GuideStone president just misses Fort Lauderdale airport shooting

 
At least five people are dead and 13 wounded after a gunman allegedly opened fire today (Jan. 6) in a baggage claim area of the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Among air travelers to narrowly miss the shooting were GuideStone Financial Resources President O.S. Hawkins and his wife, Susie. The shooting occurred in the baggage claim area of Terminal 2, according to media reports. The alleged shooter reportedly arrived in Fort Lauderdale on an Air Canada flight, "pulled a gun out of a ...

Replica of Noah's Ark in Kentucky opens to public

 
Thousands of supporters and media descended on the rural town of Williamstown, Ky., earlier this week for the ribbon cutting of a life-sized replica of Noah's Ark. The Ark Encounter theme park opens to the public today (July 7). "If it floods again, will it float?" a reporter shouted out during a July 5 press conference as dark clouds rolled across the sky over the property off I-75. "I've had many people in the media ask me if it will float, and ...

Billy Graham statue moving to North Carolina mountains

 
LifeWay Christian Resources is moving a larger-than-life statue of Southern Baptist evangelist Billy Graham from its downtown Nashville location to a LifeWay retreat center in the North Carolina mountains, a few miles from Graham’s home. The move is prompted by last year’s sale of LifeWay’s 15-acre Nashville campus. The iconic bronze sculpture will be dismantled and placed in storage until a new site is ready this fall at the entrance to LifeWay’s 1,300...

Hickory Grove Baptist Church finds ways to minister in the midst of Green Cove Springs tragedy

 
When tragedy rocks a small, close-knit community, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who isn’t personally touched by it in some way. So when Murray Lancaster shot and killed his ex-girlfriend Valorie Short and her father, Buddy, as well as his ex-wife, Erica Green, on May 3, it was bound to send the small town of Green Cove Springs, Fla., reeling.   With a focus on helping the community heal and living out the Gospel message, Baptist ...

Pastor Saeed Abedini: 'God saved me' from death in Iran

 
American pastor Saeed Abedini prayed hours at times to survive years of abuse and unjust imprisonment in Iran for his Christian faith, and described his prayers as a "wonderful time with the Lord." In his first media interview since his release from an Iranian prison was announced Jan. 16, Abedini told Fox News' Greta Van Susteren of the brutal physical and psychological torture he suffered in Iran for three and half years. The 35-year-old Abedini described three harsh beatings in particular, ...

Naghmeh Abedini explains 'legal action' against husband Saeed Abedini

 
Naghmeh Abedini has taken legal action against her husband, Saeed Abedini, to make sure their children remain in Idaho while the couple works to save their marriage, and revealed on Facebook today (Jan. 27) scant details of alleged spousal abuse she called "a growing cancer." Naghmeh Panahi (her maiden name) vs. Saeed Abedini was filed Jan. 26 in Ada County, Idaho, before Jill S. Jurries, magistrate judge for family law in the Fourth Judicial District of Idaho in Ada County. Described as ...

Wife, children to reunite with Saeed Abedini in North Carolina today

 
Naghmeh Abedini is making plans to join her husband, Saeed Abedini, at the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove in Asheville, N.C., where he has been resting with his parents and sister since arriving there Thursday (Jan. 21) from Berlin. She changed earlier plans to fly with the children to meet her husband in Germany, where he was receiving medical treatment after his release from unjust imprisonment in Iran, after the couple determined he needed more time to heal ...

In cowboy country, Texas pastor accepts shepherd role

 
Cowboys roam in middle-of-nowhere West Texas. Not the city-slicking "rhinestone" kind in Dallas, but cowboys riding on horseback and corralling cattle into a pen. In these small towns, community life is a picture of a bygone era in American culture, where pastors are well-respected and everyone's life is on public display. When John Powell left Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2012 to become the pastor of First Baptist Church, Hamlin, Texas, he tried to corral his congregation like a cowboy into ...

No More Asylum Seekers plans to protest Wednesday at JBA building

 
A group called No More Asylum Seekers is planning to protest in front of the offices of the Jacksonville Baptist Association Wednesday afternoon while a state task force dealing with refugees is meeting inside.   The task force is part of the Florida Department of Children and Families’ efforts to serve the refugee population in Jacksonville.   According to the DCF website, some of the goals of the event are “to increase awareness of the refugee populations, share ...

Fall festival safety tips for churches

 
Fall festivals can be fun, but broken bones, food poisoning and burns are not. That's why churches should take steps to protect themselves and their guests from unnecessary risks during special outreach events, experts say. Before hosting any special event, a church should first make sure its insurance policy covers activities that are outside the normal ministry schedule. "From a risk management standpoint, what often happens is that churches don't think about exposures. They are only thinking about having fun. ...

101-year-old's salvation caps wife's 24-year prayer

 
Lou Warshaw prayed for 24 years that her husband, George, would accept Christ as his Lord and Savior. After years of refusing to give up on the hope that he would become a Christian, God answered her prayers when, at the age of 101, George made that decision and followed through with believer's baptism. "The devil kept telling me it wouldn't happen," Lou said, admitting to times when her faith was tested. "But I kept believing God would let it happen. I ...

Congregations' generosity allows churches to grow, build

 
Two Florida Baptist churches—First Baptist in Chipley and Immanuel Baptist in Oxford—have celebrated groundbreakings this summer.   Senior pastors Mike Orr at FBC Chipley and Mike Dameron at Immanuel credit the generosity of their congregations as factors that have allowed their churches to experience the kind of growth that requires additional space.   “The Lord’s done great things in a small place and used our giving through the Cooperative Program for years,” ...