SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (BP) -- Missouri Baptists elected a more ethnically diverse slate of convention officers and approved a resolution encouraging racial reconciliation during their 184th annual meeting at Crossway Baptist Church in Springfield. Although this year's meeting was shortened to only two days, Oct. 22-23, attendance rose slightly compared to the previous two years, totaling 1,042 messengers and 184 visitors from 451 churches. Jon Nelson, elected as MBC first vice president, is believed to be the convention's first black officer. Nelson is an MBC church planter and pastor of Soma Community Church near the campus of historically black Lincoln University in Jefferson City.
HIGGINSVILLE, Mo. (BP) -- When Michelle Chaffer, a mother of 10, first heard of the death of 17 tourists on a "duck boat" in Branson, Mo., in mid-July, she was sad to hear of so many lives lost. But she saw no need to be concerned for her parents, Bill and Janice Bright, who had driven to Branson earlier that day to celebrate their 45th anniversary. And Michelle's sister had heard from them after they checked into their hotel. This changed the following day. "It was late morning. My aunt called, and she was hysterical. She couldn't find my parents," Michelle recounted.
NASHVILLE (BP) -- "Bible Answer Man" Hank Hanegraaff has answered evangelicals' questions about Scripture and Christianity for nearly three decades in his nationally syndicated broadcast, but his recent decision to join the Orthodox church has left some Southern Baptists with more questions than answers. Among those assessing Hanegraaff's decision are leaders of the Bott Radio Network, which has broadcast the "Bible Answer Man" since the 1980s -- in fact, since before Hanegraaff joined the show in 1989.