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First Baptist Tifton calls multi-talented preacher, singer, musician as lead pastor

TIFTON, Ga. – TJ Mauldin is one of those rare individuals who can sing like he belongs on a record label and preach so vividly that Bible passages come to life. That’s how people describe the 37-year-old who has been called as the new lead pastor at First Baptist Church in Tifton. Mauldin arrived at the southern Georgia church 11 years ago as a 26-year-old, part-time contemporary worship leader strumming an acoustic guitar, but Pastor Wayne Roe and others quickly recognized that he was an incredibly gifted preacher, too.
Georgia Baptist Convention’s annual meeting being moved to Augusta’s Warren Baptist Church
AUGUSTA, Ga. – This year’s Georgia Baptist Convention annual meeting is being moved from Augusta’s Marriott Convention Center to nearby Warren Baptist Church, a move that will provide significant cost savings. “We’re grateful for the hospitality of the people at Warren Baptist,” said Georgia Baptist Mission Board Executive Director W. Thomas Hammond Jr. “They have everything we’re looking for in an annual meeting venue – a spacious sanctuary, plenty of meeting rooms and ample parking.”
Kentucky residents turning to Christ in aftermath of deadly flash floods
FLEMING-NEON, Ky. – In the aftermath of flash flooding that killed 37 people in the Kentucky mountains, residents here are turning to Christ. Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief Director Dwain Carter said it’s not unusual for people to seek God amid tragic circumstances. That why, he said, teams of Disaster Relief volunteers realize their role isn’t simply to help with the clean up, but to offer spiritual guidance to survivors.
Former coal town comes together with help from Georgia Baptists
FLEMING-NEON, Ky. (AP) — Barely a week after floodwaters swept downtown and left a foot of mud and twisted, gutted buildings along Main Street, an incongruous sight appeared: A flashing sign declaring JR’s Barber Shop “OPEN.” As National Guard troops patrolled outside and volunteers on backhoes mounded up debris, J.R. Collins stood behind his barber chair, giving a touchup to one of his regulars. Like most in Fleming-Neon, Collins comes from a family built on mining — both his grandfathers worked in coal — and he has stayed in the close-knit town even as the industry shrank and others fled. Those who remain are determined to prove their community is about more than coal.
Love in action: Smyrna Baptists purchase wheelchair-accessible van for Ray Coleman after stroke
DOUGLAS, Ga. – For retired Associational Missionary Ray Coleman, attending church has always been central in his life, but, since having a debilitating stroke two years ago, he had been unable to go. Until now. Churches in the Smyrna Baptist Association, where he served for two decades, joined together to purchase Coleman a wheelchair-accessible van that has allowed him to be on the road again.
Flood survivor: 'My three little boys are OK; that's what matters'
FLEMING-NEON, Ky. – It was a neighbor’s phone call that alerted Thelma Hall to the flash flood ravaging Fleming-Neon, a tiny community near the Kentucky-Virginia border. Cars were bobbing in the street just outside her front door in floodwater that killed at least 37 people throughout eastern Kentucky.
Baptist Life

Georgia Baptist volunteers encounter 'heartbreaking' scenes in Kentucky

JENKINS, Ky. – Yards in this tiniest of Kentucky towns are piled high with soggy mattresses, sofas and other furnishings ruined by last week’s deadly flashfloods. Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief crews are in Jenkins and nearby Fleming-Neon helping victims with cleanup in the aftermath of the flooding that killed at least 37 people.
Calling it a “historic new initiative,” Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary President Adam W. Greenway announced in a video released Thursday that beginning with the fall 2022 semester, the Fort Worth institution will provide a full tuition scholarship to all International Mission Board missionaries enrolled in the seminary’s master’s degrees and doctoral programs.
DECATUR, Ga. (BP) — Church planter and pastor Emory Berry Jr.’s passion for serving the educational community has its roots in his second-grade public school teacher of decades ago, Lilly …
NINEVAH PLAINS, Iraq (BP) – Christians largely remain displaced from the once vibrant Nineveh Plains eight years after the Islamic State decimated the region, a Christian charity working in the area said. Of the estimated 100,000 or more Christians who fled their homes in the 2014 invasion, perhaps 20,000 have returned since repatriation efforts began in 2017, Max Wood, chairman of the nondenominational American Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East, told Baptist Press.
Noah knew a thing or two about floods.  Chapters 6-8 of Genesis document the true story.  When the door closed on the ark, he was surely flooded with a wave of emotion. There are many kinds of floods that don’t involve water. Kentucky was flooded with shock and heartache just over a month ago when three well-loved police officers and a K-9 officer were killed in a mass shooting. A mom I care about has been flooded with grief.  She just buried her 17-year-old son. 
Georgia

Army identifies 2 soldiers killed by falling tree in Georgia

FORT BENNING, Ga. (AP) — The Army has identified two soldiers who were killed during training in the mountains of north Georgia. A statement from Fort Benning said 2nd Lt. Evan Fitzgibbon and Staff Sgt. George Taber died Tuesday after a tree fell on them during inclement weather. Three other soldiers were taken to a hospital with injuries.

