Pastor’s near-death experience intensifies Gospel focus

After surviving a fiery explosion that nearly killed him, Kentucky megachurch pastor Steve Ayers said he’s a changed man, having come out of the ordeal laser-focused on Jesus and telling others about the Gospel before it’s too late. “I was committed to evangelism before the accident,” said Ayers, senior pastor of the 16,000-member Hillvue Heights […]

iPad apps used to ‘round out’ worship team

For churches with worship bands, finding and keeping enough trained musicians to play all the instruments can be a struggle, said Darryl Ferrington, a music professor at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. But he’s found the use of iPads and apps to be a way to fill in the gaps. Ferrington spent the past year […]

Newbell helps children put diversity in Gospel focus

Trillia Newbell required only one experience from teaching a Sunday school class to be convinced she should write a children’s book about God’s view of diversity. She had taught a children’s class on “the image of God and racial harmony” about a year before, Newbell told Baptist Press in an email interview Sept. 26. “It […]

Russia remains formidable challenge for evangelism

Thirteen photos — a wide palette of Russian faces — hang on the walls of Marc Ira Hooks’ office.   One is an elderly man in Sochi, the Russian city that hosted the 2014 Winter Olympics. Another is a young boy more than 5,700 miles away in eastern Siberia, face wrapped in fur. And there […]

96-year-old DR volunteer is a ‘woman on mission’

When 95-year-old Mary Katie Riddle of Wimberley, Texas, spied stacks of soiled Cambro containers, she did not hesitate. The containers needed washing before they could be refilled with food prepared by the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention Disaster Relief mass feeding team at First Baptist Church in Pflugerville. Riddle, who turned 96 on Sept. 22, […]

UPDATE: SBDR reports on Puerto Rico response

EDITOR’S NOTE: Story updated Sept. 25. Over the weekend (Sept. 23-24), Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (SBDR) workers learned the situation has changed in Puerto Rico. The extent of the damage has made the situation extremely volatile and has temporarily complicated SBDR’s ability to get in to Puerto Rico. SBDR reported it will be doing everything […]

Tebow to N.C. Bapt. DR: You’ve gone above, beyond

Professional athlete, sports analyst and native Floridian Tim Tebow thanked North Carolina Baptist churches in a Facebook video posted Sept. 21 for their disaster relief efforts across Florida after Hurricane Irma. “I just want to say, from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for what you’re doing,” said Tebow, a former NFL […]

Best Ways to Give in Times of Crisis

Mickey Caison has seen it many times in his disaster relief career. Well-meaning folks collect a truckload of food and clothing, drive perhaps hundreds of miles to a disaster zone, but can find no place to deliver the goods. Deciding “let’s put a trailer on the lot and fill it up with goods to take […]

Protestant unity is new confession’s focus

EDITOR’S NOTE: This year, Baptist Press is publishing a series of stories leading up to the 500th anniversary of when Martin Luther posted the 95 Theses to the door of a church in Wittenberg, Germany, Oct. 31, 1517. A confession of faith aimed at expressing “interdenominational unity” among Protestants on the 500th anniversary of the […]

S.C. Baptists gear up to help Irma victims

South Carolina Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers are poised to provide assistance to victims of Hurricane Irma — at home, in Florida and in other parts of the Southeast. Florida absorbed the brunt of Irma, although coastal areas of South Carolina saw near-record storm surges, and tropical storm-force winds downed trees across the state, knocking out […]