Children’s pastor arrested for sex trafficking felony

A sex trafficking felony charge against a children’s minister has left a 4,000-member church reeling. Jason Kennedy, 46, who joined Grace Baptist Church’s staff two and a half years ago, was arrested May 19 in Knoxville — one of 30-plus individuals charged in a four-day undercover sting operation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and […]

‘But seriously, folks’: Humor’s role in pulpit assessed

The legendary British preacher Charles Spurgeon was once rebuked by a woman in his congregation who felt he used too much humor in his sermons. As Baptist historian Michael Haykin recounts the story, Spurgeon replied, “Well, madam, if you knew the number of things that I refrain from saying, you would give me more credit.” […]

Guest Viewpoint: Unity is one of our greatest needs in SBC

Unity demands we accept one another in love. Unity requires work — hard work. Unity is an act of humility. In a convention of over 51,000 churches and congregations, eleven national entities and our Executive Committee, forty-two state conventions, and more than 1,000 associations, unity does not happen without intentionality. A brief look back As […]

Ed Stetzer to join Wheaton College faculty

Ed Stetzer, executive director of LifeWay Research and executive editor of The Gospel Project curriculum published by LifeWay, has been named to the faculty of Wheaton College and as executive director of Wheaton’s Billy Graham Center for Evangelism. Stetzer, 49, will begin his new roles at Wheaton July 1, which also will include publisher of […]

Survey probes pastors’ views on handling misconduct

There’s no consensus among Protestant pastors whether a colleague accused of misconduct should step down from the pulpit for a time, according to a LifeWay Research survey released May 10. Few respondents, however, say pastors who commit adultery should be permanently banned from ministry, LifeWay Research reported on the findings of a telephone survey of […]

Retired missionary publishes first novel

Jean Phillips has released her seventh book but first novel, “Light in the Darkness,” a story of how the light of Jesus dispels spiritual darkness in a rural district in Zimbabwe. Phillips and her late husband, Gene, served for more than 40 years as Southern Baptist missionaries in Zimbabwe and other southern African countries. She […]

Praying for the Persecuted Church Through Operation Orange Ribbon

Most of us were shocked when we saw the video of orange-clad Coptic Christians kneeling in their last moments just before being beheaded by ISIS. We were alarmed when we heard about the Muslim terrorist group Boko Haram kidnapping 276 girls from their dorms at a school in Nigeria. Christians today continue to be persecuted, […]

Three to vie for SBC presidency in June

As The Courier went to press, the names of three pastors were to be placed into nomination for president of the Southern Baptist Convention at the denomination’s annual meeting June 14-15 in St. Louis. They are listed below in the order in which their nominations were announced through Baptist Press. To read lengthier profiles of […]