UNION TRUSTEES OK ACADEMIC REORGANIZATION

Union University News Office

Union University

JACKSON — Union University trustees approved an academic reorganization for the university that will create the School of Social Work and the School of Adult and Professional Studies, in addition to changing the names of three other schools at their April 21 meeting.

The McAfee School of Business Administration will become the McAfee School of Business, the School of Pharmacy will become the College of Pharmacy, and the College of Education and Human Studies will become the College of Education. [Read more…]

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FBC POWELL BEGINS REVITALIZING SECOND CHURCH

By Connie Davis Bushey
News Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Leading the revitalization efforts at Norwood Baptist Church Campus, Knoxville, of First Baptist Church, Powell, are, from left, Phil Young, director of missions, Knox County Association of Baptists, and church revitalization specialist, Tennessee Baptist Mission Board; Tim McGhee, pastor, Norwood Baptist Church Campus; Phil Jones, preaching pastor, First Baptist, Powell; and Kemp Wynn, pastoral care minister, Norwood Baptist Church Campus.

POWELL — Several models of Baptist church revitalization exist — a sponsoring church can absorb the congregation, developing a campus of the sponsoring church, or the sponsoring church can bring in another congregation to use the facility of the declining congregation.

It is rare for the revitalized church to retain its identity and be given back its autonomy.

However, this occurred in January as First Baptist Church, Powell, saw First Baptist Church, Fountain City, revitalized after a 10-year process and returned to being an autonomous church. [Read more…]

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COLLINS SEEKS ‘REAL TIME’ BAPTISMS

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

BRENTWOOD — Roc Collins joined the staff of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board as director of evangelism in January with one purpose in mind — to see more Tennesseans come to a saving faith in Jesus Christ.

Collins, director of evangelism for the TBMB, also had a strong desire to see the convention meet the evangelism/discipleship goal of seeing at least 50,000 Tennesseans annually saved, baptized, and set on the road to discipleship by 2024 (the first of 5 Objectives, a strategic 10-year plan, adopted by convention messengers in 2014). [Read more…]

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1,619 ATTEND WMU GET-TOGETHER & CONNECTION

By Janice Backer
Contributing Writer, B&R

Elected as promotion directors for Tennessee Woman’s Missionary Union during its annual meeting were, from left, Glenda Roach, Blue Springs Baptist Church, Rutledge, northeast; Bobby Turner, First Baptist Church, Lenoir City, east; Linda Robbins, Bethlehem Baptist Church, Westpoint, south central; Jonnie (Neal) Jones, First Baptist Church, Macon, southwest; and Sharon Tyler, Bellevue Baptist Church, Nashville, central. Not pictured are Lisa Condee-Sullivan, Delano Baptist Church, Delano, southeast, and Rhonda Poore, First Baptist Church, Kenton, northwest. — Photo by Chris Turner

GATLINBURG — For more than 10 years, Sharon Y. Smith has made the eight-hour trip from Memphis to Gatlinburg to attend the Missions Get-Together and Connection.  This year the conference was held on March 31-April 2 at the Gatlinburg Convention Center.

“The worship and the sessions are good,” Smith said. “I come and learn and take the information back to share with my church.”  A member of Kingdom Center Ministries in Memphis, she brought 10 women including her sister, Bettye Tyson, and Jeanette West, the first black Woman’s Missionary Union director of  Mid-South Baptist Association, based in Memphis.

“I must say it is awesome and a blessing to meet so many women in Christ,” said Tyson, who attended the meeting for the first time.   [Read more…]

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BALANCE NEEDED BETWEEN SPORTS, CHURCH

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

teammates-baseballBRENTWOOD — Little Johnny has a travel baseball game on Sunday morning, sister Becky has a soccer game in the early afternoon, and older brother Ben has an AAU basketball game at the same time.

And, by the way, church starts at 9 and is over at noon. What’s a family to do?

For Derek Westmoreland, pastor of Hopewell Baptist Church in Savannah, the answer is simple. Go to church.

“Your kids have to know that God is most important and that He comes first,” said Westmoreland, who has coached his sons’ baseball teams over the years, but is no longer their coach. [Read more…]

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SOUTHERN SEMINARY TRUSTEES INSTALL GAINES TO VISITING PROFESSORSHIP

By Andrew J.W. Smith
Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Southern Baptist Convention President Steve Gaines was installed as the first Herschel H. Hobbs Visiting Professor of Preaching at the April 10 trustees meeting.

Southern Baptist Convention President Steve Gaines was installed as the first Herschel H. Hobbs Visiting Professor of Preaching at the April 10 trustees meeting.

Trustees of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary unanimously approved all recommendations in the board’s April 10 meeting, including the installation of Southern Baptist Convention President Steve Gaines to a visiting professorship honoring former SBC President Herschel H. Hobbs. The board also approved an expanded budget for the 2017-2018 academic year and elected three faculty members.

