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Issue Date: 2007-04-26
Volume: 186
Number: 9


GBC communicators take awards at BCA meeting
Georgia Baptist communicators walked away with six awards in the annual Baptist Communicators Association awards competition held April 11-14.
Groups say "fundamentalist" safety drill was improper

A public safety drill at a New Jersey school has caught the ire of several conservative Christian groups and pastors around the country who are charging local police and school officials with anti-Christian bias.
SBC baptisms down amid other growth

While the number of Southern Baptist churches in 2006 increased by 524 and reported more than $11.3 billion in total receipts, LifeWay Christian Resources President Thom S. Rainer reported April 17 that total baptisms in the Southern Baptist Convention fell for the second consecutive year.
Study examines why adults become church-switchers

Generally, adults who change churches for reasons other than moving are more likely fleeing their previous church rather than being drawn to another, according to a study listing the top 10 reasons for switching churches.
Page says 20/20 segment one-sided
Much is being done and more can be done to protect children from sexual predators within Southern Baptist churches, but an ABC News 20/20 segment on the issue April 13 amounted to “yellow journalism,” SBC President Frank Page says.
Johnson wins Masters, credits The Master

Zach Johnson’s two-shot victory at the 2007 Masters Tournament on Easter Sunday surprised those inside and out of the golf world – but as no surprise to those who know him, Johnson boldly used the occasion to proclaim his love and faith in Jesus Christ.
Georgia Baptist women challenged to inform, inspire others toward missions

More than 700 Georgia Baptist women, representing 137 churches in 63 associations, gathered for the 124th annual WMU Missions Encounter at First Baptist Church in Lilburn. Focusing on the theme, “Future Footprints,” participants were challenged to pass the missions “baton” to younger generations.
Beauty queen gives up crown for her baby
Sara Lawrence has resigned as Miss Jamaica World, rejecting an abortion that apparently would have enabled her to retain her title.
Their choice: Supreme Court upolds partial birth abortion ban
Historic decision a limited win, pro-life lawyers say

The U.S. Supreme Court’s support for a federal ban on partial-birth abortion marks a limited, though important, victory in the campaign to provide legal protection for unborn children, pro-life lawyers said after the ruling’s release April 18.
New Orleans volunteer dies on mission trip

Walter G. Hill, Jr., a Georgia volunteer with the rebuilding effort in New Orleans and a retired electronics engineer, died April 7 at a New Orleans hospital following a heart attack. He was 77.
"Some were praying to a God they didn't even know."
Georgia Baptist talks of day of terror at Virginia Tech

An earthquake registering 10 points on the Richter scale could not have shaken Virginia Tech more than the horrific tragedy experienced on the Blacksburg campus on April 16. A 23-year-old South Korean student massacred 32 people in a shooting frenzy and then ended the bloodbath by committing suicide. The reverberations from this deadliest shooting rampage in modern U.S. history have emanated from this university town in the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains to every corner of the nation.
Boys, youth have fun under the stars & sun at Camp Kaleo

Nearly 1,000 Royal Ambassadors and Challengers from across the state gathered at Camp Kaleo for Camporee 2007 April 20-21. This year’s two days under the stars included recognition of next year’s 100th anniversary of the missions education program.
Impact of 'Everyone Can' campaign assessed

The ambitious goal for Southern Baptists to baptize 1 million people in 2006 was not met, according to yearly statistics reported by SBC churches.
Group aims to shield pastors from pornography addiction

When Justin VanAntwerp wasn’t preaching the gospel, often he would look at images of naked women – sometimes five or six times a day.
After Blacksburg's darkest day, GBC schools give a second look at campus safety

In the wake of the April 16 shootings at Virginia Tech, leaders at Georgia Baptist colleges reevaluated campus security to calm fears among students and parents.
Nation reacts to mass killings

Students, faculty, and their families gathered on the campus of Virginia Tech University to mourn the day after a gunman killed 32 students, including three involved in the school’s Baptist Collegiate Ministry. It was the bloodiest mass shooting in U.S. history.
What I believe about the Baptist Children's Home

The theme for this year’s Baptist Children’s Home Offering, scheduled for May 13, is “We believe.” Let me just mention what “I believe” concerning the ministry of our Georgia Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Ministries, Inc.
Challenges nudge Mexicans toward God

Although he lost Mexico’s presidential runoff in July, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador continues to campaign for attention after declaring himself – not winner Felipe Calderon – to be the country’s legitimate leader. But a Southern Baptist missionary says God is using the country’s problems to draw the people of Mexico to himself.
Truett-McConnell students speak out for the unborn at UGA gathering

Truett-McConnell College students joined with representatives of Justice for All (JFA) to speak out for pro-life issues at the University of Georgia on March 21.
Reaching people outside the Bible Belt

“Are we there yet?” one of my teenagers asked just as we were turning off the highway onto a secondary road. Our family was en route to an Indian reservation to help one of our churches in North Dakota with its Sunday afternoon children’s ministry.

