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May 2008 Issue

Southern Baptist volunteers from throughout North America will crisscross Indianapolis the first week of June, when Crossover'08 comes to town in advance of the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting at the Indiana Convention Center on June 10-11.

Crossover'08, set for June 6-7 in Indianapolis, will mark the twentieth anniversary of this annual evangelistic event, designed to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the host city the weekend before the SBC's annual meeting.

While it's difficult to predict how many Southern Baptists will attend this year's convention in Indianapolis as messengers representing many of SBC's 43,000 churches, last year's session in San Antonio drew about 8,600 participants.

Crossover will be jointly sponsored by the SBC's North American Mission Board (NAMB), the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana, and the Crossroads Baptist Association in Indianapolis.

Ei...

I hope that you will give serious consideration to attending this year's Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana. Indianapolis is a great convention city, and I think you and your family will enjoy it tremendously. Dr. Steve Davis, Executive Director of the State Convention of Baptists in Indiana, and his excellent staff will be working to provide a wonderful experience for all. The great people of Indianapolis will welcome us heartily.

Even more importantly, I believe that it is important to step forward and give support to our annual meeting. It is sad that our days of biggest attendance were times of greatest controversy. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could come together in massive numbers to hear our North American Mission Board's plan regarding a ten-year evangelism strategy...

First Baptist Cleburne

There's a link between a church's relevance and the Cooperative Program, as pastor Daniel E. (Danny) Crosby sees it.

"We must continually force ourselves to be relevant in a culture that always seeks to push us toward irrelevance," said Crosby, pastor of First Baptist Church in Cleburne, Texas. "I think this culture doesn't think it needs us. They don't think we have anything they need or anything to do with their lives."

One reason First Baptist continues its commitment year after year to reaching people through the Cooperative Program is that it keeps the church relevant in global missions while its members reach out locally, the pastor said. The "DNA" of First Baptist, he noted, encompasses helping missi...

Searching for the Isolated Peoples of the Amazon Basin

Weary travelers stand alongside a river somewhere in South America's Amazon Basin.

After three hours of trying to maneuver upstream by motorboat to a remote village, a group of International Mission Board missionaries grudgingly accepts the realization that the journey for that day has ended. Shallow waters, exposed rocks, tree limbs, and a rough current that nearly capsized the boat won't allow the group to go any farther.

Score a victory for the Amazon.

Thousands of miles of dense jungle create a daunting "wall" for those wanting to take the Gospel to this area. For some of the people groups in remote areas, their only hope to hear about Jesus is through faithful Christians praying the Gospel message will reach them.

"A lot of people don't realize how big the Amazon Basin and the jungle really is," says Terry*, an IMB missionary who leads work among indigenous peoples in portions of South America.

"It co...

Today, as much as in any other time, we need to understand the centrality and effectiveness of God's Word in bringing about life transformation.

Tuesday Morning, June 10

UNDERSTANDING GOD'S PLAN

The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance. - 2 Peter 3:9 (HCSB)

8:00 Concert of Praise - The Sanctuary Choir, Jeff Hensley, music associate, Taylors First Baptist Church, Taylors, SC, and Worship Team and Band, First Baptist Church, Jackson, MS

8:10 Congregational Praise and Worship - L. Lavon Gray, Convention music director, minister of music and worship, First Baptist Church, Jackson, MS

8:15 Call to Order - Frank Page, president, Southern Baptist Convention, pastor, Taylors First Baptist Church, Taylors, S...

Pastors' Conference
June 8-9, 2008
Indiana Convention Center

Prepare for Rain

Sunday Afternoon, June 8

2:00 Screening - Sherwood Pictures' newest film, Fireproof

Sunday Evening, June 8

Preparing Our Fields for an Outpouring — Prayer

5:30 Mini-Concert - Voices of Mobile from the University of Mobile

6:00 Worship through Music

6:10 Welcome, Introductions, Theme Interpretation, and a Call to Prayer

6:30 Worship through Music

6:35 Message - ...

Defining the identity of Southern Baptists isn't an easy task, but the latest film in the Forged by Faith DVD series seeks to do just that.

Forged by Faith: A Character of Commitment tells the story of Southern Baptists around the world and provides six examples of what makes them who they are. Just over seventeen minutes, the DVD is the third film in a series designed to help Southern Baptists better understand and appreciate their heritage and beliefs. Designed particularly for use in small group and Sunday School classes, new member classes, and special programs, the DVDS are produced by the SBC Executive Committee. Segments of each DVD can also be used for sermon illustrations and in worship services.

The first DVD in the series, Forged by Faith: The Early Years, told the story of Southern Baptists' early history, while the second DVD, Forged by Faith: One Sacred Effort, examined the Cooperative Program. Other titles are in the...

Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary

Who will open the western seminary?" Those words from president L. R. Scarborough in a chapel speech in 1924 were forever etched into the mind of Isam B. Hodges, then a student at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

However, the dream of a western seminary did not begin with Scarborough or Hodges. The dream began with Harvey Gilbert, a Southern Baptist home missionary to California. In 1859, he founded a Baptist Institute in San Rafael, just a few miles north of the present Northern California campus.

Although it began as a Christian boarding school, the plan was to become a full theological school for equipping church leaders in the west. But along with that dream came the nightmare of the Civil War, and the dream was put on hold for almost a century.

The dream was rekindle...

We've all faced incredible obstacles in witnessing — a strategic key to success in evangelism is not placing limits on what God can do. Consider this wonderful testimony from Greg Davidson, Associate Pastor for Evangelism and Outreach at First Baptist Church in Naples, Florida.

As I begin I want you to know that we are new to FAITH evangelism through Sunday School, and boy, are we excited now! Just listen as I share our testimony of winning the lost and what program we have found that works best for us.

Our FAITH banquet was in January. We had 379 people attend and hundreds committed to FAITH evangelism for the semester through our "All-on-the-Altar" time on Sunday morning.

We have gone through eight weeks now, and we are averaging over 250 every week in FAITH evangelism. We've had almost sixty professions of faith, and this past Sunday alone, we baptized forty-two people to the glory of God. Also, over the last nine weeks, we'v...

We all come from the Adams family. Our family inheritance is our earth suit with its sinful nature. We are simply vessels of clay. Clay, as it ages, cracks, crumbles, and disintegrates. We have inherited a world that is cracking, disintegrating, and falling apart — especially if not properly maintained. We inhabit a world that is moving in a completely different direction from what God has planned. This world has a magnetic-like influence on us. If you are not making a conscious effort to stay out of an earthly sphere of influence, you will be pulled in and, before you realize it, stuck to the magnet. Because of this downward pull, we need to constantly look to God's Word to keep us focused.

The well-known author of The Robe, Lloyd C. Douglas, was a university student who lived in a boarding house. Downstairs, on the first floor, was an elderly, retired music teacher who was infirm and unable to leave the apartment. Douglas said that every morning they had a ritua...

McDonald's Supporting Homosexual Activists' Agenda
A McDonald's executive has joined the board of directors for the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, a business organization known for aggressively pushing the homosexual agenda.

Richard Ellis, McDonald's vice president of communications, was elected to the advocacy group's board in March, according to a news release from the NGLCC.

"I'm thrilled to join the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce team and ready to get to work," Ellis said, according to the news release. "I share the NGLCC's passion for business growth and development within the LGBT [Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender] community and I look forwar...