June 2011

Fred Luter to be nominated for First Vice President

By Baptist Press Staff


[img_assist|nid=7360|title=Fred Luter|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=75|height=100]NEW ORLEANS (BP)--Louisiana pastor Fred Luter will be nominated as first vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention, Daniel Akin announced June 7.


 Luter, senior pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, will be nominated by Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C.


 The SBC annual meeting will be June 14-15 in Phoenix.


Not this time: What a 'Relief' - As rivers subside, state DR teams stand down

By Karen L. Willoughby, Managing Editor

[img_assist|nid=7356|title=Chainsaw Crews|desc=While Louisiana’s Disaster Relief Teams have not had to deal with the projected castrophic flooding forecasted, they were prepared for the worst. Even though, they did not have to turn out in force here, they have responded to the needs of Mississippi and Alabama hit hard by deadly tornadoes and spring storms, as well as needs in Louisiana.|link=none|align=left|width=640|height=491]MISSISSIPPI RIVERBANKS – As an event, it didn’t happen.

But Louisiana’s 4,300-plus trained Disaster Relief volunteers and its 74 DR units – feeding, shower/laundry, chain saw, mud-out, child care trailers – were ready, just in case Mississippi River floodwaters overtopped or breached levees anywhere from Lake Providence to the Gulf of Mexico.

“It’s frustrating sometimes, but that’s the nature of the beast,” said Gibbie McMillan, director of Disaster Relief and men’s ministries for the Louisiana Baptist Convention. “All the preparatory work we did – but it was a blessing we didn’t need them.


Grant Ethridge to be Pastor Conference nominee

By Staff, Baptist Press

NEW ORLEANS, La. (BP)--Grant Ethridge, senior pastor of Liberty Baptist Church in Hampton, Va., will be nominated as president of the Southern Baptist Pastors' Conference at its June 12-13 meeting in Phoenix, Louisiana pastor Fred Luter Jr. has announced.

[img_assist|nid=7358|title=Grant Ethridge|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=67|height=100]"Dr. Ethridge has been a pastor for over 27 years, serving churches in Georgia, Arkansas and Virginia," Luter, senior pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, said in a statement to Baptist Press May 20. Ethridge is a former president of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention.

"Under his leadership, Liberty has grown to five worship services each Sunday," Luter said of the 6,000-plus-member church Ethridge has led the past five years. "In order to accommodate the crowds on Easter weekend 2011 the church had nine services."


Hispanic church blesses Metairie

By Rayna Pittman, Special to the Message

[img_assist|nid=7361|title=Spreading the Word|desc=Pastor Gonzalo Rodriguez, shown delivering his sermon, has seen the congregation of Good Shepherd Baptist Church grow to 600 strong. It is projected to jump to 1,000 by year’s end.|link=none|align=left|width=91|height=100]METAIRIE – “Dios le bendiga” fills the air as members of Good Shepherd Baptist Hispanic Church head to their unofficially assigned pews on Sunday mornings.

As they bless one another in the name of God and prepare their hearts for worship, the outside world takes a back seat. But in a Hispanic congregation such as this one, certain issues preoccupy the minds of worshippers and even make their way into the corporate prayer time. As Pastor Gonzalo Rodriguez delivers the sermon, he is mindful that someone in his audience may be an undocumented resident who lives with the fear of deportation.

“We all are welcome here before God’s throne,” Rodriguez said. “He loves us all equally.”


Calvinism stirs debate, discussion in SBC

By Kelly Boggs, Message Editor

The theological system known as Calvinism has long been a catalyst for controversy. The debate, though not new, seems to have gained new vigor in the Southern Baptist Convention in recent years.

“This is an old discussion,” Paige Patterson said during a discussion on Calvinism at the 2006 SBC Annual Meeting in Greensboro, N.C. “It’s a discussion that predates Calvin. It is a discussion that predates Augustine. …,” Baptist Press reported Patterson as saying.

The president of Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, continued, “God’s people have always struggled to try to figure out what is it that God has done on one hand and what is it for which we are responsible on the other.”


So, I hear your pastor is a Calvinist

By Jim Law, Pastor First Baptist Gonzales

According to research by LifeWay, the chances are much higher today than they were 25 years ago that your future pastor will be a Calvinist. Quite frankly, this has a lot of Baptists scrambling and nervous. 

With the surge in Calvinistic conviction, it wouldn’t surprise me if some pastor search committees begin to ask prospective pastoral candidates, “Are you a Calvinist?” before they query about conversion and call to ministry. 

The conversation has become so acrimonious in some places that there has been more heat than light.  I have heard some speak of the resurgence of reformed thought much like the way one would describe a melanoma, and many see Calvinistic doctrine as a cancer in the body of Christ called Southern Baptists.


Questions We've Pondered: Bill Warren

By Bill Warren, Professor of New Testament and Greek at NOBTS

Question: Why is the trinity so important for Christians to affirm?  Can’t we just believe in God? And isn’t the trinity like having three Gods?

Bill Warren responds: Let’s start thinking about this question with some background. The first Christians, being Jewish, were totally monotheistic, believing as the Shema from Deuteronomy. 6:4 notes: “The Lord our God is one.” 

This was their starting point as they wrestled to understand their experience of God’s presence in Jesus. The struggle was not with being monotheistic and believing in the Holy Spirit since the Spirit was mentioned many times in the Old Testament and understood as the powerful presence of God working in this world.  Of course, they become even more “Spirit” conscious with their powerful experience at Pentecost and beyond. 


Duane McDaniel dies after massive stroke

By Staff, Baptist Message

[img_assist|nid=7367|title=Duane McDaniel|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=68|height=100]NEW ORLEANS – Duane McDaniel, Executive Director of the New Orleans Baptist Association, died May 30 after suffering a massive stroke on May 21. He was 54 years old.

McDaniel is survived by his wife, Kathleen; four children, Mallory, 15; Matthew, 14; Keanu, 8; and Abby, 7; his mother, Margie McDaniel of McComb, Miss.; three brothers and numerous cousins, aunts and uncles. McDaniel was the son of the Percy Carl McDaniel, who predeceased him by 20 years.

During his not-quite-two-years at the helm of the urban Baptist association this is still recovering from the effects of Hurricane Katrina, McDaniel set in place what he called “a holistic missional strategy for glorifying God by proclaiming the gospel in word and deed,” said Jack Hunter of the associational staff.


Wilks, Landry, Rogers chosen to represent state at National Youth and High School Bible Drill Competition

By Staff, Baptist Message

PINEVILLE – Andrew Wilks, Kimberly Landry and Deborah Rogers were chosen to represent Louisiana at the National Youth and High School Bible Drill Competition at Meadowbrook Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., folliwing the LBC’s Youth and High School Bible Drill, Xtreme Bible Challenge and Speakers’ tournament.

The four events were held May 6-7.

Wilks, a ninth grader at Trinity Baptist Church in Pineville, beat eight others in a drill off at the competition.


NOBTS graduates 226 in double ceremony; 13 hail from Louisiana

By Staff, NOBTS Communications

NEW ORLEANS – At least 13 students with Louisiana ties graduated from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (NOBTS) this May. In total, the seminary graduated approximately 126 doctoral and graduate level students May, 14.

An additional 100 students graduated from NOBTS’ Leavell College, May13.

This year’s double ceremony marks the first time since Hurricane Katrina that the seminary had a graduation class too large to be accommodated in a single service.