March 2012

Woodrich, Baptist Builders roll up the miles serving God

By Philip Timothy, Message Staff Writer

[img_assist|nid=8023|title=Jeff Woodrich|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=79|height=100]STATEWIDE – The fact that Jeff Woodrich, Mission Builder and Campers on Mission Strategist for the Louisiana Baptist Convention, bought a new truck five months ago isn’t news.

The fact he’s put over 30,000 miles – an average of 6,000 miles a month – during that time is.

 Because of the amount of jobs (18 presently under way) statewide, Woodrich finds himself in the middle of the road a lot these days as he travels to oversee the different projects.


CompassionNet equips churches to meet needs of lost, suffering

By Diane Chandler, Regional Reporter

LACOMBE – Randy Poole knows compassion. He got an up-close lesson when he helped his sister-in-law Debbie get back on her feet after she served a seven-year prison term.

He and his wife Cindy bought her a car, found her Section 8 housing, gave her cash and even vouched to get her a job as a hairdresser at a friend’s salon. But Debbie blew it all, choosing instead to quit her job within months by simply not reporting to work for two weeks, instead moving to another state to be with her friends.

Poole’s hard-learned lesson: the poor have a value system that puts friends above economic stability, one of several facts churches must realize to effectively minister to the impoverished.


Crossover: Katrina labors have opened hearts

By Adam Miller, Baptist Press

[img_assist|nid=8027|title=Crossover Love|desc=New Orleans’ culture – unique across the entire United States – is not the only thing that will draw Southern Baptists to the Crescent City in mid-June. Countless thousands of Baptists helped the devastated city in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, which keelhauled the region in the late summer of 2005. Many of those will return to see how the city they came to love is faring, six years later. In response, a recent study commissioned by the Louisiana Baptist Convention indicates New Orleans residents prefer Southern Baptists.|link=none|align=right|width=640|height=427]NEW ORLEANS (BP) – In addition to jazz, beignets and the French Quarter, there’s an added reason Southern Baptists may enjoy visiting New Orleans for Crossover 2012 – the love they may sense from Crescent City residents.

Hundreds of volunteers – from Louisiana and across the nation – will join together for the June 15-16 outreach prior to the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting.

Southern Baptists have poured heart, soul and sweat into New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.


Memorial Longville reaches out to its community

By Staff, Baptist Message

DERIDDER – Oxen are nothing more than steers trained as draft animals that are more than 4 years old.

More than 500 people from Beauregard Parish learned about oxen and their power March 17, when they were given the opportunity to ride in a pioneers-type wagon pulled by two oxen owned by Walter Coleman’s R+ Oxen Ministry.

This was one of several activities that took place in Beauregard Parish’s indoor arena by Beauregard Memorial Baptist Church near Longville, where Mark Norwood is pastor. About 125 attend services.


Louisiana Milestones

By Staff, Baptist Message


Perry Sanders died March 26 in Colorado Springs, Colo. He was 84, and pastor at First Baptist Lafayette for 47 years when he retired in 2006. Services were March 28 in Lafayette.

Jimmie Tupper, new as pastor of First Kinder.

Russell Hinson, resigned as pastor of Beech Ridge Walker.


Church helps youth minister venture into church planting

By Joe Conway, Baptist Press

[img_assist|nid=8031|title=Church Plant|desc=Church planter Derek Osburn talks with Amy Johnson, a member of The Vine Community Church in Clovis, N.M. The church plant – already with more than 200 in Sunday services – currently meets at a local Christian school until its new building is ready later in 2012.|link=none|align=right|width=640|height=471]EDITOR’S NOTE: Southern Baptist churches are engaged in the annual Week of Prayer for North American Missions, March 4-11, in conjunction with the 2012 Annie Armstrong Easter Offering. With a goal of $70 million, AAEO gifts help pay the salaries and ministry support for missionaries serving in North America with the SBC’s North American Mission Board. For more information, visit www.

CLOVIS, N.M. (BP) – Derek Osburn never set out to be a poster child for missional church staff members but, as a youth minister in New Mexico, God broadened his horizons.

The pivotal decision point for Osburn came at a state evangelism conference where Ed Stetzer challenged the audience. Stetzer, a longtime church planter and church planting advocate, is vice president of research and ministry development for LifeWay Christian Resources.

