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SBC DIGEST: LifeWay Global/B&H Español named Publisher of the Year; BGR launches ‘GoatFundMe’ campaign; music evangelist Leon Westerhouse dies

LifeWay Global & B&H Español named Spanish Publisher of the Year

MIAMI (BP) — LifeWay Global and its trade publishing division B&H Español were named Publisher of the Year at the Spanish Evangelical Publishers Association’s awards banquet Aug. 8 in Miami.

LifeWay also received eight additional awards for bestselling books and sales milestones at the SEPA banquet, which took place at Expolit, the largest annual Christian Spanish literature and music convention in the world.

The SEPA Awards, presented annually during Expolit, recognize quality and excellence in the publication, sale and marketing of Christian literature in Spanish.

This is the third time LifeWay has been named Publisher of the Year.

“It has been an exciting year to see what we at B&H and LifeWay can do to serve God’s people through trustworthy resources,” said Craig Featherstone, publisher and director of LifeWay Global. “We are so thankful for our amazing partners in ministry we have at SEPA and Expolit. We look forward to continuing to provide Spanish speakers with Bibles and Christian resources that will transform lives and equip and strengthen the church.”

Also during Expolit, LifeWay Global announced the launch of its “Programa de Biblias de Referencia” (Bible Reference Program) to key distributors from Latin America. Featherstone said the distributors responded with enthusiasm about the program’s ability to point toward an “ideal Bible for the end consumer.”

LifeWay hosted its second annual “Conferencia Crece” (Grow Conference) in conjunction with Coalición por el evangelio (The Gospel Coalition in Spanish), which drew more than 300 pastors and leaders. Crece, an all-day event during Expolit, provided attendees with eight hours of training on the theme “a church that prospers.” Speakers included Miguel Nuñez, Justin Burkholder and Otto Sanchez.

Awards won by LifeWay/B&H Español were:

General award categories:

— Editorial del año / Publisher of the Year: B&H Español
— Mejor portada y diseño interior de Biblia / Best cover and interior design ofa Bible: Biblia de Estudio para Mujeres
— Mejor presencia en las redes sociales / Best social media presence: B&H Español

Bestselling book awards:

— Liderazgo / Leadership: Delante de Dios y de parte de Dios by Sugel Michelén
— Libro Vida cristiana / Christian living: Textos fuera de contexto by Jairo E. Namnún y Steven Morales
— Libro de regalo / Gift: El plan de batalla para la oración
— Biblia / Bible: Letra Súper Gigante con referencias RVR 1960

Sales milestones: Gallery of Honor

— Diamond (more than 1 million sold): Nuevo Testamento Hay vida en Jesús
— Platinum (more than 500,000 sold): Biblia del pescador


Baptist Global Response launches ‘GoatFundMe’ campaign

NASHVILLE (BP) — Baptist Global Response has launched a “GoatFundMe” campaign to purchase 1,000 goats for people in need around the world.

One goat costs roughly $75, so the Southern Baptist disaster relief and community development organization has set a $75,000 goal for the campaign.

Jeff Palmer, BGR’s CEO, said GoatFundMe focuses on one very useful animal to help improve life for a multitude of families.

“Goats can produce healthy, nutritious milk for families, and in most cases, their milk is even recommended over cow’s milk because of its favorable protein composition,” Palmer said. “Goats not only produce milk but they can also produce meat for the family as well as extra income through the selling of their offspring. Moreover, they are easy to raise, take up very little land area and are, for the most part, a hardy animal that can survive in a variety of climates.”

BGR has published downloadable resources online at gobgr.org/goatfundme to help churches and individuals raise support for the campaign, including two games, a list of fundraising ideas and a plan for a goat-themed youth event.

Baptist Global Response undergirds the work of Southern Baptists worldwide and likeminded partners. BGR is not an official entity of the Southern Baptist Convention but is committed to helping Southern Baptists connect with people in need around the world.

Longtime music evangelist Leon Westerhouse dies

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP) — Longtime music evangelist Leon Westerhouse died July 26 at age 83 in Birmingham, Ala.

Westerhouse, who was inducted into the Southern Baptist Evangelists’ Hall of Faith in 2008, grew up in First Baptist Church in Birmingham where he made a profession of faith at age 8 and sang in the choir.

For two summers during college, Westerhouse performed Broadway shows in Atlanta, which led to an offer to play Li’l Abner on Broadway. He said he declined because he “wanted to sing songs about Jesus because He’s real. I wanted to sing for Jesus, not just act a part.”

A major turning point in Westerhouse’s life came in 1958. While returning home from their honeymoon, he and his wife Patsy were in a car accident that left them severely injured. Westerhouse was told he would never sing again, but God had other plans.

Westerhouse completed his bachelor of music degree at the University of Alabama in 1959. In 1964, while working for Frisco Railroad, he surrendered to full-time music evangelism and broke new ground in ministry as the first music evangelist in Alabama. He was ordained in 1979.

In a career of more than 50 years, Westerhouse proclaimed Jesus across the United States and on numerous missions trips abroad. His favorite hymn was “My Jesus, I Love Thee.”

In addition to his wife of 60 years, Westerhouse is survived by three children, Wendy, Wayne and Warren; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

An evangelistic service and celebration of life and ministry for Westerhouse was held Aug. 1 at Huffman Baptist Church in Birmingham.

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