TX CHURCH MOURNS LOSS OF 13 MEMBERS IN BUS TRAGEDY

Editor’s Note: One of the victims in the accident was Addie Maurine Schmeltekopf. She was the sister of Carrol Kelly, who retired as executive director of Tennessee Woman’s Missionary Union in 2001.

By Diana Chandler
Baptist Press

Thirteen senior adult members of First Baptist Church of New Braunfels, Texas, were killed Wednesday (March 29) in a bus accident on their way home from a three-day retreat.

Thirteen senior adult members of First Baptist Church of New Braunfels, Texas, were killed Wednesday (March 29) in a bus accident on their way home from a three-day retreat.

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas (BP) — “Death could not hold Him,” proclaims the website of First Baptist Church of New Braunfels, Texas. The bright Easter message of Jesus’ resurrection sits just above the tragic announcement of 13 members who died Wednesday (March 29) in a bus accident.

“When we’re absent from the body, we’re present with the Lord,” First Baptist New Braunfels pastor Brad McLean told San Antonio CBS affiliate KENS5 News hours after the crash. “We know that their families are going to be hurting and our church family is going to be hurting.”

McLean cancelled Wednesday evening services and opened the sanctuary for prayer after the members of the senior choir were killed when a pickup truck crossed the center lane in a curve, state troopers said, and struck the bus head-on on Highway 83 in Concan around 2 p.m. The bus driver and one church bus passenger survived and are hospitalized. [Read more…]

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GHOST TOWN CHURCH SEES HOLY GHOST REVIVAL

By David Roach
Baptist Press

Faith Christian Fellowship in Organ, N.M., has seen 500 percent growth over the past four years despite its location in an area classified as a ghost town. -Photo by Joe Seale

Faith Christian Fellowship in Organ, N.M., has seen 500 percent growth over the past four years despite its location in an area classified as a ghost town.
-Photo by Joe Seale

ORGAN, N.M. (BP) — With numerous dilapidated buildings and only 323 residents according to the 2010 U.S. census, Organ, N.M., appears on at least one website listing American ghost towns. But Pastor Mitch Newton prefers to think of it as a Holy Ghost town because of the surprising work God has done through the town’s Baptist church.

Over the past three years, Faith Christian Fellowship has grown from five worship attendees to more than 25. The congregation has baptized six people over that span, with three more baptisms scheduled for the coming weeks.

On one occasion, a man jumped in the baptistery while his 80-year-old parents were being baptized, professed that he also wanted to be saved and was baptized with them.

“God is so faithful,” Newton, 71, told Baptist Press. “… He is doing the whole work. I don’t do anything. I just open my mouth” after a week of study and preparation, “and we let the Lord take it from there.” [Read more…]

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DEPUTY KILLS SUSPECT AFTER BREAK-IN AT KY CHURCH

Baptist Press

161206simpsonville-kySIMPSONVILLE, Ky. — A Kentucky sheriff’s deputy fatally shot a robbery suspect early Dec. 2 at Simpsonville Baptist Church here.

The Kentucky State Police said the white male suspect was inside the church and was shot by a Shelby County deputy after ignoring repeated requests to drop a weapon. Police have not identified the type of weapon.

The name of the suspect is being withheld pending notification of the family. [Read more…]

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DENVER’S BEAUTY, SPIRITUAL NEED SEEN BY NAMB TRUSTEES

Mike Ebert
Executive Dir. of Public Relations, NAMB

"What could God do with the North American Mission Board? What could God do with the Southern Baptist Convention if we would realize that the primary thing we are to do before we do anything else is pray?" SBC President Steve Gaines, pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, Tenn., challenged North American Mission Board trustees as they met in Denver Oct. 4-5. Photo by Hayley Catt/NAMB

“What could God do with the North American Mission Board? What could God do with the Southern Baptist Convention if we would realize that the primary thing we are to do before we do anything else is pray?” SBC President Steve Gaines, pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, Tenn., challenged North American Mission Board trustees as they met in Denver Oct. 4-5. Photo by Hayley Catt/NAMB

DENVER (BP) — Set against a backdrop of freshly snow-capped mountains on the front range of Colorado’s Rockies, North American Mission Board trustees saw firsthand how Southern Baptist church planters are countering spiritual darkness in the midst of a recreational paradise.

On the Monday before their Oct. 4-5 meeting, trustees loaded onto buses to visit church planters at their places of ministry. One, Kevin Hasenack, is planting Calvary Church Denver in one of the most diverse communities in the area. [Read more…]

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DR TEAM SENT TO FLORIDA; OTHERS WILL BE NEEDED IN HURRICANE’S AFTERMATH

Baptist and Reflector

Photo: NOAA.gov

Photo: NOAA.gov

BRENTWOOD — Tennessee Baptists have been asked to respond in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.

Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti on Oct. 4, causing massive destruction before hitting Cuba later that night. The damage in Cuba was not as extensive as first expected but some areas were hard hit.

