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Lonnie Wilkey/Baptist and Reflector

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Couple lives by faith while waiting for kidney donor

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (BP) – When Randy Hommel steps to the pulpit each Sunday at Clark Street Baptist Church, he faces the same pressures and stresses as most every pastor in the country – meeting the needs of a congregation still dealing with fears over COVID-19, as well as their own hurts and needs.

Tennessee law would protect Christian adoption agencies

NASHVILLE (BP) -- Tennessee state senators approved legislation Jan. 14 that would prohibit the state from forcing Christian or other faith-based adoption agencies to place children in homes that would "violate the agency's written religious or moral convictions or policies." Senate Bill 1304 passed the Senate by a margin of 20-6. Sen. Steve Dickerson of Nashville was the only Republican voting against the bill, joining the chamber's five Democrats, according to an article in The Tennessean.

Bapt. leader urges TN legislators to stand for life

NASHVILLE (BP) -- When New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law one of the nation's most comprehensive abortion laws earlier this year, he "woke a sleeping giant," declared Randy C. Davis, president and executive director of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board. Davis was one of five pro-life proponents who appealed to a nine-member Tennessee Senate Judiciary Summer Study Committee Monday (Aug. 12) to join thousands of Tennessee Baptists and other evangelical Christians in standing for life in the Volunteer State. Longtime observers of the Tennessee Baptist Convention believe it may be the first time that a representative of the convention has addressed Tennessee senators on a major legislative issue.

Alzheimer’s, dementia: Pastor shares lessons learned

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (BP) -- As a minister for more than 40 years, Mike Glenn walked through the valley of dementia and Alzheimer's disease with many families through the years. But he admits that until you face it personally it is truly hard to understand what a family goes through. "Caring for someone with dementia or Alzheimer's disease is totally consuming," said Glenn, pastor of Brentwood Baptist Church, Brentwood, Tenn.

Not all stories end happily, but Gospel prevails

HERMITAGE, Tenn. (BP) -- Clayton Gangji would have been 16 years old on June 6. Yet, more than two years ago, Clayton was killed by gunfire at the age of 14 after being involved in a robbery involving stolen cars. But as always, God can use evil for His good.

Pastor keeps ministering while awaiting transplant 

ADAMSVILLE, Tenn. (BP) -- It took a while, but Chad Ball has learned to say two words that aren't in the vocabulary of many Southern Baptist pastors, "I can't." The 42-year-old pastor of First Baptist Church, Adamsville, Tenn., was diagnosed in 2006 with Focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), a leading cause of kidney failure. He also learned that his kidneys had been damaged by undiagnosed high blood pressure.

VBS: Her starting point in faith & now her calling

NASHVILLE (BP) -- Ashley Virto was a teenager 10 years ago who knew about Jesus Christ, but didn't know Jesus Christ. Thanks to a bus ministry and a Vacation Bible School, Virto, now 24, is a Christian serving Jesus Christ in her church and the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board and is now helping to train Spanish-language VBS leaders.

Mission video leads to surprise reunion

JACKSON, Tenn. (BP) -- In 1995, 13-year-old Thi Mitsamphanh was attending All Nations Camp at Linden Valley Baptist Conference Center, sponsored by the Executive Board of the Tennessee Baptist Convention (now the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board). During the week, he heard a sermon from the camp pastor that literally changed his life. But all he could remember later was that the children at camp called him "Uncle Estri." Mitsamphanh recalled that during that time he was trying to find meaning in life. "At that camp, a man preached a message of hope, forgiveness and life found only in relationship with ...

O’Brien sets retirement as Carson-Newman president

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. (BP) -- Randall O'Brien, president of Carson-Newman University, has announced his plans to retire, effective Dec. 31. O'Brien celebrated his 10th anniversary on July 8 as the 22nd president of the Baptist-affiliated liberal arts college in Jefferson City, Tenn. O'Brien was elected by C-N trustees in July 2008, officially joining the college on Jan. 1, 2009. A native of McComb, Miss., O'Brien was executive vice president and provost at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, at the time of his election.

Hispanic families impacted by raid prompt outreach

BEAN STATION, Tenn. (BP) -- Tennessee Baptists are ministering to families affected by the raid on a Bean Station slaughterhouse on April 5. Federal agents raided Southeastern Provisions, a cattle slaughterhouse in Grainger County in Tennessee, as part of a probe on allegations that the company was paying undocumented immigrants cash to avoid paying $2.5 million in payroll taxes over the past three years, according to the Knoxville News-Sentinel. Of the more than 95 employees who were detained until their immigration status was verified, approximately 54 have been held for possible deportation due to their undocumented status, according to news reports. Those who have been released reportedly still face court dates and possible deportation.