November 2012

Christianity isn’t dying, cultural Christianity is

By Ed Stetzer, LifeWay Research

You’ve heard it suggested the United States is simply Europe on a 50 year delay. Supposedly most churches will be museums before our grandchildren reach adulthood.

Though new numbers from Pew Research released this month point to a decline in American Protestants, no seri­ous scholar believes Chris­tianity in America is on a trajectory of extinction. And, as a Ph.D. researcher and practicing evangelical Chris­tian, I say to those who’ve read recent reports and come to that conclusion: “Not so fast.”


Don’t let stress sour your Christmas spirit this year

By Dwayne Hastings, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

By mid-December, you may be gri­macing when you hear Andy Williams croon, It’s the most wonderful time of all, on the radio. By then you might be yearning to hear the strains of Auld Lang Syne.

But before the Christ­mas whirlwind begins: Take a deep breath and pray for peace and hope to fill your heart.

Most of us have problems with stress sometime during the year, but the Christmas season seems to bring out the worst in all of us.


Questions We've Pondered

QUESTION: Ephesians 5:20 says that we are to give “thanks to God always for everything.” What does this mean since I can’t walk around all day doing this and am not always thankful for some things since they are very horrible and damaging?



Trials and tribulations can be overcome with God’s help

Gary Frazier – a speaker and end-times author from Dallas, Texas – gave four reasons he believes those alive today are the final generation alive before Christ returns.

By Baptist Message staff

WEST MONROE – “The stuff we face in this life, it may be over our heads but it’s under God’s feet,” said SBC President Fred Luter, during the Louisiana Pastors Conference at First West.

Luter said he learned that as a result of Hurricane Katrina, when his home and the church he pastors – Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans – as well as the homes of most of his congregation, were under several feet of water for three weeks after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.


Calazcon, wife share testimony, culture with Kingsville Baptist Church

During a recent presentation at Kingsville Baptist Church Henrry Calazacon (in white shirt) and his wife Diana (striped skirt) shared their testimony and Ecuadorian culture. Joining the couple at the presentation were (from left) Lydia Garza, Pastor Bart Walker of Kingsville Baptist, Pineville Mayor Clarence Fields and David Garza, a Hispanic pastor in Pineville who served as Calazacon’s interpreter.

By Brian Blackwell, Marketing Director

BALL – Henrry Calazacon arrived in Central Louisiana recently with a message of thanksgiving and hope nearly 2,500 miles from the rainforest in Ecuador.

“So whatever language we speak, as long as we live in Christ, that points us to the way we should live,” Calazacon said during a presentation at Kingsville Baptist Church through interpreter David Garza, a Hispanic pastor in Pineville who with his wife Lydia worked as a missionary from 2001-2008 in Ecuador.


NAMB changes, state opportunites present an “extra” challenge for Louisiana missions

LBC Executive Director David Hankins told messengers during the annual meeting that in honor of 200 years of Baptist ministry in Louisiana, a GBO goal of $2 million has been set to meet mission needs in this state.

WEST MONROE – As the North American Mission Board redi­rects resources to new work states and church plant­ing, southern states, includ­ing Louisiana, are faced with the challenge of meeting their own growing missions op­portunities.


Louisiana’s Disaster Relief units help to restore hope

Louisiana Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers pray at the Baptist Building parking lot before leaving for New York on Nov. 3. The state’s chainsaw, mud-out and shower units have joined other Southern Baptist Disaster Relief teams, ministering to those in the Northeast affected by Hurricane Sandy.

By Brian Blackwell, Marketing Director

Louisiana Baptist Disaster Relief crews often hear of the impact they make on-site but a caravan of its vehicles was the catalyst for a life-changing spiritual decision recently.


Calvary Bayou Chicot celebrates 200 years

Calvary Baptist Church of Bayou Chicot, today with a rural Ville Platte address, is the oldest continuously-serving Baptist church in Louisiana. Thomas Walker is pastor.

VILLE PLATTE – When Joseph Willis crossed the Mississippi River at Natchez in 1799 to enter the untamed land known today as Louisiana, it was to find a place to settle where he, born of what then was socially unacceptable “mixed blood,” could make a home for his wife and five children.

He found that place and people who accepted him in the forest near what today is Chicot State Park.


Louisiana Milestones


Bubba (wife Linda) Talbert, new as music minister at Shreve City Baptist in Shreveport.

Danny Campbell, new as young adult minister at Belle Park Baptist in Haughton.

Brent Shoalmire resigned as pastor of Northwoods Baptist in Shreveport.

Trey Lewis, new as associate pastor of Calvary Baptist in Shreveport, from Kingston Road.

Church events/ac tivities

Hebron Baptist Denham Springs: Fulton and Judy McGraw in concert at 6 p.m. Nov. 25.