Billy Graham statue has new home at Ridgecrest Conference Center

 
A larger-than-life statue of evangelist Billy Graham has been installed at its new location at Ridgecrest Conference Center in the North Carolina mountains. The sale of LifeWay Christian Resources' 14-acre downtown Nashville campus prompted the move from middle Tennessee to LifeWay's conference center near Asheville, N.C. The statue was removed from LifeWay earlier this summer and placed in storage until the new site at Ridgecrest was ready. Workers installed the sculpture in October near the main entrance to the ...

2017 SBC Crossover in Phoenix adds Greg Laurie crusade

 
As Phoenix-area Southern Baptists prepare for next summer's SBC annual meeting, they are praying that a new addition to Crossover activities could lead to long-lasting spiritual fruit. At the invitation of the North American Mission Board, Southern California evangelist and pastor Greg Laurie has scheduled his national Harvest America outreach at the University of Phoenix Stadium for June 11, which will coincide with Southern Baptists' Crossover efforts. The Crossover crusade, which will be simulcast nationally, will include a Gospel message by ...

Hispanic Fellowship to meet in conjunction with SBC

 
The National Fellowship of Hispanic Southern Baptist Churches, in a gathering intense in worship, held its ninth annual congress at Iglesia Bautista Casa de Dios in Wichita, Kan., where Abraham Arevalo is pastor. About 80 people from 24 churches participated in the Oct. 27-29 sessions, reported Elias Bracamonte, first vice president of the organization named in Spanish the Confraternidad Nacional de Iglesias Hispanas Bautistas del Sur. The fellowship's leadership voted to move the annual gathering to June to coincide with the SBC ...

Cooperative Program giving 2.73% under 1st month projection

 
Contributions to Southern Baptist Convention national and international missions and ministries received by the SBC Executive Committee in October were 4.54 percent below last year's opening month of the convention's fiscal year and 2.73 percent below the projected budget for the first month, according to a news release from Executive Committee President and CEO Frank S. Page. As of Oct. 31, gifts received by the Executive Committee for distribution through the CP Allocation Budget totaled $15,320,010.00, or $728,429.92 below the $16,048,439.92 received in October 2015. The October ...

Barrett Duke to begin in January as Montana's executive director

 
Barrett Duke will begin in January as the new executive director of the Montana Southern Baptist Convention after his near unanimous election to the post. "We are very excited about the opportunity the Lord has opened up for us in Montana. The convention confirmed for us what we believed God's call to be with a very strong vote. And we're in preparation now to be on the field and beginning the new position on Jan. 1," Duke told Baptist Press of ...

Rick Warren & Saddleback Church surpass 45,000 baptisms

 
Rick Warren and Saddleback Church recorded the 45,000th baptism in the church's 36-year history on Oct. 16—Alberto Flores, who was baptized alongside his 13-year-old son Andre. Warren told the California congregation he would take the 45,000th person baptized to lunch. By the end of the day across all 16 campuses, Saddleback had recorded a total of 45,743 baptisms, 792 of whom were baptized during the weekend alone, with Warren personally baptizing 600 of them. "Baptisms are an amazing moment in the life of ...

Cooperative Program ends fiscal year 4.95% over budget projection

 
The Southern Baptist Convention ended its fiscal year $9.23 million over its 2015-16 budgeted goal and $6.57 million over the previous year's CP Allocation Budget gifts, according to Frank S. Page, president and CEO of the SBC Executive Committee. The SBC received $195,730,508.04 in Cooperative Program Allocation gifts for the year. This amount is $6,570,276.63, or 3.47 percent, more than it received during the last fiscal year, and is $9,230,508.04, or 4.95 percent, more than its budgeted goal of $186.5 million. "Our Southern Baptist churches have responded powerfully ...

New online forum is a place to TalkCP

 
A new online forum to discuss the work and support of Southern Baptist missions and ministries fueled by the Cooperative Program has been launched at TalkCP.com. Designed to meet the needs of the next generation of Southern Baptists, the site features blog posts from notable SBC entity heads, pastors and other leaders, as well as archived interviews conducted on the CP platform and stage at the 2016 SBC annual meeting in St. Louis. Ashley Clayton, vice president for Cooperative ...

Hotel reservations for Phoenix SBC 2017 available online, by phone

 
Housing reservations are open for the Southern Baptist Convention 2017 annual meeting set for June 13-14 at the Phoenix Convention Center. Online reservations can be made at sbcannualmeeting.net/sbc17/pdf/2017Housing.pdf. Reservations by phone are available from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Eastern time Monday through Friday at 1-800-967-8852 toll-free or 1-847-996-5832. "We are busily preparing for and looking forward to our 2017 SBC annual meeting to be held in Phoenix, Arizona, June 13-14, 2017," annual ...

SBC EC recommends expanding membership to small states

 
Four state conventions would gain representation on the Southern Baptist Convention's Executive Committee under a recommendation adopted during the EC's Sept. 19-20 meeting in Nashville for presentation at the SBC annual meeting in June 2017. The recommendation would amend SBC Bylaw 18 to exempt the Dakotas, Iowa, Minnesota-Wisconsin and Montana Baptist conventions from Bylaw 30's requirement that territories have 15,000 members in cooperating Baptist churches to qualify for EC representation. In other actions, EC members updated the committee's media relations policy (see ...

New Executive Committee media policy addresses social media

 
The Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee has voted to update its media policy, prompted by the proliferation and ease of use of social media. In addition to news media, the policy now encompasses any individuals in attendance at EC meetings, including Executive Committee members themselves. The new policy received a unanimous vote Sept. 20 during the EC's two-day meeting in Nashville. While meetings of the full Executive Committee are open to the public and individuals' statements typically are on the record, ...

David Platt reports about apparent Southeast Asian resurrection

 
What appeared to local believers to be a physical resurrection from the dead among an unengaged, unreached people group in Southeast Asia has opened a door for Gospel witness and highlighted what International Mission Board President David Platt called "God's power to supernaturally save sinners." Platt recounted the story -- which, though atypical in Western experience, bore similarities to biblical accounts of raising the dead -- during his report to the Southern Baptist Convention's Executive Committee Sept. 19 in Nashville. The ...

Gaines tells Executive Committee SBC needs 'renewal from heaven'

 
Spiritual awakening, soul winning and stewardship will be the three-pronged emphasis of Steve Gaines' Southern Baptist Convention presidency, he told the SBC Executive Committee Monday (Sept. 19). Addressing the EC via video because of a scheduling conflict, Gaines said America's morally deteriorating culture evidences the need for revival and awakening. He asked Southern Baptists to pray for revival using Psalm 85:6 and Habakkuk 3:2 as prompts. Revival "is a renewal from heaven," said Gaines, pastor of the Memphis-area Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, ...

'Grateful for what God is doing,' Page says to Executive Committee

 
Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee President and CEO Frank S. Page thanked God at the September EC meeting for His work among Southern Baptists, citing increased financial giving and a renewed commitment to the Great Commission. "I'm grateful for what God is doing in our churches. I'm grateful for what God is doing in our mission boards," Page said in his Sept. 19 plenary session remarks. "I'm grateful for what God is doing in our seminaries. I am a grateful man ...

SBC finalizing contracts to hold 2023 annual meeting in N. Carolina

 
Amid controversy over North Carolina's controversial transgender restroom law, Southern Baptist Convention leaders estimate they're less than two weeks away from finalizing contracts to hold the 2023 SBC annual meeting in Charlotte. And they say they're glad to support the state for its moral stand on gender and sexuality. SBC President Steve Gaines said that "while other organizations such as the NCAA, NBA and NFL are seeking to punish North Carolinians for their state government's bold and appropriate stand on gender ...

2017 SBC Pastors' Conference nominees sought

 
The 2017 Southern Baptist Convention Pastors' Conference in Phoenix is expected to highlight the contributions of the convention's smaller churches and celebrate the diverse landscape that makes up the SBC. To that end, Pastors' Conference officers are seeking nominations for event speakers who represent these churches. To help fill the slate of preachers for the conference, the leadership team is inviting Southern Baptists to recommend expository preachers for the event. The online nomination process opens Sept. 12 at www.sbcpc2017.com. Nominations ...

LifeWay budget approved, new facility reports shared

 
LifeWay Christian Resources trustees approved a 2017 budget, and heard progress reports on LifeWay's new headquarters during their board meeting Aug. 29-30 at Ridgecrest Conference Center near Asheville, N.C. LifeWay President and CEO Thom S. Rainer told trustees, "I can honestly say LifeWay's future is brighter than ever." "I could not be more proud of LifeWay's employees and those who make up the leadership team as I watch God work through them to provide 'biblical solutions for life,'" Rainer ...

