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Cory Miller

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Final decision-making authority is key to polity debate

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Just mention the phrase “elder-led” polity in a business meeting at some Southern Baptist church, and you'll likely get an array of responses -- from support to confusion to outright hostility.

Congregational & elder-led models both work, pastors say

"You can be biblical in a [typical] congregational church and you can be biblical with an elder-led congregation. But to demonize either one of them is an error on our part."
John Yeats
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Veteran pastor John Yeats has served both pastor-led and elder-led Southern Baptist churches, and gives stern advice for churches seeking to transition to different forms of church government: “Do not take this issue lightly.”
      “All you have to do is look at the event that happened at Germantown Baptist Church to discover that unless a church is ready to change its polity, it’s very difficult to take an existing church into a different model,” he said of the May 7 vote that defeated an attempt to transition Germantown, one of Tennessee’s largest SBC churches, to an elder system of church government.

‘Million More in 54’ campaign has ongoing impact on family

CAMERON, Mo. (BP)--On Jan. 6, 1954, Bill Davis was a lost 28-year-old oil field welder, living in California with his wife and three young daughters, when a pastor by the name of LeRoy Hux came knocking on his door as part of the Southern Baptist Convention’s “Million More in ’54” campaign.

McDowell novel sends students on ‘quest’ for Da Vinci answers

LAKE FOREST, Calif. (BP)--"Da Vinci Code" author Dan Brown may have fictional characters Robert Langdon, Sophie Neveu, and Sir Leigh Teabing unraveling a fictional 2,000-year-old conspiracy theory –- involving Jesus, Mary Magdalene and the Catholic Church -– that claims to threaten the foundations of the Christian faith.

Dembski, in Kansas, explains cells as Intelligent Design ‘icon’

LAWRENCE, Kan. (BP)--Amid the debate in Kansas over a controversial vote by the state's board of education to allow criticism of evolutionary theory in schools, Intelligent Design proponent William Dembski addressed an audience of 1,500 at the University of Kansas on the "Case for Intelligent Design."

ID patterns are ‘all over the place,’ Dembski says at Midwestern

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP)--With another record-breaking semester of student enrollment, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary kicked off its spring semester with academic convocation Jan. 24.

San Diego streets, paved with prayer, fertile for evangelists

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Lunchtime witness
Victor Benavides (left) talks with two homeless people whose street names are Mayonaize and Colors at a lunch hosted by First Southern Baptist Church of San Diego. Mayonaize was one of 250-plus people to receive Christ during outreach by the I.C.E. team led by Benavides. Photo by Cory Miller
SAN DIEGO (BP)--Canvassing neighborhoods and streets paved with months of prayer from several Southern Baptist congregations, a group of veteran evangelists -– known as the I.C.E. team -– along with more than 120 local church members converged on San Diego for three days of intensive street and door-to-door witnessing.
      Despite running into language barriers in a city that neighbors the U.S.-Mexico border, the team was able to share the Gospel with numerous Hispanic residents using Spanish-translated tracts and asking them to read while following along in the English version. Several team members were aided by bilingual children in translating the Gospel to their parents and subsequently led whole families to Christ as a result.

Seminary’s Roman Catholicism workshop draws participants from 5 states

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP)--A two-day interfaith evangelism workshop on Roman Catholicism drew more than 85 participants from five states to Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Kansas City, Mo., campus.

Enrollment gains reported to Midwestern trustees

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP)--Despite a 17 percent decrease in Cooperative Program funding since 1999-2000, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary has grown noticeably in headcount, credit hours and full-time equivalent (FTE) enrollment count, President R. Philip Roberts said in his report to trustees Oct. 10.

Aiding Katrina victims in La., collegians abandon comfort

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Back to bare wood
Quinn Roddy of Midwestern Baptist College tears out drywall ruined by flooding from Hurricane Katrina in Slidell, La. Photo courtesy of MBTS
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP)--Missouri pastor Lee Whitley heard the message loud and clear: “It’s bad. These people need help.”
      On the other end of the phone conversation was a fellow pastor on the Gulf Coast requesting Whitley’s help in mobilizing churches to provide disaster relief in the region.
      Whitley, pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Washington, Mo., immediately began e-mailing and calling Southern Baptist churches in the Franklin County Baptist Association to form a disaster relief team to head to Louisiana.
      “I put the team together really in three days,” Whitley said of the short notice given.
      As he began recruiting volunteers, one of the first phone calls he made was to Scott Brawner, dean of students at Midwestern Baptist College, SBC, and director of Fusion, the college’s year-long program to provide training in hands-on ministry and missions.