields each, and carry 9,000 or more 40-foot containers, enter the Port of Long Beach every year, each vessel with fewer than 25 crew members.

Facebook photo
Sung J Lee

The crew, who have been 15 to 20 days crossing the Pacific from Asia, are in port less than 24 hours, and without visas or a chaperone trusted by the government, they must stay aboard ship.
While their families fend for themselves in the Philippines, India, East Asia or Ukraine, the crews bounce from port to port without ever touching dry land or seeing their families for nine months or more at a time. It can get lonely, and working relationships – and families – can fray.
However, Sung Lee and his team from the Pacific Seafarers Mission (PSM) manage to get aboard about 250 of the container ships each year. Lee, a member of Seafarers Church in Pasadena, is the Port’s self-appointed chaplain, a ministry he’s been doing for 13 of the 20 years he’s been in America; he was a pastor the other seven years. Lee focuses on container ships because, he says, they return regularly to Long Beach and he can build relationships over time.
“Visiting foreign ships is like visiting their country and visiting their homes,” Lee told the California Southern Baptist. “But when I visit them many times, they know me well and ... wait for me to visit.”
Attesting to the difficulty of the ministry, Southern Baptists at present have no other formalized seafarer’s ministry at the other six container-size ports on the West Coast. Long Beach is the nation’s second-largest container port, after Los Angeles.
“Reverend Lee’s ministry serves the men (and a very few women) who bring to our country the goods that every one of us use in our homes, businesses and organizations,” said Richard Graham, director of missions for Long Beach Harbor Southern Baptist Association. “Everything from cars, refrigerators, TVs, clothes, fuels, grain, other foods, etc.
“These crew members work 6-18 months onboard, 20-25 crew members per ship, and are often not allowed to get off their ships at all during their sign-up periods,” Graham continued. “They also have very little contact with their families back wherever home is. Many send their pay back to their families, and at times have then discovered that family members have been unfaithful to their trust.
“It is an amazing story that most Americans have no clue is happening.”

Facebook photo
Sung J Lee proclaims the gospel to crews of foreign vessels docked at the Port of Long Beach.

Six Chinese, two East Indians and two Koreans work with Lee – who was born in Korea – through Pacific Seafarers Mission. One East Indian and Lee are the only full-time employees; the others are volunteers. They gather with the crew in the Day Room of the ship for lunch and conversation; 15 minutes of music comes next, followed by prayer and a short message.
“All crew members are officially speaking English on board,” Lee said. “If we encounter sailors who do not speak English, we will obtain and deliver Christian books or Bibles in their native language.”
Favorite songs (with Lee accompanying on guitar) include “Amazing Grace,” “God is so Good,” “Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart” and “You Are My Sunshine.”
Favorite Bible stories? “The Creator God, Genesis 1:1 and Hebrews 3:4; Jesus Christ who fulfilled the ministry of atonement on the cross; Jonah story; Rich man and Lazarus; Jesus walking on the water; Jesus who healed the paralytic are some themes,” Lee said.
“There are currently 27 piers in Long Beach Harbor,” he continued. “Only about 20 of them can be reached by missionaries, but if we train 20 missionaries and send them to visit the ship ... the gospel from Long Beach will spread to the ports of the world.”
The Ultra Lascar is a case in point.
Lee visited the ship on Aug. 7, where 15 crew members participated in what Lee calls a gospel meeting.
“They all enjoyed the gospel songs and pop songs,” Lee wrote on his Facebook page. “My gospel preaching shake their mind and all accept the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior. Hallelujah!”
Not all the decisions bear fruit, Lee acknowledged, but it gives the crew something to think about – and someone to pray to – as seven days a week each week they tighten container holds, battle the weather, monitor, fix or repaint everything that touches the corrosive salt air, and drill for potential emergencies.
“At the ships’ gospel meeting I led ... approximately 1,200 crew members through the ‘acceptance prayer’ last year,” Lee said. “But I am not saying that they are all saved. However, many sailors met with the Lord through the acceptance prayer and were saved.”
He gives new converts Christian materials – books, CDs, DVDs – to read during their voyages.
“Because I have not been able to fellowship with them for long I try to grow their faith through faith books. So we need a lot of faith books in PSM,” Lee said.
Among those who over time exhibit a genuine Christian faith are men Lee has trained as “ship shepherds.”
He appoints those “who identify with the faithful, who will be able to preach the gospel on the ship in the future,” Lee explained. He uses e-mail and Facebook to stay in touch with the ship shepherds, though Internet access isn’t always available during trans-Pacific crossings.
“But more important than all of this, I think, is to support them in prayer,” Lee said. “I have all the photos when they received the ship’s shepherd appointment, and I often pray while watching their pictures.”
He also prays for more volunteers to minister on board ships, for 100 men to be trained in time as shepherds, and for a ministry center and vehicle in Long Beach, where he can take men for a few hours so they can feel solid ground under their feet, relax, check the Internet or do some shopping.
People donate to PSM, not just money for Lee’s income, but also gifts for the crews – everything from knit or crocheted caps to toiletries to Bibles.
“Please remember there are many foreign sailors coming into the Port of Long Beach,” Lee stressed. “They are the lost souls who need to hear the gospel and be saved. The harbor mission is a golden fishery.”
For more information about Pacific Seafarers Mission or to help, see facebook.com/lsjinjc, e-mail lsjinjc@gmail.com, call 323-383-1715 or write to 1164 N. Lake Avenue, Pasadena 91104.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – This article appeared in the California Southern Baptist, news journal of the California Southern Baptist Convention, csbc.com. Karen L. Willoughby is a writer in Utah. Reprinted from Baptist Press, baptistpress.com, news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.)

