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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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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MOSQUE CASE PROMPTS IMB POLICY TWEAK

Baptist Press

mosque-dome-towerNASHVILLE — Ongoing discussion of a federal court case concerning religious liberty for Muslims has prompted the resignation of an International Mission Board trustee and a revision of the IMB’s process for submitting friend of the court briefs.

Dean Haun, pastor of First Baptist Church in Morristown, resigned from the IMB trustee board in November based on his conviction the IMB should not have joined a friend of the court brief last May supporting the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge, N.J., (ISBR) in its religious discrimination lawsuit against a local planning board. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission also joined the brief. [Read more…]

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DR LEADERS MARK 50 YEARS OF MINISTRY, EYE FUTURE

Baptist Press

170202dr-anniv

Southern Baptist Disaster Relief leaders celebrated the ministry’s 50th anniversary during their annual conference, Jan. 23-27. -Photo by Jane Rodgers/Southern Baptist TEXAN

DENTON, Texas (BP) — Southern Baptist Disaster Relief leaders throughout North America met for their annual “Round Table” meeting and to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the founding of SBDR.

Representatives from nearly all the state Baptist conventions participated in the Jan. 23-27 event at Camp Copass in Denton, Texas. Portions of the week focused on celebrating five decades of ministry efforts, looking at the present state of the ministry and preparing for the future.

“Fifty years represents a significant event for us,” said Mickey Caison, the executive director of SBDR at the North American Mission Board. [Read more…]

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FAKE NEWS HARD TO AVOID, EVEN HARDER TO ERADICATE

By Jeff Brumley
Baptist News Global

crumpled-newspapersFake news is big news these days, and many want to know how not to be duped by it.

On one level, the solutions are a matter of common sense.

“First, you look for verification,” said James Black, assistant director of the Center for Collaborative Journalism and professor of writing in the media at Mercer University.

Christianity Today published more tips, including not posting items whose authenticity is disproven or that cannot be verified. [Read more…]

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SBC CHILD CARE, CHILDREN, YOUTH REG. OPENS FEB. 1

Baptist Press

-Screen shot from www.thegiantcow.com

-Screen shot from www.thegiantcow.com

PHOENIX (BP) — Registration opens Feb. 1 for preschool child care, Giant Cow Children’s Ministries and Youth on Mission in conjunction with the Southern Baptist Convention’s 2017 annual meeting June 13-14 in Phoenix.

Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (SBDR) child care volunteers will care for preschoolers; while Giant Cow Children’s Ministries will lead the 5- to 12-year-olds, and Woman’s Missionary Union will guide the Youth on Mission curricula and activities.

All activities for children and youth will be housed at the Phoenix Convention Center, the annual meeting site. Youth who have completed grades 7-12 will begin their days at the convention center with worship before going into the community for hands-on mission projects. [Read more…]

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MOST CHURCHES HOLD SUNDAY SERVICES, SUPER BOWL OR NOT

Baptist Press

170126football1NASHVILLE, Tenn.— For churches that have Sunday night activities, most pastors say it’s still “game on” despite the big game next weekend.

According to a new study from Nashville-based LifeWay Research, 68 percent of Protestant pastors say their church typically has some activity on Sunday night. And among those pastors, almost 6 in 10 (59 percent) say they will continue as normal on the night of the Super Bowl.

“It is easy to think everyone is watching the game,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research, “but even during the Super Bowl, millions of Americans are doing other things that are important to them. For many, that includes attending church.” [Read more…]

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BAPTISTS TAKE PART IN TRUMP INAUGURATION

Baptist Press

Evangelist Franklin Graham read from 1 Timothy 1 and 2 at President Donald Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration.  -Screen capture from Fox News

Evangelist Franklin Graham read from 1 Timothy 1 and 2 at President Donald Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration.
-Screen capture from Fox News

WASHINGTON — The participation of at least five Southern Baptist pastors in inaugural activities for President Donald Trump continues a tradition of prayer, Scripture and references to God surrounding presidential inaugurations dating back to George Washington.

Evangelist Franklin Graham read from I Timothy 1 and 2 at President Donald Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration. [Read more…]

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MISS. TORNADO DAMAGES WILLIAM CAREY UNIVERSITY

By David Roach
Baptist Press

Most of the vehicles and buildings on William Carey University’s Hattiesburg, Miss., campus were damaged by a Jan. 21 tornado.  -William Carey University photo.

Most of the vehicles and buildings on William Carey University’s Hattiesburg, Miss., campus were damaged by a Jan. 21 tornado.
-William Carey University photo.

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (BP) — An EF3 tornado that ripped through southern Mississippi Jan. 21 in the wee hours of the morning damaged nearly all of the 30 buildings on William Carey University’s Hattiesburg campus and left seven students injured.

William Carey is affiliated with the Mississippi Baptist Convention and has campuses in Hattiesburg and Biloxi.

“The outpouring of support from not only here in Hattiesburg but also around the state and out of state has just been tremendous,” university spokeswoman Mia Overton told Baptist Press, adding, “Although the William Carey University campus is closed, the university is open and we are doing everything we can to continue operations.” [Read more…]

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REPORT: ABORTION RATE HITS ALL-TIME LOW

By Tom Strode
Baptist Press

pregnant-woman-holding-sonogramWASHINGTON (BP) — The abortion rate in the United States declined to an all-time low, while the number of lethal procedures dropped below a million for the first time since 1975, according to a new report.

The Guttmacher Institute reported Tuesday (Jan. 17) the rate fell to 14.6 abortions per 1,000 women 15 to 44 years old in 2014, which is a decline of 14 percent since its most recent survey in 2011. In its census of all known abortion providers in the country, Guttmacher found abortions totaled 958,700 in 2013 and 926,190 in 2014. [Read more…]

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