Friday, June 01, 2018Download All Stories
In Puerto Rico, Baptists gear up for hurricane seasonPUERTO RICO -- With the beginning of the 2018 hurricane season, Puerto Rico is bracing for what could be more rough weather while in the midst of a recovery from last year's devastating storms. The North American Mission Board (NAMB) and its Send Relief outreach are expanding their mission work on the island, including disaster response readiness and church planting.
"Since Hurricane Maria hit last fall, Send Relief has been active in Puerto Rico with recovery efforts and seeking to create new church-to-church partnerships between Puerto Rico and the mainland," said David Melber, president of Send Relief. Read More
ACP: Worship attendance rises, baptisms declineNASHVILLE (BP) -- The Southern Baptist Convention expanded by more than 270 churches in 2017. More people showed up for weekly worship services, and congregations gave more generously in a strengthening economy.
However, reported baptisms and membership declined as fewer churches participated in the SBC's Annual Church Profile (ACP).
Longstanding patterns continued to dominate the ACP, which is compiled by LifeWay Christian Resources in cooperation with Baptist state conventions. Read More
Evangelists: 'Harvest events' counter SBC baptism declineJACKSON, Tenn. (BP) -- In what's been called the first official statement from Southern Baptist evangelists to pastors, a consortium of vocational evangelists says increased scheduling of "harvest" events could help reverse the Southern Baptist Convention's downward trend in baptisms.
"There is a desperate need for evangelistic expository preaching followed by an invitation given clearly, honestly, courteously, urgently, expectantly, and with complete dependence on the Holy Spirit," according to a white paper released May 14 by evangelist Jerry Drace and a coalition of 14 other evangelists he convened for a March 2-3 summit in Jackson, Tenn. "The Vocational Evangelists in the SBC are available to assist the pastors in drawing the net whatever the Harvest Event." Read More
Ariz. mulls evolution: Theory or settled science?PHOENIX, Ariz. (BP) -- Evolutionists in Arizona may have reason for concern after the state's top education official suggested students should be taught the reality many scientists already acknowledge: Evolution is a theory, not settled science.
Changes to the state's science standards, which offer direction for teaching and curriculum choices, would remove references to evolution in some places and describe it as a theory in others. Science Program Specialist Brea Rivera noted the Arizona Department of Education put a lot of thought into encouraging students to think critically about what they're learning. Read More
KBC, Sunrise win dismissal of adverse legal settlementLOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP) -- A federal judge has thrown out a legal settlement that would have allowed the American Civil Liberties Union to review whether a Southern Baptist foster home uses state funds to proselytize children.
The settlement in a lawsuit the ACLU filed against Sunrise Children's Services, the Kentucky Baptist Convention (KBC) and the state of Kentucky is not viable, U.S. District Judge Charles Simpson ruled May 30, because it could not be enforced under current state laws. Americans United for Separation of Church and State also is a plaintiff in the suit.
The decision is a win for the KBC and Sunrise, who appealed the decision brokered in 2015 by then-Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear's administration. But the dismissal means the lawsuit filed in 2000 will continue in the courts. Read More
SWBTS trustee chairman: Decision to fire Patterson 'clear'FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) -- In response to "a number of follow-up questions," Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Trustee Chairman Kevin Ueckert released a statement Friday (June 1), two days after announcing Paige Patterson's termination by the executive committee of the seminary's trustees.
The statement specifically addressed Patterson's alleged mishandling of two incidents of reported rapes -- one at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2003 by Megan Lively and another reported by a female student at SWBTS in 2015. The former seminary president, forced into a president emeritus position during a special May 22 trustee meeting, has been under fire since late April for statements he has made about domestic abuse and women's physical appearance. Read More