David Platt to students at Cross 2016: 'Risk your life in faith'

 
As 2016 came to close, more than 2,000 college students and campus leaders were challenged by Southern Baptists and other Christian speakers to give their lives to the cause of missions during the Cross 2016 missions event. The purpose of the Dec. 27-30 conference at the Indianapolis Convention Center was "to mobilize students in the cause of frontier missions for the glory of Jesus Christ," according to the event website and various speakers throughout the gathering. "Don't retreat in fear! Risk your life ...

Analysis: We serve an eternal King, not a temporary president

 
Oh, how Nov. 9 can’t get here soon enough. Has there been such a divisive election year in our millennial history? To no longer have to endure a barrage of political ads, commentary, name-calling and spoofs of the candidates; it’s nothing short of vulgar (if we even know what that means anymore.) It’s become ridiculous, to the point where both candidates spew childish arguments over whose worse and why, and offer middle school class president ...

Transgender debate continues as students return

 
As students return to their classrooms, the Obama administration's transgender directive continues to provoke a variety of responses among America's public schools. On one end of the spectrum, states like Massachusetts, California and Washington have embraced the administration's May directive that public schools and universities must allow students to use restrooms and locker rooms corresponding to their perceived gender identity rather than their biological sex. Some local school boards have responded positively as well, as in Charlotte, N.C., where ...

BCM, local churches partner to minister to college students

 
This month thousands of students will walk onto sun-drenched and moss-covered pathways of Florida’s college campuses for the first-time searching for a place to belong. Their footsteps are the first of a journey that will mold and shape their lives for a lifetime. Through the Baptist Campus Ministries (BCM) students can find these essentials, as well as options for spiritual growth, discipleship and opportunities to partner with a local church. Involvement in BCM can ease the transition of ...

Collegiate ministries evolve into multiplying churches

 
Channeling college students' zeal for Christ drew the focus of two panel discussions held in conjunction with the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting in St. Louis. The purpose of the panels, which took place on the Cooperative Program stage in the exhibit hall at America's Center, showcased missions and ministry funded by the Cooperative Program, Southern Baptists' unified giving channel. "I've never been more encouraged about the future of the church," said Keith Weiser of Resonate Church in Pullman, Wash., ...

Hobbyist's auto restorations nurture young men

 
For seven days, up to 12 hours a day, several Baptist Collegiate Ministries students took the rough places and made them new, fashioning what began as junk into something special. Working under the watchful eye of John Albrycht, the group restored a 1974 Volkswagen Super Beetle, winning Best in Class at the Classics in the Country Car Show in Watkinsville, Ga., on April 23. The like-new VW will be sold to raise money for SendMeNow missions for BCM students at Georgia College in ...

Cradle-through-college focus of Next Gen ministry

 
When First Baptist Church of Orange Park had a staffing gap to fill with the departure of its student minister, church leaders sought to look at a new model that would better equip the church to minister to all ages—especially families with children. They called veteran student minister Dave Paxton as Generations Pastor to connect and bond all age groups with a singular focus of serving those from every age group. “Our Generations ministry has sought to ...

Tommy Green: Engaging the next generation

 
The Next Generation ministry is not about the future but the present. We cannot wait and hope for good things for the Next Generation. We must actively engage the Next Generation in the ministry of our churches today. A unified approach to preschool, children, student and collegiate ministry enables a church to respond in partnership with parents to our children through these critical years of life. Billy Young, who serves as the Next Generation Ministries catalyst for the Florida Baptist ...

Russell Moore: Let's stop millennial bashing

 
The Internet lit up recently with outrage when a 20-something woman complained about how hard it was to live in San Francisco, because her job didn't pay her enough. The post, directed toward the woman's employer, Yelp, caused many to point out that millennials are, as a generation, lazy, self-obsessed and entitled. The controversy caught my attention because I tend to hear similar things within the church directed toward millennial Christians. I don't feel qualified to speak to the general ...

