DETROIT (BP) -- Travis Whittaker of Mile City Church encourages the Detroit-area church plant "all the time" to give. "Every Sunday before we have our time of generosity, we always say, 'Hey, 11 percent of every dollar that comes in goes right back into planting more churches like us,'" he said.
WASHINGTON (BP) -- One is a former FBI intelligence analyst supervisor, the other a longtime missionary. In their respective ways, they're intent on raising awareness of Christians facing persecution across the world. Patrick Carberry, who was with the FBI for 17 years, worked on intelligence matters in the Middle East war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan.
ARLINGTON, Texas (BP) -- Promise Keepers, the Christian men's ministry that peaked in the late 1990s, will launch a "new era" at a national gathering July 31-Aug. 1, 2020, at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys in Arlington, Texas. Registration for the conference starts at 12:01 a.m. Saturday (June 1, 2019) at promisekeepers.org.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (BP) -- When New York legislators passed an expansive abortion bill and Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed it into law on Jan. 22, they may have inadvertently sent out a wake-up call to the state's pro-life community. "I do believe God is using the passage of this very offensive state law to awaken the conscience of many New Yorkers," Terry Robertson, executive director of the Baptist Convention of New York, noted regarding the Reproductive Health Act allowing abortions up to a baby's birth.
JACKSON, Miss. (BP) -- Before former Mississippi Supreme Court Justice Jess Dickinson was appointed commissioner of the state's Department of Child Protection Services, "My plan was to retire." But then a "new door" opened. Dickinson, who had served on the Supreme Court since January 2004, said he informed Gov. Phil Bryant in mid-2017 of his intention to retire by the end of the year. Instead, he was surprised when Bryant subsequently asked him to be CPS commissioner.
GULFPORT, Miss. (BP) -- What started as a pastor's burden for orphans has impacted the lives of hundreds of at-risk children and their families as well as Mississippi's child welfare system. In 2015, as Tony Karnes of Michael Memorial Baptist Church in Gulfport was preparing a sermon, he took to heart James 1:27, which implores Christians to "visit orphans … in their affliction."
PEARLAND, Texas (BP) -- After World War II, decorated Army veteran Jesse Whitley returned home and became a soldier for the Lord, serving as a Baptist pastor and preacher for more than 45 years. "Sgt." Whitley, who celebrated his 99th birthday Dec. 14, received renewed recognition on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, with Green Beret status for his service in a special forces unit nicknamed "the Devil's Brigade." It came as a surprise to Whitley, who faced combat action with the First Special Service Force against the Japanese in Alaska's Aleutian Islands and against the Germans in Europe.
TENAKEE SPRINGS, Alaska (BP) -- A small church in southeast Alaska is inviting its community to Thanksgiving dinner. The invitation is extended to all 100 residents and anyone else in Tenakee Springs who may not have local gatherings of family and friends that day. Tenakee Springs Community Church has hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for most of the 10 years bivocational pastor Todd Buck and his wife Jodie have served there. "Initially I went out there on a request for supply preaching, and I just kept going," Todd said. "After about a year I was definitely the pastor."
PONTOTOC, Miss. (BP) -- Most Christians are willing to share their faith when it can be as simple as a three-minute testimony, a Mississippi church has found in using the three-minute story witnessing method. "When you tell people, 'What we want you to do is share your testimony in three minutes,' that means I don't have to sit down and carry on an hour conversation," said David Hamilton, senior pastor of West Heights Baptist Church in Pontotoc and a former Mississippi Baptist Convention president. The three-minute story often is used by churches and Christian organizations at events where witnessing is coupled with a prize giveaway to attract people.
YAZOO CITY, Miss. (BP) -- On Labor Day, Americans will celebrate U.S. workers who have built and shaped the nation and influenced the world. One of the most successful entrepreneurs of the 20th century in Mississippi was also one of Southern Baptists' most influential laymen. The late Owen Cooper, who died Nov. 8, 1986, worked tirelessly in both arenas. The year before Cooper's death, the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board named him Layman of the Century. He was the second of only two laypeople ever elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention, serving two terms, 1972-1974. Many who knew him say his commitment to Christ and Christ-like ministry inspired his vision for bold endeavors.