Tuesday, June 10, 2008Download All Stories
Page: Watch for the signs
INDIANAPOLIS (BP)--Discerning eyes are needed to recognize the spiritual condition of Southern Baptists, Frank Page said in his final sermon as Southern Baptist Convention president during the SBC annual meeting in Indianapolis June 10.
Page, pastor of First Baptist Church in Taylors, S.C., said Southern Baptists should develop the kind of discernment akin to that which saved the villagers of the island of Simeulue after the South Asian tsunami on Dec. 26, 2004.
Village elders noticed the water retreating from the coastline and in minutes warned islanders to run for higher ground. Their communal memory of a 1907 tsunami that nearly destroyed the entire island helped them realize the impending danger. The island lost only seven of its 75,000 inhabitants, as was reported in The Seattle Times.
"The people of that island had assiduously told the story over and over of what might be the signs for such an event again, and taking note of that history, recognizing the warning signs, the elders in just a few minutes were able to spread the alarm and the villages were evacuated to higher ground. Their physical lives were saved that day."
Page asked if Southern Baptists would be able to recognize the signs of what is happening within the convention, among its churches and in the lives of individual believers.
"Will we assiduously impart to those after us the signs that God has set forth for blessing and the signs God has set forth for judgment?" Page asked.
Preaching from the John 4:7-30 story of the woman at the well, Page said Southern Baptists need to experience the same transformation as did the Samaritan woman. But before transformation can take place, he said, believers have to examine themselves to discern their spiritual conditions.
In her encounter with Jesus, Page said, the Samaritan woman "was compelled to see herself as she really was ..." Read More
Hunt elected president on first ballotINDIANAPOLIS (BP)--Johnny Hunt, pastor of First Baptist Church in Woodstock, Ga., was elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention June 10, receiving 52.94 percent of votes (3,100) cast on the first ballot. Read More
Stop sexual predators, Chapman urgesINDIANAPOLIS (BP)--Southern Baptists have taken strong stands in the past against the sexual abuse of children and will continue taking strong action to protect children and bring sexual predators in the church to justice, SBC Executive Committee President Morris H. Chapman told messengers during the morning session of their annual meeting June 10 at the Indiana Convention Center. Read More
Billy Kim honored as statesmanINDIANAPOLIS (BP)--Korean Baptist leader Billy Kim, former president of the Baptist World Alliance, received the Distinguished Baptist Statesman Award June 10 from the Southern Baptist Convention's Executive Committee for his lifelong service in global evangelism and leadership among Baptists.
EC recommends D.O.J. database for child sex abuse prevention in SBC churches
INDIANAPOLIS (BP)--The Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee passed a recommendation June 9 urging churches to screen prospective volunteers and employees with the U.S. Department of Justice's national sex offender database and said it believes the "potential threat of sex abuse" on the local church level "is tragically underappreciated."
At six pages, the Executive Committee's report on child sexual abuse -– adopted after two years of study -- also said it is "strongly persuaded ... Read More
Revival is preached at Pastors' Conference
INDIANAPOLIS (BP)--God can bring revival to the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention, but in many cases spiritual brokenness may be required first, speakers at the annual Southern Baptist Pastors' Conference said in Indianapolis June 9.
Pastors also elected officers for the 2009 Pastors' Conference in Louisville, Ky. Ed Litton, pastor of First Baptist Church of North Mobile in Saraland, Ala., was elected president, while Bruce Schmidt, pastor of Lamar Baptist Church in Arlington, Tex... Read More
Love compels WMU to pray, share
INDIANAPOLIS (BP)--A personal experience with Christ's life-changing love compels His followers to love in a way they never could have before, Ed Stetzer said June 9 during the second day of the Woman's Missionary Union's annual missions celebration in Indianapolis.
Stetzer, director of LifeWay Research and coauthor with Philip Nation of this year's WMU emphasis book, "Compelled by Love: The Most Excellent Way to Missional Living," said, "I have been born again to new life, and part of that... Read More
VBS 2009 themes announced
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Next year churches can take their pick -– taking kids on a train adventure through Australia or setting up a personalized archaeological dig. Either way, Jesus will be the ultimate destination.
LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention on June 10 announced its 2009 Vacation Bible School themes. The theme of the main VBS line is "Boomerang Express: It All Comes Back to Jesus." The Club VBS theme is "Truth Trek: Digging for God's Treasures." Both op... Read More
VBS continued its impact in 2007
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--The numbers are in for 2007 Vacation Bible School, and once again they show that VBS is the most effective evangelistic strategy for most churches.
"Game Day Central: Where Heroes Are Made" and "Club VBS: Jungle Jaunt" were the 2007 themes that were embraced by churches and enjoyed by children.
The VBS area of LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention released the 2007 statistics based on information provided by churches submitting a Vacation... Read More
LifeWay honors churches for VBS gains
INDIANAPOLIS (BP)--One in four. That's how many baptisms last year in the Southern Baptist Convention came as a result of Vacation Bible School. And churches like Parkway Baptist in Moseley, Va., are a big reason why.
Parkway is one of 200 SBC churches that have experienced the largest VBS enrollment increases over the past five years. Pastor Brian Autry, who planted the church and hosted its first VBS in a rented school building six years ago, was one of 200 local church leaders honored at... Read More
Ind. Baptists mobilize relief teams
INDIANAPOLIS (BP)--In the wake of torrential weekend rains of up to 10 inches in some central Indiana towns, Indiana Baptists have mobilized disaster relief teams and put crews from other Midwestern states on stand-by.
The teams were deployed June 8 as thousands of Southern Baptists converged on Indianapolis, site of the SBC annual meeting June 10-11 at the Indiana Convention Center.
Though some of the flooding had receded by noon Monday, the deluge from Friday night and Saturday was s... Read More
NAAF hears from NAMB's president
INDIANAPOLIS (BP)--North American Mission Board President Geoff Hammond gave the National African American Fellowship of the Southern Baptist Convention a sneak preview of the SBC's new National Evangelism Initiative June 9.
It was the first time a NAMB president attended the Sunday evening banquet of the fellowship, which was organized in 1992. This year's event drew about 350 people and included recognitions of two longtime influential pastors.
"It's not a program," Hammond said of t... Read More
Colts coach Dungy challenges pastors
INDIANAPOLIS (BP)--Tony Dungy, coach of the Super Bowl-champion Indianapolis Colts, addressed the Southern Baptist Pastors' Conference June 9 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, saying it was "a pleasure and an honor to be here" and "it is great to welcome you to our city."
Dungy's pastor, Ken Whitten of the Tampa-area Idlewild Baptist Church, introduced the coach. "Let me tell you, if you ever get the opportunity to be senior pastor of an NFL coach, you just pray that God let... Read More
'Give It Away,' Gaither tells Baptists
INDIANAPOLIS (BP)--Bill Gaither of gospel music's Gaither Vocal Band told Southern Baptists the answer to the nation's economic pressures is not a political solution but a spiritual solution based on God's people learning to "give it away."
"I think it starts with us, and I think when the church of Jesus Christ gets organized, we've got the resources to do it, and we can do it when we put our heads together," Gaither told messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting in Ind... Read More