July 7, 2011 Print Edition

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Liberty Counsel: Religious freedom restored in Santa Rosa Schools

PENSACOLA (FBW) – A two-year battle over a “Consent Decree” limiting religious freedom of students and teachers in Santa Rosa School District has been settled, Liberty Counsel announced July 1.

Struggling church disbands & gives African-American congregation its building

GAINESVILLE (FBW)—Two Southern Baptist churches in Gainesville, one Anglo and one African American, struggled to find new identities in their changing neighborhoods. Although only one church survived, by all accounts, their story is a happy one.

For more than ten years Lighthouse Baptist Church, an Anglo church in northwest Gainesville, struggled to find a way to minister in its changing neighborhood. It was once a thriving congregation of 100 that led mission trips to Brazil and India before a church split decimated its membership. Keeping the church going became a struggle for the two dozen remaining members.

Editorial: Editing God, 2011 NIV-style

A rather extraordinary thing happened last month at the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Phoenix—messengers overruled a standing committee’s decision. And, it was not on some arcane parliamentary procedure in which the SBC collectively took matters into its own hands.

Instead, messengers chose to hear a resolution that was passed over by the Resolutions Committee, the body charged with considering and offering statements about key issues on which to put the nation’s largest Protestant denomination on record.

Point of View: Barber—The nadir of the SBC?

The Baptist Press headline was ominous: “Phoenix SBC attendance lowest since ’44.”

Point of View: Foust: ‘Courageous’ is amazing (& better than ‘Fireproof’)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)—What’s the best movie you’ve ever seen? That’s always a fun topic for a water-cooler or lunch-time moment, and, if you’re like me, the most-recent ones always seem to rank higher on the list.

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: Radical gratitude—Grateful for God in tough times

A few years ago, university psychologists conducted a research project on gratitude and thanksgiving. They divided participants into three groups. People in the first group practiced daily exercises like writing in a gratitude journal. They reported higher levels of alertness, determination, optimism, energy, and less depression and stress than the control group. Unsurprisingly, they were also a lot happier than the participants who were told to keep an account of all the bad things that happened each day.

First Baptist to ‘Love Orlando’ by meeting the needs of the newly homeless

ORLANDO (FBW)—First Baptist Church in Orlando, through its four-month-old ministry called Love Orlando, recently hosted thousands of needy central Floridians at block parties in eight local parks, hotels and community centers.

The June 25 events are part of a comprehensive initiative to meet the needs of the “new homeless” in the area, and to move families “towards sustainability throughout central Florida,” according to a press release.

Florida pastors team up for Winter Haven church revival

WINTER HAVEN (FBW)—Lake Shipp Baptist Church Interim Pastor Hilton Davis believes every church needs to plan revival meetings. He is convinced that revivals—and their preparations—are times of re-invigoration for a congregation, and a recent revival in his central Florida church confirmed his belief.

“I believe in revivals. It is a time to get back to the basics and a time to get people saved. When we get re-invigorated, others see Jesus in us,” he said

WMU speakers ‘Proclaim’ Good News

PHOENIX (BP)—Missions leaders from across the nation “proclaimed” the freedom and Good News of Jesus Christ during the first two sessions of the 2011 National Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU) Missions Celebration and Annual Meeting in Phoenix.

“Proclaim!” was the theme for this year’s June 12-13 celebration based on Luke 4:18-19: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (NIV).

Filipinos ‘well-suited’ for multicultural gains

PHOENIX (BP)—Filipino Southern Baptist leaders met June 14 in Phoenix to ramp up church planting efforts among the 3.2 million Filipinos living in the United States and Canada.

“We want to see the number of Filipino churches double,” said Roger Manao, president of the Filipino Southern Baptist Fellowship of North America and pastor of Philadelphia Bible Church International. “We have 200 churches, and we are not doing enough. We have to do more.”

Evangelicals rising as U.S. falters, Land says

PHOENIX (BP)—While the number of evangelicals in the United States is rising, the moral health of the nation continues to falter, Richard Land told messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting June 14.

In his report to the convention, Land, president of the SBC’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, said the ERLC continues to fight for the sanctity of all human life, from conception to natural death and “everywhere in between.”

GuideStone recognized by financial industry

PHOENIX (BP)—GuideStone President O.S. Hawkins delivered the 93rd annual report of the financial services organization to messengers of the 2011 annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention, meeting June 14-15 at the Phoenix Convention Center.

Despite the current economy, which continues to struggle since the 2008-09 economic downturn, GuideStone has had one of its greatest investment years ever, receiving favorable recognition from industry firms like Lipper and fi360, Hawkins said.

Seminaries report to messengers in Phoenix

PHOENIX (BP)—Messengers to the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention were reminded of the importance of theological education through reports from the convention’s six seminaries during the June 14-15 gathering in Phoenix (reports from New Orleans and Southern were in the June 30 issue of the Florida Baptist Witness):

Galatians 4:1-7; 1 John 1:5-9; 3:1-3: July 17—Personal relationships

Of all the activities carried on by the local church, the one most difficult to sustain from year to year is the outreach program. The necessity of it no one can dispute. One approach, we go from door to door making a religious survey to find people who need the Lord.

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