Will Hall is shown with his wife Catherine following his election by the trustees of the Baptist Message, the news journal of the Louisiana Baptist Convention. Hall was elected editor of the state newspaper and digital media outlet by a unanimous vote. He will also served as director of the LBC’s office of public affairs.
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal signed an executive order just hours after legislators voted down a religious liberty bill called "Marriage Protection Act." The Executive Order, seen in full here, says that the state's existing religious freedom law and U.S. Supreme Court precedent protect religious liberty when it comes to same-sex "marriage."
Pastor Jerel Keene of Louisiana Church in Abita Springs, Louisiana needed a permanent church building for his Southern Baptist congregation. The search led him all the way to rural Nova Scotia to a 200-year-old Anglican church whose dwindling number of parishioners had put it up for sale. The church was disassembled and shipped over 2,000 miles, and now it is being rebuilt by Keene’s congregation under the guidance of a timber frame specialist.
Susan Sanson
The students at Ridgewood Middle School in Shreveport were successful in getting the words “In God We Trust” back on the marquee on April 24, a few weeks after someone filed a complaint with the American Civil Liberties Union and school board, prompting the removal of the words on the sign.

By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer

ALEXANDRIA – By unanimous vote, trustees of the Baptist Message, the news journal of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, elected Will Hall as editor of the state newspaper and digital media outlet.

David Hankins, executive director of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, also named Hall director of the office of public affairs for the state convention.

By Marilyn Stewart, Regional Reporter

ABITA SPRINGS – Shipped 2,200 miles from Nova Scotia, the 200-year-old building that now sits on Main Street in Abita Springs – the new home of the Louisiana Church – came with a long history, a Louisiana connection, and a sense of Christian unity.

What it didn’t come with was a baptistry.

By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer

SHREVEPORT – Religious freedom scored a victory recently for students at a Shreveport middle school.

The students were successful in getting the words “In God We Trust” back on the marquee on April 24 at Ridgewood Middle School, a few weeks after someone filed a complaint with the American Civil Liberties Union and school board, prompting the removal of the words on the sign.

By Mark H. Hunter, Regional Reporter

DENHAM SPRINGS - The oldest church in Livingston Parish just moved into a modern, spacious sanctuary that re-combined Hebron Baptist’s two-service congregations.

The church, located just south of Denham Springs on Hwy. 16, also celebrated its 178th year with a May 3, homecoming service and, of course, dinner on the grounds - actually in the gym.

By Philip Timothy and Brian Blackwell, Baptist Message

BATON ROUGE – Hours after a religious freedom bill was struck down in committee Tuesday, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal moved quickly to sign an executive order that afternoon which captured both the intent and much of the language of the Louisiana Marriage and Conscience Act.

“In Louisiana, the state should not be able to take adverse action against a person for their belief in traditional marriage,” read a statement issued from the governor’s office.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 
BJ 15-8

Marriage and Conscience Order

WHEREAS,  Article I, Section 1 of the Louisiana Constitution is titled “Origin and Purpose of Government”, and provides:

By Brian Blackwell. Message Staff Writer

Summer is just around the corner and for some Louisiana Baptists, that means building an orphanage in Honduras, serving the homeless in Arlington, Texas, or leading a Vacation Bible School in Nebraska.

But for others in the state, a week off of work is just not possible, lending oneself to question how they might make a difference with few to no vacation days available.

Mission leaders say many options are available; one may just have to think out of the box to find some ideas.

By Brian Blackwell. Messafe Staff Writer

HAUGHTON – Koran Baptist is living life in the fast lane these days.

Every Wednesday and Sunday, energetic drivers line up and head out into the mission field – in this case, using a van to pick up and bring back children from nearby neighborhoods to its campus for worship services and other activities.

By Brian Blackwell. Message Staff Writer

Little John Hisaw was six years old when he responded yes to the preacher’s call to the question of did anyone love Jesus.

Though he did not make a decision to accept Christ as his personal Lord and Savior, at that moment, his parents made sure they continued to model a Christian lifestyle and answer questions as they arose. Two years later, he finally made that decision – one that his father, Tioga First Baptist Pastor Tim Hisaw is thankful he made in the proper timing.

By Ed Stetzer, Executive Director LifeWay Research

NASHVILLE (BP) – Christianity is not dying, as I’ve often said; nominal Christianity is.

Pew Research Center released a report May 12 drawing a variety of headlines – everything from “Christianity faces sharp decline as Americans are becoming even less affiliated with religion” to “Pew: Evangelicals Stay Strong as Christianity Crumbles in America.”

So what are we supposed to think of Christianity in America?

By Jeff Iorg, President of Golden Gate Seminary

MILL VALLEY, Calif. (BP) – The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments April 28 about laws related to the constitutionality of same-sex marriage.

