Youth pastors tend to have short tenures in the churches they serve, but not Barry Shettel, who just concluded his 25th year as the student minister at Prince Avenue Baptist Church in Athens. Born in 1942, Shettel is still going strong in his 60s and Prince Avenue pastor Bill Ricketts says that he is more effective than ever.
As he has for 60 years, Billy Graham ended his three-day New York crusade June 26 by offering about 90,000 in the crowd a glimpse of heaven. But as in perhaps no other crusade in his long history of evangelism, New York provided heaven's face.
As Floridians hunkered down in front of television sets for the latest hurricane news, they hoped reports would not bring word of storms bearing down on their homes and worldly possessions. Yet even in the midst of their turmoil, a single, calm voice guided them through what could have been the most cataclysmic event of their lifetime.
Without planting in the summer there will be no harvest in the fall. And with that thought in mind, two Georgia Baptist college students are busy sowing gospel seeds in California churches and collegiate communities this summer.
Beth Tilson, secretary of Temple Baptist Church eight miles south of Moultrie, describes the church's pastor as "a wild child" when he was growing up. Terry Webb, who will soon celebrate his 15th anniversary as the Temple pastor, readily admits to being a rebellious teenager.
Few Southern Baptist churches would remove tens of thousands of dollars worth of pews and platform furniture to install theater seats, a sound stage and a small stool and music stand for the pastor and his Bible.
Atlanta Pride Weekend, formerly known as Atlanta Gay Pride Weekend, has come and gone, but not without Georgia Baptists sharing the Gospel with those present for the festivities. Actually, Bill Adams of Revival-USA reached out to the Georgia Baptist Convention's Evangelism Department to help provide witnesses for what Mathew Hennie, editor of the gay newspaper Southern Voice, called a "party with a purpose."
Jim Royston, executive director-treasurer of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina since 1998, has announced his intention to return to the pastorate, according to the convention's newsjournal, the Biblical Recorder.
The third volume of The Journal of African American Southern Baptist History was presented during the annual meeting of the Black Southern Baptist Denominational Servants Network June 19 in Nashville, Tenn.
Gearing up for a showdown over President Bush's nomination to replace Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, Jerry Falwell is circulating a petition to nominate an anti-abortion conservative while an interfaith coalition is asking Bush for bipartisan consultation.
The "Cupid Express" is the English translation for the writing on the heart-covered box that sits conspicuously in the middle of the room. The hole in the top is the place for any of the 39 campers and leaders to drop notes - signed or unsigned - to anyone else in the room.
Working for God By Dan Spencer, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Thomasville Published July 21, 2005
Many Christians believe that their spiritual life is only a segment of their life, only one piece of the pie. There is a social piece, a family piece, a career piece, a leisure piece, and a few other pieces thrown in. But that's not true. The spiritual life is like the crust on that pie - it is a part of every area of our lives, the foundation for all we do and think and say.
Once and Future Life By Dan Spencer, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Thomasville Published July 21, 2005
We live in a world of discouraged people. Many become so discouraged by the pressures of life that they give up. Hopeless people do desperate things; they abuse themselves and others or they seek escape in drugs and alcohol. For some, suicide seems to be the only way out. Still others quietly struggle from one day to the next, wondering if this life is all there is. Paul called it "losing heart" or "giving up" (verse 16).
Angel Martinez memorized the entire New Testament and could quote it without any reservation, qualification or hesitation. I was privileged to know the noted evangelist and had him preach in several of the churches I served as pastor.
The boys were about 10 years old as I recall, but youth was no excuse, according to my grandmother. During a skirmish after Sunday school, one boy hit the other over the head with his hard-bound Bible. The assailant brought down the wrath of my godly grandmother, who moved him to tears with the words: "This is the holy word of God. How dare you use it as a weapon!"
The Open Door By J. Robert White, Executive Director, GBC Published July 21, 2005
Yet again, God has blessed our family with a precious gift from heaven. I would like to introduce you to my newest granddaughter, Hannah Reagan Curtin. She is an angel.
I've just finished reading "Passing the Baton" in the June 23 issue of the Index. At my age, 57, I have mixed feelings about the coming changes that I read about. My home church recently called a new pastor who has incorporated a number of changes in the method of worship and also how the church operates.
I am concerned over the June 23 article of the Index, "Passing the Baton." I am wondering if it's an endorsement or a wake up call. The people that I have talked with that have read the articles are as disturbed as I, thinking it is an endorsement.
Power given to all By Herman T. Williams, pastor, Waleska First Baptist Church, Waleska Published July 21, 2005
It is with much dismay that I read on the cover of The Christian Index about a transfer of power from one generation to another. The article "Passing the Baton" is very timely, but where did the idea of transferring power originate? I have been preaching the Gospel for more than 40 years and I have yet to see where Jesus gave Christian leaders power over anyone else.
I have had a concern for many years about some terminology that we use in our churches and ministry ideas. Very specifically two words that, by their common use, create segmentation - traditional and contemporary.
I have been a Georgia Baptist all my life, having been taken to church as a child by my parents. I was ordained as a pastor in October 1955 - this making 50 years, if I live to October, which I expect to do.
I believe our country, that once magnanimous and majestic United States of America, has formally and finally turned her back on her roots, religion, and reason. I do not mean that everyone in the US has done this - that is obvious. But the powers that move our nation have done so.