Sherri Brown

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Tornado carries Ga. couple — and house — 140 feet

LAGRANGE, Ga. (BP)--The day after tornadoes swept through Troup County, Ga., Mike Hornsby, pastor of New Hope Church in LaGrange, and his wife Susan sorted through the rubble that once was their house. Family and friends came by to offer help and hugs. They each told the story of the violent storm again and again. It never got any easier to tell. Late on Wednesday night, April 27, the couple watched television and listened on a weather radio to reports of the coming storm. Susan Hornsby, an elementary school teacher, was the first one to head to the only room in the house without a window -- the bathroom. "My dog was going crazy. I figured he knew something that we didn't know," she said. Her husband continued to watch the weather reports on TV but joined his wife when he saw reports of a tornado coming toward them. It was one of more than 170 tornadoes that tore through the U.S. that day, killing at least 318 -- the most since 1932 -- and devastating the South. "The wind was really picking up, there was a loud noise that really did sound like a train," Mike Hornsby said. Susan Hornsby was lying in the bathtub, while her husband sat next to her, holding her hand. She told him to put a pillow on his head. "I bent over and covered my head and that's when it happened," he said. "It happened so fast." A tornado picked up the house, turned it completely around and dropped it nearly 140 feet from the foundation. When Mike Hornsby tried to sit up, he couldn't. A plank from a picket fence had flown from outside the house and pierced the wall where his head had been. The couple felt the house move but didn't realize it had rotated. Once the wind settled down, they left the bathroom to check the damage. "We were so disoriented. It was dark and raining and the house was facing a different direction. We couldn't tell where we were," Mike Hornsby said.

Outreach foreshadows Georgia 2020 plan

REVISED Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2010 ALBANY, Ga. (BP)–With a Dr Pepper in his back pocket and a Bible in his hand, Tom Summers led 18 people to Christ during a “Love Albany” food distribution in conjunction with the Georgia Baptist Convention’s annual meeting in Albany. Armed with a warm smile and handshake, Summers, pastor of […]

Chick-fil-A’s Cathy honored for charity

NAPLES, Fla. (BP)--Truett Cathy, founder of the Chick-fil-A restaurant chain, was named the 2008 winner of the William E. Simon Prize for Philanthropic Leadership on Nov. 7.

Beach is celebratory setting for baptisms

COCOA BEACH, Fla. (BP)--Ryan Harris brought his best friend and a skim board to his baptism.       Harris, 14, had made a profession of faith but was holding out on baptism, his mother, Lisa Harris, said.       "He talked about being baptized but held off. I think the idea of being in front of a lot of people intimidated him," she said. All that changed when the Harris' pastor, Rodney Gage, announced the date for a beach baptism.

3 minutes could change a life

FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)--Southern Baptist evangelist Ronnie Hill has found a unique way to draw people to his salvation story, and he wants to share his method with churches and individuals.       Hill, from Fort Worth, Texas, has launched a website, www.threeminutestory.com, where people who listen to his three-minute story can sign up for a chance to win a vehicle. The winner will be chosen in December and can select between a Dodge Ram, a Jeep Wrangler or a Chrysler 300.       "I picked those vehicles because they appeal to all different kinds of people," Hill said.       After listening to Hill's testimony, viewers can answer a few questions, including whether they prayed a prayer for salvation, and then sign up to win one of the vehicles.       In the past, Hill has given away several Harley Davidson motorcycles and even a $10,000 cash prize at such events as NASCAR races, the Sturgis motorcycle week in South Dakota, the Calgary Stampede in Canada. People wanting to enter the drawings for those were asked to listen to a 10-minute Gospel presentation.       Offering incentives, Hill has been successful in encouraging people to stop for a few minutes to hear a story that can change their lives.

Diane Reasoner killed in car accident

DULUTH, Ga. (BP)–Diane Reasoner, longtime communications specialist for the Georgia Baptist Convention, was killed in an auto accident April 1 in metro Atlanta. Her husband, Richard Reasoner, 60, was injured in the three-car accident on Interstate 985 that killed two and seriously injured five others. Richard Reasoner, clinical director of Christian Counseling and Psychological Service, […]

Georgia church loses bricks & mortar, but spared loss of life

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Only rubble remains after a tornado destroyed a building at Wynnwood Baptist Church in Columbus, Ga. A meeting of about 100 youth was cancelled just 30 minutes before the building was ripped apart by a tornado.
Photo by Sherri Brown

POSTED March 3

COLUMBUS, Ga. (BP)--Late Thursday evening leaders called off a Young Life meeting because of strong winds and heavy rains. Thirty minutes later a tornado hit the building where the group was to meet. It exploded, with half the building disintegrating and the other half flung across the campus of Wynnwood Baptist Church in Columbus.
      “We were to have 100 youth in our building that we call ‘The Lodge.’ It could have been a tragedy,” said Brad Hicks, senior pastor at Wynnwood Church. “We are grateful to God that everyone was out of that building.”
      Several buildings at the Wynnwood campus had extensive damage, although none to the extent of the lodge. The church backs up to a subdivision that also suffered extensive damage.

Americus: Disaster relief, resolve to rebuild

POSTED March 3

AMERICUS, Ga. (BP)--Tornadoes bounced across south Georgia the night of March 1, killing nine amid destroyed homes, businesses and churches.
      In Americus, along with damaged homes and businesses, the Baptist associational office was destroyed and at least two Baptist churches suffered damage.

Ukrainian Baptists rebuild homes devastated by Katrina

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Ukrainian Baptist men lift and carry a roof truss to install on a hurricane-damaged house in Pearlington, Miss. “So many of us came to this country with nothing,” Filip Moshkovsky said. “We were helped so much. This is a way to help the country that helped us out.”
PEARLINGTON, Miss. (BP)--For the last five summers, the Madison Baptist Association in Huntsville, Ala., has dispatched teams to Philadelphia to help fix up the houses and churches of Ukrainian immigrants there. This summer, the Ukrainian churches returned the favor.
      About 40 members of six Ukrainian Baptist churches loaded up and journeyed south to Pearlington, Miss., to support the Madison Association’s efforts to renovate hurricane-devastated homes and churches on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Ronnie Floyd to be nominated for SBC president

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Ronnie Floyd
WOODSTOCK, Ga. (BP)--Johnny Hunt, pastor of First Baptist Church in Woodstock, Ga., announced May 7 that he will nominate Ronnie Floyd, pastor of First Baptist Church in Springdale, Ark., for president of the Southern Baptist convention during the annual meeting in Greensboro, N.C., June 13-14.
      "Dr. Floyd is matched for our times because of his leadership through the years in our denomination," Hunt told Baptist Press.