June 9, 2011 Print Edition

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‘Massive’ gambling campaign coming in 2012, Bunkley says

TALLAHASSEE (FBW) – Gov. Rick Scott only agreed with half of a recommendation from Bill Bunkley regarding gambling in the $69.1 billion state budget.

First Orlando’s Randall James faces cancer recurrence, heart surgery

ORLANDO (FBW) – Randall James – known as “cancer pastor” at First Baptist Church in Orlando for his longtime battle with various cancers – is facing a recurrence of lymphoma, and tests have revealed the need for open heart surgery, a longtime friend and fellow pastor told Florida Baptist Witness June 3.

GCR study workgroups make preliminary reports to SBOM

LEESBURG (FBC)—Hearing status reports from five of the six committees studying recommendations from Florida’s Great Commission Resurgence task force consumed much of the business transacted during the State Board of Missions meeting May 27 at Lake Yale Baptist Conference Center.

The Board committees were appoint­ed and assigned in January to study the GCR recommendations that had been approved by messengers attending the annual meeting of the Florida Baptist State Convention in Brandon, Nov. 8-9, 2010.

Editorial: Florida GCR finding ‘traction’ or becoming unhinged?

An important step has been taken toward implementation of the Imagine If Great Commission Resurgence Task Force report adopted by Florida Baptists last year. It remains to be seen if GCR supporters will affirm that step or find it to be movement in the wrong direction.

Introducing a series of preliminary reports from workgroups of the State Board of Missions tasked to make recommendations on implementing the IIGCRTF report, SBOM President Tim Maynard, pastor of Fruit Cove Baptist Church in Jacksonville, said Florida Baptists are entering a “hinge point.”

Third generation pastor David Lema Jr. claims family verse: ‘Para Dios todo es possible’

MIAMI (FBW)—For three generations, and across three nations, the Lema family has claimed the words of Matt. 19:26, “Para Dios todo es possible,” “With God, all things are possible.”

Growing up in Cruces, Cuba, David R. Lema, Jr. learned early to rely on God. In 1966 when just a 5-year-old boy, his father was taken away along with 10 men from the church and put in a communist prison camp.

Point of View: Christ unites, even when culture divides

It was May 1976 in Phoenix and I walked into a downtown office to apply for a summer job with the parks and recreation department. At 15 and a half, I was finally old enough to work.

“Are you a minority?” asked a woman behind the tall counter

Elliff to ‘newly introduce’ IMB to young pastors at SBC

ROCKVILLE, Va. (BP)—Tom Elliff, in his first trustee meeting as president of Internation­al Mission Board, rolled out the beginning of the vision he believes “God painted on my heart.”

Trustees elected a new vice president during their May 20 meeting at the International Learning Center in Rockville, Va., and were asked to pray for the final results of the 2010 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions.

Point of View: Healthy denominationalism or denominational ultraism?

A forgotten, but surprisingly prescient, approach to questions regarding the necessity and future of Baptist denominational identity can be gleaned from the words of John A. Broadus (1827-1895) when he addressed the American Baptist Publication Society’s 1881 meeting in Indianapolis.

Broadus, one of the founding professors and later president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s first seminary, titled his sermon “The Duty of Baptists to Teach their Distinctive Views.”

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: A terrible lesson—Lincoln, slavery, and the Civil War

As the Civil War dragged on and Americans died in previously-unimaginable numbers, preserving the Union became a weak justification for what historian Drew Faust Gilpin called “the Republic of Suffering.”

Making sense of the carnage required moving beyond politics and putting the war in its proper moral context, a context derived from a biblical understanding of God and His purposes.

Two houses & a well for Haiti’s families, gifts from SBC WMU

JACKSONVILLE (FBC)—Two families whose homes were shattered by the earthquake that hit Haiti in 2010 will have roofs over their heads even as families living near the Haitian city of Hinche will soon have clean drinking water—all due to the generosity of the National Woman’s Missionary Union organization.

In May, Cindy Goodwin, Florida Baptists’ women mission and ministries director, presented a $5,000 check to John Sullivan, executive director-treasurer of the Florida Baptist Convention, on behalf of the HEART Fund to build two homes in Haiti. The HEART (Humanitarian Emergency Aid Rebuilding Tomorrow) fund is administered by the WMU Foundation.

Aloma church touches community and world lost in darkness

WINTER PARK (FBC)—Aloma Baptist Church in Winter Park is engaging the world in 2011 with an Acts1:8 strategy in their city, state and world, anchored by a Cooperative Program commitment.

Even as they are preparing for short-term mission trips to Nepal, India and China this year, the congregation is “growing in our awareness of the need to reach our own Jerusalem in the Acts 1:8 understanding of that term,” said Aloma Pastor Anthony George.

NOBTS grads challenged to ‘get in there!’

NEW ORLEANS (BP)—New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary conferred degrees to more than 225 students May 13-14 in Leavell Chapel, holding two separate graduation ceremonies for the first time since Hurricane Katrina due to the large number of graduates. More than 125 students graduated from New Orleans Seminary May 14, the day after more than 100 graduated from Leavell College.

Seminary president Chuck Kelley congratulated the graduates on successfully finishing their field of study, while also reminding them that they didn’t do it all on their own. “Every single one of these students who will walk across this stage today ... has a story of God’s grace, something that God did to get them here, something that God did to keep them here,” Kelley said. “It is literally a cavalcade of grace.”

BCF trustees meet

GRACEVILLE (BCF)—On May 20, the Board of Trustees of The Baptist College of Florida met on the campus in Graceville where they received reports on a broad range of topics concerning curriculum development, future program developments and campus construction.

During the meeting, the board approved the proposed operating budget for the 2011-2012 fiscal year representing a 3.6 percent increase over the 2010-2011 budget. A program of capital expenditures was approved involving construction and the renovation of several campus facilities, as well as the addition of several needed resources for the college.

Cowboy Church searches for the lost and gathers the strays for the Lord

WILLISTON (FBC)—As he searches for the spiritually lost and gathers the strays in God’s Kingdom, Billy Keith casts a long shadow in the cowboy world.

He planted the Cross Brand Church in Williston five years ago to bring the Gospel to the western culture in Levy County, southwest of Gainesville. Residents along these country roads work the land in the farm and agricultural industry.

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