In Haiti, at least 478 deaths have been attributed to the massive storm and the number is expected to rise. [Read more…]

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HURRICANE SLAMS HAITI, CUBA; HEADED TOWARD UNITED STATES

Baptist and Reflector

Image: NOAA.gov

Image: NOAA.gov

BRENTWOOD — Tennessee Baptist disaster relief volunteers are on alert, awaiting word from Southern Baptist Disaster Relief as to where and when they will be needed in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.

Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti on Oct. 4, causing massive destruction before hitting Cuba later that night. The damage in Cuba was not as extensive as first expected, according to news reports.

Associated Press reported that at least 11 deaths have been blamed on Hurricane Matthew, which at one time was a Category 5 storm, making it the most powerful hurricane in the region in nearly a decade. [Read more…]

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‘THERE WAS MUD ON HER CHANDELIER’

By Connie Davis Bushey
News Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers pause Sept. 1 during their work with homeowner Mary Hillen in Denham Springs, La. They are members of a team led by Woodland Baptist Church, Brownsville. From left are Lee Eyster; David White; Hillen; and Bill Cox, pastor, Trinity Baptist Church, Brighton.

Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers pause Sept. 1 during their work with homeowner Mary Hillen in Denham Springs, La. They are members of a team led by Woodland Baptist Church, Brownsville. From left are Lee Eyster; David White; Hillen; and Bill Cox, pastor, Trinity Baptist Church, Brighton.

DENHAM SPRINGS, La. — Bert Porch of Woodland Baptist Church, Brownsville, felt for Mary Hillen of Denham Springs. As she stood in her gutted living room, Hillen, a widow, explained that her family and friends had helped her but couldn’t do it all.

She still needed help and didn’t have flood insurance to pay for it. The disaster relief team of 11 led by Woodland Baptist began removing commodes, shower tile, and insulation and then sprayed for mold.

“There was mud on her chandelier,” said Porch. The water in her house was about 7 feet deep as 31 inches of rain fell in a few days, he added.

“When you see the amount of damage our help was definitely needed. There’s no way in this size of disaster for people to completely help themselves,” said Porch. [Read more…]

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‘A LOT OF HUMANITY IS SUFFERING’ — DR VOLUNTEER

By Connie Davis Bushey
News Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Kay Thompson of Hermitage Hills Baptist Church, Hermitage, in metropolitan Nashville, prepares to do some laundry in the shower/laundry unit of the church in Gonzalez, La. Thompson is part of the Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief effort to help flood victims in Louisiana.

Kay Thompson of Hermitage Hills Baptist Church, Hermitage, in metropolitan Nashville, prepares to do some laundry in the shower/laundry unit of the church in Gonzalez, La. Thompson is part of the Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief effort to help flood victims in Louisiana.

MOUNT JULIET — “A lot of humanity is suffering because so many people are without their homes,” said Don Kohanski, disaster relief director of Hermitage Hills Baptist Church, Hermitage, who has served recently in Gonzalez, La., leading a shower/laundry operation.

“What we are doing is being backup for the teams who are really doing the work and helping the public. … We’re trying to help the people, giving them some kind of relief.”

The shower/laundry unit and its volunteers are set up at First Baptist Church, Gonzalez. The unit began serving Aug. 19.

Kohanski described seeing neighborhoods of houses in Gonzalez with almost everything that was in the house pulled out and placed on the street including insulation and drywall. He could see water lines on houses showing how high the water had been. Though most of the flood waters are down, he heard of residents who still had water, up to four feet, in their houses. Gonzalez is located about 25 miles southeast of Baton Rouge. [Read more…]

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STATE DR, OTHERS RESPOND TO LOUISIANA FLOODING

UPDATED 8/22/16

By Connie Davis Bushey
News Editor, Baptist and Reflector

The home of Lonnie Tucker, pastor of Still Waters Baptist Church in Hammond, LA. Photo: Lonnie Tucker

Home of the pastor of Still Waters Baptist Church in Hammond, LA.   Photo: Lonnie Tucker

MOUNT JULIET — Two Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief shower trailer units are serving flood victims in Louisiana and Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief teams who are willing to do mud out are needed, said Wes Jones, director of Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief.

Also, assessors and chaplain units are needed, added Jones. If the mud out or flood recovery teams have equipment, that would be helpful. Trained volunteers are preferred but not required in this case,  Jones said.

The situation is that most of the experienced and readily available Tennessee Baptist DR volunteers have responded a lot this year and some are still serving in Rainelle, W.Va., said Jones. [Read more…]

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9/11 PRAYER OUTREACH SPOTLIGHTS ‘CRITICAL’ YEAR

By Diana Chandler
Baptist Press

160811awakenCLEVELAND, Tenn. (BP) — On the 15th anniversary of the deadliest terrorist attack in U.S. history, Southern Baptists are being urged to join hundreds of thousands of Christians from many denominations and ethnicities in praying for a Christian awakening in the nation.

The Sept. 11 Cry Out America prayer outreach of the Awakening America Alliance and Center for Spiritual Renewal, an 8-year-old cooperative initiative encompassing more than 150,000 churches, ministries and parachurches in North America, is increasingly popular this year as more Christians recognize the nation’s deep spiritual need, Awakening America executive director Kay Horner told Baptist Press. [Read more…]

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