Josie Rabbitt

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Send Conference-So. Calif. urges redefining moment

LONG BEACH, Calif. (BP) -- "Redefine" was the charge and challenge at the Send Conference -- a joint event of the North American Mission Board and the International Mission Board. The sold-out conference in Long Beach, Calif., drew nearly 4,000 attendees Feb. 3-4 from a variety of backgrounds. Church planters, college students, pastors, missionaries, moms and dads, sons and daughters, California natives, world travelers, road-trippers and frequent flyers came together to redefine their lives for Christ.

7 ways your church can start a compassion ministry

ALPHRATETTA, Ga. (BP) -- When a church initiates a compassion ministry, a door can be opened in a community where people witness Jesus' character through actions and hear about His gift of salvation, some for the first time, say Southern Baptist ministry leaders. The North American Mission Board's Send Relief compassion ministry strategy encourages churches to expand their community engagement while delivering the Gospel.

She overcomes illness, serves hurricane survivors

LUMBERTON, N.C. (BP) -- Jean Freeman felt useless. Months before Hurricane Matthew hammered the East Coast, including her hometown of Lumberton, N.C., Freeman was lying in a hospital bed fighting her second round of cancer. Yet Freeman, who is a member of Hyde Park Baptist Church in Lumberton, said she was quickly reminded of God's "innate ability to use anybody at any time" after the hurricane hit. "While I was in the hospital, there were so many people taking care of me," Freeman said. "I used to lie there and feel like I wasn't doing anybody any good. But, though I felt useless then, God had so much in store for me where I could give back later."

‘Love where you live’ shown to S.C. storm survivors

FLORENCE, S.C. (BP) -- Dwight Herring didn't know the men and women standing next to him as they prepared to make the drive from Greenwood, S.C., across the state to Florence, S.C., on Oct. 14 to serve Hurricane Matthew survivors. As a Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (SBDR) unit leader, Herring was used to calling complete strangers -- trained volunteers in his region -- and trusting God with the outcome. "We were going to set up feeding units at Hoffmeyer Road Baptist Church with only three volunteers in my unit," Herring said. "I thought, 'Wow, three people to feed a mass of Hurricane Matthew survivors?' But I knew if I showed up, God would show up. So we went."

Task force aims to create ‘discipleship culture’

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP) -- LifeWay Christian Resources' and the North American Mission Board's recently-appointed task force on disciple-making met Monday, Oct. 17 at NAMB's building in Alpharetta, Ga. The group of 11 Southern Baptist pastors gathered to discuss their task of communicating that "any church of any background can be disciple-making," according to chairman Robby Gallaty, pastor of Long Hollow Baptist Church in Hendersonville, Tenn.

Fla. church & Ky. DR unite to help hurricane victims

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (BP) -- Pastor Chris Coram watched as the Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief trucks rolled into the North Jacksonville Baptist Church parking lot in Jacksonville, Fla., Monday night (Oct. 10). "It was quite humbling to see the big disaster relief trucks here to help my city," said Coram, who serves as associate pastor of North Jacksonville Baptist Church. "And it is an honor to assist the volunteers and teams with KBDR by hosting them at our church. It is amazing how hearing the words, 'What can I do for you?' touches your heart."

Engage 24 workshop champions evangelism

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP) -- An Engage 24 workshop was exactly what pastor Bruce Smith Sr. apparently needed. Some could say it is what he was searching for. "I'm just so excited I came," Smith said of the evangelism forum hosted at the North American Mission Board (NAMB) building in Alpharetta, Ga., Oct. 4-5. "The speakers were funny, on point and validated what I am already doing in my church when it comes to evangelism. I needed that encouragement because church planting can be hard. And yes, there are many things I haven't started doing when it comes to evangelizing that I plan on doing when I get back."

Flood recovery to enlist Baptists nationwide

BATON ROUGE, La. (BP) -- The North American Mission Board is facilitating a recovery effort to help Louisiana flood survivors rebuild and to assist churches and individuals who want to serve. The initiative, under NAMB's Send Relief ministry, will begin Oct. 1 and enlist Baptists nationwide. "We're developing a recovery plan to help Louisiana residents, pastors, churches and other buildings damaged by extreme flooding," said Mickey Caison, NAMB's Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (SBDR) executive director. "The Send Relief plan includes a facility to house 300 volunteers as they aid those in crisis. Another part of what's in the works concerning this year-long project [is] collegiate opportunities during students' Christmas and spring breaks to help serve and rebuild Louisiana."

Louisiana flood response to include associations

BATON ROUGE, La. (BP) -- Local Baptist associations are poised to play a major role in the ongoing response to the south Louisiana floods. As the worst U.S natural disaster since Hurricane Sandy continued to close roads and keep thousands of people out of their homes, associational directors of missions from Louisiana said in an Aug. 15 conference call with the North American Mission Board they are prepared to help coordinate donation of personal items for flood victims and recruit volunteers to be trained in disaster relief.

SBC Chaplain Commission marks 75th Anniversary

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP) -- In the months leading up to the United States' involvement in World War II, the Home Mission Board established a chaplaincy committee to endorse the work of military chaplains and verify their efforts as sanctioned by the association where they served. That was 75 years ago July, 1941. Doug Carver, the North American Mission Board's (the entity now responsible for chaplaincy) executive director of chaplaincy, called military chaplaincy "a frontline ministry that is vital to the extension of the local church and the advancement of the Gospel."