By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer
WOODWORTH – Louisiana College President Rick Brewer beamed with excitement as he shared with Executive Board members how God provided funds to renovate Guinn Auditorium, a facility that reopened August 23 after construction work forced its closure for the last two years.
“To God be the glory for what He has done,” Brewer said during the Executive Board meeting September 25 at Tall Timbers Baptist Conference Center. “We’re going to enjoy this building for many, many years to come.”
The 1,661-seat facility, which is used for chapel services, commencement exercises and other large gatherings, received new lights, sound system, HVAC, roof, ceiling, walls, floor and seats.
Guinn Auditorium is one of 18 buildings on campus that received interior and exterior improvements after GuideOne Insurance approved a claim for $18 million of projects that stem from an April 2015 hail storm. The school contacted GuideOne to request an inspection, which revealed the refurbishment would be rather costly but the insurer agreed to cover all the repairs.
Brewer invited Executive Board members to attend a re-dedication celebration of Guinn Auditorium September 30. Special guests were to include the husband and wife team of Ragan Courtney and Cynthia Clawson, as well as accomplished organist Rodney Pendell from Charleston, South Carolina.
“We just praise God for the work He has done on the campus and with this facility,” Brewer said. “We are just so thankful.”
Other entity reports
For his part, Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home President Perry Hancock shared that 160 people accepted Christ through its various ministries this year.
Hancock said the Children’s Home has helped 37 families through its HomePlace ministry that provides a place for homeless women and their children to stay at no cost for up to one year. In this environment, the women will receive a high school equivalency degree, life and employment skills training through the Christian Women’s Job Corps.
Additionally, through its Connect 1:27 foster care and adoption ministry, 31 Louisiana Baptist couples were provided with adoption assistance, and 70 children were placed into homes for foster care this year. Hancock made an appeal for even more Louisiana Baptists to consider participating in this ministry and help the Children’s Home fulfill its desire to place children in Christ-centered homes.
“The goal is hundreds if not a thousand of those children waking up every morning in a Louisiana Baptist home going every Sunday to a Louisiana Baptist church learning about the Lord,” Hancock said. “What better opportunity do we have to reach the next generation than through foster care and adoption.”
In his report, Louisiana Baptist Foundation Executive Direct Wayne Taylor reminded Executive Board members his entity can help others develop a plan to leave money to their respective church or ministry through estate planning.
“We want to do that for you,” Taylor said. “We want to do that for Louisiana Baptists. Contact us and open the door. Give us the opportunity to come in. There are people with great hearts. We should need to show them the legal mechanism to make that happen.”
Baptist Message Editor Will Hall, who also serves as director for the Office of Public Policy, combined his reports for both, to emphasize the depth of work performed in the legislature this year and the importance of subscribing to the Baptist Message in order to be informed about key developments in the law.
Specifically, he had members open copies of the September 27 edition to the center pages where a legislator scorecard had been published. Developed by the Louisiana Family Forum with input from the Office of Public Policy, all 39 senators and 105 representatives are graded on their respective votes for key issues advocated by both LFF and OPP.
“Our coalition of like-minded conservatives worked on about 50 issues altogether, collecting a ‘score’ of 45 wins and 5 losses this year,” Hall said. “But we worked especially hard on about a dozen bills that involved fundamental beliefs of Louisiana Baptists and these are largely reflected in the scorecard.”
Hall also pointed out the new feature added to the newspaper, a Cultural News section.
“On page 10 you can see the headline, ‘Harvard: Teens who pray, attend church, happier as adults,’” he said. “Harvard has been around about 383 years, and they finally have discovered the truth of Proverbs 22:6.”
“My point in sharing these features with you is this: The Baptist Message keeps you fully informed about the missions and ministries of Louisiana Baptists, but also about key information that shapes your lives, work and ministries.
“Get the Message!”