Death and Dying: Bearing One Another’s Burdens in the Valley

When it comes to the decisions to be made when someone dies — burial or cremation … whether the receiving of friends will be held the day before or the same day as the funeral … if there will only be a graveside service — ministers in South Carolina largely agree that the needs of […]

Pastor: Presence of safety team brings comfort to members

Last fall, Keith Davis and a few other Spartanburg pastors planned a free seminar for churches in the area interested in a presentation on how best to prepare for an active shooter. Then, on Nov. 5, a mass shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, left 26 people dead and a nation […]

Courier Survey: Churches take measures to protect members

Nearly eight in 10 Baptist Courier readers responding to an online survey said that church members who are not law enforcement professionals provide security for their congregations and that many of them carry concealed weapons. The survey, which ran from March 28 through April 11 at, posed a series of questions on church security […]

Billy Graham, ‘America’s pastor,’ laid to rest

William Franklin “Billy” Graham, 99, a dairy farmer’s son and a preacher of the gospel of Jesus Christ, died Feb. 21 at his home in Montreat, N.C. He was laid to rest March 2 in Charlotte. Saved as a young man under the preaching of a traveling evangelist, Graham felt called by God to become […]

Billy Graham’s pastor reflects on a ‘God-forged’ friendship

Preparing to speak at the March 2 interment of the preeminent preacher of the 20th century, Don Wilton admitted a few days before the service he wasn’t sure what he would say. “I’ve prepared many messages in my life, and I’ve had numerous conversations with Mr. Graham about this moment, but I would be less […]

Elimination of deduction for expenses may affect some pastors’ incomes

A lesser-reported aspect of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 is a provision that eliminates the ability of some pastors to claim deductions for job-related expenses. Harold Loftin, chief legal officer for GuideStone Financial Resources, said deductions for unreimbursed employee expenses have been repealed by the recent tax reform bill, meaning employees will […]

Electrical fire temporarily closes Baptist Courier offices

The offices of The Baptist Courier in Greenville are temporarily closed after an electrical fire broke out in the building’s basement Tuesday afternoon (Jan. 16). Damage appeared to be limited to an electrical service box, but acrid smoke poured out of a basement door for approximately 20 minutes while firefighters extinguished the blaze and employed […]

S.C. Baptists go on the record for aiding displaced children

Whether supporting adoption and foster care, or by partnering with Connie Maxwell Children’s Home, South Carolina Baptists have historically given public voice to the biblical imperative to care for children of broken families, and they have done so yet again in recent times. South Carolina Baptist Convention messengers adopted a resolution advancing adoption in 2012 […]