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
Gainesville church will host Family Easter Fun day April 19
GAINESVILLE (FBW)— First Baptist Church in Gainesville will host Family Easter Fun day April 19, 10 a.m.- Read More
Gainesville church will present “The Day He Wore my Crown” April 19
GAINESVILLE (FBW)—The choir and orchestra of Northwest Baptist Church in Gainesville will present “The Day He Wore My Crown” April 19 at 7 p.m., and April 20 at 10:45 a.m. Read More
Florida Bible Drills and Speakers’ Tournament finals include dozens of participants
The state Bible Drills and Speakers’ Tournament 2014 finals on April 12, which included students from churches from Pensacola to Miami, were the culmination of dozens of church and associational Read More
Jimmy Scroggins rethinks his approach to ministry
WEST PALM BEACH (BP)—For many residents, South Florida may very well seem like paradise on earth. The year-round tropical climate draws both young and old seeking Read More
Late-term abortion bills advance in Florida Legislature
TALLAHASEE (FBW)—Two bills providing clarification on Florida’s existing ban on third-trimester abortions have cleared committee hurdles that threatened to block their progress toward votes in their Read More
Tampa ministers will preach annual “Seven Last Sayings of Jesus” April 18
TAMPA (FBW)—Tampa Bay Baptist Association ministers will preach in the annual “Seven Last Sayings of Jesus” gatherings in four locations April 18: Lake Carroll Baptist Church, at noon; First Baptist Read More
Royal Palm’s DOM to retire after 26 years of service
Everett Rafferty will retire as director of missions for the Royal Palm Baptist Association, effective June 30. He has served in that role since January 1988, during which time the Read More
Cookies & goodies remind students of home
GRACEVILLE (BCF)—Last month, students at The Baptist College of Florida sunk their teeth into a variety of goodies prepared specially for them by BCF First Lady Ruth Ann 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
His touch gives dignity to India’s destitute & dying
BANGALORE, India (BP)—A child died during the night. The next morning Auto T. Raja lays a clean white sheet on the floor of an empty room in the children’s Read More
Chaplains share Christ, sustain believers’ faith
ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP)—From foreign battlefields to American corporate board rooms to hospital bedsides to the front seats of police cars and more, Southern Baptists minister through their chaplains Read More
Deaf man in the Motor City inspires families
MACOMB, Mich. (BP)–Scott Blanchard is familiar with all the public perceptions of Detroit and its surrounding area: Metro Detroit is dying. No one wants to live in the city. Read More
Grafitti 2 is New York’s thriving church plant
NEW YORK (BP)–High school student Shamar Smith has been attending Graffiti 2 Community Ministries’ after-school program for years. Raised in the South Bronx neighborhood of Read More
‘Restoration & Revival through Prayer’ to headline SBC in Baltimore
BALTIMORE (SBC Life)—The theme for the 2014 annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Baltimore will be “Restoration and Revival through Prayer,” according to SBC President Fred Luter. Read More
Advance notes on 2014 SBC annual meeting in Baltimore
BALTIMORE (FBW)—The following information related to the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Baltimore is provided via the website sbclife.net and has previously been published in an issue Read More
Pro-Hobby Lobby side hopeful after Supreme Court opening oral arguments
WASHINGTON (BP)—The U.S. Supreme Court contemplated the right of business owners to exercise their religious beliefs in the face of a government decree upon their companies during oral arguments in Read More
Deaf man in the Motor City inspires families
MACOMB, Mich. (BP)–Scott Blanchard is familiar with all the public perceptions of Detroit and its surrounding area: Metro Detroit is dying. No one wants to live in the city. Read More
Grafitti 2 is New York’s thriving church plant
NEW YORK (BP)–High school student Shamar Smith has been attending Graffiti 2 Community Ministries’ after-school program for years. Raised in the South Bronx neighborhood of Read More
Religious stereotype in Quebec challenged by church planter
LENNOXVILLE, QC (BP)—Canadians easily dismiss Christianity—especially in Quebec. The history of mistrust is woven deep within the fabric of Québécois culture—a culture Read More
Miami church planter featured in Annie Week of Prayer guide
HOMESTEAD (BP)—You could say Patrick Coats is a product of his spiritual legacy. But it’s a legacy he attempted to elude—at least for a time. A native of Miami, Read More
‘Firmly Planted’ NAMB missionaries focus of Annie Armstrong Offering prayer guide
The North American Missions Emphasis is a time to nurture in Southern Baptists an awareness of and sensitivity to the need to penetrate lostness among all people in North Read More
Inerrancy. Does it matter?
LUTZ (FBW)—Driven to discover what the average Florida Baptist in the pew thinks about the Bible, a religion professor and longtime Florida Baptist embarked on a study in Read More
Inerrancy 'drift' festers in Christian academia
FORT WORTH, Texas (BP)—Challenges in biblical inerrancy facing Christian colleges and seminaries were aired during the Evangelical Theological Society's annual meeting in Read More
Missionary from Tampa expects big things from God
BRAUNSCHWEIG, Germany (BP)—Martha Moore doesn’t waste time dreaming small. The Southern Baptist missionary from Tampa, Fla., has learned to fully expect that God will do 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
1 Corinthians 15:20-28: April 20—But now ... Victory
Our Scripture passage for today presents us with a marvelous opportunity to present our Lord’s resurrection from an exciting perspective. Beginning with the unquestioned importance of His Read More
Mark 15:16 to 16:8: April 20—The Gospel of death and resurrection of Jesus
The core affirmation of the Christian faith is the amazing claim that “the Word became flesh” (John 1:14) died. The death of Jesus was not an accident, but the purposive plan of God. Jesus did not Read More
2 Samuel 9:1-13: April 13—Hope needed
We can identify with David’s actions in our assigned text. We have gone through a series of wars, beginning with World War II (1941-45), the Korean Conflict (1950-53), the Vietnam War (1963-75) and Read More
Selected Proverbs: April 13—Forging godly relationships
The older I become the more I discover friendships mean more to me. As one who is an introvert by natural disposition, I particularly cherish the rich friendships I have within the community of Read More
Exodus 31:12-17: April 6—Give work a rest
We Baptists call ourselves a people of the Book, meaning the Bible. We contend publicly for the right to publish the Ten Commandments in public places as well as plaques in our homes. Even a casual Read More
Selected Proverbs: April 6—Wisdom in finances
Years ago, I conducted a study of finances in Proverbs. I began by listing every reference to finances I could find within God’s Wisdom book. My list of financial passages from Proverbs filled up Read More
2 Corinthians 9:6-13: March 30—Work your plan
The necessity of working your plan is good advice, but only if the plan has a reasonable prospect of leading to success. The chances of a new business surviving the first year are quite small. One Read More
Selected Proverbs: March 30—Do not be a slacker
I teach a class called Christian worldview. During the class, I teach a brief section titled, “You might be a slacker if. ...” The slacker or sluggard is an important character within the book of 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
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
OBITUARY: WWII veteran and retired pastor, David J. Lundin, dies
CALLAHAN (FBW)—David J. Lundin, retired pastor of Georgia and Florida churches, died June 24, one day before his 94th birthday. He was a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, and served in WWII in Read More
John D.W. Watts, 92, former missionary & professor, dies
PENNEY FARMS (FBW)- John Drayton Williams “D.W.” Watts, a former professor at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a Southern Baptist Missionary, died July 21 near his home in Penney Farms, Read More
Charles R. Swartz Jr. 83, dies
LAKELAND (FBW)-Charles R. Swartz Jr., 83, retired pastor of South Florida Baptist Association churches, died July Read More