January 2, 2003 Print Edition

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'For You Miami': focused on reaching 3.5 mil

MIAMI (BP)-Girard Middleton likes skateboarding and surfing, which might seem unusual for a Southern Baptist pastor. But in Miami's South Beach area - home to jet-setters and surfing enthusiasts from around the world - he fits right in. That might explain why 20 people crammed into Middleton's one-bedroom apartment one recent Monday for the weekly worship service of The Backyard, his new congregation.

Scholar explores roles of 'fool-bearers' & 'fool-makers'

SAN FRANCISCO (BP)-"If we intend to change our culture, we must become, like Christ, fool-bearers and fool-makers in our world," Os Guinness, vice chairman and senior fellow of The Trinity Forum, told students at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary.

Mohler spars with Donahue

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)-A lively televised debate about Gospel exclusivity Dec. 17 resulted in a sharp contrast between traditional Christianity and liberal Protestantism.

Guest Editorial

What would be the best way to convert lots of Americans to Islam?


One of the values of biography is encouragement. Seeing God's providence worked out in the life of another human being can often encourage us to repent, beware, or persevere. Perseverance is the lesson I learn from the biography of one of my own Christian heroes, William Wilberforce.


For the next four weeks, I would like to discuss the doctrine of atonement and its significance to me personally and to the Christian believer. I believe the topic is especially relevant today.


Nicholas Kristof's column in the New York Times opens in a remote region of China, where police are interrogating a woman named Ma Yuqin. Their efforts are unsuccessful. As Kristof relates, "She never broke when she was tortured with beatings and electrical shocks. Even when she was close to death, she refused to disclose the names of members of her congregation or sign a statement renouncing her Christian faith."

Kinchen encourages BCF grads to make Christ center of life

GRACEVILLE (FBW)-Before conferring the degrees upon the thirty-seven graduating students from The Baptist College of Florida for fall commencement Dec. 13, the president of the college, Thomas A. Kinchen, implored them to remember that Jesus Christ is "all."

Men urged to stand firm and 'Carry the Flame' at 2003 conference

PENSACOLA (FBC)-Jesus Christ ignited it-The apostles fanned it-Will you bear it?

JAX churches host block party

JACKSONVILLE (FBW)-Combine face-painting clowns, a moonwalk, the giggles of game-playing children and the aroma of sizzling hamburgers along with loud music, and it's easy to see why people followed an invitation to some fun Dec. 7. That is exactly what planners of a huge block party, held in a vacant lot in one of Jacksonville's most racially diverse neighborhoods, were praying for. Eight churches in the Oceanway area joined forces to host a celebration honoring the residents of their community. Four of the churches belong to the Jacksonville Baptist Association, also a sponsor of the day's events.

Gamble to head Baptist school association

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (FBW)-Edward E. Gamble, headmaster of The First Academy, a ministry of the First Baptist Church in Orlando since March 1991, was appointed as executive director of the Southern Baptist Association of Christian Schools (SBACS) effective Jan. 1, 2003. Gamble will replace John R. Chandler retires after serving 10 years as part-time executive director.

Chapman marriage seminar in Panama City

PANAMA CITY (FBC)-"Marriages either get better or they get worse. They never stand still," says Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages series of books.

Wales, 'Land of great revivals' needs Christ, Orlando couple says

ORLANDO (FBW)-"Our dream is for a resurgence of spiritual vitality in this 'land of great revivals,'" Bill Curl told Florida Baptist Witness about his mission work in the Western European Country of Wales.

PBAU approves School of Communication & Media

WEST PALM BEACH (FBW)-After four years of study, the trustees of Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, approved a resolution to create a School of Communication & Media Dec. 13.

First reports on 'Lottie' gifts reflect passion for lost

RICHMOND, Va. (BP)-As Southern Baptist congregations across the United States receive gifts for the annual Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions, reports filtering into the Richmond, Va., headquarters of the International Mission Board reflect the passion those churches have for a lost world.

Special Reports