News Articles

BP Ledger, May 19 edition

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:
Baptist Courier
The CenturyMen
Mississippi College

Harling named president of Connie Maxwell Children’s Home
By Staff

SIMPSONVILLE, S.C. (Baptist Courier) Randy Harling, pastor of Simpsonville First Baptist Church, will be the next president of Connie Maxwell Children’s Home.

He informed his congregation Sunday, May 18.

Harling succeeds Ben Davis, who will retire Sept. 1 after serving at the Greenwood-based ministry to children for 21 years. Davis has been president since 2002.

Harling has served as lead pastor of Simpsonville First Baptist since 1997. He led his church to begin a ministry called “A Home for Me,” through which the church partnered with the South Carolina Department of Social Services to enhance foster care opportunities for church members.

Harling has consulted with other churches to help start foster and adoption ministries, and he has served on the board of “Children Come First” in Columbia. He has served in various capacities in working with DSS, and he and his wife Sherri have fostered four boys. They are also the parents of two adult sons.

“I believe our most urgent mission field in South Carolina is abused and neglected children and their parents,” Harling said. “James 1:27 is a mandate for the Body of Christ to get involved.”

Davis said he will work with Harling to ensure a “good, smooth transition.” He said Harling “has a sincere heart for children in need.”

Davis said he and his wife, Polly, will be praying for Harling and his wife as they assume their roles at Connie Maxwell, “and we trust they will experience the blessings and satisfaction we have had by serving here.”

Harling is a graduate of Furman University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

During his tenure at Simpsonville First Baptist, average weekly attendance has grown from 600 to 2,200. The church contributed $500,000 to the Cooperative Program in 2012.

Harling previously served as pastor of Cedar Shoals Baptist Church in Belton.
Fuller named music director & conductor of the CenturyMen
By Staff

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (The CenturyMen) — Charles Fuller has been named as music director and conductor of The CenturyMen. First established in 1969 as a ministry of the former SBC Radio and Television Commission, The CenturyMen is an auditioned men’s chorus of professional Christian musicians who serve as ministers of music and choral directors in churches and Christian institutions throughout the United States.

Since its beginning, The CenturyMen had been under the musical leadership of the late Buryl Red, who served as music director, conductor and arranger throughout The CenturyMen’s 45-year history.

When Red died in April 2013, the board of directors of The CenturyMen named Fuller as acting music director and conductor. Fuller has been a part of the leadership team of The CenturyMen since 2003. He previously held the position of associate music director and choral specialist with the group. When The CenturyMen met for their annual meeting on April 25 of this year, the membership unanimously voted to name Fuller as new music director and conductor.

From Little Rock, Ark., Fuller brings nearly 30 years as a choral conductor, university administrator and church musician. Fuller holds the BME degree in choral music from Baylor University, the MM degree in choral conducting from West Texas State University, and the Doctor of musical arts degree in choral music from Arizona State University. His teaching positions include director of choral activities at East Texas Baptist University and professor of music, director of choral activities and dean of the school of fine arts at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Ark. Fuller also holds the master of divinity degree in biblical studies and preaching from George W. Truett Theological Seminary and is completing work on the doctor of ministry degree in contextual leadership from The Baptist Seminary of Richmond. He currently serves as minister for congregational life at Second Baptist Church in Little Rock.

Dr. Fuller’s mentors include Hugh Sanders, Douglas McEwen, and Euell Porter as well as significant workshop experiences with Robert Shaw, Howard Swann, and Frauke Hausemann. He has conducted and led workshops in 18 states, Canada, Mexico, France, Germany, Austria, and China. His choirs have been invited to sing for the American Choral Directors Association, Alleluia Church Music Conference, American Guild of Organists, and the White House. He has served on working groups and boards for the International Federation for Choral Music, American Choral Directors Association, Texas Choral Directors Association, the MUSICA Project, and was a founding board member of ChoralNet, Inc. In addition he has served 16 churches from Arkansas to Arizona as part-time and/or interim minister of music. He formerly served as a member of the editorial board of Alliance Music Publications, Inc. in Houston, Texas, the publisher of some of his edited choral publications.

