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Issue Date: 2006-03-02
Volume: 185
Number: 5

News

First person: Making evangelism good news again

I write about good news. I talk about good news. I share good news. I seek with all my heart to be good news to all those around me. That’s why this will be the most difficult article I have written in this wonderful year since I became vice president of the North American Mission Board, leading evangelization.
Katrina calls Fred Luter to ‘one church in 3 cities’

The upheaval of Hurricane Katrina has turned Fred Luter into a circuit-driving preacher, journeying more than 9,000 miles in a Jeep Cherokee he started driving last fall.
Evangelist Brian Fossett: A trophy of God’s grace

Brian Fossett is one of Georgia’s most successful and widely used young evangelists. His messages are delivered with passion and persuasiveness. His personal testimony, which he often shares in church revivals and evangelistic crusades, is most compelling.
Ministry degree at BPC’s Newnan Center fulfills Miller’s vision

Georgia IMB trustee: feedback supports move to reverse earlier Burleson motion
A Georgia International Mission Board trustee says a recent recommendation to reverse a motion for ousting a fellow board member seems to be the best move.
IMB president speaks about private prayer language
International Mission Board President Jerry Rankin answered questions about recent IMB trustee actions regarding a private prayer language and local church baptism practices in a Feb. 17 question-and-answer session with Baptist state paper editors.
Parents wary of teens’ involvement in www.myspace.com and other social websites
MySpace.com and other social websites that allow anyone to post photos and personal information about themselves for all the world to see are increasingly becoming the focus of investigations related to the molestation, rape and murder of teenagers, and parents may be starting to catch on to the potential hazards of such sites.
Louisiana missionary angling for souls in bass-fishing paradise
For spunky, fast-talking, fast-walking Mary Gore, it’s just another Saturday in bass-fishing paradise – Toledo Bend, La. Mary is busy doing what she does best. She’s out fishing – not for largemouth bass, but for souls.
The Annie of the Offering
As a tireless servant of God and a contagious advocate and supporter of mission efforts throughout the world, Annie Armstrong (1850-1938) led women to unite in mission endeavors that ultimately led to the formation of Womans Missionary Union, for which she served as the first corresponding secretary.
American Idol finalist Mandisa makes her faith in Christ known

Mandisa Hundley, one of those to make the latest cut on television’s No. 1 show American Idol, is not ashamed of her faith in Christ and even publicly expressed forgiveness for one of the show’s judges after he sent a biting insult her way.
NAMB response to Christian Index article “North America: Hanging in the Balance”

Dear Editor and Christian Index readers: I am writing in response to the article that appeared in last week’s Christian Index regarding concerns expressed about the ministry and management of the North American Mission Board.
Once a challenger to Tiger Woods, now a co-laborer with Christ

If a SportsCenter trivia question asked, “Which golfer finished high school ranked No. 2 behind Tiger Woods?” most people would scan the PGA Tour roster for possible answers. But they would be looking in the wrong place.

Georgia Newsbriefs

Richardson moving to Texas convention
Jim Richardson, consultant with Men’s Ministries of the Georgia Baptist Convention, has been named Disaster Relief Director for the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention effective March 13.
State sales tax exemption on Bibles and religious publications rescinded
An order rescinding a sales tax exemption for the sale of Bibles, Korans, testaments, religious papers and similar items was issued Feb. 6 by Richard W. Story, U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Georgia, declaring that the exemption for such sales was unconstitutional.
Corrections and Clarifications

Baptist News Summary

Chowan College agrees to change mascot
Baptist-affiliated Chowan College has agreed to “step away from its heritage and native culture” by making plans to change its mascot in compliance with an NCAA rule banning most Native American mascots, according to a statement by the school Jan. 26.
Names in the News
Brunson accepts call to pastor First Baptist, Jacksonville
Members of First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla., voted to call Mac Brunson as senior pastor in a Feb. 19 vote.
New Houston mission center named for Mildred McWhorter
A long-awaited new building for the Gano Mission Center in Houston has been named for former home missionary Mildred McWhorter, who retired in 1992.
LifeWay expands VBS Tools Online
VBS Tools Online, after being unveiled in 2005, is being expanded to provide added help for Vacation Bible School leaders in 2006.
North Carolina paper plans to elect its four directors in ’07
The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s Biblical Recorder intends to fill the four openings on the newsjournal’s board of directors this year with their own selections.
Online registration opens for SBC sessions, childcare in Greensboro
Online registration for the 2006 Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Greensboro, N.C. opened Feb. 1.

