August 2011

Harlan begins new role at LBC and LC

By Staff, LBC Communications

[img_assist|nid=7497|title=Benjamin Harlan|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=80|height=100]ALEXANDRIA – Louisiana Baptist Convention Executive Director David Hankins on Aug. 1 welcomed Benjamin Harlan as the new LBC music strategist. Harlan’s new post includes serving as the LBC music strategist and associate professor/artist in residence at Louisiana College.

“We are excited to welcome Dr. Harlan. He is a world class professional musician with a passion to serve the Lord through equipping church leaders,” Hankins said. “Also, his coming demonstrates how our LBC family is constantly looking for synergistic solutions to serve Louisiana Baptists. Serving both the state convention and a Baptist institution is a new paradigm.”

The bulk of Harlan’s work with the LBC is the coordination of the various music consultants who serve the churches of the convention.


Camp USA connects cultures

By Karen L. Willoughby, Managing Editor

[img_assist|nid=7500|title=Camp leaders|desc=Camp USA leaders, such as Min-Joo Kim (in stripes) safeguarded the campers’ “pocket money” and doled it out as needed.|link=none|align=right|width=640|height=480]PINEVILLE/PONTCHATOULA – A Korea-born woman recently traveled from her Chicago home to meet the grandchild she had never seen.

That grandchild was one of 53 Camp USA participants this year.

It’s the first such “reverse” connection for Camp USA, which is a three-week American culture immersion excursion for middle school-age students from South Korea. Camp USA is part of an informal partnership between Louisiana Southern Baptists and the Korea Baptist Convention’s Church Development Board (equivalent to the SBC’s LifeWay Christian Resources.)


Trying to understand the young adult mystery

By Andy Johnson, Pastor Crossroads Baptist Church Farmerville

Young adults – ages 18-35, are missing from our church attendance rolls. They seem to be a riddle wrapped up in a mystery tucked away inside an enigma.

 There is no “chapter and verse” proven procedure or program to get a young adult interested in church. Young adult attendance is an anomaly.

Many churches work and toil and labor to the point of hopelessness to get young adults active within the Body of Christ. We would do well to take a moment and look at what has replaced church in a young adult’s life. And the more you look, the more bizarre the reasons get.


Crossover 2011 is coming

By Lonnie Wascom, Director of Missions Northshore Baptist Association

When the Louisiana Baptist Convention hosts its annual meeting in Covington this Nov. 14-15, it will be the first time in the Convention’s history that the meeting has been held in the Florida Parishes.

The host church, First Baptist Church, Covington, is situated in the center of the Northshore Baptist Association (NSBA), a fellowship of more than 90 churches, mission churches, and church plants. The NSBA is planning a Crossover Northshore prior to this year’s convention and wishes to invite our sister churches from all across the state to participate with us. The Crossover dates are Nov. 12-13.

Among the many evangelistic goals for the weekend is one that NSBA leaders pray will be a pacesetter for future Crossover emphases: To launch a new, high impact church plant in St. Tammany Parish. Like the Macedonian in Acts 16:9, we in the Northshore are imploring our Baptist brothers and sisters to “come over into [the Northshore], and help us” launch this new church.


Here’s a living illustration of biblical love

By Kelly Boggs, Message Editor

These days when negative news seems to dominate the headlines, I am always on the lookout for inspirational stories that accentuate the positive. I discovered one recently that deserves to be not only read but also contemplated.

On July 22, Rachelle Friedman wed Chris Chapman in Pittsboro, N.C. Of the perhaps thousands of weddings that will take place in America over the next few days, what makes this couple’s nuptials newsworthy is that the bride’s father pushed her down the aisle in a wheelchair.

Friedman and Chapman were scheduled to marry about a year ago. However, just a few weeks prior to the wedding Friedman was injured in a freak accident, which resulted in her being paralyzed from the neck down.


The Mideast: Christian minorities & the risks they face under Islamic rule

By Mike Edens, Professor of Theology and Islamic Studies at NOBTS

Are the Christian minorities at greater risk as a result of the uprisings in the Middle East?”

This is another key question that has been posed in a theology class I have been teaching in a Southern Baptist church recently. It’s a question that requires us to think outside our American cultural expectations.

None of us can fully understand the formative forces on ourselves or on friends who live in other cultural and societal settings, but failing to struggle toward this end detracts from abundantly living our faith. We need to understand as best we can the status of our Christian brothers and sisters living under governments that express Islamic values.


Questions We've Pondered: Bill Warren

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

Question: When I read my Bible, some of the New Testament quotations of Old Testament books do not match exactly the wording that we have in our Old Testaments. Why is this?

Bill Warren responds: This insightful question obviously comes from a good Bible study practice of looking up the New Testament (NT) quotes in the Old Testament (OT). Keep up that type of study! As a beginning point, let’s remember that the OT was written almost totally in Hebrew and the NT in Greek, so right away we have to think about the impact of translating from Hebrew into Greek when considering the OT quotes in the NT.

Indeed, the vast majority of differences in the quotes are due exactly to these language issues. The NT writers primarily used the existing Greek translation of the OT for their writings instead of making their own translations. This makes sense when we think about it: There was no need to reinvent the wheel by making yet another translation when one was already available and acceptable.


BEL Credit Union notes great rates on consolidation loans for members

By Staff, Baptist Message

ALEXANDRIA – Finances can be stretched thin at this time in the United States economy. BEL Credit Union may be able to help.

BEL FCU – short for Baptist Employees of Louisiana Federal Credit Union, the only Baptist faith-based credit union in Louisiana – is positioning itself to over time be available to every member of every Baptist church and entity in Louisiana that affiliates with the Louisiana Baptist Convention. See

For the present, membership is limited to full-time or part-time employees and their immediate families of LBC and the Children’s Home, Foundation, College and Baptist Message, plus New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.


Numbers tell need for Georgia Barnette State Missions Offering

By Al Quartemont, Special to the Message

ALEXANDRIA – To hear John Hebert tell it, the numbers mean everything.

The State Missions and Ministry Team Leader for the Louisiana Baptist Convention, Hebert knows what those numbers say – nearly three-fourths of the state’s population is within 20 miles of Interstate 10 or south of it.

Only one-fourth of the LBC’s churches fall in that same area. Stating it simply, three out of four Louisiana people are being served by only one out of four LBC churches in the state.


Busy Epps pastor engaged in numerous godly ventures

By Quinn Lavespere, Message Staff Writer

[img_assist|nid=7510|title=Supportive congregation|desc=The congregation of Epps Baptist Church fully supports the biker and cowboy ministries as young and old turnout for events.|link=none|align=right|width=640|height=480]EPPS – Epps Baptist Church pastor Johnny Smith is a busy man with a busy church.

Smith has involved himself with several ministries, including a cowboy ministry and a biker ministry, as his church looks toward a future of active servitude to Christ.

“I must say that it’s rather fun to see such all these causes going on at once,” the pastor said. “I feel it’s an honor to get to engage in this type of work for God.”