December 2013

Captivated by a miracle

Ten-month-old Graham Deris, grandson of First New Orleans Pastor David Crosby, smiles and hugs his mother Rebekah Crosby Deris’ neck as he shows no side effects from a near fatal accident on Oct. 9.

By Marilyn Stewart, Regional Reporter

NEW ORLEANS – Four weeks after falling head first into a bucket of soapy water, ten-month-old Graham Deris, grandson of David Crosby, pastor of First New Orleans, was carried into the pulpit in his grandfather’s arms to the joy of the congregation who had stood vigilant in prayer.

The near-drowning that brought thousands to their knees is a story the baby is too young to remember, but one he’ll soon never forget.


Messages, worship inspire record numbers of youth at YEC

Former Muslim Afshin Ziafat prays for students during an invitation time in the Sunday evening session of Youth Evangelism Celebration in Alexandria. Ziafat, who now is lead pastor of Providence Church in Frisco, Texas, shared his testimony and offered other challenging words during several messages at the event.

By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer

ALEXANDRIA – Former Muslim Afshin Ziafat knows first-hand the cost of following Christ.

The son of a prominent and devout Muslim physician who moved from Iran to Houston, Texas, at age six, Ziafat was destined to follow in his father’s footsteps. However, during his senior year of high school Ziafat converted to Christianity – a decision which led to his father disowning him.


‘I Will’ is theme of 2014 Evangelism Conference

By Philip Timothy, Managing Editor


Defined in the dictionary, ‘I will’ means one deliberately chooses or decides upon a course of action.

It is exactly what Wayne Jenkins, director of evangelism and church growth for the Louisiana Baptist Convention, hopes participants will do at next year’s 2014 Evangelism Conference.


Inaugural 127 Foster and Adoption Conference draws enthusiastic crowd

Participants sign up for the 127 Foster and Adoption Conference at Calvary Baptist Church in Alexandria. More than 150 attended the inaugural event.

By Julie Cupples, LBCH Communications

ALEXANDRIA – Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home & Family Ministries partnered with Louisiana Family Forum and Calvary Baptist Church in Alexandria to host the inaugural 127 Foster and Adoption Conference on Saturday, Nov. 16.

Over 150 enthusiastic participants included current foster and adoptive parents, families interested in foster care and adoption, and pastors and church ministry leaders wanting to learn about orphan care ministries.


Homosexual activists are standing at our church doors

By Kelly Boggs, Baptist Message Editor

Homosexual activism in America may have started as a movement for toleration. In recent years, however, it seems to have developed into an intolerant campaign to force complete acceptance of a lifestyle many regard as immoral behavior.

Most historians trace the homosexual rights movement’s beginnings to what is known as the Stonewall Riots that began June 28, 1969, in New York City.


Trying to deal with morality in the public square

By J.D. Greear, Pastor, Summit Church, Durham, N.C.

I’ve often heard that we should keep our views on various moral issues out of the public square.

My first contention is that it is impossible to do. Judgments offered from either side of the discussion have a fiercely moral tone.

While the moral indignation of gay marriage and abortion opponents is well-known, none can doubt a similar indignation in those who affirm gay marriage and abortion.


Deliver us from the bubble, it’s time to pray, set priorities

By Todd Peebles, Pastor, Hillcrest Baptist Church, San Angelo, Texas

In seminary, students knew we had to be very intentional to connect with and share the Gospel with people who have not been engaged with its message. That intentionality included classes in evangelism and campaigns around the campus to engage the community.


Letters to the Editor

To the Editor


During the 166th Annual Meeting of the Louisiana Baptist Convention motions were made concerning our Executive Director, David Hankins.

In brief, both motions sought to abolish the voting privileges of Dr. Hankins on the board of trustees for Louisiana College as an ex officio member.

What this boils down to is an attempt to extinguish the voice and the vote of our Executive Director.


Here is our hope for the holiday season

By Argile Smith, Louisiana College

Hope in the holiday season can be hard to come by these days if we try to find it in what’s going on around us.

However, we can always find hope when we turn to the Lord.

Of course, turning to Him comes by way of getting into His Word. For that reason, we do well to reflect on Psalm 102.

In this psalm, we’re reminded of the certain hope we have in the Lord as we face an array of uncertainties that can rob us of the joy that the holiday season represents. 


Questions We've Pondered

By Bill Warren, NOBTS

Question:  What do we know about John the Baptist?


Bill Warren Responds: Most of our information about John comes from Luke 1 and 3:1-20, with additional details coming from the other Gospels and the Jewish historian Josephus, who says John was a righteous person calling people back to God, with Herod putting him in prison due both to what John was saying and his popularity.