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Michael Leathers

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Illinois Baptists affirm confessions of faith, CP

PEORIA, Ill. (BP)--A motion to affirm several Baptist statements of faith was approved overwhelming during the Illinois Baptist State Association's Nov. 7-8 annual meeting in Peoria.

Christians urged to support military families

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (BP)--A young woman gets the call on a Friday from the Army, and five days later she's saying good-bye to her children for possibly a year. She's trained in the reserves for years and now this mom is being deployed.

Bob Wiley resigns as Ill. Baptists’ exec

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (BP)--Bob Wiley, executive director of the Illinois Baptist State Association, submitted his resignation to the association's board of directors Sept. 11.

Restoration keeps mural’s message visible in inner-city neighborhood

CHICAGO (BP)--The corner of Sheridan Road and Sunnyside Avenue used to be one of the most dangerous intersections in Uptown Baptist Church's neighborhood. Drug houses flourished. Eighteen rival street gangs roamed within a few blocks of each other. Shootings claimed the lives of innocent children.

Trucker/youth pastor’s new faith, influence ended by stepson’s shots

SHAWNEETOWN, Ill. (BP)--James "Jimmy Joe" Byassee, who had been the part-time youth pastor at First Baptist Church in Shawneetown, Ill., for about a year, had been taking classes at Southeastern Illinois College in nearby Harrisburg to become a junior high schoolteacher. After spending much of his life away from the Lord and addicted to drugs and alcohol, he wanted the chance to model a better life to children.

Good Samaritan House’s focus is women, kids ‘just in need of love’

GRANITE CITY, Ill. (BP)–Edith Campbell has new grandchildren every three months. Campbell is one of the volunteers at Good Samaritan House, a two-year-old temporary shelter for homeless women with children operating in Granite City, a struggling industrial town in the shadow of St. Louis. At least three times a week, Campbell ventures from her government-run […]

Volunteers discover an adventure of faith through urban ministries

CHICAGO (BP)–When outsiders drive through Humboldt Park, the urban neighborhood that the Chicago Grace Place calls home, many see only the problems: drug trafficking, prostitution and gangs. When Tammy Addington, Grace Place’s director, looks at that same scene, she sees one face at a time — the single mother struggling to raise her children; the […]

Messianic Jews see hope in Hanukkah celebration

ROCHESTER, Ill. (BP)–The Arthur family will gather around the kitchen table in their duplex to light the shamash, the name for the candle in the center of their nine-pronged menorah, to observe the first day of Hanukkah. This Jewish holiday, which many Christians know about but often don’t grasp, holds an added dimension for this […]

Volunteers use telephone to reach out and encourage

ELGIN, Ill. (BP)--Just a few weeks ago, Ladonna Spurlock was one of nine members at Larkin Avenue Baptist In Elgin, Ill. who had been trained as a "telephone encourager" with the Evangelism Response Center of the Southern Baptist Convention's North American Mission Board (NAMB).

2nd ballot by Ill. Baptists affirms SBC’s stance on marriage & family

QUINCY, Ill. (BP)--Southern Baptists in Illinois narrowly rejected adoption of the Baptist Faith and Message's 1998 family amendment into its constitution but later agreed to affirm that same language without a constitutional revision.