EDITOR’S NOTE: BP Ledger carries items for reader information each week from various Southern Baptist-related entities, and news releases of interest from other sources. The items are published as received.
Today’s BP Ledger contains items from:
Brentwood Baptist Deaf Church
East Texas Baptist University
WORLD News Service
Brentwood Baptist Deaf Church hosts training center for missionaries
BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (Brentwood Baptist Deaf Church) — Brentwood Baptist Deaf Church (BBDC), a congregation within Brentwood Baptist Church, will host the first-ever Deaf-Centric Theological Training Center in conjunction with the International Mission Board, Union University and Southern Baptist Conference of Deaf. They’ll welcome six students for the first semester of classes in Brentwood, Tenn.
At the training center, students will receive theological education and church planting training to specifically reach the global Deaf culture as church planters, missionaries, pastors and leaders.
Aric Randolph, pastor of BBDC and also Deaf, said, “We’ve been anticipating the day that something like this would come along. This is major historic event in the life of Deaf Southern Baptists because they can receive biblical education that’s Deaf-centric.”
On Sunday, April 13, Brentwood Baptist Church will recognize the partnership in its 11 a.m. worship service, including a time of prayer and dedication, where the first students will share their personal stories. Then, the crowd will migrate to the Inman Deaf Chapel for worship, followed by lunch in Wilson Hall. Representatives from each of the partnering agencies will be present.
“Everyone in this partnership has a role in making this possible,” Aric said. “We’re especially thankful to Brentwood Baptist for sharing the passion and vision with Deaf Southern Baptists. This is only the beginning.”
Baptist Heritage Lecture Series
By Hanna Hall, student news writer
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. (Campbellsville University) — Dr. Bart Barber, pastor of First Baptist Church in Farmersville, Texas, and Dr. Joe Early Jr., assistant professor of theology in Campbellsville University’s School of Theology, discussed Landmarkism during the college’s Baptist Heritage Lecture Series and chapel.
Barber presented his paper titled, “Who Moved My Old Landmark? Changing Definitions of Landmarkism in the Early Twentieth Century.”
He began with some background information over the foundation of early baptism. He said Landmarkism in the American South caused southern Baptists to split into multiple denominations. He said this is where the confusion on the true definition of Landmarkism began.
Barber discussed how “Nashville is the center of Baptist life today.” He brought his presentation to an end with an overall understanding of the orientation of Landmarkism.
Early followed Barber with his discussion of “The Unofficial Beginning of Landmarkism: The Cotton Grove Resolutions.”
Early said, “No two have ever defined Landmarkism the same.” He continued by defining what Landmarkism meant to him and some history behind its development.
He spent a large portion of his paper talking about the importance of James Robinson Graves who was an editor of the Tennessee Baptist newspaper and went on to become the founder and champion of the Landmarkers.
In conclusion, Early expressed the significance of the Cotton Grove Church and how “nothing of the original Cotton Grove Church remains today.”
The Baptist Heritage Lecture Series began with welcoming remarks and introductions by Dr. Dwayne Howell, professor of Old Testament and Hebrew; Dr. John E. Chowning, vice president for church and external relations and executive assistant to the president, and Dr. Twyla Hernandez, assistant professor of Christian missions.
ETBU students team up with two local
churches to minister during spring break
By Mike Midkiff
MARSHALL, Texas (East Texas Baptist University) — A group of students from East Texas Baptist University helped two local churches, Crossroads Baptist Church and Friendship Baptist Church, on mission in East St. Louis, Illinois during Spring Break. The two churches, both with many ETBU students in their congregations, served for a week at the Christian Activity Center (CAC). Members of the ETBU service organization, Delta Pi Theta, came alongside the members of both congregations to serve as well.
This trip was the 4th year for Friendship to send a team to the CAC with Crossroads joining them for the 1st time. This past year Friendship took ETBU students for the first time and expanded the ministry to the children at the center.
“I really wanted to go after hearing the testimonies of last year’s trip from my friends Morgan Walters, Danielle Kenebrew and Clinton Salmon,” said ETBU sophomore Gabrielle Garcia of Houston. “The Lord also really put building relationships within Delta Pi Theta and Friendship Baptist on my heart. The Lord did more than that during our time in East St. Louis.”
How did the two congregations, who are located about 20 minutes apart in the southern part of Harrison County, come together?
“For years Friendship and Crossroads have gathered annually for a Thanksgiving service,” said David Rice, pastor of Crossroads. “At a Fall 2013 leadership conference at ETBU ‘collaboration’ was discussed as trend among church families as opposed to ‘competition.’ ”
The idea moved Rice to visit with Matthew Paul, pastor of Friendship. “I had heard Matt talk about previous trips to East St. Louis and hoped we could come together as faith communities on a common mission,” shared Rice, who is an alumnus of ETBU and a Board of Trustee member.
