SAN DIEGO (BP) -- One number will break the heart of anyone who cares about one of the most vulnerable populations in San Diego. According to North American Mission Board (NAMB) missionary Austin Blanton, 80 percent of the city's foster families decide to return children within the first four months. Many will never take part in foster care again. Blanton notes several reasons, from loneliness to the increased stress. Blanton and other local Southern Baptists, though, want to be a part of the solution.
ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP) -- With many Baptist campgrounds throughout the United States announcing they won't host summer camps or will do so only on a limited basis due to the COVID-19 pandemic, churches are looking for other high-impact options to reach and disciple students. Shane Pruitt, the North American Mission Board's executive director of next gen evangelism, says the complete loss of summer camps will hurt local church efforts to reach youth with the Gospel.
AUGUSTA, Ga. (BP) -- When 327 delegates met at First Baptist Church in Augusta, Ga., on May 8, 1845, they did more than start a new convention of Baptist churches in the South. They began a missionary movement that would in time start new Gospel-proclaiming churches throughout North America and the world. On Friday, Southern Baptists celebrate the 175th anniversary of the founding of what became the North American Mission Board and the International Mission Board -- and the corresponding Gospel movement they launched.
As the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has spread, one Southern Baptist evangelist says it’s opening up tremendous opportunities to share the Gospel online.
LAKE FOREST, Calif. (BP) -- Lee and Cynthia Hensler had mostly left behind their religious background when they moved from New York to Southern California in the 1970s. They occasionally visited churches for Christmas and Easter. When friends invited them to join them for a service, they usually declined so they wouldn't hurt feelings when they didn't return the next week. But that changed when Lee and Cynthia had their first child, a daughter, in 1979.
KABUL, Afghanistan -- Like many other ministry leaders around the world, Dan Thompson has needed to make a number of adjustments to minister to the people he shepherds. When he counsels people, he sits six feet away. Worship services are limited to no more than 10 people in them at a time. Thompson's parishioners are facing two wars right now -- one against the COVID-19 pandemic and another against terrorism. And though the COVID-19 pandemic has forced changes in the way chaplains minister, Thompson has seen the Gospel's reach grow -- including a growing number of people listening to the New Testament on their very own "Bible stick."
COLUMBUS, Ohio (BP) -- Talk to hospital chaplains for long about what they do, and they will eventually mention a regularly repeated phrase: "ministry of presence." It is the simple idea that the most important element of their work is to be present during the toughest moments. As the COVID-19 pandemic has spread worldwide, many hospital chaplains have needed to find new ways to provide a ministry of presence when families can no longer be with their loved ones in person.
NEW YORK, N.Y. (BP) -- When the COVID-19 pandemic began hitting New York City last month, the leaders of Bridge Community Church in Queens, N.Y., wanted to help. As a small one-year-old church plant, they knew they could not do everything. They could, however, do something.
HARRISBURG, Ark. (BP) -- Facing the inability to gather for worship, Southern Baptist churches got creative yesterday (March 22). One young couple in Arkansas is heaven-bound thanks to that creativity. A mom helped lead her son and his girlfriend to faith in Christ as they sat in her car, listening to Jason Goad, the pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Harrisburg, Ark., share the Gospel during a "drive-in" worship service.
LIBERTY, Mo. (BP) -- Nathan and Rachel Rose had felt called to overseas missions. They prayed. They searched the Scriptures. They participated in missions. As they did, God clarified the call. "I felt like the Lord was just reminding me that you could go and be on the front lines or you could stay home and encourage people to go, send people and raise money and support for missions," Rose said. "We felt like, if we're not going to be on the frontlines, we're going to be at a church that is creating and fostering an environment where people are getting sent overseas, as well as providing resources."