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Issue Date: 2008-07-31
Volume: 187
Number: 16


Growing churches in Clayton County
Decade-long transition challenges established congregations

Many churches in Clayton County are facing significant challenges primarily due to the decade-long transition from a generally Anglo, mid-to-upper class community to a mixed, lower-economic class community which includes Anglos, African-Americans, Latinos, and Asians.
Gay man sues publishers over Bible verses
A gay man is suing two heavyweight Christian publishers, claiming their versions of the Bible that refer to homosexuality as a sin violate his constitutional rights and have caused him emotional pain and mental instability.
Laurens Association and others sponsor first area sports camp as supplement to VBS

Sports and salvation came together as leaders from Laurens Baptist Association, New Vision Fellowship Church, and Fellowship of Christian Athletes led a sports camp May 27-30. Nearly 500 children attended the event, the first of its kind in the area.
Seminarian traces family's unspoken role in slavery

Katrina Browne was in seminary when she got the letter. Written by her grandmother, it revealed an ugly secret: Her family’s wealth, Ivy League diplomas, and social affluence all stemmed from the slave trade.
Battling booze in Butler

The Georgia primary election results were somewhat predictable. I suppose the most visible contest was the Democrats’ race for the United States Senate seat. Vernon Jones and Jim Martin vanquished three first-time candidates and will face each other in an August 5 runoff.
Churches get creative in helping offset gas prices

At St. Stephen Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky., the 14,000-member congregation billed itself as a “seven-day-a-week” hub of activity, with choir practices, ministry meetings, or small groups scheduled nightly.
Two-way Communication

A number of years ago CB radios were all the rage. There was a lingo that went along with using a CB. One of the things that might be said to you was, “Do you have your ears on?” Translated, that means, “Are you listening?” Now you can’t really listen unless you are tuned in.
Index looking to speak to churches that podcast
Has your church jumped into the world of podcasting and videocasting?
Blind, but seeing a sense of urgency
Dalton nursing home resident a constant witness

Before the gentleman even walked into room 309B at Quinton Memorial Health Care and Rehabilitation Center in Dalton, he was aware of Mazell Holt and her penchant for asking people if they were a Christian.
Tattooed neo-Nazi met Jesus in prison

Seventeen years of prison and a lifetime of hate, violence, and racism is mapped on Steven Neill’s body.
Josh Hamilton: From heroin to home run hero

As Major League Baseball showcased its stars in famed Yankee Stadium July 15, the player who emerged from the All-Star break as the biggest star of all, Texas Ranger outfielder Josh Hamilton, spent most of his time pointing to someone greater than himself.
Looking back ... and looking forward
Royal Ambassadors celebrates 100 years

At 100 years old, Royal Ambassadors (RAs), Southern Baptists’ missions education organization for boys, isn’t content simply to look back nostalgically at the past; it is also looking forward expectantly to the future.
Dads create clean Christian version of MySpace

About a year ago, Randall Brown started looking for a safe place for kids to hang out.
Cancer fight didn't deter missionary's call

Theresa Thompson never did anything half-hearted. Not even dying.
Alleged scandel in New Orleans not tied to Baptist rebuild effort

In a city too often known for scandal and financial wrongdoing, Southern Baptists want to be sure no one confuses their ongoing Operation NOAH (New Orleans Area Hope) Rebuild ministry with a city-affiliated agency that has been accused of misappropriating housing funds.
Pastor launches 'Gossip Free' campaign

A Michigan pastor is urging people to go “Gossip Free” for at least eight days starting on 8-8-08, but said it’s never too early to stop listening to or sharing idle chatter at home, work, or especially church.

Georgia Newsbriefs

Former IMB missionary Jenkins named to lead Western Baptist Association
Wayne Jenkins began service June 1 as the new associational missionary for Western Baptist Association.

