December 2010


BY STAFF, IMB Communications

BANGKOK, Thailand (BP) – Rather than looking forward to freedom, Noon dreaded the day of her prison release.

No one had visited her or had even written a letter during the time she had served in Thailand for drug possession. She realized that when prison officials set her free, she would have no place to go and no home to go to.

“Everyone in my family, my relatives, they rejected me and forgot me,” the quiet 25-year-old remembers.


Small church, bivocational work gets affirmation at NAMB conference

BY ADAM MILLER, NAMB Communications

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP) – The challenges and opportunities smaller Southern Baptist churches might embrace to reach their communities with the Gospel was the focus of a Small Church and Bivocational Pastors Missional Initiative Dialogue at the North American Mission Board.

Congregations of less than 200 members account for 33,522 churches within the Southern Baptist Convention, a majority of the nation’s largest non-Catholic denomination.


Foundation reduces budget, further diversifies portfolio

ALEXANDRIA – The Louisiana Baptist Building in Alexandria was the location of the Louisiana Baptist Foundation’s last quarterly Board of Trustees meeting for 2010.

The meeting took place Oct. 26 with the Operating and Investment Committees meeting in the morning and the full board meeting in the afternoon.

The business addressed during the full Board of Trustees session was fairly routine, with the Trustees approving the budget for fiscal year 2011.

The new budget reflects a two percent decrease in projected expenses as compared to 2010.


Perry Hancock: You just had to be at this associational meeting

BY STAFF, Baptist Message

BAYOU MACON BAPTIST ASSOCIATION – At least once a year, each of the Baptist associations across Louisiana meet for fellowship and to hear the news of what God is doing among them.

Associations are a group of churches in a given geographic area, such as Carey Baptist Association of the Southern Baptist churches in southwest Louisiana.


Upward Basketball practice has started

STATEWIDE – In all, 46 churches across Louisiana have begun practice for the 2010/11 season of Upward Basketball.

Upward is a parachurch organization for boys and girls in the first through sixth grades. It is based in North Carolina and “reaches kids for Christ through sports,” according to the website The sports they minister through include football, basketball, soccer and cheerleading. Now is the season for basketball.

“I thought Upward was a God-send,” said Robert Daniel, director of missions for three central Louisiana Baptist associations and former pastor of Twin Bridges Baptist Church in Alexandria. He led the church to start Upward in 2000.


'Tis the Season for a Tug of War

By DALE AND JENA FOREHAND, LifeWay Communications

With the holiday season quickly approaching, the beauty of Christmas gets easily marred by the busyness it seems to demand.

The battle is for your time, as you run from store to store, sale to sale, and party to party. Is it any wonder that by the time Christmas actually gets here, you are absolutely and completely frazzled?

Certainly the reason for the season has lost its momentousness, if not its meaning. This pressure, when added to the dynamics of a marriage, can literally tug on the marriage rope of oneness and security.


The Counseling Connection

BY MICHELE LOUVIERE, Director of Counseling Celebration Church, Metairie

Question:  Our family recently experienced a tragedy. Since then, I have struggled with feeling close to God although I usually have an intimate relationship with him. How can I regain my closeness with Him?

Michele Louviere responds: First of all, let me share how sad I am about your recent family tragedy. Secondly, it actually is very normal for people to struggle in their relationship with God after experiencing hurt, loss or extreme trauma.


Ministry targets at-risk youth

By DIANA CHANDLER, Regional Reporter

NEW ORLEANS – On the walls of a house in the Lower Ninth Ward, children and young adults draw their realities: symbols decrying rape and drugs, words proclaiming hope and strength, a tear-soaked face.

Enchante’ Franklin, founder of the What About Us Community Mentoring Program, WAUS, calls it the expression room, just one area of a non-residential safe house where she mentors at-risk youth.


Churches statewide celebrate Christ's birth in numerous ways

BY JOANNE BRECHTEL, Administrative Editor

JONESBORO – Ebenezer Baptist: Christmas dinner 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 19; Candlelight Lord’s Supper 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 26; Randy Lee, pastor.

MINDEN – First Baptist: Holiday Luncheon for Single Senior Adults 11:30 a.m. Monday, Dec. 13; Christmas Caroling 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 19; Leland Crawford, pastor.

WINNSBORO – First Baptist: Christmas Vespers and handbell choir 5:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 24; Craig Beeman, pastor.