News Articles

BP Ledger, March 3, 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:
Ministers’ Wives Luncheon
National Religious Broadcasters (three items)
University of Mobile

March 15 deadline approaches for annual ministry wife award
By Sharayah Colter

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (Ministers’ Wives Luncheon) — Less than two weeks remain to submit nominations for the 2014 Willie Turner Dawson award presented each year at the Ministers’ Wives Luncheon during the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting.

Nominations may include ministry wives such as the wife of a pastor or the wife of any ministry staff member, women in other areas of ministry or women whose husbands have retired or are deceased. Women nominated should be those who have made a distinct denominational contribution that extends beyond the local church.

Janet Hunt was honored with the award last year, joining a list of impactful women including Texans Susie Hawkins, Dorothy Patterson, Carol Ann Draper and Barbara O’Chester.

Nomination essays for the 2014 Willie Turner Dawson award should be mailed by March 15 to Donna Avant at 11704 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, Tenn., 37934 or emailed to [email protected]
National Religious Broadcasters installs new president & CEO, Jerry A. Johnson

NASHVILLE (National Religious Broadcasters) — Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, the new President & CEO of the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB), was formally installed on the opening night of the NRB 2014 International Christian Media Convention in Nashville.

Dr. Johnson was unanimously elected by the NRB Board of Directors on October 1, 2013, after being vetted by the NRB Presidential Search Committee and later selected by the NRB Executive Committee following a five-month search.

Prior to his selection as NRB’s new President & CEO, Dr. Johnson served as President of Criswell College in Dallas, Texas, where he oversaw the operation of one of the nation’s leading major market Christian radio stations, KCBI–FM, which was recognized by NRB as station of the year in 2011. He has also served in the senior administration and faculty at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

In his first address to the preeminent association of Christian communicators, Dr. Johnson shared his vision for NRB, including his desire to bring into the fold more Christian bloggers, podcasters and other new media communicators.

He also stressed NRB’s three-fold mission — to advance biblical truth, to promote media excellence, and to defend free speech — and how each part is essential today to widely and effectively impact the world for Christ.

“This is a new media culture, media country, media generation, and we are positioned like no other association to advance the Gospel of the Lord. There are more media tools now than ever before,” Dr. Johnson said, while also recognizing the challenges that exist amidst a changing cultural landscape. He noted how Christian-owned institutions such as Hobby Lobby are being pressured to go against their beliefs in providing insurance coverage for abortion-inducing drugs.

Dr. Johnson also urged members of the association and participants of the Convention to speak boldly and stand firmly for the proclamation of the whole counsel of God.

“We must speak. We must stand. We must be bold,” Dr. Johnson exhorted.
He later added how NRB “must become for the First Amendment what the NRA is for the Second Amendment.”

In addition to Dr. Johnson, Convention participants at Saturday’s installation ceremony heard from Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., President of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, who has called Dr. Johnson “a leader of rare ability” who “represents a coming generation of leaders among American evangelicals.” They also heard from award-winning singer and songwriter Michael W. Smith, who shared one of the songs on his yet-to-be-released album.

Other special guests included retired Justice of the Texas Court of Appeals Paul Pressler, who offered the installation prayer. Judge Pressler is a member of the KHCB Radio Network Board of Trustees, a director of Salem Communications Corp., and a member of the NRB Board of Directors. Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council, closed the ceremony in prayer.

Dr. Johnson officially took office on November 1, 2013.
National Religious Broadcasters Association creates new Christian Film Committee

MANASSAS, Va. (National Religious Broadcasters) — The National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) Board of Directors has established a Film Standing Committee to serve the unique interests of Christian film professionals within the NRB community.

The newly created group will join NRB’s seven other committees –- Church Media, Intercollegiate, International, Internet, Music Licensing, Radio, and Television –- in serving and representing their respective constituencies and in advancing the overall mission of the world’s pre-eminent association of Christian broadcasters and communicators.

Dr. Ted Baehr, Founder and Publisher of Movieguide®, will serve as the Film Standing Committee’s first Chairman. Other members of the committee include: Erik Fritjofson (Love Worth Finding Ministries), Isaac Hernandez (Olympusat), Honnie Korngold (CineVantage LLC), Scott Link (Pup Tent Media), Torry Martin, Nina May (Renaissance Foundation), Guy Noland (SAVN.TV), Matthew Pickart (Pick-Art Productions), Paul Sirmons, Bill Stevens, and Andrew Walkington (True Films Ltd.). Standing Committee members are elected to three-year terms during the annual NRB International Christian Media Convention, and Chairs are elected to serve for one year.

