May 27, 2010 Print Edition

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NOT SURPRISING: Millennials spiritually diverse

Nashville, Tenn. (LCR)-Two-thirds of American "Millennials"-those born between 1980 and 1991—call themselves Christian, but far fewer pray or read the Bible daily, attend weekly worship services, or hold to historical positions on the Bible and its teachings.

These are the findings from a wide-ranging August 2009 LifeWay Research study of 1,200 Millennials in the United States. The study forms the basis for the upcoming book The Millennials: Connecting to America’s Largest Generation by Thom Rainer and his son, Jess Rainer.

Nevada pastor to be nominated to lead Pastors’ Conference

JACKSONVILLE (FBW) – Vance Pitman, pastor of Hope Baptist Church in Las Vegas, Nev., will be nominated president of the Southern Baptist Pastors’ Conference next month in Orlando, Mac Brunson, pastor of First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, told Florida Baptist Witness today.

Frank Page nominated to lead SBC Executive Committee

ORLANDO (FBW) – Frank Page, immediate past president of the Southern Baptist Convention, will be nominated as the next president of the SBC Executive Committee, search team chairman Randall James announced today in a letter to EC trustees and staff.

James, assistant pastor of First Baptist Church in Orlando and chairman of the EC trustees, said Page is the unanimous choice of the 6-member search committee, after its 7-month search that included 16 recommendations, of which six were finalists before one candidate removed himself from consideration.

IMB’s Rankin leads final appointment service

RICHMOND, Va. (BP)—Tommy Reed* was soaked to the bone. The 27-year-old missionary was caught in a torrential downpour as he rode his motorcycle to a Bible study in a remote Philippine village.

He found shelter under a thatched-roof shed and stumbled upon the woman who would one day become his church-planting partner—and his bride.

Point of View: Will Southern Baptists ignore the ongoing decline?

A LifeWay report released on May 14 showed that overall SBC membership continues to decline—for the third straight year. Despite adding 162 churches across 42 state conventions, total membership slid from 16,228,438 in 2008 to 16,160,088 in 2009, a net loss of 68,350 members. The decline has occurred in spite of an increase of 7,539 baptisms year over year. The Annual Church profiles revealed a tiny (.36%) rise in total number of churches and a .37% increase in primary worship attendance.

Buckets of hope update

PORT-AU-PRINCE (FBC)—Florida Baptist Convention disaster relief workers continue to work “diligently” with Haitian government officials to release shipping containers carrying Buckets of Hope from shipping ports in Port-au-Prince and Saint Marc.

Point of View: Hope in the midst of change

On Easter Sunday I began a new sermon series on “Hope.” The Bible says in 1 Peter 1:3: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”

Point of View: Frankie Has Two Mommies: Redefining Humanity

A letter recently published in the prestigious journal Nature told readers about a technique that could potentially “prevent a number of incurable genetic diseases.” But, as is often the case, exploiting the potential comes at a cost—like redefining what it means to be human. The letter bore the innocuous sounding title “Pronuclear Transfer in Human Embryos to Prevent Transmission of Mitochondrial DNA Disease.”

Florida Baptist Convention joins Facebook & Twitter

JACKSONVILLE (FBC)—The Florida Baptist Convention has joined the Facebook and Twitter phenomenon. Florida Baptists who subscribe to either of these social networking mediums are being asked to become a fan of the Florida Baptist Convention’s Facebook page and become a tweet follower at

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.

BCF commencement honors 58 spring graduates

GRACEVILLE (BCF)—It is often said that the older you get, the faster time moves, and for 58 graduates at The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) in Graceville, the past few years have passed quickly with studying, hard work, determination, and prayer.

Spring commencement May 14 in BCF’s Assembly Center began with the traditional graduate processional “Pomp and Circumstance” performed by BCF piano professor Angela Glover. New English professor Geoffrey Reiter led the invocation followed by music and worship division chair Don Odom leading the congregation in “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee.”

Fred Barnes: America needs cultural, moral reform

ORLANDO (FBW)—While a conservative “backlash” in America may be in the making, revolting against government spending and high taxes, FOX News commentator Fred Barnes told a pro-family group May 15 the nation cannot prosper without cultural and moral reform.

Barnes was the keynote speaker at the annual awards banquet for Florida Family Policy Council, a pro-family group. Led by Orlando attorney John Stemberger, FFPC was instrumental in the passage of the Florida marriage amendment in 2008.

Florida Baptists offer opinions on GCRTF final report

JACKSONVILLE (FBW)—While it may not have been a goal of the Great Commission Resurgence Task Force to address the denomination’s structure, the core of what drives one of the world’s largest denominations—funding and core beliefs—among other issues, were topics of discussion with some Florida Baptists after the task force released its final report May 3.

In interviews with Florida Baptist Witness addressing the 8,500-word report, “Penetrating the Lostness,” three Florida Baptists share their views: Ken Whitten, a GCRTF member and pastor of Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz; John Cross, Florida Baptist State Convention president and pastor of South Biscayne Church in North Port; and Jerry Nash, director of missions of Harmony Baptist Association and member of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Fort White.

Chavez trains militia as ‘personal army’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)—Thousands of Venezuelan civilians are training at military bases to “defend” the country against enemies President Hugo Chavez says are threatening the country.

The volunteers, clad in olive-green fatigues, learn to crawl under barbed wire, fire assault rifles and stalk enemies in combat, the Associated Press reported. Critics say the “Bolivarian Militia” is aimed at maintaining control of the country, not protecting it from external dangers.

FIRST PERSON: Chaplain takes final journey with American hero

EDITOR’S NOTE: Southern Baptist military chaplains are called upon by soldiers and their families to bring encouragement, hope and comfort during some of life’s most challenging difficulties. This article chronicles the experience of SBC Chaplain (Commander) Manuel A. Biadog Jr. of the U.S. Navy, who accompanied the body of a fallen Marine as he returned home from battle in Afghanistan. NEWPORT, R.I. (BP)—After the long journey from Afghanistan via Dover Air Force Base in Delaware, U.S. Marine Corps Private First Class (PFC) Kyle Coutu is finally back at home in Rhode Island with his grieving family. It was my job as a Navy chaplain to make this final trip with him.

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