The CAC provides a safe place for students age five to 18, to receive tutoring, college prep classes and participate in Bible studies. According to Garcia, “The CAC’s main purpose is to get the students off the streets and build their character while drawing them closer to Christ.”
Paul believes from time to time that Christians need to go away and serve.
“It is important to see that the world is not exactly like our local surroundings and to experience what it is like to band together in an unfamiliar place to serve God alongside each other,” Paul said, whose wife Kelley, is the Director of Student Success at ETBU and faculty sponsor of Delta Pi Theta.
The two congregations became one during the week helping with existing ministries of the CAC. A total of 40 went, 23 from Friendship, which including the Delta Pi Theta members and17 from Crossroads.
ETBU junior and Crossroads congregant Molly Woodruff of Colorado Springs, Colorado went to East St. Louis after her interests to serve locally were heighten.
“For the past semester, I have been volunteering at Lee Elementary through ETBU Cares,” said Woodruff, who is a Math major. “This mission trip piqued my interest because I like working with kids and know that a city such as East Saint Louis, they are the ones with the potential to change it for the better.”
The team also did clean-out and renovation of a fire, damaged home that will be occupied by an employee of the CAC. “Another project was the clean-up of several vacant lots that will soon be a beautiful ‘green space’ unlike anything in that neighborhood for the children to play on,” said Rice.
The neighborhood that the CAC is located is very different then neighborhoods in Marshall. Gang activity is very prevalent, and the abuse of alcohol and drugs is evident by the trash picked up by the volunteers.
According to Paul, one service project conducted was not part of the mission plan when the group left Marshall. The volunteers did a good old, fashion spring cleaning of an apartment.
“On Tuesday, we found out about the need of The Family Living Center,” Paul said. “The Family Living Center is a transitional home for homeless families, and the ministry done there ended up being the favorite part of the week for the team. We saw in action the most important rule of a mission trip: ‘Be flexible!'”
“Working at the Family Living Center was not originally on our agenda for the week, but God opened that door for us,” Woodruff shared. “We were able to provide relief and encouragement to the staff and to meet the physical needs of the families there. I think being able to help out the staff provided encouragement, much needed rest from the stressful and chaotic nature of their jobs.”
Both Paul and Rice agree the experience of serving outside the walls of the church is important not only for church members, but for the ETBU students who attend a local church while away from their home church.
“I think the students saw the value of being the church and part of a local worshipping community,” reflected Paul, on what occurred during the week.
“The experience was made all the more rich because we shared the experience as two local churches and with our ETBU students,” concluded Rice. “The friendships that grew between our church families and among the students were sweet as well.”
Gay rights groups force
Mozilla CEO to resign
By Rachel Lynn Aldrich
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WORLD News Service) — Brendan Eich stepped down from his post as Mozilla’s CEO after gay rights groups lambasted the company for promoting a leader who supports traditional marriage.
In a statement posted online, Mozilla chairwoman Mitchell Baker said Eich was stepping down for the good of the company, which he co-founded. She also apologized for promoting him from his position as chief technology officer in the first place. “We didn’t act like you’d expect Mozilla to act,” she wrote. “We didn’t move fast enough to engage with people once the controversy started. We’re sorry. We must do better.”
But Eich also supports traditional marriage, and that, his detractors say, is unforgivable.
In 2008, Eich gave $1,000 to the campaign to pass Proposition 8, the constitutional amendment that banned same-sex marriage in California. A lower court ruling struck down the amendment, and the U.S. Supreme Court left that decision place last year. Eich’s contribution was publicly reported then and he faced some criticism for his stance.
But his promotion to CEO in early April whipped the old criticism into a firestorm.
Half of Mozilla Foundation’s six board members quit in protest, according to The Wall Street Journal, and thousands have complained on Twitter, calling for Eich to step down.
But the real kicker came when New York-based dating service OkCupid.com replaced its usual home page for visitors using the Firefox browser.
“Hello there, Mozilla Firefox user,” the new page read. “Pardon this interruption of your OkCupid experience.” It then explained Eich’s views, as it understood them, and asked users to access OkCupid with a different browser. It also claimed that 8 percent of OkCupid’s users are homosexual: “We’ve devoted the last 10 years to bringing people — all people — together. … Those who seek to deny love and instead enforce misery, shame, and frustration are our enemies, and we wish them nothing but failure.”
OkCupid President Christian Rudder said he and the firm’s three other co-founders decided to post the message after discussing Eich’s appointment over the weekend.
“We don’t think this was the right thing for people to donate money to, and this is someone we do business with, so we decided to take action,” Rudder said.
Eich had acknowledged the controversy in a blog post two days after his appointment was announced. He pledged his commitment to diversity and inclusion and promised to make Mozilla a welcoming place for all employees, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. “I know some will be skeptical about this, and that words alone will not change anything,” he said. “I can only ask for your support to have the time to ‘show, not tell’; and in the meantime express my sorrow at having caused pain.”
Mozilla responded with an emailed statement saying the company supports equality for all, including marriage equality for gay couples.