Stories of interest to Arkansas Baptists ...


Huckabee speaks on power of Scripture, new book at The Church at Rock Creek

LITTLE ROCK – Former Gov. Mike Huckabee spoke at The Church at Rock Creek, Little Rock, during a special evening service Feb. 8. Instead of discussing his potential presidential campaign,, he preached on the power of Scripture and promoted his new book "God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy."

Sunday was the last stop on a book tour that has taken Huckabee to nearly 50 cities in 15 states since Jan. 17. People gathered in at least 60 churches across the country to watch the event, titled "America: From Ordinary to Extraordinary." Huckabee said the program was being webcast to 1,600 locations, including homes.

HuckabeeHuckabee, a former Southern Baptist pastor and president of the Arkansas Baptist State Convention, emphasized that faith in God is more powerful than politics.

"Ultimately, the hope for this country is not in the politicians; it's in the pews of our churches," Huckabee said.

Before preaching, Huckabee assured reporters that his visit was not politically motivated.

"It's not a political rally. It's not a political event. It is really a spiritual night of encouragement and inspiration," he said, adding that viewers would have "a great opportunity to celebrate America and celebrate their faith."

In response to questions regarding his possible presidential bid, Huckabee said: "I've been very candid. I think people know that when I left the Fox News show in early January, I wasn't doing that just to spend Saturdays at home. So clearly things are headed in that direction, but that announcement isn't ready to be made until a little later in the spring."

Repeating themes in his latest book, Huckabee argued that Washington, D.C., New York City and Hollywood are out of touch with Americans in Arkansas and the rest of "flyover country."

He argued that Christians are despised, not only by the Islamic State, but by some Americans, who accuse them of "hate speech" if they speak out for traditional Christian teachings.

"It's a compliment to you when you're hated because of your hope and when you're hated because your faith leads you," Huckabee told hundreds of supporters at The Church at Rock Creek. "It's all right to be who you are, to believe what you believe. ... A hundred years from now, you will be glad you stood for that which is righteous."

The event drew hundreds of supporters, several Huckabee political advisers and a popular country music artist, Larry Gatlin. Gatlin played a number of songs, including "All the Gold in California," "When the Roll is Called up Yonder" and "I'm an American with a Remington." Huckabee played bass on one of the songs.

Several of those in the audience said they're hoping for a Huckabee candidacy. "My heart says he will (run)," said Lester M. Sitzes III, a dentist from Hope who has known Huckabee for decades. "If he runs, I'll be there for him any way he needs. There'll be a lot of people there for him."

Story compiled from Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports.


Disaster relief leaders fellowship, plan in Oregon

Tobin Perry
North American Mission Board

GRESHAM, Ore. – New York homeowner Frank Primiano didn’t know what to think about a team of Southern Baptist college students who came into his home following Hurricane Sandy and removed wet insulation, did other dirty jobs and then thanked him for letting them do so. Thanks in part to that act of kindness, Primiano later came to faith in Christ. Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (SBDR) volunteers connected him with a local church, he later joined and was baptized. Primiano then helped start a cancer ministry at his new church.

SBDR team member Randy Corn shared Primiano's story at the 2015 SBDR Round Table held Jan. 29-30 at Greater Gresham Baptist Church in Gresham, Ore. He recounted Primiano’s journey to illustrate the need for improved “Survivor Care.” Corn laid out a developing plan to help SBDR better disciple new believers who come to faith during a disaster response.

“We need to be willing to walk with these folks down the road of life, let them see our lives, share with them, invite them to church and have meals with them and develop them and disciple them,” said Corn in a presentation at the round table about the Survivor Care plan he is developing. “That’s a question we need to ask – would you be willing to do that? If we want to reach people for Christ, we have to be radical. We have to be willing to do ‘whatever it takes.’”

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'Moral cowardice,' Moore says of GOP dropping abortion vote

MooreWASHINGTON (BP) – Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives were guilty of "moral cowardice" when they canceled a scheduled vote on a bill to ban late-term abortions, the Southern Baptist Convention's lead ethicist said.

On the eve of the annual March for Life, House GOP leaders abandoned their plan to vote Thursday (Jan. 22) on the Pain-capable Unborn Child Protection Act, H.R. 36. The Jan. 21 reversal by House leadership put off a vote on a bill that would ban abortions on babies 20 weeks or more after fertilization based on scientific evidence that a child in the womb experiences pain by that point in gestation.

House leaders pulled the scheduled vote after about two dozen Republicans, led by female members, expressed concerns about the legislation, according to news reports. The chamber, however, had approved the same measure in the previous congressional session.

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Ronnie Floyd interviewed on Fox News: America must 'return to God'

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP) – As Americans focus on President Obama's State of the Union address, they should also consider the spiritual state of the Union, Southern Baptist Convention President Ronnie Floyd said during an appearance on the Fox News Channel Jan. 20.

"I believe it's time that the faith leaders of our country stand up and encourage our country to return to God," Floyd said via Skype on Fox's "The Real Story." "This country was based off of a strong Christian faith many, many years ago, and it's time that we understand that no longer can we check our faith at the door like a piece of luggage."

Floyd added, "The greatest need in America today is a spiritual awakening."

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Children share love of Christ through Children’s Ministry Day

Julie Walters
Woman’s Missionary Union

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – On Feb. 14, thousands of children across the country will participate in the eighth annual Children’s Ministry Day in a concerted effort to reach out to their communities and share the love of Christ through hands-on missions projects.

“This year’s theme, All for You, can help girls and boys recognize that everything they do – even heavy-lifting, just-plain-hard-work jobs – can be done in a way that proclaims the love of Jesus,” explained Heather Keller, children’s ministry consultant for national WMU. “Children’s Ministry Day is the perfect opportunity for children’s leaders and parents to help children realize they can make a difference in their community, association or across the state as they actively minister and share God’s love.”

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