Cooperative Program contributions 4.80 percent above projection

 
Year-to-date contributions to Southern Baptist Convention national and international missions and ministries received by the SBC Executive Committee through 11 months of the current fiscal year are 4.80 percent above the year-to-date SBC Cooperative Program Allocation Budget projection, and are 2.80 percent above contributions received during the same time frame last year, according to a news release from SBC Executive Committee President and CEO Frank S. Page. The year-to-date total represents money received by the Executive Committee by the close of the last ...

ERLC's Barrett Duke to be recommended for Montana exec post

 
Religious liberty advocate Barrett Duke has emerged as the top candidate for executive directorship of the Montana Southern Baptist Convention.  Bruce Speer, heading the MTSBC eight-member search team for the post, said Duke will receive the team's unanimous recommendation for the executive directorship at the group's annual meeting this fall. "We did an exhaustive study of qualifications needed and interviewed five excellent candidates. And Barrett was head and shoulders above all other candidates we interviewed," Speer said Aug. 23. "His ...

Cecil Seagle to end 5-year service as Indiana Baptist leader

 
Cecil W. Seagle will end five years of service as executive director of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana on Dec. 16. Seagle, 76, made the announcement during the opening session of the SCBI Executive Board's Aug. 15-16 meeting at the Indiana convention's Highland Lakes Baptist Camp in Martinsville. Seagle was elected as SCBI executive director on Nov. 1, 2011, after serving eight months as interim executive director, a role he assumed after 22 years as the Florida Baptist Convention's missions division director. Seagle ...

Prayer sought after gas explosion burns Alaska Baptist director

 
Suffering third-degree burns over 80 percent of his body, Alaska Baptist evangelism and church growth director Jimmy Stewart is hospitalized and grateful for prayers after being injured in a gas leak explosion at his Alaska cabin. Stewart underwent his fourth surgery Aug. 3—one of many anticipated in a hospitalization of at least six months followed by convalescence and a lengthy rehabilitation, according to the Alaska Baptist Convention (ABC). Nearly two weeks after the July 23 explosion that Stewart bore the brunt ...

Cooperative Program giving 5.28% above year-to-date projection

 
Year-to-date contributions to Southern Baptist Convention national and international missions and ministries received by the SBC Executive Committee are 5.28 percent above the year-to-date SBC Cooperative Program Allocation Budget projection, and are 2.99 percent above contributions received during the same time frame last year, according to a news release from SBC Executive Committee President and CEO Frank S. Page. The year-to-date total represents money received by the Executive Committee by the close of the last business day of July and includes receipts ...

50/50 Cooperative Program split recommended to Ohio Baptists

 
Ohio Baptists may join a growing list of state conventions that split their annual Cooperative Program receipts equally between the state and Southern Baptist Convention national and international causes. Both the 50/50 Task Force Committee, appointed in 2015 to study CP funding allocations, and the state's Mission Council have voted to ask messengers to approve the 50/50 split, State Convention of Baptists in Ohio president Jeremy Westbrook told Baptist Press. "The 50/50 committee has spoken, the mission council has voted ... so now I pray ...

Video highlights Southern Baptists' annual meeting in St. Louis

 
A video released today (July 6) by immediate past Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd condenses 17 hours of proceedings from the June 14-15 SBC annual meeting in St. Louis into a 20-minute highlight reel. "This video may be just a personal blessing to you or something you may want to share with your church or through social networking," Floyd, pastor of Cross Church in northwest Arkansas, wrote in a blog post announcing the video. "To God's glory, we left St. Louis ...

Registration open to preview LifeWay's 2017 VBS

 
Registration is open for Vacation Bible School leaders to preview "Galactic Starveyors," the 2017 VBS theme from LifeWay Christian Resources. LifeWay will host preview events in three locations in January to provide leaders hands-on experience with the backyard astronomy theme. "Galactic Starveyors" will prompt kids to look skyward and discover the Creator of the universe, said Rhonda VanCleave, LifeWay's VBS publishing team leader. "You see the stars and moon and you realize the God who created the universe is even bigger, ...

Cooperative Program contributions 5.22 percent above projection

 
Year-to-date contributions to Southern Baptist Convention national and international missions and ministries received by the SBC Executive Committee are 5.22 percent above the year-to-date SBC Cooperative Program Allocation Budget projection, and are 2.88 percent above contributions received during the same time frame last year, according to a news release from SBC Executive Committee President and CEO Frank S. Page. The year-to-date total represents money received by the Executive Committee by the close of the last business day of June and includes receipts ...

NAMB trustees celebrate Send Relief launch

 
Trustees of the North American Mission Board met June 13 and approved the entity's 2017 budget, voted on several recommendations, heard reports on NAMB's church planting efforts and celebrated the launch of Send Relief. In his report to trustees, NAMB President Kevin Ezell noted highlights from NAMB's launch of its Send Relief compassion ministry in conjunction with the SBC's annual meeting in St. Louis, June 14-15. NAMB also hosted a June 13 luncheon attended by 3,000 during the SBC Pastors' Conference and helped coordinate ...

Baptist 21 panelists call for 'Gospel intentionality'

 
Southern Baptists must sacrifice traditions that hinder biblical unity and intentionally seek new ways to approach missions and evangelism, said panelists at the eighth-annual Baptist 21 luncheon June 14, during the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting in St. Louis. J.D. Greear, pastor of The Summit Church of Raleigh-Durham, N.C., told moderator Jon Akin that he attributed the denominational decline in baptisms to a "loss of evangelistic intentionality," in addition to the lack of reporting churches. "In the churches it can't ...

Missions effectiveness examined by SBC leaders

 
Entity leaders discussed ways to be more effective in global missions during one of 18 Cooperative Program panel discussions held June 13-15 in conjunction with the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting in St. Louis. The videotaped discussion took place at one side of the America Center's exhibit hall with Jon Akin, pastor of Fairview Baptist Church near Nashville, moderating. Responding to his questions were Frank S. Page, executive director of the SBC's Executive Committee; R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern ...

NAMB trustees: Maryland/Delaware investigation 'concluded'

 
A North American Mission Board trustee recommendation and a messenger motion at the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting were among the actions Southern Baptists took in St. Louis last week related to NAMB's dealings with the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware. NAMB trustees adopted a recommendation June 13 stating they have conducted a "thorough examination and review" of the entity's relationship with the BCMD and regard as "concluded" an investigation of complaints the convention, which is also known as the Mid-Atlantic ...

SBC St. Louis wrapup: Historic election & resolution

 
The election of Steve Gaines as president on the third ballot and a historic repudiation of the Confederate battle flag were among the highlights of the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting June 14-15 in St. Louis. The convention's resolution on the Confederate battle flag capped an emphasis on racial reconciliation throughout the meeting that included the election of a 2017 Committee on Nominations with 25 percent of its members drawn from ethnic minority groups and a panel discussion on "racial unity in ...

Ted Traylor calls Baptists 'to dwell in unity'

 
Ted Traylor challenged Southern Baptists to move forward in cooperation and unity for the sake of the Gospel -- reflecting the preceding historic moment when Steve Gaines became SBC president with gracious consent from fellow nominee J.D. Greear. Traylor, in the annual convention sermon June 15 in St. Louis, drew from Psalm 133 to poignantly repeat the words of the psalmist David in the first verse of the passage: "How good and pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together ...

SBC repudiates display of Confederate flag

 
Messengers to the 2016 Southern Baptist Convention renounced display of the Confederate battle flag in a historic, overwhelming vote Tuesday (June 14). The convention adopted late in its afternoon session a resolution that urged "brothers and sisters in Christ to discontinue the display of the Confederate battle flag as a sign of solidarity of the whole body of Christ, including our African-American brothers and sisters."   The resolution was one of seven adopted by messengers, but time for the report concluded ...

NAAF president calls for radical obedience in final address

 
Radical obedience, inexplicable unity and Scriptural correctness were the clarion calls in K. Marshall Williams' final presidential address to the National African American Fellowship of the Southern Baptist Convention preceding the SBC annual meeting in St. Louis. Williams, pastor of Nazarene Baptist Church in Philadelphia, employed the rhythmic and exhortative preaching style traditionally heard in African-American pulpits across the country when he called preachers to be prophets of God instead of "pimps and puppets." "Beloved, the manifestation of sin is ...

Steve Gaines elected SBC president after J.D. Greear withdraws

 
Tennessee pastor Steve Gaines was elected by acclamation as Southern Baptist Convention president after fellow candidate J.D. Greear withdrew his candidacy June 15 in a display of unity. Greear's withdrawal followed a runoff vote that didn't produce a majority winner on Tuesday (June 14). His decision avoided a second runoff and left Gaines elected by acclamation as president of the SBC during the annual meeting in St. Louis. Greear told the convention he prayed the night before and believed "we need ...

