December 2011

Louisiana woman finds hope through CWJC

By Julie Walters, WMU Communications

MONROE – Danielle Flintroy describes her life as “a complete mess” before coming to the Christian Women’s Job Corps (CWJC) chapter in Monroe.[img_assist|nid=7788|title=Dove Award Recipient|desc=After being presented with the Sybil Bentley Dove Award, Danielle Flintroy speaks to the crowd gathered at the Louisiana Baptist Convention annual meeting, which took place at First Baptist Church, Covington.|link=none|align=right|width=640|height=480]

“I had lost my job, my home and my car,” Flintroy said. “But more importantly, I almost lost my faith in God. It was the scariest thing I’ve ever experienced. I had an 11-year-old son to provide for and my life was falling apart.”

Flintroy said she came to CWJC because she wanted to make a step in the right direction.



By Karen L. Willoughby, Managing Editor

ALEXANDRIA – A powerhouse lineup set the stage for a Youth Evangelism Celebration that was life-changing for many of its 6,712 registered participants.[img_assist|nid=7790|title=Invitation|desc=Clayton King, founder of Crossroads Worldwide and campus pastor at Liberty University, Lynchburg, Va., prays Nov. 21 during a time of invitation at the 24th annual Louisiana Youth Evangelism Conference at the Rapides Parish Coliseum. More than 6,700 students participated in the two-day event. A record 648 spiritual decisions were recorded. Photo courtesy of Melinda Martinez/Alexandria Town Talk|link=none|align=right|width=640|height=393]

Some said the worship – led by the Brett Younker Band from Atlanta, Ga. – was the best part of the 24th annual event for junior high and high school students. Some said the preaching of Clayton King was. He’s campus pastor at Liberty University, Lynchburg, Va., and teaching pastor at NewSpring Church in Anderson, S.C.

Others chose Tenth Avenue North, who performed in concert Monday night, Illusionist Harris III, Comedian Bob Smiley, or the Daves Highway trio. Still others opted for “being with my friends” and “being here with everyone.”


We are truly a blessed people

By Waylon Bailey, Pastor First Covington

For all of the problems in the United States of America, we are a blessed people.

I hope that every day is a day of thanksgiving for you. We are blessed to live in a land of plenty and to be people who are free to vote, protest, speak, and worship.

In my way of thinking, the first amendment to the Constitution of the United States is a blessing from God. I thank God for the right to worship Him openly and without fear. I thank God that we can communicate the Gospel to others.


Stand together to give pre-born children the right to life

By Kelly Boggs, Baptist Message Editor

On Aug. 28, 1963, an estimated 250,000 people gathered in Washington D.C. for the express purpose of making a unified statement that all citizens of America – regardless of their skin color – should be treated with equality. It was to this mighty throng that Martin Luther King Jr. gave his most memorable oratory. With an economy of words, Dr. King eloquently articulated a vision that still moves people committed to life, liberty and justice for all.

Throughout his “I Have A Dream” speech, Dr. King echoed his vision of a colorblind America where people would “not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

“In a sense,” he told the crowd, “we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”


An invitation to forsake the Inn for the joy found in the stable

 By Jason Hiles, Professor of Christian Studies at Louisiana College

If advertisements paint an accurate picture of public sentiment, then Christmas for most people has become little more than an opportunity to indulge in rich foods and expensive products that would otherwise seem extravagant.

The shopping season begins a little earlier each year, encroaching more and more on the only holiday dedicated to expressing gratitude.

Midnight sales, black Fridays, and online specials abruptly interrupt Thanksgiving with promises to deliver happiness in the form of electronic gadgets, sparkly jewelry, and the latest toys.


Questions we ponder

By Bill Warren, Professor of New Testament and Greek

Question: I’ve heard that Mary and Joseph were engaged, but Matthew 1:19 indicates Joseph is considering divorcing Mary. What was the marriage custom back then that might explain this?

Bill Warren responds: Most marriages in the first century were arranged marriages, with the marriage agreements being made between the two fathers or the older males in the family (such as an older brother if the father was deceased). Girls were generally married between 12 to 15 years of age, with boys in Jewish life generally in their late teens or early twenties.  There was no dating as people do today, since the marriages were arranged. So Mary had been promised to Joseph via an arranged marriage.

