Stories of interest to Arkansas Baptists ...


Hearing set for Glorieta lawsuit

A judge in New Mexico has scheduled a hearing on pending motions regarding the suit filed by an Arkansas couple who claim LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention lacked legal authority to sell Glorieta Conference Center.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Hayes Scott set the hearing for 9 a.m. June 19.

The court will consider a motion from the plaintiffs, Kirk and Susie Tompkins of Little Rock, for an emergency hearing to grant a temporary retraining order blocking all construction by Glorieta 2.0 at the conference center.

The court also will consider multiple motions to dismiss filed by defendants named in the suit, who assert lack of jurisdiction and standing, failure to state a claim and improper service of process.

The Tompkins family seeks $400,000 for loss of their vacation home built on property leased from Glorieta. They want an additional $12 million to be divided among about 65 homeowners who built or purchased homes on Glorieta property secured by what the couple says were understood to be perpetually recurring leases. - The Baptist Standard



Lottie Moon offering for international missions reaches record $154 million

In Sweden, IMB worker Anissa Haney (left) meets with Linda Hamfors for Bible study. Struggling with addiction and spiritual questions, Linda approached Anissa after a musical performance and asked if they could talk more. Today, the young Swedish woman is a follower of Jesus. The 2013 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions and gifts through the Cooperative Program enabled Anissa to be there when Linda, searching for truth in a highly secularized society, was ready to hear it. IMB PhotoRICHMOND, Va. (BP) – Southern Baptists gave an unprecedented $154 million to the 2013 Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions, breaking the record for the largest total in the offering's 125-year history.

The 2013 offering, finalized June 5, reached $154,057,852.36. The total represents an increase of nearly $4.8 million over 2012, or 3.2 percent. It tops the previous record, $150.4 million in 2007, by more than $3.6 million, and marks the fourth increase since 2008.

"This gives us an opportunity to reflect on the incredible generosity of Southern Baptists over many years," IMB President Tom Elliff said. "The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering represents well over half of our budget each year, so those who give sacrificially and out of concern for the lost can be assured that an enormous portion of all that happens overseas can be directly tied to their support. 

"It's estimated that close to 1 billion people living now are very likely to go through life without ever hearing the Gospel in such a fashion that they can understand it and respond to it in faith," Elliff said. "Our missionaries are 'chasers after darkness.' We're looking for those dark corners of the world where the light of the Gospel has yet to be shed so we can get the message of Christ into the hearts of people who need so desperately to hear about it."

Click to read more ...


Thailand coup sparks call for prayer

BANGKOK, Thailand (BP) – In a country that has already endured months of political unrest, International Mission Board (IMB) leaders are calling believers to fervent prayer for Thailand after the Royal Thai Army declared martial law last week and gained control of the government in a coup two days later.

"We pray for a resolution that is best for the Thai people," Peter Hillen,* an IMB worker in Thailand, said. "Pray for people to be patient as this resolves. Please pray for our personnel to take opportunities to share about where their eternal security comes from; we can't trust in man for our security."

Following the May 22 coup, IMB leadership continues to monitor the situation and has advised personnel to exercise caution and avoid areas where protests have been held.

Click to read more ...


Thousands respond during Master’Singers tour

Thousands of Ukrainians attended Master’Singers concerts during their recent visit to the country.Jessica Vanderpool
Arkansas Baptist News

MORE THAN 4,400 people made decisions to “become serious followers of Christ” during the Arkansas Master’Singers choir tour in western Ukraine, which took place April 21-May 2.

“I’ve been in ministry since I was 18 years old, and this is by far the most powerful thing I’ve ever gotten to be a part of,” said Larry Grayson, Arkansas Baptist State Convention evangelism and church health team member. 

Grayson, who serves as Master’Singers director, noted that “the intensity, the excitement, the feelings … cannot be recreated with words.”

Click to read more ...


President declares disaster for Arkansas  

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency announced that federal disaster aid has been made available to the State of Arkansas and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms, tornadoes and flooding on April 27, 2014. 

The President’s action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in Faulkner County.

Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

Federal funding is also available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for debris removal and emergency work for damage from the severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding in Faulkner County.  

Federal funding is available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

Timothy J. Scranton has been named as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area.  Scranton said additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments. 

Individuals and business owners who sustained losses in the designated area can begin applying for assistance by registering online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) or by web enabled mobile device at m.fema.gov.  Disaster assistance applicants, who have a speech disability or hearing loss and use TTY, should call 1-800-462-7585 directly; for those who use 711 or Video Relay Service (VRS), call 1-800-621-3362. The toll-free telephone numbers will operate from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. (local time) seven days a week until further notice.

– This is a news release from the FEMA News Desk