Dr. Charles Fuller’s writing for choral musicians has focused on the power of choral music in service of shared community. He also promotes in his teaching and conducting the use of excellence not as an end in itself, but as a tool for enhancing community, building character, and strengthening faith development. Choral music is for him a tool he has used to touch the lives of hundreds of people in his classrooms and rehearsal halls in churches and schools across the South and Southwest.

In addition to announcing Dr. Fuller’s election as Music Director and Conductor, The CenturyMen is pleased to announce the release of its new CD, “Celebrating a Legacy – Songs Along the Way.” This CD is a tribute to the life, music and ministry of Dr. Buryl Red and is a collection of the last arrangements he did for The CenturyMen.

The CenturyMen recently completed its 2014 concert and ministry tour of Florida and south Georgia and is making plans for future tours that include Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma, as well as international ministry and mission opportunities. The CenturyMen is always looking for qualified male singers to join this ministry. Membership is by audition only. Information about auditions as well as ordering CDs can be found by visiting the website at www.thecenturymen.com.
Futral receives honorary doctorate at Mississippi College
By Staff

CLINTON, Miss. (Mississippi College) — A Baptist leader who has preached with passion around the world, Jim Futral is in pretty exclusive company at Mississippi College.

During MC’s Spring 2014 commencement on May 10, Futral received an honorary doctor of divinity degree.

It marked the fourth honorary doctorate awarded in the past 11 years at the Baptist-affiliated university, President Lee Royce told commencement ceremonies that Saturday at the A.E. Wood Coliseum. Founded in 1826, Mississippi College awarded its first honorary degree in 1843.

Futral challenged the Class of 2014, family members and friends to make a difference, set high standards and let Jesus guide them. “You need to have integrity about your life,” he said.

While there are more than seven billion people on the planet, they are not just numbers, Futral said. They are capable of becoming world changers. “He (Jesus) will guide you. Let Him love you, day by day.”

In recent years, former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice received an honorary doctor of laws at the MC School of Law in 2003. Among others, former Mississippi Insurance Commissioner George Dale and federal U.S. District Judge Sharion Aycock of Mississippi were presented with honorary doctorates at the Christian university in 2008.

Dr. Futral’s pastoral and denominational experience is outstanding. He’s offered insightful leadership as executive director-treasurer of the Mississippi Baptist Convention, a post he’s held since 1998. He’s served as a pastor in Southern Baptist churches for 35 years, including 13 years at Broadmoor Baptist Church in Mississippi.

His parents are the late Rev. Guy Futral and Mary Sue Futral of Fort Smith, Arkansas. That’s where he was born near the Oklahoma border. But, just a few months later, the infant moved with his parents to Greenwood, Mississippi. He’s called the Magnolia State home ever since. He grew up in Clinton, but has lived in other cities, including Jackson, Oxford, Starkville and Gulfport.

Thousands of readers of “The Baptist Record,” the Mississippi Baptist Convention newspaper, look forward to reading Futral’s weekly column called “Directions.”

The Futral name carries many Mississippi College connections dating back to the 1940s, Royce said as he introduced the event’s guest speaker. His dad, Rev. Guy Futral, was a 1951 MC graduate. Dr. Jim Futral is one of five brothers, and several of them are MC alums. In addition, one of Jim’s three children, Rob Futral, is a Mississippi College graduate and senior pastor at Broadmoor Baptist Church in Madison.

A wonderful family man, Dr. Futral and his wife, the former Shirley Fay Moore of Bessemer, Alabama, are the parents of three children, Melodi McNair, Rob Futral and Mysti Chutz. They are proud of their eight grandchildren, Madi, Trea, Ridge, Rivers, Banks, Coleman, Mary Lamar and Clay.

Futral’s work as a servant of God began when he was called to preach at age 18. He’s preached around the globe, in much of the United States and in Mississippi’s 82 counties. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Blue Mountain College in north Mississippi in 1967, his master’s and doctorate at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

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