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Issue Date: 2008-01-31
Volume: 187
Number: 3


COSBE partnership revives evangelism for small churches
Gordon County church one of first to participate in baptism project

Randell Trammell wanted to wait, but is glad he didn’t.
A redeemed Klansman reunites with long-ago victim

It was the week before Thanksgiving and Stan Chassin, a 59-year-old investment counselor, had been nervous all day.
Sword swallower has a unique gospel, with a point to it

Did you hear the one about Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the preacher, and the sword swallower?
Vietnam congregation first to be granted government recognition
Acworth pastor among Southern Baptist reps
Vietnamese Baptists met at Grace Baptist Church in Ho Chi Minh City Jan. 10-11 to celebrate the church’s receiving official government recognition and to organize a new national confederation. The historic development is expected to encourage future evangelism and church-planting efforts in the country.
For Casting Crowns, music is just a side job
Eagle's Landing youth pastor fronts award-winning group

On one night, youth pastor Mark Hall puts plans together for his Wednesday night youth service at Eagle’s Landing First Baptist Church in McDonough.
Castro health rumors place Christians in quandary

Ruth* has happy memories of growing up on Cuba. Her family lived in a house built by her grandfather. The sounds of cows, pigs, turkeys, and horses could be heard on their farm in a small valley. Vacations were taken at a nearby beach that postcards try to recreate.
Churches feel pinch of rising health care costs

Unlike many other pastors in the Church of the Brethren, Kendal W. Elmore stuck with his denomination’s medical insurance plan for 34 years, even as premiums escalated.
Resort missionary Brad Lartigue holds big job in Big Sky

Because his mission field is based in Big Sky, Mont., where Lone Mountain stretches 11,000 feet high, Brad Lartigue reports to work every day sky-high – geographically and spiritually.
Fewer pastor/staff terminations reported
Georgia Baptist consultant to head SBC group in July

Forced terminations in the Southern Baptist Convention were down during 2006, but those who issued the latest report say work remains to be done to reconcile conflicts between pastors and congregations.
Reports surface of vandals damaging church property in southeast Georgia
Churches in southeast Georgia may want to be on the lookout for vandalism attempts directed at their road signage.
Faith in Christ growing in Cuba

David and Margaret Fite are well-aware of the conflict Cuban Christians must feel whenever rumors of Fidel Castro’s failing health begin to circulate. They also are no less surprised at the majority of those believers not praying for death of the small country’s leader.
Huckabee addresses pro-lifers

Jan. 22 was a cold morning with intermittent rain and temperatures that never rose above 34 degrees. However, the weather failed to dampen the enthusiasm of those who gathered at the state Capitol to mournfully commemorate the 35th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in the United States.
Son's death spreads the gospel message

The impact of 2-year-old Bronner Burgess’ death is already being felt throughout the nation.
Film community is Baptist's mission field

What’s a seminary professor’s son doing in a nationally televised movie with Golden Globe nominee Nikki Blonsky of the box-office blockbuster, Hairspray For Philip Searcy, it’s living as a witness for God.
Southern Seminary won’t change diploma of transgender graduate

A Southern Baptist seminary has declined a request to change the full name on the diploma of a 1998 male graduate who has since undergone surgery to become a woman.
Ugandan religious leaders set aside rivalries in pursuit of peace

Sometimes in the evenings, Okech Alem watches the war widows as they sing and pull weeds in the peanut fields near his camp.
Study finds abortion at lowest rate since 1974

Abortion rates have reached their lowest since 1974, according to a new study of U.S. abortion clinics released by the Guttmacher Institute.
Evangelists ready to launch after COGBE retreat

When Bart Ponders was a 170-pound tailback for Northwest Whitfield High School near Dalton, one of his favorite plays was 21 Dive.

Georgia Newsbriefs

Additional Association Reports
Chattahoochees Association met Oct. 15 at Flat Creek Baptist Church. Officers re-elected were Brian Malcom, moderator; Barry Ladd, vice-moderator; and Gene Eagland, clerk. Lanier Hills Baptist Church in Gainesville was admitted into the association. Crossview Church, in Hoschton, was admitted under watchcare.

