News Articles

SBC DIGEST: Mississippi DR ends Jackson response; NAMB/N.C. partnership; Ultrasound placement in Topeka

Jackson water crisis subsides

By William Perkins/Mississippi Baptist Record

JACKSON, Miss. (BP) – With the restoration of pressure and the lifting of most boil water notices for the Jackson municipal water system, Mississippi Baptist Disaster Relief and local church partners have wrapped up their ministry delivering more than 5,800 cases of bottled water to affected residents and is now preparing for possible mobilization after Hurricane Ian passes through Florida later this week.

Hubert Yates, disaster relief director for the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board, thanked Mississippi Baptists who contributed a total of 204 volunteer work days to deliver nearly 140,000 bottles of fresh water to Jackson residents.

A special emphasis of the Mississippi Baptist effort was to reach out to individual residents in need of the water who were disabled, had no transportation, or otherwise could not pick up bottled water at the multiple distribution sites set up around the Jackson area, Yates said.

Bulk quantities of bottled water were also disbursed from the ministry’s temporary warehouse at the Farmer’s Market in Jackson for distribution by a number of partnering organizations, as well as to the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency and City of Jackson for requests received through emergency help lines.

A total of 492 ministry engagements – witnessing, praying, and sharing in personal ways – were recorded, Yates said.

NAMB, N.C. Baptists announce SendNC church planting partnership

By Brandon Elrod/NAMB

CARY, N.C. (BP) – The North American Mission Board (NAMB) and N.C. Baptists announced a new church planting partnership in the state, known as SendNC, on Tuesday (Sept. 27).

In 2014, North Carolina ranked in the top-10 most religious states in the U.S., but even then, the metrics utilized to measure religiosity were down from seven years prior. If the state has trended with the rest of the nation, then those numbers continued trailing slowly downward.

A key avenue N.C. Baptists see in reversing that trend is to energize churches to plant more churches throughout the state.

“This partnership allows us to more than double our church-planting efforts and allows churches of all sizes to be obedient to the Great Commission in planting churches,” said Todd Unzicker, executive director-treasurer of N.C. Baptists.

“N.C. Baptists always want to do what is best for missionaries and church planters in order that more people come to Christ,” Unzicker said. “The SendNC partnership makes that a reality and in essence turns every city, town and hill in North Carolina into a Send City.”

The best way to reach communities without a Gospel witness is to send missionaries into those areas with a focus on evangelism and discipleship that leads to a new church being planted. In the New Testament, the model is local churches sending out disciples who in turn make disciples and launch new churches.

“The church is God’s plan A for reaching a lost and dying world,” Unzicker said. “And SendNC gives N.C. Baptists the best vehicle to plant more churches to see God’s kingdom come to North Carolina as it is in heaven.”

The partnership combines the best of N.C. Baptists’ existing church-planting leadership and their relationships with Send Network’s church planter development pathway, Unzicker said. Send Network, NAMB’s church planting arm, has honed its strategy for coaching, training and providing care for church planters, helping to increase the longevity and sustainability of new churches planted by Southern Baptists.

“This is an exciting day as the partnership between N.C. Baptists and Send Network goes to the next level,” said Send Network President Vance Pitman. “I look forward to working together to see more churches planting churches in North Carolina with a heart for the nations.”

SendNC is one of 25 such partnerships Send Network has with state conventions and local associations across North America, as Southern Baptists cooperate together for the sake of the Great Commission.

“’On Mission Together’ is not just the N.C. Baptists’ slogan,” Unzicker said. “We live out what it means to be sent together when we join with other Baptists across North America to see the Gospel go to all peoples.”

Psalm 139 Project dedicates ultrasound machine in Topeka, Kan.

By ERLC Staff

TOPEKA, Kan. (BP) – The Psalm 139 Project, a pro-life ministry of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, has donated an ultrasound machine to Lifeline Pregnancy Center in Topeka, Kan., as a part of its mission to place 50 ultrasound machines in pregnancy care centers by 2023.

ERLC representatives will be present at the dedication service Tuesday (Sept. 27), along with staff from the center.

Lifeline Pregnancy Center, formerly operated under the name of Caring Pregnancy Options, has served the greater Topeka area for more than 20 years. It was acquired by Lifeline Children Services five years ago and transitioned to a medical clinic in 2021.

“We are thrilled to have this ultrasound machine as a resource for women and families at our pregnancy center,” said Jessa Swearingen, center manager and outreach coordinator of Lifeline Pregnancy Center. “We know that an ultrasound is a powerful tool that allows parents to see their baby. It fosters bonding even while the baby is in the womb and can lead families to make a life-giving parenting choice for their child. We have already been able to serve numerous expectant parents with this service and we are prayerful that we can continue to share the Gospel while providing compassionate care for moms, dads and their children.”

The ultrasound machine provided by the Psalm 139 Project was shipped in December 2021 to begin serving vulnerable mothers and children.

“We are thrilled to be able to come alongside Lifeline Pregnancy Center in giving this new ultrasound machine and providing training to their staff,” said Rachel Wiles, director of Psalm 139 Project placements. “We pray that women in Northeast Kansas will be well served by this machine for years to come.”

One hundred percent of financial contributions designated to the Psalm 139 Project go toward purchasing ultrasound machines and providing training for workers. No Cooperative Program resources are used for these machines. Tax-deductible gifts may be made online to The Psalm 139 Project, or via check to ERLC, 901 Commerce Street, Nashville, Tenn., 37203. Learn more at psalm139project.com.

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  • BP Staff