July 12, 2012 Print Edition

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Point of View: Evangelicals and homosexuals: caring, not condemning or coddling

Recently, President Barack Obama announced his unsurprising belief that same-sex couples should be allowed to marry. Where does this leave us as American evangelicals who believe in the biblical view of marriage: one man and one woman as husband and wife?

Tim Maynard to be nominated for FBSC president

JACKSONVILLE (FBW)—Tim Maynard, current president of the State Board of Missions, will be nominated as president of the Florida Baptist State Convention in November, according to Bartow layman Marvin Pittman, who will nominate the Jacksonville pastor.

Maynard’s “statesmanship” while leading the State Board of Missions in recent years is a primary reason he is qualified to be FBSC president, Pittman told Florida Baptist Witness.

Florida Baptist Disaster Relief reacts after TS Debby

LIVE OAK (FBW)—Tools in hand, Florida Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers and church members across North Florida prepared to help victims impacted by Tropical Storm Debby which caused massive flooding in late June, opening large sinkholes and forcing people from their homes.

While floodwaters continue to recede throughout the Panhandle, residents faced with storm damage in their flooded and broken communities welcomed teams July 8 to begin clean up in Live Oak and Starke.

CP lets First Baptist Bonifay ‘have a part’ in global missions

BONIFAY (BP)—It was while he was repotting root-bound plants that pastor Shelly Chandler realized what needed to happen at First Baptist Church in Bonifay, a church that was “at best, plateaued.”

“While doing that, it came to me that replanting is what we needed,” Chandler said of the congregation, which averages nearly 400 people on Sundays. “Here we are, a bit root-bound over the last hundred-plus years—the church was started in 1899—so we need to be shaken out and replanted into a bigger vision.”

Editorial: Needed: Advocates for Florida Baptist Witness

This newspaper gives generous coverage throughout the year to the various missions causes of Southern Baptists in our state, across the nation and around the world. We are privileged to have the opportunity to tell the story of God’s work among us and in doing so we hope that our readers are better informed and motivated to make a difference for Christ.

But there’s one time each year we have the opportunity to remind Florida Baptists of the importance of the ministry of Florida Baptist Witness and why this entity of our state convention needs your support.

Point of View: 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 300 words.

Point of View: Why gay marriage threatens religious freedom

Christians are often asked by gay activists why they oppose same-sex “marriage.” “How does our marriage hurt you?” they ask.

Well, I can think of one significant way it will hurt us: It will destroy religious freedom and free speech rights.

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.

Florida Bible Drill champion brings national trophy home to Pensacola

PENSACOLA (FBW)—Jordan McBride, a member of Bellview Baptist Church in Pensacola, took top honors at the 2012 National Invitational Bible Drills and Speakers’ Tournament June 22 in Brunswick, Ga. He is the first winner from Florida in the 9-year history of the national event.

McBride’s victory in the high school division of the national Bible Drill finals came after winning the Florida High School Bible Drills April 21 at Trinity Baptist Church in Apopka. His older brother, Joseph, was runner-up to Jordan in the state event.

FBCH student selected for participation in Florida Leadership Academy

TALLAHASSEE (FBCH)—Kei Kei. It’s a strong, memorable name that perfectly suits the take-charge personality of a 15 year-old girl with an electric smile who lives on the Tallahassee campus of the Florida Baptist Children’s Homes.

Right now, Hannah and Brent Romero are in charge of Kei Kei as her house parents. But one day, Hannah Romero predicts, Kei Kei will be in charge of a lot of people.

Tampa church planter returns to native Cuba to teach church leaders

CUBA (FBW)—Othoniel Valdes left Cuba in 1968 as an 11-year-old whose father was imprisoned for his faith. This summer he returned for the first time to the nation of his birth as a teacher and preacher. The trip sparked a desire in Valdes to plant churches in his homeland.

Valdes, who works as a church planter with the Tampa Bay Baptist Association, travelled to Cuba with a team of Floridians to train pastors and lay leaders in the western part of the nation, the first time a LifeWay Christian Resources team had offered training in Havana. Team members were Valdes and his wife, Carmen; Rafael and Clysta DeArmas, former director of missions in the Peace River Baptist Association; and Carlos and Ericka Ludwig, pastor of Igreja Batista da Paz, a Brazilian congregation in the Tampa Bay association.

Churches’ scout troops teach children & youth value of service

ORLANDO (FBW)—Several Baptist churches in Florida have embraced scouting as a ministry to children and youth. According to scout leaders, families are drawn to the historic organizations, and then are drawn to the churches that sponsor the scout troops.

The organizations often are led by adults who were Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts as children and now are eager to pass along the principles of scouting to a new generation.

New Orleans seminary celebrates 9 graduates from Florida

NEW ORLEANS (NOBTS)—New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary celebrated its largest graduating class in its 95-year history with a total of 389.

Leavell College, the seminary’s undergraduate program, held its commencement ceremony May 11, graduating 235. The graduate program commencement on May 12 issued 154 master’s and doctoral degrees.

Dead Sea Scrolls, Bible history brought to life in seminary exhibit

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)—Type “Dead Sea Scrolls” into the search bar and Google presents 29 pages of images related to the ancient documents. Stick the 1998 animated film “The Prince of Egypt” into the DVD player and DreamWorks presents its rendition of Bible times in the Near East.

For many Christians, the eastern lands where God spoke to Abraham, where God led the Israelites to freedom, and where Jesus was born, lived, died and rose again may just as well exist only in the events’ respective time periods. Hindered by vacation time, finances, or other responsibilities, millions of people cannot visit the desert surrounding the Dead Sea. For some, Google and DreamWorks may offer the closest access they may ever have to the lands the patriarchs crisscrossed by sandaled foot.

Pastor perseveres after being beaten & imprisoned for sharing the Gospel in India

ORISSA STATE, India (BP)—A group of criminals sits jam-packed in the filthy Indian holding cell. The smell of urine permeates the dank air.

Two bedraggled men in the corner stand out from the other detainees—not because of their threadbare clothes or clean-cut features but because of their actions. Pabitra Kata hums a hymn while Niladri Kanhar prays.

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