• Court's order 'great concern' for religious liberty

    by Tom Strode, posted Wednesday, June 29, 2016 (16 hours ago)

    "This coercion of the conscience is a disaster for every American."

    -- Russell Moore

    WASHINGTON (BP) -- The U.S. Supreme Court has dealt a setback to religious freedom and prompted a warning from three of its members.

    The high court announced Tuesday (June 28) it would not consider an appeal by pro-life pharmacists of a lower court decision they argued violates their First Amendment, free-exercise-of-religion rights. The justices' refusal to review the federal appeals court opinion apparently will force the closure of the pharmacy involved and the departure from the profession or state of the pharmacists in the case.

    Three of the justices dissented from the order, describing it as "an ominous sign." Read More

  • SBC Chaplain Commission marks 75th Anniversary

    by Josie Rabbitt, posted Wednesday, June 29, 2016 (17 hours ago)

    ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP) -- In the months leading up to the United States' involvement in World War II, the Home Mission Board established a chaplaincy committee to endorse the work of military chaplains and verify their efforts as sanctioned by the association where they served. That was 75 years ago July, 1941.

    Doug Carver, the North American Mission Board's (the entity now responsible for chaplaincy) executive director of chaplaincy, called military chaplaincy "a frontline ministry that is vital to the extension of the local church and the advancement of the Gospel." Read More

  • SCOTUS marriage ruling sparked year of ministry

    by David Roach, posted Wednesday, June 29, 2016 (16 hours ago)

    BP file photo
    WASHINGTON (BP) -- When the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationwide one year ago this month, Southern Baptist Convention entities and cooperating Baptist state conventions sprung to action to help pastors and churches navigate the new cultural milieu.

    From books and conferences to videos and suggested church bylaw revisions, Baptist-produced resources have helped thousands with ministry, legal and family responses to the high court's Obergefell v. Hodges ruling June 26, 2015. Read More

  • NAAF exec. dir. embraces diverse body of churches

    by Diana Chandler, posted Wednesday, June 29, 2016 (17 hours ago)

    Photo by Adam Covington
    DECATUR, Ga. (BP) -- African Americans are uniquely positioned to effect societal change as members of the Southern Baptist Convention and should become fully involved in SBC life, newly hired National African American Fellowship Executive Director Dennis Mitchell told Baptist Press.

    While tasked with implementing the vision of NAAF president Byron Day and the executive board, Mitchell plans to work to sharpen NAAF's strategy in serving the more than 3,500 African American Southern Baptist churches, keep pertinent data updated and accessible, and effectively communicate among the churches that are diverse in their circumstances and struggles.

    "We have a phenomenal story," Mitchell said, "and a great opportunity to engage even more African American churches in NAAF. I believe that churches are like members of the body that Paul talks about in 1 Corinthians when he says that God placed different members in the body.... Though they are different, they are all part of one body, and so they all bring something to the body." Read More

  • Blog spotlights 'evergreen' evangelism principles

    by Tobin Perry, posted Wednesday, June 29, 2016 (20 hours ago)

    NAMB Media
    ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP) -- Southern Baptist pastors looking to equip their churches in evangelism have a new tool to employ. The North American Mission Board has launched a blog to bring attention to "evergreen" principles that are working in some of the most evangelistic Southern Baptist churches in North America.

    Church leaders can already find content on a variety of topics related to these principles on the Your Church on Mission blog, including developing an evangelistic culture, encouraging your people to bring guests, engaging your community through service and strategic thinking. The blog's content includes both text and videos. Read More

  • Teen abstinence rate up 28 percent

    by David Roach, posted Tuesday, June 28, 2016 (yesterday)

    NASHVILLE (BP) -- The number of American high schoolers who have never had sexual intercourse has increased by 28 percent since 1991, according to data released this month by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

    The finding was hailed by advocates of abstinence-based sexual education -- also known as Sexual Risk Avoidance (SRA) education -- as proof the message of delayed sexual activity is catching on with teens. Read More

  • Website to aid foster care, adoption in Ky.

    by Kentucky Today Staff, posted Tuesday, June 28, 2016 (yesterday)

    FRANKFORT, Ky. (BP) -- A new website aims to make it easier for Kentucky parents to navigate the foster care and adoption process.

    "Every child deserves a loving home," First Lady Glenna Bevin said in unveiling the adopt.ky.gov website with Kentucky Health and Family Services Secretary Vickie Yates Brown Glisson. Read More