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Issue Date: 2006-08-31
Volume: 185
Number: 18


Downsizing means new life for old church buildings

In a West Hatfield church, hungry diners eat barbecued ribs and pulled pork daily where families once attended Lutheran baptisms, weddings, and Sunday services.
The high-tech making of a handwritten Bible, for $4 million

With the help of computers, calf skins and turkey feathers, Donald Jackson is reviving a lost art form by creating a Bible by hand, at a cost of about $4 million.
Hopewells hope fulfilled and still hoping

If you want to go to a happening place, go to 5086 Poplar Springs Road in Gainesville. That is where you will find Hopewell Baptist Church’s beautiful, spacious, new worship center. The church has grown so remarkably and so consistently over the past 14 years since Robby Foster became pastor that the old building next door, constructed in 1954, became woefully inadequate.
Church counters hateful graffiti with messages of love

Members of First Baptist Church in Farmersville, Texas, arrived for Sunday morning worship Aug. 13 to find anti-Christian and communist slogans scrawled across their church’s property.
TiVo debuts family-friendly software to screen objectionable programming
Also launches "Take Back Your TV Sunday" for Sept. 17

Georgia Baptist churches will be joining other congregations nationwide in mid-September in a campaign to recapture the television for family viewing time.
Touring groups see thousands accept Christ during concerts
Eagle's Landing First Baptist staffer, First Woodstock member urge use of invitations

Invitations to accept Christ have become key components of some Christian music concerts, and the contemporary group Casting Crowns and the rock group Disciple are two bands that have led thousands to the Lord across generational lines by offering times of response at their events.
Growing a church in paradise
Baptist Collegiate Ministries missionaries roll up their sleeves in Bellevue, Idaho

Without Google paving the way, Becky Hamnett and Missy Ward would have had a hard time learning about this small hamlet near the Sawtooth Mountains.
Christian aid worker funded by Georgia group freed on bail in India
Samuel Thomas, president of Emmanuel Mission International, an indigenous evangelical organization in India, was able to return to ministry work after being released on bail for the second time Aug. 7 despite ongoing charges of “exciting ... disaffection towards the government.”
NAMB honors 18 state conventions for church planting & evangelism
The North American Mission Board’s church planting and evangelization groups recognized achievements by 18 state Baptist convention partners during NAMB’s Aug. 1-3 “Mission Celebration” at LifeWay Ridgecrest Conference Center in North Carolina.
Church planting in the rural West: an overview of the Bellevue congregation
Church planting has always been difficult in the West and things haven’t changed in past couple of centuries. Towns would spring up in the middle of nowhere, boom for a decade or two, and then morph into ghost towns with only a handful of residents remaining.
CBF church count violates autonomy, scholars say

The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, self-described as a “renewal movement of free and faithful Baptists,” has grown since its founding in 1991 to include up to 2,000 churches, according to statements from the group’s leaders.
Georgia Disaster Relief childcare units minister to Lebanon evacuees

Little girls flinched when a balloon popped. The boys pretended to bomb the toy airport and helicopters. One child matter-of-factly announced that her mom was afraid of everything.
In the land of Jesus, Christians struggle

Nakla Qaber, whose Greek Orthodox roots stretch back generations in a Christian enclave on the West Bank, runs a successful restaurant at a time when most Palestinians are struggling.
Parr named vice president for Sunday School and evangelism

When Steve Parr thinks about Sunday School, he thinks about evangelism. And when he thinks about evangelism, he thinks about Sunday School.
IMB honors retiring Georgia missionaries for service, sacrifice

Five Georgia couples were among the fifty-four retiring Southern Baptist missionaries – many of whom spent 30 years or more on the mission field – honored at the International Mission Board’s emeritus recognition service July 16 at the Missionary Learning Center in Rockville, Va.
Baptism: An appropriate outdoor summer activity

Joe Bufford, pastor of Sargent Baptist Church near Newnan, recently decided to have an outdoor baptismal service. Years ago the church frequently baptized new believers in Wahoo Creek near the church, but certain circumstances made it logistically impossible to use the creek for a baptismal service at the present time.
Swamp Gravy, the Mayhaw Festival and First Baptist Colquitt

Colquitt, a small town in southwest Georgia, has become known in recent years for its Swamp Gravy and Mayhaw Festival. Swamp Gravy is a stew-like dish that is made from “fish drippings,” tomatoes, potatoes, onions, and whatever else you have on hand.
Braves first pro sports team to embrace Faith Nights

What started off as a promotion for the Nashville Sounds has in just a few years turned into a national sports phenomenon.

