Friday, January 05, 2018Download All Stories
Diehard Bama fan in 'dilemma' as Ga. QB's pastorWARNER ROBINS, Ga. (BP) -- Jerry Walls has enjoyed three decades of a prosperous and peaceful pastorate of Southside Baptist Church.
The church in Warner Robins, Ga., has grown considerably under Walls' leadership -- from about 125 when he began to about 3,500 now. He loves his people, and they love him. You don't serve at a church for 30 years without a deep and mutual affection between pastor and people.
But with Alabama and Georgia colliding on Monday night for the College Football Playoff National Championship, Walls and the Southside family are facing a challenge unlike any they've encountered together. It's a challenge some might think could threaten the harmony that has characterized the church.
Walls, a native of Montgomery, Ala., is a diehard Crimson Tide devotee. He's ministering in the midst of a church full of rabid Georgia Dawgs. And at the center of the brewing church controversy is one of Walls' church members at Southside -- Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm. Read More
Lifelong singleness not an issue for missionary surgeonNASHVILLE (BP) -- Decorated surgeon and missionary Rebekah Naylor, who heard God's call to medical missions at age 13, never longed for marriage and motherhood. She simply left the details of her life up to the Lord, she told Baptist Press just shy of her 74th birthday.
"I think it is vital that we not put qualifications on God's call," said Naylor, who celebrated her birthday on Jan. 2. "It cannot be that I agree to respond to God's call to missions provided He gives me a husband or sends me to a particular place.
"Total submission to Him is essential," she noted. "Then the promise is that He will direct our paths. I have experienced that over and over." Read More
Will dampening states' rights snuff out marijuana use?WASHINGTON (BP) -- It remains unclear whether U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions' reversal of rules that had enabled states to legalize marijuana will fan or extinguish cannabis flames spreading across the U.S.
R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said the tension between state and federal law has the potential to make 2018 "a hinge year" regarding not only legalized marijuana, but society's moral perception of marijuana use. Read More
World's worst religious freedom violators evaluatedWASHINGTON (BP) -- The Trump administration's first designation of the world's worst violators of religious freedom received the same evaluation as the last list under President Obama -- good but not good enough.
The State Department announced Thursday (Jan. 4) the re-designation of the same "countries of particular concern" (CPCs) announced in April 2016 by the Obama administration. In a Dec. 22 action, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson kept Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan on the list, according to a department spokesperson. Read More
Former LifeWay campus icon to be imploded Jan. 6NASHVILLE (BP) -- Implosion of a cross-emblazoned, 12-story tower on the former campus of LifeWay Christian Resources is set for 9:30 a.m. Saturday (Jan. 6) in downtown Nashville.
Nashville's first major implosion in more than 30 years, the Draper Tower is being cleared as part of a mixed-use redevelopment including a hotel, restaurants and apartments on LifeWay's former property. The campus was sold in 2015 for $125 million and encompassed nine buildings with more than 1 million square feet.
Baptist Press plans to publish photographs and video of the demolition Jan. 8. Some 600 pounds of explosives are set to detonate over about seven seconds, leaving rubble piled 60 feet high, according to The Tennessean newspaper. Read More
SBC DIGEST: William Bell, Jeannette Clift George among late-2017 homegoingsIn today's SBC Digest: The late-2017 homegoings of William Bell, an influential biblical studies professor in Southern Baptist life, and Jeannette Clift George, who played the role of Nazi concentration camp prisoner Corrie ten Boom in "The Hiding Place" and founded the A.D. Players theater company in Houston. Read More