Bonnie Pritchett

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Navajo DR volunteers reach out to Harvey victims

PORT ARTHUR, Texas (BP) -- For generations the Navajo have often been on the receiving end of volunteer mission teams. Buddy Evans chaperoned one such trip in 1985. For two weeks his team led Vacation Bible School in the mornings, revival meetings in the evenings and, in between, explored the desert high country of New Mexico -- a stark contrast to their home in Port Arthur, Texas. Evans found the Navajo culture intriguing and the people's openness to the Gospel encouraging. Nearly a generation later Evans would again be encouraged when the Navajo Nation's first disaster relief team arrived at his flood-ravaged home and offered aid in the name of Christ.

Stymied by Harvey no longer, mission returns to life

HOUSTON (BP) -- Liz Neal kept talking to a woman driving a white F-150 pickup crawling forward in a food distribution line at Houston's Farrington Mission. Two weeks after Hurricane Harvey devastated the region, hundreds of drivers -- in a line that wrapped around the block and down the feeder road -- came for basic food and household supplies. And volunteers like Neal made sure they left with so much more. For two unbearably long weeks, beginning Aug. 27, the Farrington Mission had been closed. Unprecedented rainfall overflowed Halls Bayou and filled the mission and neighboring homes with water.

Opportunity, authenticity draw people, panels say

COLUMBUS, Ohio (BP) -- With more than half the world's population believed to be living in urban areas, the International Mission Board addressed how it is looking to combine the evangelistic efforts of its full-time missionaries with students, retirees and businessmen who can most seamlessly relocate to foreign cities. During a 20-minute segment on the Cooperative Program stage in the exhibits area at the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting, IMB President David Platt and executive vice president Sebastian Traeger provided information on the IMB's "cities strategy."

Fmr. Atlanta fire chief still in ‘shock’ at firing

COLUMBUS, Ohio (BP) -- Kelvin Cochran was living his boyhood dream. He had a good income. He was married, the proud father of three adult children, and a grandfather. And, the clincher, he was a fireman. But since being fired from his job as chief of the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department in January, his dream has turned into a series of legal battles. Cochran shared his story, and told of the faith that undergirds him through trails, at a Cooperative Program forum June 15 in conjunction with the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Columbus, Ohio. Nate Adams, executive director of the Illinois Baptist State Association, hosted the discussion.

SBC presidents unite, declare stand on marriage

COLUMBUS, Ohio (BP) -- The living former Southern Baptist Convention presidents elected since 1980 issued a joint statement Wednesday declaring they will stand on the biblical truths concerning marriage despite anticipated legal and civil changes to the definition. Pastor Jack Graham called it “the most critical issue of our times -- religious freedom and the very definition of marriage itself.”

Houston pastors press their case in court

HOUSTON (BP) -- Houston pastors finally began to get their day in court in their lawsuit against the city and Mayor Annise Parker for dismissing thousands of voter signatures to repeal of a controversial pro-LGBT ordinance. The plaintiffs' attorney, Andy Taylor, will seek to convince the jury to overturn the city's actions, challenging defense contentions that the signatures were penned to a bad document and duly disqualified.

Petition pushes vote on Houston ordinance

HOUSTON (BP) -- A coalition of pastors has delivered a petition with 31,000 signatures to Houston's city hall to call for a referendum to repeal the city's new non-discrimination ordinance.

Pastor defends Obama comments

DALLAS (BP)-- Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress defended statements he made in his forthcoming book charging President Barack Obama's policies have "paved the way" for the coming usurpation of religious liberties and moral law by the Antichrist.

Teacher slain in Benghazi mourned yet honored by home church in Austin

AUSTIN, Texas (BP) -- Ronnie Smith and his family moved to Benghazi, Libya, 18 months ago so he could teach chemistry at the International School Benghazi, sensing God's call to be a light in a war-weary land. But on Dec. 5 while jogging, Smith was shot multiple times by perpetrators yet to be captured or claim responsibility for the attack.

Texas abortion law goes into effect, minus one provision targeted by federal judge

AUSTIN, Texas (BP) -- A provision in a Texas pro-life law was struck down Monday by a U.S. district judge who declared the provision unconstitutional, just hours before the overall law went into effect.