September 6, 2012 Print Edition

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Minimal damage from Isaac at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary

NEW ORLEANS (NOBTS)- New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary escaped Hurricane Isaac’s winds and rain with only minimal damage as slow-moving storm raged throughout Aug. 29, but students and their families will not be allowed to return to campus until the “All Clear” is posted.

Florida Baptists to deploy in ‘second wave’ response to Hurricane Isaac destruction

JACKSONVILLE (FBW)-While hordes of Southern Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers closest to Louisiana and Mississippi will work through Labor Day weekend to help those displaced by massive flooding caused by Hurricane Isaac, Florida Baptist Disaster Relief workers will be part of a “second wave” of responders in the aftermath of the storm that surged ashore on the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

Isaac made landfall as a Category 1 Hurricane in southeast Louisiana Aug. 28 before crawling up the coast towards New Orleans, lashing out with high winds and torrential rain, much like Tropical Storm Debby, which hit Florida’s Gulf Coast in Steinhatchee June 26.

Mabel Southerland, wife of BCF's former president, dies at 94

DOTHAN, Ala. (FBW)-Mabel Arthur Southerland, widow of James E. Southerland, president emeritus of Baptist College of Florida, died Aug. 26 in Dothan. Ala. She was 94.

A graduate of Stetson University in DeLand, she taught Sunday School many years, and was a minister’s wife 60 years. She participated in her husband’s ministry as president of Baptist College of Florida in Graceville (then Baptist Bible Institute) 1957-1977.

‘iPledge’ Sept. 9 simulcast to urge Christians to vote

WASHINGTON (BP/FBW)—Leading pro-family organizations will attempt to motivate and equip Christians to fulfill their citizenship responsibilities—praying for the election and voting—through a live simulcast in September to local churches.

The Family Research Council (FRC) and American Family Association are co-sponsoring “iPledge Sunday: A Call to Faith, Family and Freedom” Sunday, Sept. 9. The event will originate at 7 p.m. (EDT) from First Baptist Church in Charlotte, N.C., but churches throughout the United States will be able to host a simulcast of the 90-minute service. Christians also may host the event in their homes.

20 years after Hurricane Andrew, Isaac reminds Florida Baptists of Disaster Relief gains

MIAMI (FBC)—Carolyn McAdams wept as she walked into the sanctuary of First Baptist Church of Cutler Ridge 20 years ago. Though the walls were still standing, the ceiling had caved in, insulation hung in chunks, and several inches of water stood on the floor.

“This is the only church I have attended since I was a child,” she cried. “My home is gone, my car is gone and I’ve lost my church.”

Churches’ ‘offensive linemen’ trained at Orlando Deacon Summit

ORLANDO (FBW)—Southern Baptists invest a great deal in developing their quarterbacks—pastors—but these “franchise players” will be “devoured” without effective “offensive lineman”—deacons—who can block and defend, permitting the team—the church—to succeed.

Drawing on football as an analogy, Clayton Cloer, pastor of First Baptist Church of Central Florida in Orlando, led a “Deacon Summit,” to provide training and resources for the church office that he believes is oftentimes neglected.

Editorial: Prayer—every Christian’s patriotic duty

Politics is unavoidable these days.

With the major party political conventions, the seemingly endless onslaught of campaign television commercials, social media pontifications by family and friends, and 24-hour cable newscasts’ breathless reporting on every twist and turn in the campaigns like they are horse races, there are few harbors for those uninterested in election season.

Point of View: ‘Last Ounce of Courage’ heartwarming & heartwrenching

“Last Ounce of Courage” is an engaging drama that asks moviegoers: “How are we making a difference with our life?”

More than just heartwarming, the surprising home-conceived but professionally-rendered feature film shows the heartwrenching pain of a family who sends a soldier off to war in the desert only to later find themselves at the center of a small-town war on Christmas in America.

Point of View: Arminianism on grace

Both Arminianism and Calvinism are frequently misunderstood today. For example, James Arminius and classical followers of his system of theology affirm as robust a doctrine of total depravity as Calvinists. Arminians affirm two corollaries of total depravity: total corruption and total inability. Further, both Calvinists and Arminians affirm that salvation is by grace alone through faith alone. What then separates the Calvinistic and Arminian understandings of salvation? A major demarcation between the two groups is how each group understands the nature of God’s grace.

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: Not so civilized: Preying on prisoners

Three years ago, a woman I’ll call “Mary” was stopped by a policeman for what initially appeared to be a run-of-the-mill moving violation. What followed was anything but routine, though.

BCF ‘security guy’ finds faith strengthened in son’s health crisis

GRACEVILLE (FBW)—On Monday, July 30, 10-year-old Shawn Blatzer Jr. played outside with his two younger brothers near their Graceville apartment. Only two days later he was undergoing neurosurgery in Gainesville. Shawn Blatzer Sr. recognizes little miracles during those hours that show God’s providence toward the young family.

“We look at those two days, and we see God’s hand in it all,” Blatzer told Florida Baptist Witness.

After putting ministry ‘on a back burner,’ pastor leads Lake Yale church plant

LEESBURG (FBW)—Pastor Steve Harmon recently returned to Florida, his home state, to lead The Church @ The Lake at Lake Yale Baptist Conference Center. The property in central Florida is a perfect place to plant a church, he said.

“It just makes sense to have a church meet here,” Harmon said of Florida Baptists’ conference center. “It is a great facility with two sanctuaries already on it.”

Celebrating God’s increase in Haiti

HAITI (FBC)—After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, Frankel Gabriel, his pregnant girlfriend and sons lived under a makeshift tent in Gressier for months before Pastor Octavien Henriquez discovered their misery on a tropical raining night.

“We shared the Gospel with them, telling them that Jesus loves them,” Henriquez recalled. “We asked them if they believed Jesus can do miracles. ‘Yes,’ they replied.”

Jacksonville church embraces community’s dental needs

JACKONVILLE (FBC)—An unemployed health educator who recognized the importance of dental care but had no insurance and little money for needed dental treatment stopped by the Mobile Dental Clinic earlier this year at Lake Shore Baptist Church in Jacksonville.

The woman not only received free dental care but she was “overwhelmed by the warmth and generosity” demonstrated by the clinic staff.

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