Baptist News Summary

Baptists' gifts to Union pass $3 million
Total giving from Southern Baptist churches and entities has topped $3 million for Union University’s recovery from a Feb. 5 tornado that destroyed much of the housing and caused major damage to other academic buildings at the Jackson, Tenn., campus.
Fifty years marked in New England
The Baptist Convention of New England is making plans to celebrate 50 years of Southern Baptist work in the region and 25 years of state convention status as part of its annual meeting this fall.
Inmates relay gratitude for study plan
Quite a few letters from inmates arrive at Pam Stubblefield’s desk.
Names in the News
Baptists finishing final houses on Mississippi Gulf
Although thousands of Baptist volunteers have come and gone from the Mississippi Gulf Coast since Hurricane Katrina’s onslaught in late August 2005, many more people and groups had good intentions to come and help but never made the trip for one reason or another.
Campers escape injury in NGU storm
About 900 teenagers and camp staff narrowly escaped injury when severe storms struck the campus of North Greenville University July 21.
Texas pastor promotes foster care
Russell Rogers is a pastor with a passion for encouraging church families to adopt or provide foster care for displaced children.

Religious Newsbriefs

Taliban apologizes for kidnapping Christians
Two days after 16 Pakistani Christians living at a former Islamic seminary and their Muslim landlord were kidnapped by elements of the Taliban, the local director of the extremist group publicly apologized for it.
Report: Religious giving tops $100 billion in 2007, more than half of donations
Giving to religious charities and congregations passed the $100 billion mark for the first time in 2007, according to a recent report by the Giving USA Foundation.
ACLU sues to get eagle feathers of Native American inmate serving time for murder
A Native American prisoner who was denied the eagle feathers he needed to practice his religious rites will be represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in a suit against the Wyoming State Penitentiary in Rawlins.
Beijing police beat, evict Christian activist and family as US congressmen visit
As two U.S. congressmen wrapped up a human rights fact-finding visit to China during the run-up to the Olympic Games, officers of Beijing’s Public Security Bureau broke down the door of a Christian activist’s apartment, beat his family, and forcibly evicted them.

People and Places

Ministerial Moves
Revival Report

Cooperative Program Stories

Having a bed ready
Penfield building more space to reclaim men

It took 13 years to make it to the top of his career. It took about 13 seconds to lose it all.

Bible Study

A Faithful Life

Heb. 2:14-18; 3:1,5-14
Related Sunday School Lesson, Bible Studies for Life, Aug. 10
A Maturing Life

Heb. 5:11 – 6:12
Related Sunday School Lesson, Bible Studies for Life, Aug. 17


Some older pastors: like a cut and polished diamond

Pastor search committees (PSCs) have never called me to ask my opinion about the kind of requirements they should establish for pastoral candidates, but believe it or not I do have an opinion about that issue.
The Open Door

I came across some very interesting information on AOL this week. I have always had an interest in reading anything related to astronomy. I agree totally with the Psalmist when he wrote, “The heavens declare the glory of God.”
Raising healthy, loving kids is a father's greatest challenge

Conservative or Revolutionary

Francis Schaeffer, Christian theologian and philosopher and founder of the L’Abri community, once wrote, “Most Christian leaders try to plead with people to maintain the conservative position without realizing that the conservative position means the majority position or the generally accepted position, and Christians no longer hold the majority position. We who hold to historic Christianity are now an absolute minority.”


Thanks for biblical integrity

Thank you for publishing David Roach’s article on John Killinger’s messages to the CBF General Assembly in your July 3 issue. You serve Georgia Baptists in sharing how our brothers and sisters in the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship are being influenced under the banner of “sharing ideas.”
Appreciation for members, leaders of All State Choir

As director of missions for the Finger Lakes Baptist Association, I want to take this opportunity to thank Georgia Baptists for the ministry and mission efforts of the Georgia Baptist Youth All State Choir an Orchestra. I especially want to thank and commend Keith Chandler, Georgia Baptist Music consultant, who led and coordinated the All State project.
Please discontinue Catholic stories

Once again I see The Christian Index giving space to articles that pertain to the Roman Catholic Church (July 17, page 8, “Cleaning St. Peter’s …”). I strongly object to this.
Saving lives despite tragedy

Thank you for publishing the article about Chris Tyler. He was a very close friend to my husband, Chad. We loved him very much and still miss him and think about him all of the time. It is good to know that in the midst of tragedy, people’s lives were saved.
Church needs strong biblical clarity

The comments of John Townsend in the July 3 Forum were of great interest.
Getting back to building up needed in SBC

I was recently disturbed by an article in The Index that quotes several “authorities” saying that the Southern Baptist Convention is declining numerically and effectively. I was disturbed because I cannot take issue with those conclusions; I do believe that there is a decline in what we once recognized as the SBC.