10/31/2018 10:51:28 AM by Karen L. Willoughby, Baptist Press | with 0 comments

‘Yes to God’ urged in Southwestern revival meetings

October 31 2018 by Alex Sibley, SWBTS

“Lord, I need You. I need Your grace, Your forgiveness, Your love, and Your reviving power.”

SWBTS photo
John Avant of Life Action Ministries leads revival-focused "Thirst Conference" at Southwestern Seminary.

“Lord, by the power of Your Holy Spirit, I want to say YES to You in every category of my life.”
“Lord, help me prioritize Your kingdom vision, Your Great Commission; and help me love others boldly, just as You have loved me.”
These are among the guided prayers provided for the campus community of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS) by Life Action Ministries during “Thirst Conference” revival meetings, Oct. 23-25 at the Fort Worth, Texas, campus. Led by Southwestern alumnus and Life Action president John Avant, the revival encompassed six sessions over three days that encouraged humility, repentance and saying “yes” to God in every part of life.
“We have a John the Baptist kind of ministry at Life Action,” Avant explained during the opening session in MacGorman Chapel. “Luke 1:17 says to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. That’s all we’re here to do. We’re here to help you to think and to pray and to seek God and to say, ‘Am I ready for God to do whatever He wants to do?’
“This is what we’ve been praying for: a movement in this seminary of unity, healing and a fresh start.”
In the lead-up to the revival, Southwestern students, faculty and administration anticipated a fresh movement of the Holy Spirit on the seminary campus. In every chapel service of the semester, interim president D. Jeffrey Bingham concluded with a prayer for revival among the Southwestern family.
“Every seminary’s most fundamental needs are spiritual in nature,” Bingham said prior to the Thirst Conference. “We need the Spirit of God to touch us, to empower us, to refresh us and to sanctify us for global gospel service out of love for God and neighbors. We need the Spirit to bear His fruit in our lives.”
Avant previously preached at Southwestern in the spring of 1995 in a packed-out chapel service that ultimately lasted all day. Numerous students crowded the front of the auditorium to confess sin and fall on their hands and knees before the Lord. “God broke loose on the campus that day,” Avant said.
For the Thirst Conference, Avant and the Life Action team prayed for a similar movement of God, regardless of what form it took. Across the morning and evening services – as well as men’s and women’s lunches between sessions – students, faculty and staff were invited to humble themselves before the Lord, confess their sins to Him, ask forgiveness from those whom they had wronged and, above all, worship the Lord in the splendor of His holiness.
“We’re not here today because we’re wonderful called men and women of God, and God has all these great things to do with us. We’re here because He’s great,” Avant said. “And if we humble ourselves and become less, He will become more.
“We must be more astonished by God Himself than by our theology about Him or our ministry for Him.
“Our mission at Life Action is simply to inspire your next ‘yes’ to God,” Avant said. “When God speaks, the most important thing in our lives is to hear Him and say ‘yes.’ If we will do that at Southwestern and across this country, I believe God in His grace and mercy will revive us again.”
The Thirst Conference sessions at Southwestern can be viewed at lifeaction.org/swbtslive.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Alex Sibley is associate director of news and information at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Reprinted from Baptist Press, baptistpress.com, news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.)

