February 2012

Great Awakenings focus of Joseph Willis Institute

By Karen L. Willoughby, Managing Editor

PINEVILLE – The Joseph Willis Institute for Great Awakening Studies was launched Jan. 24 at the 2012 Louisiana Evangelism Conference as a partnership between Louisiana College and the Louisiana Baptist Convention.[img_assist|nid=7876|title=Joseph Willis Institute|desc=Randy Willis, the fifth-great-grandson of Joseph Willis, (center) watches as Evangelist Sammy Tippit (left) presents Louisiana College President Joe Aguillard with a box of documents, DVDs and audio discs containing historical accounts and information on the development of the Baptist faith in Louisiana through the efforts of Joseph Willis.|link=none|align=left|width=640|height=424]

Conceived by Evangelist Sammy Tippit, a Louisiana native, the “JWI” as it is likely to become known, is to educate the present and future generations of spiritual leaders on the historical and biblical principles of the great Christian revivals that have significantly impacted Western civilization, culture and church growth around the world, according to a brochure promoting the Institute.

“Dr. [David] Hankins’ and Wayne Jenkins’ heart at the Louisiana Baptist Convention for revival connects with the heart of Louisiana College to see revival and awakening come to Louisiana and the nation,” said Rod Masteller, JWI director. “We’re thrilled with this partnership.”


Thousands participate in Louisiana Life March

By Mark H. Hunter, Regional Reporter

[img_assist|nid=7878|title=2012 Life March|desc=More than 3,500 people from across Louisiana participated in the 2nd annual Louisiana Life March on Saturday, Jan. 21, in downtown Baton Rouge. Despite occasional rain, the march stretched for five blocks from the Old State Capitol to the present State Capitol building.|link=none|align=right|width=640|height=422]BATON ROUGE – When Phyllis Clark was pregnant in 1978, she was tired and ill, so her doctor suggested an abortion. She ignored his advice and her son Jeremy, now 34, was born healthy and normal.

“That’s why we marched,” Clark said, after the second annual Louisiana Life March took place in Baton Rouge on Saturday, Jan. 21. “The devil tried to rob me of my son!”

Phyllis and her husband Mike are members of Istrouma Baptist Church in Baton Rouge. “As Christians we need to take a stand for life,” Mike Clark said.


Boggs: Accepting a new mantle of responsibility

By Kelly Boggs, Message Editor

As I write this column, I do so with a new mantle of responsibility.

On Jan. 23, the Baptist Message Board of Trustee voted unanimously to approve a proposal that will place me over the public affairs work of the Louisiana Baptist Convention. See article on page 8 for more on this.

I accept this new capacity because I believe it is needful and necessary. We live in a republic that is predicated upon a participatory democracy.


“America’s Preacher” now has a new name ... or, so says Oprah

By Andy Johnson, Pastor Crossroads Baptist Church Farmerville, La.

Recently on her OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) show titled “Oprah’s Next Chapter,” the 57-year- old talk-show icon interviewed the pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas: Joel Osteen, and his wife Victoria.

Lakewood Church is recognized as the largest church in America, meeting in what used to be the Compaq Center in downtown Houston. The building seats more than 16,000.

Among the topics discussed during the interview were televangelist scandals and mega-church business practices as well as the 48-year-old Osteen’s success in authoring several New York Times bestselling books.


When pastors wonder if they’re loved

By Argile Smith, Louisiana College

The account of Paul’s journey to Thessalonica in Acts 17 warms and breaks our hearts all at the same time.

A fountain of joy floods our hearts as we read about the way Paul started the church there (17:1-5). As soon as he arrived in Thessalonica, he visited the synagogue and shared the gospel with anyone who would listen to him.

Taking them to the Scriptures, he explained that Jesus of Nazareth was the Son of God, the Messiah promised long ago. Some of them believed what Paul proclaimed, and they received Christ. Along with the Jewish people who listened to him at the synagogue, he shared the gospel with others in the city, and many of them gave their lives to Christ as well.


Questions we've pondered

By Bill Warren, NOBTS

Question: What did Jesus mean in Matthew 16 when he talked about the rock, building his church, and binding and loosing stuff?

Bill Warren responds: In Matthew 16:16-20, after Peter proclaims that Jesus is the Messiah, Jesus congratulates him for this divine insight, followed by the statements related to your question. In verse 18, Jesus declares “you are Peter” (“Peter” in Greek = “rock”), and then says “on this rock I’ll build my church.”

So what is the “rock” Jesus is going to build upon? Is it Peter, or does the Greek word “petros” refer to a small rock versus a large rock “petra” that is the foundation, or is the rock Peter’s confession? In the first century, the word “Peter” (“petros” = masculine) would have been normal for referring to a man, but the word translated “rock” (“petra” = feminine) was the normal word for a rock. Later the masculine form came to refer to a small rock, but that was not a first century common usage.


21 Bienville Association churches gather to pray for Spiritual Awakening

By Randy Hales, Special to the Message

GIBSLAND – One hundred and fifty members of churches in Bienville Baptist Association gathered recently at historic Mount Lebanon, where Charles Middleton is pastor, to bring to a climax 21 days of prayer.

Each of the 21 churches in Bienville Association were encouraged to choose a day to pray specifically for a spiritual awakening. All the churches were invited to end the emphasis at Mount Lebanon.

On January 22 they gathered for a season of prayer. God was present! Confessions, prayers, and testimonies brought tears to many eyes.[img_assist|nid=7885|title=Prayer Warriors|desc=One hundred fifty members from 21 churches in the Bienville Baptist Association gather at Mount Lebanon Church to bring to an end 21 days of prayer for Spiritual Awakening.|link=none|align=right|width=640|height=480]


Board votes for Boggs to fill public affairs role for LBC

By Staff, Baptist Message

ALEXANDRIA – The Board of Trustees of the Baptist Message met in a special session on Jan. 23 and voted to enter into an agreement with the Louisiana Baptist Convention that will place Kelly Boggs over the LBC’s public affairs work. 

Boggs status as editor of the Baptist Message will remain unchanged.

The addition of the new role will see Boggs function in a dual capacity whereby he will continue the public affairs work that John Yeats initiated when he served as the LBC Director of Communications.


John Kyle named LBC Communications director

By Staff, Baptist Message

[img_assist|nid=7888|title=John Kyle|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=70|height=100]ALEXANDRIA – John Kyle of Nashville, Tenn., and formerly of Lake Charles, La., was elected LBC Communications Director Jan. 23 by the executive board of the Louisiana Baptist Convention.

The board convened to meet John and Kathy Kyle, and to vote on his selection.

“I think John will take our communications to a whole new level,” said LBC Executive Director David Hankins. “He’s always been on the cutting edge of technology.”


Louisiana Baptists honored for years of service

By Staff, Baptist Message

ALEXANDRIA – Twenty-one Louisiana Southern Baptists recently received awards for five or more years of self-funded missionary service.

Theme for the Jan. 13 appreciation banquet for the self-funded missionaries was “renewing our focus as missionaries.”

The Mission Service Corps (MSC) missionaries who received service awards for consecutive years of service – five or more – include: