Episode 223

Billy Graham Archive Opens, Megachurch’s Merger & Men’s Role in Abortion

Nov 10, 2022

In the twilight of his 99 years, the Rev. Billy Graham met with Duke Divinity School historian Grant Wacker, who was writing a biography of the famous evangelist. Brady Cooper, senior pastor of New Vision Baptist Church in Murfreesboro, Tenn., received advice from a mentor that came in handy as the church sought to help revitalize First Baptist Church of LaVergne, a church about 20 minutes north of New Vision. And, a Southern Baptist ethics leader is calling for men to step up and take responsibility for their sexual conduct and the role they play when a decision to abort a baby is on the table.

Transcript

In the twilight of his 99 years, the Rev. Billy Graham met with Duke Divinity School historian Grant Wacker, who was writing a biography of the famous evangelist.

History was on Graham’s mind. Conscious that his legacy after his death would depend on how future generations saw him, he saw the need to preserve and maintain the record of his work.

On Monday, (Nov. 7), the birthday of the late evangelist, a new archive opened in Charlotte, North Carolina, Graham’s birthplace. The 30,000-square-foot state-of-the-art research center brings together videos, cassettes, films, newspaper clippings, sermon notes, correspondence and a lifetime of memorabilia from Graham’s career, which began with a sermon at a Florida Baptist church in 1937.

The new two-story building, constructed with the latest preservation standards and environmental controls, cost $13 million. It unites all of Graham’s records — not only from the Wheaton College archive but from Minneapolis, where he started his formal ministry, and from Montreat, North Carolina, where Graham and his wife lived for decades in a log-cabin-like home.
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Brady Cooper, senior pastor of New Vision Baptist Church in Murfreesboro, Tenn., received advice from a mentor that came in handy as the church sought to help revitalize First Baptist Church of LaVergne, a church about 20 minutes north of New Vision.

“Before you go making big decisions, look around and see what God’s doing.”

In a model the megachurch had never before undertaken, it led First Baptist LaVergne, a struggling Anglo congregation, to merge with Las Americas, a vibrant Hispanic congregation renting worship space at First LaVergne. The merger remains a congregation autonomous from New Vision.

The merger officially launches in January, 2023 as Community Church of LaVergne.
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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.
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A Southern Baptist ethics leader is calling for men to step up and take responsibility for their sexual conduct and the role they play when a decision to abort a baby is on the table.

Kenneth Magnuson is a professor of Christian ethics at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and the executive director of the Evangelical Theological Society.

He spoke to Baptist Press about how the broader society’s view of abortion has allowed an easy way out for irresponsible men.

Regardless of the culture’s view, he said men taking responsibility supersedes any related legislation.
Some of the practical ways Magnuson said Christian men can positively bring about change is by demonstrating sexual integrity, serving as protectors of women rather than predators and speaking truth about abortion.

Read the full piece and sign up for our daily emails at Baptist Press.com.

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