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“Southern Baptist Media Day” Added to SBC Calendar

University professor Penelope Abernathy discusses community newspapers at the Association of State Baptist Publications February 11–14, 2019 meeting in Charleston, South Carolina. Pictured are Michigan Baptist Convention Communications Coordinator Jamie Lynn, left; Oklahoma Baptist Messenger Editor Brian Hobbs; and California Southern Baptist Managing Editor Holly Smith. Photo courtesy of Arkansas Baptist News.

Southern Baptist publications across the nation will have their day, July 28. 

Southern Baptist Media Day will recognize print and electronic publications—state papers, SBC entity magazines, websites, and more—around the nation that are dedicated to covering Southern Baptist news, missions, and ministry.

The Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention added the new day to the SBC Calendar during their February meeting in Nashville. For many editors, this is a welcomed addition.

Allan Blume, who retired as editor of the Biblical Recorder on May 31, has often expressed his concern for state Baptist publications and how they are desperately needed in today’s culture.

“When I began serving as your editor,” Blume wrote in a column for the official newsjournal of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina, “a senior leader at IMB said to me, ‘We need the state papers to survive. The papers are a major part of promoting the Lottie Moon offering and keeping Baptists informed all year long on the work of our missionaries.’ He said it is not possible for IMB to get mission information to people in the pews without the Biblical Recorder and the state newspapers.”

Blume continued, “I genuinely believe one of the factors in the decline in [Cooperative Program] giving and other missions giving is due to the lack of information reaching the people in our pews.”

Shawn Hendricks, editor of Baptist Press, agrees with Blume’s assessment and the need for Southern Baptist journalists.

“They are more needed than ever,” said Hendricks, former managing editor of the Biblical Recorder. “Without them, social media personalities, banter, and debate will more and more become the news providers. And facts and solid reporting will be replaced with rumor and speculation. That would be bad news for all of us.”

Jim Burton, center, takes a selfie with Bill Bangham, left, and Joe Westbury in 2014 during a lunch in Cumming, Georgia. The three friends all once served as editors of World Mission Journal, a magazine once published by the former Southern Baptist Brotherhood Commission in Memphis, Tennessee. Burton died on May 10, 2019, from ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). Photo by Jim Burton, courtesy of Baptist Press.

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Summer 2019 Issue
Volume 27, Issue 3
June 2019