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Atlanta's First Baptist Church celebrating 175 years of ministry

ATLANTA — In 1846 the railroad town of Marthasville, Georgia, was booming. The town, formally called “Terminus,” was no longer a terminus. A rail bridge had been completed over the Chattahoochee River and the Western and Atlantic Railroad was pressing westward. The Executive Committee of the Georgia Baptist Convention decided to take an unprecedented move. For the first time in its 25-year history, a specific location would be targeted for planting a church.
Revival in Georgia: 119 college, university students make salvation decisions since January
GAINESVILLE, Ga. – Georgia is seeing revival on college and university campuses where 119 students have made salvation decisions since early January. Beverly Skinner, collegiate ministry catalyst for the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, said the new believers were introduced to Jesus by young Christians involved in Baptist Collegiate Ministry who have shared the gospel with 3,965 of their fellow students between early January and mid-March.
Evangecube key to helping Deaf people respond to the gospel in continuing Georgia revival
PEACHTREE CITY, Ga. – Localized revivals that have been happening in congregations across Georgia have now reached the state’s Deaf ministries where five people are set to be baptized in coming weeks. While not the largest number of salvation decisions seen this year among any particular faith community, it is a significant number in a state where 3.1 percent of the population live with hearing impairment.
Revival creates traffic jam at the baptistry in Valdosta’s Northside Baptist Church
VALDOSTA, GA – Joseph York, the 20-year-old son of the Tommy and Greta York, walked down the aisle during the recent Bible conference at Northside Baptist Church in Valdosta. He made a commitment to Christ and became a candidate for baptism. Tommy, who serves as a deacon and Sunday School teacher at Northside had the privilege of baptizing his son on the following Sunday and explained that the baptismal candidates were lined up so far that it created a traffic jam at the baptistry.
Crisis in the pulpit? Barna reports 40% of pastors have considered leaving ministry
SUWANEE, Ga. – Pastors are feeling increasingly dissatisfied with their jobs and more than 40 percent have considered leaving the ministry in the past 12 months. That’s according to data released this week by the Barna Group, a research organization that monitors trends related to values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors. 
Brent Leatherwood formally installed as ‘thoughtful conscience’ of the SBC
BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – Brent Leatherwood pledged Monday that the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission stands ready to represent Southern Baptists well in an America beleaguered by darkness and division. “We will build and reconstitute this team to meet the demands of the times we find ourselves in, fulfill the assignment given to us by our churches over a century ago, and do all we can to bring honor and glory to the name and saving grace of Jesus Christ,” Leatherwood said at an installation service hosted by Brentwood Baptist Church.
Baptist Life

Mission Board's church strengthening team to hold roundtables across state in May

AUBURN, Ga. – The Georgia Baptist Mission Board’s church strengthening team will be crisscrossing the state in May with a series of regional roundtables that will focus on the triumphs and trials church leaders are encountering as they work to reach their communities and the world with the gospel. "We anticipate engaging with new and old friends to listen and learn from one another about how God is moving throughout our state,” said Levi Skipper, the Mission Board’s lead strategist for church strengthening.
Moses is just about to die.  In a few pages, he will climb Mount Nebo to the top of Pisgah and then be buried by the LORD (Deuteronomy 34).  I’ve been dreading it for days.  Reading the Bible chronologically this year, the LORD has breathed new life into the old, old stories I have read so many times.
Helmuth Pehlke, senior research professor of Old Testament at Bibelseminar Bonn, the German-based partnering seminary of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, died March 22. He was 79 years old.
Samuel Shahid, professor of missions in the Islamic Studies program at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary from 1998-2013, died March 2. He was 87 years old.
Southeastern Seminary and the Southern Baptist Convention of Virginia partnered last week to provide pastors and church leaders throughout Virginia with seminary-level training close to home.

Kemp signs bill that bans gender-altering surgeries, hormone replacement therapies for children, teens

ATLANTA — Georgia will ban hormone replacement therapies, gender-altering surgeries for children under 18, under a law signed by Gov. Brian Kemp on Thursday.