10/31/2018 10:51:16 AM by Alex Sibley, SWBTS | with 0 comments

Colorado Baptists hear new vision, increase CP

October 31 2018 by David Roach, Baptist Press

Increasing the convention’s number of credentialed churches by 38 percent and receiving a new vision for accelerating gospel impact in Colorado were among highlights of the Colorado Baptist General Convention’s (CBGC) Oct. 15-16 annual meeting.

CBGC photo
SBC President J.D. Greear, center, and Colorado Baptist General Convention executive director Nathan Lorick, far right,  were among speakers at the CBGC annual meeting Oct. 15-16.

Colorado Baptists also increased for the second year in a row the percentage of Cooperative Program (CP) receipts they will forward to Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) causes.
Some 203 messengers from 92 churches gathered at First Baptist Church of Black Forest in Colorado Springs, Colo., around the theme “A New Thing.”
CBGC executive director Nathan Lorick, who assumed his leadership role with Colorado Baptists last year, presented a new vision of “inviting Colorado churches into a next-step journey to accelerate gospel impact.” The vision includes a partnership with the church consulting ministry Auxano, including access for every Colorado church to Auxano’s vision-framing services. Auxano was founded by author and ministry coach Will Mancini.
Among “paradigm shifts” to come, Lorick told messengers, the CBGC is transitioning from a “program-driven convention to a process-driven convention.”
“It’s an exciting day to be a Colorado Baptist,” Lorick said, “and we are fully engaging our churches in their pursuit of the Great Commission through our new process-driven strategy of helping churches find their next step of gospel impact in their cities and communities.”
On the annual meeting’s opening day, the convention voted to receive 89 newly credentialed churches, increasing to 325 the total number of congregations credentialed to send messengers – a 38 percent jump. Previously, those 89 churches had been regarded as “affiliated” with the CBGC but had never completed the required process to be credentialed fully.
The nearly $2.1 million CP budget adopted by messengers was the first state CP budget since 2010 to anticipate more than $2 million in giving from Colorado churches.

CBGC photo
SBC President J.D. Greear addressed Colorado Baptists at a meeting where they increased CP giving to SBC causes for the second year in a row.

An overall budget of $3,444,474 for 2019 marks a 4 percent increase from 2018 and includes $2,069,474 in anticipated CP receipts from churches, $1,315,000 from the North American Mission Board and $60,000 from LifeWay Christian Resources.
The Colorado convention will forward 33.15 percent of CP receipts to SBC missions and ministries, an increase of .22 percentage points from this year. The budget does not include any shared ministry expenses with the SBC.
The slate of officers reelected included: president, Calvin Wittman, pastor of Applewood Baptist Church in Wheat Ridge, Colo.; first vice president, James Moreland, pastor of Denver Christian Bible Church in Denver; second vice president Rolland Kenneson, pastor of Rosemont Baptist Church in Montrose, Colo.; and recording secretary, Jan Loser, a CBGC ministry assistant.
“It is a new day in Colorado,” Wittman said. “God has given us a visionary for our executive director who is leading us to see what God’s doing in new ways and new directions.”
Wittman noted an increase in Colorado church planting and a need for more church planters in 2019.
Internationally, the CBGC created a partnership with the International Mission Board to help Colorado churches share the gospel in Portugal.
Among the meeting’s speakers were SBC President J.D. Greear, NAMB President Kevin Ezell, Southern Baptists of Texas Convention executive director Jim Richards and Baptist Convention of Maryland-Delaware executive director Kevin Smith.
The 2019 annual meeting is set for Oct. 14-15 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Grand Junction, Colo.
(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.)

10/31/2018 10:50:58 AM by David Roach, Baptist Press | with 0 comments

‘Much prayer,’ ‘much power’ after synagogue massacre

October 30 2018 by Diana Chandler, Baptist Press

Pastor John Freeman walked into the local Jewish Community Center hours after the Oct. 27 synagogue massacre of 11 and was at once on mission.

ABC Detroit screen capture
National interfaith gatherings, like this one in Detroit, mourned after the Oct. 27 massacre of 11 and wounding of six at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.

