Headline News from around the Southeast for October 14

ARKANSAS

Since 2010, Arkansas Baptists have spent the first Saturday of October participating in One Day Acts 1:8 Missions Experience, reported the Arkansas Baptist News. Based on Acts 1:8, One Day embodies being witnesses in “Jerusalem” by giving believers the opportunity to minister in a specific city within their state. Teams spend five hours serving different ministries and building relationships. More than 21,000 Arkansas Baptists have participated in the past decade, leading more than 700 people to trust and follow Jesus. This year, believers gathered Oct. 2 in Russellville to serve with churches in the Arkansas River Valley Baptist Association, meeting needs and proclaiming the gospel, with more than 100 people making professions of faith. The ministry asks for prayer for churches in the ARVBA following up with those who made faith decisions during the event. To read more, click here.

FLORIDA

Just outside of New Orleans, Metairie Baptist Church has become a site where volunteers store supplies, such as trailers, tarps and equipment they brought to help with Disaster Relief following the landfall of Hurricane Ida in late August. Allowing volunteers to rest and leave their belongings without worrying, Florida Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers “stand guard.” Volunteers include several former military and law enforcement members from Florida who have formed a security team to keep the materials safe, reported the Florida Baptist Witness. Albert Melvin, a helicopter pilot during Vietnam, described DR as “the best example of friendship evangelism. … Jesus said, ‘Feed my sheep,’ and we intend to be the hands and feet of Jesus in the community.” A retired detective, Luther Willis, said, “I see it as I’ve trained 31 years for this right here.” By acting as security, this team is able to minister not only to volunteers from different states but also to locals who see them. Click here for more of this story.

Louisiana

Louisiana College hosted revival services Sept. 28–30, where pastor Don Wilton, from South Carolina, challenged students to make salvation decisions, reported the Baptist Message. Several students made the decision to follow Christ. Before the revival services, 30 students already professed faith in Jesus through the “Awakening” worship services Aug. 14–16 and Baptist Collegiate Ministry’s weekly worship services. Some students decided to follow their salvation decision with baptism Oct. 3 at Philadelphia Baptist Church in Deville. Faculty and staff plan to follow up with each student to encourage and disciple them. Louisiana College President Rick Brewer explained, “Seeing the students make decisions at the revival and other times this semester is what Christian higher education is about. We can see what God can do in an environment where Jesus is proclaimed.” Click here to read more of this story.

Mississippi

Ten members of the Baptist Student Union at Hinds Community College in Raymond, Mississippi, assisted with cleanup work at Bethel Church in Bourg, Louisiana, after Hurricane Ida caused significant damage to the church’s facilities in late August, The Baptist Record reported. Dave Turner of Arizona Southern Baptist Disaster Relief and Rob Bline of California Southern Baptist Disaster Relief prepped the students from Hinds on their tasks. “Losing something like this church can be like losing a family member, and you’re sharing the love of Jesus with your actions,” Turner told the students. Bline reminded the student volunteers to “treat this [the church] like it’s your home. … It’s somebody’s home [of worship] and we need to treat it as such. He then prayed over the group prior to starting the cleanup process, asking the Lord to “restore and renew” the church so it can continue to be “used for His glory.” Click here to read more.

SOUTH CAROLINA

South Carolina’s Baptist Collegiate Ministry recently sponsored prayer walks on 15 college campuses across the state. Chad Stillwell, collegiate ministries director for the South Carolina Baptist Convention, emphasized the importance of praying for the state’s 275,000 college students, the Baptist Courier reported. “Churches from across the state have stepped up and sent teams to prayer walk,” said Stillwell, including a group of students from a high school youth group. Because of COVID-19, BCM and many church college ministries struggled to meet and reach freshmen last fall, “so this fall will be our first opportunity to meet them and engage them with the gospel,” Stillwell explained. University of South Carolina’s BCM director, Jamie Rogers, said, “We believe we will only see a dramatic move of the Spirit on our campus as believers from across our state pray. That is why we are rallying local churches to join us to saturate every corner of our campus with prayer.” To read more of this story, click here.

TENNESSEE

Electrician Gary Cate has always considered chopping wood a hobby. While chopping wood might not be considered a “normal” hobby, for Cate, the reward of having a wood fire when the weather turns cool is worth the effort, reported the Baptist and Reflector. Joining the chainsaw crew for Tennessee Baptist Mission Board Disaster Relief allowed Cate to do what he loves and minister to people at the same time. Cate, a member of Sharon Baptist Church in Knoxville, joined the ministry in 2000, traveling to 25 states during different natural disasters. Cate recently has been working with a team in Louisiana to help those affected by Hurricane Ida, which made landfall in late August. “This whole chainsaw thing is just a scam,” Cate joked. “We came to share about Jesus Christ, and the chainsaw work is just to get us in the door.” Click here to read more.

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