When the girl was of the proper age, the marriage itself would become final via a legal document.  The legal marriage agreement would include the names of the two people to be married as well as the names of the people representing them and affirming the document (normally the fathers).  A “bride price” was often mentioned, which was the price to be paid to the family of the bride as compensation for losing a worker due to the bride moving to live with her husband.  An Old Testament example of this is found in the story of Jacob when he agrees to work seven years as the price for marrying one of Laban’s daughters (Genesis 29:18).  That in essence was a “bride price” being paid as compensation for the loss of a daughter. Normally the “dowry” the bride brought to the marriage was also mentioned in the contract. A normal first-century marriage contract would specify the dowry and require the repayment of 1 ½ to 2 times that amount if the husband divorced the woman or sent her away without cause.  So the higher the dowry, the more expensive it was to divorce the woman, which was a great protection for the woman. 


PreTeen Invasion to build friendships with God and others

By Staff, Baptist Message

PINEVILLE – Based on the success last year of the first-ever PreTeen Invasion, leaders anticipate 1,500 fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders will invade Louisiana College Saturday, Jan. 7, for this year’s day-long event.

PreTeen Invasion is to take place inside Guinn Auditorium and on the LC grounds.

“It’s going to be a great way to start off the new year, spending time with friends and the opportunity to commit ourselves and our year to Christ,” said David Anderson,  childhood education strategist for the Louisiana Baptist Convention.


Blake Brothers Band sing passionately for God

By Quinn Lavespere, Message Staff Writer

SHREVEPORT – Some bands simply have it in their blood to sing God’s praises and testify to His glory through their music.[img_assist|nid=7797|title=Blake Brothers|desc=The Blake Brothers Bluegrass Band, photographed at Salem Baptist Church in Plain Dealing, travel the state using their music and humor to tell others about God.|link=none|align=right|width=640|height=427]

The Blake Brothers Bluegrass Band travels to various places as its members use their music – a mix of traditional bluegrass, bluegrass gospel, and Hee Haw style comedy – to tell others about the God who gave His life for them.

“We’re all just country boys who have it in our hearts to share God through our music,” group leader Tim Blake said.  “We’re like one big family who loves sharing Jesus with others.”


God’s work done God’s way will get God’s results

By Quinn Lavespere, Message Staff Writer

SHREVEPORT – It was a program that was virtually down to nothing until a determined associate pastor and his children’s teachers decided to get out and do something.[img_assist|nid=7799|title=Ford Park Children's Ministry Team|desc=Ford Park Baptist Church Associate Pastor John Newman (in shirt and tie) and his staff – teachers (from left) Linda Nicholson, Carolyn Gohring and Delene O’Rear (back row from left) Michael O’Rear and Pat Wood – have helped to revive the church’s children’s program.|link=none|align=right|width=640|height=480]

Ford Park Baptist Church has seen a major revival of its children’s program since Associate Pastor John Newman and those assisting him began going out into their community and finding more children for the program.

“Ever since we began, we’ve seen so many exciting things happen.  Lives have been changed, souls have been saved, and needs have been met,” Newman said.  “It’s wonderful to see children learn to love the Lord and learn more about the Bible.”


‘Servnlove’ throughout the community of Lafayette

By Quinn Lavespere, Message Staff Writer

LAFAYETTE – It’s a ministry with a catchy name that serves to accomplish exactly what that ministry’s name represents.[img_assist|nid=7801|title=Servnlove in action|desc=Servenlove volunteer Steven Feehan and Ministry Evangelism Strategist Jeff Cook (right) assists with an outreach to inner city and homeless people on Nov. 19 in Lafayette.|link=none|align=left|width=640|height=471]

The Evangeline Baptist Association’s Servnlove ministry meets community needs in Lafayette while feeding the homeless in the city and lifting up souls in need of God’s love.

“This is a great tool to reach out to people and embrace them with the love God wants us to show,” Missions/evangelism Strategist Lonnie Cleveland said.  “Along with our block party trailer, it really is great for spreading the Gospel.”