Freeman, pastor of the H2O City Church in Squirrel Hill, said the FBI was using the community center as a temporary hub where family members awaited news of victims who attended Tree of Life Synagogue.
“I sat in there for a couple of hours, just listening to people, talking to people and comforting people, just being with them as they were waiting,” Freeman told Baptist Press (BP) Oct. 29.
H20 City Church served hot coffee and provided hundreds of candles for an Oct. 27 evening vigil in Squirrel Hill, held an extended time of prayer in its Oct. 28 service, and has assigned members to pray hourly for the community that is home to three synagogues.
“You can still feel the oppression. You can just still feel the weight walking through the neighborhood,” Freeman said. “We emphasize just being everyday missionaries, and building relationships and running our missional communities. … It’s that everyday missionary work that you do to build relationship that prepares you to be a comforting presence in a time of need like this.”
Ric Worshill, executive director of the Southern Baptist Messianic Fellowship (SBMF), said its 30 member congregations, 300 missionaries and small house churches are praying nationally.
“We’re praying for the families all the time, because where there’s much prayer there’s much power,” Worshill told BP. “My wife and I are also police chaplains, and we happen to know a couple of the police chaplains who are in Pittsburgh. We’re praying for them as well, because they’ve got their hands full.”
Police have charged Robert Bowers with 29 felony counts after the murder of 11 and injury of six during Shabbat at the Tree of Life Synagogue just before 10 a.m. Eastern time Saturday. Among the federal charges are 11 counts of murder and 11 counts of obstruction of the exercise of religious beliefs resulting in death, a hate crime, NBC News reported. Bowers also faces state crimes.
“All Jews must die,” Bower yelled as he began shooting, killing worshippers ranging in ages from 54 to 97. Two disabled brothers are among the dead. At least two of the injured, a 70-year-old man and a 55-year-old police officer, were in critical condition today, NBC said.
Anti-Semitism is not new, Worshill said, but is spreading palpably.
“I think that anti-Semitism is growing, from what I have seen, around the world,” he said. “You look in the Middle East, you have this little tiny country called Israel, and it’s about … 85 percent Jewish in background … and everybody who lives around them hates them. And it’s a little tiny place, compared to other huge pieces of property around them.”
Satan drives the hate, Worshill said.
“He wants to destroy God’s remnant, His chosen people,” said Worshill, who became a Messianic believer at age 34. “[God] chose [Jewish people] for a purpose. … He hasn’t finished His plan with the Jewish people.”
Most SBMF members actively worship and partner with synagogues, Worshill said.
“You have to understand, we’re evangelical Christians. It’s not always welcome, but we have some people who are actually attending orthodox synagogues, and worshipping with them,” he said. “Basically we worship the same way. The difference is we’re able to show the Christ. … When we say those prayers when we’re in a Jewish synagogue, we’re able to show the connection to Christ. They haven’t seen it yet.”
Chosen People Ministries (CPM), among Messianic groups the SBMF partners with nationally, has ministries in Pittsburgh.
Jeff Kipp, a pastor licensed with CPM, leads Congregation Yeshua Ben David less than three miles from Tree of Life.
“This event happened while we were in the middle of our Shabbat service Saturday morning,” Kipp said. “It was pretty shocking to all of us. We locked our doors and immediately stopped our service to tell everyone, and went into a place of prayer and intercession.”
Financial help and prayer are practical ways to help, Kipp said. He encourages churches and others to send checks to Tree of Life families through the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, 234 McKee Place, Pittsburgh, PA 15213. Their phone is 412-681-8000.
“We can’t do anything more than just do the best we can to tell Jewish people, ‘We love you, we care about you, we’re going to overcome this with you,’” Kipp told BP. “Love is greater than hate. We’re stronger than hate. … And just try to let Yeshua shine through us.
“We can’t be overtly evangelistic,” he said, “especially at a time like this. But we have to be, very much, wise as serpents and gentle as doves.”
See the Biblical Recorder’s Oct. 29 story.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Diana Chandler is Baptist Press’ general assignment writer/editor. Reprinted from Baptist Press, baptistpress.com, news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.)

10/30/2018 12:44:45 PM by Diana Chandler, Baptist Press | with 0 comments

Halloween: Don’t let it divide you, Greear says

October 30 2018 by Grace Thornton, The Alabama Baptist

Christians have long had differing views on how to approach Halloween. But Southern Baptist Convention President J.D. Greear said in a recent podcast that the holiday doesn’t have to be divisive – in fact, it can be a great way to get to know your neighbors.

