By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector
Jones reflects on country music legends such as Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and numerous others in the song. [Read more…]
Baptist and Reflector
MOUNT JULIET — Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief flood recovery teams will be needed en masse in the weeks ahead, according to Wes Jones, disaster relief specialist for the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board.
Teams are already at work in Knoxville, which was hit hard by flooding almost two weeks ago. An incident command center has been set up at Glenwood Baptist Church in Knoxville, Jones said.
By David Roach
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Paul Fisher, the leader of a North Carolina Baptist mission team repairing roofs in Puerto Rico, died Feb. 28 in a swimming accident near San Juan. He was 36.
Fisher and his wife Carrie were heading up a team assembled by North Carolina Baptists on Mission to fix homes damaged by Hurricane Maria in 2017. On Thursday, the team completed their work for the day early and went to the beach to swim. A riptide pulled Fisher underwater and he drowned despite the team’s 30-minute effort to resuscitate him, according to an email from Richard Brunson, executive director of North Carolina Baptists on Mission. [Read more…]
By Lonnie Wilkey
FRANKLIN — Sexual abuse instances, as reported by The Houston Chronicle in February, “needed a bright light to be shined on it,” said Randy C. Davis, president and executive director of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board.
In his monthly podcast reflecting on what happened in convention life the previous month (Episode 25 of Radio B&R), Davis said the silver lining of the horrible news is that it has made churches more aware of the issue and that it needs to be addressed.
“I think the fact that any child is abused anywhere, under any circumstances, should grieve us all to the very core,” Davis said. “I think it is hellish. I think it is demonic. I think that the predator who does this kind of deed is going to attempt to go wherever there are children, including churches,” he noted.
By Lonnie Wilkey
KNOXVILLE — After nearly two years of nonstop response to needs caused by hurricanes across the United States, Puerto Rico, and Dominica, Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers are needed in their own state.
Record amounts of rainfall in February caused severe flooding in many areas of the state last week.
Among the hardest hit areas of the state was Knoxville. According to a Knoxville city office, as of Feb. 26, there were more than 1,000 homes and businesses damaged and 143 area roads closed at the height of the flooding. [Read more…]
By David Dawson
Baptist and Reflector
WARSAW, N.C. — Some were Buccaneers. Some were Governors. Others were Mockingbirds, Volunteers, Tigers, Flames, Raiders and more.
But for a few days in January, this group of more than 100 college students — representing roughly a dozen universities from around the state of Tennessee — came together as one team.
And they had one goal: Serving others in the name of Jesus.
Sacrificing part of their Christmas breaks, the big contingent of Baptist Collegiate Ministry students traveled to Warsaw, N.C., to join forces with Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief teams to provide support and aid to those recovering from Hurricane Florence. [Read more…]
Frank Page’s resignation as president and chief executive officer of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Executive Committee in late March and Paige Patterson’s termination from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in late May were among the biggest stories of the year among B&R readers. In fact, the five most-read stories of the year on the B&R website involved either Page or Patterson. The No. 1 most-read story — “Southwestern Trustees terminate Patterson” — was posted on May 31 and was compiled by the B&R staff. Other stories that made the top-5 included:
No. 2 — EC’s Page resigns over ‘Personal Failing’ (posted on March 27)
No. 3 — Patterson removed as SWBTS President (posted May 23)
No. 4 — Patterson: ‘I will not preach the convention sermon’ (posted on June 8)
No. 5 — What the Southwestern action really means (Column by B&R editor Lonnie Wilkey, posted May 23).
On July 5, the B&R posted a story announcing David Green, pastor of First Baptist Church, Greeneville, would be nominated for president of the Tennessee Baptist Convention.
The story, compiled by the B&R staff, noted that Danny Sinquefield, pastor of Faith Baptist Church, Bartlett, had notified the Baptist and Reflector of his intention to nominate Green. Sinquefield said he asked Green to prayerfully consider the nomination.
Green was elected president of the TBC three months later during Summit at West Jackson Baptist Church, Jackson.
On July 12, the B&R posted a story announcing that the Harrison-Chilhowee Baptist Academy/The King’s Academy board of trustees had unanimously elected Matthew Mercer as president/headmaster. Mercer was picked to replace Walter Grubb, who retired after seven years of service as principal and 24 years as academy president/headmaster. “We are eager to see what God is going to do in and through our family at TKA,” said Mercer.
On Sept. 19, the B&R posted a story about Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief teams that were providing assistance in North Carolina in the wake of Hurricane Florence. The story, compiled by the B&R staff, included information from TBMB disaster relief specialist Wes Jones.