Georgia records $21B in state-subsidized economic projects

ATLANTA (AP) — Gov. Brian Kemp says Georgia recorded $21.2 billion in state-tracked business investments in the year that ended June 30. The Republican governor says new and expanding companies committed to create 51,000 jobs. Kemp says those are new records, with announced investment nearly double the previous high while announced jobs were nearly 50% higher.

Georgia troops return after deploying amid war in Ukraine

FORT STEWART, Ga. (AP) — More than 3,800 Army soldiers are returning home to Georgia five months after their rapid deployment to Europe after Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Several hundred troops arrived Tuesday at Fort Stewart to be reunited with spouses and children waving flags and homemade signs. Army officials say the rest of the 3rd Infantry Division's 1st Armored Brigade is expected home by the end of August.

Abrams tests positive for COVID-19, has mild symptoms

ATLANTA (AP) — Democratic Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams has COVID-19. Abrams campaign spokesperson Alex Floyd says Abrams tested positive for the respiratory illness Wednesday morning after giving a public speech on the economy Tuesday night in Atlanta. Floyd says Abrams tests daily for COVID-19 and had tested negative on Monday and Tuesday.
Nation

Gas prices dip just below $4 for the first time in 5 months

U.S. gas prices have dipped under $4 a gallon for the first time in more than five months. AAA says the national average is $3.99 for a gallon of regular. That's down 15 cents in just the last week, and 68 cents in the last month. Gasoline peaked at around $5.02 a gallon on June 14.

House explosion in southern Indiana kills 3

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — Authorities say three people were killed when a house exploded in the southern Indiana city of Evansville. David Anson, chief deputy coroner for Vanderburgh County, told The Associated Press that the identities of the people who died in the explosion Wednesday will not be released until the next of kin has been notified.

Breyer, Gorsuch join to promote education about Constitution

WASHINGTON (AP) — Recently retired Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer has become the honorary co-chairman of a nonpartisan group devoted to education about the Constitution. Breyer joins Justice Neil Gorsuch at a time of intense political polarization and rising skepticism about the court’s independence.

Trump says he took the Fifth in NY civil investigation

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump says he invoked the Fifth Amendment and wouldn’t answer questions under oath in the long-running New York civil investigation into his business dealings. Trump arrived at New York Attorney General Letitia James’ offices Wednesday morning but sent out a statement more than an hour later saying he "declined to answer the questions under the rights and privileges afforded to every citizen under the United States Constitution."
World

Scenes of desperation as migrant ship sinks during rescue

ABOARD THE ASTRAL (AP) — A Spanish maritime rescue group and Italy's coast guard have helped pull some 40 people from the Mediterranean Sea after their overcrowded wooden boat capsized during a rescue operation. Open Arms tweeted that all the passengers survived and were transferred to an Italian coast guard ship.

'Disturbing': Experts troubled by Canada’s euthanasia laws

TORONTO (AP) — Canada arguably has the world’s most permissive euthanasia rules, but human rights advocates say those regulations devalue the lives of disabled people. They say the regulations also are prompting doctors and health workers to suggest the procedure to those who might not otherwise consider it. Families say that has led to disturbing conversations and controversial deaths.

Firefighters combat major wildfire in southwestern France

PARIS (AP) — More than 1,000 firefighters are struggling to contain a major wildfire that has burned a large area of pine forest in southwestern France in a region that was already ravaged by flames last month. Local authorities said more than 26 square miles have burned since Tuesday in the Gironde region and the neighboring Landes as France like other European countries swelters through a hot and dry summer.

