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Louisiana Baptists celebrate church planting

ALEXANDRIA, La. (BP) -- In addition to electing officers, passing a budget and other business, Louisiana Baptists celebrated 250 new church plants since 2010 at their annual meeting Nov. 11-12. Eddie Wren, LBC president, gave a sermon challenging messengers to wait on the Lord and not lose hope in the current age.

Church tent noise level now a religious liberty test

METAIRIE, La. (BP) -- Vintage Church, a Louisiana Baptist congregation, has filed a lawsuit against the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office and Jefferson Parish in a dispute over sound levels during Sunday worship services in a tent serving as the congregation's temporary meeting area. The tent, erected in August, is intended to be a short-term arrangement while the church expands attendance capacity in its permanent building -- a project estimated for completion in nine or 10 months.

Archie Manning helps husband fulfill deceased wife’s wish

GREENVILLE, Miss. (BP)–-Football legend Archie Manning and his NFL quarterback sons Peyton and Eli always have been special to Mark Kelly.

Billy Graham eases New Orleans’ suffering, says sermon probably last he’ll ‘ever preach’

NEW ORLEANS (BP)--In what he called his last sermon, Billy Graham voiced a message of thanks and encouragement during the March 11-12 “Celebration of Hope” at the New Orleans Arena.
      “This is probably the last evangelistic sermon I’ll ever preach,” the 87-year-old evangelist told an overflow crowd of 17,800 people on Sunday. “But it’s been wonderful to be here. Thank you.
      “I’d like to thank my friends George Beverly Shea and Cliff Barrows for all these years we’ve been together,” Graham continued as he sat on a special chair that raised him to the wooden pulpit’s appropriate height, as thousands of cameras flashed throughout the arena.

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Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder perform for the “Celebration of Hope” featuring Billy and Franklin Graham in the New Orleans Arena.Photo by Jerry Ward/Genesis 2006

      “I look forward to a big reunion one day in heaven,” Graham said. “God bless you all.”
      Graham’s last visit to the city was a six-week crusade 52 years ago. This time, he delivered a single 22-minute message of hope to a city desperately in need of encouragement.
      Graham said he watched in shock as Hurricane Katrina destroyed New Orleans’ levee system, flooding much of the city.
      But days later, he said, “We saw the great men and women who helped carry people [to safety] in helicopters ... and we knew the God of love was watching over us. God loves you.”

Church’s post-Katrina ministry aided by CP gifts

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Pastor Thomas Glover Jr. of New Covenant Community Church in Harvey, La., loads boxes of food, as a local policeman looks on, as part of an outreach to residents in the New Orleans-area Woodmere neighborhood. Photo by Brian Blackwell
HARVEY, La. (BP)--When Hurricane Katrina slammed into the New Orleans area Aug. 29, pastor Thomas Glover Jr. thought his city and church were destroyed.
      Glover believes prayer, coupled with Southern Baptists’ efforts through the Cooperative Program, made the difference for New Covenant Community Church during its darkest hour.
      “There is no doubt in my mind that we probably wouldn’t have been able to continue without the Cooperative Program,” said the pastor of the Southern Baptist African American congregation.

Forgiveness yields chapel to change inmates’ lives

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Fruit of forgiveness
Burl Cain (center), warden at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola, and Gary and Jennifer Hobbs were among 200 people on hand to break ground for a chapel at the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women in St. Gabriel, the byproduct of a visit by Gary Hobbs to Angola to forgive a convicted murderer.
MANSFIELD, La. (BP)--The day started like any other that Oct. 23 in 1990. Gary Hobbs was working his usual Tuesday night 3-11 shift for the police department in Mansfield, La. At 9:20 p.m., Hobbs was accompanying a parole officer to issue a probation warrant for the arrest of Todd Bass.
      Bass, however, resisted the arrest and fatally wounded the parole officer. Bass then fired six shots at Hobbs, who retaliated with nine rounds. Hobbs suffered only a minor wound to his wrist and missed a week of work.

Welch prays for revival to emerge from catastrophe

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Wings of mercy
SBC President Bobby Welch (left) unloads some of the relief supplies on a jet that brought him and Greg Clark to Baton Rouge, La., Photo by Brian Blackwell/Baptist Message
NEW ORLEANS (BP)--Eighty percent of the city has been underwater. Entire neighborhoods no longer exist. The death toll as a result of Hurricane Katrina could reach into the thousands. Welcome to post-Aug. 29 New Orleans.
      While some people may view the city as a hopeless situation, Southern Baptist Convention President Bobby Welch sees an excellent chance for a great revival

Helps for overcoming discouragement outlined by Rick Warren in La.

BATON ROUGE, La. (BP)--God wants to use Louisiana Baptist churches in ways they never imagined in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Rick Warren said Sept. 6.

Released from prison, former inmate earns seminary degree

NEW ORLEANS (BP)--New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary student Kenneth Foy says prison was the best thing that ever happened to him.