April 2013

Faith-based group brings storm-ravaged parish labor, love, and a shot in the arm

Completed work orders in the shape of crosses line the wall of the St. John the Baptist Community Center in LaPlace. The organization Eight Days of Hope mobilized to bring 2,510 volunteers for eight days in March who provided 143,000 man-hours of labor valued at $4.1 million.

By Marilyn Stewart, Regional Reporter

LAPLACE – Overwhelmed by flooded homes and broken lives after Hurricane Isaac last fall, Celebration Church LaPlace Pastor Checkerz Williams knelt in his gutted office and prayed, “Send us workers. Help us impact this community for Christ.”

God answered by bringing Eight Days of Hope, a faith-based organization directed and co-founded by Stephen Tybor III of First Baptist Church, Tupelo, Miss., that mobilized 2,510 volunteers in March to provide 143,000 man-hours of labor for work valued at $4.1 million.


M-Jam helps to stir hearts for missions

By Holly Jo Linzay, Regional Reporter

PINEVILLE – Hearts were stirred for missions as more than 900 children and adult leaders gathered at Louisiana College March 9 for the annual “M-Jam” celebration.

The Missions Jamboree, a day-long event for children in first-grade through the sixth-grade, featured international and Louisiana-based missionaries. The children met the missionaries, heard about their mission work and had the opportunity to hear their testimonies.


Men, women, teens invited to the Call of the Captain

Dr. Paul Freed

By Karen L. Willoughby, Managing Editor

STATEWIDE – A hard-hitting, media-rich, two-day, spiritual leadership conference is awakening people in churches across Louisiana to their responsibility as Christ-followers and church leaders.

Reports coming in from regional events that took place earlier this year at First Baptist Amite, First Baptist Bastrop, Memorial Baptist Bogalusa and Ascension Baptist Gonzales attest to the impact of the Call of the Captain.®


Churches utilizing social media for outreach, communication

By Brian Blackwell, Marketing Director

STATEWIDE – When he first began using Facebook, David Harrell admits he was reluctant to use this medium of social media for ministry.

But after encouragement from a fellow minister and seeing more participation by his members and growing attendance by young adults at his church, David Harrell was convinced that social media was a way to spread the Gospel and reach a lost world.


Fred Luter to highlight NOBTS annual Senior Fest

NEW ORLEANS – Senior Fest, a one-day event for senior adults at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary April 12, is to feature Fred Luter, president of the Southern Baptist Convention and pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church, as the main speaker.

“Fred Luter will bless all who attend,” said NOBTS President Chuck Kelley. “You cannot afford to let your senior adults miss this opportunity.”


BEL Credit Union opens membership to all Louisiana Baptists

By Karen L. Willoughby, Managing EditorALEXANDRIA – With little fanfare, the BEL Credit Union has opened its membership doors to any member of a church that is a cooperative partner with the Louisiana Baptist Convention.


That’s good news for Louisiana Baptists, says Paul Allbritton, manager of the credit union.


World’s seafarers come to Center to hear the gospel

Jeremy Starnes, assistant director of the Gonzales Seafarer’s Center, visits with crewmen from the Sentinel II cargo ship while they sign into the center’s log book and enjoy cups of coffee before hearing a brief gospel message. The men were from China, Phillipines and Barbados, and all understood ‘working’ English enough to bow their heads in prayer.

By Mark H. Hunter, Regional Reporter

GONZALES – The traditional view of international missions is to go out to all the world but at the Gonzales Seafarer’s Center, a ministry of the Baptist Association of Greater Baton Rouge, men – and occasionally a few women – from all the world come in through the front door to hear about Jesus.


Moore elected ERLC President

Russell Moore

By Tom Strode, Baptist Press

NASHVILLE (BP) – Russell Moore has been elected as the next president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

The ERLC’s board of trustees approved Moore, currently dean of the school of theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, in a special, called meeting Tuesday (March 26) at a Nashville hotel.


Representatives from Region 3 meet for Disaster Relief training

By Stan Statham, Special to the Message

SHREVEPORT – More than 60 SBC-trained Disaster Relief volunteers from Region 3 gathered in Shreveport recently for Incident Command System/Incident Management training.

Region 3 includes Arkansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas.

“As a group we need to continually improve our efforts through training, implementation, and evaluation of our response to disasters,” said Terry Henderson, State Disaster Relief Director for the Texas Baptist Men; he led the training session.


Louisiana Milestones

By Staff, Baptist Message


Grady Welch died March 26. He was with the Brotherhood and Stewardship departments of the LBC from 1961-90 and retired as LBC Stewardship Director. He was a member of First Baptist Pineville.

Lamar Skinner, new as pastor of Alabama Baptist in Arcadia.

Dennis Reeves, new as minister of music at Alabama Baptist in Arcadia.



Lake Area Multi-Housing Ministry, Lake Charles, needs donation of a large van or small bus. Call Lonnie Cleveland at 337.396.8403.