August 2010

FIGHTING TO SURVIVE--Old perish from hunger as young struggle

By Alex Doukas, BGR Communications

EDITOR’S NOTE: World Hunger Sunday is Oct. 10. For information concerning the Southern Baptist World Hunger Fund, visit

WEST AFRICA (BP) – They volunteered to die.

The elderly men and women in this famine-wracked West African community knew there was simply not enough food to go around. Unwilling to watch their families starve to death, some made a choice: They would not eat so that their children and grandchildren might live. Some have already wasted away and perished – the price, they believed, of preserving the future.

The babies, of course, did not volunteer to die, and their mothers were trying desperately to save them. As local government officials handed out pans of grain, the women swarmed the site, knowing there was not enough for everyone. They pressed into each other under the blistering sun, their infants tied to their backs.


The Facts on Hunger

In the Asian, African and Latin American countries, well over 500 million people are living in what the World Bank has called “absolute poverty.”

Every year 15 million children die of hunger.

The World Health Organization estimates that one-third of the world is well-fed, one-third is under-fed, and  one-third is starving. Since you’ve begun reading this article, at least 200 people have died of starvation. More than 4 million will die this year.

One in twelve people worldwide is malnourished, including 160 million children under the age of 5.


Pastor Compensation keeps up with inflation

By Communications Staff, LifeWay Christian Resources

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) – Compensation for full-time Southern Baptist pastors is rising slightly faster than inflation, but the mounting cost of benefits is forcing churches to provide fewer pastors with medical insurance.

These and other findings are part of the SBC Church Compensation Study, a survey of 11,674 staff positions in Southern Baptist churches.

LifeWay Research conducted the survey in cooperation with GuideStone Financial Resources and Baptist state conventions through June 2010.

All the data acquired by the study has been compiled into a Web-based tool ( that can help churches as they begin planning staff compensation packages for their 2011 budgets.


'Experiencing God': 20 years, 45 languages

By Sam House, LifeWay Communications

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) – Join God where He is working.
That simple premise hasn’t changed during the two-decade history of “Experiencing God,” an interactive Bible study first published in 1990 that taught a radically God-centered way of life.

Initially written by Henry Blackaby and Claude King, the material was revised and expanded in 2007 by Richard Blackaby, Henry Blackaby’s son.

Now, 20 years since its debut, the workbook is available in more than 45 languages and has sold 7 million copies. Internationally, reader testimonials describe deeper and more intimate understandings of God’s desire for relationships with them that will change their lives forever.

On a larger scale, Experiencing God has affected entire organizations, many of which credit the study with helping turn bad situations into good and bringing hope to tragic circumstances.


IMB trustees honor Rankin, move on GCR recommendations

RICHMOND, Va. (BP) – International Mission Board trustees moved toward the future while honoring the past during their July 20-21 meeting in Richmond, Va. Trustees formally recognized Jerry Rankin for 40 years of service, and voted unanimously to recommend modifying the IMB's primary ministry assignment to reach people groups globally, including North America.

This was Rankin’s final board meeting as IMB president.


WMU quilt makes it personal

MELDER/ALEXANDRIA – When the Women’s Missionary Union group at Pine Ridge Baptist Church learned at their monthly May meeting that the woman they were studying that month was sick, they decided to make her a quilt.

Hand-tied lap quilts are one of several ongoing ministries of this WMU group. With each of 60 or more ties per lapquilt, a prayer is given for the recipient.



Compiled by Joanne Brechtel

Craig Beeman (wife Susanne), new as pastor at First Baptist, Winnsboro, from Calvary Baptist, Natchitoches.
Michael Murray, new as pastor at Haile Baptist, Marion.
Richard Abel resigns as pastor at Canaan Baptist, Spearsville.
Wendal Dorman (wife Betty), new as pastor at Holden Baptist, Holden.
Todd Free, new as pastor at First Baptist, Dubach.


FAITH Riders provide fitting end to High Pursuit youth camp

By Karen L. Willoughby, Managing Editor

WOODWORTH – The seven FAITH Riders chapters in Louisiana mounted their motorcycles July 24 for their first-ever statewide ministry.

In all, 49 riders on 36 motorcycles roared around the recreation area at Tall Timbers Baptist Conference Center during the last day of the High Pursuit youth camp. The bikers revved their bikes as they rode nearly fender to fender almost menacingly around the 220 seventh- through twelfth-graders, who minutes before had been lounging on the grass.

Instinctively the teens began drawing closer to each other for protection, eyes widened in heightened awareness, and still the motorcycles roared.