Episode 037

Changing Demographics, Racial Reconciliation, & Peace over Anxiety

Feb 22, 2022

A relatively new research tool is showing how the face of the Southern Baptist Convention is changing. Samford University in Birmingham has officially dedicated its Racial Reconciliation Memorial during a recent public worship service on campus. And a missionary kid in East Asia says faith in God brought her great peace during recent seasons of anxiety.

Transcript

A relatively new research tool is showing how the face of the Southern Baptist Convention is changing.

The Great Commission Relations and Mobilization Ethnic Research Index is available at baptistresearch.com.

The research shows that Alameda County, California – the home of Oakland and Berkley, California – contains 127 Southern Baptist congregations. That’s more than any county in Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri or Louisiana. Oklahoma, Alabama and Georgia each have only one county numbering more. Another notable distinction for Alameda County – 44 of those congregations are African American, followed closely by 42 that are Asian American. Anglo congregations are a distant third at 24.

Church leaders say churches are far from where they want to be in reaching all of the people across the U.S., but this index provides helpful information to gauge their work.

Samford University in Birmingham has officially dedicated its Racial Reconciliation Memorial during a public worship service on campus. The memorial honors the many contributions of African Americans who built and sustain the institution’s mission while affirming the university’s commitment to reconciliation.

The memorial specifically honors the memory of Harry, a 23-year-old Black man who lived in slavery and died in 1854 from injuries he received while waking the students at the burning of Howard College. Harry is known in Samford’s history for his bravery that saved lives and sustained the institution.

Students from the college first memorialized Harry by placing a monument at his grave in Marion, Ala., in 1857.

Good News for Today is made possible through our friends at The Voice of the Martyrs, a nonprofit organization that serves persecuted Christians around the world. Founded in 1967 by Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, VOM is dedicated to inspiring believers to deepen their commitment to Christ and to fulfill His Great Commission — no matter the cost. Find out more and sign up for their free monthly magazine at vom.org/goodnews.

A missionary kid in East Asia says faith in God brought her great peace during recent seasons of anxiety. In Trusting the Storyteller on Baptist Press, Jasmine says her faith in God was put to the test when her family relocated from a rural community to a large city only to be relocated to an entirely different country.

In addition to the moves, she says the COVID-19 pandemic challenged here faith as friends and family suffered and experienced loss.

Jasmine says in all of these seasons she is learning to trust the storyteller. On the other side of the struggle she can see how God actually prepared her in advance and was with her every step of the way.

You can read more of Jasmine full story in Trusting the Storyteller on Baptist Press.

A federal district judge ordered the U.S. government to pay more than $230 million to survivors of the 2017 massacre of 26 worshipers at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas.

U.S. District Judge Xavier Rodriguez ruled the U.S. government was 60 percent liable for the massacre.

Rodriguez levied that the U.S. Air Force had failed to report to the FBI shooter Devin Kelley’s bad conduct discharge in 2014.

First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs Senior Pastor Frank Pomeroy, who lost a daughter in the attack, has chosen not to comment on the court case out of respect for the victims. Pomeroy is not listed among plaintiffs.

Women from 19 states and hundreds of churches came together for Abide 2022 conference at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Leavell College Feb. 4-5 to hear Jen Wilkin, popular Bible study author and speaker.

Wilkin encouraged the women to take a specific approach to their Bible study that would cause to not only learn about God, but to grow in their love for Him.

“The heart cannot love what the head does not know,” Wilkin said. “If we want to feel deeply about God, we must think deeply about God.”

In her follow-up plenary Saturday morning, Wilkin offered a better approach for Bible study that begins by understanding that the Bible is “not about me” or about making believers “feel better.”

“The Bible is a book about God,” Wilkin said. “Read it first for what it says about Him.”

Good News for Today is made possible through our friends at The Voice of the Martyrs, a nonprofit organization that serves persecuted Christians around the world. Founded in 1967 by Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, VOM is dedicated to inspiring believers to deepen their commitment to Christ and to fulfill His Great Commission — no matter the cost. Find out more and sign up for their free monthly magazine at vom.org/goodnews.

Wayne Bray, pastor at FBC Simpsonville, SC, says, “Common sense tells us that it’s impossible for us to convince others of something we don’t believe ourselves,” in a First-Person piece at Baptist Press.

He encouragers readers to examine their own hearts to make sure they truly believe God’s redeeming power for their lives.

Pointing to Romans 1:16, Brays writes, “The Gospel still has the power to change lives, and Jesus still saves sinners who call on His name.”

Find more stories at BaptistPress.com.

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