“He said you will not change your circumstances until the discomfort of staying outweighs the discomfort of leaving,” Osburn recounted. “That was the turning point for me. I knew it was time to go.”


Wave of Prayer continues to roll across Louisiana

By John Kyle, LBC Communications Director

[img_assist|nid=8034|title=Wave of Prayer continues|desc=Inclement weather forced the Rapides’ Awaken Wave of Prayer event inside the Louisiana Baptist Convention Building instead of it being held at the Rapides Parish Courthouse. People are gathering on the steps of courthouses across the state as part of Louisiana Southern Baptists’ ‘Wave of Prayer’ seeking a spiritual awakening in the state. The wave will conclude on April 29 at a bi-centennial celebration on the Capitol steps in Baton Rouge.|link=none|align=right|width=640|height=476]ALEXANDRIA – Three weeks and twenty-three parishes later, the Awaken Wave of Prayer has made its presence felt as it rolls across Louisiana to an April 29 bi-centennial celebration on the Capitol steps in Baton Rouge. The April 29 date coincides with the 200th Anniversary of Louisiana’s statehood and 200 years of Baptist ministry in the state.

“We’ve definitely seen God begin to move in the hearts of His people,” said David Hankins, Executive Director of the Louisiana Baptist Convention.  “We’re hearing testimonies from directors of missions, pastors and church members regarding the impact of the initial launch of the 21 Days of Prayer in January as well as their concern for the current spiritual and moral condition of our country.”

The Wave of Prayer is part of the Awaken 2012 emphasis which calls on Louisiana Baptists to participate in 21 Days of Prayer and other opportunities that call upon God to send a spiritual awakening to Louisiana. During each meeting, prayers are offered for local, state and national leaders in addition to prayers for an awakening.


M-Jam helps girls to get ‘fired up’ to do missions

By Ginger Culpepper, Special to the Message

[img_assist|nid=8035|title=MJAM Lafayette|desc=Worship was as much a part of M-Jam as were the other parts of the annual event: learning about missions, meeting missionaries, making new friends and thinking of ways to be a missionary even before becoming a teenager.|link=none|align=left|width=640|height=427]LAFAYETTE – “I’m excited and fired up about what God is going to do in your lives and communities,” Children/Youth Mission Education Strategist Kimberly Aguillard told the girls and boys at M-Jam.

“There may be a day when God calls you to go to a different state or country. Wherever He calls you, you need to be obedient. But you don’t have to be an adult to be on mission.”

That sentiment was relayed again and again by each of the conference speakers at the Missions Jamboree, held two consecutive weekends in March at First Baptist Lafayette and Ridge Avenue Baptist in West Monroe.


IMB welcomes 61 new missionaries at Trinity

By Laura Fielding, IMB Communications

[img_assist|nid=8037|title=Praying for missionaries|desc=Family and friends gather around the International Mission Board’s newest missionaries to pray for them during a special service March 21 at Trinity Baptist Church in Lake Charles where 61 new missionaries were appointed.|link=none|align=right|width=640|height=427]LAKE CHARLES (BP) – He was a rebellious punk rock skateboarder who openly renounced his family’s faith, telling his parents that “God was a joke.”

But God had a plan for Charles Drake*. [* indicates name changed for security reasons.] During college, he met a friend who also listened to punk rock but didn’t act like a punk rocker. He was loving, kind and compassionate – and he invited Drake to join a men’s Bible study group.

“[I] started reading the New Testament and was blown away by Jesus – His power to raise the dead, to calm storms … His compassion to forgive sins, to die on a cross for my sins,” Drake said. “He saved me.”


Taking part in history: LC visited by presidential candidates

By Kalee Christian, Louisiana College Wildcat Media

PINEVILLE – College students are very opinionated. They have their favorite stars, brands, bands, sports teams, fast food, TV shows, iTunes playlists, apps, and a host of other categories that appear important to them. However, Louisiana College students are in the midst of forming more meaningful opinions, different from the relatively insignificant ones previously mentioned.

Three of the four Republican presidential candidates made appearances at Louisiana College during the week of March 19.

When students were asked how they felt about the Republican candidates making stops at LC, Rana Nash, a senior, stated, “It’s a privilege .... We have literally become a part of history.”