2014 Kevin Bumgarner Editorials
Sep 11, 2014
“Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice.” Proverbs 13:10

Rarely a day goes by when someone doesn’t tell me that they like the changes they’re seeing in the Florida Baptist Witness. I am encouraged by these goodwill gestures, even though on this side of the wall it feels as if we have quite a bit of work to do before we unveil the new Florida Baptist Witness print edition and website: goFBW.com
Aug 29, 2014
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6

I got a reassuring phone call from Alex on Sunday afternoon. He was ready to start classes the next day, and he remains excited about the church plant of which he is a part.
Aug 14, 2014
“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” Eph. 5:15-17

The Atlantic Monthly is widely credited with being the first to say: “Be careful what you wish for in this world, for if you wish hard enough you are sure to get it.”
Jul 31, 2014
“If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” I John 3:17-18

Near the end of my honeymoon more than 25 years ago, a man claiming to be homeless approached me and my bride asking for money.
Jul 7, 2014
“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” 2 Cor. 12:9

I am writing this column because I want more of Christ’s power to rest on me. It has only taken me 47 years to get to a place in my life where I can say that.
Jun 27, 2014
“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5

Why could Southern Baptists get only 5,294 messengers to attend this year’s annual meeting in Baltimore?
Jun 5, 2014
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Matt. 28:19

On June 10-11, thousands of our denomination’s most dedicated leaders and laity will gather in Baltimore for the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting.
May 22, 2014
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, Love your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27 NIV

This has been a hard couple of weeks to be proud to be a Southern Baptist.
May 2, 2014
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Matt. 6:33-34 ESV

I am given to introspection.
Apr 17, 2014
“And he said to them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.’ ” Luke 10:2

One thing is for sure: If you’ve spent any time in a Southern Baptist church, you know the strong feelings associated with Vacation Bible School. Some churches focus on the program throughout the year, while others haven’t even offered VBS since the church’s long-time volunteer champion left or passed on the reins.
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Special Reports
New Works: Florida Baptists start 5 new churches in July
JACKSONVILLE (FLBaptist)—According to a report released by the Florida Baptist Convention’s Church Planting Group, Florida Baptists started five new churches in July. The following is a listing of Read More
Checking in with Alan Powell, musician and star of 'The Song'
Musician and actor Alan Powell is a preacher’s kid with Florida ties who is playing the lead role in the upcoming film “The Song,” which is being released on Sept. 26. His Read More
Florida pastors discuss state of race relations in churches
In the aftermath of the shooting of Michael Brown last month in Ferguson, Mo., the Florida Baptist Witness asked pastors in the Sunshine State about their views on race relations. Most Read More
'Unique' program leads East Ocala churches to merge
OCALA (FBW)—Highlands Baptist Church and Wellspring Church, located less than a mile from each other in the Central Florida town of Ocala, merged on Sept. 7. Following a six-month-long Read More
H.B. Charles' Jacksonville church to partner with Orange Park congregation
Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church, one of the largest African-American Baptist churches in Jacksonville, is in the process of partnering with the predominantly Anglo Ridgewood Baptist Church in Read More
Florida Focus: Announcements from Baptist 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
How Florida Baptist churches mix faith and politics
Florida Baptists were among the thousands who voted in primary elections Aug. 26. Some of the voters may have met the candidates and questioned them in events at their Read More
Budget-Allocations Committee OKs $28.8M budget for 2015
JACKSONVILLE (FLBaptist)—As Florida Baptists advance toward the goal of sending 50 percent of the state’s Cooperative Program receipts to the Southern Baptist Convention, a proposed $28.8 million Read More
S. Truett Cathy, Chick-fil-A founder, dies
S. Truett Cathy, founder of the Chick-fil-A restaurant chain famous for closing on Sundays, died Sept. 8. He was 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
Florida pastors discuss state of race relations in churches
In the aftermath of the shooting of Michael Brown last month in Ferguson, Mo., the Florida Baptist Witness asked pastors in the Sunshine State about their views on race relations. Most Read More
How Florida Baptist churches mix faith and politics
Florida Baptists were among the thousands who voted in primary elections Aug. 26. Some of the voters may have met the candidates and questioned them in events at their Read More
Maguire State Mission Offering 2014 Season of Prayer: Daily Prayer Guide
The Maguire State Mission Offering gives Florida Baptists an opportunity to Embrace Florida by being a blessing by supporting those who go out in His name into the highways and byways of this state. Read More
FBC Middleburg archery students on target at Center Shot Ministry
MIDDLEBURG (FBW)—More than 50 North Florida children are learning the sport of archery at First Baptist Church in Middleburg. According to Associate Pastor Tim Martin, church leaders had been Read More
Bell Shoals supports Scotland church plant
GLASGOW, Scotland (FBW)—While every church plant sets out to be a reproducing church, nowhere is the mission more critical than at Refuge Scotland. “It’s very dark here,” says Refuge 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
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
Checking in with Alan Powell, musician and star of 'The Song'
Musician and actor Alan Powell is a preacher’s kid with Florida ties who is playing the lead role in the upcoming film “The Song,” which is being released on Sept. 26. His Read More
Sept. 21 Explore the Bible: Why the God-Man?
Medieval theologian Anselm wrote the first theology exploring the reason that Jesus became God incarnate—the God-Man. Anselm wrote that humans owed a debt to God that they were incapable of paying. Read More
Sept. 21 Bible Studies for Life: Connected in Growth
All too often at the Monday morning pastor’s conference, one man confides to a friend, “Man, if the Lord opens up a new ministry somewhere, I would welcome a recommendation. The church I am serving Read More
Sept. 14 Explore the Bible: Pay Attention
My wife can attest to my problems related to hearing. I admit I have three hearing problems. First, I likely experience difficulty hearing because I listened to loud music earlier in my life. Second... Read More
Sept. 14 Bible Studies for Life: Connected in Unity
In reading through the epistles, we notice an absence of emphasis on signs and wonders as gifts or functions within the churches. Peter said Jesus performed signs and wonders as indicating His 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
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
Longtime evangelist Freddie Gage, 81, made great impact for the Kingdom
HOUSTON (BP)—Freddie Gage, a Southern Baptist evangelist for more than 60 years whose fervency for souls extended to the SBC's Conservative Resurgence, died Sept. 12 in a 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