State bank regulators say Georgia’s banks in very strong position, not at risk

ATLANTA – Georgia’s banks are in a strong position in the wake of the failure of two large American banks this month, the deputy commissioner of the state agency that oversees banks said Tuesday. “The state of banking overall in this country is very strong, and that’s especially the case in the state of Georgia,” Bo Fears of the Georgia Department of Banking and Finance told the state Senate’s banking committee. 

Georgia House and Senate in power struggle over budget

ATLANTA (AP) — The Georgia Senate on Tuesday rolled out a budget that would slice $87 million from Georgia's public universities in a power struggle with the House over hospital funding and permitting.

Endangered status sought for gopher tortoise in Georgia, 3 other states

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Gopher tortoises imperiled by loss of habitat largely caused by human development should be placed on the endangered species list in four southern states, environmental groups said Wednesday as they prepared to sue the federal government over the issue.

Denver high school shooting suspect dead, coroner confirms

DENVER (AP) — A body found in the Colorado woods near an abandoned car was that of a 17-year-old student accused of wounding two administrators in a shooting at his Denver high school, a coroner's office said. Park County Sheriff Tom McGraw said the body was discovered Wednesday not far from the student's car in a remote mountain area about 50 miles southwest of Denver, near the small town of Bailey, in Park County. The town had been ordered to shelter in place while officers from a number of agencies including the FBI combed the forest.

Teen shoots 2 administrators at Colorado high school, police say

DENVER (AP) — A 17-year-old student shot and wounded two administrators at his Denver high school Wednesday as they searched him for weapons, a daily requirement because of the boy’s behavioral issues, authorities said.

Americans' faith in banks low after failures, poll shows

WASHINGTON (AP) — Only 10% of U.S. adults say they have high confidence in the nation’s banks and other financial institutions, a new poll finds. That's down from the 22% who said they had high confidence in 2020.

Pioneer of gospel music rediscovered in Pittsburgh archives

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Scattered in crates, dirty and difficult to read, the gospel music of composer Charles Henry Pace sat packed away, unorganized — and unrealized — for more than 20 years. Frances Pace Barnes, the pioneering music publisher’s daughter who remembers how he could turn a hum into a song, knew the crates held pieces of her family’s past. But she was not expecting those decaying printing plates and papers to reveal an important part of gospel music history.

A look at the uranium-based ammo the UK will send to Ukraine

WASHINGTON (AP) — Russia threatened to escalate attacks in Ukraine after the British government announced it would provide to Ukraine a type of munition that Moscow falsely claims has nuclear components.

Sotheby's hopes for record sale of ancient Hebrew Bible

JERUSALEM (AP) — One of the oldest surviving biblical manuscripts, a nearly complete 1,100-year-old Hebrew Bible, could soon be yours — for a cool $30 million. The Codex Sassoon, a leather-bound, handwritten parchment tome containing almost the entirety of the Hebrew Bible, is set to go on the block at Sotheby’s in New York in May. Its anticipated sale speaks to the still bullish market for art, antiquities and ancient manuscripts even in a worldwide bear economy.

From the mission field: United Nations says 26% of world lacks clean drinking water

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A report issued on the eve of the first major U.N. conference on water in over 45 years says 26% of the world’s population doesn’t have access to safe drinking water and 46% lacks access to basic sanitation. The U.N. World Water Development Report 2023, released Tuesday, painted a stark picture of the huge gap that needs to be filled to meet U.N. goals to ensure all people have access to clean water and sanitation by 2030.

