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Issue Date: 2009-04-09
Volume: 188
Number: 8


Jordanian site commemorates Christ's baptism

The baptism of more than 120 Christian believers marked the dedication of a new Baptismal Center along the Jordan River in the region where most Christian scholars believe Jesus was baptized more than 2,000 years ago.
Church musician William J. Reynolds dies at 88
Composed more than 700 choral anthems, hymn tunes, and children's songs

William J. Reynolds, church musician, composer, arranger, editor, hymnologist, and distinguished professor emeritus of church music at Southwestern Seminary, died March 28. He was 88.
Norman Park experiences flooding amid heavy rains

Heavy rains March 28 flooded a building on the campus of the Georgia Baptist Convention Center at Norman Park, drawing volunteers in the cleanup effort.
Will Obama tax plan hurt charities, religious groups?

President Obama's proposed 2010 federal budget contains a 7 percent cut in charitable tax deductions for the nation's wealthiest taxpayers. Some religious groups are asking how that will affect their bottom line.
Presbyterians, Lutherans slash budgets

The Presbyterian Church (USA) and Evangelical Lutheran Church in America both have slashed their 2009 budgets, cutting programs and laying off scores of personnel as denominations continue to suffer from the recession.
Study: faith plays little role in Christian parenting

The vast majority of parents hope their children grow up to live good lives but, for many, parental success does not include faith in God - even among parents who are evangelical Christians, according to a new study from LifeWay Research, the research arm of LifeWay Christian Resources.
Lawmakers want higher fines for disrupting services

After a pro-gay group charged into an evangelical church shouting "Jesus was a homo," and "It's OK to be gay," more than two dozen Michigan lawmakers want to hike penalties for disrupting religious services.
Truett-McConnell welcomes Caner

The rain was torrential but the spirits were high March 26 as Truett-McConnell College installed Emir F. Caner as president of the Georgia Baptist-affiliated institution.
Movie posters with a holy edge

In the beginning, there was light. And soon after, there were movies.
Appeals court upholds moment of silence law

A federal appeals court on March 16 upheld a Texas law that requires public school students to observe a daily minute of silence following the Pledge of Allegiance.
David McKinley: determined to be a blessing
Warren Church in Augusta's new pastor shares his journey to Georgia

Few people could have a richer spiritual heritage than David McKinley, the pastor of Warren Baptist Church in Augusta. McKinley grew up in Memphis and proudly identifies himself as a product of Bellevue Baptist Church.
Refugees at risk in Sudan, expelled aid groups say
As many as 13 humanitarian aid groups are being expelled from Sudan after the International Criminal Court in The Hague issued an arrest warrant March 4 for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who is accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity in western Sudanís Darfur region.
2009 Committee on Nominations named
Georgia Baptist Convention President Bucky Kennedy announces that the following persons will serve on the 2009 Committee on Nominations:
Believing in things not seen
An Easter reflection

Last summer Michael Williams, vice president for operations for the Georgia Baptist Convention, and I hosted 46 individuals on a trip to Israel. Among those traveling with us was Ashley Evans of Florida, who was accompanied by her father, Tom, a member of First Baptist Church of Ellijay.
It's a wrap: Central, Americus member finishes 15 years playing Jesus

The room becomes quiet with an aura of wonder and respect as 57-year-old Americus native Ronnie Athon walks in.
89 new missionaries to go overseas
Valdosta couple among those commissioned

"We do not have lofty goals of world success," missionary Christine Moffett said. "Our desire is simply to live through Christ and to proclaim His message of grace and salvation."
Every child deserves a loving home

Research tells us that children from whom love is withheld not only fail to thrive but also struggle to become well-adjusted adults.
ESV Study Bible wins 'Christian Book of the Year' award

The ESV Study Bible has been named the "Christian Book of the Year" by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association, marking the first time the honor has been given to a study Bible.
They go 'round and 'round
Georgia Baptist pastors find ministry as bus drivers

Bi-vocational pastor Matt Gwinn's job is tough and the annual pay isn't that great.
Early church: 20-somethings closer than you think

Despite recent media reports that young adults are running from churches in droves, the beliefs of many younger unchurched people are more connected to historic Christian beliefs than many suspected.

