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Articles by Erin Curry Roach

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Drawing from the example of Samson's loss of strength in Judges 16, Southern Baptist Convention President Bobby Welch warned against squandering the opportunities God has given the Convention.

"There is great consequence in the traumatic tragedy of unfulfilled potential," Welch told Executive Committee members in Nashville, Tennessee, February 20.

He pointed to verse 20, which says when Samson awoke from his sleep, he said, "I will escape as I did before and shake myself free." But he did not know that the Lord had left him. Samson had lost his hair and his strength, and the Philistines were upon him.

"That must be one of the saddest circumstances imaginable to be out flailing away and the wind of God [is] off your life," Welch said, adding that a wonderful comeback happened in verse 22 when Samson's hair began to grow again.

Welch, pastor of First Baptist Church in Daytona Beach, Florida, set forth three ways ...

Children born out of wedlock today are more likely to have mothers in their early 20s than teens, according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics that prompted leaders of the True Love Waits abstinence movement to point to virginity pledges as a leading factor in the reduction of teen pregnancies.

A record high number of 1.5 million babies were born to unwed mothers last year, but the surprising trend is that most of those moms were not teens, according to an October, 2005, report on the data by USA Today.

While teens accounted for half of all unwed births in 1970, they accounted for but only 24 percent of the total in 2004.

For women ages 20-24, 55 percent of births last year were to unwed mothers, and the figure was almost 28 percent for ages 25-29, the study said.

From 2002 to 2004, births to unwed mothers ages 25-29 jumped more than 14 percent, and for mothers ages 20-24, the number rose 7 percent.

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Bobby Welch, continuing his visits to churches across the Southern Baptist Convention, has kept his focus on urging Christians to get out of their pews and into the streets where neighbors, family members, and strangers are searching for meaning and purpose in life.

The SBC president, speaking during a two-day evangelism rally in November at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Owensboro, Kentucky, underscored the words in 2 Peter 3 that God does not want anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance.

The Everyone Can rally included one baptism — of a college girl who manages the local Arby's restaurant — to celebrate the church ordinance to which Welch is urging Southern Baptists to give heightened attention.

Toward a goal of 1 million baptisms, Welch has asked Baptist associations to hold two baptism rallies by next September and for churches to emphasize baptism on Easter Sunday and on September 30, 2006.

Churches are asked to re...