BP file photo
J.D. Greear

 “Some participate and some don’t, but all can redeem – that is, we can use it for evangelism,” Greear said on the Oct. 22 edition of his “Ask Me Anything” podcast.
Halloween is probably the only day of the year that your neighbors are knocking on your door, he said. “I don’t know if you’re like me, but I actually need more opportunities to connect with my neighbors, because the tendency of neighborhoods now is to kind of be cloistered in your own little house.”
So last year on Halloween, Greear sat at the end of his driveway on Halloween night, passing out candy and talking with his neighbors as they came by.
He noted that Rosaria Butterfield, author of The Gospel Comes With a House Key, said that the majority of evangelism is “simply learning to be a good neighbor.”
“Just be a good neighbor to other people,” Greear said, “and when you’re a good neighbor, you’ll find evangelism opportunities just sort of multiply right in front of you. Halloween is a good time to be a really good neighbor.”
And when it comes to deciding how you or your children observe the holiday yourself, Greear said Romans 14 is a good guide. In that passage, Paul addresses the issue of eating meat that’s been sacrificed to idols and says it’s an issue of conscience – each person should do as their conscience directs them and not judge others.
The question of Halloween is similar, Greear said. Some people feel their conscience won’t let them participate because they feel it ties them to the holiday’s pagan history. If that’s you, he said, don’t do it – but don’t look down on people who can participate with a clear conscience.
And vice versa – if your family feels that your celebration of Halloween is innocent, don’t judge those who choose to stay away, he said.
“I feel like this is one of those issues where we really do have to respect where the other person is coming from in this,” Greear said.
“There needs to be a level of respect and to leave one another, like Paul says … in trust and leave us to conscience and to God.”
He said he loves what Ed Stetzer – executive director of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College – says about it, that no matter which way you decide to go, “the one thing you absolutely should not do is overlook how good of a potential outreach this is for people coming to your house.”
Whether or not you participate, you can redeem it, Greear said. “Just get to know people, connect with them and love them.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Grace Thornton is a correspondent for The Alabama Baptist, thealabamabaptist.org, news journal of the Alabama Baptist Convention. Reprinted from Baptist Press, baptistpress.com, news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.)

10/30/2018 12:44:09 PM by Grace Thornton, The Alabama Baptist | with 1 comments

Truett McConnell University to launch publishing house

October 30 2018 by TMU & Baptist Press Staff

Truett McConnell University (TMU) is launching a publishing house, TMU Press, with an unnamed donor’s $200,000 gift.

BP file photo

According to a TMU news release, the new publishing house reflects President Emir Caner’s vision “to expand the university’s academia to the Christian population across the United States.”
A university press, TMU stated, “provides valuable tools and opportunities” for “scholarship from the institution’s faculty, staff, librarians, researchers and other university community members.”
Another aim of TMC Press, the university news release stated, is “to increase brand awareness and thus help with recruitment of new students to TMU.”
Truett McConnell University, located 80 miles northeast of Atlanta, is affiliated with the Georgia Baptist Convention, with an undergraduate enrollment of more than 2,500 students.
Peter Lumpkins has been named TMU Press director. “Lumpkins has served in various full-time Christian ministry roles since 1981, including senior pastor, executive pastor and director of city-wide crusade evangelism,” TMU stated. “Along with his ministry background, the new director has an extensive portfolio in publishing as general editor, publisher of small group Bible study curriculum, and published author of three works.”
TMU stated that Lumpkins already is working on two projects benefiting the Christian homeschool community as well as TMU students to be completed within the next three years: a K-12 science curriculum for homeschool students and an Anabaptist study Bible.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Reprinted from Baptist Press, baptistpress.com, news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.)

10/30/2018 12:43:42 PM by TMU & Baptist Press Staff | with 1 comments

Wyoming Baptists elect new leader Quin Williams

October 30 2018 by Karen L. Willoughby, Baptist Press

Quin Williams is the new state missionary of the Wyoming Southern Baptist Mission Network.