Small group curriculum for teens, young adults is 6-year free resource

 
Richard Ross has spent most of his life leading youth to a deeper relationship with Christ, so he didn't hesitate when he felt God's call to develop a small group curriculum for teens and young adults. But even Ross was surprised at the result: a six-year free curriculum for grades 7-12 encompassing a multiyear journey to learn everything from apologetics and ethics to evangelism and missions. The online "Disciple6" curriculum, written by 60-plus faculty and students at Southwestern Baptist Theological ...

Leaders discuss campus outreach in 'emerging regions'

 
Collegiate ministry groups outside the South are as unique and diverse as regions in which they are located. When the Emerging Regions State Collegiate Leaders working group met at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, the 25 participants traveled from places like Alaska, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania and West Virginia as well as Canada. The leaders represented a wide range of approaches from campus-based to church-based college ministries—each with a unique context and unique ...

College student's autism becomes 'one of God's greatest gifts'

 
Six months after his parents moved from California to Uruguay with the International Mission Board in 1990, Steven Kunkel stopped speaking.   His parents first thought their 1-year-old had culture shock, but they knew something else was wrong when he did not speak for nearly three years.   When Kunkel was 4, his father took him to San Francisco for a formal diagnosis. Doctors said Steven was severely autistic, would never be able to live on his own, learn to speak or ...

Raising the bar in your student ministry

 
I believe one of the greatest mistakes that we can make within our student ministries is underestimating not only where our students are, but also where they could be one day when it comes to their understanding of Scripture and the Christian worldview. I was reminded of how great our students’ potential can be when one of our volunteers whose day job is to teach high school students math was confused when one of our students began to explain ...

Fall Florida graduates from the Southern Baptist seminaries, Baptist College of Florida

 
Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Thomas Dean Inserra; Master of Theological Studies; Tallahassee James Louis Wells; Master of Arts, Theological Studies, Missions; Bonifay New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Leavell College Terrel D. Bridges Jr.; Master of Theological Studies; Walnut Hill Rich Day; Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministry; Tallahassee Nelson Plasencia; Master of Divinity; Fort White John Rowe; Doctor of Ministry; Orlando Jim Stickle; Master of Theological Studies; Orlando Joseph Valbrun; Master of Theological Studies; Miami Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary ...

Campus ministry reaching students at University of Delaware

 
Ask Blake Hardcastle, director of the University of Delaware Baptist Student Ministry, for the best way to engage 22,000 college students with the Gospel, and his answer is clear--reach them where they are, on campus. This large, highly-concentrated pocket of lostness is nestled in the heart of Newark, Del., at the state's largest university. At the University of Delaware, as well as many other campuses around the country, organizations need proper credentials to have a presence on campus. As a registered ...

Akin to Southeastern Seminary graduates: Be dangerous for Christ

 
In his charge to graduates, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary President Danny Akin encouraged them to give their whole lives to Christ because of the grace Christ has provided. Southeastern Seminary awarded 184 undergraduate and graduate degrees during its fall graduation ceremony Dec. 11 in Wake Forest, N.C. "Because of this amazing grace that truly is a sweet sound, we give," said Akin, who spoke from 2 Corinthians 8:9 during his message. "So here is my very simple four-fold challenge: We will go where ...

Baptist College of Florida president delivers diploma to hospitalized student

 
A hospital-room graduation ceremony complete with cameras and school presidents may not be a common sight, but that was the scene on the afternoon of Dec. 11 in one of the rooms at Southeast Alabama Medical Center. Andy Davis, a graduating senior from the Baptist College of Florida, and his wife, Melodee, drove six hours to participate in Davis’ graduation. But due to health concerns Davis had to be hospitalized and was unable to attend the graduation ceremony. Blood clots ...

God calls ministers to preach despite tribulation, says Mohler at Southern Seminary winter commencement

 
God sends ministers into a troubled world with the confidence of the Gospel, said President R. Albert Mohler Jr. in his Dec. 11 winter commencement address to 230 master’s and doctoral graduates of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky. Graduates of the seminary will face many trials, but God calls them to evangelize all people in hope as servants of Jesus Christ, Mohler said. “We send out this company of Gospel ministers into a world filled with ...

