National News

Hunt says GCR was needed ‘shock’ to ‘adrift’ SBC
SBC president confirms intention to seek re-election

KEYSTONE HEIGHTS (FBW)—The Southern Baptist Convention is a ship “adrift” and so low in the water that it “probably” needs to rid itself of some unnecessary “cargo” to “float and be healthy and strong again,” SBC president Johnny Hunt said in a May 13 interview with Florida Baptist Witness.

Crisis communications plan ‘vital’ for churches

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)—When Illinois pastor Fred Winters was gunned down while preaching to his congregation March 8, church leaders across the country rightly began asking tough questions about security. What may have been overlooked was how to communicate in a crisis: Who should speak? What should they say? Why should they talk to the news media? How soon, how often and with whom should they communicate? Basically, how can a church be prepared to handle communications when the unthinkable occurs?

Q&A;: Working with the news media

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)—Even under normal circumstances, a call from the news media to your church can be nerve-wracking. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Consider the answers Rob Phillips, communications director at LifeWay Christian Resources, provides to these commonly asked questions about working with the news media.

Chaplain & band create harmony in Iraq war zone

BAGHDAD (BP)—The sound of a banjo bounces out the door of the coffee shop at Camp Victory in Baghdad, Iraq. Before you know it, the familiar tune of “Rocky Top” fills the air.

Chaplains deliver Easter message to remote Afghanistan bases
Pro-lifers: Obama’s policies ‘deny common ground’

WASHINGTON (BP)—President Obama called for common ground on abortion during his May 17 speech at the University of Notre Dame’s graduation ceremony, but pro-life advocates said his policies have not fostered such cooperation.

In personal note, Obama says he wants to overturn military’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy

WASHINGTON (BP)—President Obama’s administration may not be rushing to change the military’s ban on homosexuals serving openly, but he nevertheless has restated his commitment to overturning the policy in a personal handwritten note to a lesbian soldier who is being discharged.

Wicker to nominate Ezell for Pastors’ Conference president

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)—Kevin Ezell, senior pastor of Highview Baptist Church in Louisville, Ky., will be nominated for president of the Southern Baptist Pastors’ Conference during its June 21-22 meeting in Louisville, Ky., a former conference president, Hayes Wicker, announced May 14.

Churches planted in New England where liberal ones failed

WEST PAWLET, Vt. (BP)—Four years ago in this remote valley hamlet in Vermont, the last eight members of the financially strapped United Church of West Pawlet voted to disband the congregation. Tad Perry remembers the wrenching vote as “one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.”

Many non-religious adults still searching

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)—Evangelical leaders concerned about possible growth in the number of Americans unaffiliated with any religion may have found some good news Monday: A new study shows that many adults who were raised in an unaffiliated home later became Christian, mainly because they found themselves searching.

400 Years of Baptists

The oldest Florida Baptist church (1825)

First Baptist Church Campbellton is the oldest Baptist church in Florida. The church was organized as Bethlehem Baptist Church on March 12, 1825. A name change came about in 1859. Now the beautiful white frame building in the Florida panhandle houses our oldest Baptist church in the state.

International News

Day of Prayer & Fasting for World Evangelism
Remote villagers wait for legendary ‘precious gift’

This year’s Day of Prayer and Fasting for World Evangelization on May 31 will focus on “pockets of lostness” where there are no churches, no Christians, no Bibles and no way of reaching the people there with the Gospel.

Remote villagers wait for legendary ‘precious gift’

PACIFIC RIM (BP)—No one knows when the legend began. But generations of Sayang* have waited for its promise to be fulfilled.

National News Briefs

Sexual charge filed against Ark. minister
NOBTS adds ‘hybrid’ courses