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Joe Westbury/Christian Index

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29 years in campus ministry ‘kept an old man young’

ATHENS, Ga. (BP) -- As a young man, Franklin Scott sensed a strong call to ministry but clearly knew it wouldn't be in the pastorate. "But back in those days being a pastor was about the only way to respond," he says on the eve of his Dec. 31 retirement after 29 years in campus ministry at the University of Georgia. He chuckles as he remembers his frustration at the apparently limited vocational options. Pastor? No clear presence of oratory skills and definitely not a public speaker; a self-described "extreme introvert." Minister of music? Couldn't carry a tune in a bucket.

Michael survivor: ‘We’re all hurting down here’

DONALSONVILLE, Ga. (BP) -- At least two southwest Georgia Baptist churches emerged heavily damaged from the eye of Hurricane Michael as it ripped through the southwest part of the state last week. Reports from the two congregations are just emerging as cell phone towers are slowly rebuilt and stories begin to come out from the rubble that litters the once peaceful farming communities. Rocky Ridge Baptist Church of Donalsonville, Ga., and Springfield Baptist Church in Jakin, both in Bowen Baptist Association, are uninhabitable and will be for some time. An insurance adjuster will be on site Wednesday morning Oct. 17 to survey the damage at Rocky Ridge, says deacon Keith Bowen.

Hurricane Florence aftermath still ‘pretty rough’

LONGS, S.C. (BP) -- It didn't take disaster relief volunteer Ronnie Register long to describe the situation where he is serving. "The situation here is pretty rough. There are a lot of hurting people," Register said as he looked across the church parking lot at a flooded subdivision in Longs, S.C. Not only had floodwater been just below roof level of some homes, but the buzzards were having a field day feasting on dead fish floating in the murky waters.

Mac Brunson concludes 12-year FBC JAX pastorate

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (BP) -- When Mac Brunson, co-senior pastor of 10,000-member First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, stepped into the pulpit Sunday, it began as any other worship experience. But by the time the April 29 service ended, Brunson had announced his immediate resignation from his pastorate of a dozen years and left the sanctuary with his wife Deb. Heath Lambert, a counseling professor at Southern Baptist Theological ...

Association disfellowships church over racism charges

ALBANY, Ga. (BP) -- What began as a harmonious relationship between a declining Anglo church and a growing African American church plant in Georgia ended when Mallary Baptist Association disfellowshipped Raleigh White Baptist Church on grounds of racism. After two years of intervention by the association and the Georgia Baptist Mission Board between the church and New Seasons Church, the association's Executive Committee voted unanimously April 3 to remove the church from its membership and return all monies contributed this year.

Ga. church’s DACA ministry offering help, hope

MOULTRIE, Ga. (BP) -- The clock is ticking. At the stroke of midnight on Thursday, undocumented residents who were brought to the United States as children will no longer be able to apply for deportation deferral. For the last five-and-a-half years, Georgia Baptists in Colquitt County have been working to help as many as possible -- in a state that reportedly has some 24,000 who are undocumented -- complete the paperwork which would temporarily delay them possibly being removed from their families and returned to their countries of birth.

Brewton-Parker athlete shot, killed at off-campus party

MOUNT VERNON, Ga. (BP) -- Brewton-Parker College is mourning the loss of a student who was shot and killed over the weekend in an off-campus party. Stevenson Derival, 20, was attending the house party near the campus in Mount Vernon, Ga., reported Southeastern Georgia television station WTOC. About 200 guests were at the gathering when Derival was killed around 1:30 a.m. on Sunday morning (Sept. 24). One other person was reportedly injured.

LGBT K-12 school proposed for Georgia

DALTON, Ga. (BP) -- A new school for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students in grades K-12 is being established in Atlanta as a safe zone for such students being bullied in traditional schools. But a Georgia Baptist leader is asking if a 5-year-old kindergarten student can identify as being LGBT -- or even a first or second grader, for that matter.

Cochran lawsuit against City of Atlanta to proceed

DULUTH, Ga. (BP) -- The Alliance Defending Freedom lawsuit filed on behalf of former Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran will proceed against the city following a ruling by a federal court. The Atlanta Division of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia dismissed some claims but allowed the suit to go forward on Cochran's primary claims of "retaliation, discrimination based on his viewpoint, and the violation of his constitutionally protected freedom of religion, association, and due process (firing ...

Ga. Baptists announce new name, ministry direction

DULUTH, Ga. (BP) -- Georgia Baptists have announced they are reinventing themselves with a new focus, new organizational structure, and new name that better communicates their mission and identity. The new direction was rolled out to state missionaries Monday (Sept. 14) at the Baptist Missions and Ministry Center in Duluth and shared with the Georgia Baptist Executive Committee today (Sept. 15). The focus emerged after nearly a year of study that centers around eight objectives ranging from involving the next generation to better equipping churches and ...