November 21, 2002 Print Edition

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Baptists adopt family resolution

"Family is not an invention of mankind; it is a gracious gift from God," Thomas Green said before presenting a resolution in support of the family. "As believers who embrace God's heart, we absolutely affirm the sanctity of human life, the sacred covenant of marriage, the singular teaching of Scripture that biblical marriage is joining one man to one woman. As Florida Baptists, we celebrate the joy of family and declare, 'As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!'"

Making Jesus known is Green's 'main thing'

J. Thomas "Tommy" Green says that his top priority as newly elected president of the Florida Baptist State Convention is "just to focus on the main thing, which is making Jesus Christ known to our communities, to our state and to our world."

Elected without opposition at the 141st meeting of the state convention, the Tampa-area pastor of First Baptist Church of Brandon says his election is more a reflection of what God is doing in the church that he is pastoring, than it is of him. "We have seen God's hand upon our church in a mighty way," he said.

Graham says Florida Baptists are 'an example to the entire SBC'

Southern Baptist Convention president Jack Graham commended Florida Baptists for their "unity" and "focus on reaching people for Christ," Nov. 11, the first day of the annual meeting of the Florida Baptist State Convention at the Pensacola Civic Center.

Graham, pastor of the Dallas-area Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, formerly was pastor of First Baptist Church in West Palm Beach from 1981-89.

"I just thank God for your commitment to the Word of God," said Graham. "You are an example to the entire Southern Baptist Convention."

In keeping with the theme "Embracing God's Heart," Graham quoted 2 Chronicles 16:9, "For the eyes of the Lord are searching to and fro throughout the entire earth, to show himself strong on behalf of those whose hearts are perfect towards him."

Point of View

Did you see the newspaper articles about the new study demonstrating that conservative evangelical fathers are more likely to be abusive, detached and isolated from their families?


Point of View

He is remembered as one of the most influential men of his day-a man celebrated for his wit, humor, and great political achievements. But it was his approach to his family that got the attention of the British public.

First Caribbean islander elected as FBSC officer

Messengers to the Florida Baptist State Convention elected a Tampa pastor as president during their annual meeting Nov. 11-12 at the Pensacola Civic Center.

The meeting drew 1,933 in attendance, including 1,273 messengers. The theme of the two-day meeting was "Embracing God's Heart."

State Board of Missions approves resolution on family, elects staff

In a time when the family and marriage is under attack, the State Board of Missions of the Florida Baptist Convention has declared, "A family results from marriage, which is uniting one man and one woman in covenant commitment for a lifetime.

The statement was initiated by board president Tommy Green. "We need a strong statement of Convention support of the family and take a proactive rather than a reactive stance." The full text of the resolution is included in the on-line edition of the Florida Baptist Witness at

Mercer tells Florida Baptists, 'we have an open door'

"Why is it so hard to minister today?" Dwayne Mercer asked the messengers attending the annual meeting of the Florida Baptist State Convention in Pensacola Nov. 12. Mercer, pastor of First Baptist Church, Oviedo and presiding president of the FBSC, referred to Revelation 3 in a message called "The Open Door."

Mercer said the seven churches in the book were the original recipients of the messages from Jesus, but the Philadelphia church was one "that was not rebuked, but it was challenged." Reading verse seven, he said Florida had much in common with the church.

We are partners 'horizontally and vertically,' says Pensacola pastor

"We are partners," declared Ted Traylor in his convention sermon to the annual meeting of the Florida Baptist State Convention Nov. 12. Citing I Cor. 3:1-9, he said Christians are "God's fellow workers" on both a horizontal plane, working with fellow Christians, and a vertical plane, working with a "great God."

SBC president speaks on EKG and CBF in Witness interview

Southern Baptists would be light years ahead of the their counterparts in Christian education if they would become more interested in doing education "Southern Baptist style," Jack Graham told the Florida Baptist Witness in an interview Nov. 11.

Sullivan: Don't 'drain' atonement from Christianity

Without the atonement, Christianity is irrelevant, said John Sullivan, executive director-treasurer of the Florida Baptist Convention, during his doctrinal address at the state convention meeting.

Atonement is a theological word "describing what God has done to make salvation possible," said Sullivan "There is no human reason that successfully explains why God's only begotten Son chose to die on the cross for my sin. It is God's exclusive and unique way of atonement."

Nebraska pastor says wrestling with God leads to brokenness

"When was the last time you wrestled with God and were stripped of your pretenses as you bared your soul to Him?" Maurice Watson asked. "When was the last time you stopped struggling with God and simply yielded?"

Speaking to the messengers at the annual meeting of Florida Baptist State Convention in Pensacola Nov. 11, Watson said that for a believer, "wrestling" with God may be the first step in accepting God's plan for his life. Watson is the pastor of Salem Baptist Church, Omaha, Neb.

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