• Gatlinburg fire suspects elicit churches' sympathy

    by David Roach, posted Friday, December 09, 2016 (20 hours ago)

    GATLINBURG, Tenn. (BP) -- The arrests of two teenagers in connection with deadly wildfires in and around Gatlinburg, Tenn., have provoked expressions of sadness from three local Southern Baptist congregations that lost buildings in the blaze.

    The three Gatlinburg churches -- Roaring Fork Baptist Church, First Baptist Church and Banner Baptist Church -- also report God's continued work in their midst, including at least four first-time professions of faith in Christ over the past two weeks. Read More

  • Journey to pastorate included jail time for Fla. pastor

    by Nicole Kalil, posted Friday, December 09, 2016 (17 hours ago)

    Submitted photo
    MIDDLEBURG, Fla. (BP) -- It's not the conventional road to the pastorate.

    "I wouldn't wish [my] story on anyone, but I wouldn't change anything about it, either," said Adam Wiggins, campus pastor of The Creek, a new campus of First Baptist Church of Orange Park, Fla., which is just outside of Jacksonville.

    Wiggins' path to the pulpit has been complicated, but it has ultimately landed him on staff with FBC Orange Park leading the church's newest effort to minister to an unreached community in Middleburg. Read More

  • 2017 SBC theme: 'Pray! For such a time as this'

    by Diana Chandler, posted Friday, December 09, 2016 (22 hours ago)

    PHOENIX (BP) -- "Pray! For such a time as this" is the theme for the 2017 Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting June 13–14 in Phoenix, anchored by Esther 4:14 and Luke 11:1, SBC President Steve Gaines has announced.

    Prayer should be the top priority of every Christian, Gaines said in an interview outlining his choice.

    "The Southern Baptist Convention needs to be a people of prayer," Gaines said in the interview with SBC LIFE, journal of the SBC. "Only then will God send the ... Read More

  • 'Call to Prayer' begins 2017 for Southern Baptists

    by Diana Chandler, posted Friday, December 09, 2016 (16 hours ago)

    NASHVILLE (BP) -- The month-long prayer focus "In All Things Pray" will kick off the new year across the Southern Baptist Convention.

    Acts 1:8 and 2 Chronicles 7:14 steer the focus of the prayer emphasis to individual families, communities, churches, the United States and the World, according to the webpage InAllThingsPray.net, established as a prayer resource and guide on the Southern Baptist Convention website. Read More

  • WEEK OF PRAYER: Couple equipping 'insiders' to reach South Asians

    by Elaine Gaston, posted Friday, December 09, 2016 (16 hours ago)

    IMB photo
    SOUTH ASIA (BP) -- Shanti chose for her wedding attire blue silk trimmed with gold. Rich fabrics in brilliant hues are traditional for wedding saris in this South Asian megacity.

    But the guest list was anything but typical. Among those celebrating this day were 20 prostitutes -- women who were like family to Shanti.

    She knew them from the years she shared their heartbreaking lifestyle as a prostitute before the ministry of a Christian activity center rescued her from her ... Read More

  • Hospitals' religious liberty & the Supreme Court

    by Tom Strode, posted Thursday, December 08, 2016 (yesterday)

    WASHINGTON (BP) -- The U.S. Supreme Court should prevent the government from making the determination if Protestant and Catholic hospitals qualify as faith-based ministries, religious freedom advocates say. Read More

  • CDC report leaves pro-lifers encouraged, cautious

    by Samantha Gobba/WORLD News Service, posted Thursday, December 08, 2016 (yesterday)

    ASHEVILLE, N.C. (BP) -- The number of women and girls undergoing abortions in the United States dropped by one-fifth between 2004 and 2013, a new report shows.

    While the report shows the abortion rate is the lowest it's been since 1969 when the government started tracking the procedure, the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission urged a bit of caution in its news release, The Weekly. While expressing optimism with the report, they also noted the study relies on information provided voluntarily and is missing reports from three states. Read More