While the ruling won’t come until this summer, most legal experts and court watchers believe the end result will be legalization of same-sex marriage.

Many will decry their decision with dire warnings about the damage this decision will do to our country.

By Staff, Baptist Message

ABITA SPRINGS – With so much construction taking place at Louisiana Church, Youth and Children’s Minister Travis Charlie is seeking help to put on the church’s VBS which is scheduled for June 22-26.

“Our men, women and children have been working diligently to erect this sancturary,” said Charlie. “Since, many of the men of church, myself included, are still working on trying to put the finishing touches for the sanctuary, we could use some help in orchestrating this year’s VBS.

By Philip Timothy, Managing Editor

WOODWORTH – The challenge has been given.

Speaking to members of the Executive Board of the Louisiana Baptist Convention at their spring meeting May 5, Steve Horn, LBC president and pastor of First Lafayette, issued a challenge to not only Louisiana Baptists but Louisiana Baptist churches as well.

And his challenge concerns their giving.

By Jerry Love, Baptist Foundation

ALEXANDRIA – Assets under management continued to increase for the Louisiana Baptist Foundation in the first quarter of 2015. 

This good news was among the reports heard by the Foundation’s Board April 28 at the Baptist Building in Alexandria. 

By Staff, Baptist Message

Louisiana Baptist Disaster Relief has set up a page for those wanting to donate to aid those affected by two recent earthquakes in Nepal.

On Sunday, April 26th, a powerful earthquake rocked the country of Nepal. This massive 7.6-magnitude quake reduced many buildings to rubble, overwhelmed hospitals and left thousands of people without homes in the densely populated Katmandu Valley. As of Wednesday, April 29th, the number of lives lost in this tragedy is over 5,000.

By Staff, Baptist Message

NASHVILLE – Louisiana Baptists are among the nominees the 2015 Southern Baptist Convention Committee on Nominations has selected to serve on various boards throughout the convention.

Nominees will serve if elected by the messengers to the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention, June 16-17 in Columbus, Ohio.

Nominated to serve for a second term on the SBC Executive Committee is Eddie DeHondt, senior adult pastor at Rose Park Baptist Church in Shreveport. He would join 82 others to serve on that board.

By Art Toalston, Baptist Press Editor

COLUMBUS, Ohio (BP) -- For an "epic night of prayer" during the Southern Baptist Convention, 11 pastors have been named by SBC President Ronnie Floyd to help lead the Tuesday evening session, June 16, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in the Ohio capital.

Floyd has titled the session, "A National Call for Prayer to All Southern Baptists for the Next Great Awakening and to Reach the World for Christ" on the opening night of the June 16-17 SBC annual meeting.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (BP) -- John Meador, pastor of the Dallas-area First Baptist Church in Euless, Texas, will be nominated for president of the Southern Baptist Convention Pastors' Conference, according to an announcement by Tennessee pastor Steve Gaines.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (BP) -- Kansas pastor Steve Dighton will be nominated for first vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention, Texas pastor and former SBC president Jack Graham announced May 12.

Dighton is senior pastoral advisor at the Kansas City-area Lenexa Baptist Church in Lenexa, Kan., a church he founded 25 years ago and where he served as senior pastor until this past spring. Previously, he pastored two churches in Oklahoma after being called to ministry out of the men's clothing business.

By Staff, Baptist Message

ABITA SPRINGS – With so much construction taking place at Louisiana Church, Youth and Children’s Minister Travis Charlie is seeking help to put on the church’s VBS which is scheduled for June 22-26.

“Our men, women and children have been working diligently to erect this sancturary,” said Charlie. “Since, many of the men of church, myself included, are still working on trying to put the finishing touches for the sanctuary, we could use some help in orchestrating this year’s VBS.

By Staff, Baptist Message

BATON ROUGE – Zoar Baptist Church is hosting a one-night seminar about Christian sexuality on May 29.

Obbie Todd, student pastor at Zoar in Baton Rouge, will outline the complementarian view of gender roles and human sexuality, addressing modern issues like gay marriage, divorce and transgender individuals.

Todd said the church is called to navigate through a world hostile to God’s purposes and this conference is designed to re-affirm God’s design for man and woman in the midst of a culture that seeks to redefine sexuality.

By Staff, Baptist Message

ON THE MOVE

 Mike Stafford new as pastor at Greenlaw Baptist Church, Kentwood.

Paul Cantrelle new as pastor at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church, Pine Grove.

Cole Permenter new as pastor at Bluff Creek Baptist Church, Clinton.

Louis Charrier resigned from the Lakefront Church in the Atchafalaya region of Catahoula and New Horizon Church in Church Point to plant Bayou Life Church, Cottonport. This church is a mission of Life Point Church of Mansura. Alan Knuckles, Director of Missions.