GRAHAM TOUR TARGETS TENNESSEE TOWNS

By Diana Chandler
Baptist Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It’s not often an evangelist with the following of Billy Graham’s son Franklin hosts gospel events in communities as small as Jackson, home to about 68,000 people.

Fresh from the success of the 2016 Decision America Tour that drew a total of 230,000 people to prayer rallies in all 50 states, Franklin Graham is focusing on small and medium-sized towns in Tennessee in May as he continues his national call to prayer. [Read more…]

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SOUTHWESTERN TO HOUSE BILL WALLACE PAPERS

By Julie Owens
Baptist Press

FORT WORTH, Texas — Southern Baptist medical missionary and martyr Bill Wallace suffered profoundly in his last weeks on earth, but he had long been prepared. “There is no sacrifice in all the world too great for a man to make for the Lord Jesus Christ,” he wrote in an emotional letter shared with his home congregation just before he left for his fateful mission to China in 1935. [Read more…]

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STATE LEGISLATORS OK POST-VIABLE ABORTION BAN

By Tom Strode
Baptist Press

NASHVILLE — The Tennessee legislature has overwhelmingly approved a ban on post-viability abortions, drawing praise from the president of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board and the head of the Southern Baptist Convention’s ethics entity.

The House of Representatives voted 69-18 in favor of the Tennessee Infants Protection Act May 3, two days after the Senate passed the legislation in a 27-3 vote. Gov. Bill Haslam, who is considered pro-life, signed the bill into law on May 12. [Read more…]

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‘O LORD LISTEN, FORGIVE, HEAR, ACT’ AMERICA PRAYS

By Diana Chandler
Baptist Press

Nashville-area residents gathered for prayer and worship at the SBC building during the 66th annual National Day of Prayer.
Photo by Shawn Hendricks/BP

WASHINGTON (BP) — From 45,000 or more venues including public parks, courthouses, churches, community centers, government buildings and the like, concerted pleas went up to God for America on the 66th annual National Day of Prayer.

“O Lord, Listen! O Lord, Forgive! O Lord, Hear and Act!” was the organized cry drawn from Daniel 9:19 today (May 4), that birthed perhaps hundreds of thousands of individual prayers for various aspects of society, including governmental sectors and leaders, families, media, businesses and religion, according to event organizers. “For Your Great Name’s Sake,” also taken from Daniel’s prayer, is the national theme. [Read more…]

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AMERICANS LIKE BIBLE BUT DON’T READ IT

By Bob Smietana
Lifeway Research

NASHVILLE — Americans have a positive view of the Bible. And many say the Christian Scriptures are filled with moral lessons for today.

However, more than half of Americans have read little or none of the Bible.

Less than a quarter of those who have ever read a Bible have a systematic plan for reading the Christian Scriptures each day. And a third of Americans never pick it up on their own, according to a new study from Nashville-based LifeWay Research. [Read more…]

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SBC PHOENIX: ‘PRAY! FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS’

Baptist Press

PHOENIX — As this year’s Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting approaches, SBC President and Tennessee pastor Steve Gaines says fellow Baptists should anticipate emphases on prayer, evangelism, and financial stewardship at the June 13-14 gathering in Phoenix, where the 2003 and 2011 annual meetings also were held.

This year’s annual meeting theme is “Pray! For such a time as this” based on Luke 18:1 and Esther 4:14. Gaines hopes that through a commitment “to fervent, frequent, faith-filled prayer,” the SBC will become “a catalyst for spiritual awakening and revival. [Read more…]

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GAINES: ‘A PRAYER FOR AMERICA’

By Steve Gaines
SBC President & Pastor, Bellevue Baptist Church, Cordova

Steve Gaines

MEMPHIS (BP) — Today is the National Day of Prayer in the United States of America. As Bible-believing Christians, we believe in prayer.

We know that God answers the faith-filled, frequent, fervent prayers of His people. As Southern Baptists, we believe that we should pray and ask God to bless our nation and its leaders. We should pray for our leaders and for every citizen of our nation, asking the Lord to forgive our sins and to guide us in His will in the future. We should also confess the sins of our nation and beseech the Lord to be merciful and gracious to every person in our country. [Read more…]

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WMU GIVES SECOND GRANT TO FIRE RELIEF

Baptist Press

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — As the Smoky Mountain resort towns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge continue to recover from last year’s devastating wildfires, a second $5,000 HEART (Humanitarian Emergency Aid for Rebuilding Tomorrow) Fund grant from the national Womans Missionary Union and the WMU Foundation will assist workers struggling due to the decline in tourism. [Read more…]

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PRESTONWOOD TO RESUME CP GIVING ‘WITHOUT DESIGNATION’

By David Roach
Baptist Press

Jack Graham

PLANO, Texas (BP) — Prestonwood Baptist Church has announced it will resume giving through the Cooperative Program after two months of evaluating its support of Southern Baptist missions and ministries.

“After a time of prayerful evaluation, Prestonwood is renewing our commitment to Southern Baptist missions by giving to the Cooperative Program without designation,” Prestonwood executive pastor Mike Buster told Baptist Press in a statement. [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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