Frank Page: Evangelism 'groundswell' needed

 
Southern Baptists need "a long-term vision of Great Commission Advance." Frank S. Page, president of the SBC Executive Committee, addressing messengers to the convention's annual meeting, cited Southern Baptists' decline in baptisms and in missionary numbers in calling for "a groundswell of intentionality like never before to see God's Great Commission accomplished." "It is time to review our ministry assignments. It is time to see if there is any way we can lead our churches" toward heightened resolve in "the ...

Steve Gaines recounts SBC presidential decision

 
Steve Gaines, elected president by acclamation at the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in St. Louis, recounted in a press conference afterward how God led the candidates to that "special moment" of unity. After a runoff didn't produce a majority winner between Gaines, pastor of the Memphis-area Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, Tenn., and J.D. Greear, pastor of The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, N.C., Greear withdrew his name and urged messengers to vote for Gaines. The ...

SBC resolutions address culture, ministry concerns

 
  Messengers to the 2016 Southern Baptist Convention, in addition to repudiating the display of the Confederate battle flag, approved 11 other resolutions on a variety of culture and ministry concerns. Messengers voted on the proposals over both days of the annual meeting, adopting resolutions that expressed compassion for those devastated by the Orlando mass shooting, urged consistent evangelism of unbelievers and encouraged care for refugees. They also passed measures that included calling for the federal government not to discriminate against people ...

Executive Committee action changes plan for SBC entity Q&A session

 
The Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee's June 13 decision not to recommend amending SBC Bylaw 26 has forced the cancelation of a panel discussion scheduled for June 15 with SBC entity heads fielding questions from messengers to the convention's annual meeting in St. Louis. Instead, each entity president will answer messenger questions for four minutes at the end of his report. The EC also referred back to its Bylaws Workgroup for further discussion of a proposal to grant EC representation to Baptists in ...

Bell Shoals Pastor Stephen Rummage elected chairman of SBC Executive Committee

 
Stephen Rummage, pastor of Bell Shoals Baptist Church in Brandon, Fla., has been elected chairman of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, succeeding Mike Routt, pastor of Circle Drive Baptist Church in Colorado Springs, Colo. Rummage, the lone nominee, was nominated by John Yeats, executive director of the Missouri Baptist Convention and recording secretary of the Southern Baptist Convention. Rummage is this year's chairman of the SBC Resolutions Committee. The Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention is comprised of&...

Jimmy Scroggins: 4 ways to pour yourself into the task of evangelism

 
Jimmy Scroggins, lead pastor at Family Church in West Palm Beach, Fla., was the first speaker in the final session of this year’s Southern Baptist Convention Pastors Conference in St. Louis. Using 2 Timothy Chapter 4 as his text, Scroggins’s message was titled: “How do we pour ourselves into the task of evangelism?” After setting up his sermon by talking about the culture shock and change in strategies he went through when he moved from Kentucky ...

Johnny Hunt: Living well until the time of your departure

 
Johnny Hunt, pastor of First Baptist Church in Woodstock, Ga., tackled the topic of “Enthusiastically Reaching My Journey’s End” during his Monday evening presentation at the Southern Baptist Convention’s Pastors Conference in St. Louis. In his opening remarks, Hunt said: “It’s not the truth we know that changes us. It’s the truth we obey.” He also said: “In the name of Jesus I want to do now ...

Baptist Press live blog from SBC annual meeting

 
All times Central Wednesday afternoon 5:46 p.m. -- The convention has adjourned. 5:32 p.m. -- Floyd said he is "grateful for the present, and we must look forward to the future." Four words that describe the 2016 SBC annual meeting, he said, are "providential," "historic," "foundational" and "gratitude." "God made two days in a row living history," Floyd said. Two words for the future are "missional" and "hopeful," Floyd said. 5:22 p.m. -- Malachi O'Brien has been elected second vice president. ...

'Every church can' demonstrated through Send Luncheon

 
A capacity audience of 3,000 at The Dome in St. Louis experienced the launch of Send Relief at the 2016 Send Luncheon on Monday, part of the Southern Baptist Convention Pastors' Conference. In keeping with the Send Relief theme—bringing practical help with lasting hope—the North American Mission Board (NAMB) presented Plymouth Baptist Church with a Send Relief trailer to augment the compassion ministry the church of 100 already accomplishes to reach the people of Plymouth, Ind. Pastor Clark Harless, ...

Southern Baptist Texan: NAMB trustees conclude review of dealings with Mid-Atlantic Baptist Network

 
Following an unanticipated two-hour, closed-door session labeled as a “workshop,” trustees of the North American Mission Board meeting in St. Louis June 13 unanimously approved a recommendation by officers indicating their satisfaction with a “thorough examination and review” of the Southern Baptist entity’s relationship with the Mid-Atlantic Baptist Network (MABN). “Representatives of this board have conducted a thorough examination and review of the dealings between NAMB leadership and the Mid-Atlantic Baptist Network and have ...

Hispanic Alliance launches with church-centric focus pastors encouraged

 
The inaugural meeting of the Hispanic Baptist Pastors Alliance provided a night of worship and fellowship as well as insight from various SBC leaders and from key Hispanic pastors. The alliance is a network of Hispanic Southern Baptist pastors intent on reaching their Hispanic communities with the Gospel and sharing the Word of God with their congregations, said Felix Cabrera, co-founder of the organization and lead pastor of Iglesia Bautista Central in Oklahoma City. The alliance has grown in grassroots ...

Ronnie Floyd in final presidential address: 'The stakes are high'

 
Southern Baptists must act, akin to Queen Esther on behalf of her people, because "the stakes are high" in the church and in the world today, Ronnie Floyd said Tuesday (June 14) in his presidential address to messengers to the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in St. Louis. "More Christians around the world are being persecuted and killed for their faith than any other time in modern history," said Floyd, pastor of Cross Church in northwest Arkansas. "And with ...

'Lean into culture,' speakers urge pastors' wives

 
Burdened with a changing culture and apparent declining in Christian influence, the women who shared the stage at the 2016 Pastors' Wives Conference urged their listeners to pray, lean into the culture and personally get involved in reaching their communities. Anne Graham Lotz, executive director of AnGeL Ministries, headlined the June 13 event in the Marriott Majestic Ballroom prior to the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in St. Louis. Fearing America is facing impending judgment like Israel faced before going ...

'Pass the Salt': Racism cure resides with church

 
Racial reconciliation rests at the doorsteps of the church and can only be achieved through the Gospel in action, a diverse panel of Baptist pastors said during a trailblazing discussion today (June 14) on the opening morning of the 2016 SBC annual meeting in St. Louis. Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd convened the panel at 10:52 a.m., historically including National Baptist Convention USA President Jerry Young. The two have collaborated for months to put talk into action and actually achieve racial ...

Noah Oldham: Called men are called to hardship

 
Local Pastor Noah Oldham got the Southern Baptist Convention’s Pastors Conference started Sunday evening in St. Louis. Addressing the theme of enduring hardships, Oldham, who is pastor of August Gate Church in St. Louis, shared a lot of his personal story during his sermon. He talked about how, in 2007, he hit rock bottom when his mom died, he was involved in a church plant that didn’t get off the ground, and he had health problems and ...

James MacDonald: 5 things that will zap your perseverance

 
James MacDonald, pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel in Chicago, took part in the Southern Baptist Convention’s Pastors Conference by presenting a message about the five biggest obstacles to perseverance. But before he dove into the main part of his sermon, MacDonald helped those in attendance for the Sunday night session of the Pastors Conference in St. Louis gain a better understanding of suffering, or endurance. He said the best definition of the word endurance is “remaining under,&...

Idlewild Baptist Church volunteer see impact of Crossover St. Louis

 
Southern Baptist volunteers reported more than 350 professions of faith in Jesus Christ during Crossover events throughout metro St. Louis this year. One man who made a decision for Christ had been considering suicide just a few days earlier, said Eloy Rodriquez. Rodriquez, a longtime Crossover volunteer, serves as Hispanic pastor of Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz, Fla. Rodriquez said his team knocked on the door of the man's house and asked if they could pray with him. The man told ...

Florida Baptists help launch Send Relief initiative at FBC Ferguson

 
As a primary partner in the launch of the North American Mission Board's Send Relief initiative, a metro St. Louis church reintroduced itself Saturday (June 11) to a couple thousand of its neighbors on a day that coincided with the evangelism effort Crossover St. Louis. "One of our primary goals was to tell the community we are here for you," said Joe Costephens, pastor of First Baptist Church of Ferguson. "This is a community building effort. We wanted to show that ...

