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US Department of Justice investigation targets multiple SBC entities, leaders say

The U.S. Department of Justice has initiated a probe of the Southern Baptist Convention that includes multiple national entities, denominational leaders said. “Individually and collectively each SBC entity is resolved to fully and completely cooperate with the investigation,” SBC leaders said in a joint statement released late Friday.
God’s little helper: American Indian boy helps mission team lead 30-plus to Christ
JONESBORO, Ga. – A 10-year-old American Indian boy who came to faith in Christ last week in Montana has inspired a mission team from Jonesboro’s First Baptist Church with his enthusiasm for reaching others with the gospel. The boy they knew as Billy was one of 33 people who the Jonesboro mission team led to Christ last week at the Fort Belknap reservation. Delaney Gosart dabbed tears during a church gathering Wednesday as she talked about Billy’s contagious enthusiasm for serving “Creator Sets Free,” his tribe’s translation for Jesus.
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.
Baptist Life

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.
FUNSTON, Ga. – Funston Baptist Church believes that everyone is important in God’s economy. They love people of all racial and ethnic backgrounds. Pastor Ron Shiver has led the church to minister to individuals representing all demographics. That was true in this summer’s Vacation Bible School.
DALLAS (BP) – For Johnnie Bradley, pastor of Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church for the past 16 years, the struggles of the pandemic meant increased opportunities to share the Gospel by expanding the church’s longtime outreach to the needy.
HURON, S.D. (BP) – A recent sermon at Huron Baptist Church included a concept held in high regard by pastor Ian Harp and his peers. It’s a concept that applies both to the life of a minister as well as to the farmers who populate his church, town and surrounding area. Prayer and patience.
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.
Georgia

Trial begins in shooting death of 7-year-old in Atlanta

ATLANTA (AP) — The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the trial is underway for a man accused of fatally shooting a 7-year-old girl who was riding in a car with her family after a day of Christmas shopping in Atlanta. Fulton County prosecutor Pat Dutcher said in his opening statement on Friday that Kennedy Maxie was struck by gunfire after the defendant, Daquan Reed, was robbed of his cellphone and money outside the Phipps Plaza mall in Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood, picked up a pistol and fired it from the rear passenger seat of a car.

Sheriff of rural Georgia county charged with sexual battery

COLQUITT, Ga. (AP) — A sheriff in rural southwest Georgia has been arrested on charges of sexual battery and violating his oath of office. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation says it arrested Miller County Sheriff Richard Morgan after the local district attorney asked its agents to look into allegations of sexual misconduct involving the sheriff. The agency said in a news release that the charges stemmed from an incident that took place during a 911 call, but gave no further details.

Georgia to invest additional $240 million in broadband

ATLANTA – Gov. Brian Kemp announced Friday the state is investing $240 million in federal COVID relief funds in expanding Georgia’s high-speed internet infrastructure.  

Kemp announces $2B tax rebate proposal

ATLANTA – Gov. Brian Kemp announced Thursday he plans to issue around $2 billion in income and property tax rebates to Georgians next year if he wins re-election in November. Record economic growth in Georgia has given the state a budget surplus and some of that money should be returned to people’s pockets, Kemp said.
Nation

Police: Man killed himself after ramming US Capitol barrier

WASHINGTON (AP) — Police say a man drove his car into a barricade near the U.S. Capitol and then began firing gunshots in the air before fatally shooting himself. Police say the man didn't seem to be targeting any member of Congress. The incident happened just before 4 a.m. at a vehicle barricade set on Capitol Hill.

Salman Rushdie 'on the road to recovery,' agent says

MAYVILLE, N.Y. (AP) — Salman Rushdie's agent says the author is “on the road to recovery” two days after suffering serious injuries in a stabbing at a lecture in upstate New York. The announcement followed news that the lauded writer was removed from a ventilator Saturday and able to talk and joke. Andrew Wylie continued to caution that although Rushdie’s “condition is headed in the right direction,” his recovery would be a long process.

FBI seized 'top secret' documents from Trump home

WASHINGTON (AP) — Court papers show that the FBI recovered documents labeled “top secret” from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. The papers released Friday indicate the seized records include some that were marked top secret and also “sensitive compartmented information,” a special category meant to protect the nation’s most important secrets and those that if revealed publicly could cause “exceptionally grave” harm to U.S. interests.

