Michael W. Smith: ‘Six principles I learned from my dad’s life’

michael-w.-smith:-‘six-principles-i-learned-from-my-dad’s-life’

(RNS) — My dad was an incredible baseball pitcher, taking his career all the way up to the minor leagues. Growing up, we spent many late afternoons out in the yard throwing a ball back and forth. Catching my dad’s pitches from his left-handed throws became second nature for me. But as the years went … Read more

Albert Mohler’s darkest hour

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(RNS) — For more than 30 years, Dr. R. Albert Mohler has been among the best known and most revered leaders in the Southern Baptist Convention, and when he chose to run for president of the country’s largest Protestant denomination, he was widely considered the favorite. But at their annual gathering this week, the 17,000 … Read more

J.D. Greear’s legacy as Southern Baptist president: Grappling with abuse, pushing diversity

jd.-greear’s-legacy-as-southern-baptist-president:-grappling-with-abuse,-pushing-diversity

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (RNS) — It’s traditional for the Southern Baptist Convention president to serve two one-year terms. But J.D. Greear had a lengthy bonus round due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 48-year-old leader of a Durham, North Carolina, megachurch was thrust into the national limelight as the leader of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination while … Read more

Baker fined for refusing to make transgender transition cake

baker-fined-for-refusing-to-make-transgender-transition-cake

DENVER (AP) — A Colorado baker who won a partial victory at the U.S. Supreme Court in 2018 for refusing to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple violated the state’s anti-discrimination law by refusing to make a birthday cake for a transgender woman, a state judge has ruled. In the ruling Tuesday (June … Read more

Southern Baptists approve abuse task force, say abusive pastors should be banned

southern-baptists-approve-abuse-task-force,-say-abusive-pastors-should-be-banned

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (RNS) — The newly elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention got his first marching orders on Wednesday (June 16). Messengers to the SBC’s annual meeting directed President Ed Litton to set up a task force to address concerns Southern Baptist leaders have mistreated abuse victims and mishandled allegations of abuse. The denomination’s … Read more

Saddleback Church’s ordination of women pastors to be considered by SBC committee

saddleback-church’s-ordination-of-women-pastors-to-be-considered-by-sbc-committee

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (RNS) — A committee that determines whether churches are conforming to Southern Baptist Convention affiliation rules will consider whether Saddleback Church, a prominent California congregation led by bestselling author Rick Warren, can continue in fellowship with the SBC after Saddleback recently ordained three women pastors. Shad Tibbs, pastor of Fellowship Baptist Church in … Read more

Who is Ed Litton, the new Southern Baptist Convention president?

who-is-ed-litton,-the-new-southern-baptist-convention-president?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (RNS) — In a hotly contested election decided by just over 500 votes, Alabama pastor Ed Litton was elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention. Litton, the longtime pastor of Redemption Church in Saraland, Alabama, a congregation with 3,900 members, was considered a long shot in the presidential race. Two other candidates — … Read more

Debates on sex abuse, critical race theory front and center at first day of SBC meeting

debates-on-sex-abuse,-critical-race-theory-front-and-center-at-first-day-of-sbc-meeting

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (RNS) — As Southern Baptists opened their annual meeting, the debates that have rocked the nation’s largest Protestant denomination in recent months almost immediately became part of the business on the crowded convention floor. To a denomination that has been riven on issues of sex abuse, race and gender, outgoing President J.D. Greear … Read more

Who are the Southern Baptists and why is their 2021 annual meeting so divided?

who-are-the-southern-baptists-and-why-is-their-2021-annual-meeting-so-divided?

(RNS) — The Southern Baptist Convention is gathering in Nashville, Tennessee. It’s not an exaggeration to say that it may be the most consequential denominational meeting for any Protestant denomination in the last 30 years.  But who are Southern Baptists, and why is their vote on a new president and a series of resolutions reverberating … Read more

NIH director: We asked God for help with COVID-19, and vaccines are the ‘answer to that prayer’

nih-director:-we-asked-god-for-help-with-covid-19,-and-vaccines-are-the-‘answer-to-that-prayer’

WASHINGTON (RNS) — Earlier this month, the White House announced a “month of action” to help ensure 70% of U.S. adults are at least partially vaccinated by July 4. Officials have since outlined a flurry of faith-based partnerships, hoping to leverage the clout and know-how of faith groups to aid in immunizing the public against … Read more