AVANCE honors, encourages Hispanic missions commitment

 
AVANCE 2016 drew more than 100 Hispanic attendees from across the nation for an evening focused on "Firmly Standing on the Gospel—Boldly Committed to the Mission." During the June 12 gathering, Hispanic pastors and leaders were recognized for their work in the Kingdom and were encouraged to immerse themselves in missions in order to reach other Hispanics for Christ. AVANCE, held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention, is a partnership of LifeWay Christian Resources, the International ...

Ronnie Floyd: This is our time

 
This is our time to come together now more than ever before, refusing to let anything separate us. In the perilous times we are facing in America, we must be found strong, faithful and unified. Our testimony as Christ-followers in this hour needs to be: that we are like Jesus Christ our Lord. Jesus said it this way: "May they all be one, as You, Father, are in Me and I am in You. May they also be one in ...

David Platt: Pastors must clarify churches’ understanding of the Gospel

 
David Platt, president of the International Mission Board, started the Southern Baptist Convention’s Pastors Conference Monday morning with a call to clarify our understanding of the Gospel. Early in his presentation to thousands of Baptists who have gathered in St. Louis for the Pastors Conference and SBC annual meeting, Platt said: “The last thing the nations need is the presentation of a Gospel-lite from North America.” He said his No. 1 priority right now at the IMB ...

Derwin Gray: Gospel clarity, racial equity needed

 
Derwin L. Gray, former NFL linebacker and founding pastor of Transformation Church in South Carolina, spoke about Gospel clarity and racial equity during the Southern Baptist Convention’s Pastors Conference Monday morning in St. Louis. “The apostle Paul knows nothing of segregated churches,” said Gray, an African-American, after reading 2 Timothy 1:5, which makes an indirect reference to Timothy’s mixed racial heritage. “We need more Timothys to reach our increasingly diverse world,” Gray said. “...

St. Louis church's Hispanic outreach gets Crossover boost

 
Tower Grove Baptist Church culminated a weeklong outreach in a nearby Hispanic community by launching its first-ever Spanish service. Spanish-speaking students from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary engaged in door-to-door evangelism in the mostly Hispanic community called Cherokee during the yearly Crossover evangelistic emphasis prior to the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting. "It was great to share the Gospel with people who are culturally like me," SWBTS student Carmen Jimenez said. During their time spent in the Hispanic community, the students ...

Pastor celebrates 50 years with Houston church

 
When Pastor John Morgan planted Sagemont Church on June 1, 1966, he never imagined the explosive growth and worldwide impact it would have. But, over the past 50 years, the church on the southeast side of Houston has grown from 16 to more than 20,000 members and regularly sends hundreds of members each year to share the Gospel on short-term international mission trips as well as through mission work in Houston. Reflecting on the congregational and personal milestones, Morgan told the church, "Today is the ...

SBTS professor Kevin Smith called as Mid-Atlantic exec

 
The Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware, also known as the Mid-Atlantic Baptist Network, has called seminary professor Kevin Smith as its executive director. Michael L. Trammell, president of the network’s General Mission Board, announced Smith’s election after a called board meeting June 7. Smith, 49, is assistant professor of church history and Christian preaching at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; teaching pastor at Highview Baptist Church in Louisville; and president of the Kentucky Baptist Convention and chairman of its ...

SBC ACP: More churches reported; baptism, worship numbers decline

 
Southern Baptists may find cause for hope in the latest Annual Church Profile report. The Southern Baptist Convention added more churches in 2015, due mostly to church planting efforts. Churches also experienced an increase in total giving. However, according to the ACP report compiled by LifeWay Christian Resources in cooperation with state conventions, other key measures declined. Those included membership, average worship attendance, baptisms and missions giving. A bright spot in the ACP data was the increase in churches. The number ...

SBC St. Louis prayer call to be broadcast globally

 
Worldwide audiences will have opportunities to support the impassioned pleas of Southern Baptists for the next great awakening, revival and other concerns at the Southern Baptist Convention’s National Call to Prayer June 14 in St. Louis. SBC President Ronnie Floyd’s “National Call to Prayer for Spiritual Leadership, Revived Churches and Nationwide & Global Awakening” will be livestreamed and available by video on demand at sbcannualmeeting.net, will air on the DayStar Television Network, and will ...

Ronnie Floyd: How to pray for SBC annual meeting

 
As we enter the final stretch toward our Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting in St. Louis on June 14-15, I want to call upon each individual and every Southern Baptist church to set aside time to pray. For several weeks, I have prayed very specifically and intentionally each day. Let me share with you how I am praying and perhaps it will encourage you to create your own prayer list for the Southern Baptist Convention. The main thing is pray. 1. ...

Messenger increase predicted for St. Louis SBC

 
Hotel reservations for the upcoming Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting are up 23 percent from last year's total in Columbus, Ohio, leading some convention leaders to project an increased messenger total as well.   Some 13,275 hotel room nights in St. Louis have been reserved for the annual meeting while 4,923 messengers have been pre-registered online so far, the SBC Executive Committee reported. That's up from 10,829 hotel room night reservations in 2015 and 3,267 pre-registered messengers. The messenger pre-registration total to date marks a 51 percent ...

CP contributions 6.13% above budget projection

 
Year-to-date contributions to Southern Baptist Convention national and international missions and ministries received by the SBC Executive Committee are 6.13 percent above the year-to-date budgeted projection, and are 2.65 percent above contributions received during the same time frame last year, according to a news release from SBC Executive Committee President and CEO Frank S. Page. The total includes receipts from state conventions and fellowships, churches and individuals for distribution according to the 2015-16 SBC Cooperative Program Allocation Budget. As of May 31, gifts ...

'The SBC & the 21st Century' book released

 
Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary has announced the release of a book featuring key Southern Baptist leaders addressing the Southern Baptist Convention, its heritage, identity and future. The 269-page work, "The SBC & the 21st Century," was edited by Midwestern Seminary President Jason Allen. The idea for the project resulted from the seminary's 2015 symposium, "The SBC & the 21st Century: Reflection, Renewal & Recommitment." LifeWay Christian Resources' imprint B&H Academic released the book today (June 1). "I cannot be more ...

Ronnie Floyd: If I had more time as SBC president

 
A reporter recently asked me a very thought-provoking question: If you had two more years as president of the Southern Baptist Convention, what would you do? I was not intimidated by the question; in fact, I have thought about it since the beginning of the year. Every president in the past and every president in the future must lead the convention in the direction he believes God has put on his heart. Yet, he must also ensure it coincides with ...

Retired pastor and his wife: Mission:Dignity aids 'folks like us'

 
After 45 years of ministry, Reginald and Claudia Pressley retired much the way they began—serving small churches in the Southeast. They were there for births, baptisms, weddings and funerals as they marked the milestones and the passage of time in the lives of their members. And they wouldn't take anything for the memories. The couple met in their teens at Toccoa Falls Institute (now Toccoa Falls College), a faith-based school in the mountains of north Georgia. He was attending ...

Q&A with SBC presidential candidates

 
Louisiana pastor David Crosby, Tennessee pastor Steve Gaines and North Carolina pastor J.D. Greear, who will be nominated for Southern Baptist Convention president in June, responded to six questions Baptist Press posed to each candidate. David Crosby Crosby's nomination was announced March 24 by former SBC President Fred Luter, pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans. Among Crosby's leadership roles at the association, state convention and SBC levels, he has served as moderator of the New Orleans Baptist ...

CP 6.45% ahead of budget projection

 
Year-to-date contributions to Southern Baptist Convention national and international missions and ministries received by the SBC Executive Committee are 6.45 percent above the year-to-date budgeted projection, and 4.15 percent above contributions received during the same time frame last year, according to a news release from SBC Executive Committee President and Chief Executive Officer Frank S. Page. The total includes receipts from state conventions and fellowships, churches and individuals for distribution according to the 2015-16 SBC Cooperative Program Allocation Budget. As of April 30, ...

2016 SBC annual meeting program

 
The schedule for this year's Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting program has been released by the SBC Executive Committee in a special pre-convention issue of SBC LIFE. TUESDAY MORNING, JUNE 14, 2016 8:15 Opening Worship -- Julio Arriola, Convention music director; global worship pastor, Cross Church, Northwest Arkansas 8:25 Welcome and Call to Order -- Ronnie Floyd, SBC president; senior pastor, Cross Church, Northwest Arkansas Announcement of Committee on Committees, Credentials Committee, Tellers and Resolutions Committee 8:30 Scripture -- David Prince, pastor of preaching and ...

