News Articles

BP Ledger, March 24 2014

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:
Southern Evangelical Seminary
Campbellsville University
WORLD News Service

Campbellsville students serve during spring break
By Samantha Stevenson, student newswriter

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. (Campbellsville University) Spring break is one of the most anticipated vacation times for anyone in school, particularly for students in college. For most college students, spring break either means a relaxing time at home, earning money at work or going out to vacation with friends. For several students at Campbellsville University, however, they anticipated their spring break for another reason.

Approximately 50 students set out and served in six locations during the first week of March in Panama City Beach, Fla.; Northern Florida; Mexico; Haiti; Belize; and Tanzania.

They did everything from serving pancakes to those on the beach, to ministering to those in prison and teaching English to students in Belize.

Students from CU’s Baptist Campus Ministry organization took to the beaches to minister to college students staying in Panama City Beach, Fla. Jasmine Barnett from Greensburg, Ky., Adam Durham from Lancaster Ky., Fontez Hill from La Center, Ky., Michaela Parker form Hopkinsville, Ky., Kathryn Thomas from Elizabethtown Ky., and Zack Wright from Summerville, Ky., spent their spring break participating in one of Lifeway’s many ministries, Beach Reach.

Beach Reach is a ministry that attempts to share the gospel through their breakfast preparation and transportation services to teens and 20 year olds in the Panama City Beach area.

In the mornings, approximately 200 Christian college students made and handed out free pancakes to spring breakers eating at Rocket Lanes, a local business that is Christian-owned and operated. This ministry alone reached over 600 people each day.

When they weren’t out advertising for their nighttime ministry, the remainder of their days were spent together in a prayer and worship service. The students handed out cards with a telephone number on it that connected to a control center that then transferred the information to several vans, who picked up anywhere from one to eight spring breakers during the night. The van ride is the second major opportunity to have gospel conversations with the passengers.

This ministry led to six decisions of faith from vacationers staying in Panama City Beach.

Jasmine Barnett, a BCM intern from Greensburg, Ky., said that the highlight of her trip was presenting the gospel alongside her peers to an atheist for over an hour and a half.

“He was genuinely interested in what we were saying, and I could tell he didn’t want to leave. He didn’t get saved, but we definitely planted a seed,” Barnett said.

Several Campbellsville University’s football players also spent their spring break serving in Florida. Players Wes Cain from Alachua, Fla., Blake Cordell from Elizabethtown, Ky. Rodrick Dickerson from Memphis, Tenn., Anthony Douglas form Chattanooga, Tenn., Dylan Hale from Tompkinsville, Ky., Michael K. Jackson from Lexington, Ky.,

Erik Krivitsky from Elizabethtown, Ky., Cameron Looper from Paducah, Ky., Seth McFerrin from Old Hickory, Tenn., Eli Mitchell from Elizabethtown, Ky., Caleb Myers from Ferdinand, Ky., Bryan Parnes from Dania Park, Fla., and Adam Robertson from Knoxville, Tenn. traveled to prisons in Orlando, Fla. alongside their coaches Hunter Cantwell, Josh Dye and Jim Hardy.

The players spent four days sharing the gospel and playing softball with inmates in maximum-security prisons in Florida. They spent one of their last days painting and restoring a Habitat for Humanity Center in the Orlando area.

Another group of students partnered with Project Fortify and traveled to Mexico to work with low-income families and orphans. CU students Brad Clem from Scottsburg, Ind., Cassidy Flowers from Kevil, Ky., Michael Jennings from Edmonton, Ky., Mikey Hatcher from Campbellsville, Ky.,

Sadie Mills from Hardyville, Ky., Aaron Nosich from Radcliff, Ky., Lucas Pepper from Hodgenville, Ky., Carissa Royer from Marion, N.C., Maggie Vaughn from Glasgow, Ky., and Mallory Vest from Fruitport, Mich., spent their time delivering supplies and repairing an orphanage in Mexico. The CU students also got to spend time with the children by teaching them, playing soccer with them and sharing the gospel with them.

