September 2, 2014
WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP) -- Every adoption story is unique, but the tale of how pastor and author Tony Merida came to see he should adopt -- essentially, through his own sermon -- likely is quite rare.

When Merida was asked to preach at a youth camp on the subject of poverty, he began studying the subject in-depth, looking at the issue from a worldwide perspective.

He started to see, he said later, that "the poorest of the poor are the fatherless." He then examined what the Bible had to say about adoption.

"Basically, I got convicted by my own preaching," Merida told Baptist Press.

Merida and his wife adopted four Ukrainian children -- all siblings -- in 2009 and then a year later adopted a fifth child from Ethiopia. Within a span of two years, their house went from having no children to five children. And he says he wouldn't change anything.

Merida is part of a growing movement within the evangelical community that is giving a new look at adoption from a theological perspective, comparing earthly adoption to spiritual adoption. In his book "Orphanology" (New Hope) coauthored with Rick Morton, Merida makes the case for a Gospel-centered approach to adoption and orphan care.

"I'm hopeful for the future," said Merida, lead pastor of Imago Dei Church in Raleigh, N.C., and associate professor of preaching at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C. "There seems to be a great interest in caring for orphans among evangelicals. I'm no expert in this field. I'm just a pastor and trying to help people connect the dots biblically, and I hope the next generation will take it further, practicing true religion."

Baptist Press asked Merida several questions about his book and adoption in general. Following is a partial transcript: Read More
BALTIMORE (BP) -- Baptist Press is live blogging the SBC annual meeting in Baltimore. Updates can be read here, at our Twitter account (, or our Facebook account ( Want more updates? Follow our SBC annual meeting feed at A schedule of the Wednesday meeting can be found at Watch the SBC annual meeting live here. Read More
Panel: Adoption part of the Great Commission
NEW ORLEANS, La. (BP) - Adoption is not for the faint of heart or for everyone, but every Christian should be involved, said panelists at the Adoption and Orphan Care Panel discussion during the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting in New Orleans. Read More
Orphaned children tug at collegians' hearts
ITHICA, N.Y. (BP) -- Barrett Keene is walking from coast to coast to raise awareness about the plight of orphans -- a journey "that's crazy enough that people pause and say, 'What is going on? Why is he doing this?'" Read More
Obama TV ad blasts Romney's pro-life views
WASHINGTON (BP) -- The economy has been the centerpiece of the 2012 presidential campaign, but President Obama's re-election team apparently wants to make it also about abortion and has launched a 30-second TV ad drawing a distinction between Obama's pro-choice position and Mitt Romney's pro-life view. Read More
First Person
Glenn T. Stanton
FIRST-PERSON: That famous quote from St. Francis? He never said it
Columnist Glenn T. Stanton examines a famous quote often attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, concluding that the words never came from Francis' mouth.
Diana Davis
FIRST PERSON: Launch a 1st day-of-school tradition at your church
Columnist Diana Davis gives tips for launching a first day-of-school tradition at your church for parents.

Story Collections
Mideast Monitor
Texas Border
Crisis in Ukraine
The Persecuted Church
SBC Call to Prayer

 © Copyright 2014 Baptist Press. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use.

Southern Baptist Convention