Stories of interest to Arkansas Baptists ...


IMB moves forward on pilot funding program for short-term missionaries

RICHMOND, Va. (BP) – International Mission Board (IMB) leaders briefed trustees at thier Aug. 26-27 meeting on a pilot funding program to allow for greater numbers of short-term missionaries (who serve two- to three-year terms) while forging deeper partnerships with churches.

Under the initiative, based on the model established in 1977 by the Southern Baptist Convention's Mission Service Corps, more than 50 percent of short-term missionaries' financial support will continue to be provided by Southern Baptists through the Cooperative Program and Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. The remainder, set at $15,000 per person per year, will be raised by the missionaries themselves.

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David Platt to lead SBC’s IMB

Platt preaching in 2011.ROCKVILLE, Va. (BP) – Alabama pastor and author David Platt was elected president of the Southern Baptist International Mission Board Aug. 27 by board trustees, meeting at the IMB's International Learning Center in Rockville, Va. 

Platt, 36, pastor of The Church at Brook Hills, a Southern Baptist congregation in Birmingham, Ala., will take office effective immediately as president of the 169-year-old organization, the largest denominational missionary-sending body among American evangelicals. More than 4,800 Southern Baptist international missionaries serve worldwide.

Platt succeeds former missionary, pastor and Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) president Tom Elliff, 70, who has served as IMB president since March 2011. Elliff asked the agency's trustees earlier this year to begin an active search for his successor. Elliff and his wife Jeannie plan to r

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WMU Foundation offers grants to aid victims of human trafficking

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The WMU Foundation recently made $3,500 in grants to The WellHouse in Birmingham, Ala., and Turlac Ministries in Moldova, two organizations that fight human trafficking and aid trafficking victims. The grants were made from the WMU Foundation’s Hayes Endowment, which was established by David and Judi Hayes to specifically address the needs of trafficking victims.

“Of all trafficking activities in the United States, 40 percent of it happens in the Southeast,” said Alexa Likis-James, development director at The WellHouse. “We provide rescue, shelter, help with getting identification, medical assistance, and more. We basically get victims back on the map.”

Oleg Turlac, founder of Turlac Ministries and graduate of Samford University’s Beeson Divinity School, identifies economic issues as a major factor in Moldova’s human trafficking crisis.


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International Church Planters hold conference at Tumbling Shoals Baptist Church

“Declaring His Glory! - 1 Chronicles 16:24” was the theme of the International Church Planters (ICP) 15th Annual Missions Conference held recently at Tumbling Shoals Baptist Church, Tumbling Shoals. The nonprofit, faith-based organization is headquartered in Tumbling Shoals and operates based on the principles of Scripture and the 2000 Baptist Faith and Message, according to Timothy Hicks, ICP vice president and pastor of Military Road Baptist Church in Jacksonville. Guest speakers at the conference were Michael Cloer, pastor of Englewood Baptist Church in Rocky Mount, N.C., and David Miller, of Line Upon Line Ministries, Heber Springs. Praise and worship was led by Randy Sharpe, of Huntsville, Ala. Special music was provided by cello players Susan and Erin Hines, from Virginia, and pianist Elizabeth Xiques, of Tumbling Shoals.

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Israel 'friendship visit' slated by evangelicals

WASHINGTON (BP) – A group of Christian leaders, hosted by National Religious Broadcasters President Jerry Johnson, will travel to Israel Aug. 17-22 to show support for the Jewish state's right to defend itself against attacks from Hamas and other adversaries.

Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) President Ronnie Floyd was invited to participate in the "Christians in Solidarity with Israel" trip, sponsored by NRB and coordinated by the Israel Ministry of Tourism, but had other obligations. Among Christian leaders scheduled to participate are Richard Land, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary and president emeritus of the SBC's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission; Anne Graham Lotz, president of AnGeL Ministries; and Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.

"I regret I could not be a part of these meetings in Israel due to previously scheduled engagements," Floyd told Baptist Press in written comments. "It would have been a joy to add my support and prayers for the nation of Israel. Southern Baptists have a heritage of affirming Israel's rights to exist as a sovereign state in its ancient homeland, having adopted numerous resolutions opposing anti-Semitism and affirming the nation of Israel at our annual meetings."

The trip will include visits with leaders and citizens of Israel, along with tours of the land, an NRB release stated.

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