Like living in the calm before a storm, in early September Georgia Baptists watched the aftermath of the Gulf Coast hurricane disaster unfold on nightly newscasts. For 10 days they stay glued to their television sets and watched in horror as New Orleans residents struggled for their lives against rising floodwaters that slowly choked their city to death.
What caused Hurricane Katrina to slam the U.S. Gulf Coast? Was it a typical late-summer tropical storm caused by wind, water and heat? Mother Nature crying out on behalf of the Earth's pain? An angry God?
Chickamauga, once referred to as Crawfish Springs, is nestled in the rolling hills of north Georgia just across the state line from Chattanooga, Tenn. The Chickamauga Battlefield, established in 1890, is located just north of town, and is part of the Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park, the first and largest in the country.
The Hebron Baptist Church congregation in Dacula was stunned at the Sunday evening service on September 11 when pastor Larry Wynn preached a sermon announcing his resignation to become vice president of evangelism for the Georgia Baptist Convention. He had encouraged those attending the three Sunday morning services to return for the evening service so they could hear first hand an important announcement.
Nationally recognized writer Denise George is currently conducting research for a book titled What Women Wish Their Pastor Knew About Women in the Church. It will explore the impact of women in the church and how pastors can more effectively minister to women. George, whose husband, Timothy, is the founding dean for Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Ala., is an author of 20 books and more than 1,200 articles.
New Orleans Seminary, located near the southern banks of Lake Pontchartrain and in Chalmette, east of the city, did not escape the fury of Hurricane Katrina nor the looting and vandalism that followed. Prognostications of a Category Five hurricane and warnings of impending disaster sent seminary staff and students scurrying to find refuge wherever they could find a door of welcome.
Disaster relief teams from Georgia made their way to the Gulf Coast following the destruction wreaked on the area by Hurricane Katrina, but soon enough found themselves dealing with the crunch of little water and not enough food for survivors.
For the next five Sundays our lessons will be found in the book of Ephesians, addressing the theme of holiness. Holiness is a term that has become out of date even out of use in many Southern Baptist churches. What does it actually mean for a believer to be holy or to walk in holiness?
Live to Please God By Dannie Williams, Pastor, First Baptist Church, Lyons Published September 15, 2005
Is it possible to fulfill one's purpose in life without giving dedicated effort to know and do what pleases God? If that were possible most scripture would be unnecessary. Think of passages like Romans 12:1-2 which describe the presentation of one's life to God in such a holy way that we actually prove what the will of God is.
Katrina was merciless! The winds blew with terrific force. The floods came with a mighty surge of water that relentlessly pounded the Gulf Coast. The levee broke in New Orleans, submerging the Crescent City in deep water. The devastating hurricane spawned tornadoes that touched down in several states. Georgia did not escape the fury of the tornadic wrath that came in the wake of Katrina's unwelcomed intrusion onto American soil.
"My eyes fail from weeping. I am in torment within, my heart is poured out on the ground because my people are destroyed, because children and infants faint in the streets of the city. What can I say for you? With what can I compare you, O Daughter of Jerusalem? Your wound is as deep as the sea. Who can heal you?"
The Open Door By J. Robert White, Executive Director, GBC Published September 15, 2005
In what has been called the worst natural disaster in the history of our country, Hurricane Katrina first stormed across the tip of Florida before slamming into the Gulf coasts of Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. With gusts nearing 200 miles per hour and storm surges exceeding thirty feet, entire towns in Southern Mississippi were swept away, while downtown Mobile was under water and New Orleans was under as much as thirty feet of water in some places.
I have been reading The Christian Index for more than 50 years, but to me the last two issues have been the most interesting I have ever read for two main reasons: First, I have been a member and attended Rev. Bob Baxter's church, Mount Harmony in Cobb County. He married my wife and I in it more than 35 years ago. Both my wife and I taught his son in elementary school and still appreciate the whole family.
Grateful for disaster response By Micah Hamrick, Assistant Director, Terrorism Division, Georgia Office of Homeland Security - GEMA, Atlanta Published September 15, 2005
I want to take this opportunity to thank all of the Baptist community for the work you are doing. This event (response to Hurricane Katrina and resettlement of evacuees) has hit us like no other in the past, and the work you have done and are doing is certainly helping to ease the pain of the affected people.
Pray for Liberia By Bradley D. Brown, Sr., Marietta Published September 15, 2005
Having just returned from an August visit to Liberia, I want to share a few impressions with you and your readers, many of whom have a personal interest in Baptist work in that nation which has been blessed in the past through a partnership with Georgia Baptists.