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Ken Walker

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Opioid crisis emerges as key W.Va. Baptist ministry

SCOTT DEPOT, W.Va. (BP) -- Soon after West Virginia Baptists passed a resolution last November urging churches to get involved in addressing the opioid crisis, the state's Upper Ohio Valley Baptist Association started preliminary planning for a Celebrate Recovery group. After five months of leader training, an interdenominational group of churches in the Moundsville area hosted their first Celebrate Recovery meeting in early September.

Build a manger; focus on Christmas; help dads lead

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (BP) -- Long before Thanksgiving, and even Halloween, Eastern Heights Baptist Church was getting ready for Christmas. For the third consecutive year, the Southern Baptist church is participating in The Manger Build, a project to help men keep Christ in front of their families at Christmas.

Chaplain survives dismissal attempt

GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (BP) -- The attorney for a longtime chaplain who survived an attempt to force him out of the Navy said the decision marks a victory for everyone who believes in religious liberty. "This is a case where a commanding officer sought to punish and prematurely end (Wesley Modder's) career because of his religious expression and beliefs," said Mike Berry, senior counsel for the Dallas-based Liberty Institute.

Survey: ‘Nones’ open to variety of denominations

NASHVILLE (BP) -- Americans have a surprising openness to Christian churches, even those who are supposedly turned off to religion, a new survey from LifeWay Research shows. No matter which denomination is in the name of a church, fewer than half the nonreligious say "it's not for me." Their views are more favorable than unfavorable toward a wide range of faiths -- Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, Lutheran, Assemblies of God, and non-denominational.

Charges against chaplain called ‘overt attack’

GOOSE CREEK, S.C. (BP) -- The attorney who represents 65 former chaplains suing the Navy for discrimination says the possible dismissal of a chaplain for giving traditional biblical counsel is evidence of a continuing attack against evangelicals. For Virginia attorney Arthur Schulcz, the charge of "intolerance" leveled against Navy chaplain Wesley Modder shows how once-subtle discrimination against evangelical chaplains is increasing. The 65 chaplains' cases continue to be waged in various courts alleging instances of discrimination dating back to the mid-1970s.

Benham brothers take stand ‘Whatever The Cost’

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (BP) -- Growing up in the home of a noted pro-life activist taught David and Jason Benham that standing up for one's faith came with a price, one they are paying after losing their TV show, "Flip It Forward." The Benhams made nationwide headlines last May after Home and Garden Television (HGTV) cancelled the show before its planned premiere in the fall of 2014.

Liberty Univ. somber after fatal shooting

LYNCHBURG, Va. (BP) -- As police continue their investigation into reasons behind the fatal shooting of a Liberty University student Tuesday, Nov. 19, a spokesman for the school called the mood on campus somber and prayerful.

2nd VIEW: Pastors’ prayer meeting called Spirit-infused ‘epic moment’

DALLAS (BP) -- The presence of the Holy Spirit abounded during a two-day meeting of senior pastors to pray for revival and spiritual awakening, a key organizer of the gathering recounted.

Pastors’ prayer meeting called Spirit-infused ‘epic moment’

DALLAS (BP) -- The presence of the Holy Spirit abounded during a two-day meeting of senior pastors to pray for revival and spiritual awakening, a key organizer of the gathering recounted. "There were many who believed this was an epic moment," Ronnie Floyd, senior pastor of Cross Church in northwest Arkansas, told Baptist Press. "Some even declared it was the greatest spiritual experience with their peers that they had ever had, anywhere, at any time," Floyd said. "Pastors were able to be in an unthreatened environment ... leading to complete authenticity." The Sept. 30-Oct 1 Call to Pray for Revival and Awakening drew 175-plus pastors from 27 states to the gathering at a hotel near the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. A separate gathering of youth pastors praying for revival among youth met at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth. Johnny Derouen, professor of student ministry and one of three organizers of the latter meeting, said the prayers of the 30-plus youth pastors and students were "rich." "We want to see revival," Derouen said. "We'd like to see a breakout and such spiritual awakening that it doesn't stop. We're hoping it will spread [and] we'll have students everywhere praying for revival." Floyd said the senior pastors experienced many unique moments, including the joy of worshipping together and praying for others who were hurting spiritually or physically. The Holy Spirit moved as men shared from God's Word, worshipped and prayed, Floyd said. They didn't focus on church size or matters of polity, he said, but for personal revival and for revival in their churches and the nation. "Those were holy moments, as well as when men confessed their need to repent and make restitution," Floyd said. "We were broken before God, crying out to Him personally and collectively. God's hand was on so many moments. He answered our prayers." Floyd was one of five senior pastors who initiated the meeting and recruited a team of 40-plus pastors who served as an invitation team to their peers across the nation. Hispanic pastor David Galvin, a former SBC second vice president, said he had never prayed with such a large group of fellow Southern Baptist pastors seeking God. "What Jonathan Edwards said long ago that needed to take place for revival took place," Galvin, pastor of New Life (Nueva Vida) Baptist Church in Dallas, told the Southern Baptist TEXAN, newsjournal of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention. "There is no doubt that God was honored as lead pastors focused on a self-examination of each other and before God." "[This] was one of the most unique and spiritually beneficial meetings I have ever attended," said Kevin Ueckert, pastor of Southside Church in Abilene, Texas. "I left the meeting very personally encouraged spiritually." The session also sparked an outpouring at a #prayingpastors Twitter hashtag. Before it ended, John Avant (@johnavant), who played a key role in the mid-1990s Brownwood Revival on college campuses, commented on the deep move of God among the pastors. "My heart is stirred for revival!" said Avant, senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Concord near Knoxville, Tenn. Afterward, Avant tweeted, "Pray that spiritual awakening comes through revived pastors and the ... thousands of people we will share our hearts with Sunday!" Michael Catt (@MichaelCatt), senior pastor of Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Ga., said afterward he felt encouraged, hungry for more of God, and a longing for others to feel the same. "NOW praying for a MOMENT to be a MOVEMENT!" Catt wrote.

Children of prisoners receive Christmas gifts

OWENSBORO, Ky. (BP) -- Leslie Rice barely digested her Thanksgiving turkey before shifting into high gear to coordinate the Daviess-McLean Baptist Association's Jail Ministry Christmas Mission Project.