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Brian Blackwell/Baptist Message

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Katrina evacuees return the favor to camp battered by Laura

DRY CREEK, La. (BP) – The winds were still howling as Hurricane Laura blew through Dry Creek Baptist Camp Thursday morning Aug. 27, when camp director Todd Burnaman fielded a welcomed phone call from the pastor of Horeb Baptist Church in Gretna, La., asking how he and his people could lend assistance.

Facebook Live broadcasts stir need for baptism in Louisiana

DENHAM SPRINGS, La. (BP) -- Angela Hernandez had faithfully watched the online services at Live Oak Baptist Church since the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic but sensed something was missing in her life.

Beloved pastor’s death saves many lives

TERRYTOWN, La. (BP) -- A sense of anxiety came over pastor Dennis Watson as he stepped into the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center on June 19, 2019, to offer words of forgiveness to Todd Williams. Three days earlier, Williams had driven his vehicle into an embankment of the Westbank Expressway, causing the death of Claude Williams, a beloved pastor of the Celebration Church Westbank campus.

‘Dirty Jobs’ star helps ministry transform community

NEW ORLEANS (BP) -- Brenda Lomax-Brown received a surprise visit from television personality Mike Rowe, who showed up with a film crew to give her a $20,000 check and a new playground for the local ministry she directs in the Hollygrove-Dixon neighborhood of New Orleans.

Church gets fresh start after recent rebuild

NEW ORLEANS (BP) -- On Feb. 7, 2017, an EF-3 tornado ripped apart the worship center and education building of the Suburban Baptist Church in New Orleans. But in 2019, the congregation has experienced a spiritual rebirth marked by nine baptisms, coinciding with the final repairs to the facilities.

Amid hurricane’s onslaught, churches tap technology

ALEXANDRIA, La. (BP) -- Louisiana pastors employed social media to reach out to congregations they had urged stay home out of safety concerns in the face of Hurricane Barry -- with dining room tables, home offices and vacant worship centers serving as pulpits. Stewart Holloway, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Pineville, said this was the first time in 25 years as a minister he has cancelled a Sunday morning worship service.

New Orleans ministry heals bodies, souls

NEW ORLEANS (BP) -- Deep in the heart of New Orleans' most impoverished neighborhoods, the missionaries and staff of Baptist Community Health Services (BCHS) treat not only the body, but also the souls of the more than 10,000 people who pass through the medical ministry's doors each year. With a mission of "demonstrating the love of Christ by providing high quality primary medical and behavioral healthcare in underserved communities," BCHS provides needed services while sharing the love of Christ, noted CEO Shawn Powers.

Sisters, church bond through baptisms, ‘revival’

ETHEL, La. (BP) -- Donna Rylee and Ruthie Taylor have celebrated many happy times as sisters, but both are adamant that no other moment they have shared can surpass the joy both felt during their joint baptism at Providence Number One Baptist Church in Ethel. As pastor Cedric Murphy baptized each in September the two women beamed with excitement about the spiritual journey they have shared. "When he issued an altar call the Sunday before, we both walked up without hesitation," Rylee said. "For the first time in a couple of years I have this joy in my heart again. Now, I can look at my family members who are here sitting together on a Sunday, including my grandson Norman who was baptized two Sundays after us, and know we will be together in Heaven one day."

La. Baptists hear call to reach the next generation

David Hankins, executive director of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, has announced his plans to retire, sharing his intentions during the 2018 LBC annual meeting, with the theme of “Imprint -- Marking the Next Generation.” “I have every confidence that God is going to take care of this convention and bring about good things and better things for His glory,” Hankins, 68, told messengers during the Nov. 12-13 meeting at Temple Baptist Church in Ruston. “So I know you will join me in praying during these transition days.

Rocket scientist finds formula for church planting

HOUMA, La. (BP) -- NASA's Clifton Arnold is a rocket scientist with a successful formula for church planting. "You get them in the door with music, you keep them in the house with teaching," Arnold, who planted Kingdom Life Fellowship in Houma, La., in 2016, told the Baptist Message. "People go to churches where they like their worship style and their teaching is solid." When he is not preaching at Kingdom Life Fellowship, Arnold manages four NASA rocket propulsion test sites -- at Stennis Space Center in Bay St. Louis, Miss., Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio, and Plum Brook Station in Sandusky, Ohio.