Wednesday, July 25, 2018Download All Stories
#MeToo confronts small churches, bivocational pastorsNASHVILLE (BP) -- Amid the #MeToo movement, conferences and seminaries have heightened their focus on training pastors to prevent and report sexual abuse.
But associational leader Sean McMahon worries those training efforts are leaving out a sizable group of pastors: small church and bivocational "heroes" who "work 55-60 hours a week in their normal job," serve 20 hours with the church and "never take a Sunday off."
"Most bivocational pastors don't get to go to conferences," said McMahon, executive director of the Florida Baptist Association in Tallahassee. "Most bivocational pastors never set foot on a seminary campus.... To be able to get some real training in their hands" on abuse prevention and reporting "is huge." Read More
IMB's Platt initiates sexual abuse investigationsRICHMOND, Va. (BP) -- Two "thorough, outside, independent" investigations have been initiated by International Mission Board President David Platt into the IMB's handling of any past sexual abuse allegations and into its policies of zero tolerance for such abuse.
Platt also stated a public apology to Anne Marie Miller, who has alleged sexual abuse by an individual who subsequently became an IMB missionary yet was not reported to authorities following a 2007 IMB inquiry into the matter.
Black denominational group honors achieversRIDGECREST, N.C. (BP) -- The Black Southern Baptist Denominational Servants Network elected officers and issued awards for outstanding achievement at its 2018 business meeting and fellowship at Ridgecrest, N.C.
Jeffery Singletary, a regional catalyst for the Florida Baptist Convention, is the 2018 recipient of the Kennedy Boyce Award, named for late pastors who were the first African Americans to link their churches to the Southern Baptist Convention.
The network (BSBDSN) honored Singletary at its July 17 meeting held during the 2018 Black Church Leadership and Family Conference. Read More
New resource helps with kids' questions about faithNASHVILLE (BP) -- Four hours into a road trip, 6-year-old Gavin was getting fidgety. To pass the time, he began rattling off a barrage of questions to his parents.
"Mom, can I have a snack?"
"Dad, are we there yet?"
"Hey, when can I get baptized?"
Gavin's parents looked at each other wondering where the last question had come from. Turns out, Gavin had watched his friend get baptized a few weeks ago. And now Gavin wanted to follow. But his parents weren't sure if he was ready. Read More
Imprisoned U.S. pastor in Turkey moves to house arrestIZMIR, Turkey (BP) -- American pastor Andrew Brunson has been granted transfer from a Turkish prison to house arrest awaiting an Oct. 12 hearing, his attorneys said today (July 25).
The move comes a week after a Turkish court denied Brunson's plea for release after nearly two years' imprisonment on allegations of terrorism and spying. The longtime pastor and native of Black Mountain, N.C., has instead been charged with "the crime of 'Christianization,'" his defenders at the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) said.
"We have confirmed that the Turkish government has issued an order releasing Pastor Andrew Brunson from prison and allowing him to be returned to his home in Turkey," ACLJ Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow said in a press release. "This is a critical first step that we believe will result in the freedom of Pastor Brunson so he can return to the United States and be reunited with his family." Read More
Iowa tornado devastation triggers Baptist DR responseMASHALLTOWN, Iowa (BP) -- Southern Baptist Disaster Relief teams have begun cleanup work in Marshalltown, Iowa, following a devastating tornado July 19.
A Missouri Baptist Disaster Relief team arrived Tuesday to set up incident command at Iglesia Karios in Marshalltown. Chainsaw teams from Iowa have dispersed throughout the city to clear debris. An SBDR feeding team has prepared meals for recovery workers in the area.
Additional SBDR volunteers from Kansas-Nebraska and Florida already are on the ground in Marshalltown. Carlson, co-director of Iowa Baptist Disaster Relief, expects volunteers from other nearby states to arrive later this week and early next week. Teams from other states interested in providing assistance should contact their state disaster relief director. Read More
In Mormon-heavy Utah, church slates witness trainingST. GEORGE, Utah (BP) -- Church leaders and members are invited to Utah's Desert Ridge Baptist Church for training in evangelizing members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, slated for Sept. 7-8.
"We love our neighbors in Utah, and to love our neighbors it is important to understand what religious beliefs they hold," Rob Lee, executive director of the Utah-Idaho Southern Baptist Convention, told Baptist Press.
"This conference sponsored by Desert Ridge Baptist Church is an opportunity to get a better handle in how to share the love of Jesus in terms that will help you communicate biblical truths that conflict with their belief system," Lee said. "What better place to learn than in Utah, where Mormonism is central to the culture and embraced by the majority of residents." Read More
SBU selects Eric A. Turner as 25th presidentBOLIVAR, Mo. (BP) -- Eric. A. Turner was unanimously selected the 25th president of Southwest Baptist University on July 20 in a special meeting of the SBU Board of Trustees.
Turner of Pocahontas, Ark., will begin his duties as president-elect Aug. 6, and assume the presidency on Sept. 1.
Turner, 46, is a current college president with a wide range of experiences and a strong calling for Christian higher education. He worked in fundraising, academics and accreditation at Williams Baptist University in Walnut Ridge, Ark., for 17 years before becoming president of Black River Technical College (BRTC) in Pocahontas, Ark., in 2014. Read More
FROM THE STATES: Wash., Tenn., Fla. evangelism/missions news; 'Seeing God work is the biggest benefit'
Today's From the States features items from: Northwest Baptist Witness (Washington); Baptist and Reflector (Tennessee); Florida Baptist Convention Read More