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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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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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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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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OVERCOMING OBSTACLES TO LEARN GOD’S WORD

No building and a bathroom practice site doesn’t deter Bible drillers

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

It’s not the perfect practice site for a Bible drill, but this bathroom at Camp Smoky is the only place these Bible drillers from Roaring Fork Baptist Church, Gatlinburg, have to practice after their church was destroyed by fire last November. From left are Kylie Brower, Chloe Devine, Sierra Devine, James Cooper, Jordan Deaver, Keegan Ward, Morgan Wallace, Brantley Cooper, Cinnamon Grey, Barret Crawley, and Alex Willis.

It’s not the perfect practice site for a Bible drill, but this bathroom at Camp Smoky is the only place these Bible drillers from Roaring Fork Baptist Church, Gatlinburg, have to practice after their church was destroyed by fire last November. From left are Kylie Brower, Chloe Devine, Sierra Devine, James Cooper, Jordan Deaver, Keegan Ward, Morgan Wallace, Brantley Cooper, Cinnamon Grey, Barret Crawley, and Alex Willis.

GATLINBURG — The youth of Roaring Fork Baptist Church here are not unlike countless other teenagers across Tennessee who are participating in Youth Bible Drill, preparing for associational and state competitions later this spring.

What sets the Roaring Fork youth apart from other groups is where they practice — a bathroom at Camp Smoky, owned and operated by the Sevier County Association of Baptists.

Roaring Fork Baptist Church was destroyed in November by the fires that swept through Gatlinburg and Sevier County. The church has been meeting since the fire at Camp Smoky where space is limited. [Read more…]

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CARING FOR PEOPLE INVOLVES THE GOSPEL

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Editor’s Note: You can listen to Joe Sorah discuss compassion ministry during Episode 2 of Radio B&R, the official news podcast of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board.

170210compassion

Children from rural Hawkins County receive free lunches in the summer at The Lunch Box thanks to a compassion ministry based in Rogersville.

BRENTWOOD — Compassion ministries involve much more than just caring about people, says Joe Sorah, compassion ministries specialist for the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board.

“All kinds of secular organizations care about people,” Sorah observed. What differentiates secular organizations from churches is the “ministry” component, he said.

“Ministry means that I want to introduce them to Jesus Christ. I want to help them grow in their faith, helping them to reach the place in their life where they can introduce others to Jesus Christ.” [Read more…]

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GAINES TO HEADLINE SECOND WEST TENNESSEE EVANGELISM RALLY MARCH 5

By Tim Ellsworth
Associate VP for Communications, Union University

Steve Gaines

Steve Gaines

JACKSON, Tenn. — 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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UNION STUDENTS PARTICIPATE IN D.C. EVENT

Baptist Press

Union UniversityJACKSON — Thirteen Union University students took part in the annual March for Life, a peaceful pro-life demonstration, held Jan. 27 in Washington, D.C.

The students are members of Life139, Union’s pro-life student group. They also participated in Evangelicals for Life and Students for Life conferences while in D.C.

“Abortion is the greatest human rights issue of our generation,” said Andrew Edmiston, a junior physics major and president of Life139. “It affects all races, all people. It’s the human life at its most innocent stage.” [Read more…]

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