MCLAURIN REFLECTS ON BLACK CHURCH GROWTH

Editor’s Note: You can hear Willie McLaurin discuss the growth of African-American churches during Episode 5 of Radio B&R, the official news podcast of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board.

 

Willie McLaurin

Willie McLaurin

BRENTWOOD — Two events stand out in the mind of Willie McLaurin as they relate to the growth of African-American churches across both the Tennessee Baptist Convention and the Southern Baptist Convention.

The first happened in 2012 when Fred Luter, pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, La., became the first African-American to be elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

“It meant so much to me to see Bro. Fred elected that tears came streaming down my eyes,” recalled McLaurin, special assistant to the president and director of black church development for the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board. [Read more…]

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TENNESCENE FEB. 22-MAR. 7

CHURCHES

New Market Baptist Church, New Market, will hold its 20th annual “Trail to the Empty Tomb.” About 650 people viewed the presentation last year on two nights. One night was rained out. This year the outdoor dramatic presentation will be offered Thursday – Saturday, April 13-15, from 8-9:30 p.m. For more information, contact Becky Finley at 865-850-6313 or rebeccalfinley@charter.net.

Trinity Baptist Church, Knoxville, will hold revival services March 19-22. Phil Glisson, evangelist of Memphis, will preach. [Read more…]

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PRESTONWOOD ESCROWS CP FUNDS, CITES ERLC ACTIONS

By David Roach
Baptist Press

170222prestonwood1PLANO, Texas (BP) — A Dallas-area megachurch has decided to escrow Cooperative Program funds temporarily in order to evaluate future support of Southern Baptist Convention causes.

At issue are what the congregation calls “various significant positions taken by the leadership of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission that do not reflect the beliefs and values of many in the Southern Baptist Convention,” according to a statement the church released to Louisiana’s Baptist Message newsjournal.

Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, will escrow what would amount to $1 million annually, the Message reported Feb. 16. [Read more…]

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FOOTBALL PRAYER LEADS TO EMPLOYEE TRAINING

By Diana Chandler
Baptist Press

The Freedom From Religion Foundation complained that students’ rights were violated when Eric Dill, student pastor of Bayside Baptist Church in Harrison, Tenn., prayed over an injured student at a September 2016 high school football game in Chattanooga, Tenn. The student has since made a full recovery. WRCB-TV screen capture

The Freedom From Religion Foundation complained that students’ rights were violated when Eric Dill, student pastor of Bayside Baptist Church in Harrison, Tenn., prayed over an injured student at a September 2016 high school football game in Chattanooga, Tenn. The student has since made a full recovery.
-WRCB-TV screen capture

CHATTANOOGA — A public school system has agreed to update employees on applicable constitutional law after a special interest group complained of a Tennessee Baptist minister’s impromptu prayer over an injured player at a high school football game.

The Hamilton County Department of Education (HCDE) will “provide additional training to its employees on the application of the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses in public schools,” HCDE attorney D. Scott Bennett told the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) Jan. 30. [Read more…]

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DR HELPS 253 FAMILIES AFTER FIRES

By Connie Davis Bushey
News Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Disaster relief volunteers of Knox County Association of Baptists work on some trees at the site of a burned home in Gatlinburg.

GATLINBURG — Disaster relief fire response “is so different … . We can’t go door to door saying, ‘Hey, we’re here for you,’ because there are no doors,” explained Kaye Thomas of Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief, referring to the hundreds of homes destroyed here by fires three months ago.

“But our yellow hats and blue shirts out on the mountains have really impressed people,” she added.

The Nov. 28 fires in Sevier County took 14 lives, left 160 people injured, and destroyed or damaged 2,800 structures including three Tennessee Baptist churches. [Read more…]

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WHY PLATT’S APOLOGY IS IMPORTANT

By Chris Turner
Director of Communications, TBMB

“I’m sorry.”

Two words that carry profound meaning and trigger acts of reconciliation. They admit a wrong, communicate humility, express a desire for forgiveness and move people toward a unified future.

David Platt

David Platt

And that’s precisely why David Platt, president of the International Mission Board, needed to say he was sorry to Southern Baptists for the amicus brief the IMB offered last summer in support of the building of a New Jersey mosque.

Platt’s apology was delivered to state convention executives, state paper editors and a number of other denominational leaders recently gathered in California for meetings. The reaction to a story written by Baptist and Reflector Editor Lonnie Wilkey titled, “Platt Apologizes to Southern Baptists,” has been interesting. One friend of mine categorically stated, “Platt has nothing for which he needs to apologize.” [Read more…]

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GAINES TO HEADLINE RALLY

Compiled by B&R

Steve Gaines, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, fields questions about topics of interest to Southern Baptists, from President Trump to the need for revival, during the annual meeting of state Baptist paper editors. -Photo by Lonnie Wilkey

Steve Gaines, at the recent the annual meeting of state Baptist paper editors.

JACKSON — Southern Baptist Convention President Steve Gaines will be the keynote speaker at the second annual West Tennessee Evangelism Rally March 5 at Union University.

Ernest Easley, professor of evangelism at Union, said last year’s rally was much more successful than he had hoped, with more than 800 people attending.

He said the need for such an event is clear. [Read more…]

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GAINES Q&A: FROM TRUMP TO PRAYER FOR REVIVAL

Baptist Press

Steve Gaines, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, fields questions about topics of interest to Southern Baptists, from President Trump to the need for revival, during the annual meeting of state Baptist paper editors. -Photo by Lonnie Wilkey

Steve Gaines, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, fields questions about topics of interest to Southern Baptists, from President Trump to the need for revival, during the annual meeting of state Baptist paper editors.
-Photo by Lonnie Wilkey

ONTARIO, Calif. (BP) — Southern Baptist Convention President Steve Gaines discussed a range of topics of interest to Baptists in a question-and-answer session with state Baptist paper editors during their Feb. 14-16 annual meeting in Ontario, Calif.

The discussion covered President Donald Trump’s first 25 days in office including the refugee crisis; controversial comments by Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission president Russell Moore during the election; churches tithing 10 percent to the Cooperative Program and state conventions splitting their CP receipts 50/50 with national entities; Millennials and the future of the convention; and the future of the nation. [Read more…]

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PLATT APOLOGIZES TO SOUTHERN BAPTISTS

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

David Platt

David Platt

ONTARIO, Calif. – David Platt, president of the Southern Baptist International Mission Board issued an apology to Southern Baptists Feb. 15 for the IMB’s involvement in an amicus brief last summer.

Platt apologized during a meeting of the Association of State Baptist Publications held in Ontario, Calif. He also apologized to Baptist state convention executive directors during their session on the same day.

In May of 2016 the IMB, along with the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, signed an amicus brief in support of a mosque to be built in New Jersey. [Read more…]

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JACKSON LAYMAN LIVES OUT ‘BLIND FAITH’

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Scott Duck does not allow blindness to deter him from his writing and speaking ministry. He is the author of three books.

Scott Duck does not allow blindness to deter him from his writing and speaking ministry. He is the author of three books.

JACKSON  — By all medical accounts, Scott Duck shouldn’t be around today.

On March 21, 1977, Duck was one of triplets born three months prematurely. According to medical reports, he was in the worst condition of the three infants and the one doctors gave the least chance of survival.

As it turned out, his brothers, Chris and Brad, contracted an unidentified pathogen that eventually killed them. Scott survived and the only lingering effect of his premature birth is his blindness.

Duck shares his story in a recently released book, Blind Faith. Now an author and motivational speaker, Duck uses his experience to remind people that “God can use anyone to reach people and make a positive difference in the world.” [Read more…]

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