August 26, 2004 Print Edition

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SBC president surveys Charley’s damage

NORTH PORT (FBW)—The devastation of Southwest Florida by Hurricane Charley reminded Bobby Welch, the Florida pastor who is president of the 16-million member Southern Baptist Convention, of two other experiences that hit close to home—Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and the war in Vietnam.

Central Florida also pounded by Hurricane Charley

SOUTH DAYTONA (FBW) – Dennis Belz admits that it’s strange to be on the receiving, rather than giving, end of disaster relief. But the director of missions of Halifax Baptist Association said that his area was in desperate need of help after Hurricane Charley departed the Florida Peninsula near Daytona Beach, Fla., in the early morning hours Aug. 14.

Thirty-two Florida Baptist churches feel brunt of Charley's impact

JACKSONVILLE (FBW)—On-site assessments completed through Aug. 20 have identified 32 Florida Baptist church buildings that have been damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Charley. Three churches, all located in the Peace River Association, had their buildings completely destroyed. The three are located in the rural area of Arcadia: Oak Hill Baptist Church; Mt. Ephraim Baptist Church and Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church.

Chicken and dumplings - with encouragement on the side

WAUCHULA (FBC)-In several locations along Hurricane Charley’s savage swath across Florida’s peninsula Aug. 13, Baptists are toiling to provide food and comfort for those whose lives are disrupted. In sometimes 20-hour days, disaster relief volunteers dole out encouragement – with chicken and dumplings, green beans and applesauce.

‘Everyone Can’ bus tour takes Welch across country

DAYTONA BEACH (FBW)–Southern Baptist Convention president Bobby Welch will embark August 29 on the “Everyone Can” bus tour, visiting Baptist churches in 50 states and Canada to encourage and edify pastors and laity. Like the bus tours of candidates vying for national office, organizers hope—and pray—for enthusiastic receptions and large crowds.

Miami-Dade clinic offers good news to patients

MIAMI (FBC)—Miami-based Jorge Kruger worked for a South American cargo airline when an accident forced it into bankruptcy and him into retirement. Treatment and medication for his deteriorating health quickly depleted his life’s savings. When he learned that the Good News Care Center (GNCC) would treat him for free, Kruger first questioned the quality and compassion of the care.

Ministers deserve fair salaries, benefits

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Point of View

I have spent the past week in southwest and central Florida assessing the damage done to our churches by Hurricane Charley.

Point of View

Editor’s note: This week, the Witness provides two BreakPoint commentaries by Chuck Colson. Because Floridians go to the polls Aug. 31 to vote in the primaries to choose candidates for local, state and state-wide offices – including nominees for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Bob Graham, Colson’s column is a helpful reminder about the obligations of Christian citizenship. Next week – as well as in November – Christians must exercise their citizenship responsibilities.

Point of View

Madonna, or Esther, as the Material Girl now wishes to be known, popularized the line of Evita Peròn, “Don’t Cry for me Argentina.” Perhaps Argentina is not crying for Ms. Peròn, but America should be crying for Haiti. Christians should be crying for Haiti. We should be crying for Haiti.

Point of View

There is a ban on stem cell research—or at least that’s what we hear. But that’s only a half truth. Contrary to media reports and political speeches, like Ron Reagan’s, the real facts are, first, the ban covers only federal funding of research, and second, it bans federal funding only for embryonic stem cell research. States and private sources are free to fund whatever stem cell research they choose.

Bibliocipher

Have fun with cryptography and exercise your Bible knowledge. A King James Version verse is encoded by letter substitution. The same letter is substituted throughout the puzzle. Solve by trial and error.

Retired missionaries find harbor of rest at center

VERO BEACH (FBC)—During the 33 years Maxwell and Betty Sledd served as Southern Baptist missionaries in Nigeria, they endured a bloody civil war, a beating and robbery, being held hostage at gunpoint and constant uprooting of their family to move wherever the mission needs existed.

Churches join others in convention

According to a report released by the Florida Baptist Convention’s Church Planting Department, Florida Baptists started 32 new churches during the months of May, June and July 2004. The following is a listing of new churches listed by association:

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