November 2011

2011 Annual Meeting: The Clock is Ticking

By Karen L. Willoughby, Managing Editor


[img_assist|nid=7695|title=It's Time|desc=LBC President Rod Masteller, pastor of Summer Grove Baptist Church in Shreveport, will preside over his final annual meeting Nov. 14-15 at First Baptist Church of Covington.|link=none|align=left|width=425|height=640]COVINGTON – The countdown has begun. “It’s time,” the theme of the 2011 annual meeting of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, sets the stage for “Awaken 2012.” 


The scriptural foundation: Another reason for right living is that you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up …. – Romans 13:11 NLT.


“God is doing great work here amongst Louisiana Baptists, and the time is right for a spiritual awakening,” said LBC President Rod Masteller, pastor of Summer Grove Baptist Church in Shreveport. He has traveled across the state several times during the two years he has served as president. “I have sensed a true desperation for God among those pastors and directors of missions … something I’ve never sensed before.”

 

CP anchor church's readiness for Embrace

By Karen l. Willoughby, Managing Editor


[img_assist|nid=7698|title=Reaching the Unreached|desc=Field Thigpen (right), pastor of Memorial Baptist Church in Bogalusa, and Stan Statham, director of missions for Washington Baptist Association, lead the congregation Oct. 23 in dedicating themselves to reaching the unreached Beke White Creole people of Martinique.|link=none|align=right|width=640|height=424]BOGALUSA – Since its start in 1957, Memorial Baptist Church in Bogalusa has embraced the Cooperative Program. This year the church voted also to embrace an unengaged, unreached people group.


Memorial Baptist always has given at least 10 percent of its undesignated income to missions though the Cooperative Program, Southern Baptists’ method for supporting national and international missions and ministries.


“We gradually increased our giving, and for a long time it was 17 percent,” Jackie Martin, a charter member, said. “We’ve been giving 20 percent for at least the last 10 years. We just believe if we support missions, the Lord will take care of the finances, and He has. We’re still here, and we’re debt-free.”

 

Abortion advocates brought us the personhood battle

By Kelly Boggs, Message Editor


[img_assist|nid=7700|title=Important Vote|desc=Mississippi voters Tuesday could have made the state the first in the nation to pass an amendment defining personhood from the moment of conception.|link=none|align=right|width=640|height=484]Mississippi has become ground zero in the debate over the legal status of the preborn. Citizens in the Magnolia State went to the polls Tuesday, Nov. 28, to vote on Measure 26, a ballot initiative that if passed will amend the state constitution and ascribe the status of “person” to “every human being from the moment of fertilization, cloning or the functional equivalent thereof.”


For pro-life advocates the proposed amendment is not revolutionary. Most who advocate for the protection of pre-born children would agree that life begins at conception. What is relatively new is seeking to apply the legal status of person to the preborn, which has some abortion advocates seeing red.


“When does a person actually become a person? Seriously, is this the question we now face?” opined columnist Funmi F. Franklin in an opinion piece blasting Measure 26 that appeared in the Jackson Free Press.

 

You thought you were only shopping when going to CGBC

By Chuck Colson, Founder of Prison Fellowship


Imagine that your laptop finally gives up the ghost. You have several options: You can drive to the store and buy a new one, or you can shop online.


If you choose the latter, you have another option: You can buy it from an online retailer, or you can connect to a retailer via an online portal. Why? Because some portals, like CGBG – Charity Give Back Group – splits its share of the profits with a charity of your choice.


It’s as close as shopping gets to “win-win” in our consumerist culture.

 

Q&A with LBC presidential candidate Mike Walker

By Staff, Baptist Message


EDITOR’S NOTE: In an effort to get to know the men who will be nominated for the position of president of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, the Baptist Message continues its practice of allowing them share about themselves in a question and answer format. The Baptist Message has been apprised that Mike Walker and Waylon Bailey will be nominated at the LBC Annual Meeting and they both graciously agreed to participate in the Q & A.


Mike Walker, pastor of East Bayour Baptist Church in Lafayette,[img_assist|nid=7703|title=Mike Walker|desc=Pastor East Bayou Baptist Church Lafayette, La.|link=none|align=right|width=425|height=640]


Why have you agreed to allow


your nomination for convention president?


 


I have a heart to encourage pastors and challenge churches to embrace the call to reach their community with the love of Jesus.


 


If elected, what will be your primary


focus as convention president?


 


My focus would be to help churches become more effective in reaching our state with the Gospel. It is important to help churches discover ways to be more active in their own communities and encourage them to think of fresh ways to reach out to the lost and hurting around them. Business as usual in our LBC churches has not been getting the job done and progress is imperative.

