RICHMOND, Va. (BP) -- On average, eight Christians died for their faith every day in 2019. That equals more than 2,920 people killed for the cause of Christ last year, according to the 2020 annual report from Open Doors' World Watch List. In addition, 9,488 churches or Christian buildings were attacked, and 3,711 Christians were detained without trial, arrested, sentenced and imprisoned. Open Doors reported that 260 million Christians experienced high levels of persecution in the top 50 countries on the World Watch List in 2019. The top five were North Korea, Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya and Pakistan.
RICHMOND, Va. (BP) -- 2020 has been a year like no other. COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, has taken lives across the globe and caused untold sickness and suffering. Closed borders limit international travel. "Shelter-in-place" orders are leading to massive unemployment in the U.S. as retail businesses, manufacturers and restaurants shutter their doors. And yet, the International Mission Board continues to see God at work around the world -- work Southern Baptists have been privileged to join for 175 years.
RICHMOND, Va. (BP) -- Send Relief announced Francis K. Horton III as its new vice president overseeing operations outside North America on Thursday (April 2). Horton brings more than 20 years of international missions and relief experience to the role. The announcement comes one month after the International Mission Board (IMB) and the North American Mission Board (NAMB) announced Bryant Wright, founding pastor of Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta, Ga., will lead Southern Baptists' national and international compassion ministries under the banner of Send Relief.
RICHMOND, Va. (BP) -- The International Mission Board (IMB) has selected Somer Nowak to fill the newly created position of prevention and response administrator for the 175-year-old entity. In this role, Nowak will oversee and manage prevention and response efforts for child abuse (physical and sexual), sexual harassment (including sexual assault) and domestic violence. IMB is the first Southern Baptist entity to create a position for this purpose, fulfilling IMB President Paul Chitwood's commitment to lead the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) in abuse prevention and response.
RIVERSIDE, Calif. (BP) -- IMB president Paul Chitwood announced IMB's five-year plan during meetings with trustees Jan. 29-30 in Riverside, Calif. IMB trustees also elected Charles Clark as vice president of mobilization and Price Jett as vice president of finance, logistics and technology; appointed 21 new missionaries for service around the globe; and recognized 78 former IMB personnel in memoriam. Seth Polk, who serves as IMB trustee chairman, presided over the meeting. Polk is lead pastor of Cross Lanes Baptist Church in Cross Lanes, W.V.
RICHMOND, Va. (BP) -- Jason Thomas has joined IMB's partner relations team as African American church mobilization strategist. In this capacity, Thomas will work with nearly 4,000 African American churches across the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) to mobilize pastors and church members to pray, give, go and send.
RICHMOND, Va. (BP) -- For 175 years, Southern Baptists have not failed to have a witness among the nations, International Mission Board (IMB) president Paul Chitwood told home office staff and field personnel this week. This year marks the 175th anniversary of Southern Baptist mission work around the world. To commemorate this significant milestone, IMB announced a 175th anniversary campaign. Throughout 2020, IMB will share stories and videos that recognize the movement of God among the nations and honor those have who followed His call to pray, give and go.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (BP) -- Missions is alive and well at First Baptist Church Park Street in Charlottesville, Va. This should come as no surprise, given that the church, founded in 1831, is home to one of Southern Baptists' most famous international missionaries -- Lottie Moon. Charlotte "Lottie" Diggs Moon was born Dec. 12, 1840, in Albemarle County, Virginia. Charlottesville is the county seat. In 1857, John Broadus, pastor of First Baptist Park Street, preached a revival service at the Albemarle Female Institute, which he founded. A young, rebellious Lottie Moon attended the service and surrendered her life to Christ. She was baptized at FBC Park Street Dec. 22, 1858.
MARIETTA, Ga. (BP) -- Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta, Ga., received a record $5.1 million in a single day for Great Commission causes, collected to honor outgoing senior pastor Bryant Wright and his wife Anne for 38 years of service. Receipts will be divided among the International Mission Board, the North American Mission Board and the church's ministry budget, said Clay Smith, Johnson Ferry's incoming senior pastor.
RICHMOND, Va. (BP) -- More than 155,000 people die daily without Christ. This is a harsh and unacceptable reality facing Southern Baptists, IMB President Paul Chitwood told a recent gathering of advocates near Richmond, Va. The lost -- those living apart from a relationship with Christ -- need people who will advocate on their behalf by praying, giving, going and sending.