“I am delighted that the NRB Board of Directors has decided to add a Film Standing Committee to our organizational structure,” commented NRB President & CEO Dr. Jerry A. Johnson. “In so doing, they have created a mechanism by which the association can better serve a group of dynamic communicators and artists who are committed to using their gifts to impact the world with Christian messages. We are excited about this development.”

Among the ways Standing Committees render valuable and helpful assistance to the NRB is by:

— Developing educational and training opportunities made available through NRB conventions and other venues.

— Identifying and developing specific member benefits that will strengthen the ability of NRB members to fulfill their ministry purpose.

— Evaluating industry developments, trends, and technologies that may impact the ability of NRB members to fulfill their mission.

— Providing relevant news and information for inclusion in NRB communication devices to keep NRB members informed on important matters. 

In addition, all Standing Committee Chairs not already on the Board of Directors serve as ex-officio members of the Board.
NRB Board speaks on freedom and access

NASHVILLE (National Religious Broadcasters) — The National Religious Broadcasters’ Board of Directors has adopted four Resolutions highlighting important issues of freedom and access for Christian media. The NRB Board, a body of approximately a hundred key leaders among Christian communicators, unanimously approved statements on:

— Fairness Doctrine: Protecting broadcast freedoms and specifically calling on the FCC to suspend its “Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs” study that has been referred to by Members of Congress as a “Fairness Doctrine 2.0.”

— Supreme Court: Urging the Supreme Court to uphold the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious free exercise in several cases before it this year, including Hobby Lobby’s battle against the Obamacare mandate that all employer health insurance plans cover certain abortion-inducing drugs and a case to protect public prayer. The Board also called on NRB members “to pray for the Justices of the United States Supreme Court that they may render just decisions which provide constitutionally sound and robust protections for the exercise of religious freedom in America.”

— International Religious Freedom: Urging the Obama Administration “to actively advocate to the international community the principles of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution,” and specifically calling for the release of Pastor Saeed Abedini, an American imprisoned in Iran, and for help for other similarly persecuted Christians. The Board also honored retiring U.S. Representative Frank Wolf (R-VA) for his longtime leadership in Congress on behalf of international religious freedom and called for his and U.S. Senator Roy Blunt’s (R-MO) bill, The Near East and South Central Asia Religious Freedom Act, to be passed by Congress.

— Must Carry Law: Calling on Congress “to uphold its decades-old commitment to carriage of local TV channels on pay-TV platforms,” specifically by opposing efforts to eliminate or weaken current “Must Carry” law, “which is sound and unobtrusive.” The Board further urged the Government to recognize the important place of religious TV ministries for viewers.

Resolutions are often adopted by the Board of Directors during NRB’s annual International Christian Media Convention and serve as statements by NRB as an association expressing its support or opposition to domestic legislation, cultural movements, judicial decisions, geopolitical or international issues, or events of particular importance to NRB members. **********
Radical to simulcast 14th Secret Church gathering on Good Friday, April 18

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (Radical.net) — Radical, the resource ministry of pastor and NY Times bestselling author David Platt, is pleased to announce that the next Secret Church gathering will take place on Good Friday, April 18, 2014, and will once again be simulcast around the world.

At the last Secret Church gathering a year ago, over 60,000 people participated via a web-based simulcast from 6pm to midnight (CT). The simulcast enabled thousands of churches and small groups to participate along with the 3,000 participants gathered on-site at The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala., as Pastor David Platt taught on “Heaven, Hell, and the End of the World.”

Secret Church began over 7 years ago with two main purposes in mind: to worship through intensive Bible study and to identify with and pray for persecuted brothers and sisters around the world. Over the years, Secret Church has grown in its popularity as participants are drawn to its simplicity and the profound study of the Word. Out of necessity, Brook Hills began selling tickets at a minimal cost in order to help reserve seating. (The ticket price also covers the 150+ page study guide that is provided at each gathering.)

Over the last several years, tickets for Secret Church have sold out in a matter of minutes. In an effort to open up Secret Church to more participants, Radical began simulcasting the gathering to enable churches and small groups to participate. This spring will mark the 14th gathering of Secret Church.

