Florida Baptist Convention to reduce staff by 47 percent

LEESBURG, Fla. (BP) – A reorganization of the Florida Baptist Convention staff that reduces the number of employees statewide by 47 percent – from the 115 currently employed to 61 employees – was approved by the State Board of Missions, Sept. 18 at Lake Yale Baptist Conference Center.

The reorganization and downsizing was the fulfillment of a promise made by Executive Director-Treasurer Tommy Green on May 29 after being elected to the post. He stressed the need to have a responsive, lean missions organization that is decentralized, regionalized and personalized.

The downsizing will make it possible to send 51 percent of the proposed 2016 Cooperative Program Budget to the Southern Baptist Convention – a nearly 10 percent increase – and ultimately "put more missionary families on the field," he said.

The new structure is comprised of five major program groups -- Executive Director-Treasurer Office, Next Generation, Regional Catalysts, Mission and Ministries, and Support Services -- reflecting an effort to streamline and decentralize the convention staff to more effectively provide ministry support to local churches and associations.

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Ky. clerk returns to work, says same-sex licenses will be issued without her authorization

MOREHEAD, Ky. — Embattled Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis returned to work Monday, Sept. 14, for the first time since she was jailed for defying a federal court and announced that she would no longer block her deputies from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, the Associated Press reported.

Standing at the courthouse door, Davis read from a handwritten statement and explained that she had been faced with a "seemingly impossible choice" between following her conscience and losing her freedom.

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Ouachita Baptist University welcomes third largest incoming class in 15 years

ARKADELPHIA – Ouachita welcomed a total of 1,531 students to classes this fall, marking the university's third largest group of new students in the past 15 years.

Included in the class are 31 Governor’s Distinguished Scholars, 

The 2015 fall semester total marks the sixth consecutive year the university’s total fall enrollment has exceeded 1,500 students. Over the past three years, total new student enrollment has increased 12.5 percent, from 422 in 2012 to 475 this fall.

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Godly humility the only antidote for pride, Ark. pastor tells Southern Seminary chapel

Andrew J.W. Smith
The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Future Christian ministers should be wary of the seductive power of pride, said Arkansas pastor Nick Floyd in a Sept. 8 chapel message at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

“At every stage in your Christian ministry, pride will be your greatest enemy and humility will be your greatest friend,” said Floyd, pastor of Cross Church in Fayetteville and a member of Southern Seminary's board of trustees.

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Ouachita earns A-plus rankings among nation’s top universities

By Trennis Henderson
Ouachita Baptist University

ARKADELPHIA – Earning grades of A-plus from multiple college rankings, Ouachita Baptist University continues to be recognized among the top universities in the nation.

This year’s ranking marks the fifth consecutive year that Ouachita has been named among U.S. News & World Report’s top tier of “Best National Liberal Arts Colleges.” It also is the seventh year in a row that Ouachita has been named among “America’s Top Colleges” by Forbes magazine.

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