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  • Hance Dilbeck elected as Okla. executive director

    by Baptist Messenger Staff, posted Tuesday, December 12, 2017 (2 days ago)

    OKLAHOMA CITY (BP) -- Hance Dilbeck was elected as the next executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma in a unanimous vote by the BGCO Board of Directors Dec. 11 in Oklahoma City.

    Dilbeck, who has served as senior pastor of Quail Springs Baptist Church in Oklahoma City since 2003, will become the ninth executive director in the convention's 101-year history. Dilbeck will succeed current BGCO Executive Director-Treasurer Anthony Jordan, who has led the convention since April 1996.

    Members of the BGCO Executive Search Committee, who began their search last September, spoke enthusiastically about Dilbeck during the Dec. 11 meeting at the Baptist Building, voicing how they believe God guided the decision process. Read More

  • Wildfire skirts CA church, pastor shares scary moments

    by Diana Chandler, posted Friday, December 08, 2017 (6 days ago)

    Screen capture from Reuters
    VENTURA, Calif. (BP) -- When the massive Thomas wildfire rushed the boundaries of Springs of Life Baptist Church in Ventura, Calif., Dec. 5, pastor Doug Jones was onsite with firefighters and others working to save the church, nearby homes and livestock.

    Jones described the "terrifying" scene to Baptist Press today (Dec. 8). His church serves as a staging area for perhaps 60 Unified Command firefighters who manned 12 fire engines near the church in the quaint mountain community of Casitas Springs in Ventura. Read More

  • So. Calif. churches in wildfire path; DR on standby

    by Diana Chandler, posted Wednesday, December 06, 2017 (8 days ago)

    Screen capture from WeatherNetwork.com
    VENTURA, Calif. (BP) -- With five wildfires burning in California, the latest in Los Angeles, Southern Baptist disaster relief volunteers are on standby and several church facilities are unreachable, ministry leaders there told Baptist Press.

    The Thomas fire in Ventura, the largest, is threatening churches in the Gold Coast Baptist Association that are included in mandatory evacuation zones, Director of Missions Vern Hancock said. Springs of Life Church in the Casitas Springs community of Ventura was in imminent danger, but Hancock had been unable to contact its pastor Douglas Jones by BP's deadline today (Dec. 6). Read More

  • FIRST-PERSON: Why Chicago?

    by Dennis Conner, posted Friday, December 01, 2017 (13 days ago)

    No matter where you live, Dennis Conner notes, metropolitan areas like Chicago are located between you and "the end of the earth" in the Great Commission. Read More

  • Sermon in Spanish marks a first for Fla. convention

    by Keila Diaz & Nicole Kalil, posted Friday, December 01, 2017 (13 days ago)

    Photo from Facebook
    BRANDON, Fla. (BP) -- With the theme "Eyes on Eternity," messengers and visitors at the Florida Baptist State Convention heard testimonies of the cooperative work taking place across the state.

    Many were grateful for the disaster assistance that quickly came following hurricanes Irma and Maria while others expressed their gratitude for Florida Baptist Convention partnerships that led to ministry and revitalization in communities around the Sunshine State.

    For the first time in the history of the Florida Baptist Convention annual meeting, the convention sermon was preached in Spanish with simultaneous English translation. Carlos Tellez, pastor of Iglesia Bautista Coral Park in Miami, preached a sermon encouraging all to place their eyes on eternity and focus on sharing the Gospel with as many people as possible. Read More

  • Survey seeks qualities of effective DOMs

    by Diana Chandler, posted Thursday, November 30, 2017 (14 days ago)

    Image: iStock/license purchase required
    MCDONOUGH, Ga. (BP) -- Opinions of leaders and servants in all areas of Southern Baptist life are solicited in an online survey studying the qualities of effective leadership by directors of missions (DOMs).

    The Southern Baptist Conference of Associational Leaders (SBCAL) appointed a study group to conduct the survey to provide a uniform job title and description for the DOM position. The group will submit its report to the SBCAL in June 2018 in advance of the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting in Dallas. Read More

  • Responding to God's call focus of BGAV

    by Nathan White, posted Wednesday, November 29, 2017 (15 days ago)

    BGAV photo
    HAMPTON, Va. (BP) -- The Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV) focused on how individuals and churches can respond to God's call during literal and figurative storms of life at its 194th annual meeting Nov. 13-15 in Hampton, Va.

    During evening worship Nov. 13 at the Hampton Roads Convention Center, BGAV Executive Director John Upton set the tone by interpreting the event's theme, "God's Call ... Now What?" Upton invited attendees to consider the courage and excitement of the first disciples in Matthew 4:18-22, who left everything they knew to follow Jesus. Read More

  • La. Baptists urge prayer, 'aggressive going'

    by Brian Blackwell/Baptist Message, posted Wednesday, November 29, 2017 (15 days ago)

    Photo by Philip Timothy/Baptist Message
    BATON ROUGE, La. (BP) -- The time for a spiritual harvest has arrived, Louisiana Baptists were reminded during the 2017 LBC Annual Meeting Nov. 13-14 at Istrouma Baptist Church.

    Amid the largest statewide evangelism effort by Louisiana Baptists on record, 873 congregations have signed on through Nov. 15 to participate in a commitment to "pray for every home and share Christ with every person."

    After two years of developing a strategy, enlisting churches and piloting methods, a strong push will take place in 2018 for concentrated prayer and intentional soul-winning. The cooperative effort includes a diversity of mass evangelism strategies as well as one-on-one evangelism approaches: multi-church crusades, door-to-door outreach, one-on-one evangelism, single-church revivals and other activities which leverage compassion ministries to share about the love of Christ. Read More

  • Ariz. So. Baptists increase CP, report church planting

    by Elizabeth Young, posted Tuesday, November 28, 2017 (16 days ago)

    Photo by Lainee Pegelow
    TUCSON, Ariz. (BP) -- During their 89th annual meeting, Arizona Southern Baptists were challenged to multiply disciples, leaders and churches for the sake of the lost in their cities. Looking beyond Arizona, messengers adopted a 2018 budget that will send more to Southern Baptist Convention causes.

    "Multiply" was the theme of the meeting held at First Southern Baptist Church of Tucson, Ariz., Nov. 17. It was attended by 243 messengers and 36 registered guests from 99 of Arizona Southern Baptists' 460 churches. Read More