Baptist News Summary

Welch continues push toward 'Everyone Can' culmination
Bobby Welch, immediate past president of the Southern Baptist Convention, is continuing a fervent push toward the Sept. 30 culmination of the “‘Everyone Can!’ Kingdom Challenge” for Southern Baptists to reach 1 million baptisms.
Photo with Sept. 11 theme garners top spot for ERLC contest
A foggy night and a field full of U.S. flags commemorating the lives lost on Sept. 11, 2001 provided Ashley Mitchell an opportunity she could not overlook.
No rate increases in 2007 in GuideStone personal medical plans
No rate increase will be enacted in 2007 in the personal medical plans of GuideStone Financial Resources, marking the third year in a row that the Southern Baptist entity has held the line on rates.
Annual Middle-Eastern conference: from worship to 'reunion'
For some 1,700 Arab-speakers from throughout the nation, the annual Middle-Eastern Baptist Conference sponsored by the California Southern Baptist Convention provides an opportunity for worship, training, evangelism, and “reunion.”
Biblical grant-seeking is Artful Askers' focus
Financial help is available for churches that were devastated by hurricanes last year as well as for all kinds of projects in response to natural disasters, arson, or other community needs.
Fox show highlights Warren's unique partnership with Rwanda
Either he’ll mobilize the world’s Christians to tackle global giants like spiritual emptiness, ego-centric leadership, poverty, disease, and illiteracy or Rick Warren will die trying, the Southern Baptist pastor told Fox News Aug. 21.
Camouflage-covered devotional book making its way through the ranks
With a camouflage cover over its life-changing message, 100,000 copies of an Experiencing God Day-by-Day military edition have been placed in soldiers’ hands, with another 50,000-plus copies on the way.

Religious Newsbriefs

Iran opens exhibit of Holocaust cartoons
A new exhibit of cartoons depicting the Holocaust has opened in Iran after Muslims were angered earlier this year when a Danish newspaper published cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad.
Ohio state workers told to drop religious email postscripts in messages to coworkers
Fed up with the religious aphorisms employees have been attaching to their email, the Ohio Department of Taxation has threatened to discipline workers whose postscripts wish the recipient a blessed day.
Match-making service offers help to British clergy
The 743 priests and deacons ordained in the Church of England this year have each received cards congratulating them on their ordination – and, if they are single, offering them help in finding a suitable spouse.
Documentary says eruption on Greek island may have caused Egyptian plagues in Bible
A new History Channel documentary, The Exodus Decoded, says that the eruption of the massive Greek volcano on the island of Santorini sometime around 1500 B.C. may explain the events surrounding the Israelite Exodus from Egypt.

People and Places

Ministerial Moves
Special Honors

Cooperative Program Stories

Walking on water
One year later, volunteers still needed for Katrina cleanup

A year ago, half an ocean swept across Hancock County, Miss., leaving behind nothing but silt and debris where once there was life.

Bible Study

The Thrill of Victory

Joshua 4:1-3, 8, 10-11, 17-24
Related Sunday School Lesson, Family Bible Series, Sept. 10
The Agony of Defeat

Joshua 7:6-7, 10-13, 16-21, 24-26
Related Sunday School Lesson, Family Bible Series, Sept. 17


God's gift to Southern Baptists

He has referred to himself as “The King of all Clods from Hartselle, Ala.” However, those who know him regard him as a gracious Christian gentleman and the “Dean of all Southern Baptist Evangelists.”
What to do in an emergency

Early one morning I got a call from one of my coworkers who had witnessed an accident on the highway. She could see the man on the ground but didn’t know what to do. She was afraid to render aid.
The Open Door

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
Daughter's small stature baffles parents