April 2014

Some important issues I feel the need to discuss

By Kelly Boggs, Editor

“Within any important issue, there are always aspects no one wishes to discuss,” said George Orwell. I suspect the English novelist and critic, best known for his books 1984 and Animal Farm, is correct.

However, in light of all that has transpired in reference to Louisiana College over the past year or so, I feel the need to discuss a few things.


LC spent nearly $5.5 million on law school that’s yet to open

After putting more than $4.2 million in repairs on the former Joe D. Waggonner Federal Building in Shreveport which was to house the Judge Paul Pressler School of Law, Louisiana College has abandoned its efforts and placed the building up for sale.

Editor’s note: Leigh Guidry, reporter for The Town Talk, provided a thorough treatment of the circumstances regarding Louisiana College’s Judge Paul Pressler School of Law in a recent issue of Alexandria’s daily newspaper. The Baptist Message offers its readers the results of Ms. Guidry’s research, with permission from The Town Talk.    

PINEVILLE – Louisiana College has spent about $5.5 million on a law school that never opened its doors nor admitted a student.


Baptist men, Angola inmates find joy at 18th annual Revival

Angola inmate Wayne Fritz looks at a tract explaining salvation given to him by Louisiana Baptist men during the recent Angola revival.

By Mark H. Hunter, Regional Reporter

ANGOLA - Ben Raney was walking through a large, crowded dormitory in the Main Camp of the Louisiana State Penitentiary when he noticed inmate Gabe McCkeel sitting alone on his bunk-bed.

The men chatted for a moment then Raney sat down next to McCkeel, gripped his hand and prayed for him. When Raney got up to leave both men were smiling.

“He said he was a Christian but just needed some assurance,” Raney said later. A member of Pedico Baptist, this was his fourth visit to Angola.


Vidalia moms eager to rappel for Over the Edge for Adoption

By Joey Martin, Special to the Message

VIDALIA – First Baptist Church Vidalia members Dawn Moss and Carrie Vest of Vidalia will have no practice run when they rappel off the 24-story, 308-foot tall One America Place building May 9 in downtown Baton Rouge.

Then again, it serves as a good illustration for their cause.

“You don’t get a practice run in foster care or adoption,” they both said.

Currently, Moss and Vest, who call themselves “Forever Moms,” are two of six volunteers set to rappel for the very first time.


Hunt: Leadership key for a church to experience revitalization, growth

Johnny Hunt, pastor of First Baptist Woodstock, Ga., spoke at the SEND North America Church Growth and Revitalization Conference at First Baptist Pineville recently. Hunt told more than 150 pastors that leadership was key in the revitalization and growth of a church.

By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer

PINEVILLE – In a day when an average of 890 Southern Baptist churches are closing their doors each year and nearly 72 percent of the convention’s churches are either plateaued or declining, reversing this trend is vital, Johnny Hunt said.

“There are many that we need to help nurture back to health,” according to Hunt, pastor of First Baptist Woodstock, Ga. “That is what this initiative is all about. Some need more help than others. Some need to lend their help. If we all participate in this, we will see the Lord do a great work.”


State churches hosting Day of Prayer events

By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer

A large number of Louisiana Baptist churches are planning to host events in association with the annual National Day of Prayer on May 1.

Created in 1952 by a joint resolution of the US Congress and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman, the National Day of Prayer is an annual observance held on the first Thursday of May, inviting people of all faiths to pray for the nation.


Horn: ‘Giving beyond our walls’ is passion for younger generation

By Marilyn Stewart, Regional reporter

LAFAYETTE – “Giving beyond our walls” is a passion the younger generation feels deeply, said Steve Horn, Louisiana Baptist Convention president and pastor of First Lafayette. And when they realize that giving through the Cooperative Program does exactly that, “They get it,” he said.


Time has come for Christians to take a stand on morality

By Jeff Iorg, President of Golden Gate Seminary

I  recently met with a group of national ministry leaders who work quietly, but seriously, to make disciples – primarily among young men.

 One of our agenda items was discussing the issues related to helping Christians stand for their values when their convictions are labeled hate speech and may be prosecutable offenses.

We discussed several options – all of which were focused on avoiding needless controversy and diminishing our efforts.


The death of darkness

By Erich Bridges, IMB Global Correspondent

I saw my friend James at a church supper after being out of touch for several years. It was like we'd never been apart.

We talked, laughed, hugged, sang and prayed together. I met his wife for the first time and celebrated with them over the way God had healed wounds in their marriage and family. It was a great evening; we didn't want it to end. We said goodnight, promising each other we'd meet again soon.


The Civil Rights Act: We’ve come far in last 50 years

By Richard Land, President of Southern Evangelical Seminary

I believe the vast majority of Americans are disappointed in the degree of racial division, mistrust and misunderstanding that still plagues our society.

And I further believe that disappointment and discontent stretch through all ethnic groups and generations.