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Sep 1, 2014
INDIANTOWN (FBW)—Dozens of men who are incarcerated at Martin Correctional Institution in Indiantown are studying how to be better fathers. According to Awana’s Lifeline Program website, the men are “learning to live up to their biblical responsibilities as dads.” The culmination of their “Malachi Dads” studies will be a Returning Hearts Celebration Nov. 8 during which prisoners spend the day with their children.

Randy Huckabee, pastor of First Baptist Church in Dade City, is leading a group of volunteers to help with the Returning Hearts event.
Sep 1, 2014
LAKELAND (FBCH)—Florida Baptist Children’s Homes and Orphan’s Heart are partnering with Christian Alliance for Orphans to raise awareness of the millions of children in need across the world.

On Nov. 2, churches around the world will celebrate Orphan Sunday. On this day, the body of Christ will come together to stand on behalf of orphans worldwide and bring awareness of their physical, emotional and spiritual needs.
Sep 1, 2014
In order to have a fuller appreciation for the message of the Book of Ephesians, we must go back to the magnificent teaching in chapter 1, verses 3-14. First, the Bible there provides us with God’s glorious plan for the ages as it centers around the blessed Trinity. It is set forth in verses 3-6. He chose—elected—to implement a way to show forth His glories by saving those who trust in the Son. He predestined to be saved anyone believing in the Son. Second, the Bible then gives in detail the saving work of the Son (vv. 7-12). The fundamental elements of His death on the cross will bring redemption, forgiveness, the inheritance and an unveiling of the mystery of God’s will according to what He has planned through Jesus. Third, the Bible highlights the work of the Holy Spirit (vv. 13-14). He is the seal, that is, God’s down payment, guaranteed by His presence in every believer. The Holy Spirit does not seal. He is the seal.
Sep 1, 2014
Other than the short letters of 2 Peter and 2-3 John, Hebrews likely is the most neglected New Testament book. The 21st century American church desperately needs to hear and obey the message of Hebrews. As one commentator wrote, “It is a tonic for the spiritually debilitated. … We neglect such a book to our own impoverishment.”
Aug 28, 2014
OCALA (FBW)—Jack Roland, an Ocala layman, will be nominated as president of the Florida Baptist State Convention during its November annual meeting in Lakeland. If elected, he will be only the fifth layman to serve as Convention president since 1950.
Aug 28, 2014
One-time announcements are provided free by the Witness to Florida Baptist churches. Please e-mail materials at least three weeks before the date of the event to floridafocus@goFBW.com. Information may also be mailed to Florida Baptist Witness, 1230 Hendricks Ave., Jacksonville, FL 32207.
Aug 28, 2014
It was Jason Seger’s wife who started using Facebook first. It wasn’t long before the pastor of First Baptist of Highland City in Lakeland realized the ministry potential the social media platform offered. He learned by watching bigger churches, taking notice of what they were doing and following suit.

It’s working.
Aug 27, 2014
David Platt was elected president of the Southern Baptist International Mission Board Aug. 27 by board trustees. Platt, 36, pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala., will take office effective immediately as president of the 169-year-old organization, the largest denominational missionary-sending body among American evangelicals. He succeeds Tom Elliff, 70, who has served as IMB president since March 2011. Elliff asked the agency’s trustees earlier this year to begin an active search for his successor.
Aug 26, 2014
CAMP ECHO, W.Va. (FLBaptist)—More than 30 children in West Virginia enjoyed their summer just a little bit more and learned more about God and His love for them because of a group of five Baptist College of Florida (BCF) students.

For the past 20-plus years, Potomac Highland Baptist Association in West Virginia has hosted a summer camp for youngsters who have completed grades three through six. Because of financial constraints and other family challenges, many of these children might otherwise be unable to attend such an overnight camping experience.
Aug 26, 2014
The Bible assigns to humans the responsibility for having dominion over fish, fowl and every living thing that moves upon the earth (Gen. 1:28). We can easily discern God’s will for us as caretakers of the natural order. However, our assigned text concerns not humanity’s oversight of the creation, but Israel’s mandate to observe the Sabbath year (Lev. 25:4). To understand that divine mandate we will need to delve a little deeper into the background of the seventh day, seventh year and 50th year. We will conclude with a brief application to us as Christians.
