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Issue Date: 2006-10-26
Volume: 185
Number: 22


Discipleship is costly, Fish tells new NAMB missionaries, chaplains
56 fully funded missionaries appointed to service

Roy Fish challenged 89 newly commissioned North American missionaries and chaplains to “pay the price of radical discipleship” during a commissioning service Oct. 1 at First Baptist Church in Duluth.
Building faith in the city that never sleeps

Her father is Muslim and not too happy with her decision. Her mother is Christian and thinks she made the right choice. And she is struggling to learn what her new faith means in a world 6,000 miles from home.
Martinez pastor on national stage representing Georgia Baptists

William F. “Bill” Harrell, pastor of Abilene Baptist Church in Martinez, serves in what many consider to be the most important position in Southern Baptist life. He is chairman of the SBC Executive Committee, the elected body of state convention representatives that develop policies and attend to Convention business between the annual sessions of the Southern Baptist Convention.
No debt about it, Harp's Crossing in a new building

Harp’s Crossing Baptist Church has seen a lot of numbers lately.
Georgia Baptist golfer Nelson to be inducted into World Golf Hall of Fame

Larry Nelson, a member of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church, will be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame on Oct. 30.
Griffin pastor: "Dig in, work hard, and stay at it"

David Hill recently commented, “We are down here in Griffin, cut off from the rest of the world. We don’t have a clue what is going on outside of Spalding County.” Historically, Griffin has been a textile city, but in recent years many of the textile mills have either had to reduce their work force or suspend operations altogether.
Prolific hymn writer John Peterson dies at 84

Gospel hymn writer John W. Peterson, who authored more than 1,000 hymns and 35 cantatas, died of cancer Sept. 20 in Scottsdale, Ariz. He was 84.
Study: 1,300-plus dismissed from Baptist church staffs in '05

The general inability to “get along” is again at the root of the top five reasons staff members in Southern Baptist churches are terminated from their positions, according to a study by LifeWay Christian Resources’ department of pastoral ministries.
Setting the right example, Shorter College hosts Children's Home residents

On a day when college football players made national headlines through a melee that included stomping and helmet-slinging, two at Shorter College spoke to children about overcoming obstacles and never giving up.
Resolutions Guidelines released for Nov. 13-14 GBC meeting
The 2006 annual meeting of the Georgia Baptist Convention will be held at the Gwinnett Arena in Duluth on Nov. 13-14, 2006.
Brewton-Parker professor producing documentary on actor

What started out as an itch to quench a nagging curiosity has turned into a full-time occupation for Brewton-Parker College instructor Mark Stokes.
Will Graham's inaugural campaign buoyed by Bev Shea & Cliff Barrows

Thunder, lightning, and pouring rains held off as Will Graham, 31, grandson of Billy Graham, finished his first U.S. evangelistic campaign Oct. 11 in western North Carolina.
A letter to all Georgia Baptists from Wayne Hamrick

It has been an honor to serve you as president of the Georgia Baptist Convention this year. I am looking forward to this year’s annual session held November 13-14 at the Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth.
Victims group urges SBC attention

A group that has drawn attention to the issue of sexual abuse by Catholic priests has asked leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention to “make Southern Baptist churches safer.”
Background checks a must, GBC officials say
Since the summer of 2004, the Georgia Baptist Convention has required background checks on volunteers at events where they may come into contact with children. It’s a practice Bobby Boswell, GBC assistant executive director and vice president for ministries, encourages churches to follow.
Church planter, horse whisperer team up to reach Mexican cowboys

On opposite sides of the border, two cowboys heard God’s whisper.
GBC forms new association

The maturation of new churches in Forsyth and Dawson counties have led in the establishment of the Lanier Baptist Association.
A difficult time for a resilient community

Five schoolgirls are murdered in their quaint, quiet hamlet. A community that shuns attention as a matter of religious principle suddenly finds itself in the media glare.

Georgia Newsbriefs

Movie by Sherwood leaving Giant impact on Hollywood
Three weeks after its Sept. 29 release, Facing the Giants, the full-length movie from Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, was showing on 325 screens nationwide, down from the 441 on which it debuted. But it only dropped four places, down to number 16, an impressive standing against seven Hollywood blockbusters that had opened during the same time frame. The per-screen averages put the movie at number 8, despite being at number 16 for overall box office receipts.
New Orleans Seminary to partner with Georgia state prison
Trustees for New Orleans Seminary approved a partnership to offer undergraduate credit to prisoners at a Georgia prison.
Index seeking input: sermon preparation
The Index is compiling a story on sermon preparation and how pastors avoid too heavy reliance on one source – which could trigger grounds for plagiarism charges.
Lang named director of disaster relief
Stuart Lang has been named consultant for Disaster Relief in GBC Associational Missions Ministries beginning Nov. 1.
New associational missionary appointed for Friendship
Charles Stoops began his ministry as the associational missionary for Friendship Association Oct. 2.
Three associational missionaries retire
Three missionaries through Georgia Baptist Convention Associational Missions Ministries announced their retirement recently.