Baptist News Summary

Salvadorans lead music workshop
The former concert master and principal violinist with the El Salvador National Orchestra and two other musicians from the Central American country were the featured speakers at the Missouri Baptist Convention's Instrumental Workshop Feb. 27-28.
Mississippi River Ministry surpasses 20,000 professions of faith
The Southern Baptist Mississippi River Ministry reached a new milestone: More than 20,000 people have made professions of faith in Christ since the outreach began in 1992.
North Carolina church members comfort families after shooting
A Southern Baptist congregation opened its doors to grieving community members March 29 after a gunman killed seven elderly residents and one staff member of a nursing home in Carthage, N.C.
Union wins 4th national title
Union University's Lady Bulldogs won their fourth NAIA Division I basketball title March 24, defeating Lambuth University 73-63.
Crossover '09 wants 'lasting impact'
Even storied, 135-year-old Churchill Downs - home of the Kentucky Derby - will be among the ministry venues as Southern Baptists engage in Crossover Louisville '09.
Black churches growing in SBC
As a growing minority within the Southern Baptist Convention, African American Southern Baptists are needed to play pivotal roles in reaching the world with the gospel, says David Cornelius, African American missional church strategist for the International Mission Board.
CP off 2009 budget by 2.17%
Year-to-date contributions through the Southern Baptist Convention's Cooperative Program are 3.72 percent below the same time last year but 2.17 percent off budget for 2009.
Mexico violence affects volunteers
Several Illinois Baptist churches and associations regularly send mission teams to work in Mexico each summer. This summer, however, a number of mission trips have been cancelled or changed due to rising violence from drug cartels and gangs on the Mexican side of the border.

Religious Newsbriefs

MIT to launch Dalai Lama spiritual center
A new think tank at one of the nation's leading universities for scientific research will soon bring Buddhist sensibilities to bear on a quest to explore "the ethical and humane dimensions of life."
Funeral held for 14th-century witch
The body of a 14th-century girl believed to have been decapitated as a witch and dumped into unconsecrated ground has been exhumed and given a proper burial in an English village church's graveyard.
Hindus block Charlie Chaplain statue
Hindu activists have blocked an effort to erect a statue of Charlie Chaplin, claiming that a monument to a non-Hindu so close to a temple was offensive.
Church can brew hallucinogenic tea
A church in Ashland, Ore., can import and brew a hallucinogenic tea for its religious services, under a federal court ruling issued March 19.

People and Places

Revival Reports
Ministerial Moves

Cooperative Program Stories

A block of wood to a building block of manhood

The right start is absolutely essential. Put your car on the track a little off-center and it could mean as much as Ĺ second shaved off the racing time. That could be all it takes to lose the race.

Bible Study

True Witness or Wishful Thinkers

Acts 1:4-8, 2:1-4, 12-16
Related Sunday School Lesson, Bible Studies for Life, April 19
Savior: Accept or Reject

Acts 2:22-24, 32-36, 37-41
Related Sunday School Lesson, Bible Studies for Life, April 26


Maybe you need to go to a funeral this Easter

I have attended a lot of funerals in my lifetime. I have been a pallbearer on a few occasions. I have preached hundreds of funerals across almost 50 years of ministry, including the funeral of one on my grandmothers and funerals for my mom, dad, and sister.
An invitation to Louisville

I would like to encourage all my fellow Southern Baptists to join me at our annual meeting June 23-24 in Louisville, Ky.
Too much pressure on kids is counterproductive to success

The Open Door

In his book, "The Body: Being Light in Darkness," Charles Colson, with Ellen Santilli Vaughn, tells the story of Nowa Huta, or "New Town," a community in Poland that was originally designed to be a center for the workers who would make up the backbone of the new Poland.


Seeking truth in membership numbers

I read with interest the Annual Church Profile for the GBC in the March 26th edition of The Christian Index.