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FBCH trying to help raise awareness of orphans
LAKELAND (FBCH)—Florida Baptist Children’s Homes and Orphan’s Heart are partnering with Christian Alliance for Orphans to raise awareness of the millions of children in need across the world. Read More
Indiantown Returning Hearts Celebration aims to reunite fathers with their children
INDIANTOWN (FBW)—Dozens of men who are incarcerated at Martin Correctional Institution in Indiantown are studying how to be better fathers. According to Awana’s Lifeline Program website, the men are Read More
Ocala layman to be nominated for FBSC president
OCALA (FBW)—Jack Roland, an Ocala layman, will be nominated as president of the Florida Baptist State Convention during its November annual meeting in Lakeland. If elected, he will be only the fifth Read More
Florida Focus: News from churches around the state
One-time announcements are provided free by the Witness to Florida Baptist churches. Please e-mail materials at least three weeks before the date of the event to floridafocus@goFBW.com. Information Read More
Social media becoming an engaging proposition for churches
It was Jason Seger’s wife who started using Facebook first. It wasn’t long before the pastor of First Baptist of Highland City in Lakeland realized the ministry potential the social media platform Read More
BCF students answer call to help at West Virginia children's camp
CAMP ECHO, W.Va. (FLBaptist)—More than 30 children in West Virginia enjoyed their summer just a little bit more and learned more about God and His love for them because of a group of five Baptist Read More
Church plants find success in the Panhandle
THE PANHANDLE (FBW)—As part of the Bible Belt, the Panhandle of Florida has its fair share of churches. Many are successful, thriving bodies that are growing and making disciples. Read More
Bob Bumgarner to take position with Jacksonville church
JACKSONVILLE (FLBaptist)—Bob Bumgarner, lead strategist of the Church Health Group, will resign from the Florida Baptist Convention to assume a position as executive pastor of a Jacksonville church, Read More
David Platt elected new IMB president
David Platt was elected president of the Southern Baptist International Mission Board Aug. 27 by board trustees. Platt, 36, pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham... Read More
Transgender-identity resolution adopted by SBC messengers
BALTIMORE (BP)—Messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention adopted a resolution on transgender identity for the first time while returning to such issues as civil rights, gambling and world hunger Read More
SBC annual meeting sees increase in messengers attendance
The Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting drew 5,294 messengers to Baltimore from the nation’s 45,000 Southern Baptist Read More
Crossover Baltimore leaves lasting effect
BALTIMORE (BP)—Dante Carter wanted Crossover Baltimore to communicate compassion to the hurting people he often encounters in the city. “There’s a lot of hurt and pain ...,” said Carter, Read More
Churches sharpen focus on mental-health issues, but stigma remains
BALTIMORE (FBW)—Some of the people who are helping equip Southern Baptist churches to respond to mental-health issues talked about their challenges during a breakout group as part of the SBC annual Read More
Ronnie Floyd headlines newly elected SBC leaders
BALTIMORE (FLBaptist)—In a year when the Southern Baptist Convention focused on “Restoration & Revival Through Prayer,” Arkansas pastor Ronnie Floyd, who has sought to encourage Southern Baptists to Read More
Gay marriage now claims the Northeast
WASHINGTON (BP)—A federal judge has legalized same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania, handing the increasingly successful campaign to redefine mankind’s oldest institution a clean sweep of the northeast Read More
Bivocational ministry not a stretch for those called to field
Gilder was a full-time pastor before becoming the Tennessee Baptist Convention’s Bivocational/Small Church specialist nearly 20 years ago. At his insistence, he has served Read More
Indiantown Returning Hearts Celebration aims to reunite fathers with their children
