March 24, 2011 Print Edition

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Storms: New DCF chief has 'short window'

TALLAHASSEE (NSF) -- New Department of Children and Families Secretary David Wilkins introduced himself to the Senate committee that oversees his agency Wednesday, and found lawmakers furious about the recent performance of the state’s child welfare system.

Cecil Seagle to serve as Indiana interim executive director

JACKSONVILLE (FBW)-Cecil Seagle, the longtime Missions Division director of the Florida Baptist Convention, has been named the interim executive director of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana. The move is prompted by the election of Stephen P. Davis, the current SCBI executive director, as a regional vice president for the North American Mission Board.

Seagle told Florida Baptist Witness he accepted the invitation from Indiana's board of directors March 8 and will begin as interim executive director April 1. It was announced last year Seagle would retire from the Florida Baptist Convention after two separate stints totaling 21 years, although he said he has "never had any ambition to retire."

Haag to leave Florida Baptist Children’s Homes for a position at Baylor

LAKELAND (FBCH)- Jerry Haag, president of the Florida Baptist Children’s Homes, announced March 16 at a staff meeting he will leave April 15 to become vice president of university development at Baylor University, his alma mater.

Cooperative Program enables IMB to have ‘5,000 boots on the ground’ new president says

DALLAS (FBW)-Without Cooperative Program support, Southern Baptists would not have the International Mission Board, the largest evangelical mission agency in existence, Tom Elliff, the new president of the IMB, told Florida Baptist Witness March 15 after his unanimous election by trustees.

Gambling measures advance in Senate committee

TALLAHASSEE (NSF/FBW)—Two measures changing the rules of the game for gambling interests in the state passed the Senate Regulated Industries Committee March 15, potentially kicking off a new round of gambling fights in this year’s session.

Spontaneous offering at First Baptist Orlando raises $5.6 million for homeless

ORLANDO (FBW)—A passionate act of care for the homeless led the congregation at First Baptist Church in Orlando to raise an unprecedented $5.6 million in donations and pledges for the needy of Central Florida in three services March 15-16.

“We’ve had a stirring in our heart and spirit that God placed the church here for this time because of foreclosures, because of this new homelessness,” senior Pastor David Uth said. “We believe we were put here by divine choice and we have got to make a difference.”

Legislator seeks support for sex-trafficking bill

BRANDON (FBW)—On the eve of her departure for the new legislative session, Rep. Rachel Burgin, R-Riverview, met with approximately 20 representatives from Brandon area churches to discuss the Human Trafficking Bill (HB 477) she is sponsoring. Her bill takes aim at illegitimate “massage parlors” and “spas” that offer sexual services under the guise of massage therapy and are often involved in the sexual slavery of women.

Tom Elliff elected as Southern Baptist International Mission Board president

DALLAS (FBW)-Longtime pastor and Southern Baptist leader Thomas “Tom” D. Elliff, 67, was unanimously elected president of the SBC’s International Mission Board March 16 by IMB trustees meeting in Dallas.

Elliff, a former missionary, will “hold the ropes” as the 11th president in the 166-year history for one of the largest evangelical missions agencies at a time of rapid change in America and around the world.

F.A.I.T.H. Riders share over roar of 500,000 bikes in Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH (FBW)—A metallic clinging rises above the roar of thousands of motorcycles making their way down Beach Blvd. in Daytona. Momentarily stilled by the sound, volunteers inside the F.A.I.T.H. Riders tent quietly rejoice. Another soul is set for heaven.

With an estimated 500,000 bikers parading their choppers during Bike Week, F.A.I.T.H. Riders, a national motorcycle ministry, launched their inaugural effort in Florida March 6-12 at the 70th anniversary of Bike Week, bringing in nearly 185 volunteers from 10 chapters across the country during the 10-day festival.

Point of View: Rob Bell’s dangerous theological advice

For a long time the leaders of the emergent church movement have played around at the periphery of orthodox theology, without tipping their hand. They have tickled the itching ears of today’s politically correct masses with innuendo and insinuation (2 Timothy 4:3). Posing as chums of a Christ-rejecting world and critics of the evangelical church, they’ve attributed the Gospel’s present-day lack of appeal to poor salesmanship on the part of contemporary Christians. Never mind that the Apostle Paul identified the power of salvation contained in the Gospel as the “power of God”; they insist, contrary to the Scripture, that it is a mere matter of the power of human persuasion (Romans 1:16; 1 Corinthians 1:17-24; 2:1-5).

Point of View: COOPERATION—Baptists accomplish Kingdom-sized ministries

In the opening decades of the 20th century, leaders of Southern Baptist Convention ministries and leaders of state Baptist ministries made frequent financial appeals to Baptist churches for a wide range of ministry needs. The churches being asked to fund the ministries of the Southern Baptist Convention were the same churches being asked to support the ministries of individual state Baptist conventions.

Point of View: Has the text of the Bible been corrupted?

Many critics of Christianity, including atheists, agnostics, Muslims, and New Agers, affirm that the text of the Bible has been changed through the long historical process of copying the biblical manuscripts. Through the process of copying the documents by hand, some parts of the Bible became lost and other parts were added. This accusation against the reliability of the biblical text, especially the New Testament text, resonates with our popular culture.

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: Vigilant at Vanderbilt—Defending religious rights

It was a classic case of “We didn’t do it, and we promise not to do it again.” At Vanderbilt University, applicants to the nursing school’s residency program for women’s health discovered they were going to have to sign an ominous pledge: They had to agree to participate in abortions. If they had moral objections, they were told, they’d have to go elsewhere for their training.

Uth plans listening sessions to dialogue with Florida pastors, staff

ORLANDO (FBW)—Seeking to learn about how he might better serve pastors in more than 2,800 churches affiliated with the Florida Baptist State Convention, David Uth, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Orlando—who was elected president of the state convention in Novemeber, 2010—will hold listening sessions around the state beginning in April.

“As president of Florida Baptists, I just feel like I need to hear from pastors and staff and I want to know how I can help them,” Uth told Florida Baptist Witness. “I want to hear from them ideas God’s given them that might be timely for us as Florida Baptists.”

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