November 18, 2010 Print Edition

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Witness Editor Emeritus Edgar Cooper dies Nov. 14

UPDATE: Nov 16, 2:45 p.m.

JACKSONVILLE (FBW)-Edgar Cooper, editor emeritus of the Florida Baptist Witness, died Nov. 14 at Baptist Hospital in Jacksonville. He died one day shy of his 92nd birthday.

Cooper served as pastor and interim pastor of several Florida churches and also served as president of the Florida Baptist State Convention. He was editor of the Florida Baptist Witness 1970-1983.

Uth challenges messengers to leave their comfort zones to ‘go to Rome’

BRANDON (FBW)—David Uth, pastor of First Baptist Church in Orlando, in delivering the biblical message to messengers of the Florida Baptist State Convention Nov. 9 said Christians should forego convenience and comfort to pursue God’s call. He said a Christian should have the same “compelling desire” to follow God’s direction as the Apostle Paul had to go to Rome.

FBSC overwhelmingly approves IIGCRTF report, 50/50 CP distribution

BRANDON (FBW) – Messengers to the Florida Baptist State Convention annual meeting overwhelmingly approved on Nov. 9 a recommendation to move within 4-7 years to a 50/50 distribution of Cooperative Program funds with the Southern Baptist Convention.

The Imagine If Great Commission Resurgence Task Force report, of which the CP distribution was one recommendation, was the most highly anticipated item of business during the Nov. 8-9 meeting at First Baptist Church in Brandon where messengers also also elected a new president and approved recommendations to sell Florida Baptist Convention-owned properties.

Six recommendations were approved in one vote after messengers easily rejected a motion requesting separate debate and votes on each recommendation.

The IIGCRTF was created at the 2009 FBSC annual meeting, which authorized John Cross, FBSC president, to appoint the group to study how Florida Baptists could be move effective and efficient in fulfilling Jesus’ missions mandate.

The IIGCRTF report parallels the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force report adopted in June by messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Orlando.

Messengers elect Orlando’s Uth president, approve task force report

BRANDON (FBC/FBW)—Messengers to the 2010 Florida Baptist State Convention overwhelmingly approved the report of the Imagine If Great Commission Resurgence Task Force Nov. 9 including a recommendation to move within 4-7 years to a 50/50 distribution of Cooperative Program funds with the Southern Baptist Convention.

The IIGCRTF report was the most highly anticipated item of business during the Nov. 8-9 meeting at First Baptist Church in Brandon where messengers also elected new officers, approved recommendations to sell Florida Baptist Convention-owned properties, and passed a resolution expressing dissatisfaction with LifeWay Christian Stores for distribution of the movie “The Blind Side.”

Editorial: What a denominational report can’t do

The overwhelming adoption last week of the Imagine If Great Commission Resurgence Task Force report by messengers to the Florida Baptist State Convention will undoubtedly result in significant change in Florida Baptist life. While it’s quite unclear precisely what those changes will entail, moving to a 50/50 Cooperative Program distribution with the Southern Baptist Convention—the heart of the report—and implementation of the other recommendations may very well revolutionize the structure of the Florida Baptist Convention.

Point of View: Worldview—Thank it forward

RICHMOND, Va. (BP)—Gratitude is the memory of the heart, says a proverb.

If that is true, my heart will gratefully remember some of God’s servants as Thanksgiving 2010 approaches:

Point of View: Multiculturalism today—‘Failed, utterly failed’

“Multiculturalism,” wrote the British scholar Theodore Dalrymple of the Manhattan Institute, “rests on the supposition-or better, the dishonest pretense-that all cultures are equal.”

Point of View: Dave Says

Dave Says is a column featuring the financial advice of nationally syndicated radio host Dave Ramsey, the Dave Says column is filled with timely, relevant questions and answers taken from actual calls on Ramsey's radio program, The Dave Ramsey Show.

Cross urges Florida Baptists to ‘transition for the mission’

BRANDON (FBW)—Citing Jesus’ incarnation as the ultimate example, Florida Baptist State Convention president John Cross in his Nov. 8 address urged Florida Baptists to “transition for the mission” in order to reach the Sunshine State and world with the Gospel.

Throughout his message, the pastor of South Biscayne Church in North Port, who was concluding his second and final term as FBSC president, continually urged messengers to repeat after him the mantra, “transition for the mission.”

Isaiah 61:1-11: December 5—Value what God values

To write about what God values would be almost endless. We could discuss the Ten Commandments as an example of what God values. The entire scope of morality falls under that category. We could even inject issues of the environment in as much as God gave humans the responsibility of having dominion over the natural order. The subject is narrowed when we think about our Lord’s death on the cross for sinners. The Great Commission embodied the heart of God’s purposes. From that standpoint we can isolate our topic as it relates to the proclamation of the good news. We include teaching along with preaching under the role of proclamation.

Pastors called to ‘fan the flame’ at annual conference

BRANDON (FBW)—Pastors were exhorted to rekindle both their sense of calling to ministry and their personal passion for Christ at the 2010 Florida Baptist Pastors’ Conference Nov. 7-8 at First Baptist Church in Brandon.

Gathering around the theme “Fan the Flame,” attendees heard messages from Florida Baptist pastors Tommy Green, Otto Fernandez, Craig Conner, Jimmy Scroggins, Ken Whitten, and Stephen Rummage, and Focus on the Family’s H.B. London.

Baptist workers experience ‘God’s time for Cuba’

RICHMOND, Va. (IMB)—When Osvier Acosta Ferrero, 72, and Ricardo Tadeo Soria Perez, 58, peddle down dirt roads on their bicycles, they’re not out for exercise. They’re praying for Cubans who need Christ.

These Cuban Baptists sing hymns as they cycle for miles, traveling to rural communities to lead Bible studies. “If someday God sends us to another country, we’ll go,” Osvier says. “We have the joy of evangelization, always asking God for wisdom, a love for people and the joy of proclaiming His Word.”

Florida Baptists celebrate anniversary of Haiti missions partnership

BRANDON (FBC)—To celebrate its 15-year missions partnership with Haiti, Florida Baptists attending the state convention’s 149th annual meeting in Brandon watched an informative video about the partnership and then heard personally from Haiti Baptists’ national director of ministry and Florida Baptist leaders.

A six-minute video described Haiti’s day-to-day struggle to survive, which has been exacerbated since the January 2010 earthquake. The video highlighted how Florida Baptists arrived on-scene within 24 hours of the earthquake and have been meeting needs, ministering and witnessing there ever since.

2010 Crossover Tampa Bay: From Wimauma to Thonotosassa & across Tampa Bay

TAMPA (FBC/FBW)—Donning jackets and sweatshirts to brave one of the coolest Saturdays this season, Florida Baptist volunteers quickly made intentional connections Nov. 6 in a variety of cultural settings throughout the Tampa Bay area, warming hearts with the Gospel message of Jesus Christ during “Crossover Tampa Bay.”

Point of View: Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor may not reflect the views or opinions of the Witness. Letters may be mailed, faxed or submitted using our online form. Only letters marked clearly for publication, signed with address will be considered for use. Letters are subject to editing. Please limit letters to 300 words.

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