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Issue Date: 2005-01-20
Volume: 184
Number: 2


Georgia pastor called to represent God, state
Brother Keown goes to Atlanta

Mike Keown, pastor of First Newark Baptist Church, is now serving as a representative in the state legislature. While some self-proclaimed champions of the separation of church and state may look askance at a preacher in politics, others see it as altogether right and proper.
Historic Bible nearby, if Bush chooses it

WASHINGTON - Four years ago, a 234-year-old red goatskin-covered Bible sat inside the Capitol awaiting the moment George W. Bush would take the oath of office for his first term as president. If Bush had used that Bible, he would have joined Presidents George Washington, Warren Harding, Dwight Eisenhower, Jimmy Carter and his own father, George H.W. Bush, in placing his hand on it.
Challenges await tsunami relief workers
Physical and spiritual needs

DALLAS (BP) - State Baptist convention disaster relief directors are working with the International Mission Board to coordinate the volunteer response for the tsunami crisis. The North American Mission Board helps field requests for assistance based on their experience in coordinating state volunteers responding to national disasters. The two boards will coordinate the work of volunteers in two-week stints over the next three to four months.
How have Southern Baptists responded?
Gifts from churches now total $2.7 million
Here are some answers to questions many Southern Baptists are asking about the Asian tsunami disaster and how they can respond.
Lilburn church receives national exposure following Christmas break-in, suffers second theft a month later

A Lilburn church that received national media attention following the pre-Christmas theft of toys being collected for the Georgia Baptist Children's Homes was vandalized again in early January.
Resurrection of pastor witnessed at Troup County Associational meeting
"Revival" interrupts pastors' Christmas gathering

LaGRANGE - Baptist pastors like to preach about resurrection. On a rainy night before Christmas, they saw it happen.
Hamrick to be nominated as president of GBC
Wayne Hamrick will be nominated as president of the Georgia Baptist Convention when it meets in annual session in November in Columbus.
Tentmaker missionary sculpts churches from barren landscape
Annie Armstrong Week of Prayer to be observed March 6-13

PAVILLION, Wyo. - With the deft skill of a trained artisan, Terrell O'Brien selects a sculpting tool and places it on the subject. As he cuts here, smoothes there, adds clay or takes it away, the design begins to take shape.

Georgia Newsbriefs

Cox Cable Macon adds FamilyNet into faith and family values package
FamilyNet television joined Cox Cable in Macon Dec. 14 as part of the cable carrier's Digital faith and Values Tier. FamilyNet can now be seen by customers in the communities of Macon, Warner Robins and Kathleen.
Applications being accepted for Augusta region ministry resource consultant
The Regional Concept Strategy Focus Team is beginning the process of securing a new ministry resource consultant for the East Central Region, based in Augusta. John Bryan resigned from the position to accept the pastorate at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church in Atlanta.
Avant, Yarbrough accept positions with NAMB
John Avant, pastor of New Hope Baptist Church in Fayetteville, has accepted a position with the North American Mission Board as vice president of evangelization.

Baptist News Summary

LifeWay to host seminars, co-sponsor Crossover during SBC annual meeting
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) - Messengers to the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention this June in Nashville, Tenn., will have opportunities to attend intensive ministry training sessions and participate in an unprecedented door-to-door evangelistic effort.
Names in the News
LifeWay aids Hispanic churches with print & online resources
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) - LifeWay has responded to the growing need for Spanish-language curriculum and discipleship resources, offering more than 50 product lines. These include age-graded Sunday School curricula, Beth Moore studies, Experiencing God resources, Vacation Bible School literature and a variety of music - all available in the United States at or by calling LifeWay at 1(800) 458-2772.
WMU helping to provide safe water, financial support for tsunami victims
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP) - Woman's Missionary Union is sending more than $37,000 worth of water purification equipment to Indonesia to help provide clean water to those affected by the devastating tsunami.
Public school critics get scant support from state Baptist conventions
(RNS) Only one state convention affiliated with Southern Baptists passed a resolution last fall criticizing public schools, but leaders of an effort to move Christians away from public education say they will continue to press their cause.

Religious Newsbriefs

Jewish, Muslim groups react to report of rising anti-Semitism in Europe
WASHINGTON (RNS) - A U.S. State Department report to Congress detailing a rising number of incidents of anti-Semitism in Europe is being applauded by U.S. Jewish groups as an important example of American leadership.

Muslim groups, however, are disappointed that the report correlated the problem with Europe's rising Muslim population.