Georgia Newsbriefs

Attending Crossover San Antonio? Contact The Index to be interviewed
The Index is seeking to interview Georgia Baptists who plan to participate in Crossover San Antonio prior to the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in mid-June.
Two new associational missionaries named
Associational Missions Ministries of the Georgia Baptist Convention has named two new state leaders.
Churches in Friendship Association continue to rebuild after March storm damage
Members of three churches in this South Georgia Association continue to clean up after a tornado struck the area March 1.

Baptist News Summary

Wade to retire from helm of Baptist General Convention of Texas
Charles Wade, who has led the Baptist General Convention of Texas since 2000, will retire as executive director on Jan. 31, 2008.
Missouri Convention fires executive director David Clippard in 44-7 vote
Members of the Missouri Baptist Convention’s executive board voted in executive session April 10 to fire MBC Executive Director David Clippard.
Former Southern Seminary student killed in Afghanistan
Sgt. Yoon Jang-ho, a former student at Southern Seminary, became the first South Korean soldier since the Vietnam War to die in a foreign conflict when he was killed in Afghanistan by a roadside bomb Feb. 27.
Southwestern adds 10 faculty members, responds to former professor's lawsuit
Trustees of Southwestern Seminary approved the new position of dean of women’s programs, expanded the academic administration in the provost’s office, elected 10 faculty members, and approved a new master’s-level program in archaeology during their April 3 meeting in Fort Worth, Texas.
Alabama church arsonists sentenced
Three confessed arsonists pleaded guilty April 12 to burning five rural churches last year, and under their plea agreement will serve two years in state prison.
LifeWay upgrades VBS Tools Online, holds cost to 2006 levels
VBS Tools Online has been enhanced for 2007 to enable churches conducting Vacation Bible Schools to customize their registration forms and for VBS directors to allow multiple users access to the system.
Steeple re-installation completed at New Orleans Seminary
The steeple that served as a beacon of hope in the city of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina once again graces the top of New Orleans Seminary’s Leavell Chapel.

Religious Newsbriefs

Amish school reopens six months after shooting left five children dead
Amish children walked to their new school in Lancaster County on April 2, six months to the day after a neighbor walked into their old schoolhouse and shot 10 students, killing five.
Egyptian blogger sentenced for "insult"
A former law student in Cairo has been sentenced to four years in prison for using his website to “insult” Islam and Egypt’s president. Lawyers for Abdel Kareem Nabil said the sentence was being appealed.
Pub owner, bell ringers object to cellphone tower atop neighboring 600-year-old church
The landlord of a British pub, egged on by a team of church bell-ringers, has squared off against the neighboring church over plans to install a cellphone mast atop the church’s 600-year-old tower.
Persecution driving Iraqi Christians away
Though Iraqi Christians make up only 5 percent of their country’s population, they account for almost 40 percent of the refugees fleeing the country, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Of Baghdad’s 80 Christian churches, 10 have closed their doors, and more than half the Christians in Baghdad have left the country.

People and Places

Ministerial Moves

Cooperative Program Stories

Catching tears
Volunteer says hosptial chaplaincy often an overlooked ministry

James Dumas compares his job to a flashlight.

Bible Study

Honor God

Philippians 2:1-8; 4:2-9
Related Sunday School Lesson, Family Bible Series, May 6
Accept Responsibility

Matthew 7:1-5; James 4:1-3, 6-12
Related Sunday School Lesson, Family Bible Series, May 13


Politically correct chameleons or passionately committed Christians?

I am absolutely exasperated, infuriated, and indignant over the whole concept of political correctness. Political correctness is just another term for social, national, and religious demolition.
Handwriting on the wall

As I emphasized last year, the 1 million emphasis on baptisms by churches in the Southern Baptist Convention was to be the target that would challenge everyone to do their very best. Like the bar for high jumpers, the goal of 1 million baptisms was and is to draw the very best effort from us as the “jumpers.”
Transfer of blame and guilt follows infidelity
The Open Door

Today I was involved in two meetings at the Missions and Ministry Center that took the entire day. The first was the Administration Committee; the second was the Committee on Nominations.


A mentor and more

Diane Reasoner was my mentor. I had the great privilege of working alongside her as the Public Relations Intern for the Georgia Baptist Convention in the summer of 2005. It’s hard to express everything that I learned from her, not only professionally but also in life.