INDIANTOWN (FBW)—Dozens of men who are incarcerated at Martin Correctional Institution in Indiantown are studying how to be better fathers. According to Awana’s Lifeline Program website, the men are Read More
Social media becoming an engaging proposition for churches
It was Jason Seger’s wife who started using Facebook first. It wasn’t long before the pastor of First Baptist of Highland City in Lakeland realized the ministry potential the social media platform Read More
BCF students answer call to help at West Virginia children's camp
CAMP ECHO, W.Va. (FLBaptist)—More than 30 children in West Virginia enjoyed their summer just a little bit more and learned more about God and His love for them because of a group of five Baptist Read More
Disaster relief volunteers find love while serving
LEESBURG (FLBaptist)—Working in the midst of a massive cleanup after severe flooding hit Pensacola, two Florida Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers, Cheryl King and Frank Sledjeski, found more than a Read More
Crestview's Mosaic Church: seeker driven, disciple making
CRESTVIEW (FLBaptist)—Working bivocationally at the local Starbucks in Crestview as he planted a new church, James Ross often invited co-worker Marisela Davis to Mosaic Church. After Read More
Gifts, Gospel and God's love embrace migrant children
LEESBURG (FLBaptist)—She was 8 years old when Ami Martinez first went to the Florida Baptist Migrant Children’s camp held annually at Lake Yale Baptist Conference Center. While there she made a Read More
Miami church meets in unique setting
MIAMI (FBW)—In today’s day and age, many evangelists are having to rethink their traditional approaches to spreading the Gospel. Pastors have traded suits and ties for jeans and button Read More
Winter Park carpenter is building churches, relationships in Brazil
WINTER PARK (FBW)—John Hemphill, a layman at First Baptist Church in Winter Park, went on his first mission trip 31 years ago, and he has traveled dozens of times across the Western Hemisphere to Read More
Giving hope to the homeless through clothes, food, faith and fellowship
Lem Simmons is not your typical pastor. In fact, most people would not identify him as a member of the clergy just by looking at him. With his cap turned backward and a body covered with Read More
The Cooperative Program Factor: Mandate, Missions, Ministries
Following the Great Commission Mandate, the Florida Baptist Convention has set as its priorities to reach people for Jesus Christ, start new churches and strengthen existing churches. The summary of Read More
Sept. 7 Explore the Bible: Who is Jesus?
Other than the short letters of 2 Peter and 2-3 John, Hebrews likely is the most neglected New Testament book. The 21st century American church desperately needs to hear and obey the message of Read More
Sept. 7 Bible Studies for Life: Connected in Christ
In order to have a fuller appreciation for the message of the Book of Ephesians, we must go back to the magnificent teaching in chapter 1, verses 3-14. First, the Bible there provides us with God’s Read More
Aug. 31 Explore the Bible: Keys to surviving tribulation
Church historians affirm that more Christians experienced martyrdom in the 20th century than the previous 19 centuries of the Christian faith. The 21st century evidences harsh persecution by many Read More
Aug. 31 Bible Studies for Life: Our Work with Creation
The Bible assigns to humans the responsibility for having dominion over fish, fowl and every living thing that moves upon the earth (Gen. 1:28). We can easily discern God’s will for us as caretakers Read More
Aug. 24 Explore the Bible: Victory for God's Kingdom
We live in tumultuous, albeit interesting, times. Daily news provides mind-boggling accounts of horrific evil, wars, atrocities and persecution. Daniel and his contemporaries lived in a transitional Read More
Aug. 24 Bible Studies for Life: God's Work with Creation
A person rises no higher than his or her prayer life. The opposite is also true. Failure in prayer often leads to failure in actions and character. Prayer focuses upon God and His Kingdom, yet the Read More
Aug. 17 Bible Studies for Life: Victorious Faith
