SBC DIGEST: Brewton-Parker establishes Caner fund; Warrens go online for mental health; Baptists aid new Bible translation; Hellams to SBTS

Caner fund to combat cyber-bullying

By Brewton-Parker Staff

MOUNT VERNON, Ga. (BP) -- Brewton-Parker College has announced the establishment of a fund to help prevent cyber-bullying and suicide and an award to honor a freshman athlete of the year. Both initiatives are named in honor of Braxton Caner, the son of Brewton-Parker President Ergun Caner who committed suicide in July.

Trustee chairman Bucky Kennedy, pastor of First Baptist Church in Vidalia, Ga., announced the fund and award during a chapel service Oct. 2.

In announcing the Braxton Caner Memorial Fund for the Prevention of Suicide and Cyber-bullying, Kennedy referenced a controversial exchange which took place on a social media thread a few weeks before Braxton Caner died from a self-inflicted wound. While cyber-bullying has not been proven as a contributing factor to Caner's death, some see the suicide as an appropriate occasion to establish a memorial fund to raise awareness of teen suicide, cyber-harassment and cyber-bullying.

The Braxton Caner Freshman Athlete of the Year Award will be given annually beginning in 2015 to a qualifying athlete chosen by Brewton-Parker's athletic director. The recipient will be a Brewton-Parker athlete who displays undeniable Christian character, visible strength during adversity and overall excellence in team competition.

Located in Mount Vernon, Ga., Brewton-Parker is affiliated with the Georgia Baptist Convention.

Warrens to host mental health awareness event online

LAKE FOREST, Calif. (BP) -- On World Mental Health Day, Oct. 10, Rick and Kay Warren of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., will host "24 Hours of Hope," a free global online event to encourage individuals living with a mental illness; to educate and support their families; and equip church leaders for compassionate and effective mental health ministry.

The 24 Hours of Hope broadcast will feature messages to offer hope as well as practical tools for those living with depression, Bipolar Disorder, eating disorders, addictions, anxiety and Borderline Personality Disorder. Topics include removing stigma, suicide-risk reduction, church counseling, support groups, crisis management and holistic care.

The event will feature more than 30 speakers including Rick and Kay Warren; Kevin Vann, bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange in California; John Townsend, a psychologist and author of more than 25 books; Daniel Amen, a physician and founder of Amen Clinics across America; Aaron Kheriaty, associate professor of psychiatry at the University of California Irvine; and Amy Simpson, author of "Troubled Minds: Mental Illness and the Church's Mission."

The Warrens' youngest son, Matthew, struggled with mental illness for most of his life before committing suicide in 2013. The Warrens have since dedicated themselves to raising awareness of mental illness, eliminating its stigma and encouraging faith communities to become safe and accepting places for people living with mental illness and their families.

To join 24 Hours of Hope, visit http://mentalhealthandthechurch.com. Participants can discuss the event using #WorldMentalHealthDay.

Modern English Version follows KJV sources

ORLANDO, Fla. (BP) -- A new Bible translation -- the Modern English Version -- has been released by Charisma House's Passio imprint, with Southern Baptist scholars comprising 10 of the 47 members on its translation committee.

The MEV translation is described as an update of the King James Version that uses its source documents, the Textus Receptus for the New Testament and the Masoretic Text for the Old Testament.

The publisher, in its description at Amazon.com, states that the Modern English Version is "the most modern translation produced in the King James tradition within the last thirty years. This formal equivalence translation maintains the beauty of the past yet provides fresh clarity for a new generation of Bible readers."

The MEV's chief editor was James F. Linzey, a retired military chaplain and member of a Southern Baptist church in Escondido, Calif., Bethel Baptist, who began working on the translation while on active duty. Linzey also translated Acts for the MEV.

N. Blake Hearson of Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, served as the Old Testament's editor-in-chief. Hearon is associate professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at the Kansas City, Mo., seminary.

Two Southern Baptist seminary professors served as section editors: Pentateuch, Terry J. Betts, associate professor of Old Testament interpretation at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., and historical writings, Eric A. Mitchell, associate professor of Old Testament and archaeology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. A Baptist college faculty member, Ishwaran Mudliar, served as section editor for the major prophets. Mudliar is associate professor of religion at Oklahoma Baptist University.

Betts also translated Genesis and Exodus; Mitchell translated 1 Samuel; and Mudliar translated Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel and Daniel.

Southern Baptist seminary profs also involved in the translation were Archie W. England, professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther; Paul Allen Smith, associate professor of Old Testament studies with Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, Numbers; Rudolph Gonzalez, professor of New Testament with Southwestern, Philippians and Philemon; John Laing, associate professor of systematic theology at Southwestern, 1 Kings; and Adam Dodd, adjunct faculty member with Southwestern, part of 2 Samuel.

Jeffrey Rankin associate professor of Christian studies at North Greenville University in South Carolina, translated 1 Chronicles.

Hellams named VP at SBTS

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP) -- Tom Hellams has been named vice president for denominational relations and chief of staff in the office of the president at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

"I'm very pleased that Tom Hellams is re-joining the Southern Seminary executive team," Southern President R. Albert Mohler Jr. said. "He is a man of rare gifts, deep commitment and an incredibly warm heart. He is also a man of incredible experience. This is a welcome home to a friend and fellow servant. We are thrilled to have him return to Southern Seminary."

Hellams, who assumed his new position Sept. 1, served in a similar role at Southern from 1997 to 2006.

As vice president of denominational relations, Hellams' responsibilities will include "assisting the institution to relate to the whole Southern Baptist Convention, including state conventions, in a way that would be most helpful to Southern Baptists in accomplishing all the Lord has assigned to us," Mohler said.

Since 2006, Hellams has served as vice president of corporate relations at LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. In that capacity, Hellams represented LifeWay's president in a variety of capacities to the LifeWay board of trustees, the Southern Baptist Convention, state Baptist conventions and the Nashville business community.

In addition to his service at LifeWay and Southern Seminary, Hellams has served in various pastoral roles at churches in South Carolina and Kentucky.

Ordained to the Gospel ministry at First Baptist Church in Fountain Inn, S.C., Hellams holds degrees from Anderson University in Anderson, S.C., and Erskine College in Due West, S.C. He earned master of divinity, master of arts and doctor of ministry degrees from Southern Seminary.

Hellams and his wife, Tena, are parents to two adult children.

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