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Issue Date: 2008-05-08
Volume: 187
Number: 10


A partnership with our neighbors to the north

Western Canada is comprised of majestic snow-capped mountains, spacious ranches, and a spectacular Pacific coastline. There are teeming cities with impressive skylines, hundreds of thousands of square miles of pristine wilderness, and some of the most gracious and hospitable people on Earth.
Casting Crowns wins group of the year, McDonough student pastor bags four Doves

Casting Crowns took home group of the year honors while lead singer/songwriter Mark Hall, a student pastor at Eagle’s Landing First Baptist in McDonough, won four individual honors during the 39th annual Gospel Music Association Dove Awards April 23.
Georgia Baptists post slight baptism gains in 2006-07 church year

The 2006-2007 church year was not a memorable one among Georgia Baptists, though there were gains in three areas – most notably baptisms for which state convention leaders are expressing gratitude.
Pastor, Christian rapper reaches Hip-hop culture

As teaching pastor of Epiphany Fellowship Church in inner-city Philadelphia, William “Duce” Branch also is a Christian rap artist. The group he co-founded, The Cross Movement, has received two Grammy nominations.
Tennessee attorney general says Bible classes OK

Tennessee schools can teach a nonsectarian academic class on the Bible without violating the U.S. Constitution or previous U.S. Supreme Court precedents, Tennessee’s attorney general says.
Donations of historical record expand GBC archives
Creationist Rebecca Morris selected as first GBC archivist

Georgia Baptist Convention Vice President for Operations Michael Williams introduced Rebecca E. Morris as the GBC archivist at the April 25 meeting of the Convention’s Historical Commission.
Evangelism Response Center aids seekers

Patricia Zimmerman, a 71-year-old widow in Arkansas, has led nearly 300 strangers to Christ. But the retired registered nurse and substitute teacher never had to leave her home in the heart of the Ozarks to do so.
A Christlike wuv

When our four-year-old granddaughter, Sydney, was in her terrible twos, she was getting on her mother’s last nerve. As Pam went after the wooden spoon that signaled a spanking, Sydney looked at her and said, “Mama, wuv is patient; wuv is kind.”
Georgia Baptist colleges hold spring commencements
Students at the three Georgia Baptist colleges are joining others around the state this spring in graduation services.
Police say rosaries are newest gang symbol, others call it a stretch

Never did Jaime Salazar imagine that wearing a rosarylike crucifix to school would provoke a national stir.
Woodstock's Johnny Hunt allows name to be placed as presidential nominee

Johnny M. Hunt, pastor of First Baptist Church, will be nominated as president of the Southern Baptist Convention in Indianapolis next month.
Survey: Unchurched prefer churchy buildings

People who don’t go to church may be turned off by a recent trend toward more utilitarian church buildings. By a nearly 2-to-1 ratio over any other option, unchurched Americans prefer churches that look more like a medieval cathedral than what most think of as a more contemporary church building.
Second Stan Wilkins benefit May 10

Gail Wilkins, the widow of longtime Georgia Baptist pastor Stan Wilkins, says her husband would be thrilled that two of his greatest passions now work together to spread the gospel.
End of General Assembly session
Legislative Update

The General Assembly has come to an end for another session. The lawmakers were able to agree on a twenty-one (21) plus billion-dollar state operations budget. Many long-time observers of the workings under the Gold Dome came away this year somewhat disappointed that more of what was promised did not make it through both chambers.
Connell, Fossett to be vice president nominees
Georgia Baptists to field four candidates in SBC elections
A Dalton evangelist and Savannah pastor will be nominated for key leadership positions at the Southern Baptist Convention to be held June 10-11.
Hitchens brothers agree to disagree on faith

Soon after the 2007 release of Christopher Hitchens’ best-selling atheist manifesto, “God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything,” another journalist took sharp issue with it – his brother, Peter Hitchens.
Embracing Ethnic diversity in Lilburn

It’s a long way culturally from Valdosta to Lilburn, but Ken Hall is proving that he and First Baptist Church know who made the road map that brought them together.

Georgia Newsbriefs

The Index now on Flickr, Facebook
As an added feature in covering the work of Georgia Baptists, The Index now has a home on the popular photo-sharing site Flickr as well as the social network Facebook.

Baptist News Summary

Prayer emphasis in SBC expands
Several prayer initiatives within the Southern Baptist Convention have been planned for the coming months.
Texas raid at religious compound prompted First Baptist ministry
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.
WMU names National Acteens Panelists
Woman’s Missionary Union has chosen six National Acteens Panelists based on their commitment and involvement in missions and Acteens, along with their leadership and involvement in their school, community, and church.
Court dismisses Kentucky Baptist church-state case
A federal court has dismissed a 10-year-old legal challenge brought by Kentucky taxpayers who questioned government funding of a Baptist social service agency.
Names in the News
Illness outbreak infects 100 IMB staff
The International Mission Board is working closely with local health officials following a norovirus outbreak that infected more than 100 people following the organization’s annual staff retreat April 22-23.
Tornado stories of Union students and faculty shared in upcoming book
A forthcoming book tells the story of the tornado that hit Union University Feb. 5 and includes stories from students and others who point to God’s care and protection that night.
20th annual Crossover enlisting volunteers for SBC meeting in June
For the 20th consecutive year, Southern Baptists’ “Crossover” will relay the gospel throughout the host city for June’s SBC annual meeting.

Religious Newsbriefs

Citizenship renewed for Jews that fled in 1968
Polish officials have announced that they will allow Jews who fled the country four decades ago to reclaim their Polish citizenship.
Iraqi youth turning against Islamic extremism
Constant violence in the name of Islam may be turning Iraqi youth against Islamic extremists, some observers in the country believe.
Judge rejects man's religious pot claim
Robert George Henry told a Pennsylvania judge April 16 that smoking marijuana is vital to his efforts to connect with God.
Projections place more worshippers in British mosques than Catholic churches
New research indicates that within the next 12 years, the number of Muslims worshipping at mosques in Britain will outstrip that of Roman Catholics attending traditional church services.

People and Places

Ministerial Moves
Revival Report

Cooperative Program Stories

From the outside in, a change of heart

At the first Christian Women’s Job Corps graduation, associational missionary Jimmy Blanton openly admitted he “cried like a baby.”

Bible Study

Be Ready to Forgive

Eph. 4:22-32; Phlm. 8-10, 15-18
Related Sunday School Lesson, Bible Studies for Life, May 25
Be Trustworthy

1 Sam. 18:1-4; 19:4-7; 20:10-13, 16-18
Related Sunday School Lesson, Bible Studies for Life, May 18


Ways to make guests feel unwelcome

Got too many people visiting your church? Need to do some things to discourage them from coming back a second time? Here are a list of ways to make guests feel unwelcome should they show up at your church or class.
The Open Door

Mother’s Day among Georgia Baptists is a very special day of worship and celebration of our mothers and the importance of the Christian home.
Physicians need to respect parents' authority

Is it helpful to condemn the world for being worldy?

I had given considerable thought to using this editorial page to write a scathing denunciation of Planned Parenthood. Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, acknowledged that her entire life’s purpose was to promote birth control.


Readers share their thoughts on creation care debate