Gambling with Florida
Feb 6, 2012
TALLAHASSEE (NSF/FBW) – Voters in two north Florida counties approved measures Jan. 31 that may allow slot machine permits at pari-mutuel facilities in the counties.
Dec 7, 2011
TALLAHASSEE (NSF)—The only winners so far in the effort to allow luxury resort casinos in South Florida, which has widespread implications for every form of gambling in the state, are lobbyists.
Dec 7, 2011
TALLAHASSEE (NSF)—A controversial decision this month by Gadsden County allowing voters to decide whether to have slot machines at the new Gretna horse race track has prompted several copycat efforts in other counties, despite questions over the legality of slots.
Nov 23, 2011
Advocates for mega casinos were embarrassed—and amused—last week when a gambling mogul made lavish promises to legislators concerning the benefits proposed “destination resorts” will bring Florida. Incredibly, the glitzy talk before a Senate committee with rosy economic scenarios was punctuated with barnyard expletives not fit for civil discourse.
Nov 9, 2011
Pensacola News Journal editorial cartoonist on casino bills in Florida Legislature
Nov 9, 2011
TALLAHASSEE (NSF/FBW)—The Florida Baptist Convention and other religious and anti-gambling groups said Nov. 1 they are launching an aggressive lobbying campaign to convince the Legislature to reject a plan to allow massive luxury casinos in two South Florida counties.
Sep 21, 2011
In the midst of a sluggish economy that may be slipping back into recession—although many Floridians would say it feels like the Great Recession never ended—gambling interests from Malaysia, Las Vegas and closer to home are investing huge sums of money in real estate and lobbying armies to convince policymakers in Tallahassee more gambling is the answer.

For legislative leaders and the governor—who would profess to be conservative and pro-family—yet more gambling in the Sunshine State shouldn’t be a matter of serious consideration. But, as we saw from the last legislative session in which gambling expansion was only narrowly averted in the very last hours before adjournment, anti-gambling citizens should not assume this latest gambling expansion will be unwelcomed in Tallahassee.
Aug 10, 2011
There is a problem in state law when members of Florida’s Cabinet interpret it differently, when various police jurisdictions and state attorneys enforce it differently, and when at least two state judges rule contradictorily on the very same statute.

It’s time for the Florida Legislature to clarify the “gray area” in state law that is being exploited across the state to establish Internet “sweepstakes cafes”—thinly disguised gambling parlors that prey on senior citizens and the poor under the guise of selling time for web surfing and/or phone cards.
Apr 27, 2010
TALLAHASSEE (FBW)—The Florida Legislature has easily approved major gambling expansion legislation, sending the bill to the governor, after limited debate in the Senate and House in successive weeks.

