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Issue Date: 2009-12-31
Volume: 188
Number: 28

News

Oral Roberts, dean of Pentecostal evangelists, dies at 91

Oral Roberts, the pioneering TV evangelist and faith healer who became the dean of America's Pentecostal preachers, died Dec. 15 at the age of 91.
Christians forgo Facebook for 'digital fasting'

In the world of faith-based social networking, evangelical Christian leader Mark Oestreicher commanded a huge chunk of cyberspace.
Missions buffeted by U.S., global economics

Jodi Nichols cries when she talks about it. Her husband Kevin says he would rather be hit with a baseball bat.
Revival grips Toccoa youth

Ebenezer Church student pastor Steve Paysen counts himself fortunate.
Tifton pastor Fred Evers elected chairman of GBC Executive Committee

Fred Evers, pastor of Northside Baptist Church in Tifton, was elected chairman of the Executive Committee at the Baptist Missions and Ministry Center Dec. 15.
China pastor gets 15 years in prison for media interviews
A Uyghur house church pastor in China's Xinjiang region has been sentenced to 15 years in prison - the most severe sentence possible - for granting media interviews outside of China.
Community support helps discipleship in Cartersville

An overflow response of students to the gospel has brought Georgia Baptists into providing follow-up materials to those wanting to grown in their faith.
Christian colleges get into the swing

Classes are done for the day. Meetings and work are winding down, and Facebook can provide a study break for only so long. So what's a restless Christian college student to do?
Congregations keep on giving, despite the recession
Despite the economic recession, a plurality of congregations reported an increase in donations in the first half of 2009, according to a study.
Religious toys more than play

On the first day of her introductory religion class at Merrimack College just north of Boston, professor Rebecca Sachs Norris put her students to work at having some fun.
Bobby Welch: Southern Baptists' ambassador-in-chief

With Southern Baptists no longer being a part of the Baptist World Alliance, Bobby Welch, former Southern Baptist Convention president and former pastor (for 32 years) of First Baptist Church of Daytona Beach, Fla., has helped the denomination write a new chapter in international relations.
Bell choir cancels concert when mall demands no religious songs

Sometimes, Phil Cockrell says, people just need to use common sense.

Baptist News Summary

Names in the News
Helen Driscoll, one of the first female graduates of New Orleans Seminary as well as a trailblazing Christian educator, has died at 93.
Child baptisms rise via missions education
Southern Baptist churches that have Royal Ambassadors (RAs) and Girls in Action (GAs) have a significantly higher child baptism rate than churches that do not, according to an analysis by the North American Mission Board.
Southern Baptist relief leaves imprint in Burkina Faso
When a catastrophic flood inundated half of Burkina Faso's capital, Ouagadougou, in early September, Baptist congregations in the city seized the opportunity to live out the love of Christ with their neighbors.
LifeWay leaders introduce 'Transformational Church'
During the 2009 SBC State Conventions' Summit, held Dec. 8-11 in Nashville, Tenn., LifeWay outlined its "Transformational Church" initiative, a multi-year project set to launch in mid-2010 with the release of "Transformational Church," a B&H Publishing Group book co-written by Ed Stetzer, director of LifeWay Research, and Thom Rainer, LifeWay's president and CEO.
Sichuan trauma counseling helps children - and teachers
Schoolchildren in China's Sichuan province - which was devastated by a massive earthquake 19 months ago - have new opportunities to experience full lives, thanks in part to a long-term development project assisted by Southern Baptists.
Appalachian Regional Ministry marks 10 years of partnership
Winding roads and switchback curves punctuated by tiny hamlets mark the landscape of Appalachia a 205,000-square-mile, mountainous stretch from Alabama to New York.
Guidestone: Patient investors buoyed by market gains
Despite turbulent financial markets in 2008 and early 2009, steady investing and an improving market have yielded significant gains to average account balances in GuideStone Financial Resrouces' 403(b) retirement plans from the markets' lows in March until the end of November, GuideStone Chief Operating Officer John R. Jones has noted.

Religious Newsbriefs

Jewish radical indicted in 2008 bomb attack that wounded son of Messianic pastor
An ultra-Orthodox Jewish nationalist has been indicted for a March 20, 2008, bombing that severely wounded the 15-year-old son of a Messianic pastor in Ariel, Israel.
New York churches apologize to Native Americans for treatment 'as a resource'
Four hundred years after their spiritual ancestors took part in the decimation and dislocation of Native Americans in New York, one of the nation's first Protestant churches held a "healing ceremony" to apologize.
UAE to appoint female religious scholars
The United Arab Emirates, a tiny, tradition-laced state in the Persian Gulf, will become the third Islamic country to appoint female muftis, religious scholars who have the power to issue fatwas and other religious decisions.
Somali extremists kill young Christian
Islamic extremists in Somalia tortured and executed a young Christian they accused of trying to convert a 15-year-old Muslim to Christianity, even though they found no evidence to support the charge

People and Places

Ministerial Moves
Honors
Fairview Baptist Church in Rossville honored Jim Bennett on Dec. 15 for seven years as pastor.
Ordinations
Shiloh Baptist Church in Fort Gaines ordained Rod Bulloch, Ernest Jenkins, and Hollis Smith as deacons Nov. 29. Phil Thomas is pastor.

Cooperative Program Stories

Helping create legacies

John Bryan was five years old when his father, 49, had a sudden heart attack and died at home. The youngest of five children, Bryan didn't grow up with a father who sat at the dinner table every evening or tossed a ball in the backyard.

Bible Study

Wrestling With Time

Eccl. 3:1-14
Related Sunday School Lesson, Bible Studies for Life, Jan 10
Wrestling With Injustice

Eccl. 3:16-17; 4:1; 8:2-13
Related Sunday School Lesson, Bible Studies for Life, Jan 17

Columns

Compromise

As a pastor I would occasionally have to compromise in order to keep my job or push forward my agenda.
Hormonal changes are start of tumultuous teen years

January 31, a day of prayer for the SBC

We live in unprecedented times, with Christian and moral foundations rapidly crumbling before our very eyes. Meanwhile, many Christian churches, which should be a mighty force ready to spread salt and light in this dark world, are unprepared.
Across Georgia in 2010

Evangelism Ministries of the Georgia Baptist Convention is asking these questions: "What if every Georgia Baptist church prayed and partnered together to saturate Georgia's communities with the seed of the Gospel using their unique gifts and resources? What if the sowing occurred simultaneously to maximize the possibility that every member of their communities would hear the Gospel?"

Letters

All of North America needs the Gospel

I like what Dr. White said about his support for NAMB and the Cooperative Program (Oct. 8 issue) and regarding language ministry and resort ministry.