Pioneering approach launches BCM Campus Church in Jacksonville

 
A new, innovative approach to take the claims of Christ to students at Jacksonville’s University of North Florida was implemented with the launch of BCM Campus Church Sept. 13. With only three percent of the 16,000 students enrolled at the university professing a faith in Jesus Christ, Campus Church is taking the church to the campus through the platform of Baptist Campus Ministries. “Our goal is to engage students, right where they are,” said Barry Sproles, UNF campus ...

Baptist College of Florida missions conference features IMB couple

 
"It Takes a Family" was the Baptist College of Florida's missions conference theme, Oct. 12-14 at the Graceville campus, with a focus on missionary care before, during and after serving on the mission field. Speakers for the conference were missionaries Mark and Linda Whitworth. Mark is the International Mission Board's member care team leader while Linda serves as IMB's director of stateside assignment training. Together, they brought insight and real-time experiences in the area of mental health, adjustment and transitions ...

Southwestern Seminary President Paige Patterson calls Baptists back to evangelism

 
Southern Baptists will "see an upturn" in baptisms, giving, Sunday School attendance and church membership when they become more intentional about evangelism, Paige Patterson said. Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, noted that one cannot look at the numbers and deny a general downturn within Southern Baptist life. Patterson joked that the solution to such unfortunate realities is often to form a committee to study and then report on what churches have done wrong and need to do differently. ...

Spurgeon Library dedicated, record enrollment at Midwestern Seminary

 
The Spurgeon Library dedication, record enrollment, faculty elections and campus master plan approval highlighted Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary's fall trustee meeting on Oct. 19-20. Spurgeon Library dedication Capping more than 10 months of construction and preparations, as well as years of dreaming and planning, the seminary community celebrated the dedication of the Spurgeon Library with a ribbon cutting and official naming ceremony. Accompanied by Bill and Connie Jenkins, who donated $2.5 million for the project, President Jason Allen and his wife, Karen, ...

College students encouraged to share Gospel on campus Oct. 15

 
Three years ago, a group of college ministry leaders came together to try to answer a simple question: How can we get more students to share the Gospel on campus?   What came out of that brainstorming session is Engage24, a specific day (Oct. 15 this year) when collegiate ministry leaders, and more recently church leaders, encourage their people to share the Gospel with someone whose life they touch.   Rahul Agarwal, who leads Baptist collegiate ministries for Tampa area campuses, ...

Angola prison ministry celebrates 20 years, new facility

 
Celebrating a 20-year partnership that has changed lives and deployed "missionaries," New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary/Leavell College has dedicated a new facility with expanded classroom and library space at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola. The Aug. 27 dedication followed a graduation ceremony marking the program's 278th graduate. "This has been the most spectacular day we could ever have," said Burl Cain, warden of the correctional facility. "We have a new seminary building; we doubled our capacity; and, it means ...

Family speaks out about Leavell College professor's suicide

 
The family of Baptist professor and pastor John Gibson is calling his death a suicide connected to the Ashley Madison website hack. By openly discussing the circumstances surrounding his death, including a CNN interview that aired Tuesday (Sept. 8), the Gibsons hope to help other families find forgiveness and reconciliation. Gibson served for 17 years as a professor at Leavell College, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary's undergraduate college. At the time of his death, he also served as pastor of First Baptist ...

Seminary community mourns death of Leavell College professor

 
The first day of a new semester was marred by sadness as New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary's Leavell College students learned of the death of John Gibson, professor of communication. Gibson, 56, died Aug. 24. A memorial service for Gibson, known for his acts of kindness within the seminary community, will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 28, in Leavell Chapel on the seminary campus in a joint service with First Baptist Church in New Orleans, where Gibson's wife, Christi, has served ...

Faith-based partnerships with public schools prove beneficial

 
In Duval County, Superintendent Nikolai Vitti is intent on strengthening his schools’ ties to the faith community and is encouraging all 160 of the schools in his district to partner with a faith-based organization.   San Jose Baptist Church in Jacksonville partners with nearby San Jose Elementary. Sometimes that means church members are at the school, and other times students and teachers are able to visit the church.   For the last three years, Lead Pastor Mike Reed said that ...

