There are over 15.5 million Southern Baptists in almost 40,000 churches across the country. In addition, Southern Baptists finance the ministries of almost 10,000 vocational missionaries at home and abroad. That doesn't include the many short-term volunteer mission trips made continually by Baptists throughout the year. For the second year in a row, Baptists set a new record for Cooperative Program giving — almost $146 million with about another $133 million in designated gifts, bringing the total to over $278 million. That's the money that Baptists give to national causes. In 1994, churches reported their members gave over $5.5 billion in tithes, offerings and special gifts. No matter what time of day, Baptists are constantly involved in ministry, reaching out to a lost world by sharing Christ as our only hope. With that in mind, SBC LIFE offers a small sampling of Southern Baptists around the clock and across the country. We've focused on Baptists in the U.S. this time, acknowledging that thousands of Baptists are at work overseas. Times have been converted to Eastern Standard Time and all pictures were taken on Sept. 19.
Hannah Jones fixes her hair as her sisters, Sarah and Rachel, try to use the mirror also. They are the daughters of Richard and Christine Jones, trainees at the Missionary Learning Center, Rockville, VA. The center is an integral stop for any family on their way to overseas missions. Photo by Sandy King.
Early morning sunlight illuminates the quadrangle area on the campus of New Orleans Seminary as a student studies a bit on the porch of the John T. Christian Library and a staff member heads to work. Photo by Debbie Moore.
Linda Davis, administrative assistant to the FMB's executive vice president, begins her day in prayer. Small prayer groups cluster in rooms throughout the Foreign Mission Board several days a week. Photo by Bill Bangham.
Lee Porter, SBC registration secretary, goes over notes before a meeting in Nashville, TN. Photo by Paul Selmer.
David Dean, director of missions for the Metropolitan New York Baptist Association, stands outside their building. The association includes 196 churches and chapels spread from the heart of New York City to suburban communities in New Jersey. Faced with extreme real estate prices, less than one-third of the churches own buildings. Photo by Sarah Zimmerman.
Sarah Williamson (standing)assists English class members at Emmanuel Baptist Church, Rochester, MN. For 28 years, Emmanuel has sponsored an English language program as a part of Literacy Missions Ministries. Photo by Betty Lynn Cadle.
Child care is offered during a morning Women's Bible Study at FBC-Springdale, AR. Photo by Jerry Dickson.
In the FMB audiovisual department, Gunther Friedrichs and Craig Martin edit a new missions video for distribution to Southern Baptist churches. Assisting is freelancer David Walker. Photo by Don Rutledge.
The First Family Singers of FBC-Oklahoma City, OK, practice during a stop in Kansas City, MO. Photo by Jennifer Mauldin.
Home missionaries Rebecca Waugh (I) and Taylor Field (r) talk with volunteer Charlie Fredholm about plans for the abandoned building behind them. Located in the Lower Eastside of Manhattan, the former synagogue was abandoned 20 years ago and purchased by East Seventh Baptist Ministry earlier this year. With volunteer labor and financial contributions, the ministry center plans to transform the space into meeting rooms for worship, children's programs and other services for the community where unemployment and homelessness are common. Photo by Sarah Zimmerman.
SBC President Jim Henry and Daniel Guido, from Pennsylvania, listen to a committee report during a plenary session of the Executive Committee. Photo by Paul Selmer.
Sadatu Harvey flips cheeseburgers in the grill of the Oneida Baptist Institute, Oneida, KY. The grill is one of the options available to students as part of Oneida's work program. Oneida Baptist Institute is a boarding school for students in grades 6-12. Photo by Denise Spencer.
Band students practice at Shiloh Christian School in Springdale, AR. Photo by Jerry Dickson.
Hal Kitchings, pastor of FBC-Middleburg, FL, leads soul-winning training at his church. Photo by Barbara Denman.
After a day-long meeting of the SBC's Executive Committee, Jerry Rankin rests at Nashville's International Airport before a long flight to Portugal. Photo by Bob Siddens.
Eric Raddatz, executive director, Baptists AIDS Partnership of North Carolina, shares information about ministering to AIDS patients at Hayes-Barton Baptist Church in Raleigh, NC. Photo by Kenneth Hastings.
Harold McKinley and Craig Parker are part of Bellevue Baptist Church's evangelism ministry. After the training time, teams go on visits for on-the-job training. Bellevue, in Cordova, TN, has more than 200 people involved in this form of evangelism training. Photo by Byron Tyler.
Karen White prepares for English as a Second Language classes in Northwest Arkansas. Photo by Jerry Dickson.
Victory, an Atlanta contemporary Southern gospel quartet, sings during a national conference for Southern Baptist volunteers. The conference, in Arlington, TX, celebrated the thousands of laypeople serving each years for both short- and long-term missions projects both in America and abroad. Photo by David Winfrey.
The mellow sounds of brass instruments fill the quiet campus of Midwestern Seminary. Ron Long, part of a brass ensemble, practices late at night in the chapel. Photo by Jennifer Mauldin.
Brian Hurst monitors the audio and video transmission of FamilyNet in the master control center located at the Southern Baptist Radio and Television Commission in Ft. Worth, TX. FamilyNet is the 24-hour programming service owned and operated by the SBC and has a potential viewing audience of 91.3 million viewers. Photo by Jerry Cabluck.