Florida Baptists receive SBC nominations

 
Nominees to serve on the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee, the four denominational boards—International Mission Board, North American Mission Board, LifeWay Christian Resources, and GuideStone Financial Resources—the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the six seminaries and the Committee on Order of Business have been selected by the 2016 SBC Committee on Nominations. Nominees will serve if elected by the messengers to the 2016 SBC annual meeting June 14-15 in St. Louis. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE (82 members): 23 nominations considered, 11 new members, 12 ...

Parody video about J.D. Greear simply for fun, producer says

 
An online parody video titled “J.D. Greear for SBC President Rap” stirred controversy recently due to its inclusion of alleged campaign endorsements by Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) entity heads. The video’s producer, Ashley Unzicker, said the two-minute comedy was simply for fun. “As a stay-at-home mother of three,” she said, “I’ve found that writing music, making parodies and shooting silly videos is a fun and creative outlet for me.” ...

J.D. Greear YouTube video raises concern

 
A YouTube video promoting J.D. Greear for president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) has raised concern. The question is the participation of three SBC entity presidents who appear to be endorsing Greear's election. The "It's Tricky” video is a parody of the late 80s rap song with the same name by Run-DMC. The concern emerged when Greear—pastor of The Summit Church in Durham, N.C., and a leading member of Acts 29, a church network that ...

CP 6.5% ahead of projection at midyear point

 
Year-to-date contributions to Southern Baptist national and international missions and ministries received by the SBC Executive Committee are 6.5 percent above the year-to-date SBC Cooperative Program Allocation Budget projection, and are 3.09 percent above contributions received during the same time frame last year, according to a news release from SBC Executive Committee President and Chief Executive Officer Frank S. Page. "This report marks the second successive year that CP contributions have increased over the previous fiscal year's mid-point and is the highest ...

Louisiana Pastor David Crosby to be SBC president nominee

 
Louisiana Pastor David Crosby will be nominated for president of the Southern Baptist Convention, fellow Louisiana Pastor Fred Luter announced today (March 24). "I have watched David the last 10 years here in New Orleans as he has taken the leadership of all the churches and pastors of our city in helping to rebuild New Orleans, which everybody knows was totally destroyed [in 2005] in Hurricane Katrina," Luter, pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, said in an interview, telling Baptist ...

Florida Pastor Stephen Rummage to chair SBC Committee on Resolutions

 
Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd has named the members of the Committee on Resolutions for the June 14-15 Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in St. Louis. Floyd, senior pastor of Cross Church in northwest Arkansas, appointed the 10-member committee in keeping with the provision in SBC Bylaw 20 that its members be named at least 75 days prior to the start of the annual meeting. Floyd named Stephen Rummage of Florida as committee chairman and Jason Duesing of Missouri as vice ...

Willy Rice named chairman of SBC's Committee on Committees

 
Appointments to the Southern Baptist Convention's Committee on Committees have been announced by SBC President Ronnie Floyd, pastor of Cross Church in northwest Arkansas. The Committee on Committees has 68 members, two from each of the 34 states and regions qualified for representation on boards of SBC entities. The Committee on Committees will assemble in St. Louis just prior to the SBC's June 14-15 sessions to nominate members of the Committee on Nominations who, in turn, nominate trustees for the boards of ...

Tennessee Pastor Steve Gaines to be SBC president nominee

 
Tennessee Pastor Steve Gaines will be nominated for president of the Southern Baptist Convention, Georgia Pastor Johnny Hunt announced today (March 9). "When Steve Gaines shared his prayer journey he and [his wife] Donna had travelled, I was touched by his clear call to allow himself to be nominated," Hunt, pastor of First Baptist Church in Woodstock, Ga., wrote in a news release stating his intention to nominate Gaines during the SBC annual meeting June 14-15 in St. Louis. "Steve struggled ...

SBC President Ronnie Floyd wants to finish strong

 
This week I am entering my last 100 days as president of the Southern Baptist Convention. Someone told me it would be a two-year sprint and, unquestionably, it has been. Honestly, it seems like it was just yesterday this journey began, though my team may feel otherwise. I am very committed to finishing strong. Please understand, I do not know how presidents before me led during this season relating to the topics below, or how the ones who follow me will. ...

National CP 7.19 percent ahead of projection

 
Year-to-date contributions to Southern Baptist Convention national and international missions and ministries received by the SBC Executive Committee are 7.19 percent above the year-to-date budgeted projection and 1.46 percent above contributions received during the same time frame last year, according to a news release from SBC Executive Committee President and Chief Executive Officer Frank S. Page. The total includes receipts from state conventions and fellowships, churches and individuals for distribution according to the 2015-16 SBC Cooperative Program Allocation Budget. As of Feb. 29, ...

J.D. Greear to be nominated for SBC president

 
North Carolina pastor J.D. Greear will be nominated for president of the Southern Baptist Convention, Florida pastor Jimmy Scroggins announced today (March 2). Greear, 42, "is leading his generation to live out a passion for the SBC, missions and the local church," Scroggins, pastor of Family Church in West Palm Beach, Fla., wrote in a news release stating his intention to nominate Greear at the SBC annual meeting in June. During the 14 years Greear has pastored The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, ...

Transcript: Ronnie Floyd's remarks to SBC Executive Committee

 
EDITOR'S NOTE: Ronnie Floyd, president of the Southern Baptist Convention and senior pastor of Cross Church in Springdale, Ark., delivered the following message at the SBC Executive Committee's Feb. 22 meeting in Nashville, Tenn. It is with great joy in a spirit of humility that I come to you tonight after serving as your president for the past 20 months. Thank you Southern Baptists for this blessed but overwhelming entrustment of leadership. To God first, thank You. To my dear friend of ...

IMB: 1,132 missionaries, staff accept VRI, HRO

 
The International Mission Board announced today (Feb. 24) that 983 missionaries and 149 stateside staff have transitioned outside the mission entity during the past six months as a result of its voluntary retirement and resignation programs. IMB President David Platt told trustees the organization now expects to operate a balanced budget for 2017 due to its 2015-16 organizational "reset" processes and the generosity of Southern Baptists who have given sacrificially. "IMB is now in a much healthier financial position," Platt said during IMB's Feb. 22...

SBC Executive Committee wrapup: Small-state representation considered

 
After nearly an hour of discussion, the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee's officers withdrew a recommendation to propose granting representation on three key SBC committees to Baptists in pioneer regions. EC leadership promised, however, to make an alternate proposal with the same goal but addressing logistical concerns raised by EC members. In other business during the EC's Feb. 22-23 meeting in Nashville, Tenn., the committee recommended a change in the method for asking questions of entity leaders during SBC annual ...

Cooperative Program legacy is Frank Page's resolve

 
"There will be a day when I'm gone, and there will be a day when you are gone," Frank S. Page said. "What kind of legacy will we leave behind," Page asked, "as the Executive Committee, as students, as professors, as preachers, as laymen and women?" Page reviewed the legacy Southern Baptists are building through the Cooperative Program when he addressed the opening session of the Feb. 22-23 Executive Committee meeting in Nashville, Tenn. "We need to be resolute in ...

'Hope in God,' Ronnie Floyd tells Southern Baptists

 
Southern Baptists must recognize God as our strength and lead evangelicals into the future with His Light and the truth of His Word, Ronnie Floyd said at the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee's Feb. 22-23 meeting in Nashville, Tenn. "Leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention, ... in this dark hour in America, when we wrestle within ourselves to not become downcast or discouraged with all that is happening in our nation," Floyd said, "we must respond in obedience to what the ...

Registration for SBC annual meeting in St. Louis is open

 
Registration for the SBC's "Awaken America: Reach the World" annual meeting, June 14-15 in St. Louis, has opened. Online registration for messengers and local hotels can be accessed at www.SBCAnnualMeeting.net. Through online messenger registration at the www.SBCAnnualMeeting.net tab, each messenger will receive an eight-digit registration code to present at the annual meeting's Express Registration lane in St. Louis, preferably as a printout for the church's credential. The code will be entered into a ...

David Platt asks Baptist state papers to encourage unity

 
International Mission Board President David Platt has asked Baptist state papers to encourage unity among Southern Baptists following the announcement next week of how many IMB personnel have left the board through a series of voluntary resignation programs. Addressing a gathering of Baptist state paper leaders Feb. 16 in Ponce, Puerto Rico, Platt also detailed what he deemed some of the most exciting work God is doing through IMB missionaries across the globe. "As we announce a number next week" at ...

