CHICAGO (BP) – On the shore of Lake Michigan on a Sunday in June, Jeff Bi compared his life to a car. When he was in the driver’s seat, said Bi, a student at the University of Chicago, the side mirrors were gone and the doors were off the hinges.
OKLAHOMA CITY (BP) -- Leaders with Oklahoma Baptists and the North American Mission Board (NAMB) have announced a new church planting partnership that will enhance church planting across Oklahoma. "Send Network Oklahoma" was approved by Oklahoma Baptists' board members during a recent board meeting.
SBC DIGEST: Thornton first woman in leadership in SEBTS Ph.D. office; Newborn joins ABSC as church planting strategist
Christy Thornton named SEBTS associate director of Ph.D. studies, director of Th.M. program; Chanson Newborn joins Arkansas Baptist State Convention as church planting strategist.
SEOUL (BP) -- While Stuart Robinson, an IMB missionary in Seoul, South Korea, was walking in his neighborhood one day, something new caught his eye. In the window of a café there was a small sign: "Closed on the Lord's day." Robinson was immediately curious. Though South Korea has had a great harvest of believers in recent decades, it isn't common to see such a clear expression of faith from a business owner. He ducked inside.
GREENWOOD, Mo.—Ten years ago, after several years of decline, the future for a 175-year-old Southern Baptist church in Greenwood, Mo., seemed bleak. But a sister church in the area embraced the dwindling congregation and helped them recover their place in the community. In August, the reborn and growing church will host the North American Mission Board's Replant Summit to help others learn how to do the same. "The First Baptist Church of Greenwood has an incredible testimony," said Mark Clifton, senior director of Replant at the North American Mission Board (NAMB). "The Gospel witness of any church is far too important to allow it to fade when adversity comes."
OAKLAND, Calif. (BP) -- Church planting missionaries expect obstacles when launching new ministries in parts of North America that need Gospel-proclaiming churches. For the "class of 2019" Southern Baptist church plants that launched last year, persisting in the face of a global pandemic was not something they could have planned for. "What looked like a challenge became an opportunity," said Akeem Smith, lead church planter of Storyline Church in Oakland, Calif., about facing the hurdles created by COVID-19.
ATLANTA, Ga. (BP) -- As the state of Georgia continues on a path to reopening, Christ Covenant Church is cautiously planning to resume in-person gatherings. But decisions about when and how to return are complicated by where. Christ Covenant has called Sutton Middle School its Sunday home for 2 1/2 years. The church, which averaged about 500 in attendance before the COVID-19 pandemic, will be ready to reopen before the school does -- which has Jason Dees, Christ Covenant's pastor, searching for options that might even include a local synagogue on a temporary basis.
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- When Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey issued a stay-at-home order in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, members of The Church at Estrella prayed and asked God how to "do church." The 2-year-old church plant could no longer meet in Westar Elementary School where they had been holding regular services. Like many churches, they were looking for ways to serve their neighbors while unable to physically gather. So they used their contacts and asked around, and someone came up with a sweet idea.
LAKE FOREST, Calif. (BP) -- Lee and Cynthia Hensler had mostly left behind their religious background when they moved from New York to Southern California in the 1970s. They occasionally visited churches for Christmas and Easter. When friends invited them to join them for a service, they usually declined so they wouldn't hurt feelings when they didn't return the next week. But that changed when Lee and Cynthia had their first child, a daughter, in 1979.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (BP) -- In the last seven years North Carolina has been experiencing a Hispanic church plant boom, with 150 new Hispanic churches. And the growth shows no signs of stopping, even amid the COVID-19 pandemic. "There has been a spiritual awakening that has led to planting of Hispanics churches across the state," said William Ortega, consultant of Hispanic church planting for the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.