August 2013

Speaker shares moving testimony at Twin Bridges youth rally

Teens and youth listen to Richard ‘Whitey’ Koons during a recent youth rally at Twin Bridges Baptist Church in Alexandria.

By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer

ALEXANDRIA – Richard “Whitey” Koons had just about everything a youth minister could dream about leading up to July 17, 1987.

But a tragic event at a youth camp along the Guadalupe River that day changed his life forever.

Koons – youth minister of a thriving group of young people at Seagoville Road Baptist Church in Balch Springs, Texas, at the time – was enjoying camp when they were given orders to evacuate, as the river waters were suddenly rising at the campgrounds.


GA Camp done ‘a new way’ at Tall Timbers

By Staff, Baptist Message

WOODWORTH – GA Camp changed in a big way this year, but the girls probably didn’t notice.

The name changed – to Girls Mission Camp – and it became two, two-night events instead of one week-long camp, but it was opened to younger girls – from first- through sixth-graders, and everything – missions, Bible study, music, crafts and fun – somehow fit into the time available.


Sharon Baptist congregation donates old sanctuary to church in Batchelor

The interior of the old sanctuary of Sharon Baptist Church is known for its golden glow from the shellacked tongue and groove wood interior.

By Mark H. Hunter, Regional Reporter

PORT ALLEN – The old sanctuary of Sharon Baptist Church stood empty for many years, and now he knows why, says Pastor Shawn Ostoj. God had a plan for it.

During a church business meeting in late March, church members prayed about what to do about the 2,940 square-foot structure that’s not been used since 2008, when the 200 members moved the church, day care and K-8 Academy into a new, spacious steel building.

“Originally we had planned to tear it down but we couldn’t bring ourselves to do it,” Ostoj said.


Thieves steal VBS offering

Thieves broke into this safe at Crossgate Baptist Church and stole more $1,200 in funds raised by the children attending Vacation Bible school plus the Sunday offering and the payroll.

By Karen L. Willoughby, Managing Editor

ROBERT – Competition grew heated between the 60 boys and girls attending Vacation Bible School at Crossgate Baptist Church.

They had a goal: Help a missionary in the Philippines buy a vehicle, so he could minister to people in mountainous areas.

Each day they filled pockets, backpacks and even handkerchiefs of all the coins they could acquire.

Each night they saw video clips of the missionary ministering, and his need for a vehicle; and by week’s end, they had raised more than $1,200.


Changing the world for Christ

Fifteen students and adults from Ebenezer Baptist Church in Jonesboro were part of a World Changers initiative in Louisiana in late July. The students concentrated their efforts in Shreveport.

By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff WriterSHREVEPORT – Rosie B Howard spent some of a recent Monday morning crying, but she didn’t mind.


The Shreveport resident was overcome with joy when about a dozen students from throughout the South showed up at her doorstep to spend an entire week painting her home in the name of Christ.


Reorganization helps First Chataignier rebound

Pastors Gary Mitchell and Cornelius Williams shake hands outside the church building.

By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer

CHATAIGNIER – Not long ago, First Baptist Chataignier was a struggling congregation that was quickly dwindling to around two dozen in attendance on a regular Sunday morning.

Three years later, the 103-year-old church is not the same, with an increase to between 130 and 160 in attendance most Sundays.


Louisiana Milestones


Gary (Pam) Richardson, new as pastor of First Baptist Baker.

David Whitehead, new as pastor of Beech Ridge Baptist Livingston.

Nathan Jernigan, resigns as associate pastor of music and outreach at Mulberry Baptist Houma.

John (wife Lea Anne) Campbell, new as pastor of Holly Springs Baptist in Homer.

Edwin “Max” (wife Doris) Rasbury, new as pastor of First Bienville; ordained July 21 at First Bienville.

Cliff (wife Stephanie) Ford, new as youth leader at First Baptist Oil City.


Being “ex-gay is OK?” Not really according to gays

By Staff, World News Magazine

The cultural shift on same-sex marriage can be traced in large part to people who personally know someone who identifies as homosexual.

If a friend is gay, it becomes harder for the average person – who doesn’t have biblical convictions – to oppose the behavior, which is why homosexual activists have for decades urged people to “come out of the closet.” 


Forging metals and souls: Blacksmithing proves to be a creative outlet for bi vocational pastor

E.J. McCann, a bivocational pastor at Indian Village Baptist Church in Buller, uses his love for blacksmithing to relax and express himself artistically as a traditional coal fire blacksmith.

By Rachel Ortego, Regional Reporter

BULLER – At 4:30 each morning E.J. McCann, pastor of Indian Village Baptist Church in Buller, cracks open his Bible to work on his Sunday sermon.

By 6:30 a.m. he is 25 minutes away in Lake Charles, where he dons his hat as welding supervisor for the chemical company Axiall, where he has worked for 24 years. 

Then, at 4 p.m. McCann heads home to his wife Nancy and his other job as owner of 3 Nail Forge and Welding.