Analytics of the B&R website reveal these stories to have received the most clicks in the past 12 months
1-5. RESIGNATION, TERMINATION OF PROMINENT SBC LEADERS MAKE UP TOP-5 STORIES OF 2018
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.”