February 2012


By Staff, Baptist Message


Randall (wife Tanya) Gill, new at Bayou Baptist Association in the areas of multi-housing ministry, compassion ministry, evangelism, church renewal and mission volunteer groups. DOM: Joe Arnold.

Brad (wife Kristen) Hornback, new as youth minister at Northwoods Shreveport.

Jeff (wife Darcie) Raines, new as pastor of Shreveport First.

Cindy (husband Jonathan) Hardin, youth minister at Westwood Keithville.


First Blanchard uses Cross-Brand Cowboy Church as a ministry

By Quinn Lavespere, Message Staff Writer

BLANCHARD – It’s perhaps an understatement to say that First Baptist Church of Blanchard is passionate for God’s work.

Pastor Doug Allen and his congregation have involved themselves in several projects that have allowed them to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to people from different walks of life.

“The whole point of the Great Commission is to reach all people, not just certain ones,” Allen said.  “That’s why we aim at so many different people.”


SBC Name Change Task Force: Great Commission Baptists

By Michael Foust, Baptist Press

[img_assist|nid=7949|title=SBC Task Force|desc=Task force chairman Jimmy Draper addresses members of the Executive Committee on the group’s recommendation into possibly changing the name of the Southern Baptist Convention. The Task Force recommended the convention maintain its legal name but adopt an informal, non-legal name for those who want to use it: “Great Commission Baptists.”|link=none|align=right|width=640|height=424]NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) – The task force appointed to study a possible name change of the Southern Baptist Convention is recommending the convention maintain its legal name but adopt an informal, non-legal name for those who want to use it: “Great Commission Baptists.”

The report Monday (Feb. 20) ended weeks of speculation by Southern Baptists and fellow evangelicals as to what the task force would do. The convention was formed in 1845, and a name change was first proposed in 1903, although one was not adopted then, or since.

The task force was appointed by SBC President Bryant Wright.


La. College files suit over birth-control mandate

By Michael Foust, Baptist Press

[img_assist|nid=7951|title=LC President Joe Aguillard|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=71|height=100]PINEVILLE (BP) – Louisiana College was the first of what is now a list of schools and universities suing the federal government in opposition to the Obama administration’s contraceptive/abortion mandate, making it clear the issue is not simply a Catholic one.

Louisiana College – affiliated with the Louisiana Baptist Convention – filed suit Feb. 20 in federal court, saying the mandate violates the U.S. Constitution by, among other things, entangling the government in religious matters and forcing the college to violate its “sincerely held religious beliefs regarding abortion.”

“The time for silence is over,” Louisiana College President Joe W. Aguillard said. “Louisiana College will not sit by and allow this or any government to usurp our God-given religious freedoms and our time-honored Baptist heritage.”


Adoniram Judson: A mustard seed that was well sown

By Jim Law, Pastor First Baptist Gonzales

Much has been written in recent weeks on the life and work of Adoniram Judson and rightly so. It was  in February 200 years ago that Adoniram Judson and his wife Ann set sail from Salem, Mass., in route to India (later arriving in Burma). Many of those on the wharf that day no doubt thought that their departure was merely a small deposit, with little hope of bearing anything substantial.

Judson was 24 years old and Ann was 23 when they left their native New England. He would labor in Burma for 38 years until his death at age 61. In that entire time he would return home only once, and that after 33 years of service. From a human perspective their departure for the hardships of missionary life was a fool’s errand.

However, from heaven’s perspective the evaluation was much different. 


Jefferson & the Danbury Baptists: Giving context to religious liberty

By Kelly Boggs, Editor Baptist Message

The “principle of context” is an idea that stated simply declares, “Nothing is meaningful without a context.” A statement, action or reaction must be considered within its immediate circumstance in order for it to be completely and accurately understood.

I have found the principle of context to be immutable and universal. That said, it is often neglected and even ignored – many times on purpose in an attempt to gain an advantage or manipulate reality.

One such neglect of the principle of context comes in reference to the concept of religious liberty in America. And it is precisely this – the neglect and/or ignoring of a historical circumstance – that has led the Obama Administration to attempt to force religious groups to violate deeply held convictions.


Christian Accountability: 40 martyrs of Sebaste

By Rex Butler, Professor of Church History and Pastristics at NOBTS

“Lord, we are forty who are engaged in this combat; grant that we may be forty crowned, and that not one be wanting to this sacred number” (quoted by Alban Butler, The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs and Other Principal Saints, vol. 3, 560).

This prayer, which was offered up by Roman soldiers threatened with execution for their faith in Christ, is part of the story of the forty martyrs of Sebaste. It’s a story that features courage, inspiration, and Christian accountability.

At the time of the martyrdom, Licinius was the emperor of the eastern Roman Empire, while Constantine was the emperor in the west. Eight years earlier, Licinius, along with Constantine, had signed the Edict of Milan, which called for an end to persecution of Christians.


Hope Church’s Mardi Gras outreach effort stopped by lack of permit

By Marilyn Stewart, Regional reporter

[img_assist|nid=7957|title=Water from Hope|desc=The bottles of water being given away by volunteers from Hope Baptist Church in New Orleans during Mardi Gras had the church’s logo, email address, and a simple message – Happy Mardi Gras.|link=none|align=right|width=478|height=640]METAIRIE – Hope Church of Metairie, a Louisiana Baptist Convention church plant sponsored by First Baptist Church of Kenner, was ordered to cease and desist by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office while distributing free water bottles at a Mardi Gras parade in mid-February. 

The written warning, a Vendor Warning Citation, carried no fine or penalty, but cited the failure to secure an occupational license and failure to register for a sales tax.

Matt Tipton, pastor, said the field agents used the words “cease and desist” during the incident, but were “extremely nice” and non-confrontational.


Leavell Center’s studies help churches know their community and grow

By Gary Meyers, NOBTS Communications

[img_assist|nid=7959|title=Dr. Bill Day|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=640|height=427]NEW ORLEANS – What pastor hasn’t asked these questions: “Who lives near my church, and how can I reach these neighbors with the Gospel?”

The Leavell Center for Evangelism and Church Health, located at and sponsored by New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (NOBTS), offers detailed, individualized demographic studies to help churches answer these questions. The studies offer church leaders detailed information about their community and help with the development of community-specific evangelism plans.

NOBTS launched the Center for Evangelism and Church Growth in 1992 with the goal of helping churches implement strategies that result in measurable church growth. In 1995, seminary trustees renamed the Center in honor of the seminary’s seventh president, Dr. Landrum P. Leavell II, an evangelism and church growth specialist. Later, the name changed again to place more emphasis on church health. Preston Nix, professor of evangelism and evangelistic preaching, serves as the Center’s director. Bill Day, professor of evangelism and church health, is the associate director.


Impact Your World Conference coming to Baton Rouge

By Mark H. Hunter, Special to the Message

[img_assist|nid=7961|title=Impact Your World|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=640|height=220]BATON ROUGE – Pastors, missions directors and other church leaders from across Louisiana will be gathering at Istrouma Baptist Church for the first annual “Impact Your World” missions conference to take place Thursday and Friday, March 22–23.

Sponsored by the Louisiana Baptist Convention in partnership with the International Mission Board and five Louisiana Baptist associations, the conference’s theme is “From South Louisiana to the ends of the earth.”

“Jesus instructed His church to ‘go and make disciples of all the nations,’” said Jeff Ginn, conference host and senior pastor of Istrouma Baptist. “That command ought to drive all that we do as a church. This conference will fuel that drive with both theological and practical insights on how to engage the nations with the gospel.”