Stories about Lifeway’s change to pension plan and the “I Stand for Life” initiative had the most views on the B&R website
Baptist & Reflector Staff
The website not only runs stories that are published in the print edition of the B&R, but also is the go-to place for breaking news pertaining to Tennessee Baptists.
This past year, the B&R website experienced several significant increases in readership (see chart). In looking at the year-ending numbers, it is interesting to note that the most-read stories of 2019 involved a wide range of topics, from economics to abortion to elections.
Listed below is a look at the most-read stories (based on website views) from the past year:
• Date posted: July 31, 2019 • Written by: Lonnie Wilkey • Position: B&R editor
This story focused on LifeWay Christian Resources announcing changes to its retiree life insurance and pre-65 retiree medical benefits, including freezing its LifeWay Pension Plan (effective Jan. 1, 2020) for current pension-eligible employees. LifeWay shared the changes in letters to current and future retirees on June 29. The changes were approved by LifeWay trustees at their February meeting.
• Date posted: July 22, 2019 • Written by: Chris Turner • Position: TBMB director of communications
This story focused on “I Stand for Life” — a petition campaign that was launched to garner thousands of signatures from Tennessee Baptists in an effort to let Tennessee’s lawmakers know that Tennessee Baptists would like to see legislation passed that protects the lives of unborn children. Randy C. Davis, president and executive director of the TBMB, presented the petition to the Tennessee Senate Judiciary Summer Study Committee on Aug. 12. At the time, the petition had been signed by 16,000 Tennessee Baptists, including roughly 1,000 Tennessee Baptist pastors.
• Date posted: Nov. 9, 2016 • Written by:Lonnie Wilkey • Position: B&R editor
Although this editorial was written and published in 2016, it received the third-most views of any story on the B&R website during 2019. In the editorial, Wilkey stated that 80 percent, if not more, of all Southern Baptist churches are either plateaued or declining — but said that revitalization is the key to reversing the troubling trend. Revitalization involves changing from the complacency mode to once again being on fire for Jesus Christ, Wilkey said.
• Date posted: Nov. 10, 2019 • Written by: Chris Turner • Position: TBMB director of communications
This story focused on the decision by First Baptist Church, Clarksville, to end its relationship with a pastoral candidate accused of “pastoral abuse.” During the search process, two women contacted the church’s pastoral search committee and accused potential candidate Wes Feltner of “pastoral abuse” regarding inappropriate relationships that happened 17 years ago when Feltner was their youth minister.
• Date posted: Nov. 19, 2019 • Written by:Lonnie Wilkey
This story reported on the election Hendersonville pastor Bruce Chesser as president of the Tennessee Baptist Convention. Chesser was elected without opposition Nov. 19 during the afternoon session of the 145th annual meeting of the Tennessee Baptist Convention.
OTHER TOP STORIES:
6. The heavy hand of God’s judgment. Editorial by Randy C. Davis, posted Feb. 11.
7. Senseless tragedy. Editorial by Lonnie Wilkey, focusing on a shooting in Jefferson City, posted June 20.
8. TBMB’s McLaurin ‘redeployed’ to SBC Executive Committee. Story by Lonnie Wilkey, posted Dec. 17.
9. Joyce Rogers reflects on husband’s legacy. Story by Diana Chandler, Baptist Press, posted July 15.
10. Carson-Newman trustees elect Fowler as president. Story by Lonnie Wilkey, posted June 10.