Baptist Press Archive

Monday, April 07, 2008

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  • In New Orleans, joy abounds as congregation returns home

    by Karen L. Willoughby, posted Monday, April 07, 2008 (10 years ago)

    NEW ORLEANS (BP)--Imagine the nation's worst natural disaster striking your home. Water nine feet deep. No more books. No more furniture. No more safety or security.

          For two and a half years you're in limbo, dependent on the kindness of people who take you in. They become friends, though at first there seemed to be a chasm of differences. But, finally, you get to go back into your house, and you see it is exactly the same! Even the same ivory/mauve color scheme!

    Photo by Stacey Billger
          Such a day of rejoicing it was for the Franklin Avenue Baptist Church family Sunday, April 6.

          "We're baaaaaack, y'all!" pastor Fred Luter Jr. exulted, and the New Orleans congregation exploded with joy. "We're baaaaaack," he repeated three more times, and each time the congregation responded with more rejoicing.

          Both the 7:30 and 10:30 a.m. services were standing room only in Franklin Avenue's fan-shaped worship center, in side rooms set up with closed-circuit television, in the foyer and spilling out onto the sidewalk. More than 4,000 people participated in the two services, church leaders estimated.

          "So many people are here I'm thankful the fire marshal didn't show up," Luter said as he stood at the same oak pulpit where he had preached since 1986. Virtually every statement the pastor made was echoed with the congregation's exuberant approval, except for the serious moments in his sermon from the Old Testament's Book of Habakkuk.

          Everybody has foes, and Hurricane Katrina was a formidable foe, Luter preached.

          "What can be said about the worst natural disaster in the history of our nation and how that disaster affected so many of us? ... We've been affected ... but now ... now that you're back in your own pews ... our disaster has turned into dancing!" Read More

  • Franklin Avenue: pre- and post-Katrina

    by Karen L. Willoughby, posted Monday, April 07, 2008 (10 years ago)

    NEW ORLEANS (BP)--By the time Fred Luter Jr. was called as pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in 1986, the blue-collar neighborhood south of Interstate 10 had transitioned from white to black.

          So had the church, not necessarily by choice. The congregation with a worship center that could easily seat 500 had shrunk on Sunday mornings to about 50. Within 19 years, however,... Read More

  • Luter acknowledges his transparency

    by Karen L. Willoughby, posted Monday, April 07, 2008 (10 years ago)

    NEW ORLEANS (BP)--From the time her son was a young teen, Viola Brooks knew he would be a pastor one day. What she didn't foresee... Read More

  • Texas raid prompts First Baptist ministry

    by Ken Walker, posted Monday, April 07, 2008 (10 years ago)

    ELDORADO, Texas (BP)--A Baptist congregation housed about 80 women and children April 4-6 after a raid on the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (FLDS) near Eldorado, Texas. Read More

  • Jena, La., envisions 'new beginnings'

    by John L. Yeats, posted Monday, April 07, 2008 (10 years ago)

    JENA, La. (BP)--The revival that began Feb. 17 in Jena, La., continues this week, April 7-11, and may conclude during its eighth week -– a biblical number for "new beginnings."

    "In the Bible, the number eight represents new beginnings," L&A Baptist Church pastor Jimmy Ray Young said. "I believe that God has brought us to this very important week to say Jena and LaSalle Parish now have a new beginning in Christ."

    The Jena community found itself in the national spotlight last September o... Read More

  • ELECTION 08: Clinton vows to fight for 'gay rights,' including marriage-like benefits

    by Michael Foust, posted Monday, April 07, 2008 (10 years ago)

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton told a Philadelphia homosexual newspaper she would work to advance "gay rights" as president, including possibly signing into law a bill that would grant same-sex couples the legal benefits of marriage.

    The senator from New York also called a proposed Pennsylvania constitutional marriage amendment "mean-spirited" and said she hopes it is defeated.

    Clinton granted the interview to the Philadelphia Gay News just wee... Read More

  • Jayhawks buoyed by Coach Self's faith

    by Art Stricklin, posted Monday, April 07, 2008 (10 years ago)

    SAN ANTONTIO (BP)--Before Kansas goes for its first NCAA championship in 20 years, Jayhawk players will watch more video of the Memphis Tigers and review their game plan one last time. Read More

  • Winningest N.C. player: 'God is enough'

    by Art Stricklin, posted Monday, April 07, 2008 (10 years ago)

    SAN ANTONIO (BP)--Quentin Thomas ended his North Carolina career Saturday night as the winningest player in the Tarheels' storied history.

    But the senior guard said his personal faith in Jesus Christ was enough to help him overcome the career-ending loss to Kansas.

    "I keep my faith in good times and bad. God is enough for me and I know I'm strong through Him," Thomas said.

    Thomas was a part of 117 North Carolina wins and is the only member of the current team who played on the 200... Read More

  • ESPN's Davis receives Wooden award

    by Art Stricklin, posted Monday, April 07, 2008 (10 years ago)

    ORIGINALLY POSTED Saturday, April 5, 2008.

    SAN ANTONTO (BP)--Former North Carolina star Hubert Davis accepted the John Wooden Keys to Life Award at Saturday morning's Legends of the Hardwood breakfast, giving all credit to his faith in Jesus Christ.

    "I haven't achieved anything; the only person who has achieved anything here is Jesus," Davis, now an ESPN commentator, said to a standing ovation from the crowd of 1,500 in San Antonio at the 13th annual event sponsored by Athletes in ... Read More

  • Disgraced Baylor coach seeks forgiveness

    by Art Stricklin, posted Monday, April 07, 2008 (10 years ago)

    ORIGINALLY POSTED Saturday, April 5, 2008.

    SAN ANTONIO (BP)--Former Baylor coach Dave Bliss made his first public apology to fellow coaches at the National Association of Basketball Coaches convention Friday, saying God had restored his heart and asking them for forgiveness.

    Bliss was involved in one of the worst scandals in college basketball history by making illegal payments to Baylor players and then hindering the murder investigation of a Baylor player for fear the payments wo... Read More

  • All-star Clemson guard here 'to honor God'

    by Art Stricklin, posted Monday, April 07, 2008 (10 years ago)

    ORIGINALLY POSTED Saturday, April 5, 2008.

    SAN ANTONTO (BP)--Clemson shooting guard Cliff Hammond's team isn't in the Final Four, but he is among the college senior players in the National Association of Basketball Coaches All-Star game in conjunction with the NCAA championship festivities in San Antonio.

    Although wearing an all-star jersey, Hammond said the only thing special about him is his relationship with Jesus Christ.

    "Do everything you do to honor Christ," Hammond said... Read More

  • The feet of a rejoicing pastor

    by John L. Yeats, posted Monday, April 07, 2008 (10 years ago)

    NEW ORLEANS (BP)--From the moment I topped the levy, I could see that worship at Franklin Avenue Baptist Church would be extraordinary. Read More

  • Dangerous denial

    by Ginger Plowman, posted Monday, April 07, 2008 (10 years ago)

    OPELIKA, Ala. (BP)--My husband's face turned pasty white and he began to sweat profusely. His trembling hands gripped the corners of the linen-clothed table in the center of the elegant, gourmet restaurant. Read More