The topic of this year’s Secret Church gathering will be “The Cross and Everyday Life”. Tickets for attendance at Brook Hills have sold out, but registration for the simulcast is currently open through the Secret Church website.

Information and registration for the simulcast on Good Friday can be found on the Secret Church website.
University of Mobile dedicates state-of-the-art Fisher-Brewer Recording Studio

MOBILE, Ala. (University of Mobile) — The University of Mobile dedicated its new Fisher-Brewer Recording Studio “into the hands of God” on Feb. 27 as a tool to be used to honor and glorify Him.

The professional studio, outfitted with the latest state-of-the-art recording technology, is a key component of the Christian university’s new record label, 8Eighty Records, and its Center for Performing Arts/School of Music and School of Worship Leadership.

The ceremony in Martin Hall on campus honored Mrs. Joyce Fisher of Odessa, Texas, whose donation made the studio possible, and the Rev. Curtis Brewer, associate pastor of worship and celebration at First Baptist Church of Odessa, Texas.

UMobile Board of Trustees Chairman Fred Wilson said it is evident that God was at work in the lives of everyone involved in making the studio an answer to prayer.

“Today we are dedicating something tangible, metal and wood, things we can touch and feel. But this story (of God’s work) and this celebration have sent ripples out. It’s the story of answered prayer and of the obedience of God’s servant,” Wilson said.

Wilson prayed, “Here, in this place, it is our prayer that this new tool that You have given us will be used to honor You and to glorify You.”

The university’s music program came to Fisher’s attention after Brewer heard the university ensemble Voices of Mobile sing at the 2011 Metro Music Conference, a national gathering of worship pastors, held that year at The Grand Hotel in Point Clear, Ala.

Since then, Voices of Mobile has performed multiple times at First Baptist, Odessa, where Fisher is a member and avid supporter of the music program. Many of the university’s 24 performing ensembles in the Center for Performing Arts/School of Music and School of Worship Leadership have presented concerts at the church and in the community.

“People are always asking me what part I sing, because they know how much I love the singing. I don’t sing a note – not any. But I am telling you, I love the music,” Fisher told the students, faculty and staff gathered for the dedication.

Brewer when he first heard Voices of Mobile, “they just blew me away, and I knew I had to get them to our church. That ‘God thing’ to make this whole thing happen is through the life of Joyce Fisher. Never in my ministry have I met a more gracious and kind person than Joyce Fisher.”

As for the studio, “when the time presented itself, God has chosen Joyce Fisher to make this dream a reality,” Brewer said.

Fisher and Brewer were the first to give Voices of Mobile a standing ovation during the group’s performance of “Take Me To The King” at the ceremony.

UMobile President Dr. Mark Foley said the studio is part of the university’s goal to graduate students who can influence their generation and the world for Jesus Christ.

“What you have done for us, through your love and your gift and your encouragement, has created a mechanism where the influence of these students can go around the world. They can write, record, produce and distribute music from their heart, and that speaks to the heart of their generation.”

With CPA Executive Director Roger Breland, Foley presented the first CDs recorded in the new studio to Fisher and Brewer.

The studio provides a professional and creative environment committed to training and recording the next generation of artists and worship leaders.

It is equipped with ProTools 11 with Avid HD interfaces capable of recording 32 tracks at once, Apple Mac Pro computer with Mavericks OS, HD technology DAW plugins for mixing and mastering audio, and industry-standard microphones, pre-amps and compressors.

There are multiple isolation rooms for recording individual musicians, instruments and vocalists. The studio has two dedicated control rooms for recording, editing and mixing. Studio A is a multi-track recording and mixing facility, and Studio B is an editing and mixing suite.

The professional recording studio has been in use for university classes and recording sessions since January. It is part of a new academic program in the School of Worship Leadership, where students may concentrate in areas such as music business, technology, film and theatre, and church ministry. The program trains worship pastors, media directors, studio musicians and engineers, film and stage performers, recording artists and songwriters.

The Fisher-Brewer Recording Studio provides university students with opportunities to both record and produce CDs in the same type of professional environment they will encounter in their music careers. UMobile Artist-in-Residence Jason Breland is executive director of 8Eighty Records.

For more information about the Fisher-Brewer Recording Studio and academic programs in the Center for Performing Arts/School of Music and School of Worship Leadership, visit www.umobile.edu or call 251.442.2222 or 800.WIN.RAMS.

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