Headline News from around the Southeast

Georgia

Free testing for COVID-19 at Greenforest Community Baptist Church in Decatur, Georgia, will continue through August, according to a report in The Christian Index. The church, which began offering the testing soon after the pandemic shutdown, has provided more than 7,000 tests to date. Also, with hunger needs exacerbated by the pandemic, the church has redoubled its efforts in food distribution, feeding more than 1,000 on Aug. 6.

Florida

With 25,338 baptisms in 2019, the Florida Baptist Convention is leading the way among Southern Baptist state conventions in number of baptisms. The Journey church in Orange City, Florida, was one of 30 congregations in the Sunshine State to baptize more than 100 new believers in the past year. “One church can change the spiritual climate of a community,” said Pastor James Hilton in a Florida Baptist Witness article.

Louisiana

Louisiana College, a Baptist college in Pineville, welcomed freshmen to campus Aug. 12, with orientation activities filling the afternoon, the Baptist Message reported. LC students completed their spring semester online, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As fall semester gets underway, move-in times have been staggered to ensure social distancing in residence halls and across campuses. Masks are required to enter buildings.

Mississippi

A water trough, pickup truck and parking lot provided a unique setting for young Hayden Cannon to be baptized at Bay Springs Church in Mississippi this summer. The church had held drive-in parking lot services for several weeks because of COVID-19, The Baptist Record reported. When Cannon asked to be baptized, Pastor Ed King suggested the parking lot. “Hayden agreed and it was a great day,” King said.

Tennessee

First Baptist Church, Nashville, Tennessee, is getting an early jump on caroling season, with a new ministry called “COVID caroling,” in which a group of FBC members visit homes and other places to sing worship hymns and praise songs from the driveway or in proximity to the doorstep. As reported by the Baptist and Reflector, the ministry seems to be meeting its objective of creating happiness and a spirit of worship during the COVID-19 crisis.