Meanwhile, several bills of interest to pro-family leaders may not become law as the Legislature moves towards its April 30 scheduled adjournment of the session.
Mar 8, 2010
Our problem-solver-in-chief who occupies the Governor's Mansion in Tallahassee rebuked ideological opponents of all sorts in his March 2 State of the State Address, arguing that Florida's challenges will not be fixed by public officials adhering to dogmatic principles but by those who are committed to "realism."
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Special Reports
Florida Focus: Parkview Baptist in Lake City will celebrate its 60th anniversary Aug. 17
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BCF’s ‘20/20 Vision Program’ already coming into focus
GRACEVILLE (FBW)—The Baptist College of Florida is preparing for the rest of the 21st century. Its motto remains the same—“Changing the World through the Unchanging Word”—but BCF’s campus is 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
New Works: Florida Baptist start 7 churches in June
JACKSONVILLE (FLBaptist)—According to a report released by the Florida Baptist Convention’s Church Planting Group, Florida Baptists started seven new churches during June. The following is a Read More
Students serve community through Mission Jax
ST. JOHNS COUNTY (FBW)—Students in northern St. Johns County are discovering that they didn’t have to go to a Third World country to do missions work. Instead, in early June they took Read More
Pastors plead for spiritual renewal, repentance among Florida Baptists
STARKE (FLBaptist)—Seeking to fill a spiritual hunger, 234 Florida Baptist pastors and ministers fell on their knees to pray for personal renewal, family, churches and others, as well as revival in Read More
Miami streets prove to be fertile ground for Florida Baptist students
MIAMI (FLBaptist)—Miami is a city of contrasts—home to the glamorous, rich and famous, from professional athletes and celebrities to international business tycoons. Yet, hundreds of thousands of its Read More
2014 Florida Baptist Hunger Awareness Offering: Feeding the forgotten
South Putnam Church sits in the southernmost corner of Putnam County, the third-poorest county in Florida, in a community where families and seniors live on fixed incomes and migrants provide cheap 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
Heart languages soar with songs of faith in Nepal
KATHMANDU, Nepal (BP)—Emotion was palpable amid cautious but fervent prayers as Nepalese women dabbed tears with their shawls and men let intense worship furrow their brows. Read More
BCF’s ‘20/20 Vision Program’ already coming into focus
GRACEVILLE (FBW)—The Baptist College of Florida is preparing for the rest of the 21st century. Its motto remains the same—“Changing the World through the Unchanging Word”—but BCF’s campus is 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
Cuban Baptists travel difficult ‘Roads to Victory’
HAVANA, Cuba (BP)—It’s 5 a.m. on a Saturday and while most of the town of Vueltas is still asleep, pastor José Enrique Pérez is prepping for what promises to be a long day. Fourteen hours to be Read More
Stakes have never been higher for Florida Baptists' support of Haiti
CANAAN, HAITI (FBW)—She was perfectly still, laying on a yellow blanket. Some of the fourth graders looked on; others continued with their studies. The little girl at the blackboard paused with her Read More
9/11 museum moves Southern Baptist disaster relief leader
NEW YORK (BP)—Oklahoma Disaster Relief director Sam Porter spent an emotional day at the National September 11 Memorial Museum during a special preview of the facility in New York City. Read More
Louisville church says missions is 'who we are'
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)—The majestic brick church with stained glass windows towers above a dilapidated neighborhood. This is a seedy section of Louisville where drug deals go down daily, prostitutes Read More
Florida Woman's Missionary Union celebrates 120 years
LEESBURG (FLBaptist)—Using the symbolism of a torch and flags of many nations, the 120th annual meeting of the Florida Woman’s Missionary Union convened April 24-26 at the Lake Yale Baptist Read More
Florida Baptists asked to pray for summer missionaries who are serving across the globe
JACKSONVILLE (FBC)—During this summer 106 Florida Baptist college students will spend their summer vacations serving in ways to advance God’s Kingdom when they travel to 13 countries and throughout 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
Bible Studies for Life: Enduring faith
When witnessing to a woman in a home, I have sometimes asked her whether her husband is a Christian. It is not uncommon for her to say, “I don’t know. I will have to go ask him.” That answer tells Read More
Bible Studies for Life: Ready Faith
In reading Peter’s epistles, I am reminded of a casual remark made by a former fellow student and dedicated pastor. He shared that as he tried to study in sermon preparation, his mind would wander Read More
Explore the Bible: No Compromise
Daniel was a statesman forcibly removed from Jerusalem and taken to Babylon. Despite the pressures he encountered to compromise his faith, Daniel resolutely remained faithful to God. Perhaps the Read More
Explore the Bible: Risky Faith
Living for God sometimes brings Christians into conflict with others. While believers do not instigate the conflict, the clear demarcation between the values and lifestyles of believers in Read More
July 13 Bible Studies for Life: Focused faith
Peter and James, authors of New Testament books by those names, were intimately associated with Jesus. Neither Peter nor James ever directly quoted Jesus, but their epistles throb with allusions to Read More
July 20 Bible Studies for Life: Active faith
As we have seen, Simon Peter opened his epistle with some heavy theology, beginning with the Trinity. He enticed us with the prospect of a divine inheritance in the life to come. However, he Read More
July 13 Explore the Bible: New life for the new people of God
Many skeptics and unbelievers scoff at the concept of hope and view hope as futile. Friedrich Nietzsche wrote, “Hope is the worst of evils, for it prolongs the torment of men.” The character of God Read More
July 20 Explore the Bible: The beauty of worship
A leading theologian described the importance of worship. “Christian worship is the most momentous, the most urgent, the most glorious action that can take place in human life.” Does the terms 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 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
OBITUARY: Former moderator of Southwest Fla. assn. Charles Beal, dies in Texas
SARASOTA (FBW)—Charles Beal, retired pastor of Bay Haven Baptist Church in Sarasota, died July 1 in Richland Hills, Texas. He was Read More