 

Q&A with LBC presidential candidate Waylon Bailey

By Staff, Baptist Message


EDITOR’S NOTE: In an effort to get to know the men who will be nominated for the position of president of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, the Baptist Message continues its practice of allowing them share about themselves in a question and answer format. The Baptist Message has been apprised that Mike Walker and Waylon Bailey will be nominated at the LBC Annual Meeting and they both graciously agreed to participate in the Q & A.


 


[img_assist|nid=7705|title=Waylon Bailey|desc=Senior Pastor First Baptist Church Covington Covington, La.|link=none|align=right|width=640|height=511]Waylon Bailey, senior pastor, First Baptist Church Covington, Covington, La.


Why have you agreed to allow


your nomination for convention president?


 


Over the last two years, a number of people across the state have encouraged me to do this. At first, I quickly declined but more and more I have been open to the idea. Just recently, I feel that God has “released” me for this responsibility. I love Louisiana and Louisiana Baptists. If our convention asks me to serve, I will do so gladly.

 

Bill Glass’ Weekend of Champions has 1,380 decisions

By Marilyn Stewart, Regional Reporter


[img_assist|nid=7707|title=Bill Glass|desc=Former Cleveland Browns star Bill Glass (speaking) and his Champions for Life Ministry came to New Orleans recently for a Weekend of Champions. The three-day event saw 1,380 decisions.|link=none|align=left|width=640|height=427]NEW ORLEANS – She’s in prison and she’s a believer. The Bible verses written in toothpaste that cover her cell wall help her stay focused on Jesus.


For one prisoner in an Orleans Parish jail, the recent Bill Glass Weekend of Champions made her know she wasn’t alone.


“She cried when she hugged me goodbye,” said Angela Wolf, member of Woodland Baptist Church, Hammond and a first-time platform singer with the Bill Glass ministry team. “It was the most emotional moment of the weekend for me.”

 

Goins: There's more to prison ministry than meets the eye

By Tammy Sharp, Special to the Message


[img_assist|nid=7709|title=Morris Goins|desc=Pastor Morris Goins encourages prison ministry volunteers to hang onto a manual published by the Louisiana Department of Corrections and Public Safety on visiting the imprisoned.|link=none|align=right|width=425|height=640]LEESVILLE – The Louisiana Department of Corrections and Public Safety has published a manual just for those who make it their mission to visit the imprisoned, said Pastor Morris Goins, who has been ministering to offenders at the Vernon Parish Jail and the Vernon Correctional Facility since 1981. That’s when he became the chaplain for both facilities.


Goins encourages would-be prison ministry volunteers to keep that manual handy; memorize it if possible. An annual orientation provides him opportunity to share with volunteers wisdom from the manual and from his years of experience.


“I suppose the most important thing is to become a friend to these guys and gals without them taking advantage of us,” said Goins. Some of the offenders try to convince volunteers to do things better left to an attorney. Others might try to run a con.

 

ONE FINAL TASK: As outgoing LBC President, Masteller prays he can spark ‘a spiritual movement’ in Louisiana

By Philip Timothy, Message Staff Writer


[img_assist|nid=7711|title=Rod Masteller|desc=Pastor Rod Masteller says he prayerfully hopes he can get a ‘powerful spiritual movement’ to take place as he presides over his final Louisiana Baptist Convention Annual Meeting.|link=none|align=right|width=640|height=427]“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”


 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)


 


No one believed it could happen, but it did. In the early 1800s, the Mississippi River – for a brief time – actually did flow backwards.


Early on Feb. 7, 1812, an 8.9-magnitude earthquake hit near New Madrid, Mo., located on a bend in the River. Trees were uprooted, buildings destroyed, the town’s elevation dropped 13 feet, and eyewitnesses reported the Mississippi River flowed backwards for a period of time after the quake.

 

2011 YEC set to RENEW lives

By Karen L. Willoughby, Managing Editor


[img_assist|nid=7714|title=Packed Out|desc=Students at last year’s record-setting Youth Evangelism Celebration at the Rapides Parish Coliseum join together for a time of prayer.|link=none|align=right|width=640|height=427]ALEXANDRIA – More than 6,000 junior and senior high school students are anticipated to participate in the 2011 Youth Evangelism Celebration.


The annual event is to take place Nov. 20-21 at the Rapides Parish Coliseum, 5600 Coliseum Blvd. in Alexandria.


“We set a record last year with 7,024 in attendance,” said Kevin Boles, youth ministry strategist for the Louisiana Baptist Convention. “Our crowd will be large.”

 

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