Southern Baptist Convention celebrates racial reconciliation progress

 
When the late Victor Glass led the Home Mission Board's outreach to black Baptists, he would conduct an exercise in phonetics with fellow white Southern Baptists at the board's frequent racial reconciliation conferences. "He would have everybody bend into a bending position, with their hands on their knees, and say 'Negro-o-o'" is how Emmanuel McCall, the first black to hold a professional leadership position within the Southern Baptist Convention, remembers it. McCall began working with Glass as associate director of ...

LifeWay to close stores on 3 seminary campuses

 
LifeWay Christian Stores are closing at three Southern Baptist seminary campuses, the retail chain confirmed to Baptist Press on Feb. 10. The LifeWay Christian Stores chain also confirmed the closure of its longtime downtown Nashville, Tenn., location due to the sale of SBC entity's 14.5-acre campus last November and the relocation of its offices to a new facility late next year also in the downtown area. A change in buying patterns among seminary students was cited as the reason for the ...

WMU executive director search committee named; prayer requested

 
National WMU President Linda Cooper has named the search committee for identifying the woman God would have as the missions organization's next executive director and requested prayer for the committee's work. On Jan. 11, Wanda Lee, who has served as executive director since 2000, announced to the WMU board her intention to retire, providing ample notice for a search committee to be formed and seek a new leader. Cooper said she prayed earnestly for God's direction in selecting search committee members who ...

LifeWay celebrates leader Thom Rainer's 10th anniversary

 
In a special chapel service on Wednesday (Feb. 3) in Nashville, Tenn., LifeWay Christian Resources recognized Thom S. Rainer for 10 years of service as president and CEO. Rainer was praised for his commitment to Christ and his family, as well as leadership during tumultuous cultural and business changes. Gary Richardson, LifeWay Board of Trustees chairman, spoke of Rainer as a selfless, transparent and courageous leader. Before presenting Rainer with a gift, he relayed a fellow trustee saying, "LifeWay is impacting and ...

LifeWay trustees authorize new Nashville corporate headquarters

 
Trustees of LifeWay Christian Resources authorized the purchase of land and construction of a new corporate headquarters in Nashville, Tenn., and elected new board officers. In their semiannual meeting, trustees approved a resolution to authorize LifeWay's administration to purchase property in downtown Nashville for its future headquarters. "This property is not just a location—it's a new community in which we can invest ourselves for the future," President and CEO Thom S. Rainer told trustees during Feb. 1-2 meetings ...

IMB discusses communications strategy with Baptist journalists

 
The International Mission Board will continue its longstanding practice of relying heavily on its overseas communications teams for missionary news stories, photos and videos following the closure of its Richmond Communications Center, a board spokeswoman told Baptist journalists on a Jan. 20 conference call. From the outset, it was apparent the two groups of participants in the call had different goals. The three IMB staff members on the line—Julie McGowan, public relations leader; Terry Sharp, director for state, associational ...

2016 SBC Pastors' Conference to encourage attendees to 'Live this!'

 
John Meador believes some pastors—and subsequently their congregations—have departed from the 2 Timothy 4:5-6 mandate, developing a "come-and-see" method for sharing the Gospel instead of "go and tell." Meador, the president of the 2016 Southern Baptist Convention Pastors' Conference, said speakers at the June conference will dissect the New Testament obligation and exhort pastors to lead by example. The pastors' conference, with the theme 'Live this!,' will meet June 12-13 at the America's Center in St. Louis ...

IMB to close communications center in Virginia as part of reset

 
The International Mission Board has announced the closure of its Richmond Communications Center effective April 29 and the accompanying layoff of 30 stateside staff members, according to a Jan. 14 IMB news release. Ten additional communications staff members are being transitioned to other positions. The layoffs were the result of "reevaluating systems and structures across the IMB not only because of IMB's financial realities," the release said, "but also to be the best possible stewards of resources that churches have entrusted to IMB ...

Matt Crawford, Dean Inserra, Jimmy Scroggins named to 2016 ERLC Leadership Council

 
The Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission has unveiled its new Leadership Council, including Florida Baptist pastors Matt Crawford, Dean Inserra and Jimmy Scroggins. The 43 Southern Baptist pastors and leaders who were announced Thursday (Jan. 14) will serve as the advisory council for the entity's Leadership Network in 2016. The ERLC launched the network and its advisory council in 2014. Each January, the entity names a new list of council members, most of whom serve for one year. The Leadership Network is ...

James Peoples to serve as NAMB’s ambassador to Florida Baptist pastors

 
Florida Baptist State Convention President James Peoples has agreed to serve as the North American Mission Board’s (NAMB) ambassador to Baptist pastors in the state. For 21 years, Peoples has served as the senior pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Keystone Heights, where he will continue to serve. In this new role with NAMB, the veteran pastor will reach out to Florida Baptist pastors to express gratitude on behalf of NAMB for their churches’ gifts to the Cooperative ...

Southeastern seminary offers IMB retirees advanced degree waiver

 
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary has announced it will waive tuition and fees for the first two years of any doctoral degree or the first 12 hours of a master of theology degree for returning International Mission Board missionaries who opted last month to take the mission entity's voluntary retirement initiative. "Everyone knows about the massive transition taking place at the IMB as missionaries submit a blank check to God and seek His will for their future," said Southeastern President Danny Akin. "...

Adopting children is a picture of salvation, Tennessee couple says

 
Nathan and Jennifer Washburn rank parenting among their greatest joys, but a desire to have children was not their main motivation in adopting. Instead, the couple, who married in 2004, point to spiritual value as their main motivation for their 2010 adoption from Kazakhstan of Kara Victoria Washburn, now 5, and, in 2014 from China, Owen RenLi Washburn, 3. "It was primarily a theological motivation to adopt," Nathan Washburn, pastor of First Baptist Church in Greenbrier, Tenn., told Baptist Press. "It's such a great picture ...

Cooperative Program contributions up 1.26 percent

 
Year-to-date contributions through the Southern Baptist Convention's portion of the Cooperative Program are 1.26 percent ahead of the same time frame at the end of 2014 and 1.85 percent under the SBC Cooperative Program Allocation Budget projection for the year, according to a news release from SBC Executive Committee President and Chief Executive Officer Frank S. Page. The $45,762,032.53 received by the Executive Committee from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31 for distribution through the Cooperative Program Allocation Budget represents 98.15 percent of the $46,625,000 year-to-date budgeted amount to ...

Southern Baptist Convention's January prayer focus: 'In All Things Pray'

 
January is a distinctive month of prayer across the Southern Baptist Convention. It is a time when a readiness to pray can gain new traction in churches, large or small, urban or rural. Listed as the "Call to Prayer" on the SBC Calendar, it gained momentum from the 2010 Great Commission Task Force report adopted by messengers to the SBC annual meeting in Orlando, Fla., and was placed on the SBC calendar as an annual focus during the convention's 2011 meeting in ...

IMB reset prompts reflection on ministry moves

 
The first phase in the International Mission Board's "organizational reset," completed this month, has led hundreds of missionaries to confront a question that, at some point, many in Christian service face: How do I know if God is moving me to a new place of ministry? The IMB has not released the results of Phase One—a voluntary retirement incentive (VRI) offered to all staff and field personnel 50 and older with at least five years of service—because ...

S.C. Baptists tap reserves to send $1M gift to IMB

 
The South Carolina Baptist Convention has pledged to send a $1 million year-end gift to the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention at a time when the missions entity has announced a reduction in its worldwide force due to budget shortfalls. The IMB announced earlier this year that it would need to reduce its total number of missionaries and staff by 600-800 due to expenditures that exceeded revenues by $210 million over the past six years. And even though the ...

Florida leads way as 23 states increase CP for SBC missions & ministry

 
Twenty-three state conventions voted to increase the portion of Cooperative Program receipts being forwarded to Southern Baptist Convention missions and ministries in the coming year, continuing a trend inspired by passage of the Great Commission Task Force recommendations five years ago. This year, Florida Baptists made the largest shift, moving from 41 to 51 percent allocated to SBC causes. "This epic, pacesetting decision will set a precedent in the Southern Baptist Convention," said Michael Tatem, president of Florida's State Board of Missions. "...

Three-day bike trek by Arizona Baptists spotlights value of Cooperative Program

 
Eight men. Sixteen wheels. 182 miles. One objective—to draw attention to the Cooperative Program's vital work. Decked out in matching blue-and-white cycling jerseys, an eight-man team began a grueling three-day, 182-mile bicycle ride Nov. 9 from the site of the 2016 Arizona Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting, Palm Vista Baptist Church in the Phoenix suburb of Surprise. Their destination: Stone Ridge Baptist Church in Yuma and the 2015 AZSBC annual meeting Nov. 13. AZSBC Executive Director David W. Johnson, an experienced cyclist, came ...