In approaching our assigned texts for this study, we must note the word “therefore” in verse six. It could be interpreted to mean, “on the basis of what was just written.” It points to the important Read More
Aug. 17 Explore the Bible: Disciplined Prayer
A person rises no higher than his or her prayer life. The opposite is also true. Failure in prayer often leads to failure in actions and character. Prayer focuses upon God and His Kingdom, yet the Read More
La Convención Bautista de la Florida esta “confiada” que el fallo de $12.5 millones será anulado
JACKSONVILLE (FBW)—Abogados de la Convención Bautista de la Florida indicaron el martes que están “confiados” que el fallo por un jurado de Lake County de conceder $12.5 millones a un hombre quien Read More
Junta del Witness elige nuevo editor por unanimidad
JACKSONVILLE (FBW)—La junta de directores del Florida Baptist Witness voto por unanimidad el 9 de enero emplear un editor que ha mantenido altas posiciones con publicaciones Read More
EDITORIAL: Dios Con Nosotros
FRESNO, Calif. (BP) -- La rapidez de cambios muchas veces nos sorprenden. He observado las reacciones de muchas personas al enfrentarse con los ajustes que vienen con los cambios. En el trabajo, con Read More
Autista MK ayuda a alcanzar los uruguayos
ASUNCIÓN, Paraguay (BP) -- Dentro de un pequeño templo budista en Shiojiri, Japón, el misionero de 23 años Steven Kunkel -- quien es de América del Sur -- se sienta frente a Read More
Missions College apoya la participación de la iglesia
CARY, C.N. (BP)—Con más de dos décadas de experiencia misionera en las Américas, Marty Childers tiene una pasión por ayudar a las iglesias a ser más efectivas en el Reino a través de las misiones. Read More
La convención de Florida ratifica asociación con Cuba Oriental
LEESBURG, Fla. (BP) -- La Junta Estatal de Misiones aprobó una asociación histórica con la Convención Bautista de Cuba Oriental y un presupuesto de $30.5 millones del Programa Cooperativo 2014 que Read More
Ted Traylor de Pensacola el grupo de trabajo para estudiar la declinacion de bautismos SBC
NASHVILLE (BP)—La Junta de Misiones Norteamericanas está convocando a un grupo de trabajo de pastores nacionales tocante al impacto del evangelismo y la declinación de los bautismos para tratar la Read More
Se envían a Cuba instrumentos musicales y Biblias para impulsar el reavivamiento
LA HABANA, Cuba (BP)—Lo que alguna vez fue un instrumento musical polvoriento y abandonado en una esquina ahora es un instrumento de esperanza y evangelismo en Cuba, gracias Read More
Robert Davis: the Life & Legacy
Former pastor Robert Davis, 70, of Lake City died Monday, August 18, 2014 at Suwannee Valley Care Center (Haven Hospice) following a lengthy illness. Davis was a loving man who served Florida both Read More
Longtime First Baptist Brandon organist Zelda P. Shenning dies
Zelda P. Shenning, 72, died May 26 in Brandon, where she served as organist of First Baptist Church for 30 Read More
FBC Eustis mourns death of Executive Pastor
Longtime First Baptist Church of Eustis Executive Pastor Dr. Hoyt “Skip” Haymans III died on May 22 at the age of Read More
Former ‘first lady’ of First Baptist Church Ocala dies in Virginia
Hilda Johnson, long-time first lady at First Baptist Church of Ocala, died May 21 in Newport News, Va. Johnson was the wife of Ed Johnson, who served as pastor of First Ocala from 1983 Read More
Retired Jacksonville pastor, James Branch, 85, dies
JACKSONVILLE (FBW)—James Branch, 85, pastor emeritus of Faith Memorial Baptist Church in Jacksonville, died Feb. 24. Read More
OBITUARY: Charles L. (Chuck) Gray, pastor of Bay Haven Baptist Church, dies at 72
SARASOTA (FBW)--Charles L. (Chuck) Gray, 72, pastor of Bay Haven Baptist Church in Sarasota, died Nov. 4. He was a Vietnam Era veteran of two tours of duty and the recipient of two purple Read More
Babb H. Adams, former FBSC president, dies at 84
INVERNESS (FBW)–Babb H. Adams, past president of the Florida Baptist State Convention, died Oct. 30 in Inverness, his home since 1981. He was 84. Read More
Jacksonville youth pastor, Jon Moody, 33, dies
JACKSONVILLE (FBW)—Jonathan "Jon" E. Moody, 33, middle school pastor at Chets Creek Church in Jacksonville died Aug. 9. Moody is survived by his wife Lindsay; Read More