|Today's From the States features items from:
The Baptist Record (Mississippi)
Baptist New Mexican
Louisiana Baptist Message
Miss. Baptist youth gather
to hear Gospel challenge
By William H. Perkins Jr.
CLINTON, Miss. (The Baptist Record) -- More than 1,200 Mississippi Baptist youth thrilled to the high wire act of The Flying Wallendas aerial performance troupe and evangelists Gary Permenter and Bryant Bush taught from the Word at the Youth Evangelism Challenge Dec. 27-28 in A.E. Wood Coliseum on the campus of Mississippi College in Clinton.
Bethany Barr Phillips of Tuscaloosa and her band provided music and worship for the annual event, which is sponsored by the Evangelism Department of the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board (MBCB) through the Mississippi Cooperative Program.
"We were pleased with the attendance -- there was a good crowd in the coliseum -- and the result was at least 37 professions of faith and a number of other decisions," said Don Lum, MBCB evangelism director.
Permenter is president of Gary Permenter Ministries, Inc., in Columbus, Miss. Bryant Bush is an evangelist and Christian musician based in Montgomery, Ala.
"The greatest mission fields in America today are junior high and senior high campuses," Lum said. "The focal points of this year's YEC were to equip Christian students to reach their peers and to train them to use the new evangelism material produced by the MBCB Youth Evangelism Committee.
"We want Mississippi Baptist churches to bring their students each year to hear the Gospel and to learn how to reach out to their friends and schoolmates who may not be believers. It's called 'Youth Evangelism Challenge' because we want to challenge students to share the Gospel with as many unsaved people as possible when they return home."
Lum thanked the staff and administration of Mississippi College for hosting YEC. Mississippi College is affiliated with the Mississippi Baptist Convention.
"The school has hosted the event for many years, and we are awed each year by their openness and their willingness to be a part of this soul-saving effort," Lum said.
The 2013 Youth Evangelism Conference will be Dec. 30-31 in A.E. Wood Coliseum on the campus of Mississippi College in Clinton. For more information, contact Lum at P.O. Box 530, Jackson, MS 39205-0530. Telephone: (601) 292-3278 or toll-free outside Jackson (800) 748-1651, ext. 278. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Web site: www.mbcb.org.
This article appeared in The Baptist Record (mbcb.org), newsjournal of the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board. William H. Perkins Jr. is editor of The Baptist Record.
Hobbs church rises to
new heights in missions giving
HOBBS, N.M. (Baptist New Mexican) -- Taylor Memorial Baptist Church in Hobbs, N.M., increased its missions giving for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions by more than 400 percent compared to last year, with plans to raise more.
"In the past, the church has raised between $10,000 and $23,000 for Lottie Moon," said Dale Shook, the church's executive pastor. This year, the total is over $82,000, an all-time record for the church.
Taylor Memorial has always been a strong supporter of missions, with ties to several IMB missionaries, but this year wanted to do more. Earlier this fall, the church voted unanimously to give away the entire morning offering in all three worship services on Dec. 9 to the Lottie Moon Offering. In addition, Andrew Hebert, the church's lead pastor since last July, cast a vision to raise at least $50,000 for missions, which would be the highest offering of any kind ever taken on a Sunday at the church.
Church members eagerly got behind the vision and started raising money in innovative ways.
"Several ladies in our Spanish service got the idea to sell tamales to raise money," Hebert said. "A week later, one of the kids in our children's ministry came up with the idea of having a kids' art auction.
"At about the same time, several runners in our church asked if we could put on a 5k Fun Run to raise money," Hebert continued.
"It has been amazing to see the creativity of God's people unleashed for the sake of the gospel. Even though designating our morning offering to IMB and setting a higher goal than normal was a step of faith for us, God really ignited a passion in our hearts for the nations, and we knew he would provide for our needs," Hebert said.
"The need of the nations is too great for us not to take the most sacrificial steps possible to get the gospel to the world," he concluded. Continued...