February 10, 2011 Print Edition

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Clearwater pastor to speak at memorial service for slain St. Pete officers

CLEARWATER (FBW)—Willy Rice, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Clearwater, will be one of the speakers at a Jan. 28 memorial service for two St. Petersburg police officers slain in the line of duty Jan. 24.

Jeffrey Yaslowitz, 39, and Thomas Baitlinger, 48, were killed in a violent shootout at the home of a fugitive wanted on three felony charges, including aggravated battery. The suspect shot through the attic floor killing one of the officers in an exchange of gunfire in which police said 150-200 rounds were used. St. Petersburg Police Chief Chuck Harmon called it an "ambush" in news reports.

Haridopolos: Christians don’t seem to care about gambling expansion

TALLHASSEE (FBW)—The Legislature's potential interest in another gambling expansion this year may be a result of muted concern from Christians and other pro-family conservatives according to Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos.

In an exclusive interview with Florida Baptist Witness Jan. 25, Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, discussed a range of policy issues for the upcoming legislative session and his goals as Senate president, a post that he assumed Nov. 16.

Haridopolos, 40, is a member of First Baptist Church of South Brevard, an independent Baptist congregation, and also spoke about his conversion to faith in Christ at age 25.

Long-time mission advocate Tanna Dawson dies at 91

Updated: February 4; 1:00 p.m.

FORT LAUDERDALE (FBC)-Tatiana Mazaii Temoshuk Dawson, the daughter of Russian immigrants and perhaps the most influential layperson in the history of Gulf Stream Baptist Association, died Feb. 1 after an extended illness.

Born Sept. 13, 1919 in Pennsylvania, Penn., Tanna Dawson was 91. A former president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Woman's Missionary Union, Dawson also served as president of Florida's WMU, was a second vice president of the Florida Baptist State Convention, and was elected to two terms as a member of Florida's State Board of Missions.

Dawson moved to Broward County in 1953 to find a rural region overshadowed by its glitzy, older sibling to the south–Miami.

Frank Page, Kevin Ezell keynote March 20-21 State Evangelism Conference

OCALA (FBC)—Mac Brunson, Frank Page and Kevin Ezell are among the keynote speakers scheduled to inspire and motivate Florida Baptists to reach their communities with the Gospel of Christ during the State Evangelism Conference March 20-21 at Trinity Baptist Church in Ocala.

Brunson, pastor of First Baptist Church in Jacksonville; Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee; and Ezell, newly elected president of the North American Mission Board, will be joined by other prominent Florida pastors. Among them are David Uth, First Baptist Church in Orlando and president of the Florida Baptist State Convention; Willy Rice, Calvary Baptist Church in Clearwater; Clayton Cloer, First Baptist Church of Central Florida in Orlando; and Hayes Wicker, First Baptist Church in Naples.

Editorial: Ten years

EDITOR’S NOTE: With this issue, I mark the completion of ten years as executive editor of Florida Baptist Witness. A great deal has changed in this time—the addition (and loss) of new staff, two significant redesigns of the newspaper’s print edition, and the launch, redesign and rapid expansion of our website (www.goFBW.com), to name a few of the more notable innovations. I believe—and I hope our readers agree—that the Witness has improved both in content and appearance during this era.

Point of View: Prayer and healthy churches

On December 27, 2010, one of my favorite people in the world went to be with the Lord. Mrs. Nell Bruce had anticipated this homecoming almost all of her 90 years. Her relationship with her Lord was close and vibrant because she had conversations with him on an ongoing basis.

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.

Point of View: Worldview competition: How to ruin a false worldview

A while back on BreakPoint, I talked about a teenager who attended a worldview training camp run by Summit Ministries. The young man complained, tongue in cheek, that worldview training had “ruined” movie watching for him. He could not longer watch films without automatically searching for the worldview messages.

BCF trustees welcome new members, elect leadership

GRACEVILLE (BCF)—At their Jan. 21 meeting trustees for the Baptist College of Florida welcomed four new members to their board: Kenric Conway, pastor of the Family of God Baptist Church in Panama City; Dozier Johnson, member of Thomasville Road Baptist Church in Tallahassee; Jimmy Legg, pastor of Mayo Baptist Church in Mayo; and Doug Medlin, member of Westside Baptist Church in Gainesville.

Members of the board were elected last November by messengers to the Florida Baptist State Convention for a 3-year term. “Membership on the Board is usually balanced with pastors or other church staff and lay members,” according to BCF President, Thomas Kinchen. “This gives us a strong perspective of Baptist life. These new members represent a strong commitment to our Lord and the mission of the College.”

Senior pastor of Christ Fellowship Miami suffers major heart attack

MIAMI (FBW)—Rick Blackwood, senior pastor of Christ Fellowship Church in Miami, suffered a major heart attack Jan. 28, but after surgery is “doing well” and resting at home according to a staff member at the church.

The 54-year-old pastor has been at the 10,000-member Southern Baptist church, described as one of the fastest growing congregations in America, for 15 years.

Brunson’s Jacksonville pastors’ conference continues to grow in diversity

JACKSONVILLE (FBW)—Celebrating its 25th year, the annual Pastors’ Conference at First Baptist Church drew from a wide selection of preachers and speakers—reflected in nearly 2,000 gathered for the 5-day event at the sprawling 9-block downtown campus.

From jean-clad church planters sending tweets on their iPads to spit and polish televangelist types in pinstripe suits toting King James Bibles—and pastors from as far as New York, Texas and Arizona—there was something for everyone during the Jan. 28-Feb. 1 conference themed “Endurance.”

Diverse South Orlando deacons serve a congregation ‘not bound by race’

ORLANDO (FBW)—South Orlando Baptist Church, in keeping with its proud tradition as a multi-racial congregation, ordained four deacons of four races Jan. 30. The ordination is evidence of church’s diverse makeup that has been “a natural progression,” according to Pastor Ramel Cuenca.

The pastor was called to South Orlando Baptist three years ago after a decades-long search for a church “open to all,” he said. All the church’s previous pastors were Anglo, although the congregation was multi-racial.

Ezell gives preview of NAMB strategy

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP)—North American Mission Board President Kevin Ezell will propose new strategy, new vice presidents and a staff reorganization when he meets with NAMB trustees at a board meeting scheduled for Feb. 9 in Alpharetta, Ga. The meeting comes almost exactly five months after trustees voted to call Ezell as the entity’s president last Sept. 14.

Mohler at center of debate over evolution and the Bible

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)—R. Albert Mohler Jr. believes the theory of evolution “represents one of the greatest challenges to Christian faith and faithfulness in our times,” and he has found himself at the center of a controversy over the compatibility of evolution and Christian theology.

The dialogue began last summer when Mohler, president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, delivered an address titled “Why Does the Universe Look So Old?” at the Ligonier Ministries 2010 National Conference, during which he mentioned The BioLogos Foundation, a movement founded by Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health.

NOBTS trustees announce implementation of M.Div. revisions

NEW ORLEANS (BP)—Trustees of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary have approved revisions of the standard master of divinity degree to take effect in August 2011.

Seminary President Chuck Kelley said the revised standard M.Div. offers a curriculum that is “tightly connected with the real world of ministry in the 21st century.”

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