Church Revitalization theme of ABSC conf.

SHERWOOD – Men and women flooded the front of the sanctuary of First Baptist Church, Sherwood, to pray and worship following the closing message of the 2015 State Conference on Evangelism and Church Growth, which took place Jan. 26-27.

The focus of the conference was church revitalization.

Steve Gaines, who gave the closing message, encouraged attendees to learn how to pray and invited those who desired to be men and women of prayer to come forward.

“We’re beyond what man can do. … Politics can’t get us out of the mess we’re in. … We’ve got to go desperately, fervently to God in prayer,” said Gaines, pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church, Cordova, Tenn. “If I don’t ever preach another sermon, I want to pray the rest of my life. … If that’s what you want in your life, come join me right now.”

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BPC chairman resigns, discusses departure of Caner, Scott

MOUNT VERNON, Ga. – A number of top leadership team members have left Brewton-Parker College in rural Georgia following the departure of the college’s controversial president, Ergun Caner.

Gary Campbell, chairman of trustees, announced his resignation Feb. 2 prior to introducing Charles “Charlie” Bass to faculty and staff as the college’s interim president. Bass is a former vice president and head of student services at Brewton-Parker College. Most recently, he was headmaster at a private school in Franklin, N.C.

Before announcing his own resignation, Campbell discussed the unexpected resignation of Caner on Jan. 20 and, a week later, the termination of C.B. Scott, a vice president.

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Speakers challenge evangelism conference attendees

SHERWOOD – Kevin Hamm, pastor of Gardendale First Baptist Church, Gardendale, Ala., reminded attendees at the 2015 State Conference on Evangelism and Church Growth Jan. 26 that “we’re living in the last days” and that if there is to be a great revival, it must start with them.

He spoke from Isaiah 44:21-23, encouraging attendees to remember that God created them and will never leave them; to return to God; to rejoice in what God has done and to shout to Him.

Hamm encouraged the crowd to “fall back in love with Him (Jesus).”

“It’s not rocket science,” he said. “Just fall back in love with Him.”

He encouraged them to “reach his word with passion” and “share the word with enthusiasm.”

Alvin Reid 

Following Hamm was Alvin Reid, professor of evangelism and student ministry at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, N.C., who spoke about the need for a new Jesus movement.

Reid spoke on the first “Jesus movement” found in the Book of Acts and on the Jesus Movement that occurred in the 1970s.

He noted three things about Jesus movements: they are “Holy Spirit movements,” they are movements about Jesus and they are “consumed with His mission.” 

“We can’t create a movement, but we surely can put ourselves in a place where God can use us,” he said, noting “movements don’t start with a mass.” 

Rather, he said movements start with a few people. 

“I want to encourage you – be filled with the Holy Spirit, be consumed with Jesus,” he said. “That will push you to a mission that will take you to the broken, to the disenfranchised, to the people that make you nervous, and ask God to help you love them."

Tom Elliff

Tom Elliff, former president of the International Mission Board, spoke from 2 Timothy 1 during the Monday evening session.

“To share the gospel … is absolutely counter to everything in our culture,” Elliff said.

He paraphrased 2 Timothy 1:12 as saying: “This is not an easy road, but you won’t be sorry you’ve taken it because it’s a road that leads to intimacy with Christ by faith, upon which you discover He can handle it.”

He reminded attendees that the lost world needs to hear that God can handle the circumstances in which they find themselves.

Michael Catt

Michael Catt, pastor of Sherwood Baptist Church, Albany, Ga., spoke on “what happens when God shows up” Monday evening. 

He began his message by reading from 1 Chronicles 17:20, 2 Samuel 7:22 and Psalm 44:1.

Catt spoke to attendees about the recognition of a desperate need, the recollection of a dynamic season and the reminder of the dynamic of the Spirit. 

“You can’t work up revival. You can’t work up the new birth. You can’t work up the burden for lost people. You can’t work up the Holy Spirit,” Catt said. “But you can set your sails to catch the wind of God blowing across the landscape. And you can put yourself in a position for God to use you, for God to manifest Himself in your presence in such a way that He changes everything. 

Catt added, “There are seasons for wind. There are tornado seasons and hurricane seasons. And I believe we are in a season when God is beginning to bring a wind across this land to give us one more chance for a mighty move in our midst. If we miss it, God help us. … It will take a wind from heaven to change our churches. It will take a wind from heaven to give us the Book of Acts again.”



Ergun Caner steps down as Brewton-Parker College president

CanerMOUNT VERNON, Ga. – Ergun Caner announced today that he is stepping down as president of Brewton-Parker College.

Follow the link below to read a news release from the college.

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ABSC hires three new campus ministers

From left: Jared Farley, Henderson State University campus minister; Ryan Scantling, Conway BCM campus minister; and Brad Branham, Arkansas Tech University campus minister.

LITTLE ROCK – During the Arkansas Baptist State Convention (ABSC) Executive Board meeting Dec. 9, the board approved the hiring of new Baptist Collegiate Ministry (BCM) campus ministers for Henderson State University, the Conway BCM and Arkansas Tech University.

Jared Farley, Henderson State’s interim BCM campus minister since August, was hired as the school’s full-time campus minister. Farley graduated from Henderson State in 2012 with a degree in business administration. Farley replaces Neal Nelson, who served as Henderson State’s BCM campus minister for 16 years before recently being called as associate pastor at Northstar Church in Blacksburg, Va.

Ryan Scantling was hired as Conway BCM campus minister. Scantling graduated from Arkansas Tech in 2013 with a degree in business administration. Scantling had served as Arkansas Tech’s assistant campus minister since 2013. He replaces Chris Larmoyeux, who recently became pastor of First Baptist Church, Maumelle.

Brad Branham was hired as BCM campus minister for Arkansas Tech University. Branham graduated from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science in mass communications and graduated from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and Graduate School in 2009 with a Master of Arts in evangelism and church planting. He previously served as student and collegiate pastor at First Baptist Church, Batesville, and as BCM campus minister at Lyon College. Branham replaces Darrel Ray, who is now a member of the ABSC evangelism and church health team.