February 2014

Summit stresses importance of fatherhood and the family

New Orleans television sportscaster Fred Hickman (left) moderates the panel of NBA greats at the Fatherhood and Family Summit hosted by Franklin Avenue Baptist Church. Participants included (from left) former NBA standout Keyon Dooling, former college coach Wade Houston, two-time NBA All-Star Allan Houston, New Orleans native and 2006 NBA Coach of the Year Avery Johnson, and New Orleans Pelicans head coach Monty Williams.

By Marilyn Stewart, Regional Reporter

NEW ORLEANS – When SBC convention president Fred Luter, Jr. got a phone call “out of the blue” asking Franklin Avenue Baptist Church to host the All-Star Fatherhood and Family Summit with former NBA star Allan Houston, he knew it would be a good fit.

Luter, a father of two and grandfather of one-year-old Fred Luter IV, knows that fatherhood is a responsibility that has to be modeled.


Speaker challenges students to live by faith, get out of their comfort zones

Jordan Easley was the speaker for the two-day Collegiate Evangelism Conference held at East Bayou Baptist Church in Lafayette. Speaking from Matthew 14:22-32, he told students that ‘Faith pleases God.’

By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer

LAFAYETTE – Many believers want to stay comfortable and remain in their boat of security.

But God is calling believers to do just the opposite. When that happens, God will provide and blessings will follow, Jordan Easley said.

“When God calls me to do something and I do it, I don’t have to have all the answers; I just have to have faith,” Easley told students during the recent Collegiate Evangelism Conference. “Faith pleases God.”


Action urged to prevent building of abortion facility in New Orleans

By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer

NEW ORLEANS – Louisiana Baptists and others from the pro-life community are urging prayer and action to prevent the construction of a New Orleans Planned Parenthood abortion facility.

After a May 2013 groundbreaking ceremony at the site on South Claiborne Avenue in New Orleans, construction on the facility has yet to begin. If built, the 8,000-square-foot facility originally scheduled for completion this year would become Planned Parenthood’s first location in the state to perform abortions.


Florida Boulevard Pastors home burns

By Mark H. Hunter, Regional Reporter

The home of Rev. Randy Johnson, pastor of Florida Blvd. Baptist Church in Baton Rouge was completely destroyed by a fire on Friday, Feb. 21. Church members are asking Louisiana Baptists to pray for them and help financially if possible.

Livingston Parish firefighters said the blaze, located at 30947 Caney Branch Road near Denham Springs, was so hot it melted the boots and mask of one firefighter and caused another one to be  temporarily overcome by heat.


MJAM helps children to celebrate, learn about missions

By Staff, Baptist Message

Children will have two chances in March to experience a full day of a celebration of missions with other first through sixth graders.

Based on Acts 4:20, M-JAM (short for Mission Jamboree) will allow the children  a chance to meet missionaries, learn about missions and have an opportunity to take part in a hands-on mission activity.

“At M-JAM, children will explore missions, build on their faith foundation and hear the gospel presentation,” said Jess Archer, Louisiana Baptist Convention Children/Youth Mission Education strategist.


Is Russia finally starting to awaken to morality?

By Kelly Boggs, Message Editor

God once used a donkey to alert a wayward prophet that he was on the wrong track. Could it be the Lord is using a “bear,” a Russian Bear, to do the same with the nations of the West, in particular the United States?

“Many Euro-Atlantic countries have moved away from their roots, including Christian values,” Russian President Valdimir Putin said in his state of the nation address in mid-December, The Washington Times reported.


Listening to God will keep you headed in the right direction

By Terry Dorsett, NAMB Church Planting Catalyst

The other day I was going to visit a friend who was interested in becoming involved in ministry. He gave me the address where I was to meet him, but when I arrived, I could not find the street number.

There were buildings with the number right below it and right above it, but the particular street number I was searching for seemed to be missing.


Are sports becoming America’s newest religion?

By Al Mohler, Jr., President of Southern Seminary

Super Bowl XLVIII may have been a bust as a football game, but it was a blockbuster as a cultural event. The telecast attracted a record 111.5 million viewers, making it the most-watched television event of all time.

That record will most likely be eclipsed by the next Super Bowl, and the trajectory shows no signs of dissipating.

America takes its sports seriously, and Americans take football with the most seriousness of them all.


Obey! Just why does God have to be so insistent?

By Art Toalston, Editor Baptist Press

Without doubt, one of the facts of faith is that we must obey God.

Moms and dads, in varying ways, yearn for their children to obey. And we surely marvel at children who indeed obey their parents.

Citizens, sometimes grudgingly, understand they must obey the law. And if we think about it, we’re glad for every moment of safety that the law, when obeyed, accords us in our homes, our automobiles and in our communities.

But obey God? We tend to accuse God of unilaterally issuing an edict: “Just do as I say.”