Church at Brook Hills’ pastor David Platt elected new IMB president

ALABAMA BAPTIST David Platt has been elected the new president of the International Mission Board (IMB). The vote took place this morning by the IMB board of trustees meeting in Richmond, Va.

Platt, pastor of The Church at Brook Hills since 2006, has gained international prominence for his commitment to missions and disciple making. He is a well-known author, speaker and Bible teacher.

PlattPlatt will follow retiring IMB president Tom Elliff, who has served in the role since 2011. Elliff announced his plans to retire in February and asked the board to find his successor quickly but carefully.

A 15-member search committee was named and chaired by David Uth, senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Orlando, Fla. Among the committee members was Jay Wolf, pastor of First Baptist Church, Montgomery.

The church released a statement Aug. 27 — “As The Church at Brook Hills, everything we do is ultimately for the sake of God’s glory among all nations. While we are saddened that David Platt will no longer be our senior pastor, we wholeheartedly support his decision to serve as president of the IMB. We know of no one with greater passion and zeal for seeing Christ preached where He has not yet been named. 

“For many years, the IMB has been one of our primary partners in sending members of our faith family to make disciples around the world, and we look forward to this relationship continuing under David’s leadership there.  We are deeply grateful for the season God has allowed David to shepherd The Church at Brook Hills.  We now gladly pray for the Platt family as they transition to a new assignment and begin the work of mobilizing thousands of churches to accomplish the Great Commission. 

“By God’s grace, Brook Hills will continue to be a vibrant disciple-making church.  We trust God’s sovereign plans for our faith family and are confident He will continue to lead us in the months and years ahead.”

Platt says on the church website, "I believe that God has uniquely created every one of His people to impact the world. Some may count it as idealistic, but I believe it is thoroughly biblical, rooted in Psalm 67:1–2, yet covering Scripture from beginning to end. God is in the business of blessing His people so that His ways and His salvation might be made known among all people."

Platt holds a bachelor of arts and bachelor of arts in journalism from the University of Georgia and a master of divinity, master of theology and doctor of philosophy from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He previously served at New Orleans Seminary as dean of chapel and assistant professor of expository preaching and apologetics, and as staff evangelist at Edgewater Baptist Church, New Orleans. He is the author of “Radical — Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream,” “Radical Together — Unleashing the People of God for the Purpose of God” and “Follow Me: A Call to Die, A Call to Live.” He also founded Radical, a resource ministry,dedicated to serving the church by making disciples of all nations.

Platt and his wife, Heather, are Atlanta natives and have four children. They lived in New Orleans until they were displaced by flooding following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Story courtesy of The Alabama Baptist.


Fayetteville council votes 6-2 to approve controversial gender identity and sexual orientation ordinance

Lisa Falknor
Arkansas Baptist News

JordanFAYETTEVILLE – By a vote of 6-2, Fayetteville became the first Arkansas city to approve a controversial ordinance protecting gender identity and sexual orientation Tuesday, Aug. 19.

As a part of the decision, the council will create a new position to enforce the rules of the ordinance. The position, called the civil rights administrator, will investigate discriminatory claims, serve as mediator between parties and recommend prosecution, if necessary.

Fayetteville Fireman Chief Kyle Curry said 350 people – the maximum number allowed in the building – crowded city hall for the council meeting. Additionally, dozens more people formed lines circling the block around the building. Proponents of the ordinance wore red, while those opposed wore purple.

An ordinance protecting the rights of homosexuals, transgender persons and other minorities is long overdue, some said during an extended period of debate; while others countered that the legislation forces churches and religious organizations to change their beliefs about homosexuality and violate individual conscience.

Following 10 hours of debate, Ordinance 119 passed 6-2 at 3:20 a.m. Wednesday morning.


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Trip to Nebraska ‘opens eyes’ to those in need

Bob Hall, pastor of First Baptist Church, Beebe, speaks during a special service following a mission trip to Terrytown, Neb.

Tim Yarbrough
Arkansas Baptist News

BEEBE – It’s safe to say the lives of 45 members of two Arkansas churches have been changed forever following a mission trip to a small and largely forgotten part of Nebraska.

Terrytown, Neb., is located on the western border of the state known for its expansive corn and wheat fields. It is a village located on the bank of the North Platte River between the cities of Scottsbluff and Gering. While Scottsbluff and Gering have grown together to form the seventh largest urban area in Nebraska, the small village of Terrytown is a place where many residents live in desperation and despair.

First Baptist Church of Beebe and First Baptist Church of Pangburn brought hope to many of the village’s residents – and saw 54 make professions of faith in Jesus Christ. Many of the converts were adults.

