News Articles

Baptist Press’ Top 10 stories of 2023

People lift their arms in worship at Asbury University in Wilmore, Ky. Ongoing revival services have lasted around the clock for 10 days. (Kentucky Today/Robin Cornetet)

NASHVILLE (BP) — In a year when there was war in the Holy Land and devastating fires in paradise, there was still good news to be found. A spiritual fire made its way across the landscape too, as revival once again ignited on campuses in Kentucky and beyond. Many churches saw great numbers of salvations and baptisms, and Southern Baptists have been generous to fund missions at home and around the world.

Here are the issues, trends and stories that Baptist Press believes were most important to our readers in 2023.

1.    Salvations/Baptisms

Churches report high number of salvations, baptisms

71-year-old’s baptism comes after more than 15 years of prayer

58 baptisms at Tennessee jail result from ministry of neighboring churches

141 baptisms at First Simpsonville after ‘overwhelming’ response

116 Army soldiers profess Christ at First Lawton’s Living Christmas Tree

246 salvations at church car show outside Motor City

Lightning strike claims teen’s life, sparks revival

More than 150 U.S. soldiers baptized during basic training in Missouri

New Orleans church celebrates baptisms as result of Crossover

4,500 baptized at Pirate’s Cove Beach, iconic site of Jesus Movement baptisms

2.    Generosity in AAEO, LMCO and CP

CP surpasses $191.8 million, falls just short of annual budget goal

Generous Lottie Moon offering – $196.1M – helps missionaries tackle greatest problem

Annie Armstrong Easter Offering hits all-time high as Southern Baptists give record $68.9 million

3.    Asbury revival

Revival fires stir again at Asbury

Is Southern Baptist culture conducive to Asbury-type revival?

College students prime candidates for Asbury-type revivals

Baptist-affiliated schools among those reporting revival

4. War in the Middle East

Churches pray for peace in Israel, members stranded in region

Evangelical Statement in Support of Israel condemns attacks, calls for prayer and action

SBC Prayer Guide for Israel 

Send Relief helps victims of Hamas terror attack in Israel 

SBC DIGEST: Israel statement well received; SBTS panel on events in Holy Land 

Bombed Gaza hospital formerly led by Southern Baptists

‘Little confidence’ of safety for Christians sheltered in Gaza churches 

‘It doesn’t travel alone’: Antisemitism should trouble Southern Baptists, prompt action 

Jerusalem Baptist Church pastor returns to Israel for first time since Hamas attacks  

Former pastor of Gaza Baptist Church loses aunt in Israel-Hamas war  

Evangelical support for Israel steady one month after invasion  

Barber discusses Gaza in prime-time TV interview, calls Southern Baptists to prayer 

5.    War in Ukraine

Minister learns ‘to rely on God more’ while planting churches in Ukraine

Ukrainians, Southern Baptists connect amid war in Gospel-based online ESL group

Ukraine Christians living ‘tragedy to tragedy’ as war enters year two

Former Russian Baptist leader prays for Ukrainian resolve

Orphans forgotten, untracked, likely abused in Russia’s war on Ukraine

Russia’s deadly airstrike on Lviv hits Baptist seminary worker’s home

‘Heartbreaking.’ Trauma deepens for Ukraine war widows, orphans

6.    Hawaii wildfires

Hawaii wildfires death toll rises to more than 90; Southern Baptists meeting immediate needs

Hawaii death toll climbs to 99; Send Relief plans taking shape

Maui churches after Lahaina fire: ‘We’re not going back to normal.’

Pastors look past their own loss to serve fellow Maui fire survivors

Southern Baptists continue to serve, urge support for ‘devastated’ Maui

Pastor also serves as assistant chief of Maui County Fire Department

Maui churches continue ministry amid slow recovery

7.    McLaurin resigns from EC

McLaurin resigns as interim EC president and CEO, removed from search consideration

EC conducting internal investigation related to Willie McLaurin

Trustees receive updates on EC personnel matters

8.    Chat GPT stirs conversation

Artificial Intelligence requires Christians to consider what it means to be human

AI demands Christians have ‘robust understanding’ of humanity, ethicist says

Southern Baptists pass resolutions on the Great Commission work of women, the ethics of AI, and the office of pastor

Resolution on AI, emerging technologies intended to be timely statement

9.    BF&M amended at annual meeting

Motion to amend BF&M passes, task forces approved

With BF&M amendment, conversation lands on process

Mohler agrees with amendment to Baptist Faith and Message, shares concern about process

10.  Saddleback Church found to not be in friendly cooperation

Churches appeal EC’s decision to remove them, ask to be reinstated

Messengers deem Saddleback, two other churches not in friendly cooperation with SBC

    About the Author

  • BP Staff