May 1, 2008 Print Edition

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$1.4 million goal set for FBCH offering

LAKELAND (FBCH)—The Florida Baptist Children’s Homes has set a $1.4 million goal for its annual Mother’s Day Offering. Funds raised go to meet the needs of children who have been neglected, abused, or can no longer be cared for by their parents or guardians. The annual offering has provided critical financial support for more than thirty years.

Pastor’s father one of 44 baptized

UMATILLA (FBW)—As the church experiences a surge in attendance, First Baptist Church in Umatilla’s pastor Brooks Braswell baptized 44 in nearby Lake Pearl April 20. Numbered among the newly immersed believers was the pastor’s father, Bobby.

Non-reporting churches skew ACP’s lackluster results

JACKSONVILLE (FBC)—With 16 percent of their congregations not reporting, Florida Baptist churches overall recorded a decrease in baptisms, total members, as well as Sunday School attendance and enrollment in 2007, according to statistics compiled in the Annual Church Profile.

SBC baptisms: Lowest since ‘87

NASHVLLE, Tenn. (BP)—The number of people baptized in Southern Baptist churches fell for the third straight year in 2007 to the convention’s lowest level since 1987.

Senate, House adopt different evolution academic freedom bills

TALLAHASSEE (FBW)—Although both chambers of the Florida Legislature have adopted legislation that sponsors believe will protect the academic freedom of public school teachers and students addressing evolution, the adoption of significantly different bills leaves passage in doubt in the final days of the legislative session.

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.

Point of View

In a recent letter to the editor of the Bradenton Herald, Children’s Home Society President, Dave A. Bundy gave the following media reports from around our state:

Point of View

Martin Luther King Jr. died 40 years ago this spring, taking a bullet to the head because he had the courage to stand for an absolute: the God-given right of all people, regardless of color or background, to be treated with equality and dignity.

Point of View

Next to freshman biology class, there is nothing more universal on college campuses than the “hookup scene.” It is simply expected that students from state schools to the Ivy League will experiment with premarital sex. In the words of one Harvard student recently quoted in the New York Times: “For me, being a strong woman means not being ashamed that I like to have sex.”

Senate debates ultrasound abortion bill, delays action

TALLAHASSEE (FBW)—Although the Florida Senate engaged in an initial debate April 24 about a bill that would require ultrasounds for women seeking abortions during the first trimester, the body repeatedly delayed further consideration. According to various news reports, the eventual vote will be very close, perhaps being decided by one or two senators.

Pinellas County expands ordinance to ‘protect’ homosexuals

CLEARWATER (FBW)—Pinellas County Commissioners in a split vote April 22 expanded its human rights ordinance to “protect” homosexuals. The ordinance, termed “unneeded” by family advocates, follows the lead of the cities of Tampa and St. Petersburg which has passed similar measures naming “gays, lesbian and bisexuals” as a group of individuals needing special protection.

Pensacola Bay starts Russian church

JACKSONVILLE(FBC)—According to a report released by the Florida Baptist Convention’s Church Planting Department, Florida Baptists started 15 new churches in March 2008. The following is a listing of new churches listed by association:

Special Reports