Ole Miss football team helps give Haitians clean water

 
When University of Mississippi defensive end John Youngblood takes a break during the team's practices, he isn't likely to take a drink of cold, clean water for granted. And in the locker room, Youngblood, an Ole Miss junior, and teammate Christian Russell, a senior linebacker, likely will have greater appreciation for a refreshing shower. The players' gratitude for fresh, convenient water—and other common necessities—stems from a mission trip to Haiti last spring with 11 teammates among the ...

Oakview Baptist Church volunteers help build the Kingdom at BCF

 
  For the past several years, Builders for Christ from Oakview Baptist Church in Okeechobee, Fla., have arrived on The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) campus for one week of hard work and service. Their mission is obvious: Kingdom building. Their implementation of that mission consists of everything from demolition and construction, to installation and completion; all for God’s glory. According to BCF Professor Susan Wegmann, the heart of the Oakview team is servanthood and faithfulness. “This ...

The Baptist College of Florida has memorable experience at SBC annual meeting

 
Representatives from The Baptist College of Florida rekindled friendships and met prospective students at the 2015 Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Columbus, Ohio. In addition to inspirational messages, times of prayer, praise and worship, and the business and reports received during the June 16-17 annual meeting, some of the most entertaining discussions revolved around BCF eagle mascot “Izzy” and the fun beach decorations from Graceville, Fla. Alumni and friends who visited the BCF “Florida Theme” exhibit ...

Volunteers from First Baptist Orlando serve at Baptist College of Florida

 
Members of First Baptist Church in Orlando have made a mission trip to The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) in Graceville for the past 14 summers, sacrificing their vacation time and resources to serve on the campus. Motivated and committed, these volunteers pressure wash, remodel buildings, paint, clean, lay tile, trim and remove shrubs—just to name a few of the tasks that they are involved in during the week. About 90 team members, including adults and children, arrived on Father&...

NOBTS graduates encouraged to 'praise the Lord'

 
"Praise the Lord" every step of the way, Chuck Kelley, president of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, told graduates at the school's May 16 commencement. "Out of all the words you've read, all the words you've known," Kelley said. "Out of all the things you've experienced in your studies, I want to be sure you leave here with three words: Praise the Lord." Kelley noted that praising the Lord on an occasion like graduation is easy. But saying that phrase every ...

Eight students with ties to Florida graduate from Southern Seminary, Boyce College

 
Eight students with ties to Florida graduated from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Boyce College during spring commencement ceremonies in Louisville, Ky.    Southern Seminary conferred degrees to 297 Southern students on May 14, and 107 Boyce College students on May 8.   In his commencement address, President R. Albert Mohler Jr. charged the new Southern graduates, “Take your place in line and fulfill your ministry with eyes wide open, knowing your destiny in Christ. Go into the world ...

Brewton-Parker College elects new president

 
Steven Echols has been elected as the 17th president of Brewton-Parker College, one of three educational institutions affiliated with the Georgia Baptist Convention. Echols, 59, an Atlanta native, emerged as the top candidate for the BPC presidency, four months after the college announced a search committee following the Jan. 20 resignation of Ergun Caner after just more than a year of service. Echols' duties are effectively immediately following BPC trustees' unanimous vote May 19. Echols comes to Brewton-Parker from the former Tennessee Temple ...

Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary celebrates spring 2015 graduates

 
"Our God is a global God. He is always with those who are on mission with him," Daniel Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, said to the seminary's spring 2015 graduates. Southeastern's 61st graduating class included 274 graduates receiving 44 undergraduate, 197 graduate and 38 doctoral degrees. In his commencement address on May 15 in Wake Forest, N.C., Akin challenged the graduates with Jesus' last words in Matthew 28:18-20. He highlighted God's sovereign power, plan and promise. "As you go and do what ...

UF students spend spring break helping rebuild Sandy victims' lives

 
Braving temperatures that barely reached 20 degrees, a dozen University of Florida Baptist Campus Ministry students huddled in Caren Fitzpatrick’s cramped basement, forming a human chain to haul out her moldy and mildewed personal belongings. When Superstorm Sandy hit her Long Beach, N.Y., home in October 2012, the storm surge emptied 3 feet of rancid salt water into the basement of the family’s home, located two blocks from the ocean. In the 29 months since the rare fall storm, ...