Religious Newsbriefs

Focus on the Family backs Colorado measure for nonmarital benefits
Focus on the Family, a group known for its opposition to gay marriage, is supporting a proposed Colorado bill that would benefit gay couples and other adults seeking benefits outside a traditional marital relationship.
Crime wave hits Scotish Catholic priests
A wave of burglaries, vandalism and at least two attacks on elderly priests has targeted Roman Catholic churches in one of Scotland’s biggest cities, prompting its archbishop to demand better protection from police.
First papal non-European trip to Muslim country
Amid a week of heightened tension between the West and the Muslim world, the Vatican announced Feb. 9 that Pope Benedict XVI’s first trip outside Europe will be to predominantly Muslim Turkey.
Church of England apologizes for slave trade
Two centuries after profiting from the venture, the Church of England has apologized for its role in the global slave trade.

People and Places

Ministerial Moves
Anniversaries
Groundbreakings
Honors

Cooperative Program Stories

"Still on the map!"
Georgia Baptists join with Katrina survivors' mantra

When Hurricane Katrina slammed against the Gulf Coast with 125-mile-an-hour winds and a 34-foot storm surge, news reports announced that Bay St. Louis had been “wiped off the map.”

Bible Study

Keep Praying

The most effective and fruitful followers of Christ have been people of prayer. Prayer is the root of practical Christianity. It is the essential mark of utter dependence upon God in all of life. Charles Spurgeon once accented this when he said: “I could as soon think of living without eating or living without breathing, as living without prayer.”
Celebrate When People Come to Christ

Studying the ministry of Jesus, you’ll see how passionate He was in seeking and saving sinners. This was His great supreme mission (Luke 19:10) and the central theme of the Gospel (I Timothy 1:15). Likewise, every follower of Christ must be consumed with this same passion (e.g., Romans 1:15; I Corinthians 9:16b).

Columns

Annie Armstrong Offering needed now

I often listen to The Albert Mohler Radio Program when I drive home from work in the afternoon. About two months ago Dr. Mohler, President of Southern Seminary and former editor of The Christian Index, cited an article in USA Today written by journalist James P. Gannon. The article was entitled, “Is God Dead in Europe?”
Don’t allow your child ’s physician to take over your role

MSC – standing in the gap in missionary service

Mission Service Corps personnel are a valuable part of the Southern Baptist missionary force. That fact may have been lost in an article I wrote in last week’s issue of the Index.
The Open Door

Janice and I just returned from the annual state executive director’s fellowship meeting that was held in one of the most beautiful locations on the North American continent, Banff, Alberta, Canada. Banff is surrounded by the magnificent, towering, granite peaks of the Canadian Rockies.

Letters

Righteousness vs. richeousness

Thinking that not a few of your readers might share with me a concern for the increasing popularity of “prosperity” preachers and the content of their messages, I am submitting for publication the definition of a new word which, I believe, summarizes their teaching well enough:
On target with Mercer

My heart has been broken over the Mercer University matter for a number of years. I am a 1986 alumnus of Mercer and received a good education during my two years there. I transferred to Mercer upon the urging of my then-Associational Missionary Glenn Byrd and Pastor Lester Parks. Of course, I was given the standard line before going : “Mercer is a good school, but you will hear some things that are not right in the Bible. But, stick with it!”
The censuring of Jerry Rankin

Are we reverting to a sixteenth century model for evaluating Christian leaders?