News Articles

SBC DIGEST: Lifeway donates Bibles to children at border; College students encouraged to be on mission; Patterson leaves ERLC

Lifeway donates 1,000 Bibles to children at U.S.-Mexico border

By Aaron Wilson/Lifeway

EL PASO, Texas (BP) – Immigrants who are detained at the U.S.-Mexico border face many needs – the greatest of which is perhaps hope. Lifeway Christian Resources was recently able to partner with a North American Mission Board (NAMB) church plant to send 1,000 Spanish Bibles to displaced children at the border.

“I’m incredibly grateful Lifeway had the opportunity to partner with our friends at NAMB to supply Spanish Bibles to children and families at the U.S.-Mexico border,” said Ben Mandrell, Lifeway president and CEO. “The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the most powerful message of hope that exists in the world, and we know His Word never returns void.”

Lifeway was made aware of the need for Bibles by Felix Cabrera, senior director of NAMB’s Send Network Español, who had been in contact with Brandon Hembree, lead pastor of Impact Church in Virginia. Impact Church has a sister church near the border in El Paso, Texas, that regularly ministers to immigrants in detention centers.

“As soon as we knew about the need at the border, I immediately thought of my brothers and sisters at Lifeway so we could together take advantage of this opportunity by giving away Bibles to these children,” Cabrera said. “This is a collaborative kingdom work that aligns perfectly with what we are trying to accomplish at NAMB.”

Hembree pointed to the way God moves like the wind (John 3:8) by describing the unexpected path that led him to plant a church in the D.C. area to reach the nations – a move that would, in turn, send one of the church’s members to the southern border to facilitate Gospel outreach.

“From the bottom of my heart, thank you, Lifeway, for your Gospel-centered generosity. Because of your mission and love for Christ, we were able to provide God’s Word to thousands of displaced people in our own backyard,” he said. “I’ll never forget the first phone call I received from our member serving at the border – the urgency and compassion in his voice – relaying that all the children kept asking for were Bibles.

“Because of our partnership, children have been comforted, parents have felt loved, and entire families have been given the eternal, immense hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Lifeway Global was responsible for organizing and facilitating the donation which consisted of 1,000 copies of decorative cloth-over-board RSV Bibles from B&H Publishing.

Opportunities like these are rare and providential,” said Giancarlo Montemayor, director of global publishing. “When I got the call from NAMB asking if we could help, my heart was filled with joy. These donated Bibles could not have ended up in better hands. Our prayer is that these children would come to know Jesus through His Word.”

César Custodio is director of Spanish Sales and marketing for Lifeway.

“God has blessed our editorial line, and thanks to our different partnerships we were able to donate these Bibles and meet a need,” Custodio said. “We know they will be of great blessing to those who need peace and guidance through the Word.”

NAMB leaders encourage, challenge college students in online conference

By BP Staff

NASHVILLE (BP) – NAMB Next Gen director Shane Pruitt encouraged college students to live with “power and purpose,” during the Every Student Sent back to school virtual event Tuesday (Aug. 31).

Speaking from Acts 1:8, Pruitt emphasized the message of the text is that Christians have the purpose of their lives be to fulfill the Great Commission, and the power of the Holy Spirit to carry out that mission.

He encouraged college students beginning the school year to live on mission to reach their campus with the Gospel.

“You’re going as a missionary with the greatest power that there is, the power of the Holy Spirit, and your main goal on your campus is to know Jesus and make Him known,” Pruitt said.

“You have something for your campus that Amazon can’t deliver, the life-saving and life-transforming message of Jesus Christ. … If He can save you and me, He can save anyone on your campus.”

Every Student Sent is an evangelical ministry that partners with organizations such as the Southern Baptist Convention to connect Christian college students with local churches and campus ministries.

Paul Worcester, national director of collegiate evangelism for NAMB, also spoke during the event and encouraged students not to view college as just something to survive, but as something to actively prepare them for a life of ministry.

“God wants to shape you for a lifetime of service for his glory and His kingdom, but He’s not just preparing you for impact, your most impactful years may be the ones that you’re about to head into right now,” Worcester said. “I believe that the college campus is the best place in the world to do ministry.”

Pruitt also spoke to the audience about his passion for reaching Gen Z and his passion for college-aged ministry as he was saved as a 21-year-old. He challenged Christian college students not to give up on the lost on their campus and to realize the effective witness they can be to those who need Jesus around them.

“The most effective person at reaching a college student with the Gospel is another college student that has a heart that beats with passion for Jesus, and that same heart is broken over the spiritual lostness of their own generation,” he said.

The discussion can be viewed on the Every Student Sent website, here.

Patterson leaves ERLC for Texas church

By BP Staff

NASHVILLE (BP) – Daniel Patterson, who has been serving as acting president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission since the May departure of Russell Moore, will leave the entity to become executive pastor of Central Church in College Station, Texas. His last day is today (Sept. 3).

The church, which is pastored by former ERLC executive vice president Phillip Bethancourt, voted Wednesday (Sept. 1) to call Patterson.

“Serving at the ERLC has been among the highest honors of my life,” Patterson told Baptist Press. “That’s because, for one, getting to address issues of consequence with the Gospel is a weighty privilege in and of itself, but also because of the incredible team with whom I’ve been able to serve alongside. I never cease to be amazed by their relentlessness, joyfulness and Gospel focus.

“I look ahead to serving in my new ministry role at Central Church with great expectation, but I also very much look forward to supporting the work of the ERLC from afar, with deep affection for its work in service to Southern Baptist churches and the Great Commission.”