Monday, July 30, 2018Download All Stories
Death & dying examined by state Baptist newspaperGREENVILLE, S.C. (BP) -- In 37 years as a pastor, Rudy Gray sat at the bedside of many terminally ill church members. He stood at gravesides with many grieving families. He sought to speak comforting words -- at least he hopes they were comforting.
But one thing he is sure of -- he wasn't fully ready to deal with bereavement in his early years of ministry.
"I think that's one of the things most pastors aren't thoroughly prepared for when they launch out into the ministry," said Gray, now editor of South Carolina Baptists' publication the Baptist Courier. Read More
Religious liberty: Int'l conf. seen as key advanceWASHINGTON (BP) -- Religious liberty advocates drew hope from a first-ever international gathering of government officials, civil society representatives and faith leaders to promote the freedom of all people to practice their beliefs.
The U.S. State Department convened the inaugural Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom July 24-26 in Washington, hosting delegations from more than 80 governments in an effort to combat persecution of and discrimination against people of all faiths. On the meeting's final day, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the event would be held again next year. Read More
Man delivers pizzas to pay for wife's master's degreeLOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP) -- Jonathan Coaty has put out a lot of dough for his wife's master's degree in Christian education.
Pizza dough, that is.
Coaty took a second job delivering pizzas to cover the cost of tuition for his appreciative wife Jesica, a first-grade teacher at Beth Haven Christian School in Louisville. She is seeking her degree from nearby Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
"My husband is more passionate about Christian education than most Christian educators," Jesica said, fighting back tears as she talked about his sacrifice. "He has invested long hours in my degree. By the time I finish in December, he will have delivered nearly 7,000 pizzas." Read More
Calif. wildfires: Chaplains become first phase of DRREDDING, Calif. (BP) -- California Southern Baptist Disaster Relief chaplaincy teams have begun providing spiritual and emotional counseling to survivors of Northern California's Carr fire, which started on July 23 and rapidly grew over the weekend to consume more than 98,000 acres.
Mike Bivins, director of California's SBDR efforts who has been on site visiting shelters, reported that between 800 and 1,000 survivors have been in and out of shelters in the Redding area.
"As of [Monday morning, July 30], no evacuation orders have been lifted," Bivins said. "We are anticipating that shelters will remain for three-plus days." Read More
Charles Fuller, SBC Peace Committee chair, diesROANOKE, Va. (BP) -- Charles Fuller, a Virginia pastor who chaired the Southern Baptist Convention's Peace Committee, died July 28 in Roanoke, Va. He was 86.
Formed in 1985 in response to a motion at the SBC annual meeting, the Peace Committee was charged to "seek to determine the sources" of controversy amid the convention's Conservative Resurgence and "make findings and recommendations." Fuller was thought a natural fit to chair the 22-member group -- which comprised conservatives, moderates and centrists -- because he was theologically conservative and committed to the SBC but not part of the Conservative Resurgence's "machinery," as Fuller put it. Read More