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Articles by Tim Ellsworth

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Southern Baptist evangelists who are concerned about the evangelism and baptism trends they see in the SBC want to partner with pastors and local churches in efforts to reach the lost.
Revival services are no longer common. Baptisms are declining. Full-time evangelists are rarely invited to speak in Southern Baptist churches. Those concerns were the topic of conversation among a group of fifteen evangelists in Jackson, Tennessee.
Union University has planned a series of events to celebrate the momentous day that launched the Protestant Reformation.
A Southern Baptist Pastor, President, Statesman, Mentor, and Model Steps Down

Ginger Hall has been a member of Bellevue Baptist Church for twenty-six years. She's spoken to her pastor, Adrian Rogers, and shaken his hand, exactly twice.

"A lot of people tell me they don't know how I could be a member at a church this big, but I love him," Hall said. "I love Joyce. They're our family."

That was a sentiment shared by thousands over the weekend of March 4-6, 2005, as Bellevue said an emotional goodbye to its pastor after thirty-two years of service. Thousands on Friday night celebrated Rogers' pastorate at Bellevue. Thousands more on Sunday morning heard Rogers preach his last sermon as pastor of the Memphis-area congregation. And on Sunday night, the throngs gathered to bid a final farewell to their beloved leader.

They honored Rogers for being a good shepherd, a faithful preacher, and a wise servant of God. They honored him for his devotion to his family and as a denominational statesman. And they honore...

Only 43 percent of Baptists believe that works don't earn salvation and 66 percent believe Satan isn't a real being, according to a new study released by the Barna Research Group and reported by the Florida Baptist Witness.

The study explored the religious beliefs of the nation's twelve largest denominations and determined that only 41 percent of adults in those denominations could be classified as "born again."

"The Barna report is a credible perspective on the state of Christian conviction in America today," R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, told the Witness. "The report is a striking indictment of the loss of doctrinal confidence and the erosion of biblical beliefs that marks American Christianity."

George Barna, president of the California firm that conducted the research, said the study was not intended to report the official teachings of any denomination. "The dat...

George and JoAnn Carson started attending Calvary Baptist Church as a direct result of the Southern Baptist Convention's adoption of a statement on the family in June in Salt Lake City.

They have since joined the Woodstock, Ill., church, grateful to Southern Baptists for standing up "for what God wants them to do," George Carson said.

Carson, 62, was raised Catholic, and even considered becoming a priest, but never felt comfortable with Catholicism's emphasis on the Virgin Mary.

"It didn't seem right to me," he said. "Somehow, it was the wrong thing."

After a ten-day period of soul-searching at a monastery in Guam when Carson was in the military, he left the Catholic religion altogether.

JoAnn was raised as a Lutheran and when the couple married they attended mainly Lutheran churches, although they were both lost.

About ten years ago, a co-worker of George's led him to Christ. George, in turn, witnessed to JoAnn, who also trusted Christ as Lord and Savior.

Over the next few years, George and his friend read through the New Testament during their lunch...

To Reach Unconventional Kids

It's been only about a year since Rick Wilson moved from Alaska to the Illinois side of the St. Louis metro area, but he's already become somewhat of a hero to more than 100 youth.

Wilson was the main person responsible for getting Towerview Baptist Church, Belleville, Ill., to start a "skateboard ministry" in May 1997. One person has already made a profession of faith as a direct result of the church's ministry.

It works like this: Towerview allows area youth to skate on the church parking lot every afternoon after school. Anywhere from twenty to forty kids show up, pull out the skateboard ramps and hang out on church property for several hours. The rules are simple: no smoking, no cussing, 9 p.m. curfew, and the skaters must clean up after themselves.

The response "has been fantastic," Wilson said, of kids showing up to skate from all over the east metro area.

Adam Focht, 15, is a high school freshman who's a regul...

Jaci Velasquez doesn't have a boyfriend. In fact, she doesn't even date. But she's given her wedding a whole lot of thought.

"I just plan my wedding all the time," Jaci says. "Probably about 20 times a month."

Her ideas about dresses, flowers, and colors for her wedding are constantly changing. That's OK, since Jaci's only 17 years old. But one thing isn't changing about the young recording artist's plans — she's going to remain sexually pure until that time.

"I have a friend in Michigan who's 14, and she and her baby both have full-blown AIDS," Jaci says. "You look at that and it makes you realize there's something definitely wrong. It could have been avoided. It didn't have to happen."

That tragedy prompted Jaci to write "I Promise," one of the songs on her debut album on Myrrh Records, A Heavenly Place. It's a song about her pledge to God to rema...