The Most Pro-Family Advertisers
Coca-Cola, Whirlpool, and Hewlett-Packard were ranked among the ten best television advertisers based on the content in prime time broadcast programs they chose to support, according to the Parents Television Council, a pro-family watchdog group.
"The role that television advertisers play in determining what type of content comes into every home in America cannot be overstated," Tim Winter, the group's president, said in a news release November 24. "We commend the advertisers on our best list that have chosen to associate their hard-earned corporate brands with positive programming that the entire family can watch together."
The ten best: Coca-Cola, The Clorox Company, Century 21 Real Estate, H&R Block, Ferrero SpA (USA), CVS Caremark Corporation, Whirlpool Corporation, The Hershey Company, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance, and Hewlett-Packard.
The Parents Television Council based its rankings on each company's prime time network television ad buys during the 2007-08 season. Companies with the most ads on green light shows — those determined by PTC to be family friendly — were ranked the best, while those companies with the most ads on red light shows were ranked the worst.
"Parents can thank many of the advertisers on the worst list for enabling the networks to pump some of the most shocking and outrageous content on the air today directly into their living rooms," Winter said.
The ten worst: General Motors Corporation, Nissan North America, L'Oreal USA, Pepsi-Cola North America, GlaxoSmithKline Holdings, Reckitt Benckiser, Target Corporation, Kohl's Corporation, Verizon Communications, and Toyota Motor North America.
"We call on our members and all concerned citizens to carefully consider which companies they will support with their shopping dollars," Winter said. "While Kohl's and Target landed on our worst list, Wal-Mart barely missed the cut off for our best list and is to be lauded for its commitment to families.
"It is up to consumers to show companies that supporting family-friendly programming makes good business sense," he added. "The PTC will continue to encourage corporate responsibility for advertising buys and ask consumers to do the same by reinforcing that message with their wallets."
Native American Churches Cooperating to Reach the Lost
by Bob Nigh
Native American churches virtually have been a silent segment of the Southern Baptist Convention, and Emerson Falls believes it's time they start beating their own drum.
Falls, pastor of Glorieta Baptist Church in Oklahoma City and a member of the Sac and Fox tribe, was elected president of the Fellowship of Native American Christians (FONAC) during a meeting preceding the Southern Baptist Convention in Indianapolis.
Forty-four representatives from about fifteen of the nation's largest tribes were present for the inaugural meeting of the new fellowship June 9 that grew out of the 2007 SBC meeting in San Antonio when organizers decided to create a group to increase networking, fellowship, leadership, and ministry opportunities.
Ledtkey McIntosh, a national missionary with North American Mission Board and also a former pastor of Glorieta Baptist Church, envisioned a Native American fellowship that also would assist in starting a church planting network among Native Americans.
Falls said FONAC has several purposes. "First is to connect the tribes nationally. There's really been no way to connect other than informally," he said. "Every state convention has Indian churches" — totaling about 450 across the SBC — "but there was not a national fellowship. So one of the purposes is to fellowship — to have a way to network nationally, stay in touch, find out about each other's needs, and find ways to work together."
FONAC's second purpose, Falls said, is to give the Indian churches a unified voice. "No one really is addressing some of the issues that we feel are relevant to the Native American church," he said. "This gives us some visibility and gives us the voice to point out some of the concerns we have as the Native American church."
A third purpose is uniting Native American churches to work together on missions causes, Falls said. "It's us taking the initiative as Indian churches to plant some works and help some struggling churches," he said. "We feel that by working together, we have the resources to do some things."
Falls is quick to point out that the Indian churches are not distancing themselves from the Southern Baptist Convention; quite the opposite.
"In our charter, we do have two requirements: support of the Baptist Faith and Message [SBC statement of beliefs] and giving to the Cooperative Program [SBC missions support channel]," Falls noted. "We put that in there because we didn't want to send the message that we were forming a separate convention or something like that. These are all Southern Baptist churches and we want them to be supportive of the SBC.
"We would like to work fully with the North American Mission Board and the various state conventions and not try to do it all by ourselves," Falls continued. "We're just taking the initiative to point out some needs, and even many of those needs we could probably take care of ourselves, so we're not totally dependent on someone else to do them for us. So, it's a combination of us taking the initiative but also partnering with the organizations already in place."
Falls said FONAC has several initial goals. "Our initial goals are to make ourselves known so that [Indian] churches will participate and come to the convention and also participate in our meeting," he said. "So our first goal is to recruit churches to become involved.
"Then, we're asking the churches to support us so we can have the money to do the things we need to do.
"In addition, we're working on ways to do networking. We're working on a Web site. We've never had a way of communicating nationally, so we're hoping that will help us tremendously. Ultimately, our goal is to put together a national strategy — to find the areas where we are weak, where we need to plant churches and develop leaders through training."
FONAC is aiming at hosting a national gathering for spiritual awakening to be held at Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center in 2010.
Meanwhile, the annual Indian Falls Creek at the Oklahoma conference center will continue to play a key role in FONAC's development, Falls said. "It's the largest gathering of Native Americans that I know of, even though it's primarily an Oklahoma thing," he said. "We always have many out of state churches come and we actively invite churches from other parts of the country to come, and they do. We have a broad representation of Indian churches at IFC every year. It's a family camp; that's the biggest difference. Our program is aimed at all ages."
Falls said he was pleased when Johnny Hunt, a Lumbee Indian, was elected as SBC president in Indianapolis. Hunt is pastor of the Atlanta-area First Baptist Church in Woodstock.
"Sometimes, people have a negative stereotype of Indians. Having someone like a Johnny Hunt demonstrate that we have a lot of competent Native Americans who can serve in national leadership positions is a good, positive role model for us, and we're excited about that," Falls said. "In addition to that, maybe it will help us to make people aware that there are Native American churches in the SBC. We're hoping that he'll help give some visibility to Native American work across the Convention."
In addition to Falls, the fellowship's inaugural officers are vice president Donny Coulter, a Canadian National Baptist Convention worker among First Nations people; treasurer Tommy Chavis, a Lumbee Indian and pastor of Bear Swamp Baptist Church in Pembroke, North Carolina; and secretary Bruce Plummer, a member of the Assiniboine Nation and a pastor in Billings, Montana.
Bob Nigh is a member of Northwest Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and is managing editor of the Baptist Messenger, newsjournal of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.