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Articles by Julie Mcgowan

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Eighty-seven Southern Baptists will cover the globe as they take the Gospel to ten of the International Mission Board's eleven administrative regions following their appointment September 13 during a service at First Baptist North Spartanburg in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

The event, which kicked off the church's Global Impact Conference, brings the total number of IMB missionaries to more than 5,100. Many of the new appointees experienced a call to international missions during similar church-related activities or on volunteer mission trips.

"When I boarded a plane returning from a short-term mission trip, my heart broke, I didn't want to leave, and I realized [I had a] heart for missions," said one new missionary who will serve in the Pacific Rim region. "I've found no greater joy than sharing the name of Jesus with someone who has never heard."

The missionary is one of many who cannot be identified by name because she serves...

It's a familiar Norman Rockwell-type scene: A one-high-school town on game day with the school colors displayed proudly on flags, sweatshirts, bumper stickers and pep rally posters. The team gets pumped, school-age fans flock to the game, parents, and other townsfolk gather for the heart of the community's social life: Sports.

But who washes the team's towels after the game? Who provides Gatorade for the two-a-day practices before the season ever begins? Who greets the visiting team? Who videotapes the events? Who gives attention to the nearly fanatical, non-athletic fan? Who hosts the officials for a snack supper?

"The bottom line is: churches today need new avenues to reach people," said Sharon Baach, associate professor of recreation at Southwest Missouri State University, and member of First Baptist Church, Springfield, Mo.

"Because there is such an interest in sports in our country there is a natural avenue to reach people. Th...