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Issue Date: 2009-05-07
Volume: 188
Number: 10

News

No place to go
Whitfield County churches helping homeless, hurting students amid economic downturn

To Jennifer Schneider, it's not much. A can of chili. A box of cereal. A jug of milk. To the family, though, it's more. A lot more.
Gage crusade 'exceeds expectations' in Waycross

Rick Gage's Southeast Georgia Go Tell Crusade April 19-22 drew more than 16,000 people to Waycross Memorial Stadium and resulted in 1,140 spiritual decisions for Christ with 673 professions of faith.
For churches, a right and wrong way to hire and fire

As many congregations grapple with declining contributions, some faith communities are following the lead of cash-strapped corporations by laying off employees.
SBC missions giving rises, baptisms drop
Denomination baptizes fewest number since 1987

Southern Baptists gave 2.3 percent more to missions last year despite the economic downturn, but they lost members and baptized the fewest number of people since 1987, according to the denomination's Annual Church Profile, the yearly statistical report compiled by LifeWay Christian Resources in conjunction with 42 Baptist state conventions.
Great Commission Resurgence gains traction
NAMB Board Chairman Tim Patterson calls for merger of IMB and his Alpharetta-based agency.
A declaration released by SBC President Johnny Hunt calling for a "Great Commission Resurgence" among Southern Baptists has drawn more than 1,500 signatures since it was posted April 27 at www.greatcommissionresurgence.com.
GuideStone Property and Casualty gaining momentum

The GuideStone Property and Casualty Program, launched last November and now available in 33 states, is gaining momentum as a risk management solution for Southern Baptist churches and ministries.
NAMB chairman proposes IMB merger
Patterson said he has seen the organization "at its best and worst"

As Southern Baptists ponder the implications of Woodstock First Baptist Church pastor Johnny's Hunt's declaration for a "Great Commission Resurgence," (see page 3), one denominational leader has gone on record with a surprising admission of his own.
GBC restructures Discipleship and Family Ministries

The need to help Georgia Baptist churches develop a stronger discipleship ministry in concert with Sunday School and evangelism has resulted in a restructuring of the state convention's Discipleship and Family Ministries unit.
Moldovan Christians ask for continued prayers following riots

An uneasy calm has continued over the capital city here following rioting early last month, but the head of the Moldova Baptist Union is asking for Christians around the world to continue to pray for the country.
'LoveLoud' - match words with deeds, SBC theme urges
Actions do speak louder than words - and Johnny Hunt believes it's time a lost world sees Southern Baptists match their words with love in action.
Rescue offers a second chance to Bible's hardest workers

When Jesus traveled to Jerusalem, the New Testament says, he arrived on a donkey. And when Abraham, the biblical Patriarch of the Old Testament, prepared to sacrifice his son, Isaac, he first loaded up a donkey.
Convention highlights
Among the highlights of the annual meeting:
Index garners three awards in annual competition
Diane Reasoner Award created in memory of GBC communications pioneer

The Christian Index was recognized for exceptional contributions to Southern Baptist journalism during the 2009 awards competition held April 17 here.
For financial guru Dave Ramsey, sour economy has an upside

In a gloom-and-doom economy, Christian financial guru Dave Ramsey fashions himself as a prophet of hope.
Promise Keepers invites women to 2009 gathering

Promise Keepers, the evangelical ministry known for its focus on making men better fathers and husbands, is inviting women for the first time to its main 2009 conference, the ministry announced.
Katharyn Richt
Preseason and postseason #1-ranked mom

Katharyn Richt, wife of University of Georgia head football coach Mark Richt, is one of the most visible and notable women in Georgia.
Church historians provide an important link to the past

Aristotle, the Greek philosopher, mused, "If you would understand anything, observe its beginning and its development."
Foes: Hate crimes bill could target churches

Legislation to extend hate crimes protections to homosexuals and transgendered individuals could severely restrict religious freedom, foes of the proposal said April 28 as they sought to rally opposition.

Religious Newsbriefs

Joseph's Tomb damaged by vandals
Joseph's Tomb, the traditional burial place of the biblical patriarch Joseph, has again been vandalized, according to Israeli authorities.
Survey says immigration leads to more Muslim than Protestant teens in Canada
More teenagers in Canada identify themselves as Muslim than with the Anglican, Baptist, and United churches combined, according to a recent survey.
Brits snap up 'de-baptism' forms
A secular organization in Britain that backs an atheist ad campaign on London's buses is now producing "certificates of de-baptism" for people wishing to renounce their Christian faith - and claims it is getting thousands of takers.
Israelis, Palestinians run 'peace marathon'
Former Italian volleyball world champion Andrea Zorzi was one of 50 Italian runners who joined about 100 Israelis and Palestinians in the sixth annual Pope John Paul II Peace Marathon on April 23 that concluded in Jerusalem.

People and Places

Obituaries
Honors
Licensing/ordinations
Ministerial Moves
Revival Reports

Cooperative Program Stories

Expanding territory
WMU seeking more opportunities for ministry

The annual Georgia Woman's Missionary Union meeting was marked by growth and a promising future in both mission education and mission action.

Bible Study

Abigail: Living with a Difficult Husband

1 Samuel 25:2-3, 18-19, 23-31, 36-38, 39b
Related Sunday School Lesson, Bible Studies for Life, May 17
Barnabas: The Man Who Encouraged Others

Acts 4:36-37, 9:26-28; 11:19-26; 13:14-15, 42-43
Related Sunday School Lesson, Bible Studies for Life, May 24

Columns

Weapons of mass distraction

It was interesting to see how the media covered the Tax Day Tea Parties last month. The nationwide turnout was estimated to be more than a million by one source and as low as 311,460 by another.
Single mom feeling anxious about kids' summer vacation

Teenagers... baptism's missing link

All who love our denomination are distressed by the nominal number of baptisms being registered year after year. In spite of our best intentions and high-profile promotions, the numbers remain dismal, about the same as fifty years ago.
The Open Door

The Spring 2009 edition of the Baptist Mobile Health Ministry, Inc. newsletter, recently reported an unusually outstanding year of ministry in 2008.

Letters

Looking for Christ in the marketplace

I recently watched an episode of Extreme Makeover on CMT. It was an incredible story of a single lady who adopted children who were HIV positive.