February 23, 2006 Print Edition

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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 250 words.

Brunson to lead First Baptist Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE (FBW)–In a historic vote Feb. 19, members of the 28,000-member First Baptist Church in Jacksonville voted to call Mac Brunson, 49, pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, as their new senior pastor.

Brunson pledges support for CP

JACKSONVILLE (FBW)–Pledging ongoing support for Southern Baptists’ main funding mechanism for missions, Mac Brunson, newly elected pastor of First Baptist Church in Jacksonville said he is “a product” of the Cooperative Program and believes it is something he will continue to strongly support.

Annie week of prayer March 5-12

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP)–The annual Week of Prayer which precedes the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering for the North American Mission Board begins March 5 with a focus on eight missionaries and their areas of service. This year’s offering goal is $56 million, 100 percent of which directly supports more than 5,200 North American missionaries and their ministries.

IMB chairman and Okla. trustee report dialogue

ROGERS, Ark. (BP)– “Constructive conversations appear to be bearing fruit” in the conflict between the International Mission Board’s trustees and an Oklahoma pastor, chairman Tom Hatley told Baptist Press Feb. 16.

NAMB calls negative news story inaccurate, unprofessional

ATLANTA (BP)–A Baptist state newspaper’s critical analysis of the North American Mission Board’s operations has drawn a pointed response from the entity, which calls the newspaper’s report inaccurate and unprofessional.

Point of View

The Florida Baptist State Convention is an autonomous organization – as are churches, associations and the Southern Baptist Convention – that has influence, but no authority, over any church, pastor or member of our affiliate churches. The Florida Baptist State Convention is designed for one reason: to assist our churches in impacting the people of Florida with the Gospel of Christ. There may be other reasons for its existence but not in my understanding.

Point of View

What do these numbers represent? 88, 52, 70, 30? Youth leave our churches at the rate of 88 percent within a few years of high school graduation. Fifty-two percent of teens believe Jesus was a sinner. Seventy percent of America’s youngest adults, ages 18-29, believe that homosexuals should be allowed to marry. Most tragic of all, only 30 percent of today’s born-again parents mentioned leading their child to Christ as a critical result of their parenting. Just as vital signs tell a doctor about your body’s health, so these numbers tell us about the health of the Body of Christ. Sadly, these signs are anything but vital, indicating a critically ill body, one that is not performing the role Jesus commanded: “Go and make disciples.”

Point of View

The television ad shows footage of devastating storms,droughts, and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. As the images flash by, a voice intones, “The good news is that with God’s help, we can stop global warming, for our kids, our world, and for our Lord.” That’s quite a promise.

Prominent Florida Baptist pastors engaged to speak at E-Conference

LAKELAND—(FBC) Four well known Florida Baptist pastors have been added to the slate of preachers scheduled for the 2006 Florida State Evangelism Conference March 6-7 at First Baptist Church at the Mall, Lakeland.

E- Conference host church to showcase evangelistic ministries in Lakeland

LAKELAND—(FBC) A variety of evangelistic ministries developed by First Baptist Church at the Mall in Lakeland will be modeled to participants attending the E-Conference March, 6-7.

Summit promises inspiration

TAMPA (IMB)–In response to more than 1,000 West Africa people groups with little to no access to the Gospel, Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz in conjunction with three other church partners and the International Mission Board, is hosting a special missions summit, March 22-25.

International churches join FBC

JACKSONVILLE (FBC)–According to a report released by the Florida Baptist Convention’s Church Planting Department, Florida Baptists started seven new churches in January, 2006.

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