Sondra Washington

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Schools destroyed, church opens its doors

HACKLEBURG, Ala. (BP)–In Hackleburg, Ala., First Baptist Church has provided the gamut of disaster relief services to its community — from shelter to command center to animal operating room. With all the local schools destroyed when an EF-5 tornado barreled through town, First Baptist also opened its doors so that the local elementary and high […]

Ala. Senate approves electronic bingo

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (BP)–The Alabama Senate voted March 30 to legalize and expand slot machine gambling, which is currently illegal and being referred to as electronic bingo. Now the bill will face the Alabama House, and if it passes and is not vetoed by Gov. Bob Riley, it will go before Alabama residents for a vote. […]

Bingo machines illegal, Ala. high court rules

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (BP)–The Alabama Supreme Court dealt the state’s electronic bingo gambling industry a severe blow Nov. 13 when it ruled that so-called “electronic bingo machines” are in fact an illegal form of gambling. Gambling opponents and supporters, however, do not agree whether the court’s 59-page ruling is the final “nail in the coffin” for […]

Church burned by arson thanks Baptists for aiding in rebuilding

ALICEVILLE, Ala. (BP)--A little more than five months after arsonists burned Dancy First Baptist Church near Aliceville, Ala., in the second string of church fires across the state, an overflow crowd gathered at the church to celebrate the rededication of its recently finished sanctuary.

Montgomery bus boycott anniversary
aids Christian reconciliation thrust

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (BP)--Although Montgomery often is described as the birthplace of the modern civil rights movement, First Baptist Church and other area congregations are working to show the city’s progress toward racial reconciliation.
    In connection with a yearlong series of events marking the 50th anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, black and white leaders in the Christian community launched an initiative -– named the ONE Movement -- for “building bridges of racial reconciliation that will facilitate a great spiritual awakening,” as First Baptist pastor Jay Wolf described it.

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United at the cross
Several children hold up one of the crosses made for people to display at their homes as part of the ONE Movement, a racial reconciliation initiative in Montgomery, Ala. The 4-by-2-foot crosses feature a black hand and white hand joined in the center with the words of Jesus proclaiming, “Be ONE so the world may believe.”

    “Montgomery and Alabama are regarded as places of division by many people in other parts of the world,” said Wolf, First Baptist’s pastor since 1991. “It is exciting to see Montgomery change because of the power of Jesus and have the courage to become known as a place of reconciliation.”
    Wolf noted, “We should have the courage and faith to tell the world that our bold goal is reconciliation that will spark a massive revival. When we are one in Christ, the world will be won to Christ.”    

New study focuses on significance of shedding of Christ’s blood

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP)--With the recent release of Mel Gibson's “The Passion of The Christ,” many Christians and non-Christians alike are looking deeper into the life and death of Jesus. Some are struck speechless with awe and reverence for God’s great sacrifice. Others are horrified as they watch the graphic depiction of the crucifixion of Christ.

‘Baby Boot Camp’: New moms receive encouragement, counsel

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP)--The first six weeks of motherhood can be one of the most difficult seasons in a woman's life. Life with a new baby often reveals a large gap between expectations and reality, forcing many first-time moms into a world where they soon find themselves completely unprepared.

Early on, Martha Myers’ selflessness was evident, family members recount

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (BP)--Ask the family of slain Southern Baptist missionary Martha Myers to describe her life, and they will say she was one of the most selfless and loving people you could ever meet. They also will say that her ministry began long before she ever encountered the people of Yemen.