Indiana Rep. Walorski's work called "mission" during funeral

GRANGER, Ind. (AP) — Political leaders honored Republican U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski of Indiana as a determined advocate for her beliefs during a funeral after she and three other people were killed in a highway crash last week. Numerous members of Congress were among several hundred mourners Thursday at a church near Walorski’s northern Indiana home. Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Walorski never had a job, but “a mission," pointing to her work as a Christian missionary in Romania with her husband, as the director of a local humane society and as a television news reporter before entering politics.
World

Fire at Cairo Coptic church kills 41, including 15 children

CAIRO (AP) — A fire ripped through a packed Coptic Orthodox church during morning services in Egypt’s capital, killing 41 worshippers, including at least 15 children, and injuring 16 others. The church quickly filled with thick black smoke Sunday, and witnesses said several trapped congregants jumped from upper floors to escape. The cause of the blaze in the Martyr Abu Sefein church in the working-class neighborhood of Imbaba was not immediately known.

More US lawmakers visit Taiwan 12 days after Pelosi trip

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — A delegation of American lawmakers arrived in Taiwan just 12 days after a visit by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that angered China. China responded to Pelosi's Aug. 2 visit by sending missiles, warships and warplanes into the seas and air around Taiwan. The American Institute in Taiwan said the five-member delegation led by Democratic Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts is in Taiwan on Sunday and Monday as part of a visit to Asia.

Brief scuffles slow tallying in Kenya's close election

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Kenya’s peaceful presidential election saw a brief disruption when riot police responded to scuffles at the national ballot tallying center amid tensions over the close results. Police remained at the center on Sunday. An ally of longtime opposition leader and candidate Raila Odinga announced from the lectern that the tallying center was the “scene of a crime” before calm was restored.

Ship carrying grain for hungry Ethiopia leaves Ukraine

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — A United Nations-chartered ship loaded with 23,000 metric tons of Ukrainian grain destined for Ethiopia has set sail from a Black Sea port. It's the first shipment of its kind in a World Food Program plan to assist countries facing famine. Ukraine and Russia reached a deal with Turkey on July 22 to restart Black Sea grain deliveries, addressing the major export disruption that has occurred since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.
Perspectives
Facing stress is a fact of life. How we manage our stress says a lot about our depth of faith and how much we rely on God each day. When we manage stress effectively, we can find peace in a stressful world.
The Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act, commonly referred to as Georgia’s Heartbeat Law, was ruled constitutional and was put into full effect by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on July 20. This legislation outlaws abortions after it is determined that there is a heartbeat. This kind of legislation, even with its exceptions, will save thousands of innocent human lives.
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.
Business

Average US gasoline price falls 45 cents to $4.10 per gallon

CAMARILLO, Calif. (AP) — The average U.S. price of regular-grade gasoline plummeted 45 cents over the past three weeks to $4.10 per gallon. Industry analyst Trilby Lundberg of the Lundberg Survey says Sunday that the continued decline comes as crude oil costs also remain low. The average price at the pump is down a dollar over the past nine weeks, but it’s still 85 cents higher than it was one year ago.

Inflation Reduction Act may have little impact on inflation

WASHINGTON (AP) — With inflation raging near its highest level in four decades, the House gave final approval to President Joe Biden’s landmark Inflation Reduction Act. Its title raises a tantalizing question: Will the measure actually do what it says? Economic analyses suggest that the answer is likely no.

EU says US electric vehicle tax credit could break WTO rules

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union says a new U.S. tax credit plan aimed at encouraging Americans to buy electric vehicles could discriminate against European producers and break world trade rules. The Inflation Reduction Act is nearing approval in Congress. It would grant a tax credit of up to $7,500 to lower the cost of an electric vehicle. To qualify, electric vehicles should contain a battery built in North America with minerals mined or recycled on the continent.

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.
Sports

Falcons' top draft pick London sidelined by knee injury

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Falcons rookie receiver Drake London, the eighth overall draft pick, was held out of practice after leaving the exhibition opener at Detroit with an injured knee. Coach Arthur Smith indicated Sunday there is no immediate timetable for London’s return to the field and noted that “it's nothing that we’re really concerned about long term."

Harris, Contreras lead Braves' rally for sweep of Marlins

MIAMI (AP) — Rookie Michael Harris II hit a tying homer in the ninth, William Contreras hit a go-ahead single and the Atlanta Braves rallied to beat the Miami Marlins 3-1 for a sweep of their four-game series. The Braves won their sixth straight after losing four of five against the NL East-leading New York Mets.

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.