September 2011

Devastating famine devours Horn of Africa

By Mark Kelly, Baptist Press

NASHVILLE (BP) – Resilient Somalis have endured two decades of civil war and two consecutive seasons of no rain. Now, with livestock and crops dead, their babies and elderly suffering from malnutrition, and food prices skyrocketing, they have given up any pretense they can survive on their own.[img_assist|nid=7586|title=Results of the famine|desc=Abderahman Dubo, 1, arrived in a Kenya refugee camp with his mother Habibo Dubo, father and three other siblings after traveling 30 days on foot from their home in famine-stricken Somalia. The embattled family members have lost their 30 head of cattle in the drought.|link=none|align=right|width=640|height=424]

To get to a refugee center – a four-day trek from the border of Somalia to Dadaab, Kenya – many walk more than a hundred miles. Almost everyone passes bodies of mothers, children and the elderly – anyone too weakened by hunger and lack of water to escape with their lives.

More than half of Somalia’s population – roughly 3.7 million people, including 400,000          children – is at risk as Somalia enters the fourth month of a devastating famine. The famine, coupled with military unrest and anarchy in parts of the country, has complicated the already volatile lives of Somalis.


Chapel of Hope provides look into God's greatness

By Philip Timothy, Message Staff Writer

[img_assist|nid=7588|title=Chapel of Hope|desc=It took more than two years, but the 40-by-60-foot Chapel of Hope at the West Carroll Detention Center in Epps opened two weeks ago with 29 professions of faith.|link=none|align=left|width=640|height=480]EPPS – Step aside and let God lead the way.

Bethlehem Baptist Church Pastor Donnie Linson just knew there had to be someplace better for the inmates of the West Carroll Detention Center in Epps to worship God than in the facility’s lunch room.

There was – it was a chapel.


Is pedophilia on the horizon for American society?

By Kelly Boggs, Message Editor

American society has basically accepted the notion that sexual attraction is determined predominately by biology and that no one chooses to be homosexual or bisexual. Further, society has all but endorsed the belief that individuals can be born the wrong sex, i.e. a man in a woman’s body and vice versa.

Once upon a time, the aforementioned behaviors were deemed deviant by a vast majority of Americans. Now these same actions are viewed as legitimate, albeit alternative, lifestyles.

America was not persuaded overnight to accept as normal practices that once were viewed as perverted. It took homosexual activists decades of aggressive propaganda to sway a preponderance of the U.S. populace to change its mind on all things related to sexuality.


These are seeds sown in tears

By David E. Hankins, Executive Director of the Louisiana Baptist Convention

[img_assist|nid=7616|title=Editorial Cartoon|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=640|height=640]Sowing seeds is necessary if you are to reap a harvest. Our state’s farmers know that harvesting is in direct proportion to the amount of seed sown.

The 2011 Georgia Barnette State Missions Offering has the theme of sowing but not just any sowing. It is seeds sown in tears.

There is a great need for tears for lost people. At least one of every two persons in our state is lost or un-churched.


Questions We've Pondered: Archie England

By Archie England, Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew

What does the Old Testament explicitly say about tattoos?

Archie England responds: Leviticus 19:28 directly forbids body cutting – the incision, cutting, or inscribing of a living body on behalf of the dead.

Several other texts, such as Deuteronomy 14:1, forbid body cutting. Neither gashing/cutting the body nor shaving the head (eyebrows, mustache, beard, and hair) were to be used, specifically “for the dead.” Jeremiah16:7 adds a further prohibition: men shouldn’t “tear” themselves “for the dead.”


The biblical basis for Christian Apologetics

By Bob Stewart, Professor of Theology and Philsophy

[img_assist|nid=7594|title=Bob Stewart|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=100|height=66]Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. (1 Peter 3:13-16)

 The foundation for apologetics

1. The foundation for any truly Christian apologetic is Jesus Christ as Lord;  sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts” (3:15). When Peter says to sanctify Christ as Lord in our hearts, he does not mean to make him Lord only in our feelings. In his culture, the term “heart” meant the center of who a person was. If Jesus is the most important thing in your life, then you will have an answer. I will defend my wife and kids – even if doing so puts me at risk – because I love them.


Hard-hit St. Bernard, Plaquemine Parishes recovering slowly

By Diana Chandler, Regional Reporter

Select convention churches in hard-hit St. Bernard and Plaquemine Parishes still haven’t reached pre-Katrina levels in numbers nor budgets six years after the storm, but are faithful in ministry and stewardship.

First Baptist Church of Venice in Plaquemines Parish will move into a new building within weeks, while the St. Bernard congregations of First Baptist Church of Chalmette and Poydras Baptist Church continue to thrive, adding ministries and baptising believers.

 First Baptist Chalmette

 First Baptist Church of Chalmette had 97 percent of its 1,600 resident members displaced following Hurricane Katrina, but Pastor John Jeffries has led an evangelistic thrust that garnered 93 Baptisms last year alone.


First Homer prayer shawl ministry stitched with a loving spirit

By Quinn Lavespere, Message Staff Writer

[img_assist|nid=7597|title=Spirit-filled ministry|desc=Ladies of First Homer’s prayer shawl ministry include (from left) Shirley Vines and 92-year-old Eva Hardy. To her right are Margaret Rowell, Joy Hays, Denice Owens, Brenda Mitchell, Mildred McHam, Barbara Monzingo, Betty Gathright, Renee Cross, Barbara Booth, Sandra Hines, Claire Brown, Nancy Ross, Carolyn Bice, and Linda Duckworth.|link=none|align=right|width=640|height=511]HOMER – Some ministries are characterized by a spirit that is incredibly sweet and loving.

 One women’s ministry in Homer proudly and happily embodies that spirit.

Made up of young and old members, the Homer First Baptist Church Prayer Shawl Ministry lovingly knits and crochets prayer shawls for people with various needs, all the while leaving an indelible mark on those they come in contact with.


Louisiana College growing, thriving

By Allison Bruchhaus, Director of Public Relations at Louisiana College

[img_assist|nid=7615|title=LC President Joe Aguillard teaches while on African mission trip|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=640|height=424]PINEVILLE – In its 105th year Louisiana College continued to fulfill The Great Commission through its “Unchanging Foundations since 1906” theme. 

LC continues to grow and thrive as a distinctively Christian college, grounded in the preeminence of Jesus Christ, the authority of the Scriptures and academic excellence and a passion to change the world for Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.  

Enrollment and Faculty Growth

Last year, enrollment numbers surpassed LC’s all-time historical record. More than 1,800 students enrolled in the college. These numbers demonstrate a growth rate of over 89 percent since Dr. Aguillard became President. This year, Louisiana College again opened its doors to the largest freshman and transfer class in the history of the college. Because of the record-breaking enrollment, LC placed more than 40 students at a local hotel, since on-campus housing was filled to capacity. 


Annual Hunters and Anglers Rally set for Sept. 24 in Winnfield

By Quinn Lavespere, Message Staff Writer

WINNFIELD – In the town of Winnfield and its surrounding areas, people have three essential passions:  hunting, fishing, and God. This September, those people will have a chance to enjoy all those loves in one place.

The Baptist Missions and Ministry Center in Jonesboro will sponsor and host its second annual Hunters and Anglers Rally at 6;30 p.m. Sept. 24 in the Winnfield Civic Center. 

“After the tremendous success of the first rally, we had to make this an annual event,” said Missions and Ministry Center DOM Clovis Sturdivant. “We’re hoping that the second can top the first in so many ways.”