LifeWay Films schedules encore 'Insanity of God' simulcasts

 
LifeWay Films schedules encore 'Insanity of God' simulcasts   Response to LifeWay Films' simulcasts of "The Insanity of God" last fall has prompted encore showings March 22 and 26. The feature documentary tells the story of missionaries Nik and Ruth Ripken who traveled to 72 countries into the depths of the persecuted church to find out if God actually makes a difference in difficult places. The film is produced by the International Mission Board and Cooke Pictures, distributed by LifeWay Films and based ...

My hope is that media execs become open to issues of faith

 
"We don't get religion," New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet said, his words sparking a whirlwind of attention. The "media powerhouses," as Baquet put it in an NPR interview Dec. 8, "don't get the role of religion in people's lives." As a Christian, I can understand Baquet's observation. In order to "get" religion, one has to "get" faith. This often seems to be a challenge for those who see themselves as intellectuals. They have a faith; however, their faith is ...

Your all-new Florida Baptist Witness is on the way!

 
Subscribers to the Florida Baptist Witness are only days away from holding our new product in their hands. The new print edition is the result of months of prayerful planning, and only part of our new approach to how we are going to bring you news and information of interest to Florida Baptists going forward. First and foremost, the changes we are making are designed to better connect our digital, social and print platforms—and the audiences that use ...

ABC being urged to change title for sit-com it is developing

 
The Parents Television Council is urging ABC to drop plans to use profanity in the title of a television comedy series featuring a struggling church and its new pastor. "Holy (expletive)," the title of the series currently in development, is not only offensive and inappropriate, but assumes that advertisers want to link their products to "excrement," PTC President Tim Winter told Baptist Press. "You scratch your head and wonder what the folks at the programming department in these networks are ...

'Fixer Upper' stars 'hounded' for pastor's marriage stance

 
Media reports criticizing HGTV personalities Chip and Joanna Gaines for attending a church whose pastor believes homosexuality is a sin have drawn criticism from Southern Baptist commentators as illogical and "unbecoming of the term 'news.'" The Gaines, who star in HGTV's popular series "Fixer Upper," were the subjects of a Nov. 29 article on the news and entertainment website BuzzFeed that classified their pastor and Waco, Texas, church as holding a "severe, unmoving position ... on same-sex marriage." BuzzFeed writer Kate ...

Lead role in Columbine film helps actress grasp God's love

 
Masey McLain, the daughter of a Georgia Baptist pastor, knew God intended her to play the true-to-life movie character Rachel Joy Scott, a Columbine victim, even when the part first went to someone else. "I'm Not Ashamed," a PG-13 movie that opened nationwide Oct. 21, stars McLain in her first leading role. The PureFlix film, directed by Brian Baugh, co-stars actress Jennifer O'Neill, Sadie Robertson of "Duck Dynasty" fame, singer Jaci Velasquez and Nancy Stafford from the TV series "Matlock." The ...

LifeWay pulls Jen Hatmaker books over LGBT views

 
LifeWay Christian Resources has discontinued resources featuring best-selling Bible study author Jen Hatmaker just days after she voiced approval of gay marriage and the gay lifestyle. "In a recent interview, [Hatmaker] voiced significant changes in her theology of human sexuality and the meaning and definition of marriage -- changes which contradict LifeWay's doctrinal guidelines," LifeWay spokesman Marty King told Baptist Press today (Oct. 27). "As a result, LifeWay has discontinued selling her resources." LifeWay, a Southern Baptist Convention entity, has published ...

An interview with 'Insanity of God' Producer Craig Martin

 
When Nik and Ruth Ripken moved with their three sons to Africa, they had no idea how much obedience to Christ would cost. The assassination of four Somali Christian friends and the death of their son, Timothy, rocked the foundations of their faith. Their spiritual crisis launched a search for answers. They needed to know: Is Jesus worth it? Is love more powerful than hate? Can faith in Jesus survive—let alone thrive—in hostile places? For 15 years ...

Disney film tells true tale of Christian faith, triumph

 
A girl living in poverty in the Katwe slums of Kampala, Uganda, becomes a national chess champion and enriches her life with Christ in Disney's "Queen of Katwe," based on a true story of struggle and triumph. Disney maintains faith elements in telling the story of a young Phiona Mutesi who learned chess through the evangelistic Sports Outreach Ministry (SOM) and became a national champion and subject of the "Queen of Katwe" book that precedes the film. Sal Ferlise, CEO ...

'Insanity of God' ticket sales top $1M; church simulcast planned

 
Ticket sales for an encore showing of "The Insanity of God" in theaters Tuesday, Sept. 13, pushed box office receipts to $1.1 million. "Due to the success of the film's two one-night theater showings," said Trey Reynolds, manager of LifeWay Films, "we are planning a church simulcast for the film the first or second week of November, with a consumer DVD and church license DVD to be released Nov. 21." The feature documentary film produced by the International Mission Board and Cooke Pictures ...