WSBMN photo
Quin Williams

Approved by the convention’s executive board during its Sept. 14 meeting, Williams will be presented to messengers as the executive leader Nov. 1 during their 35th annual meeting at Mountain View Baptist Church in Mills, near Casper. Williams will begin his new role that same day.
“I am very pleased Quin Williams was selected,” Lynn Nikkel, who is retiring from the executive director role, told Baptist Press. “Quin has a great love for Wyoming, and the trust and respect of our churches and pastors.”
Nikkel is retiring after 13 years in the executive role, and after 18 years on the state convention staff. He and his wife Peggy have sold their home in Casper and bought a home in Collinsville, Okla. After a two-month break, Nikkel said, he hopes to find a new ministry in Oklahoma.
Williams, who has been pastor of Boyd Avenue Baptist Church in Casper since 1996, has a total of 40 years in the gospel ministry.
A Texas transplant, he graduated in 1977 from Howard Payne University in Brownwood, Texas, with a double degree in Bible and religious education, and in 1985 from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary with a M.Div. degree.
He pastored five Southern Baptist churches in Texas for more than 17 years, ending his tenure there with Cove Baptist Church in Orange.
When he arrived at Boyd Avenue Baptist Church in Casper, he found a church of about 150 people recovering from yet another downturn in the volatile energy-based Wyoming economy.
“I came because of the unmistakable call of God on my life,” Williams told Baptist Press. “Time has absolutely confirmed that.”
Boyd Avenue Baptist today has 215 people in two Sunday morning services and is a leader in church planting, missions and Cooperative Program giving.
Printed on the Sunday bulletin each week, “Our mission at Boyd Avenue Baptist Church is to present Christ’s life-changing message of hope and forgiveness, to enhance the developing active personal relationships with Christ, to strengthen families and to be a reflection of God’s love through community and world service.”
Williams has served as president of the state convention four non-consecutive terms; on the executive board 12 years, moderator of Old Faithful Southern Baptist Association, chairman of the Northeast Region Leadership team; chairman and teacher of the Wyoming CLD leadership team; and chairman of the Northeast Regional Baptist Collegiate Ministry Board.
Williams was the statesman who at last year’s annual meeting calmed emotions during a discussion of a name change. He suggested adding “Southern” to Wyoming Baptist Mission Network, and the name change then passed 67 to 21.
“We chose Quin because he is highly respected in our state,” Ed Tharp told Baptist Press. “He has spent years building trust as Wyoming Southern Baptists have continued to discover the best ways of ministering to people in Wyoming. We need a man like Quin who is vested, steady and loves Wyoming.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Karen L. Willoughby is a national correspondent for Baptist Press. Reprinted from Baptist Press, baptistpress.com, news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.)

10/30/2018 12:43:18 PM by Karen L. Willoughby, Baptist Press | with 0 comments

Churches and associations report Hurricane Florence damages

October 29 2018 by Biblical Recorder Staff

Hurricane Florence caused catastrophic damage to many parts of central and eastern North Carolina. Below is a list of churches or association buildings that were damaged as a result of the storm, as reported to Baptists on Mission (also known as North Carolina Baptist Men). These are facilities with ties to the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.
Each association is listed below with descriptions of the damage. One church was listed in the N.C. Miscellaneous association, a category for churches not affiliated with an organized association in North Carolina. This is not a complete list.

Graphic depicts the name and location of associations reporting damage, along with the number of churches in each association reporting damage.

To volunteer or donate, visit baptistsonmission.org.

Atlantic Baptist Association

The Atlantic Baptist Association in Havelock was the hardest hit during the hurricane. Part of the association building’s roof was ripped off. The conference room and the office are not functional.
Atlantic Missionary Baptist Church – An early estimate for damage was $108,000. Shingles were displaced and the roof leaked in several places. The balcony caved in and the rest of the upper level received water damage. The church walls, which are plaster, are damaged. Windows were broken, and gutters overflowed into the church.
First Baptist Church, Davis – The church building received 4-5 inches of flooding. Members tore out the flooring. The HVAC system flooded and will need to be replaced.
First Baptist Church, Morehead City – An early estimate was $25,000 in damages not covered by insurance deductible. Roofs on multiple buildings received varying degrees of damage.
Huggins Memorial Baptist Church, Harkers Island – Both the church building and parsonage were damaged. Pews, organ and other contents inside were damaged due to roof leakage.
Marshallberg Baptist Church – Some water got inside the church. The Sunday School and choir rooms have damage. HVAC units were damaged.
Oriental First Baptist Church – Flooring was damaged.
Parkview Baptist Church, Morehead City – The steeple fell, and the ceiling and stage in the sanctuary were damaged, as was the library and fellowship hall.
Pollocksville Baptist Church – The church’s basement flooded. All sound equipment was lost, and the parsonage was damaged.
Smyrna Missionary Baptist Church – Knee-high water flooded the children’s area of the church.
Sea Level Missionary Baptist Church – Minimal damage was reported.
Trenton Missionary Baptist Church – The church had 3-4 feet of water in the family life center and fellowship hall. The church sanctuary’s crawl space flooded up to the floor of the sanctuary. The steeple was twisted and has to be replaced. The roof will also have to be replaced. The pastor’s home was flooded as well.