Baptist News Summary

Southeastern trustees revise statements
Trustees of Southeastern Seminary adopted revised statements of identity, confession, and mission for the seminary during their annual fall meeting, Oct. 9-10 in Wake Forest, N.C.
Pastor challenges Southwestern stance against charismatic doctrine
In a five-page letter Oct. 16, Texas pastor Dwight McKissic set forth his opposition to a planned vote by trustees of Southwestern Seminary to disassociate the institution from Pentecostal/charismatic doctrines and practices such as a private prayer language.
Rising Southern Baptist mission partnerships open options for churches
As the International Mission Board’s focus has shifted away from country emphases to people groups in recent years, more options have become available for Southern Baptist churches of all sizes to get involved.
Midwestern Seminary headcount exceeds 1,000 for first time since founding
Student enrollment at Midwestern Seminary broke the 1,000 mark during the 2005-06 school year for the first time since the seminary’s founding in 1957, registrar Dave Richards reported.
Calvinism debate cancelled, but still results in serious discussion
A much-anticipated Oct. 16 debate on Baptists and Calvinism was canceled when parties disagreed over last-minute changes involving the allocation of time, order of arguments, and further use of the videotape.
Arabs take epic Sahara camel trek to spread Gospel

How’s this for a mission trip: Three months on camels in the scorching Sahara. No contact with family members. Beaten with metal rods. Kidnapped by renegade soldiers.
Collegiate Ministry Institute planned for New Orleans Seminary
Among the measures approved by trustees at New Orleans Seminary was the establishment of a collegiate ministry training institute. The vote came during the trustees annual fall meeting Oct. 11.
Hawaiians thankful: No deaths or serious injuries from powerful quakes
Hawaii Baptists are expressing thanks that no deaths or serious injuries were reported when a 6.7-magnitude earthquake shook the island chain around 7 a.m. local time Sunday, Oct. 15.

Religious Newsbriefs

Lost tribe of Jews migrates from India to Israel
A group of 218 people belonging to an Indian tribe recently recognized as “lost descendants of ancient Israelites” will soon be welcomed to their new homes in Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
Teacher quits Catholic school after student accusations of being too Catholic
The head of a Catholic secondary school in Britain has resigned after dissident students accused her of being too religious because she forced them to attend Mass.
Zimbabwe churches share blame for crisis conditions that have millions in poverty
A coalition of church leaders in Zimbabwe now claims partial responsibility for the deteriorating social and economic health of the nation.
Panel suggests required religion course at Harvard due to growth of faith in world affairs
In a nod to the growing significance of religion in world affairs, a Harvard University faculty committee is recommending that all undergraduates be required to take a course in “reason and faith.”

People and Places

Ministerial Moves

Cooperative Program Stories

Changing lives one sentence at a time

Grade school was never an option for Betty Peoples.

Bible Study

Live in Light, not Darkness

Isaiah 7:1-9:7
Related Sunday School Lesson, Family Bible Series, Nov. 12
Live in Relationship, not Rebellion

Isaiah 1:1-31
Related Sunday School Lesson, Family Bible Series, Nov. 5


Narcotizing Dysfunction

The idiom, “sitting on a powder keg” originated at some point in the first half of the 20th century. This metaphoric term alludes to sitting on a keg of gunpowder that could go off at any moment.
Most adolescents overwhelmed by hormones

Children and finances

The chaotic financial situation produced by the indebtedness of American families makes one wonder what might become of the children of our next generation. The Bible directs us to “teach a youth about the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it” (Prov. 22:6). But, where does a parent begin?
The Open Door

If the annual association meetings are an indicator of the health of the Georgia Baptist Convention, we are in excellent condition. It has been my joy to preach in a good number of our association fall meetings this year and the spirit of the meetings has been outstanding.


Watermelons for Darfur

The Darfur people in Sudan are one of the many groups suffering from famine and war. An estimated 200,000 to 400,000 have died in the past two years.
Truett-McConnell an asset to Georgia Baptists

I recently held revival services at First Baptist Church in Cleveland, during which I spoke in chapel at nearby Truett-McConnell College. While there I also spoke on mentoring in a classroom setting. I was very impressed with the sincerity of the administration, staff, faculty, and students.