The trustees established the Herschel H. Hobbs Visiting Professor of Christian Preaching to honor the life and legacy of Hobbs, a two-time graduate of Southern Seminary. Hobbs was the president of the Southern Baptist Convention from 1961-1963, served as chairman of the committee that revised the Baptist Faith and Message in 1963, and pastored several SBC churches.

“One of my encouragers all along the way was Dr. Herschel Hobbs — he was so committed to this institution, so committed to Southern Baptists,” said Southern Seminary President R. Albert Mohler Jr. to trustees during the meeting. “Very regularly we will have a visiting professor in his name come to this campus in order to educate students and honor Dr. Hobbs.” [Read more…]

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MUSLIMS OUTPACING CHRISTIANS IN BIRTHS, PEW SAYS

By Diana Chandler
Baptist Press

The growing birth rate among Muslims will put the group’s population at nearly equal that of Christians globally by 2060, according to Pew Research. In this BP file photo, Muslims are praying at Jakarta's Masjid Istiqlal, the largest mosque in Southeast Asia.

The growing birth rate among Muslims will put the group’s population at nearly equal that of Christians globally by 2060, according to Pew Research. In this BP file photo, Muslims are praying at Jakarta’s Masjid Istiqlal, the largest mosque in Southeast Asia.

NASHVILLE (BP) — Muslims are so outpacing Christians in births that the two population groups will be nearly equal by 2060, with Christians holding only a slight majority, according to newly released Pew Research data.

An increase in Muslim births compounded by an aging Christian population will put the Muslim share of the global population at 31 percent by 2060, just under the 32 percent for Christians, Pew said in its April 5 report.

Muslim births are nearly double the overall growth rate of the global population, Pew said, characterizing Islam as the youngest major religious group with the highest fertility. Atheists, agnostics and adults who don’t specify a religion, together classified as “nones” by Pew, lag far behind both Muslims and Christians in reproduction. [Read more…]

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HELPING GOD’S SPECIAL FRIENDS FOR 34 YEARS

By Connie Davis Bushey
News Editor, Baptist and Reflector

David and Mary Demps, houseparents of Stoneway Acres White House of Tennessee Baptist Adult Homes, for 20 years, recently retired. They stand with four of their eight residents or “sons.” From left are David Willoughby, Todd Black, Mary Demps, Sam Sloan, David Demps, and Raymond Benson.

David and Mary Demps, houseparents of Stoneway Acres White House of Tennessee Baptist Adult Homes, for 20 years, recently retired. They stand with four of their eight residents or “sons.” From left are David Willoughby, Todd Black, Mary Demps, Sam Sloan, David Demps, and Raymond Benson.

LEBANON — David and Mary Demps fell in love with special needs folks about 34 years ago as young Christians.

Looking back, they see God’s direction to the ministry though they don’t have any family members who have developmental challenges.

The Dempses have recently retired from serving for 20 years as houseparents of the Stoneway Acres White House in Lebanon which is home to eight men with special needs. Stoneway Acres White House is a ministry of Tennessee Baptist Adult Homes. [Read more…]

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C-N, TBCH ENJOY BENEFICIAL PARTNERSHIP

Carson-Newman University junior Caty Scarce, a member of  Indian Springs Baptist Church, Kingsport, helps a resident of the Tennessee Baptist Children’s Home with his homework while freshman Sarah White, of Central Baptist Church, Johnson City, reads to another TBCH resident during a recent spring break missions trip.

Carson-Newman University junior Caty Scarce, a member of Indian Springs Baptist Church, Kingsport, helps a resident of the Tennessee Baptist Children’s Home with his homework while freshman Sarah White, of Central Baptist Church, Johnson City, reads to another TBCH resident during a recent spring break missions trip.

By Mark Brown
Carson-Newman News Office

JEFFERSON CITY — A ministerial partnership between Carson-Newman University and Tennessee Baptist Children’s Homes goes back for more than a quarter century. And yet, officials of both entities say, the relationship deepens and blossoms each spring.

“We couldn’t function without the volunteers, the group that comes from Carson-Newman (and others),” said TBCH vice-president Patrick Addison, who directs residential care for the Chattanooga and Oakdale campuses. “Whether they’re painting, weeding flower beds, cleaning for us, or doing whatever, it’s saving our staff from having to do something, or potentially paying someone to do something, and that allows us to invest into our children.”  [Read more…]

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GOD GIVES HER MINISTRY TO ‘DAUGHTERS’

By Connie Davis Bushey
News Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Judy Holloway

Judy Holloway

BETHEL SPRINGS — Judy Hollaway knew that her family which included her two wonderful sons and her husband, Mike, a Baptist pastor, was complete. But she still regretted not having a daughter.

Then one day God spoke to her and told her that she would have many spiritual daughters.

That was years ago. Since then God has given Hollaway hundreds of spiritual daughters as He led her to begin holding retreats for ladies. She and others have held 12 annual “Refining Ladies” retreats. A recent retreat drew 366 ladies from 23 churches, mostly small churches in West Tennessee.  [Read more…]

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