As darkness settled over the Browndale Plantation in Hawkinsville, a group of about 25 people prepared for one of the South’s oldest traditions, a coon hunt.
The event was organized by a Georgia ministry that seeks to strengthen families by bringing them into the great outdoors.
Kyle Woodfin, a Georgia Baptist preacher, leads the Hawkinsville-based Legacy Outdoor Ministries and arranges the hunts. Depending on the season, they hunt racoons, deer, hogs, turkeys, quail, dove and squirrels.
Founded in 2000, Legacy Outdoor Ministries has two lodges in Georgia, one in Hawkinsville, the other in Alamo. The ministry also has access to a game-rich 2,400 acres of land courtesy of Stuckey Timberland Co.
These resources are a huge draw for men who grew up in the outdoors and who want to share the outdoor heritage with their children.
After each hunt, the group gathers for dinner and receives a message from Woodfin.
“We want to teach and encourage them to be men of God and leaders in their homes, churches and communities,” Woodfin told The Christian Index. “We also focus on children and youth ministries with the expressed goal of passing on the legacy of the outdoors and sharing the love of Jesus Christ with the next generation.”
Woodfin is convinced that time in nature opens people’s eyes to God.
“We focus on men’s ministry,” Woodfin said, “because we believe that when you encourage men and teach boys to follow Christ, they will, in turn, lead their families, churches and communities to Christ, as well.” To read more of this story, click here.
A total of 62 students made decisions to follow Christ in 2021 at Maplewood First Baptist Church Sulphur.
Twenty-five were baptized last year, 22 are awaiting baptism and the remaining 15 are being discipled about baptism, reported the Louisiana Baptist Message.
Most of the decisions took place during summer camp and a Disciple Now weekend, but the student ministry also reaped spiritual fruit at a Wednesday night event in October that featured former American Ninja Warrior contestant Jared Greer.
Despite an unexpected storm and a loss of power, 21 of the 170 students in the crowd made a decision for Christ.
The spiritual renewal, Maplewood student minister Nathan Yates said, was reflected in the students’ newfound passion for reaching friends for Christ at school.
“One cool thing is we can trace this movement in the youth group to a couple of youth inviting their friends to a Wednesday night gathering in our student ministry,” Pastor Jeremy Blocker said.
“Their friends got saved and invited other friends. Many of them got saved and the cycle has continued to this day.” Click here for more of this story.
Tracey Nash understands how internationals might feel when they come to America. After moving several times during her childhood and teen years she often felt “like the new kid on the block,” said Nash, director of Crossroads International Friendship House at Mississippi State University in Starkville.
Crossroads Friendship House, which meets at Calvary Baptist Church in Starkville, is sponsored by the Golden Triangle Baptist Association, which provides volunteers, Bible studies, assistance with English as a Second Language classes and prayer for the internationals.
“Our mission is to build relationships so we may share the gospel,” Nash said.
“It is our hope that we are planting seeds that our friends will carry back to their home country in which they may share the love of God with others. We do not force our beliefs on anyone, but we do share what the Lord has done for us.”
The organization works with international students at Mississippi State, inviting them to their Welcome to USA party.
At the party, an annual “garage giveaway” provides free gently used clothing, small appliances, dishes, furniture, sheets and blankets, baby items, etc. Click here to read more.
The recent launch of a Hispanic church plant, Mount Pleasant Baptist Church en Español, was the result of a western North Carolina church and a growing home Bible study beginning a partnership two years ago.
Its name came from the partnership with an area church, Mount Pleasant Baptist, which had a youth room that wasn’t being used on Sunday mornings and an available Sunday School room where the Hispanic church plant could meet, reported the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. Mount Pleasant provided the new church plant’s pastor, Carlos Perez, with an office and made him part of the church staff as director of the Hispanic ministry.
“I am excited to know that I can do the will of our Lord, knowing that it is God’s work and that He is in control, even though things seem difficult, that He has promised to be with me,” said Perez about the launch.
Beginning in fall 2022, Union University reported it will offer its highest financial merit scholarship to all students who are dependents of missionaries through the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board or North American Mission Board.
Children of IMB or NAMB missionaries will receive a Union merit scholarship of $17,750 and will be eligible to receive any additional Union scholarships, partnerships and grants for which they are qualified.
“These families are on the missions field, sacrificing, and many times, they don’t have the financial resources to afford an educational experience at Union,” said vice president for enrollment management Dan Griffin. “So, we created additional scholarship opportunities to assist these families in achieving their educational dreams.”