May 2011

Helping Neighbors: Louisiana DR Teams rush to answer the call

By Karen L. Willoughby, Managing Editor

ALEXANDRIA – Louisiana Disaster Relief volunteers vaulted into action when requests came in from Alabama and Mississippi for assistance after the recent slate of tornadoes that slashed across the Southland.

[img_assist|nid=7297|title=Alabama Tornado|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=66]Tom Long of Northshore Baptist Association is white cap over operations in Meridian, Mississippi. Larry Cupper of First Baptist Church of Zwolle and Charles Watson of Zoar Baptist Church in Central are serving as the white cap leadership over operations in northeast Alabama.

“Without the support of local church volunteers and the Cooperative Program funding, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief would not not be the third largest volunteer agency in the United States,” said Gibbie McMillan, disaster relief and men’s ministry director for the Louisiana Baptist Convention.


Native Peoples’ Summit crests with new sense of purpose

By Karen L. Willoughby, Managing Editor

SPRINGDALE, Ark. – Native people found their voice at the North American Native Peoples Summit.

[img_assist|nid=7299|title=Native American Summit|desc=Randy Carruth of Forest Hill, La., gestures to men from Bible Baptist Church in Lac du Flambeau, Wisc., which became the first Native American church in Wisconsin to vote to join the Southern Baptist Convention. Carruth is considered to be the instigator of a renewed interest in Southern Baptist ministry among Native Americans.|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=67]The April 27-28 event attended by about 200 people from 31 states and four Canadian provinces was designed to bring together Native Peoples and those who want to work with them.

It was an event that grew out of the heart of Randy Carruth, a layman at Amiable Baptist Church in Glenmora, and a leadership team that grew over the last 18 months of people with a burden and a heart for Native American ministries.


British tradition and a lesson Americans need to learn

By Kelly Boggs, Editor

I turned on the television the morning of April 29 with the intent of watching the morning news. Instead, I was confronted with the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. I switched channels not once, not twice, but three times and I soon discovered every major news network was focused on the Royal Wedding.

Since there was no escaping the regal nuptials, I decided to watch for a bit. I was immediately struck by the pomp and protocol of the proceedings. Rather than a celebrity circus, which is what I expected, what I encountered was an affair deeply rooted in tradition.

The Royal Wedding was much more than a regal photo op. It was even more than two people exchanging wedding vows. It was a celebration of the monarchy – the commemoration of British tradition.


Submerging the emerging church movement in America

By Andy Johnson, Pastor Cross Roads Baptist Church Farmerville

There is a postmodern movement in the churches of America that is commonly known as “the Emerging Church.” The “movement” began to develop in the late nineties, and gained momentum early in the new century.

One of its most prominent leaders is a man by the name of Brian Mclaren, pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church near Baltimore, Md.

In a 2005 Baptist Press interview, Mclaren defines the “movement”: “… there’s got to be a lot more humility and a lot more gentleness and [we feel] that the Gospel is made credible not by how we argue and make truth claims. But it’s made credible by the love and the good deeds that flow from our lives and our community.”


The Bible and how it applies to our lives

By Philip A. Pinckard, Director of Global Missions Center NOBTS

The Bible tells us how important it is for people to hear the gospel and people to go to take the gospel to others. We read in Romans 10:14-15 “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? and how shall they preach, except they be sent? even as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that bring glad tidings of good things!”

Application for Our Lives

1.The first application for our lives from this text is we should be faithful to share the gospel. The apostle Paul asked how can people call on the Him in whom they have not heard and how can they believe in whom they have not heard. He asks how they can believe in the Lord if they have not heard.

Robert Morrison was the first modern Protestant missionary to China. He began his work in Macau in 1807 where he was only able to stay briefly. He labored and shared the gospel faithfully for seven years before baptizing the first convert.


Questions We've pondered

By Bill Warren, Professor of New Testament and Greek NOBTS

Question: What does the New Testament say about the role of parents? 

Bill Warren responds: Jesus has a great example for parents in the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15). The father (clearly representative of our heavenly Father) is portrayed as one who is more concerned about getting his son back than in defending his own honor. 

Unlike the cultural norms, the father runs to the son, welcomes him back into the full role of a son by giving him a ring, a robe, and sandals, and then has a feast in celebration of his return. 


Loss of arm strengthened former major leaguer's faith

By Mark H. Hunter, Special to the Message

BATON ROUGE – Dave Dravecky was at the top of his game and at the top of Major League Baseball when his world crashed on August 10, 1989.

[img_assist|nid=7305|title=Dave Dravecky|desc=Former Major League Baseball pitcher Dave Dravecky lost his arm to cancer at the height of his career. He told his story April 27 to several thousand attending the 47th annual Governor’s Prayer Breakfast in Baton Rouge.|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=71]“There was an incredible explosion in my left ear releasing that fast ball when my left arm snapped in half,” Dravecky said in a video introduction before his live speech April 27 at the 47th annual Governor’s Prayer Breakfast.

Wearing a white shirt that sagged like an empty pillowcase where his left shoulder and arm used to be, Dravecky enthralled several thousand officials, business-people and Gov. Bobby Jindal with his story of success, sorrow and faith.


Louisiana Family Forum girds for coming Legislative session

By Mark H. Hunter, Special to the Message

BATON ROUGE – More than 200 pastors and members of the Louisiana Family Forum got their spirits revved by evangelist James Robison and several other noted pastors at the Forum’s annual Pastor’s Briefing on April 27.

The briefing followed the 47th annual Governor’s Prayer Breakfast, which took place at the Baton Rouge Crowne Palace Hotel, where several thousand pastors, elected officials and business-people prayed for the current legislative session and Gov. Bobby Jindal.

Gene Mills, executive director of the Family Forum, opened the Pastor’s Briefing by quoting Psalms 11:3: If the foundations be destroyed, what will the righteous do?


State watches levee system from Lake Providence to Lake Pontchartrain

By Karen L. Willoughby, Managing Editor

MISSISSIPPI DELTA – Crews of able-bodied Southern Baptist volunteers at the request of First Baptist Vidalia the first two weeks of May are taking the prized possessions of the elderly and infirm among Vidalia residents across the Mississippi River to storage in Natchez, Miss.

Just in case.

“I see no problems with our levee system functioning as it’s supposed to,” said Reynold Minsky, president of the Fifth District Levee Board and a deacon at First Baptist Church of Lake Providence. “We’re going to have a three-foot clearance” between floodwater levels that haven’t been seen since the 1930s – or maybe ever – and the top of the levees.


LBC executive board hears optimistic reports

By Staff, Louisiana Baptist

WOODWORTH – Baptisms are up for the third year in a row. Cooperative Program giving is up more than 5 percent over last year. Close fellowship abounds across the state.

Members of the Louisiana Baptist Convention’s 91-member Executive Board heard these reports and others at their spring meeting, which took place May 3 at Tall Timbers Baptist Conference Center.

“We have found God’s favor,” said LBC Executive Director David Hankins. “We need to have grateful hearts.”