Shawn Hendricks named editor of Baptist Press

 
The Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention has named Shawn Hendricks as editor of Baptist Press, effective Sept. 1. Last year, Hendricks began transitioning into his new role when he was named managing editor/director of operations. As editor, Hendricks will continue to direct the daily operations and content of Baptist Press and maintain the administrative duties he began a year ago. Art Toalston, who served as editor of Baptist Press for more than 23 years, was named senior editor in 2015 ...

Hispanic church in Georgia beams Gospel to its community

 
A young mother may turn to 94.7 on her radio dial for health tips for herself and her family as well as children's programming. An auto mechanic may listen to the station to hear a two-way discussion of a previous week's sermon or a broadcast on anger management. Radio PESCA, the Spanish word for fish, streams into homes that may never be reached by a knock on the door. Through a variety of ad-free programming, the station seeks to glorify God ...

Want to see everything the Witness has to offer? Now is your chance

 
The Florida Baptist Witness has decided to remove its paywall for a month, starting June 1. The goal is to increase our web traffic and paid circulation, as those who have not been able to see anything more than the covers of our print editions for nearly two years get to see what they’ve been missing. To get your free month of digital access, all you have to do is click on one of the icons in the row ...

Witness receives 3 awards from Baptist Communicators Association

 
The Florida Baptist Witness won three awards from the Baptist Communicators Association for work done in 2015. The Witness’ executive editor, Kevin Bumgarner, finished second in the category for First-Person Columns for his piece headlined “Ministry of reconciliation puts those involved on a very satisfying journey,” which appeared in the April 23-May 6, 2015, edition. In that column, Kevin wrote about the importance of resolving differences of opinion in a Christ-honoring manner. Witness Reporter Nicole Kalil took third place in ...

LifeWay moves swiftly toward new headquarters

 
LifeWay Christian Resources appeared to leave little doubt of its aggressive timetable Wednesday (April 6) for construction of its new building, breaking ground for new headquarters just hours after closing the purchase of the property. Within two years, LifeWay expects to move 1,100 employees into a new office building on 2.5 acres in Capitol View, a mixed-use urban development in Nashville's central business district. On Wednesday, the future site of the nine-story, 250,000-square-foot building was primarily dirt and gravel, with front-end loaders waiting ...

H.B. Charles Jr.: Christian proclamation requires Christ-centeredness

 
Christian proclamation requires Christ-centeredness in message, motivation and ministry, H.B. Charles Jr., told attendees Feb. 23 during the opening session of Proclaim 16, the National Religious Broadcasters’ International Christian Media Convention. Charles, pastor of the Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla., urged all Christians, as well as church and ministry leaders, to realize: “[I]f you have Jesus, you already have enough.” Christ’s sufficiency, as well as His sovereignty and supremacy, should not be “...

Former Witness Executive Editor Jim Smith named NRB communications VP

 
Veteran Southern Baptist communicator James A. Smith Sr. has been named as National Religious Broadcasters vice president of communications, effective March 1. NRB President Jerry A. Johnson, in making the announcement today (Feb. 16), stated in a news release, "Since NRB is a media association, building a first-class communications team must be our highest priority. Jim Smith's proven track record as a media leader makes him the right man, at the right time, for all the right reasons." Smith, 51, has been executive ...

New movie ‘Risen’ tells crucifixion story from fictional soldier’s eyes

 
“Risen,” a new movie distributed by Affirm Films, tells the story of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection from the perspective of a fictional unbelieving soldier whose investigation of the mystery leads to a personal encounter with Jesus. Opening in wide release weeks before Easter, the film is promoted as both a picture of faith and a mystery designed to draw believers and nonbelievers. Johnny Hunt, pastor of First Baptist Church of Woodstock, Ga., and former president of the ...

Southern Baptists to play prominent role at NRB convention

 
When thousands of evangelical communicators who comprise the National Religious Broadcasters meet later this month in Nashville, Tenn., for their annual convention, Southern Baptists will be prominently featured. Southern Baptists' presence at "Proclaim 16: NRB International Christian Media Convention" is not merely a result of the fact that longtime Southern Baptist leader Jerry Johnson became president two years ago. The nation's largest Protestant denomination is well represented in the premier organization of evangelical communicators because Southern Baptists are such a key ...

Putting feet to faith: O.S. Hawkins' 'James Code'

 
When you get down to it, there are really only three relationships in life, GuideStone President O.S. Hawkins says: an upward relationship between man and God; an inward relationship with oneself; and an outward relationship between man and the world around him. Those three relationships exist regardless of time or place—a lesson Hawkins learned throughout 25 years as a pastor, from wheat-farming country in Oklahoma to cosmopolitan and business centers in Fort Lauderdale and Dallas. They spurred the ...

Baptist Press' most-read stories of 2015

 
As politics, scandal and terrorism dominated the headlines this year, two stories related to the budget shortfalls of the Southern Baptist Convention's international missions entity were the most-read articles of 2015 on Baptist Press' website. It was the second consecutive year the entity accounted for the top story on the list. Google Analytics, which tracks web traffic, also showed stories related to the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage, the Kansas City Royals' Ben Zobrist and a 101-year-old man's salvation made ...