July 2012

A story of advancing in the SBC

July 30 2012 by William E. McCall, Mooresville

The election of Fred Luter as Southern Baptist Convention president is a great story of God’s work. Franklin Avenue Baptist Church has advanced from a church that would not allow its mission church to baptize African Americans to the largest Baptist church in Louisiana, made up [mostly] of African Americans.
The story of this advancement can be seen in the relationship between Franklin Avenue and Florida Avenue Baptist churches. In the mid 1950’s Franklin Avenue and the Home Mission Board started a mission near the Florida Avenue housing development (mainly Caucasian). Later there was an influx of Cuban refugees, and then in the 1960’s mostly African American. In the mid 1960’s, [a group of African American children], were passing by the mission on their way to a church down the street. As they walked by they [asked] the mission pastor if they could come to church there. He answered “Yes.” When I began working with the mission church in 1971, there was one elderly white member. Others from the community began to attend and when time came for the next baptism there were African Americans who had accepted Christ and asked to be baptized. When the mission asked to use Franklin Avenue’s baptistry, the leadership refused.
In the 70’s, this attitude began to change. I think it was in 1974 that we baptized in [that] baptistry. [The church later] became a mission of Gentilly Baptist where we had baptized when not able to do so at Franklin Avenue. I led Florida Avenue to call an African-American student from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in 1974. In 1975, they called a bivocational pastor-taxi driver. I did not know Fred Luter, but did know John Henry Thomas who was one of the African-American pastors of Franklin Avenue before Luter.
What a moment to recollect our connection to these moments in God’s story of grace!
William E. McCall, retired IMB
7/30/2012 2:21:04 PM by William E. McCall, Mooresville | with 0 comments

Scouting a helpful evangelism tool

July 2 2012 by R. Chip Turner, Tar Heel Voices

During the recent meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in New Orleans, a number of concerned messengers visited the Association of Baptists for Scouting booth to ask if they had heard correctly that the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) were planning to loosen their standards regarding requirements for adult leaders. I am pleased to say this is NOT the case. The Boy Scouts of America remains committed to the moral and ethical standards which have been affirmed several times in Southern Baptist Convention resolutions. 
Scouting remains one of the finest evangelism, family ministry, and religious education tools available for established churches as well as new church plants. Scouts and their families involved in the religious emblems program are often reached for Christ and it is not uncommon for youth participants to clarify their calling to vocational ministry.  
While I am happy to report Scouting’s commitment to the leadership standards, I remind readers that opponents to these policies are relentless and highly vocal. Unfortunately, the “silent majority” remains largely unheard. I believe this is an opportune time to encourage Southern Baptist churches and individual members to send a note of affirmation to BSA for the moral and ethical commitments to which they have remained true for 102 years. Their address is: Boy Scouts of America, P.O. Box 152079, Irving, TX 75015-2079.
R. Chip Turner
2012 SBC Messenger, Chairman of BSA Religious Relationships, and
Past National President of the
 Association of Baptists for Scouting
7/2/2012 4:46:14 PM by R. Chip Turner, Tar Heel Voices | with 0 comments