Missiles, drones slam into civilian buildings in Ukraine

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine’s president posted a video Wednesday showing what he said was a Russian missile slamming into a city apartment building, hours after the Kremlin's forces launched exploding drones that killed at least four people at a student dormitory near Kyiv before dawn.
My first car was a green Ford Maverick with the shift on the column and a broken gas gauge. I had to keep up with my miles between gas purchases so that I would not run out. I think it was a 1971 model. I bought this baby for $500 with my grass-cutting earnings. When I was 10 or 11 years old, I decided it was time to make some money. I hung a poster in the nearby convenience store on Highway 49 in my hometown of Milledgeville that read “Will mow lawns in Allenwood. Call David Chancey at . . .”
I’ll make a confession. I am a lover of post-it notes. I don’t know why, but I just love them. I think I love the fact that I can put them anywhere and they just stay there. And it’s a bonus that they now come in such beautiful, colorful shades. I use post-it notes all the time. If at any time you come by my desk you will see several with notes on them. This is the way I keep myself organized and also be able to remember things, or at least that’s what I tell myself.
Challenging. Exciting. Humbling. I’ve met numerous SBC missionaries during my years of service at NAMB, and these three words surface in many of their stories. From planting churches to meeting needs through compassion ministries, the calling these missionaries have given their lives to is not easy, but it’s worth it as they get to share the hope of the gospel and see lives forever changed by Jesus. 
Last week, the Georgia Senate Committee on Economic Development and Tourism replaced House Bill 237, sponsored by Rep. Leesa Hagan, which would establish the Southeast Georgia Soap Box Derby as the official soap box derby of the State of Georgia with language that now makes it a Sports Betting bill. See my Public Affairs Ministry FB video:
Three billion people, a burgeoning mass which makes up 40% of the world’s population, use Facebook. I’m a persistent viewer and periodic poster myself. Yet, as I suspect is the case with many of you, I often grow weary of scrolling through digital reams of pictures and text. And though I enjoy keeping up with the good and exciting things going on in the lives of family, friends and others, I’m tired of the political bickering, religious ranting, and selfies of feet on the beach. Nevertheless, I don’t plan to abandon Facebook. I can’t! I won’t! Why?

Fed raises key rate by quarter-point despite bank turmoil

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve extended its year-long fight against high inflation Wednesday by raising its key interest rate by a quarter-point despite concerns that higher borrowing rates could worsen the turmoil that has gripped the banking system.

US home sales surged in February as mortgage rates dipped

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Sales of previously occupied U.S. homes surged in February to the fastest pace in six months as homebuyers seized on a modest drop in mortgage rates and a slight pullback in prices. Existing home sales jumped 14.5% last month from January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.58 million, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday. That’s the strongest sales pace since September and it's higher than the 4.2 million economists were expecting, according to FactSet.

Ringling Bros. circus reborn — minus animals

NEW YORK (AP) — The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus has been reimagined and reborn without animals as a high-octane family event with highwire tricks, soaring trapeze artists and bicycles leaping on trampolines. Feld Entertainment, which owns the “Greatest Show on Earth,” revealed to The Associated Press what audiences can expect during the show's upcoming 2023 North American tour kicking off this fall.

Yellen says bank situation 'stabilizing,' system is 'sound'

WASHINGTON (AP) — Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is trying project calm after regional bank failures, saying the U.S. banking system is “sound” but additional rescue arrangements “could be warranted” if any new failures at smaller institutions pose a risk to financial stability.

Last call: Dodge unveils last super-fast gasoline muscle car

DETROIT (AP) — The last gas-powered muscle car from Dodge isn't leaving the road without some squeals, thunder and crazy-fast speed. The 2023 Challenger SRT Demon 170 will deliver 1,025 horsepower from its 6.2-liter supercharged V-8, and the automaker says it will be the quickest production car made.

Transgender athletes banned from international track and field competitions

Track and field banned transgender athletes from international competition Thursday.

Hawks can't hold back Timberwolves, lose 125-124

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Trailing by a point with 7.2 seconds left, Timberwolves coach Chris Finch looked at Karl-Anthony Towns in the huddle and told him he’d get the ball with a chance to put Minnesota ahead. It set up Towns for a memorable return from a calf injury.

March Madness Mix: Dominant Gamecocks amid Sweet 16 parity

Women's college basketball has displayed an odd mix this season and now there's the rare combination of South Carolina's undefeated dominance alongside parity in the Sweet 16. Just two of the four …

Japan tops US 3-2 for World Baseball Classic championship

MIAMI (AP) — Shohei Ohtani emerged from the bullpen and fanned Los Angeles Angels teammate Mike Trout for the final out in a matchup the whole baseball world wanted to see, leading Japan over the defending champion United States 3-2 Tuesday night for its first World Baseball Classic title since 2009.