North Korea claims disputed victory over virus, blames Seoul

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s sister says he suffered a fever while guiding the country to victory over the coronavirus. In a striking speech before thousands of North Koreans, she blamed rival South Korea for the country's outbreak and vowed “deadly” retaliation.
Perspectives
As soon as word began to spread about the massive and deadly flooding in Kentucky, Georgia Baptists responded. As Dwain Carter, who oversees those efforts for the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, describes their mission, Disaster Relief volunteers bring “help, hope and healing while transforming lives with the Gospel.”
As I reflect on my summer as an intern with the Georgia Baptist Mission Board and Mission Georgia, I can recount stories of both the miraculous and the mundane. Mission Georgia serves as a connection point to connect, collaborate with, and support churches as they seek to serve their community. The value and importance of connecting and networking were one of the very first things I learned during my time here.
A study reported by The Washington Post notes people with the highest level of optimism live between 11 and 15 percent longer than those with a less optimistic perspective. Eating a healthy diet, staying physically active, refusing to smoke cigarettes, and learning to manage stress in a healthy manner contribute to longer lifespans.
As Christians, we are called to be salt and light to the world. One way that Georgia Baptists accomplish that is by knowing how to have the greatest impact on shaping public policy in our state. With the constant attacks on our religious liberty (and now, the overturning of Roe) it’s important that church leaders know how to engage the government.  That’s the purpose of training sessions being held across the state by the Georgia Baptist Mission Board.
WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Barry Loudermilk is a Constitutional Conservative who represents northwest Georgia’s 11th Congressional District in Washington. He is a Baptist, a Christian gentleman, and a faithful follower of Christ, whose values and voting record reflect a Biblical worldview.
Business

US inflation slows as gas prices fall, but food and rent costs surge

WASHINGTON (AP) — Falling gas prices gave Americans a slight break from the pain of high inflation last month, though the surge in overall prices slowed only modestly from the four-decade high it reached in June. Consumer prices jumped 8.5% in July compared with a year earlier, the government said Wednesday, down from a 9.1% year-over-year jump in June.

Elon Musk sells $7B in Tesla shares ahead of Twitter fight

Elon Musk has sold nearly $7 billion worth of shares in Tesla as the billionaire gets his finances in order ahead of his court battle with Twitter. Musk disclosed in a series of regulatory filings that he unloaded about 8 million shares of his company Tesla in recent days. He is attempting to back out of an agreement to buy Twitter for $44 billion. Musk is by far the largest individual shareholder in both Tesla and Twitter.

US inflation will likely stay high even as gas prices fall

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans may finally be catching a break from relentlessly surging prices — if just a slight one — even as inflation is expected to remain painfully high for months. Thanks largely to falling gas prices, the government’s inflation report for July, to be released Wednesday morning, is expected to show that prices jumped 8.7% from a year earlier — still a sizzling pace but a slowdown from the 9.1% year-over-year figure in June, which was the highest in four decades.

Most electric vehicles won't qualify for federal tax credit

DETROIT (AP) — A tax credit of up to $7,500 could be used to defray the cost of an electric vehicle under the Inflation Reduction Act now moving toward final approval in Congress. But the auto industry warns that the vast majority of EV purchases won’t qualify for a tax credit that large. That’s mainly because of the bill’s requirement that, to qualify for the credit, an electric vehicle must contain a battery built in North America with minerals mined or recycled on the continent.

Hungary fines Ryanair over raising prices to cope with tax

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Hungary has accused Ryanair of consumer protection violations after it raised ticket prices to cope with a tax on what the government calls “extra profits.” Justice Minister Judit Varga wrote Monday on Facebook that an investigation found “unfair trade practices,” leading to a $777,058 fine. It's the first tied to the new tax, which led Ryanair and others to increase prices.
Sports

Prospect Grissom homers in debut, Braves beat Red Sox 8-4

BOSTON (AP) — Top Atlanta prospect Vaughn Grissom homered onto Lansdowne Street in his major league debut to lead the Braves to an 8-4 victory over the Boston Red Sox. Marcell Ozuna also homered for Atlanta. Grissom was called up earlier in the day from Double-A.

Braves call up top prospect Grissom, bring back RHP Yates

BOSTON (AP) — The Atlanta Braves have made a couple of big moves. They called up prized prospect Vaughn Grissom to play second base against the Red Sox after Orlando Arcia went on the 10-day injured list with a strained hamstring. The Braves also brought back reliever Kirby Yates from a rehab assignment, nearly two years after he last pitched in the big leagues.

Serena loses 1st match since saying she's prepared to retire

TORONTO (AP) — Serena Williams lost her first match since telling the world she is ready to leave professional tennis. No one knows exactly how many more matches Williams will play before walking away. The 23-time Grand Slam champion exited the National Bank Open on Wednesday night with a 6-2, 6-4 loss to Belinda Bencic.

Goal-setting Pitts eager to build on brilliant rookie season

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Kyle Pitts likes to set goals. After a brilliant rookie season, one thing is definitely on his mind: getting to the end zone more often. Pitts was held to a single touchdown catch in 2021, which is about the only thing he had to complain about in his Falcons debut. He tallied 68 receptions for 1,026 yards and earned a trip to the Pro Bowl.