Morgan Collier

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ChinaAid to launch petition for imprisoned pastor

WASHINGTON (BP) -- The human rights organization ChinaAid is initiating a petition drive to free John Cao, a Chinese pastor who has been imprisoned since March 2017. According to ChinaAid, Cao was "unjustly framed" -- sentenced to seven years in prison and fined $3,000 -- for "organizing illegal border crossing" in a ministry that has helped build 16 schools serving 2,000 students among the impoverished Wa people group in neighboring Myanmar (Burma). Because Cao had often taken the same route into Myanmar, ChinaAid said it believes Chinese authorities targeted him "because of his religious beliefs."

Tract for prison evangelism is a ‘self-proclaimer’

HOUSTON (BP) -- Without experience in writing nor a theological background, David Howell answered his call to evangelism through prison ministry. Howell, a Texas businessman in the oil industry and member of Second Baptist Church in Houston, started his outreach by writing a graphic guidebook titled, "How to Be a Child of God," to be distributed free in prisons across the country through his ministry Prison Evangelism.

Caregiving: Author’s devotionals seek to convey hope

NASHVILLE (BP) -- As Kathy Howard started taking care of her father-in-law and then her own parents, the physical and emotional demand became increasingly apparent. "But I was unprepared for how spiritually challenging this journey has been," said Howard, author of "30 Days of Hope When Caring for Aging Parents," a new book from New Hope Publishers. Howard uses her own personal experiences in caregiving in the book as well as those of others who have gone through or are in the process of caregiving. "The book is a 30-day devotional that offers the encouragement needed as you strive to care for your parents in a way that pleases God and still shows them honor and respect," she said.

Social media & teens: a way ‘to see what is happening’

NASHVILLE (BP) -- While social media often is seen as a bad thing, what if Instagram and YouTube could be used to reach the lost, nurture spiritual maturity and expand congregations? A pivotal outreach to today's youth may start with an LED screen, with 95 percent of teenagers reportedly having a smartphone or access to one -- and 45 percent saying they are online on a near-constant basis -- according to a recent Pew Research Center for Internet & Technology survey.

Asian Americans can be ‘missionary forces’ in SBC

DALLAS (BP) -- "We have a citizenship in heaven and we are true brothers and sisters in Christ," D. August Boto told attendees at the National Asian American Fellowship's June 11 meeting in Dallas. Boto, interim president of the SBC Executive Committee, said the EC is "available to enhance the way God has gifted you in and through the ministries of the Southern Baptist Convention." Paul Kim, the EC's Asian American relations consultant, presented Roger S. Oldham, EC vice president for convention communications and relations, and Ken Weathersby, vice president for convention advancement, with awards of appreciation for their continued support for the National Asian American Fellowship.

Filipinos celebrate ministry, need more church planters

DALLAS (BP) -- The Filipino Southern Baptist Fellowship of North America (FSBFNA) met together June 12 at Dallas Metroplex International Church to celebrate ministry accomplishments from the previous year and to worship followed by fellowship over lunch. The meeting was held in conjunction with the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting in Dallas, June 12-13. From June 2017–June 2018, according to a ministry report distributed to those who attended the meeting, the FSBFNA:

Tea at 3 relays insight into ministry in the SBC

DALLAS (BP) -- Southwestern Theological Seminary hosted its fourth annual Tea at 3 on June 11 for women within the Southern Baptist Convention. Several hundred women of all ages were served hot tea, scones and chocolate pastries along with a set of free books. Terri Stovall, Southwestern's dean of women's programs, led the event with guest speakers Melissa Meredith, Kelley King, Rhonda Kelley, Ginny Whitten, Ann Iorg, Sandy Wisdom-Martin and Katie McCoy.

Ravi Zacharias: Never underestimate God

DALLAS (BP) -- Convictions will "drive you through life, especially in the toughest seasons of the soul," Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias told Southern Baptists Tuesday evening (June 12) at their annual meeting in Dallas. Zacharias, president of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Atlanta, Ga., shared a message entitled, "Convictions that conquered the world." He explained the difference between convictions and opinion along with how convictions shape and mold people.

SBC prayer room offers haven of rest, peace

DALLAS (BP) -- With thousands of Southern Baptists meeting together each year at their annual meeting, it can seem difficult for people to hear themselves think -- and to find a quiet place to meet with God. But once again, at this year's Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Dallas, attendees can retreat to a prayer room and are invited to volunteer 15 minutes of their time to lift up concerns to God. Every year the prayer room provides participants with an opportunity to ...