For the week of February 13, 2003
Louisiana Baptists opened 2003 with Cooperative Program receipts
just $34,505 below monthly budget needs. Cooperative Program gifts totaled $1,993,589
last month, a decrease of $341,173 (14.8 percent) from January 2002. The total
fell 1.7 percent below budget needs to launch the year. Other gifts included:
Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International
Missions gifts totaled $1,392,098 last month, a drop of $308,338 (18.1 percent)
from the previous January. For the giving year, gifts total more than $2.3 million,
down about $93,000 (3.8 percent). The Lottie Moon offering runs on a June 1-to-May
31 basis each year.
Annie Armstrong Offering for North American Missions
gifts totaled $67,976 to open the giving year, a jump of $1,389 (2.1 percent)
from the previous January.
Georgia Barnette Offering for State Missions gifts
totaled $89,015 to open 2003, a drop of $26,506 (22.9 percent) from the previous
World Hunger offering gifts totaled $28,603 last
month, an increase of $9,734 (51.6 percent) from the previous January.
Gifts through the Southern Baptist Cooperative Program totaled
almost $18.9 million last month, a jump of $1.4 million (8.3 percent) from the
previous January. Four months into the fiscal year, overall gifts total $61.2
million, an increase of $437,545 (0.7 percent) from the same time last year.
The total also stands more than $2.2 million (3.8 percent) ahead of budget.
Meanwhile, designated gifts total slightly more than $23 million last month,
an increase of more than $3.5 million (18.2 percent) from the previous January.
For the fiscal year, designated gifts total $33.2 million, an increase of $1.6
million (5.1 percent) from the same time last year.
Applications are being received for staff members at the Louisiana Baptist
Royal Ambassador camp this summer. The camp is designed for boys in grades one
through eight. Staff training is set for June 2-6, with camp to begin June 9
and end July 31. Staff responsibilities include teaching campcraft, assisting
boys in Bible study and mission activities, leading recreation events and modeling
the Christ-like lifestyle. Housing, meals and a small salary is provided. Applicants
should be high school seniors or older. Applications may be obtained from the
Louisiana Baptist Mens Ministry Department by phone at (800) 6222-6549
or (318) 448-3402 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
Application deadline is May 15, 2003.
James Merritt has announced he is planning to start a new congregation
just 15 miles from his current church. The former Southern Baptist convention
president is pastor at First Baptist Church of Snellville, Ga. However, he recently
announced plans to start a new church on 70 acres of prime real estate in suburban
Atlanta. Merritt said he plans to erect a 6,000-seat sanctuary and a 125-foot
steeple at the site, which he described as a gift from God. Merritt noted three
attempts to buy the property had failed. However, after visiting the site alone
and praying, Merritt said the owners offered to give the property to the church.
The parcel of land previously has been on the market for $22 million. Merritt
encouraged current First Baptist Church members to come with him but acknowledged
some will choose to stay in Snellville, where the church has been for 120 years
and Merritt has been pastor for 17 years. Just how many Snellville members will
join Merritt is uncertain. Merritt said he plans to preach at both sites for
The Missouri Baptist Word and Way newspaper has been told to
vacate the state convention-owned space it occupies by March 1. In addition,
materials belonging to the newsjournal have been locked away from newspapers
staff. In the past two years, the boards of Word and Way and four other state
agencies have moved to self-perpetuating boards, sparking legal action from
the Missouri Baptist Convention. The convention since has started its own newspaper.
In another Missouri development, at least 22 state convention employees have
lost their jobs as a result of the conventions current economic woes.
State Executive Director David Clippard said a budget shortfall in 2002 has
forced the convention to reduce its workforce by about 20 percent. The convention
finished 2002 almost 16 percent below budget. Clippard said a lack of reserve
funds has compounded the conventions condition.
Registration has opened for SyncroNations, the 2003 National
Acteens Convention sponsored by the Southern Baptist Womans Missionary
Union. Girls from around the world in grades 7-12 will gather July 29 –
August 1 for the event in Nashville, Tenn. Pre-registration is required, and
space is limited. Early registration is $99; after May 15, the cost is $125.
Registration forms must be received by July 1, 2003 to receive written confirmation.
Registration fees do not include lodging, meals, transportation or parking.
In order to register, contact Adventure Travel at (800) 867-1428 or visit
online at www.SyncroNations.com.
The Louisiana Baptist Agricultural Missions Fellowship recently elected new
officers during their annual meeting in Alexandria. Officers for 2003 are: President
Nelson Philpot of Homer, Vice President Ken Tipton of Baton Rouge; Secretary
Charlie Johnson of Baton Rouge, and Projects Coordinator Billy Nutt of Arcadia.
The annual meeting of the group featured missionary presentations about their
work in agricultural missions. These included Jim Wagoner, who serves as a Southern
Baptist missionary in Mexico and who spoke of ongoing projects of need in his
area. The Louisiana Baptist Agricultural Missions Fellowship works to promote
Christian services among members of the agricultural profession. For fellowship
information, call Louisiana Baptist Mens Director Buddy Day at (800) 622-6549
or e-mail Buddy.Day@lbc.org. Persons also may contact Nelson Philpot at (318) 927-2388
or at Philpot@homerla.com, or Rouse
Caffey at (225) 293-9409 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wagoner may be contacted at email@example.com.
A store once stocked with pornography merchandise is now stocked
with Bibles and Christian products because the store owner repented of his sins
and asked Jesus to save him. “This shows the Lord loves and wants to save
everybody, even the man who runs the adult novelty store,” said Shaun Aslinger,
a Harlan, Ky., evangelist. Neighbors in the small Kentucky town have embraced
the change, helping the man restock his store with Christian merchandise and
buying groceries for his family until his new business begins to make a profit.
“Morally, I couldnt sell it (sexual merchandise) any longer,”
store owner Michael Braithwaite said. After being saved, he said God convinced
him to burn the $10,000 worth of filthiness. A local pastor helped him haul
everything out to the parking lot and set it on fire. “When the Lord gets
ahold of you, you make some changes,” Braithwaite said.
Did you know?
Most Internet use among young people occurs at home. A Kaiser Family Foundation
study found 63 percent of young people go online from home, including 26 percent
who do so most often from their bedrooms. Eleven percent said they go online
most often at school, while others cited a friends house (8 percent),
at work (7 percent), at the local library (5 percent) and a relatives
house (5 percent).