Baptist News Summary

Names in the News
L. Russ Bush III, author, professor, and pastor, died Jan. 22 following a two-year battle with cancer. He was 63.
Texas Baptists nominate Virginia pastor to lead state convention
Virginia pastor and former seminary head Randel Everett has been named as the nominee to lead the Baptist General Convention of Texas.
Zimbabwe Baptists voice gratitude for food aid delivered at Christmastime
Baptists in Zimbabwe have written to express their “deep gratitude” for 578 boxes of food delivered just before Christmas.
Youth survey registration opens Feb. 1
Registration opens Feb. 1 for the second annual SBC Student Ministry Survey, designed to be a comprehensive guide for Southern Baptist churches across the nation to garner crucial, fresh information about teens, their families, and youth ministry.
Alabama pastor handed 21-month federal prison sentence for tax fraud
Gregory Clarke, pastor of the 6,000-member New Hope Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., has been sentenced to 21 months in federal prison for three counts of filing false income tax returns.
Baptist housing ministry helps struggling families
Injured on the job, Eddie Buck was off work nine months. Workman’s compensation was the family’s only source of income, and he fell behind in child support payments for his eldest daughters. When Eddie returned to work, he tried to make up the deficit but the Internal Revenue Service garnished his tax refund for two consecutive years. Adding to the stress, the rent on their house increased.
King's legacy shared with Louisiana Baptists at conference
In a first-ever event, the Louisiana Baptist Convention hosted a Martin Luther King Jr. luncheon to begin the state’s annual evangelism conference. About 100 people – blacks and whites in roughly equal numbers – participated.
New Orleans Seminary professor tells why he signed letter to Muslims
Citing his belief in dialogue with Muslims, a professor at New Orleans Seminary has set forth his rationale for joining some 300 evangelicals in signing a letter seeking to nurture such dialogue.
Abortion facility now a Baptist office
In October 2005, the building at 1837 East Cherry Street in Springfield, Mo., was home to the Springfield Healthcare Center, one of four abortion providers in Missouri.

Religious Newsbriefs

Hindu extremists kill six Christians
Hindu extremists in India’s Orissa state killed six Christians, burned 400 homes, and destroyed 60 church buildings during the Christmas holy days, according to a report from the All India Christian Council. An estimated 600 Christians took refuge in a church building after extremists tried to attack their village.
Report: Integration key for German Muslims
Muslims in Germany could become a potential recruitment pool for Islamic terrorists if they are not better integrated into society, according to a recent report by the country’s Ministry of the Interior.
Students' spiritual interests increase on campus, even without worship
Though college students’ attendance at worship services declines, their interest in spiritual matters grows during their time on campus, a new UCLA study shows.Though college students’ attendance at worship services declines, their interest in spiritual matters grows during their time on campus, a new UCLA study shows.
Quality of Catholic schools leads to flood of baptisms among British
Lapsed Roman Catholics in Britain are racing to get their children baptized in hopes of landing them a spot in Catholic schools, where too many students are already chasing increasingly fewer slots, according to new research.

People and Places

Ministerial Moves

Cooperative Program Stories

It's all Greek to them
Study of Scriptures' roots challenges prisoners

For the last three years, Georgia Baptists have been sending Greek New Testaments and Greek textbooks to Rutledge State Prison in Columbus. The books are used by inmates who want to study Scripture – in its original language.

Bible Study

The Message

Gal. 1:6-9, 11-12; 3:1-9
Related Sunday School Lesson, Bible Studies for Life, Feb. 10
The Messenger

Luke 10:1-12, 16
Related Sunday School Lesson, Bible Studies for Life, Feb. 17


The Open Door

I guess that for most of my life I have been interested in the wonders of space. The reason, of course, is that I am deeply, intensely interested in and committed to the One Who created all things.
Trying to fit church into Super Bowl Sunday

When I was a pastor I worked hard to adjust the time of our Sunday evening worship service to suit everyone’s plans to watch the Super Bowl.
Listen to some Jerry Clower

Listening to Jerry Clower will make you a better sermon-listener. Of course, many of you about now are asking yourself, “Who is Jerry Clower?”
Parents must shape the will of their children


Congregation responds to missions challenge

Recently God allowed me to become the pastor of a great church here in Gainesville. When I asked them about a goal set for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions they said that it had been some time since a goal was set. The treasurer informed me that in the past three years the most the church had given was about $3,000.