Forty-five members of the churches served in the area over a span of a little more than a week in July. A team of 15 from First Baptist, Pangburn, arrived two days earlier in Nebraska to canvass the area and distribute more than 800 Bibles, said Alan Cook, pastor of First Baptist,

Pangburn’s mission team was followed by 30 team members from the Beebe church, July 18-25, who held block parties, a vacation Bible school (VBS) and other activities. 

“It was nothing short of an Acts experience,” said Bob Hall, pastor of First Baptist, Beebe, adding that one lady who told the group that she was a pagan invited Jesus into her heart after hearing the gospel message three times. 

“It was unbelievable what happened that week,” said Hall.

Read the rest of the story in the 8-21 edition of the Arkansas Baptist News. Click here.


1,500 worship, learn at YEC

LITTLE ROCK – Energy was high as more than 1,500 students and youth leaders converged on Immanuel Baptist Church, Little Rock, Aug. 8-9 for the 2014 Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC) Youth Evangelism Conference (YEC).

YEC is an annual youth conference in which Arkansas Baptist churches from across the state come together to worship, hear speakers, fellowship and learn how to share their faith. Youth leaders received training from Michael Wood, lead pastor of First Baptist Church, West Monroe, La., and one of the event’s speakers, on how to equip students to share the gospel in their local communities and beyond.

Students from churches across Arkansas worship during YEC Aug. 8-9 at Immanuel Baptist Church, Little Rock. Photo by Caleb Yarbrough“Students go back to school in a week. YEC had a goal of students launching their school year with a more missional mindset where they are taking the gospel to their campuses and to their families,” said Warren Gasaway, ABSC evangelism and church health team member. 

“YEC allowed us to train them to share their faith in everyday conversations. Since the gospel is shared, not sold, students were taught how to share their faith through their relationships. After this weekend, we know that they are inspired and equipped for that,” he said.

The Digital Age led worship during YEC. Entertainment was
provided by 321 Improv and the band Capital Kings. Speakers for the event included Brian Burgess, an evangelist based in North Carolina, and Wood. Evangelism training for students, youth ministers and youth leaders was led by ABSC team members, Burgess and Wood.

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Floyd addresses ABSC Executive Board Aug. 12

Ronnie Floyd, pastor of Cross Church in Northwest Arkansas and president of the Southern Baptist Convention, speaks to the Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC) Executive Board Aug. 12.

Tim Yarbrough
Arkansas Baptist News

LITTLE ROCK – “We cannot afford to play solo during this time.”

That was the word Aug. 12 from Ronnie Floyd, pastor of Cross Church in northwest Arkansas and newly elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), to the Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC) Executive Board, staff and guests.

“God is going to fulfill His commission with or without us,” said Floyd. “I want to be with Him.”

Floyd said the reach of the SBC is far and wide, such as in the 42 state conventions and the ABSC.

“We have one common goal,” he said, “to reach the world for Jesus Christ.”

Floyd said since all Southern Baptists are in agreement with that goal, now is the time for “everyone to find their part in that.”

He said the convention needs to strive to “strategically plant gospel churches.”

“We need to be together, and we need to engage the culture,” said Floyd, emphasizing that means inside the borders of Arkansas, the nation and throughout the world, “such as in Iraq.”

Floyd said he recently returned from a trip to Columbus, Ohio, the site of the 2015 SBC Annual Meeting. He encouraged churches to commit to attend the annual meeting and “check on your $9 million investment.” Floyd was referring to the $9.4 million Arkansas Baptists send to the SBC to support causes such as the International Mission Board, the North American Mission Board, seminary education, Christian ethics and religious liberty ministries and other facilitating ministries.

“We need to have a mighty time in the Lord there,” said Floyd, adding that he recently recorded a 5-minute video encouraging everyone to attend. He is asking every state convention to show the video at their upcoming annual meetings.

Floyd also encouraged everyone to read his weekly blog at, in which he said he is asking thousands of Southern Baptists to pray for the next great awakening and to work toward increasing baptisms.

He said the SBC experienced its worst year in baptisms in 62 years, which was when “Harry Truman was in the White House.” He added that all Southern Baptists – including him and his church – must do better because there are a lot more people who live in the United States today than did 62 years ago.

On the front lines are 4,600 student ministers in the SBC, said Floyd, adding that it is imperative that Southern Baptists reach young people through their ministries and other ministries.

“We have all got to do better,” he said. “God has us ready for a mighty movement!”

Contact Tim Yarbrough at