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Issue Date: 2009-08-13
Volume: 188
Number: 18


Examples of living proof
Fayette County church makes its mark publicly

Scott Smith used to be a runner.
A VBS that could be the beginning of a new church

Blackshear Place Baptist Church knows nothing of relaxing their evangelism efforts in the hazy, lazy days of summer.
Diggin' it
First Shorter archeological trip yields discovery

Alan Hix hopes a recent find in Israel leads Shorter College students to see archeology as more than Indiana Jones motifs, but as a viable glimpse into the past.
Georgian Phil Wilkes
ministers in the seedbed of American history

New Colony Baptist Church, where Atlanta native Phil Wilkes serves as pastor along with his wife Sue, is a thriving church in the heart of New England Catholic country.
CP giving among Great Commission Task Force members' churches ranges from 1 to 18 percent

During the recent Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) annual meeting in Louisville, Ky., messengers voted to approve a Great Commission Task Force.
China cracks down on human rights lawyers
Chinese authorities have closed a legal research center in Beijing and revoked the licenses of more than 50 attorneys in what some observers says is a bid to exert greater control over human rights activists.
GCR website goes live at
A website encouraging support for the Southern Baptist Convention's Great Commission Resurgence Task Force has been launched at
Christmas in August supports NAMB missionaries

Thanks to members of WMU missions organizations, Christmas continues to come early for North American missionaries.
Will the real Christmas in August please stand up?

Ladies and gentlemen, tonight's guests on "To Tell the Truth" are two missionaries ministering in completely different parts of the world yet serving on identical assignments. One is dressed in traditional Western clothing common in the United States while the other is wearing an interesting wardrobe that is more at home in Cairo, Egypt than Cairo, Georgia.
Brewton-Parker providing online options for classes
Non-traditional students needing ministry education but hampered by work and family responsibilities have some help courtesy of Brewton-Parker College.

Baptist News Summary

Texas church pays families' bills
During challenging economic times, First Baptist Church in Katy, Texas has decided to give 5 percent ($150,000) of its undesignated receipts to a benevolence ministry aimed at helping people stay afloat when ends don't quite meet.
Second victim of church bus crash dies
Maggie Lee Henson, a 12-year-old girl who was pinned under a church bus when it crashed near Meridian, Miss., died Aug. 2 after struggling three weeks with severe head injuries and brain trauma.
CP down 2.69%; off '09 budget by 2.65%
Year-to-date contributions through the Southern Baptist Convention's Cooperative Program are 2.69 percent below the same time frame last year and 2.65 percent off budget for 2009, according to a news release from SBC Executive Committee President and Chief Executive Officer Morris H. Chapman.

Religious Newsbriefs

Georgia to allow headscarves in courtrooms
Georgia court officials unanimously voted on July 27 to allow individuals to wear religious head coverings in state courtrooms.
Fiji bans massive Methodist hymn-sing
Fiji's military government has banned a massive annual hymn-singing contest and church conference out of fears that the crowd of some 10,000 singing Methodists could destabilize the strife-torn nation.
In sharp contrast to the general public, only one-third of scientists believe in God
Only a third of scientists say they believe in God, according to a new survey, and while 18 percent believe in a high power, four in 10 scientists believe in neither.
Abstinence, mosque construction among U.S.-funded religious programs in Africa, Iraq
he federal government used taxpayer dollars to rebuild mosques in Iraq and teach Bible-based abstinence in Africa, violating a prohibition on funding "inherently religious activities," according to a recent audit of the U.S. Agency of International Development (USAID).

People and Places

Ministerial Moves

Cooperative Program Stories

Stepping up

This fall, 29 outstanding college freshmen will receive scholarships through the Georgia Baptist Student Achievement Award program.

Bible Study

Will You Remain Faithful?

Matt. 26:36-46; 1 Peter 4:12-14, 19
Bible Studies for Life, Aug 30
Are You Running from God's Will?

Jonah 1:1-3,17; 3:1-5,10; 4:5-11
Bible Studies for Life, Aug 23


Men must be brought out of their shells, encouraged to talk

Peace talks at a Beer Summit

Drinking alcoholic beverages is nothing new for occupants of the White House.
Should we rename Sunday School?

I responded recently to a question that went something like this: "Our Sunday School needs to be revitalized, so we're thinking about changing the name. What do you think?" Here is the essence of my response:
The Open Door

What do the following ministries have in common: Church Planting, Language, Evangelism, Mission Volunteers, Associational Missions, Area Missionaries, Regional State Missionaries, Disaster Relief, New Ministers' Orientation, Ministerial Relief, Sunday School and Open Group, Discipleship, Children, Youth, Men's, Women's, Music and Worship, Leadership, Public Affairs, Collegiate, Church Minister Relations, Conference Centers, and much more?


Different view of Calvinism

I am writing to address Fred Gilder's letter in the July 16 issue of The Index. He seems to suggest that five point Calvinists do not believe John 3:16. This is totally untrue.
Heresy to one is not heresy to all

I am writing in response to the letter from pastor George Owens titled "Call heresy 'heresy', no matter the speaker."
Let's tone down the Calvinistic rhetoric

In the July 30 issue of The Index, George Owens, in agreement with Fred Gilmer from the issue before, sounded an alarm concerning the number of Calvinists in the SBC. Both men spoke of those who say "that the blood of Jesus was not shed for all of mankind," a reference, I take it, to the Reformed doctrine of limited or definite atonement.
All standards equal?

I saw an article in a sister Baptist state publication that introduced the original 23 members of the Great Commission Task Force (GCTF) recently appointed by Johnny Hunt, president of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Be willing to change the presentation without compromising the message

I am a pastor of a traditional Baptist church and I was saddened by the article on the front of the last Christian Index declaring that our convention was in decline. I feel very strongly that a majority of our problems leading to the decline stems from the lack of willingness to change.
Appreciation for SHOR Ministries

Sometime in the last six months my wife and I received an invitation to attend a personal retreat in St. Augustine, Fla. The three-day retreat was sponsored by SHOR Ministries, founded by Charlie and Suzanne Grisby of Memphis, Tenn.