Devastating Storms, Religious Liberty, & Gospel for Ukraine
An EF-3 tornado caused damage in Jacksboro, Texas, where a disaster relief crew set up to provide help to the community. The US Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Texas death row inmates request to have his pastor lay hands on him and pray for him aloud when he receives a lethal injection. And one of the creative ways the IMB is sharing the Gospel and offering hope to Ukrainian refugees is through social media.
Storms leave path of devastation in several states
Southern Baptist Disaster Relief workers continue their work in Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana and Alabama following severe storms that ripped through those states over several days last week.
An EF-3 tornado caused damage in Jacksboro, Texas where a disaster relief crew set up to provide help to the community.
In Kingston, Oklahoma, a tornado destroyed several building belonging to Texoma Southern Baptist Church, including the church’s worship center and parsonage.
Pastor Keith Rogers said the power of the storm’s winds told him the damage was going to be great, but he was still grateful for God’s care despite the devastation.
Supreme Court protects religious liberty of death row inmate
The US Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Texas death row inmates request to have his pastor lay hands on him and pray for him aloud when he receives a lethal injection.
John Ramirez was convicted of a 2004 murder in the Lone Star state. The court ruled 8-1 that Ramirez could have his pastor, Dana Moore from Second Baptist Church in Corpus Christi, with him when his sentence of death was carried out.
“This is a significant affirmation of religious liberty,” said Brent Leatherwood, acting president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC). “The Supreme Court affirmed that religious freedom does not end at the execution chamber door.
“Even those among us who are convicted of the most heinous of crimes are to be cared for and ministered to by religious officials at their request and upon the church’s agreement,” Wolfe said. “A pastor’s presence and spiritual ministry at the moment of death [are] among the most solemn of ministerial occasions.”
Pastor Moore told Baptist Press, “It is a blessing that if John does receive a date and if he is executed, that at least I’ll be able to hold his hand [or otherwise touch him] and pray” with him.
Good News for Today is sponsored by The Voice of the Martyrs
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.
One of the creative ways the IMB is sharing the Gospel and offering hope to Ukrainian refugees is through social media. Less than one week into the war, the IMB launched a digital engagement evangelism strategy which reaches Ukrainians using Facebook advertisements and a website we’ve just launched. From the site, Ukrainians can hear the Gospel in their language; message a believer if they want to know more; read the Bible; and access evangelism resources to assist anyone in sharing the Gospel with the Ukrainian people.
The early results of this effort have been staggering as more than 5.6 million people have seen one of the two ads running on Facebook, resulting in 33,550 clicks to private message and 274,660 clicks to the website link. Currently, 22 Ukrainians are helping respond to these Gospel-centric messages.
Find more stories at BaptistPress.com.
Church Responds to Online Threat, Worship Pastor Wins on ‘Wheel of Fortune’ & Praising God in Prayer
Police in Haymarket, Virginia responded in textbook fashion to neutralize a threat at an area church on Sunday. A Kentucky pastor recently used an appearance on the popular game show Wheel of Fortune to do more than spin the wheel and win some cash. And, Wesley Duewel, the 20th century missionary and prayer leader, once observed, “Praise gives you the spirit of triumph and overcoming. Praise fires you with holy zeal.
The Maryland Supreme Court has ruled 4-3 that a Catholic employer was lawful in denying health benefits to the spouse of a gay married employee because such unions violate church doctrine. This college football season is unlike any other in David Pollack’s life. For as long as he can remember, the sport dominated his Saturdays in ways most people haven’t experienced. And, from 2012-2017, the reality TV series “Duck Dynasty” told many stories of the Robertson family and their duck-call and decoy business. “The Blind,” coming to theaters Sept. 28, tells the story of Phil Robertson’s life before he became a Christian.
Hard times often are described as “going through a valley.” But Bruce Watson, pastor of First Baptist Jeanerette, La., describes life’s valleys as the place where the soil is the richest. Rudy Kebreau and Randal Lyle are bound by far more than their mutual faith and pastoral calling these days. And, maybe your church has a prayer list. But have you ever considered have a personal prayer list? In a piece in the Baptist Press Toolbox, Kie Bowman says it may help you remain faithful in prayer.