Bladen Baptist Association

Abbottsburg Baptist Church, Bladenboro – A foot of water ran through the whole building. 
Peace Baptist Church, Bladenboro – The church, which also flooded during Hurricane Matthew two years ago, had major flooding.

Burnt Swamp Baptist Association

Harpers Ferry Baptist Church, Maxton – Six inches of water entered the buildings. Duct vents were ruined.
Morning Star Community Church, Lumberton – Damage was reported without details.
New Point Baptist Church, Lumberton – The entire church building flooded.
West End Baptist Church, Lumberton – Flood waters rose to the church doors but did not get inside.

Cape Fear Network of Baptist Churches

Atkinson Baptist Church – The church basement flooded, causing extensive damage.
Crossroads Baptist Church, Wilmington – The church had a lot of water damage and is considering relocating. The church leases its facility. Water damaged mostly ceilings.
First Baptist Church, Wilmington – The church has sustained damage but has maintained a NCBM feeding and/or recovery unit since the storm hit.
Greenfield Baptist Church, Wilmington – A tornado blew off part of the roof and led to significant water damage.
New Hope Baptist Church, Leland – A limb went through the church’s ceiling, and there was water damage.
Sunset Park Baptist Church, Wilmington – There were some lost shingles and water damage.
Temple Baptist Church, Wilmington – There are a few leaks in the sanctuary and minor damage to the steeple.
The Gathering, Surf City – The youth building had to be gutted. Services were disrupted for a short time.

Columbus Baptist Association

Chadbourn Baptist Church – Slate tiles were cracked.
Cheerful Hope Baptist Church, Delco – The steeple was damaged and water came into the church.
Fair Bluff Baptist Church – Flooding was similar to the devastation of Hurricane Matthew.
Gapway Baptist Church, Tabor City – The pastor’s home flooded.
Riegelwood Baptist Church – Roof leakage was reported.
West Whiteville Baptist Church – The ceiling collapsed.
White Marsh Baptist Church, Whiteville – There was flooding underneath the church. Ductwork will have to be replaced.

Dock Baptist Association

Magnolia Missionary Baptist Church, Whiteville – The church reported four feet of water in sanctuary and five in the fellowship hall.

Eastern Baptist Association

Center Baptist Church, Garland – Described as total loss.
Island Creek Baptist Church, Rose Hill – Roof damage and some interior and steeple damage were reported.
Iglesia Cristiana Emanuel, Wallace – A new roof and ceiling are needed.
Piney Grove Baptist Church, Faison – The church received roof and pew damage.
Saron Iglesia Bautista, Chinquapin – The church received extensive flood damage.
Sharon Baptist Church, Chinquapin – The fellowship hall and church building flooded 2-3 feet. The pastor’s house flooded up to windows. 

Johnston Baptist Association

Trees fell on the association building, and a service pole to the building needs repairs.

Neuse Baptist Association

Pineview Baptist Church, Goldsboro – Water infiltrated the sanctuary.

New River Baptist Association

Brookwood Baptist Church, Jacksonville – Mold was present. The steeple was damaged.
First Baptist Church, Swansboro – An early estimate is around $1 million in damage at the church.
Korean Baptist Church, Jacksonville – Half a foot of water came into the facility.
Living Hope Community Church, Jacksonville – The steeple shifted and led to water damage in the sanctuary. HVAC units need to be replaced.

