IT’S OKAY TO ADMIT MISTAKES; THEN MOVE ON

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

basketball-referee-sportsI have been officiating sports for more than 35 years.

I probably couldn’t have chosen a more difficult hobby or side job than umpiring baseball or refereeing basketball. Officiating is the only profession where you are expected to be perfect when the game begins and get better as it moves on. It’s especially hard when you know about 50 percent of the people aren’t going to like whatever call you make. But that’s part of it. You accept it or you find another hobby or side job. [Read more…]

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MARCH MILDNESS?: AMERICANS SHARE VIEWS ON SPORTS

By Aaron Earls
LifeWay Christian Resources

NASHVILLE (BP) — Thanks to wild buzzer beaters and unbelievable upsets, the NCAA men’s basketball tournament has become known as March Madness. For most Americans, however, their attitude toward sports is more mild than mad.

170315sports1A study released from LifeWay Research today (March 14) found 52 percent of Americans describe their philosophy of sports by saying, “It’s not whether you win or lose — it’s how you play the game.”

“Most Americans want players to play the game ‘the right way’ and not potentially endanger others simply for the sake of winning,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research. “For example, with growing worries about concussions in football, safety concerns have caused many to reconsider their attitude toward sports.” [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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REMEMBER THIS: IT’S NEVER WRONG TO PRAY

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

PrayHands-portraitChalk up another victory for political correctness.

A school system in Tennessee has to go to the time and expense of providing training to employees on the constitutional law concerning “the application of the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses in public schools” (see story here).

All of this is happening because a Tennessee Baptist youth pastor dared to do what’s right — pray for an injured high school football player. [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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MISSIONS A WAY OF LIFE FOR FOOTBALL PLAYER

By Bill Sorrell
Contributing Writer, Baptist and Reflector

Jeffery Johnson

Jeffery Johnson

McKENZIE — A Cuban Christian gave Jeffery Johnson the shirt off his back.

While on a missions trip to Cuba last March, Johnson met Eduardo, a married man in his mid-30s with two children.

“We had a bond. We got to spend so much time together. At a going-away party I wanted to give him something,” said Johnson, a center on Bethel University’s football team. [Read more…]

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TENNESSEE BAPTIST MISSION BOARD

Messengers approve new name for Executive Board, elect Freeman

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

New officers of the Tennessee Baptist Convention are, from left, Todd Stinnett, pastor, Black Oak Heights Baptist Church, Knoxville, second vice president; Steve Freeman, pastor, Grace Baptist Church, Springfield, president; and Michael Crandall, pastor, Hillcrest Baptist Church, Dyersburg, vice president.

New officers of the Tennessee Baptist Convention are, from left, Todd Stinnett, pastor, Black Oak Heights Baptist Church, Knoxville, second vice president; Steve Freeman, pastor, Grace Baptist Church, Springfield, president; and Michael Crandall, pastor, Hillcrest Baptist Church, Dyersburg, vice president. -Photos by Corinne Williams

SEVIERVILLE — Messengers to the annual meeting of the Tennessee Baptist Convention approved a new name for the Executive Board and elected Springfield pastor Steve Freeman as their new president.

The two actions were among many that took place during Summit: The Gathering of Tennessee Baptists held Nov. 13-17 at the Sevierville Convention Center.

The final unofficial registration tallied 1,211 registered messengers from 503 churches throughout the state. The numbers do not reflect the total number of people who attended various sessions. On Nov. 13, there was an estimated 2,000-plus people who attended the worship service led by Steve Gaines (see story here) and a concurrent Hispanic worship service.

Registration exceeded the 953 messengers from 322 churches who attended last year’s Summit in Millington and the 1,172 messengers who attended Summit in 2014 in Brentwood. [Read more…]

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C-N COACHING LEGEND KEN SPARKS RETIRES

Carson-Newman news office

Ken Sparks

Ken Sparks

JEFFERSON CITY — Carson Newman University football coach Ken Sparks, the nation’s active wins leader and the fifth winningest coach in college football history, announced his retirement during a press conference Nov. 14 inside the football athletic complex that bears his name.

Sparks, a member of Manley Baptist Church, Morristown, finishes his Carson-Newman career after 37 seasons with 338 wins, 99 losses and two ties.  His career winning percentage of .7699 is the fourth highest in college football history while the 338 victories amount to the fifth best total nationally. [Read more…]

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TEENAGER GIVES UP BASKETBALL FOR GOD

By Steve Beavers
Independent Appeal, Selmer

Tyler Gibbs takes a reading break. Gibbs, a high school junior, gave up basketball this year to concentrate more on serving God. He continues to be involved with the game as a student coach. — Photo by Steve Beavers.

Tyler Gibbs takes a reading break. Gibbs, a high school junior, gave up basketball this year to concentrate more on serving God. He continues to be involved with the game as a student coach.
— Photo by Steve Beavers.

ADAMSVILLE — Tyler Gibbs loves the game of basketball.

More importantly, the Adamsville High School junior has a deeper affection for God.

Gibbs’ desire to do more than just play the game he loves has been his goal since a young age. “I surrendered to the ministry when I was 10,” said the 16-year-old son of Danny and Ronnell Gibbs. “My goal in life is to share my beliefs and how God has changed me.” [Read more…]

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TITLE IX AND THE SHAME LIST: A LOOK AT BOTH

By Emily Littleton
Cardinal & Cream, Unio0n University

The NCAA logo is unfurled from Miller Tower Sept. 28 during Union Night on the Great Lawn. - Photo by Amanda Rohde

The NCAA logo is unfurled from Miller Tower Sept. 28 during Union Night on the Great Lawn.
– Photo by Amanda Rohde

This summer, Union was one of 102 Christian colleges and universities included on the LGBTQ advocacy group Campus Pride’s “Shame List.”

According to the organization’s website, Union was included because it received a Title IX exemption. Many schools with similar exemptions were included on the list, Carson-Newman University, another Tennessee Baptist Convention institution in Jefferson City. [Read more…]

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