James A. Smith Sr.

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Prof’s 1980 lectures framed Sandy Creek-Charleston analogy

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (BP)--The Sandy Creek-Charleston Baptists analogy invoked by Dwight McKissic in defense of wider latitude in Southern Baptist life for charismatic theology was first employed by a Baptist church historian in a lecture series that took place in the early days of the Conservative Resurgence movement that sought to return the SBC to conservative theology and which the historian opposed.

FIRST-PERSON: ‘Amazing Grace,’ a film Christians should see

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (BP)--It's not very often that Hollywood positively portrays evangelical Christians, but such is the case in "Amazing Grace," a major motion picture about William Wilberforce's extraordinary leadership in the abolition of slavery. Celebrating the 200th anniversary of the slave trade's demise in Great Britain, "Amazing Grace" opens in theaters this weekend nationwide.

Jim Henry, in ‘redeployment,’ to aid ‘next generation’

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David Uth, new senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Orlando, washes the feet of retiring pastor Jim Henry during a special celebration at the Florida church. Photo courtesy of First Baptist Orlando
ORLANDO, Fla. (BP)--“If I had a thousand lives, I’d be a pastor,” Jim Henry said in a wide-ranging hour-and-a-half interview with the Florida Baptist Witness reflecting on nearly a half-century of pastoral ministry, including more than 28 years as pastor of First Baptist Church in Orlando, Fla.
    “As I look at nearly a half-century that went really, awfully fast, I feel like David … when he sat down and considered God’s blessing, he said, ‘Who am I and who is my father’s house that you’ve set me in this place.’ And that’s the way I feel about God’s grace and goodness to me. I’m awed and eternally grateful.”
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Jim Henry, with wife his wife Jeanette, reacts to the announcement that an auditorium will be named in his honor at the LifeWay Ridgecrest Conference Center in North Carolina. Photo courtesy of First Baptist Orlando

    The interview came amid a weeklong celebration of Henry’s tenure at First Baptist, including his final sermon as pastor March 19; various recognition dinners with constituencies of the mega-church; and a special two-and-a-half-hour celebration service March 26. Henry concludes his pastorate March 31.

Henry announces ‘redeployment’ from Orlando pastorate

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Jim Henry

ORLANDO, Fla. (BP)--Jim Henry will step down as co-pastor of First Baptist Church in Orlando March 31, 2006, he has announced in a letter sent to the church members in October subsequently released to the Florida Baptist Witness.
      Henry, 67, has been pastor of the Orlando congregation since 1977. He was elected twice as president of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Wilma opens new channels for disaster relief work & witness

NAPLES, Fla. (BP)--Leon Branch -– a veteran of Florida Baptist disaster relief cleanup and recovery efforts –- was surprised by what he found in southwest Florida when he arrived shortly after Hurricane Wilma came ashore Oct. 24.

FIRST-PERSON: Obi-Wan, George Will and the courts: Why worldview matters

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (BP)--Worldview matters; it is inescapable and inevitable. Worldview -- a comprehensive understanding of reality -- determines how we order our lives, govern our decisions and shape our actions.

Jerry Vines to retire in ’06; FBC Orlando announces transition

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (BP)--Jerry Vines announced May 1 he will retire next February as senior pastor of the historic First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Fla., stressing that he is retiring from the pastorate, not the Gospel ministry.

Mayo Clinic neurologist argues Schiavo is not in PVS

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (BP)--Writing that “huge uncertainties” remain concerning Terri Schiavo’s “true neurological status,” a neurologist with Jacksonville’s Mayo Clinic has filed an affidavit arguing that the 41-year-old brain-damaged woman is not in a “persistent vegetative state" and that therefore, it is unethical to remove her food and water.

FIRST-PERSON: Deciding death by starvation over fried chicken

JACKSONVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--"The Republican Nine first came together over fried chicken and salad.

Split decision: Slots lose in Miami-Dade, win in Broward

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (BP)--Gambling forces lost one and won one March 8 in South Florida counties’ referendums on slot machines.