CP 2.35% over budget projection through first 2 months of fiscal year

 
Contributions to Southern Baptist national and international missions and ministries received by the SBC Executive Committee through the first two months of the fiscal year were 2.35 percent above the projected budget goal and 0.46 percent below last year's year-to-date gifts, according to a news release from SBC Executive Committee President and Chief Executive Officer Frank S. Page. November's receipts of $15,764,689.37 were slightly less than the $15,940,178.11 received in November 2014. The year-to-date total of $31,813,129.29 was $729,795.96 above the $31,083,333.33 YTD allocation budget projection to support ...

LifeWay completes sale of downtown Nashville campus

 
LifeWay has completed the sale of its 14.5-acre campus in downtown Nashville. "Although this momentous event is cause for thanksgiving, it is also bittersweet," Thom S. Rainer, president of LifeWay Christian Resources, wrote in an email to the Southern Baptist entity's trustees and employees Nov. 24 after the sale was announced around 5 p.m. "LifeWay has served the bride of Christ from this property for more than 100 years," Rainer wrote. "Those of us who serve today continue an unbroken line of ...

Kevin Ezell: NAMB-state partnerships remain strong

 
This is the time of year in our Southern Baptist family when our state Baptist convention partners gather for their annual meetings. I have enjoyed being a part of several of these events this year, which always provide a chance to hear about how God is working through our churches and partnerships in North America. It is also a great time to express my gratitude for the partnership we have with our conventions and to remind Southern Baptists that much ...

Kentucky Baptists elect first African-American convention president

 
Messengers to the 178th annual meeting of the Kentucky Baptist Convention elected an African-American as convention president for the first time, called for an end to federal funding of Planned Parenthood and launched a strategy to boost their voice at the state capitol. Messengers also approved a $21.5 million Cooperative Program budget goal for the coming year, raising the bar by a quarter million dollars. The 2016-17 budget equally divides Cooperative Program receipts between KBC missions and ministries and Southern Baptist ...

Cooperative Program starts fiscal year 3.26% over budget projection

 
Contributions to Southern Baptist national and international missions and ministries received by the SBC Executive Committee in October were 0.18 percent above last year's opening month of the Convention's fiscal year and 3.26 percent above the projected budget for the first month, according to a news release from SBC Executive Committee President and Chief Executive Officer Frank Page. As of Oct. 31, gifts received by the Executive Committee for distribution through the Cooperative Program Allocation Budget totaled $16,048,439.92, or $29,259.07 above the $16,019,180.85 received in October 2014. "...

Executive Committee members heed call to increase CP giving for IMB

 
Since adopting a resolution in September pledging to "encourage and lead" their churches to "give more than ever before through the Cooperative Program," at least 17 of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee's 79 members already have recommended increases in CP giving at the churches where they are members. The proposed increases are intended to help the International Mission Board amid revenue shortages. According to reports sent by EC members to chairman Mike Routt, proposed increases range from .2 percent to 2 percent of ...

Joining Southern Baptist Convention draws focus in 2015

 
Becoming part of the Southern Baptist family, both as a church and as an individual, has been on display in 2015. In his address to the Executive Committee during its February meeting, SBC President Ronnie Floyd challenged the Convention to invite other churches "to come into our family and cooperate with us to finish the task of advancing the Gospel to every person in the world." A few months later, Pastor James MacDonald announced at the SBC Pastors' Conference in Columbus, ...

Ronnie Floyd: Southern Baptists will face 'challenging questions'

 
Merging the International Mission Board and North American Mission Board is a key question Southern Baptists must address if a much-prayed-for spiritual awakening comes to their network of churches. SBC President Ronnie Floyd raised the question during his address at a symposium on "The SBC & the 21st Century: Reflection, Renewal & Recommitment" Sept. 28-29 at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Mo. "Spiritual renewal leads to strategic reinvention," Floyd said in an address titled "Kindling Afresh the Gift ...

South Carolina flood response: Florida's help expected to be requested

 
With dams continuing to fail in South Carolina Oct. 7, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief leaders gathered by conference call to plan a multi-state long-term response to historic flooding that has overwhelmed the state. SBDR command centers have been established at the South Carolina Baptist Convention office in Columbia and at the Charleston Baptist Association where a North American Mission Board mobile command unit is stationed. South Carolina Baptist disaster relief director Randy Creamer has placed all of the state convention's DR ...

Carolina floods draw Southern Baptist response

 
Floodwaters from Hurricane Joaquin covered much of Columbia, Charleston and other parts of South Carolina Oct. 3-4, killing as many as nine people, shutting down interstates and spurring scores of evacuations. With more rain and flash flooding expected today (Oct. 5), Southern Baptists are preparing to help. Up to four more inches of rain were forecast across the Carolinas, according to the National Weather Service. Columbia suffered its rainiest 24-hour period in history Oct. 4, the weather service said, with reports of ...

South Carolina Baptists prepare for 'marathon' recovery

 
A South Carolina Baptist disaster relief official is predicting it will take years for the state to recover from the extensive flooding of the past two days. "This is much bigger than [the recovery from] Hurricane Hugo," said Randy Creamer, disaster relief coordinator for the South Carolina Baptist Convention. Creamer said the flooding that has prompted 10 counties or municipalities to declare states of emergency has caused more widespread damage than did Hurricane Hugo, which slammed into the state's coastline in ...

Cooperative Program surpasses budget projection for fiscal year

 
The Southern Baptist Convention ended its fiscal year $1.1 million over its 2014–15 budgeted goal and $2.5 million over the previous year's Cooperative Program allocation budget gifts, according to Frank S. Page, president and CEO of the SBC Executive Committee. The SBC received $189,160,231.41 in CP allocation gifts for the year. This amount is $2,592,620.78, or 1.39 percent, more than it received during the last fiscal year, and is $1,160,231.41, or 0.62 percent, more than its budgeted goal of $188 million. "We are grateful to every church and ...

FishHawk Fellowship among SBC churches who've answered 1% CP Challenge

 
Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee President Frank S. Page has personally signed letters to more than 4,400 Southern Baptist churches that have met or exceeded the 1% Cooperative Program Challenge. Recognized for their contributions are 3,846 congregations that met the challenge for the first time during the 2013-14 fiscal year (Oct. 1-Sept. 30) and 576 that met the challenge for two consecutive years, said Ashley Clayton, SBC Executive Committee vice president for Cooperative Program and stewardship development. The 1% CP Challenge calls on churches to increase ...

SBC Executive Committee urges increased CP giving

 
In response to the International Mission Board's announcement of a personnel reduction, the Southern Baptist Convention's Executive Committee has adopted a resolution urging Southern Baptist churches to give "more than ever before" through the Cooperative Program. The resolution, which was adopted without opposition, stated, "At this urgent hour of desperate need in our nation and around the world, we, the members of the SBC Executive Committee, pledge to encourage and lead our churches to give more than ever before through ...

Great Commission Resurgence after 5 years: 'satisfied' but still challenges

 
Five years after the Southern Baptist Convention's Great Commission Task Force called for a "Great Commission Resurgence," Baptist leaders say the GCTF's recommendations have contributed to a renewed focus on missions and the reversal of a 30-year decline in Cooperative Program giving as a percentage of churches' undesignated receipts. Still, the total dollar amount given through Southern Baptists' unified program for supporting North American and international missions and ministries has declined, and a Baptist state paper editor has published an ...

Cooperative Program giving 1.40% ahead of budget projection

 
Year-to-date contributions to Southern Baptist Convention national and international missions and ministries received by the SBC Executive Committee have exceeded $158 million, according to a news release from SBC Executive Committee President Frank S. Page. July's Cooperative Program allocation receipts for SBC work totaled $15,808,270.90, bringing the total to $158,859,518.38 received by the Executive Committee through 10 months of the fiscal year (October 1 through July 31). The year-to-date total for distribution through the SBC's Cooperative Program Allocation Budget is $2,192,851.71, or 1.40 percent, above the $156,666,666.67 year-to-date CP ...

LifeWay offer for new Nashville site accepted

 
LifeWay Christian Resources' offer to purchase 1.5 acres in downtown Nashville for a new office building has been accepted, the Southern Baptist entity announced Tuesday (July 21). The city's Metro Development and Housing Agency (MDHA), which owns the property, unanimously approved sale of the site for $12.7 million, with a tax incentive of $4.9 million that can fund specific aspects of the construction, effectively reducing the purchase cost to less than $8 million. Meanwhile, LifeWay is moving toward finalizing the sale of its current 14.5-acre ...