On Nov. 2, the B&R posted a feature story about country music star Ricky Skaggs. The story, from Baptist Press, was posted roughly three weeks after Skaggs was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Skaggs, a longtime member of First Baptist Church in Hendersonville, told BP that he believes God wants to be intimately involved in life’s details.
“God is such a personal God,” Skaggs told BP. “He loves the journey in our life, and He wants to walk with us, and He wants us to walk with Him.”
On Jan. 10, the B&R posted a story that informed readers that “A federal appeals court ruled to uphold the results of a 2014 statewide vote in Tennessee that provided for stricter abortion regulations in the state.” The story, compiled by the B&R staff, noted that a number of churches and religious organizations, including the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board, supported Amendment 1 through an effort called “Yes On 1.”
On Dec. 26, the B&R posted a story that reported the passing of Paul Clark Jr., (left) the retired director of worship and music ministries for the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board. Clark died after a long illness.
The story, written by Baptist and Reflector editor Lonnie Wilkey, was among the most read stories of the year even though it was posted only five days before the year ended. The high volume of readers underscores the impact of Clark’s far-reaching ministry and the amount of lives that he touched.
On April 10, the B&R posted a story about Kim Harmon, who endured an unspeakable tragedy that involved her nephew being charged with the death of her brother-in-law.
Harmon, the wife of a Tennessee pastor, used the tragedy to bring glory to God, expressing how she learned to forgive her nephew in a recently-published book, When Life Knocks You Down, Fall Forward: A Story of Struggle, Strength, & True Forgiveness.
In his blog, Wilkey wrote, “Christians and churches can learn from this incredible cave rescue as they are faced with a similar life and death issue: reaching the thousands upon thousands of people in our world who will die without professing faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.”
On April 10, the B&R posted a story, written by editor Lonnie Wilkey, about Tennessee Baptists who were ministering to families affected by the raid on a Bean Station slaughterhouse. The story included quotes from William Burton, ethnic church planting specialist for the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board. In the story, Burton noted that some of the 100-plus or so children whose families were employed by the slaughterhouse went home from school only to find one or both parents were in the process of deportation. Burton said First Baptist Church, Morristown, and Hillcrest Baptist Church, Morristown, along with other churches of Nolachucky Baptist Association, had sent food, water, and toiletries to family members and even provided toiletry kits to those who were being deported.
On Feb. 6, the B&R posted a column by TBMB president and executive director Randy C. Davis in which he encouraged pastors to “quit trying to be everywhere, do everything, and please everyone.” Davis said pastors should, “Lean into the One Who is perfect. … We need to daily sit at the feet of Jesus and just enjoy His presence. He is the One who renews, restores, and reenergizes. You can only serve from the overflow of His grace in your life, so you need to drink often from His refreshing fountain.” Davis closed the column by challenging both pastors and church members: “Let’s live as people of grace, loving one another, and loving the spiritually lost. Let’s help each other finish strong.”
By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector
FRANKLIN — Statistics indicating that the convention-adopted Five Objectives are having an impact in Tennessee, along with significant anniversaries of Tennessee Baptist Mission Board ministries, were among the top stories in the Tennessee Baptist Convention in 2018.
In addition, two TBC entities underwent changes in leadership in 2018.-
Baptisms in 2017 increased by slightly more than 2 percent over the previous year, according to the 2017 Annual Church Profile. Baptism numbers for 2018 are still being collected from ACP reports. [Read more…]
By Chris Turner
FRANKLIN — The Tennessee Baptist Mission Board recently received a significant financial grant to support Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief (TBDR) work related to the recent hurricane that primarily blasted North Carolina and parts of South Carolina, causing widespread flooding and decimating communities along the coast.
TBMB was officially notified Oct. 17 of the grant, which amounts to $200,000. It was awarded with the conditions that the donor’s identity remain confidential and that the funds be used “to support disaster relief efforts related to Hurricane Florence.” [Read more…]
By Brandon Elrod
ALPHARETTA, Ga. — For more than 50 years, Southern Baptists have been providing disaster relief to the United States and its territories after the gravest of tragedies. Whether it is major natural disasters that affect millions or localized events that hit small communities, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (SBDR) volunteers regularly arrive to bring help, healing and hope to those impacted.
On Sunday, November 11, Southern Baptists will celebrate Disaster Relief Appreciation Day, an opportunity to recognize and thank SBDR leaders and volunteers. [Read more…]