Baptist Life

NURDAGI, Turkey — Georgia Baptists who have ministered to earthquake survivors in the past have been moved to prayer for Turkey and Syria where the death count had soared above 7,200 as of Tuesday afternoon. Rescuers were working in freezing temperatures, sometimes using only their bare hands, to dig through the remains of buildings flattened by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake.

SUMNER, Ga. – Gary Thrash knows the burdens pastors carry as they minister to the sick and hurting, cry alongside grieving families, and deal with the sometimes unrealistic expectations of church members, all while trying to make ends meet at home on meager salaries. That’s why the south Georgia deacon feels compelled to minister to the state’s ministers.

WAKE FOREST, N.C.  —  In 2015, Devin Moncada and his wife Evan moved from Pineville, Louisiana, to Wake Forest, North Carolina, for Devin to finish his Advanced Master of Divinity degree. Shaped by professors, neighbors, and classmates, the Moncadas decided for Devin to continue his studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and he is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Old Testament while working on campus and pastoring locally. Committed to living on mission in all of life, Devin and Evan and their two kids have made their home a hub for discipling community. For the Moncadas, Great Commission community begins with everyday gospel intentionality.

ALPHARETTA, Ga. – Dozens of pastors came together in late January for a two-day coaching session through the North American Mission Board’s  Leadership Institute. The twice-annual event provides in-person time for pastors and coaches who are participating in year-round cohorts with eight to twelve other pastors led by a more tenured pastor. “There aren’t a lot of places where pastors have people intentionally investing in them to help them think through how to be better shepherds and leaders,” said Jonathan Akin, who oversees the Institute.

OMEGA, Ga. – Forty-one people surrendered to Christ on Friday evening in a rural Georgia community, the latest to experience a revival movement that’s been sweeping across the Deep South state. This time it happened in a fellowship hall at Bethel Baptist Church in Omega where some 400 men had gathered for what was billed as a Beast Feast, a dinner that included a variety of wild game, including deer, hog and quail.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The apologetic landscape has changed and defending Christian morals is one of the chief tasks today, Timothy Paul Jones, professor of apologetics and family ministry at SBTS, said in Southern’s annual Faculty Address. Previous generations asked, “Is Christianity true?” but a primary question being asked of the faith today is, “Is it good?”

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The foundation for Southern Seminary’s curriculum by which it trains ministers may be boiled down to one truth, President Albert Mohler said Thursday in his annual spring convocation address: God has spoken. Speaking on Isaiah 40:1-5, Mohler said that the most important truth humans can know is that “the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” The existence of the self-revealing God is the irreducible foundation for the entire Christian faith. Thus, those truths undergird every class and every program in Southern Seminary’s curriculum.

POWDER SPRINGS, Ga. – Those who knew Bernard Weaver best have hailed him as the quintessential pastor. John Yarborough, veteran Georgia Baptist pastor and current Director of Public Policy at Truett McConnell University, referred to Weaver as a mentor to him. Yarbrough explained, “Bernard Weaver demonstrated how a man called of God to be a pastor should love His people and serve them unselfishly. I have known some great preachers and some effective leaders, but I have never known anyone who could care for the flock of God as effectively and lovingly as Pastor Weaver.”

International Mission Board trustees approved the appointment of 46 new full-time, fully funded missionaries, while also honoring the service of 87 missionaries and staff during their meeting this week in Richmond, Virginia. Chuck Pourciau, trustee chairman and lead pastor of Broadmoor Baptist Church in Shreveport, Louisiana, presided over the two-day meeting.

Churches across the Southern Baptist Convention are struggling to find worship pastors, but shifting from traditional church music degrees to biblically grounded worship may be part of the solution, one seminary professor said. Joseph Crider, dean of the school of church music and worship and a professor at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, said the shortage of music and worship pastors is at a level he has not seen in many years.

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