Cooperative Program giving 1.45% above projection at three-quarter mark

 
Year-to-date contributions to Southern Baptist national and international missions and ministries received by the SBC Executive Committee are 1.45 percent above the year-to-date SBC Cooperative Program Allocation Budget projection, and 1.24 percent above contributions received during the same time frame last year, according to a news release from SBC Executive Committee President Frank S. Page. The year-to-date total represents money received by the Executive Committee by the close of the last business day of June and includes receipts from state conventions, churches ...

Southern Baptist pastors say both expository and topical preaching have risks

 
Preaching straight through the Bible has its risks, pastors acknowledged in a panel discussion held during the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting in Columbus, Ohio. Panelists urged a balance between verse-by-verse explanation and sermons on specific topics at a June 16 breakfast meeting sponsored by The Gospel Project, a curriculum series of LifeWay Christian Resources. Many pastors believe tackling Scripture verse by verse from the pulpit is the only acceptable approach, said moderator Ed Stetzer, general editor of The Gospel Project. ...

Annual meeting wrap-up: SBC seeks awakening, supports marriage

 
Spiritual awakening, the defense of marriage and the preservation of religious liberty were among key themes addressed by messengers at the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting June 16-17 in Columbus, Ohio. The meeting was highlighted by a Tuesday night prayer gathering led by SBC President Ronnie Floyd, at which an estimated 7,000 Southern Baptists spent two hours asking God for a third Great Awakening in America and the global advance of the Gospel. The gathering was watched by an additional 8,000 people ...

SBC presidents unite, declare stand on marriage

 
The living former Southern Baptist Convention presidents elected since 1980 issued a joint statement Wednesday declaring they will stand on the biblical truths concerning marriage despite anticipated legal and civil changes to the definition. Pastor Jack Graham called it “the most critical issue of our times—religious freedom and the very definition of marriage itself.” Current SBC President Ronnie Floyd led the news conference and was joined on the platform by former SBC presidents Jimmy Draper, Bailey E. ...

Unofficial SBC messenger total: 5,406; 275 from Florida

 
The Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting drew 5,406 messengers to Columbus, Ohio, June 16-17 from the nation's 46,000-plus Southern Baptist churches. The unofficial total is a 2 percent rise from last year's 5,295 messengers in Baltimore. SBC registration secretary Jim Wells said the results were slightly below his pre-annual meeting guess, but good nonetheless, especially from Ohio. "[SBC President] Ronnie Floyd has spent a lot of time here along with Jack Kwok [executive director of the State Convention of Baptists in Ohio] mobilizing ...

ERLC to open Mideast office, honors embattled florist

 
An international religious freedom office in the Mideast will be opened by the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Russell Moore announced at the SBC annual meeting June 17. Moore, the ERLC's president, told messengers, "We must contend for religious freedom for our brothers and sisters in Christ and for everyone else wherever they are on the globe." He added, "We will not stand idly by while those with whom we will share eternity are being led to the ...

Ronnie Floyd urges Southern Baptists to 'rise up' in a 'dangerous, hopeless world'

 
Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd called for pastoral leadership in the nation's largest Protestant denomination to seize a "Bonhoeffer moment" by refusing to be silent in the face of persecution, to hold on to the Word of God, take heart and be encouraged. "The lostness has never been greater in our dangerous and hopeless world," Floyd, pastor of Cross Church in northwest Arkansas, said in his president's message to the SBC annual meeting June 16 in Columbus, Ohio. "Everyone, and ...

Network to nurture Hispanic Baptists' communication

 
A mission and vision committee of the new Hispanic Pastors and Leaders Network set forth an outline of organizational and strategic plans during the AVANCE conference June 14 in Columbus, Ohio. The five-member team was named during a meeting last December sponsored by the SBC Executive Committee and LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville, attended by 65 Hispanic leaders from 23 Baptist state conventions. Guillermo Soriano, consultant for Hispanic evangelism and discipleship for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, is serving as the ...

Monday speakers at SBC 2015 Pastors’ Conference focus on relationship with Christ

 
H.B. Charles Jr., pastor of Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla., led a stellar group of preachers Monday (June 15) during a day full of encouragement for the Christian workers attending the 2015 SBC Pastors’ Conference. “Preachers come and go, but the preaching continues,” Charles said. “You don’t need change when you have the glorious monotony of the Gospel.” Preaching from Hebrews 13:8, Charles made three points about why we can count on Jesus ...

Crossover Columbus nurtures churches' ties to communities

 
"Do you know why we are here, sweetheart?" Paulette Foster asked a young girl receiving a Parsons Fest registration bracelet at Indian Mound Rec Center in south Columbus. "Are you here to tell people about Jesus?" she asked. "That's right! And what did Jesus do?" Foster asked. "He died for our sins?" "That's right, He died for our sins on the cross. We are here to show people His love. You know Jesus loves you, don't you?" Foster said. Similar ...

At AVANCE, Hispanic Baptists hear from Ronnie Floyd, David Platt

 
In a night marked by worship, fellowship and workshops, Hispanic Southern Baptist pastors and leaders from across the United States came together for AVANCE 2015 prior to the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting in Columbus, Ohio. The June 14 gathering began at 5 p.m. with worship led by Julio Arriola from Cross Church in northwest Arkansas, followed by a dinner and featured speaker SBC President Ronnie Floyd. David Platt, president of the International Mission Board, also addressed the group. After the dinner, ...

Sunday speakers set a somber tone for SBC 2015 Pastors’ Conference

 
The three people who spoke Sunday evening (June 14) during the Southern Baptist Convention’s 2015 Pastors’ Conference in Columbus, Ohio, set a somber, yet inspiring, tone for the two-day event. Dean Fulks, lead pastor of Columbus-based LifePoint Church, started the meeting by preaching from the Old Testament book of Jonah. He said that while hatred and racism could have been Jonah’s motivation for not wanting to go to Nineveh, another reason could have been wanderlust. “Something ...

Former Florida Baptist Convention strategist Will McRaney resigns as Mid-Atlantic exec

 
Will McRaney, a former Florida Baptist Convention church planting and evangelism strategist and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary professor, resigned as the executive missional strategist of the Mid-Atlantic Baptist Network (formerly known as the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware) on June 9. Tom Stolle, chief financial officer for the network, will serve as interim executive director. Bill Warren, president of the network and senior pastor of Allen Memorial Baptist Church in Salisbury, Md., announced the resignation to the network staff ...

Ted Traylor replaces Ben Carson as SBC Pastors' Conference speaker

 
Ted Traylor, pastor of Olive Baptist Church in Pensacola, Fla., has been named as one of the speakers for the 2015 SBC Pastors' Conference, according to the event’s website. He has served as the pastor of Olive Baptist Church for 25 years, and also as the president of the 2004 Pastors' Conference, first vice-president of the SBC in 2000 and president of the Florida Baptist Convention in 1995. Traylor replaces Ben Carson as one of the conference speakers. Carson withdrew ...

Cooperative Program giving 2.57 percent ahead of year-to-date projection

 
Year-to-date contributions to Southern Baptist national and international missions and ministries received by the SBC Executive Committee are 2.57 percent above the year-to-date SBC Cooperative Program Allocation Budget projection and 2.09 percent above contributions received during the same time frame last year, according to a news release from SBC Executive Committee President and Chief Executive Officer Frank S. Page. The year-to-date total represents money received by the Executive Committee by the close of the last business day of May and includes receipts ...

Southern Baptist Pastors' Conference to focus on Jesus, not fads

 
Though this year's Southern Baptist Pastors' Conference in Columbus, Ohio, will feature a diverse array of speakers—in terms of both race and age—Conference President William Rice hopes they won't be the gathering's focus. Instead, he hopes pastors will turn their attention to Jesus, setting the stage for the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting's emphasis on prayer and awakening. Hence the theme of this year's Pastors' Conference: "He Must Increase." "In ministry, we get distracted by so ...

Ronnie Floyd to be nominated for second term as SBC president

 
Arkansas pastor Ronnie Floyd will be nominated for a second term as president of the Southern Baptist Convention, North Carolina pastor J.D. Greear announced today (April 20). Floyd "is a leader God has raised up for us at this crucial hour, and sensing God's hand upon him, I want to see him lead us for another year," Greear, pastor of The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, N.C., wrote in a statement to Baptist Press announcing his intention to nominate Floyd ...

Florida pastors to help lead SBC 'Call to Prayer'

 
For an "epic night of prayer" during the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting, 11 pastors have been named by SBC President Ronnie Floyd to help lead the Tuesday evening session, June 16, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in the Ohio capital. Floyd has titled the session, "A National Call for Prayer to All Southern Baptists for the Next Great Awakening and to Reach the World for Christ" on the opening night of the June 16-17 SBC annual meeting. "We will join ...