August 9, 2012 Print Edition

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More than $40,000 in offerings stolen from First Baptist Orlando

ORLANDO (FBW)-Reaching into a combination safe in a secured area open only to those with limited keyed access, members of a counting committee at First Baptist Church in Orlando were surprised to find two money bags were missing, two were empty, and two more had been rifled through the morning of July 16.

In total, an estimated $40-50,000 had been stolen from two July 15 offerings Senior Associate Pastor Danny de Armas told congregants a week later on July 22.

Long shot Senate candidate Dave Weldon claims to offer voters a ‘solid social conservative choice’

MOUNT DORA (FBW) – The Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat currently occupied by Bill Nelson doesn’t appear to be much of a contest, but former Congressman Dave Weldon says he is running nonetheless to give voters a “solid social conservative choice.”

Congressman Connie Mack IV, R-Fort Myers, is the heavy favorite in the Aug. 14 Republican primary that has seen four prominent candidates leave the race (including former interim U.S. Senator George LeMieux who nevertheless remains on the ballot). Two other, lesser-known candidates are also on the ballot.

Retired missionary Evelyn Knapp dies at 82

KINGSPORT, Tenn.—Evelyn Knapp, 82, of Lithia, Fla., International Mission Board missionary to Tanzania for 26 years (1964-1990), died July 27. She and her husband, Douglas, who survives her, labored in the extraordinary work of God, which saw 56,000 new believers in their last 8 years in the Kyela District of Southern Tanzania.

Evelyn, a very fluent Swahili speaker, founded a youth ministry based on Bible memorization and drills that spread over the whole area. She was also the key figure in the local women’s ministry, encouraging women as leaders of this ministry. She taught pastors in a local Bible School, and with Douglas started a music ministry that led to many new hymns being written by local musicians. A new songbook had to be written with all the new songs that were composed.

Point of View: Why the Chick-fil-A Boycott is really about Jesus

If you’re like me, you’re weary of the excessive politicization of nearly everything in American culture.

Can’t we just enjoy Oreo cookies without making a statement about gay rights? Or savor a chicken sandwich without fear of being labeled a hater or homophobe?

Attorney urges JAX City Council to pass a resolution, not a gay rights ordinance

JACKSONVILLE (FBW)—Attorney Joey Vaughn speaking in opposition to a proposed gay rights ordinance told Jacksonville City Council members July 24 if they wanted to make a statement supporting equal rights they should just “pass a resolution.”

Pro-family group releases primary election voter guides

ORLANDO (FBW)—Florida Family Policy Council expects to distribute 2.3 million voter guides for the Aug. 14 primary election in the Sunshine State—and another 3 million before the November general election, President John Stemberger said in a July 30 news release.

Russell Kauffman, retired Florida Baptist Convention staffer, dies at 94

JACKSONVILLE (FBC)-Florida Baptist Convention retiree Russell Kauffman of Jacksonville died July 24 at McGraw Community Hospice. He was 94.

UPDATED: Superintendent has change of heart about evicting Florida Baptist church over homosexuality

MIAMI (FBW)—The head of Miami-Dade County Public Schools who last month threatened to evict a Southern Baptist church which rents space because of the congregation’s opposition to homosexuality apparently had a change of heart and now says the First Amendment is a priority.

Supt. Alberto Carvalho told the school board in a memo dated July 30 there would be “no action” to terminate the lease for Impact Miami following an investigation and a legal review.

Point of View: Strong base of missions at home needed to do more overseas

C.T. Studd, the missionary to China and Africa, once said, “The light that shines farthest shines brightest nearest home.” If Florida Baptists will do great things far away, they must have the resources to do great things in Florida. If they will do great things in Florida, they must be expanding, not reducing the work, role and budget of the Florida Baptist Convention.

Water flows to Haiti village after Stuart church builds aquifer

HAITI (FBW)—Because of the efforts of First Baptist Church in Stuart, water flows freely in a south Haitian village. According to Pastor Darrell Orman, it is the first time in history the residents of Ravine Normande do not have to kneel before tiny springs to collect fresh water.

In the village of 36,000 south of Jacmel on Haiti’s southern coast, residents spent hours each day collecting water from three springs, each of which goes dry at times during the year. They had to dip water into shallow pans through small openings, and empty the pans into five gallon buckets that they carried back to the village. More than 100,000 Haitians depend on the springs for potable water, he said.

Point of View: ‘Meet the Teacher’ Sunday

Here’s a fresh and simple way to invite school teachers and staff to your church. Honor those important community leaders by planning a “Meet the Teacher” Sunday during the first month of school.

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: Calvinism on total depravity

The doctrinal systems of Calvinism and Arminianism are a historic divide within the evangelical world and Baptist life in particular. Yet, the doctrinal perspectives are closer at some points than many people realize.

Ocala pastor retires after 30 years at College Road Baptist

OCALA (FBW)—The history of College Road Baptist Church in Ocala is also an account of almost all John Downing’s pastoral career. The church will honor him August 26, his 30th anniversary and the date of his retirement.

Downing became College Road Baptist Chapel’s first full-time pastor in 1982, when the fledgling congregation met in a double-wide modular building on 10 acres west of I-75 on Hwy. 200. The mission church had begun two years earlier at College Park Elementary School, a vision realized for Marion Baptist Association Director of Missions John Sible and Oakcrest Baptist Church Pastor Bill Terrell.

Bi-vocational pastor has ‘heart for the Spanish people’

LAKE CITY (FBC)—Araceli Velasco had attended La Esperanza Iglesia Hispania in Lake City for only a few times when she was forced by her landlord to find a new home for her family of five.

After asking Pastor John Wethington for suggestions of an alternate place, the pastor and his wife invited the family to move into their home.

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