Poll: Americans go to church more regularly, interpret the Bible more literally than Canadians
TORONTO (RNS) - In surveys of more than 1,000 adults conducted last month in both Canada and the United States, Gallup gave respondents a choice of three options to describe their beliefs: The Bible is the actual word of God and is to be taken literally; the Bible is the inspired word of God but not everything in it should be taken literally; or the Bible is an ancient book of fables, legends, history and moral precepts recorded by humans.
Gridiron vet Les Steckel to lead Fellowship of Christian Athletes
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP) - Former NFL and college football coach Les Steckel has been selected as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes' new president/CEO.
Funds from Fellowship of Christians and Jews beef up Israeli security
(RNS) - Funds from the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews provided 86 metal detector-gates and six X-ray machines for Israel's transportation system, according to Gideon Ezra, Israel's minister of public security.

People and Places

New Orleans Seminary awards degrees to nine graduates with Georgia ties
New Orleans Seminary awarded degrees to nine graduates with Georgia ties in its commencement services held Dec. 18.
Southern graduates six with Georgia ties
Six graduates of Southern Seminary with Georgia ties received degrees from the Louisville, Ky. school during commencement exercises Dec. 10.

Those receiving degrees were:

Ministerial Moves
Eleven students with Georgia ties graduate from Southeastern
Eleven students with Georgia ties graduated from Southeastern Seminary during the school's Fall 2004 commencement ceremonies held Dec. 18 in Wake Forest, N.C. Among those graduating were:

Cooperative Program Stories

Busting down the doors for YEC 2004
Students experience connections at Youth Evangelism Conference

Television stars, football players and award-winning bands headlined the annual Youth Evangelism Conference at the Macon Coliseum the week after Christmas.

Bible Study

Intentional Christianity: Avoid Alcohol & Drug Abuse

These statistics are staggering. But our consideration should not end with just looking at figures. We must ponder what the Bible has to say, for only it will lead us in the path of true wisdom.
God's Tough Love: If God Really Loves Me ...

When individuals are asked to describe God, often they describe a "Santa Claus" type of figure or a grandfatherly individual. Usually these descriptions highlight the qualities of God's kindness and gentleness, which surely do exist. But while God is kind and gentle, He is also much more. His personality and character go far deeper than these qualities alone.


Southern Baptists: Almost Ubiquitous

I am happy to be a Georgia Baptist and Southern Baptist. Our denomination is a balm - a fragrant ointment or aromatic oil for healing. Our denomination is a light - a beacon, a ray of hope, shining in a dark world. Our denomination is a condiment (salt) - adding flavor to an insipid culture or in some cases preserving a society tending toward corruption.
Parents need to reply 'yes' as liberally as possible

Oil-rich nations fail to deliver for Muslims in Indonesia

(RNS) The tsunami that struck southern Asia has cast an unflattering light on the Muslim world and its mindless hatred for the West.
The Open Door

As the death toll tops 150,000 the world is in shock over the incredible loss of life as a result of the tsunami disaster in Southeast Asia. In our lifetime, we have not seen a natural disaster to compare. Daily our hearts and prayers go out to the people of this region of the world and to all who have rushed to the area to offer relief. I am so thankful for the helping agencies around the world and the countries that have poured out billions of dollars to help the devastated areas.


Child safety crucial

Is there an issue more crucial than the safety of our children? I think not! It is an easy thing for a church to become entirely too casual about child safety and security. And just how many of our churches already possess virtually forgotten security systems lapsing back into an "Oh, everybody knows little whosits folks." Not!
Everyone deserves a choice

Pro-choice advocates vociferously make their argument that a woman has the right of choice, regarding that which affects her body. Most of us agree.
Euthanizing babies approaching

It has been thirty-one years and more than forty million murdered babies since abortion was legalized in our nation. While there have been bills passed to limit certain types of abortion procedures the fact remains that every day in America thousands of babies are murdered.
Tribute to a pastor's wife

I am just writing to let you know that my loving wife of 63 years, Estelle W. Johnson, passed away on November 23, 2004. Estelle was certainly called by God to be a preacher's wife. She never complained about anything called upon to do in that capacity. She was faithful to God and each of the churches I was privileged to pastor.
German church needs pastors

Grace International Baptist Church, a congregation of approximately 150 people located in Leimen, Germany (near Heidelberg), is in need of a pastor. A significant percentage of the current congregation is associated with U.S. military, but our vision is to reach out to the significant international, English-speaking population in the Heidelberg area.