Week of April 3, 2006
Wyoming Baptist staffer killed
CASPER, Wyo. (BP) – A Wyoming Southern Baptist
Convention staff member and his infant daughter were killed March 26 in
an automobile accident during blizzard conditions.
David Shane Ewen, 33, and his sixth-month-old daughter, Elizabeth, were
killed in central Wyoming when his vehicle collided with another
vehicle on Highway 28, some 55 miles south of Lander, Wyo. Ewen’s wife,
Cassandra R. Ewen, 32, survived the crash and remains in a Billings,
Mont., hospital. The infant was in a child restraint seat.
Ewen had served as the Wyoming convention’s church health strategist interim for less than six months.
French named SBC committee chair
Greensboro, N.C. (BP) – Bobby Welch has named Tommy
French chairman of the Resolutions Committee at this year’s Southern
Baptist Convention annual meeting. French serves as pastor of Jefferson
Baptist Church in Baton Rouge.
The committee’s composition must include at least
two members who served the previous year, with French and Mississippi
retired professor Ida South meeting this requirement. The naming of the
Resolutions Committee in late March is in keeping with an amendment to
SBC Bylaw 20 approved during the 2002 SBC annual meeting in St. Louis,
Saddleback baptizes 20,000th person
LAKE FOREST, Calif. (BP) – Saddleback Church in Lake
Forest, Calif., celebrated the 20,000th baptism in its 25-year history
in a quiet ceremony March 19.
In an outdoor baptismal pool built of native stone,
Pastor Rick Warren immersed Mario Soto, a 24-year-old resident of Aliso
Viejo, Calif., after the congregation’s 11:15 a.m. service. Soto was
among about a dozen other adults being baptized.
Saddleback’s first baptism service took place in May
1980, just weeks after the Easter Sunday launch of the church.
“Ever since then we’ve used all kinds of
facilities,” Warren said. “We’ve used lakes and rivers, ponds in the
mountains, the ocean. And for a number of years when we didn’t have a
building, we used Jacuzzis for Jesus -– anywhere we could find water.”
Until 2004, Saddleback had averaged almost 1,300
baptisms a year since 1996. The past two years, however, the
congregation has averaged more than 2,000 baptisms. In 2005, a total of
2,501 believers were baptized.
Even after more than 25 years, Warren said he still experiences a thrill when immersing a new believer.
“I am addicted to changed lives,” he said. “It’s not
about the size of the church. The size means nothing. It’s the
individual stories – the family that gets back together, the kid that
gets off drugs, the life that’s turned to Christ. The cool thing is the
stories behind the 20,000 lives.”
MONROE CITY, Mo. (BP) – Dennis Fletcher’s humorous
take on the ministry is the latest addition to the Baptist Press
“Lighter Side” cartoon lineup.
His cartoon, “Fletch,” joins “Beyond the Ark,”
“Brother Blooper” and others on the site intended to give readers a
chuckle related to matters of faith.
Fletcher, 47, grew up in Hannibal, Mo., and said he
cannot remember a time when he wasn’t drawing or doodling. “From an
early age I had a dream that someday I would be a professional
cartoonist, and I’m still working toward that.”
See “Fletch” at www.bpnews.net/bpcartoons.asp.