Joe Westbury

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Legacy Tree connects church to Baptist retirees

MARIETTA, Ga. (BP) -- It can be frustrating to purchase a Christmas gift for someone who has everything. But have you tried purchasing a gift for someone who has less than enough to make ends meet and yet insists on the gift going to someone more worthy?

NAMB lawsuit defends church’s ministry expansion

CLARKSTON, Ga. (BP) -- A couple of old, uninhabitable farmhouses from the 1900s are in the spotlight of a lawsuit between the North American Mission Board and the City of Clarkston, Ga. NAMB says the city is slow walking a demolition permit that would allow the Southern Baptist entity to continue the expansion of the historic Clarkston International Bible Church. In an attempt to put the issue to rest, NAMB filed a lawsuit last week in the Superior Court of DeKalb County, an Atlanta suburb.

Undaunted by ALS, he writes novels for millennials

CUMMING, Ga. (BP) -- Jim Burton sits up in his wheelchair, eyes bright with a big smile on his face as he begins to read. With his wife Kim holding a copy of his latest novel and a microphone, he breathes life into Jake and Shannon Blue, the lead characters in "Ransomed." It's a book for and about millennials set in Madison, Ky. -- a stand-in for his hometown of Madisonville -- but spans the world through adventure and intrigue.

Girls in rural church learn of minister retiree needs

BLACKSHEAR, Ga. (BP) -- When Southgate Baptist Church's Girls in Action (GA) group decided to focus on Mission:Dignity for their Christmas in August project, most of the members had never heard of the ministry that helps retired Southern Baptist ministers, workers and their widows. Southgate is located in rural southeast Georgia where small churches dot the landscape. Congregations were historically held together with part-time or even quarter-time pastors who worked for little to nothing to fulfill their sacred calling. Now in their sunset years, these pastors struggle to pay the bills while maintaining that calling even as their health fades.

Lay missions pioneer Doyle Pennington dies at 75

FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. (BP) -- Doyle Pennington, a pioneer in mobilizing Southern Baptist laypersons for missions and ministry, died Aug. 13 in Stockbridge, Ga., following a brief battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 75. Pennington, along with his wife Celeste, was a longtime veteran of Southern Baptists' lay renewal movement, which sought to bolster church life, marketplace witness and missions during much of the 1970s and '80s. He was also the Southern Baptist Convention's first lay volunteer with Mission Service Corps (MSC), founded in 1977 at the urging of President Jimmy Carter, a Southern Baptist, to coordinate ...

Friends of Refugees revived her missionary call

CLARKSTON, Ga. (BP) -- How is the best way to be a missionary? For Pat Maddox the answer was simple. You just put yourself in the shoes of people you want to serve, understand their needs, and then meet those needs without expecting anything in return. That was the genesis of Friends of Refugees and many other servanthood ministries now under its umbrella at Clarkston International Bible Church in metro Atlanta.

At Thanksgiving, immigrants & refugees cherish freedom

ATLANTA (BP) -- Dung Duong remembers the long walk from South Vietnam to Cambodia as he, his father and brother fled life at the hands of the communists who had overrun their nation 15 years earlier. The year was 1989 but thoughts of that suffering -- including losing friends who took to the open sea in small boats and were never rescued -- remains with him to this day.

Retiree: Mission:Dignity aids ‘folks like us’

TOCCOA, Ga. (BP) -- After 45 years of ministry, Reginald and Claudia Pressley retired much the way they began -- serving small churches in the Southeast. They were there for births, baptisms, weddings and funerals as they marked the milestones and the passage of time in the lives of their members. And they wouldn't take anything for the memories.

Evangelists’ Hall of Faith grows by 2

BALTIMORE (BP) -- The Conference of Southern Baptist Evangelists (COSBE) inducted two individuals into its Hall of Faith during a banquet preceding the SBC annual meeting in Baltimore.

Ga. Baptists increase budget 3.7%, honor White

WARNER ROBINS, Ga. (BP) — Messengers to the Georgia Baptist Convention’s annual meeting increased their budget, honored their executive director, J. Robert White, for two decades of service and emerged with a renewed commitment to reach their state and world for Christ. “My commission … the Great Commission” was the theme for the 191st annual […]