“I had an amazing time, I left my heart in Mexico!” Sadie Mills said. This trip sparked a missionary call on her life, and Mills intends on spending more time in serving in Texas and Mexico in the years to come.

Neply, Haiti was another area of the globe impacted by Campbellsville University students this spring break. Dustin Ford from Campbellsville, Ky. spearheaded a trip to Haiti through “My Life Speaks,” an organization that ministers to the needy, particularly special needs children.

Ford was joined by his fiancé Kayla Howard from Frankfort, Ky., and Bethany Bugg from Wilmore, Ky., Dena Clements from Campbellsville, Ky., and Marc Workman and Savannah Workman, both from Fort Gray, W.Va.

Campbellsville University’s School of Education and School of Nursing also took mission trips to different parts of the Southern Hemisphere. Education students Hannah Allen from Liberty, Ky., Courtney Cain from Mintonville, Ky., Monica Canada from Woodbine, Ky., Rita Curtis from Campbellsville. Ky., Nakita Gavre from Harned, Ky., Mary Hodgen from Springfield, Ky.,

Emily Scott from Eddyville, Ky., Shannon Shippee from Elizabethtown, Ky., Kaitlyn Skaggs from New Haven, Ky., Arianna Snyder from Mt. Sherman, Ky., Ariella Snyder from Mt. Sherman, Ky., Tammy Snyder, secretary to early childhood education, from Mt. Sherman, Ky., Courtney Spurling from Mt. Washington, Ky., and Hayley Beth Taylor were joined by their professors Dr. Lisa Allen, assistant professor of special education, and Dr. Sharon Hundley, associate professor of education and chair of the early childhood education program in Belize.

While there, they put their teaching skills to good use by teaching English to the students in their schools. They also brought over school supplies and clothes to the orphanage.

Mary Hodgen, a sophomore from Springfield, Ky., said her favorite part of her experience was visiting the orphanage.

“Their faces lit up when they saw all of the clothing supplies that we brought them! They were all very excited to have us and the children were very respectful,” Hodgen said.

Angie Atwood, assistant professor of nursing, traveled with two nursing students, Kisha Tarter and Jessica Cross, both of Russell Springs, Ky., to Kigoma, Tanzania.

They worked in the Kigoma Baptist Hospital with International Mission Board American missionary Dr. Larry Pepper. “We served the Tanzanian people both medically and spiritually,” Atwood said.

She said, in addition to utilizing their nurses’ skills, they led morning Bible devotions for the healthcare providers to encourage them spiritually.

Atwood also shared a postoperative nursing care lecture to hospital staff. “The healthcare workers were eager to learn nursing practices utilized in the United States,” she said.

Students in the School of Theology also had an opportunity to travel to the Holy Land in Israel and Jordan with several of their professors, CU alumni, family and friends. While there, these travelers got to tour some of the famous sites in the Bible, including the Jordan River where Jesus was baptized, the Sea of Galilee and the tomb where Jesus is said to have been placed after his crucifixion.

At the site of the tomb, BCM president Noah Blackburn of Proctorville, Ky., and president-elect Joey Bomia of Marion, Ky. led their peers, professors and fellow travelers in a meaningful worship service and communion.
Richard Land, at Southern Evan. Seminary, begins radio program

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Southern Evangelical Seminary) — Dr. Richard Land, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary is encouraging listeners to “Bring Every Thought Captive” through a new, three-minute radio program airing every weekday on several radio stations and podcasts on the SES website (www.SES.edu) that debuted March 17.

The new program, “Bringing Every Thought Captive,” airs Monday through Friday and features Dr. Land as he comments on current events and issues from the perspective of the Christian faith.

“As Christians, ‘we demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ,’ as the Bible tell us in 2 Corinthians 10:5,” Land said. “I look forward to applying a biblical worldview to the many pressing issues in today’s society and sharing with other Christians how we can ‘bring every thought captive.’ We hope that Southern Evangelical Seminary’s new radio program will engage listeners and help them to think about everyday topics from a fresh perspective and always through the lens of a biblical worldview.”

