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Nicole Kalil/Florida Baptist Convention

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Leaders highlight faithfulness at Fla. convention

MIAMI (BP) -- Under the theme "Faithful," 827 messengers representing 374 churches gathered for the 157th annual meeting of the Florida Baptist State Convention. They voted on business, received ministry updates and heard from fellow pastors about some of the ways God is moving to reach Florida with the Gospel through local churches. With the addition of guests at the Nov. 12-13 meeting, the crowd swelled to 1,201 in total attendance at Wayside Baptist Church in Miami.

Church partnerships emerging after Hurricane Michael

PORT ST. JOE, Fla. (BP) -- While Hurricane Michael brought the devastation that so often comes with a storm of its magnitude, Florida Baptists are discovering some unexpected blessings through their Churches Helping Churches initiative. "Our church-to-church effort is designed to identify a non-storm affected church that is willing to partner with a storm-impacted church to serve as the point of contact for coordinating recovery responses and efforts for that specific church," said Lewis Miller, the Florida Baptist Convention's west Florida regional catalyst. Churches from other states also have indicated a readiness to help. Many Florida Baptist churches were on high alert before Hurricane Michael even made landfall. First Baptist Church in Orange Park was among them, where lead pastor David Tarkington said he and others prayed over the church's response as the storm approached, knowing that they would probably "give and go."

Fla. Baptists celebrate 1,100 baptisms

TIERRA VERDE, Fla. (BP) -- On a day focused on celebrating life transformation, the Quinlan family decided to be baptized together as a symbol of how Jesus had been working in their lives. Their church, The Island Chapel in Tierra Verde, was just one of hundreds of Florida Baptist churches that participated in Acts 2:41 Beach Baptism on May 6. Becky Quinlan, along with husband Scott and children Emma, Anna and Brady, joined nearly 1,100 others who were baptized at beaches, lakes, springs and even fountains in a celebration of life transformation that echoed from coast to coast all ...

Pastor: School incident defused by God’s intervention

OCALA, Fla. (BP) -- First Baptist Church was on the frontline ministering to students, faculty and staff after a gunman opened fire at nearby Forest High School in Ocala, Fla. One student was injured in the April 20 incident, which lasted only minutes. But the church's connection to the shooting goes beyond providing crisis ministry to students and their families -- their pastor's eldest daughter came face-to-face with the alleged gunman, Sky Bouche.

After bridge collapse, Baptists dispatched to help

MIAMI (BP) -- Classes resumed Monday (March 19) after the collapse of a pedestrian bridge at Florida International University in Miami left six people dead. The 950-ton structure was undergoing final safety testing and repairs when it plummeted to the ground, crushing cars that were traveling busy SW 8th Street, also known locally as Calle Ocho. One FIU student and a construction worker were among the dead. The $14.2 million bridge was to connect the campus with the neighboring Sweetwater community, home to thousands of FIU students. One student was struck last year and killed crossing the street.

Churches weep & minister after Fla. school shooting

PARKLAND, Fla. (BP) -- Florida Baptists are reeling along with all of Florida and the nation after a gunman opened fire at a Parkland high school yesterday (Feb. 14), leaving 17 dead and 14 injured. While law enforcement and state officials issue calls to prayer at press conferences, Florida Baptist churches in the area of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are mourning their own losses while offering words of hope and help to those hurting in their community. The main campus of Church by the Glades is located less than 10 minutes from the school; lead pastor David Hughes said many of the students in the church attend Douglas High.