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Grace Thornton/The Alabama Baptist

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Christian school in Liberia plans to rebuild after destruction

MONROVIA, Liberia (BP) – It wasn’t too long ago Eddie Gibson was visiting the Dellanna West O’Brien School in Liberia, ducking in and out of classrooms, talking and laughing with the teachers and students.

Teenage homelessness spurs church planters’ move to Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS (BP) – Joseph Gibbons and his wife Kristen had been involved in youth ministry in Alabama for a while when God started tugging on their hearts about church planting.

BCM leaders tell dispersed students ‘Mission goes on’

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP) -- Steve Thompson said he never thought the day would come when he heard his students say they were sick of their computer screens. But at Auburn University, where Thompson serves as Baptist campus minister, that's the sentiment now -- and students all across the state are right there with them.

Churches consider ‘virtual’ Lord’s Supper

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP) -- Bryan Gill said there was something "strangely special" about sharing the Lord's Supper in his home, but in community with thousands of other believers from Birmingham's Shades Mountain Baptist Church at the same time. At the beginning of their service, which was streamed online April 5, church staff asked members of Shades Mountain Baptist -- and any other Christ-followers who might be watching -- to go to their kitchen and get what they needed. That meant a drink -- juice, Gatorade or water if need be -- and crackers or bread. Then at the end of the service, Pastor Danny Wood led them in taking the meal together.

‘God’s hand’ visible in lead-up to kidney donation

THOMASVILLE, Ala. (BP) -- Michael Odom didn't tell anyone he was doing it -- not at first anyway. Not until he'd made the first phone call to UAB Hospital to ask if he could be a kidney donor. And not until he'd gone through several more interviews. He wanted to be certain before he started offering people hope.

5 years without a pastor, church retains ‘high hopes’

STEVENSON, Ala. (BP) -- Sometimes if a train comes through town at just the right time, the service might start at 11:15 instead of 11. Or they might start a little late if it takes a minute to get all the children to sit down. But no matter what, Helton Memorial Chapel Missionary Baptist Church opens its doors every Sunday morning and gets started eventually.

Persecution on the move at home, overseas, panel says

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP) -- Persecution is on the move around the world -- and gradually moving into American life -- but God is at work in the midst of it, according to a panel who spoke on the topic during the Monday evening session (June 10) of the Southern Baptist Convention Pastors' Conference in Birmingham, Ala. The roundtable discussion -- moderated by Timothy George, founding dean of Samford University's Beeson Divinity School -- highlighted three stories of facing persecution. George interviewed Andrew Brunson, a pastor imprisoned for two years in Turkey, and his wife, Norine; Nik and Ruth Ripken, retiring missionaries; and Jack Phillips, a lawsuit-riddled Colorado cake shop owner, along with legal counsel Jim Campbell with the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).

Crossover rally: Rain or shine, volunteers ready

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP) -- When Johnny Hunt got saved, he was a high-school dropout living in the projects and managing a pool room. Not too long after, a church invited him to come share his story. Hunt said he didn't have fancy words or any idea what he was doing, but he shared the Gospel -- and people responded. The Gospel message has power no matter the messenger, but it has to be shared in order to change lives, said Hunt, senior vice president of evangelism and leadership at the North American Mission Board.

Telemarketing call leads to missions partnership

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP) -- It was the kind of call most people answer then hang up immediately. But for some reason Eddie Vines just couldn't. "The man on the phone was such a good telemarketer when my wife answered the phone she tried to politely brush him off, but she couldn't seem to get rid of him," Vines said. "So I took the phone from her and he wouldn't let me get off either."

Church with a food truck worships in parking lot

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP) -- Jayson Albers, who grew up in a Baptist church, made a living for a long time as an opening shift supervisor for Ryan's steakhouse. "When they would start a new restaurant I would go in and train them on how to open the store," he said. Then life came crashing down -- his wife and son died in an accident, something which he speaks little about. One thing led to another and Albers started living in a tent in 2000 near the railroad tracks in Birmingham, Ala.