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Erin Curry Roach

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Revving Up a Rundown Romance

Drawing from the example of Samson's loss of strength in Judges 16, Southern Baptist Convention President Bobby Welch warned against squandering the opportunities God has given the Convention. "There is great consequence in the traumatic tragedy of unfulfilled potential," Welch told Executive Committee members in Nashville, Tennessee, February 20. He pointed to verse 20, which […]

Church’s 125 baptisms in one day reflect focus on evangelism

Click to download Hi-ResPhoto
Phil Neighbors, co-pastor of Valley Baptist Church in Bakersfield, Calif., baptized Tyson Brewer during a service in which 125 followed the Lord in believer’s baptism. Photo courtesy of Valley Baptist Church
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (BP)--The baptism of 125 people in one service at Valley Baptist Church reflects a commitment to “stay focused on the task of leading people to Christ,” minister of evangelism Matthew Spradlin said.
      “Here in Bakersfield, [Calif.,] our goal is to tell everybody who lives here that Jesus Christ died on the cross for their sins and He rose again and that they can have a relationship with God through Christ.
      “As churches, we need to make sure that we are doing everything we can to reach the people who live across the street and the people who live in our communities and neighborhoods,” Spradlin said, voicing appreciation that the Southern Baptist Convention has given focus to “the importance of the Gospel and its ability to change people’s lives.”

CULTURE DIGEST: Government stops funding ‘Silver Ring Thing’; covenant marriages on the rise in Arkansas

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--The government funding for a faith-based abstinence program called Silver Ring Thing was suspended last August but now it will be ended altogether, due to a persistent attack by the American Civil Liberties Union. The program can be eligible to compete for federal grants in the future only if it ensures that the money will not be used for religious purposes.

Marketplace is fertile ground for sharing faith, NBA exec says

LEXINGTON, Ky. (BP)--Those who work in the business community have opportunities to spread the Gospel that pastors and fulltime Christian workers just don’t encounter on a daily basis, said Pat Williams, senior vice president of the Orlando Magic.

New book promotes CP by focusing on money management

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--In an effort to maximize the work of the Southern Baptist Convention’s mission boards and other ministry groups by boosting giving through the Cooperative Program, Ken Hemphill has developed a new resource called “Making Change: A Transformational Guide to Christian Money Management.”

CULTURE DIGEST: Parents wary of teens’ involvement in social websites; homosexual bishop treated for alcoholism

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--MySpace.com and other social websites that allow anyone to post photos and personal information about themselves for all the world to see are increasingly becoming the focus of investigations related to the molestation, rape and murder of teenagers, and parents may be starting to catch on to the potential hazards of such sites.

SBC’s Welch concerned with ‘revving up rundown romance’ among Baptists

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Drawing from the example of Samson’s loss of strength in Judges 16, Southern Baptist Convention President Bobby Welch warned against squandering the opportunities God has given the convention.
      “There is great consequence in the traumatic tragedy of unfulfilled potential,” Welch told Executive Committee members in Nashville, Tenn., Feb. 20.
      He pointed to verse 20, which says Samson “awoke from his sleep and thought, ‘I'll go out as before and shake myself free.’ But he did not know that the Lord had left him.” Samson had lost his hair and his strength, and the Philistines were upon him.

American Idol’s Mandisa, now in contest’s final 24, makes her faith in Christ known

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (BP)--Mandisa Hundley, one of 24 to make the latest cut on television’s No. 1 show “American Idol,” is not ashamed of her faith in Christ and even publicly expressed forgiveness for one of the show’s judges after he sent a biting insult her way.
      Mandisa -- who prefers to be known by her first name -- is a regular worship leader at Beth Moore’s Living Proof Live conferences throughout the country and one of 12 women and 12 men still competing for a chance to win the contest. She has made it known that a brief bout with fame is nothing compared to her relationship with Jesus Christ.
      In fact, she put her faith into action recently when Simon Cowell, one of the show’s infamously cruel judges, flippantly remarked about her weight.

Ohio board of education votes 11-4
against language questioning evolution

"Who would have thought that simply questioning and analyzing a scientific theory would be banned in schools anywhere in America?"
Casey Luskin, Discovery Institute
COLUMBUS, Ohio (BP)--The Ohio State Board of Education has voted 11-4 to discard portions of its 10th-grade biology curriculum guidelines that critics said opened the door for teaching Intelligent Design.
      The model lesson plan, called “Critical Analysis of Evolution,” requires that students learn “how scientists continue to investigate and critically analyze aspects of evolutionary theory.” The guidelines did not mention Intelligent Design apart from a disclaimer, but critics said information for the lesson was derived from Intelligent Design and creationist literature, The Columbus Dispatch reported Feb. 15.

CULTURE DIGEST: Darwin draws celebration on ‘Evolution Sunday’; Black literature increasingly immoral, author says

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Under the banner of “Evolution Sunday,” several hundred churches nationwide marked the 197th birthday of Charles Darwin Feb. 12 by expressing their support for the theory that made him famous. Pastors, largely from mainline Protestant denominations, preached sermons on the importance of strictly teaching evolution without mention of Intelligent Design.