Bonnie Pritchett/Southern Baptist Texan

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Checklist sparks friendship, opens ministry doors

STOWELL, Texas (BP) -- Sammy Little looked down at the checklist in his hand. One empty box on the spiritual goals inventory he and thousands of men gathered at the 1995 Promise Keepers conference had been asked to take glared back at him. "One of them was race related," said Little, pastor of First Baptist Church of Stowell in southeast Texas. The rural town is just south of Vidor and Jasper, communities with tense racial histories.

Missed opportunity? Families affected by physical, mental challenges

WASHINGTON (BP) -- Down syndrome. It was a discouraging, dark diagnosis, Brian Kuiper said. He and his wife Treshia, seven months pregnant, gathered their two children to break the news. But instead of the anticipated heartache and tears, the children responded with enthusiasm and dancing. "Timmy is going to be amazing! Timmy is going to be incredible! Timmy is going to change the world," Brian Kuiper, Focus on the Family executive event producer, recalled them shouting. His children had a far different perspective of who Timmy ...

Roe v. Wade ‘survivors’ defend right to life

WASHINGTON (BP) -- People from across the nation and around world rallied Friday (Jan. 19) at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. for the annual March for Life just three days prior to the 45th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision that legalized abortion on demand across the nation. A majority of the estimated 100,00-plus participants (no official counts are registered) appeared to be overwhelmingly teenagers and young adults who recognize the impact that the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v Wade decision has ...

Churches moving forward on massive ‘Texas Rebuild’

HOUSTON (BP) -- In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Southern Baptist churches and ministries in Texas and outside the state are planning the next phase of recovery -- getting people back into their homes and church buildings. And they are depending on God to move in hearts across the nation to accomplish the impossible. Estimates of the damage are hard to comprehend, Terry Wright, pastor of Vidor First Baptist Church, told the TEXAN. Just in Orange County, where his church is located, 80 percent of the homes went under water -- some up to the eaves. ...

Hurricane Harvey: TX So. Bapt. ready for ‘long-term’ work

HOUSTON (BP) -- Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC) Disaster Relief units have begun deployment for what could be the largest relief effort the state of Texas has seen. With destruction from Hurricane Harvey covering almost a quarter of the state, DR leaders said their greatest need will be people and finances. Calls for help have come from Corpus Christi, where the storm made landfall, and up the I-35 corridor to San Antonio, Austin, Waco and back down to the greater Houston area, which is floundering under as much as 25 inches of rain in places.

TX governor signs bill to ‘shield’ pastors’ sermons

AUSTIN (BP) -- Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed legislation Sunday (May 21) that prohibits Texas government agencies from subpoenaing the sermons of religious leaders. In a ceremony choreographed to highlight the bill's benefactors Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick signed the bill surrounded by Houston area clergy during the May 21 worship service at Grace Church, Woodlands, Texas.

Protection for faith-based children’s homes goes to TX Senate

A Texas bill offering legal protection for faith-based foster and adoption care agencies is on its way to the state's Senate floor for debate.

Refugee children finding sense of normalcy

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) -- An international ensemble of eight guitarists enthusiastically played and sang during a December rehearsal. The musicians, like the other refugee children attending weekly classes at the Ethnic Group Academy, reveled in the experience, happy that for at least a couple of hours that Saturday afternoon they could just be kids. EGA is a ministry of Hanmaum International Baptist Church, a predominantly South Korean congregation. When Pastor Jong Su Heo learned six years ago about the influx of refugees into Tarrant County, he asked God how his congregation could help. The answer? A reconsideration of the term "foreign missions."

11 states sue Obama admin. over transgender directive

AUSTIN, Texas (BP) -- Eleven states and two school districts filed a lawsuit May 25 challenging President Barack Obama's directive demanding all federally funded schools apply a controversial interpretation of Title IX requiring schools to define a student's sexual identity based not on biological traits, but on feelings. Plaintiffs in the lawsuit include Texas, Alabama, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Utah, and Georgia; Governor of Maine Paul Lepage; the Arizona Department of Education; Harrold Independent School District (HISD) in Texas and Heber-Overgaard Unified School District in Arizona.

2016 SBC Pastors’ Conference: ‘Live this!’

ST. LOUIS (BP) -- John Meador believes some pastors -- and subsequently their congregations -- have departed from the 2 Timothy 4:5-6 mandate, developing a "come and see" method for sharing the Gospel instead of "go and tell."