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Issue Date: 2008-09-25
Volume: 187
Number: 20

News

Elvis' boyhood church reopens

The simple wood chapel 110 miles southeast of Memphis, Tenn., is no Crystal Cathedral. But the East Tupelo (Miss.) First Assembly of God building had a greater impact on 20th-century music than any of America’s gilded megachurches.
Holiness camps still draw a crowd

The rains came.
Georgia Baptists in action at summer Olympics

If there is one thing Sara Boren remembers about her trip to this summer’s Olympic Games in Beijing, it’s the smiling faces that crowded around her everyplace she went.
'The Hitchhiker' shares gospel one highway at a time

He’s “J.L.” on his business card. His wife calls him “Mac.” Some friends call him “James,” although he often forgets to stand up when he’s introduced as James. But he’s best known simply as “The Hitchhiker,” especially among Southern Baptists in California.
An opportunity to hear

When Dr. White called me in January of 2003 and asked me to pray about becoming the editor of The Christian Index I was blessed, but astounded that I would ever be considered the for this position. I had been a pastor for forty-one years and had assumed that I would be the pastor of Eastside Baptist Church in Marietta until I retired or God called me home.
Survivors recount terror in Orissa, India
A Christian woman told of her husband being cut to pieces before her eyes.
GBC Executive Committee recommends 'course correction' for 2009 budget

Dan Spencer, pastor of First Baptist Church of Thomasville and chairman of the GBC Cooperative Program Budget Committee, presented the 2009 budget to the Executive Committee Sept. 16 and explained that a “course correction” was necessary for the next fiscal year.
400 goats visit Golden Gate Seminary

Four hundred goats descended on the verdant hillsides of Golden Gate Seminary in July, cutting the grass as well as the seminary’s costs for landscaping staff.
'Untouchable' Christians push for protection

Franklin Caesar Thomas was one of India’s millions of unlucky souls, born into a Dalit, or outcast, family that is the lowest of the low in this nation’s rigid caste system.
Southern Baptists' views of Scripture studied

Research from two studies by LifeWay Research indicates a disconnect between Southern Baptist pastors’ view of Scripture and people in their pews.
Gardening a way to teach, pass on life lessons

Lots of people cry around onions, but for Steve Tierce, it’s okra that gets him a little choked up.
LifeWay follow-up poll examines hot topics in SBC
New research into several questions that often dominate Southern Baptist debates – from the rise of Calvinism and prevalence of elders in congregations to speaking in tongues and baptism practices – offers some hard numbers to inform those discussions.
Churches try to meet needs of autistic kids

On Sunday mornings at Damascus Road Community Church, when the children are dismissed from the sanctuary for Sunday school, another set of children and adults head to “The Haven.”
Blackshear Place celebrates a great summer harvest

Nearly five months ago Pastor Jeff Crook challenged the people of Blackshear Place Baptist Church in Flowery Branch to work and witness toward reaching and baptizing 100 people in 100 days this summer. It was not the first time this challenge had been extended to the Hall County congregation.
'Fireproof' to debut on 800 screens
60 Georgia theaters among this weekend’s national release

When “Fireproof” opens this weekend in 800 theaters nationwide, more people will hear the gospel outside the four walls of Sherwood Baptist Church in one night than they ever would at its location on Whispering Pines Road.
Megachurches are growing, but in different ways

Megachurches – known for their big buildings, big schools, and big crowds – continue to grow, but a new study detects shifts expansion methods.

Georgia Newsbriefs

Gray becomes first executive director of Texas foundation
Johnathan Gray, director of development for Central Georgia in the Georgia Baptist Foundation, has resigned to become the first executive director of the newly formed Southern Baptists of Texas Convention Foundation.
Mary Moore joins The Index as graphic artist
Longtime Southern Baptist graphic artist Mary Moore has joined The Index production team. Moore, a Memphis native, was named graphic designer in early June and began her responsibilities in mid-July.

Baptist News Summary

WMU launches Korean-English resources
A language barrier to missions education in Korean Baptist churches is being tackled by Woman’s Missionary Union and Texas WMU.
Southern Baptist prays at RNC
With confetti falling and balloons popping, delegates at the Republican National Convention Sept. 4 settled down long enough for nominee John McCain’s pastor, a Southern Baptist, to deliver the closing prayer.
Names in the News
Media notes Baptist disaster relief
Some mainstream media outlets have given Southern Baptists a chance to explain their motivation for leaving home to help people in great distress along the Texas coastline following Hurricane Ike.
Evangelism front and center Oct. 5
“Who’s in Your Wallet?” is the theme of this year’s Soul-Winning Commitment Day, which will be observed throughout the Southern Baptist Convention on Sunday, Oct. 5. The annual day is sponsored by the North American Mission Board.
IMB trustees vote for reorganization
International Mission Board trustees have approved the most extensive strategic changes in a decade to help Southern Baptist missionaries and churches reaching the world’s lost peoples?
In Denver, Baptists aid first responders
Southern Baptist volunteers prepared meals for city, state, and national personnel attending the Democratic National Convention.

Religious Newsbriefs

Israel authorities begin digital conservations for Internet database of Dead Sea Scrolls
Sixty years after the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Israeli authorities have begun the process of conserving the ancient parchments through digital technology.
Man petitions over conversion rules in will
An Illinois man has petitioned the state supreme court to weigh in on a clause in his father’s will that disinherits grandchildren who marry non-Jewish spouses.
Court affirms limits on funeral protests
A federal appeals court has upheld an Ohio law that limits picketing at funerals, rejecting an appeal by Westboro Baptist Church, an anti-gay Kansas congregation that has held protests across the country.
Scientology to face court trial in France
The Church of Scientology and seven of its members will be tried for fraud and other allegations in a groundbreaking case that could lead to a ban on the church’s operations in France, legal sources cited by local media say.

People and Places

Honors
New Starts
Notes retired
Ordinations
Revivals
Ministerial Moves

Cooperative Program Stories

Drawing a net that works

When students from Columbus gathered this month for a DNow weekend -– a three-day intensive discipleship event – it was truly a city wide affair. With 19 churches participating, students had a high quality worship and teaching experience that no one church could have done by itself.

Bible Study

Everyone is Lost in Sin

Rom. 1:18-25, 28-32; 3:9-10
Related Sunday School Lesson, Bible Studies for Life, Oct 5
God Loves Sinners

Rom. 5:6-19
Related Sunday School Lesson, Bible Studies for Life, Oct 12

Columns

Boy's reading trouble has developmental explanation

Trustees are accountable to Billy and Betty Baptist

Every year the national Southern Baptist Convention and its state conventions elect trustees to oversee the work and operations of their various institutions and agencies.
The Open Door

You may not be aware that I grew up in the home of a Southern Baptist pastor in Montgomery, Alabama.

Letters

Religious freedom in China?

The authors of your recent article, “The Church, and its freedom, varies across China,” made it clear that the freedoms and places of worship vary greatly in China. They also made the distinction between registered churches and unregistered.