New South River Baptist Association

Arran Lake Baptist Church, Fayetteville – A portion of sanctuary ceiling fell. The ceiling in the education building stairwell needs replacement, and sound equipment was struck by lightning.
Elizabeth Missionary Baptist Church, Roseboro – Half of the fellowship hall roof is gone.
First Baptist Church, Roseboro – There is water damage in AC ducts, leaks around lights, and the carpet needs to be removed and replaced. There was water damage around windows.
Grace Baptist Church, Fayetteville – There’s a hole in the roof over sanctuary, and the sound board, baby grand piano and youth room were completely lost. There were extensive water leaks and wet carpet throughout.
Mt. Elam Baptist Church, Roseboro – Water damage was reported.
Shaw Heights Baptist Church, Fayetteville – Holes were found in roof over sanctuary, kitchen and fellowship hall with water damage.
Sperring Memorial Baptist Church, Fayetteville – Roof over sanctuary and choir loft was damaged with some falling pieces. Water came through roof in foyer and choir room.
Spring Lake Baptist Church – The steeple shifted, and water flooded above the sound board. The ceiling fell into the sanctuary, and the bathroom behind the sanctuary leaked, causing the ceiling to collapse, which leaked through to the basement, damaging ceiling tiles, causing them to fall.

North Carolina miscellaneous

Myrtle Head Baptist Church, Ash – The church reported flooding.

Robeson Baptist Association

Bethel Baptist Church, Lumberton – The roof was reportedly torn off with water damage inside, including pews and a wall.
North Lumberton Baptist Church – Tears in the roof from strong winds caused water damage in the church.
Vertical Church, Lumberton – The building was leased, and the church just moved to this facility. The biggest loss was sound and video equipment.
West Lumberton Baptist Church – Water damage/flooding. The church has joined a class action lawsuit against a company for preventing them from building a berm prior to the flooding because the church sustained extensive damage during Hurricane Matthew’s flooding.

10/29/2018 3:11:33 PM by Biblical Recorder Staff | with 0 comments

Greear: ‘Lie of the enemy’ led to synagogue murders

October 29 2018 by Diana Chandler, Baptist Press

Anti-Semitism spouted Oct. 27 by the accused Pittsburgh synagogue murderer of 11 is “a despicable lie of the enemy which we unequivocally reject,” Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) President J.D. Greear tweeted.

Screen capture from CNN
Law enforcement officers were among the injured when a gunman disturbed the Jewish Sabbath at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh and shouted, "All Jews must die."

Police have arrested 46-year-old Robert Bowers and described the shootings as a hate crime, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. Bowers disturbed the Jewish Sabbath at the Tree of Life Synagogue and shouted, “All Jews must die,” before opening fire around 10 a.m. Eastern time.
In addition to the killings, six police officers also were injured, according to news reports.
SBC First Vice President A.B. Vines, pastor of New Seasons Church in Spring Valley, Calif., and SBC Second Vice President Felix Cabrera, lead pastor of Iglesia Bautista Central in Oklahoma City, were listed in a signature line with Greear’s tweet.
“We grieve with the city of Pittsburgh, the Jewish community, and especially the families of the victims,” wrote Greear, pastor of The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, N.C. “In a nation seemingly full of hatred, we remain committed to demonstrating and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ, pursuing religious freedom for all peoples, and praying for a more civil and loving society.”
The shooter was armed with an AR-15 and three handguns, police said in multiple media reports, and is accused of having left a trail of anti-Semitic remarks on social media accounts. Bowers was hospitalized with multiple gunshot wounds. In his social media posts, Bowers spoke ill of the HIAS National Refugee Shabbat, formerly the Hebrew Immigration Aid Society, which today helps immigrants of various nationalities.
President Donald Trump, in his first comments to media after the attack, said, “It’s a terrible, terrible thing what’s going on with hate in our country, frankly, and all over the world, and something has to be done,” CBS reported. The synagogue could have prevented the tragedy by having armed guards, Trump told the media.
“There must be no tolerance for anti-Semitism in America,” Trump said.
Trump’s daughter Ivanka, whose husband Jared Kushner is Jewish, called on “all good Americans” to “stand with the Jewish people to oppose acts of terror and share the horror, disgust and outrage over the massacre in Pittsburgh.”
“America is stronger than the acts of a depraved bigot and anti-Semite,” she said.
The crime capped a week in which a series of pipe bombs were mailed to political leaders, including former President Barack Obama. The suspect in the series of bomb mailings had left a trail of anti-African American sentiment on his social media accounts, police said this week.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Diana Chandler is Baptist Press’ general assignment writer/editor. Reprinted from Baptist Press, baptistpress.com, news service of the Southern Baptist Convention.)

10/29/2018 11:37:39 AM by Diana Chandler, Baptist Press | with 0 comments

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