Charles Billingsley sings the National Anthem for about 1,200 people attending the 2015 Louisiana Governor’s Prayer Breakfast on April 15, at the Crowne Plaza in Baton Rouge.
Ravi Zacharias, one of Christianity’s premier thinkers, makes a point about what he called “the quagmire of culture” without God, to more than 1,200 people gathered at the 2015 Louisiana Governor’s Prayer Breakfast on April 15, at the Crowne Plaza in Baton Rouge.

By Mark H. Hunter, Regional Reporter

BATON ROUGE – Gov. Bobby Jindal proclaimed his support for religious liberty as he welcomed 1,200 friends and supporters at the 51st Louisiana Governor’s Prayer breakfast held April 15th in the Crowne Plaza’s ballroom.

Singer-songwriter Charles Billingsley, worship leader at Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Va., served up a rousing rendition of “The National Anthem,” followed later by “It Is Well,” – with a cappella audience participation – and “John 3:16.” He  closed the event with a moving rendition of “The Lord’s Prayer.”

By Shawn Hendricks, Baptist Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio (BP) – As this year’s Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting approaches, SBC President Ronnie Floyd urges fellow Baptists to gather June 16-17 in Columbus, Ohio, to cry out to God and expect great things to follow.

This year’s annual meeting theme is “Great Awakening: Clear Agreement, Visible Union, Extraordinary Prayer,” based on Romans 13:11. Floyd hopes Southern Baptists of all ages and ethnicities will attend and “rise to this moment in our nation calling out to God for the next Great Awakening in our nation.”

By Mark H. Hunter, Regional Reporter

BATON ROUGE – “Jesus Christ didn’t come into this world to make bad people good – He came to make dead people live,” Ravi Zacharias declared at the 2015 Louisiana Governor’s Prayer Breakfast.

One of Christianity’s premier thinkers, Zacharias was the featured speaker at the April 15 breakfast where more than 1,200 residents of all denominations gathered at the Crowne Plaza. He called for America to return to its biblical roots and encouraged Louisiana to lead the way.

By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Reporter

PINEVILLE – Just two months before the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges convenes for its annual meeting, Louisiana College took another step in its efforts to remove the school from probation.

By Jordan Meisner, LC Sports Information

PINEVILLE -- Ending one of the most successful coaching careers in Louisiana College athletics, Gene Rushing announced Thursday afternoon that he is retiring as head coach of the Wildcats basketball program.

Rushing, 67, has been LC’s head coach since 1986, when he succeeded  Steve Rives, who replaced the legendary Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame coach Billy Allgood but left after one year to go to Delta State. Rushing finished with a head coaching record of 335-431 in 29 seasons.

By Bob Holeman, Special to the Message

WINNFIELD – The floodgates of memory burst open at 2 a.m. in dreams by the man whose recollections of the events and people from his past, even recognition of his wife of 20 years and his family, had been wiped clean following brain surgery three years earlier.

By Ronnie Floyd, President of the Southern Baptist Convention

COLUMBUS, Ohio (BP) – One of the most powerful features in our upcoming Southern Baptist Convention in Columbus, Ohio, will occur in our final afternoon session on Wednesday, June 17. This is not the year to leave the annual meeting early!

The Stakes Are Rising

By Richard Land, President of Southern Evangelical Seminary

​Yet once again the world is presented with the horrific specter of human butchery and barbaric savagery perpetrated by radical Islamist jihadists.

A Somali terrorist group, al-Shabaab, attacked the Garissa University campus in Kenya last Thursday, slaughtering nearly 150 students, executing many of them specifically because of their Christian faith.Eyewitnesses said that when the captive students could not recite an Islamic creed they were summarily executed.

By Joe McKeever, Retired Pastor and Author

“We do not know how to pray as we should….” (Romans 8:26)

My wife and I used to have this running discussion over the philosophy that says, “If something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing….(what?)”  She would say “It’s worth doing well,” and I said, “Poorly.”  (I would remind her of our friend Annie who says, “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing!” lol)

Case in point: Prayer.

Prayer is worth doing, regardless how poorly we do it.

By Gary D. Meyers, NOBTS Communications

NEW ORLEANS (BP) – New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary trustees approved a streamlined mentoring initiative and revised the mentoring track of the master of divinity (M.Div.) program during their spring meeting April 15.

The board also approved new master of arts degrees in discipleship and pastoral ministry.

By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer

PINEVILLE – In today’s world, when intolerance seems commonplace, it may be difficult to approach the issue with compassion while still being truthful.

However, a Christian does not have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.

By Staff, Baptist Message

BATON ROUGE – Powerful storms rolled through the state in late April kept Louisiana Baptist Disaster Relief teams busy removing trees and debris from homes and trailers in its aftermath.

Three students from the LSU Baptist Collegiate Ministry and three members of Jefferson Baptist Church in Baton Rouge removed two trees that fell in the yard of Tommy French, founding and former pastor of Jefferson Baptist.

By Staff, Baptist Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio (BP) – Ohio pastor Chad Keck will be nominated for second vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention in June, a fellow Ohio pastor announced April 7.

Keck has been senior pastor of the Dayton-area First Baptist Church of Kettering since December 2010, having earlier served churches in Florida, Texas and Tennessee during 14 years in the ministry. He also is a former collegiate ministry event coordinator for LifeWay Christian Resources.

By Staff, Baptist Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio (BP) – Arkansas pastor Ronnie Floyd will be nominated for a second term as president of the Southern Baptist Convention, North Carolina pastor J.D. Greear announced April 20.

Floyd “is a leader God has raised up for us at this crucial hour, and sensing God’s hand upon him, I want to see him lead us for another year,” Greear, pastor of The Summit Church in Raleigh-Durham, N.C., wrote in a statement to Baptist Press announcing his intention to nominate Floyd at the June 16-17 SBC annual meeting in Columbus, Ohio.

By Jerry Love, LBF Communications

ALEXANDRIA – Soggy fairways, slow greens and cart-path-only were the conditions greeting participants in the Baptist Golf Fellowship held recently at Links On The Bayou in Alexandria on April 13-14. 

Approximately 45 undeterred players slogged the rain-soaked course and tolerated light drizzle, while watching the sky for more serious weather that never showed. 

By Jerry Love, LBF Communications

Super Senior Division

(age 70 & over)

Ministers Flight: 1. Milton Wilson, 125

Laymen’s Flight:  1. Tony Branham, 76; 2. Dewitt Wagner, 89; 3. Frederick Stephens, 90.

SENIOR DIVISION

(Age 60-69)

Minister’s Flight: 1. Larry Wagoner, 73; 2. Bodie Spicer, 85; 3. Wayne Sheppard, 93.

Laymen Flight: 1. Jerry Istre, 73; 2. Gil Beck, 75; 3. Tim Thompson, 76.

REGULAR DIVISION

ON THE MOVE

Mark Tolbert, professor of Preaching & Pastoral Ministries at NOBTS, has been called as interim Pastor at Calvary Baptist Church, Slidell.

Nathaniel Dutton new as pastor at First Baptist Church, Melville.

Cory Bruce new as past at First Baptist Church, Dubach from First Baptist Church, Harrionsburg.

HOMECOMING