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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Pursuit Experience highlights leadership for students, young adults
JACKSONVILLE (FLBaptist)—The Pursuit Experience, designed for students and young adults who are pursuing ministry leadership and desire to be the light of Jesus Christ, will be held Oct. 3-4 at Read More
USF ministry to provide students free pregnancy tests, counseling
TAMPA (FLBaptist)—Free pregnancy testing for students who suspect they may be pregnant are being offered once a week at the Baptist Campus Ministry center located on the University of South Florida Read More
God's light glows to the captive in small Florida fishing village
The dining room light shined brightly in the predawn hours from the home on the main thoroughfare in Panacea, a small fishing village south of Tallahassee on Highway 98. The home and Read More
Panama City pastor reaching addicts behind bars, on streets
Rick McClung heard the familiar clang of the prison door locking behind him. Stepping through security screens, he was patted down and sent down the hallway. In the chapel of the Jackson Read More
Florida Baptist leader John Sullivan announces retirement
LEESBURG (FLBaptist)—After serving Florida Baptists as the executive director-treasurer of the Florida Baptist Convention for a quarter of a century, John Sullivan has announced his retirement from Read More
A life-changing experience for Florida student summer missionaries
JACKSONVILLE (FLBaptist)—Two children stood on the side of a Jacksonville East Arlington road selling lemonade when Kourtney Burcroff and her fellow summer missionary first spotted them. Read More
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
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
Panama City pastor reaching addicts behind bars, on streets
Rick McClung heard the familiar clang of the prison door locking behind him. Stepping through security screens, he was patted down and sent down the hallway. In the chapel of the Jackson Read More
God's light glows to the captive in small Florida fishing village
The dining room light shined brightly in the predawn hours from the home on the main thoroughfare in Panacea, a small fishing village south of Tallahassee on Highway 98. The home and Read More
A life-changing experience for Florida student summer missionaries
JACKSONVILLE (FLBaptist)—Two children stood on the side of a Jacksonville East Arlington road selling lemonade when Kourtney Burcroff and her fellow summer missionary first spotted them. 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
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