WHAT IS RAMADAN, AND WHY SHOULD CHRISTIANS CARE?

Imagine not taking in food or drink during daylight hours for twenty-eight days straight. Envision what it would be like for that practice to be directly linked to your standing in society or your stature with God. This is the reality for Muslims during the month of Ramadan, a time when every follower of Islam is encouraged (and in some cases required) to spend the month exercising many forms of self-restraint, seeking to be aware of God, and thinking about how they should best worship him.

If you were to visit an observant Muslim country during this time, you would find restaurants closed during daylight hours. Refrigerated boxes of soft drinks found on the sidewalk on most streets are padlocked. Cigarette venders are missing from the daily street traffic. Until sunset approaches and dinner preparations can finally be made, many normal patterns of life are completely halted. [Read more…]

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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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WORSHIP PASTOR ON HARLEY PLANTS CHURCH

By Connie Davis Bushey
News Editor, Baptist and Reflector

The leaders of Kairos Communities, Ooltewah, pause at Wired Coffeehouse, Ooltewah, recently. They are, from left, Shane Mitchell, founder and elder/pastor; Kel Trudgian, elder/pastor; and Steve Gervasi, elder/teaching pastor.

CHATTANOOGA — Just two years ago Shane Mitchell was a worship and creative arts pastor of a traditional church who enjoyed riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle. Then he felt called by God to build relationships at a coffeehouse.

Since then his work-a-day world has shifted — from spending most of his time at Oakwood Baptist Church, Chattanooga, where he led worship, to managing a thrift store while leading a new congregation.

His personal life has been rocked — from living in a nice traditional home in Chattanooga to a small apartment in Ooltewah. [Read more…]

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TENNESSEE BAPTISTS: CALLED TO BE MISSIONAL

By Michael Sams
Chair, TN Baptist Mission Board

Mike Sams

Following last week’s meeting of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board, I drove to Bardwell, Ky., to be with my 85-year-old father who was at the point of death.  Thankfully, I made it in time to spend the last few hours of his time on earth with him.

Early on Wednesday morning (April 26), I watched as my dad opened his eyes wide and looked with amazement toward the ceiling. It was if he saw something or someone standing there before him. As his eyes fixed on whatever was before him, a peaceful look covered his face. He then took his last few breaths and that was it. [Read more…]

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KNOXVILLE CHURCH BAPTIZES 105 BELIEVERS

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Samantha Wilson was one of 105 new believers baptized on April 23 at Faith Promise Church in Knoxville.

KNOXVILLE – Faith Promise Church here baptized 105 new believers on Sunday, April 23.

The baptisms came following 331 professions of faith between April 12 and Easter Sunday, April 16. During that time frame the church held 42 services in eight locations, said Pastor Chris Stephens. He noted 16,432 people attended the services. [Read more…]

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KNOXVILLE CHURCH OFFERS PROM DRESSES

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Pastor Todd Stinnett of Black Oak Heights Baptist Church, Knoxville and church secretary Lynnsey McBee look over prom dresses that the church is giving away at no cost to girls attending proms at nearby high schools. The effort, called the “Princess Project” is an attempt by the church to reach the community with the gospel.
— Photo by Chris Turner

KNOXVILLE — Black Oak Heights Baptist Church here has been looking for creative ways “to get out of the box” in order to reach their community with the gospel, said pastor Todd Stinnett.

Stinnett heard about a church that offered free prom dresses to high school girls and it struck a chord with him. His sister-in-law, Lindsay Maples, who owns Hair Designers at Deane Hill, had for some time helped girls get ready for prom.

He called Maples to see if she would be willing to work with the church to help girls at Powell High School in Powell and nearby Bearden High School in Knoxville attend their proms at little or no cost. They have named the ministry the “Princess Project.” [Read more…]

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TENNESSEE FAITH RIDERS SHARE GOSPEL

Baptist and Reflector

A large number of Tennessee Faith Riders traveled to Daytona Beach in mid-March to participate in Bike Week. From left are, first row, Kerry Russ, Bryon O’Brien, Randy Clifton, Char Selph, Jimmy Deaton, Dana Sneed, David Stanley, Ed Miller, Archer Thorpe; second row, Jeremy Stanley, Coy Jones, B.J. Phillips, Mike Stewart, Cornelius Dixon, Sammy Carr, John Franklin; third row, Steve Robinson, Terry Swann, Keith Price, Jeff Emerson; fourth row, Doug Duncan, Joel Pigg, Jim Curran, Rudy Rideout, and Jeff Hinkle.

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Over the last 80 years Daytona Beach has been the favorite destination for Bike Week as 500,000 people gather from across the United States, Canada, and Europe.

Tennessee Faith Riders, a motorcycle ministry passionate about sharing the gospel with the world, joined Faith Riders from other states in mid-March to share the good news of Jesus Christ.

This year Faith Riders shared their testimony with 3,398 bikers. The majority of the testimonies were shared with bikers 40 years old and older. Randy Clifton, Tennessee Faith Riders coordinator, reported that 339 bikers prayed to receive Christ into their life.  [Read more…]

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BY ALL MEANS START A CONVERSATION

By Janice Backer
Contributing Writer, B&R

GATLINBURG — David Evans says that God must have a sense of humor.  As a former atheist, he would ridicule and antagonize believers who would talk about God and now all his conversations are to share Jesus with others whether at a restaurant or at Walmart.

“The irony is that I am now the evangelism specialist for the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board,” he told the crowd at a breakout session of the Missions Get-Together and Connection Conference [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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VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR CROSSOVER

Baptist Press

170407crossoverPHOENIX — The goal of this year’s Crossover is to “Engage Phoenix with the Gospel” through a partnership with Harvest America.

North American Mission Board and Arizona Southern Baptist Convention leaders are praying for more than 5,000 salvation decisions through this summer’s Crossover activities prior to the 2017 SBC annual meeting in Phoenix.

But for that to happen, they need the help of Southern Baptists to come and serve as volunteers, according to Eddy Pearson, evangelism director for the Arizona Southern Baptist Convention. [Read more…]

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