“Bringing Every Thought Captive” airs at 8:25 a.m. EST during morning drive time, immediately following “Back to the Bible” (originally hosted by Dr. Woodrow Kroll and now hosted by Dr. John Munro, Senior Pastor of Calvary Church in Charlotte) on WHVN 1240 AM and 104.3 FM in Charlotte, as well as on WCGC Radio 1270 AM in Belmont, N.C., and WTIX-AM 1410 in Concord, N.C.

The program is streamed live online at HeavenRadio.org and airs again at 5:55 p.m. following the popular syndicated broadcast of “Love Worth Finding” with Dr. Adrian Rogers. “Bringing Every Thought Captive” is also available for download at www.ses.edu and podcast daily on the free SES mobile app.

Land served previously (1988-2013) as president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the Southern Baptist Convention entity assigned to address social, moral and ethical concerns.
Mark Driscoll apologizes, says he wants to be a pastor, not a celebrity
By Warren Cole Smith

SEATTLE (World News Service) — Mark Driscoll, pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, wrote in a letter to his congregation that his “angry-young-prophet days are over” and that he plans to take steps to become “a helpful, Bible-teaching spiritual father.”

Driscoll’s nearly 2,000-word letter, posted Friday on the megachurch’s private online community known as “The City” and published elsewhere since, apologized for recent missteps he and the church have made and outlined plans to keep them from recurring. Among the steps Driscoll planned to take included refraining from posting on social media until “at least the end of the year” and to doing few, if any, media interviews.

The letter also expressed regret for activities he engaged in to put his book Real Marriage on the New York Times best-seller list. Mars Hill spokesman Justin Dean had previously defended the use of the marketing firm ResultSource to buy books in quantity in order to get Real Marriage on prominent best-seller lists. But in his letter of apology, Driscoll wrote, “In retrospect, I no longer see it that way. Instead, I now see it as manipulating a book sales reporting system, which is wrong. I am sorry that I used this strategy, and will never use it again. I have also asked my publisher to not use the ‘#1 New York Times bestseller’ status in future publications, and am working to remove this from past publications as well.”

Driscoll also re-affirmed his commitment to Dave Bruskas and Sutton Turner as executive elders in the church, adding that the Board of Oversight and Accountability put in place several years ago would remain in place. That board announced its continued support of Driscoll on March 7.

Mars Hill Church and Driscoll have been influential in evangelical circles since the late 1990s. The Acts 29 church planting and networking organization Driscoll co-founded with David Nicholas now has more than 400 congregations associated with it. And while Driscoll’s outsized personality coupled with his drive and energy have led to great accomplishments, they have also led to controversy. For example, he is no longer associated with Acts 29, and Mars Hill has experienced a dramatic turnover in leadership in the past three years. Driscoll alluded to the turnover in his letter. “I am deeply grieved and even depressed by the pain we have caused,” he wrote. “Many have chosen to air their concerns online, and I apologize for any burden this may have brought on you.”

Many Mars Hill observers saw the letter and Driscoll’s open repentance as a step in the right direction, but several Mars Hill watchdog websites immediately posted the text of a sermon Driscoll gave in 2007, when the church was previously rocked by controversy and senior staff turnover. “I apologize and repent publicly to you, the church, for whom I am responsible for much pride in the history of my ministry that some of you have poorly imitated,” he said from the pulpit then. “And for that, I’m deeply sorry.”

Driscoll concluded that sermon by saying, “I am not a humble man. But as result of study, I’m a man who is acknowledging his pride and pursuing humility by God’s grace.”

Several bloggers hold Driscoll’s words from seven years ago against him today, but others are more willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.

“This seems to me like a genuine apology and repentance, for which I am thankful,” theologian and seminary professor Wayne Grudem said of Friday’s letter.

Although Mars Hill said it was not distributing Driscoll’s online letter beyond the Mars Hill community, given the pastor’s high profile that was not a realistic expectation, and the statement quickly gained widespread circulation via Reddit and other websites.

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