Current News – 4-15-2020

*From the States (Texas and Missouri) pg. 6

*Easter Tornadoes Hit; Just the Crumbs to Help (pg. 1)

Editor – On Easter Sunday, the National Weather Service received 54 tornado reports over an area spanning from Texas to North Carolina, and one of the hardest hit areas was Southern Mississippi, where there are several BMA churches. At the time of this report, 32 casualties had been reported, including 11 in Mississippi, 9 in Georgia, 2 in Tennessee, 8 in South Carolina and 1 in North Carolina. One man was also killed in Pine Bluff, Ark. when a tree, toppled by straight line winds estimated at 85-100 mph, fell on his home… JTC began setting up at Big Creek Baptist Church in Soso, Miss. on Monday, April 13 and started getting meals out to victims and volunteers that were affected by the storm or are involved with tornado cleanup. 

*SOAR Goes Online (pg. 1

Chris Vines & Nick Jacobsen -We don’t need to tell you about all the effects COVID-19 has had on our communities, country and world. However, it seems fair and forthright to write briefly on the current plans for SOAR 2020:SOAR 2020 will not be cancelled.For the first time in over 30 years, SOAR Student Conference will be completely online and will be totally free.

*CBC: New Date For Spring 2020 Commencement

Central Baptist College has postponed Spring 2020 Commencement due to continuing concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Spring 2020 graduation will now take place on Aug. 8. The commencement ceremony for graduates of the Professional Adult College Education (PACE) Program will be held at 10 a.m., and the commencement ceremony for traditional student graduates will be held at 2 p.m. For more information about CBC, visit or call (501) 329-6873.

*Trumpet Special Emphasis Extended (pg. 4)

Editor – Believing that better times are coming, I talked with BMA of Arkansas Missions Director Paul White, my brother in Christ and co-worker at the BMA of Arkansas Building. The State Missions Special Emphasis is mandated as May-June-July, but I knew that, for several years, Bro. Paul has only utilized June and July. He loves the Baptist Trumpet, too, and when I asked him, he quickly and graciously agreed to give us the month of May so we can extend our Emphasis another month. Will that solve our problem? I don’t know, but that is my prayer and I ask that you join me in praying that God will provide our needs. If we fall short this year (my final year as your editor), it could mean that we’d have to do something that I’ve fought against for many years — cutting the number of issues to twice a month.

*Lifeword Adds New Broadcasts And Production Partners (pg. 8)

Lifeword is now partnering with several ministries who are doing a great job of bringing the message of Jesus to their own cultures. Some of these ministries are very well known, and some have done a great job of producing quality content but lack the means to broadcast what they have produced. This is where Lifeword Cloud technology becomes very important. “The Lifeword Cloud has revolutionized how Lifeword is doing ministry,” said Bro. Parrish. “It’s enabling us to speak to segments of American society that we could only dream about reaching in the past.”

CBC Tower Media Wins 36 Awards (pg. 2)

Terry Kimbrow – Central Baptist College’s Tower Media student journalism staffs won a combined 36 awards from the Arkansas College Media Association at a spring contest, including The Tower being named first place for Newspaper of the Year. Eleven colleges and universities in Arkansas submitted work from 2019 for the competition. “The ACMA awards are a big honor as Tower Media continues to work at more comprehensive coverage of the campus,” said Ann Gardner, faculty adviser and communication department chair. “Our staffs are dedicated to producing quality work, and our students do well competing against the largest colleges in the state.”

What’s Happening at Student Ministry Matters (pg. 2)

Dan Carson – While some things have slowed down during COVID-19, Student Ministry Matters is now busier than ever. Much of what we do during the year is in the realm of digital. We have a handful of things that I want to make you aware of. The Student Ministry Matters Podcast – Every Monday Student Ministry Matters releases as new podcast that covers a student ministry topic. I am very excited to announce that over the next three weeks, we will be sharing interviews from two of the authors of Fulfill Your Student Ministry. Sam Bierig and Dr. Jared Bumpers are both on staff with Spurgeon College/Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary of Kansas City and agreed to talk with us about their newest book. You can access our podcast through Apple podcasts, Spotify, or Youtube.

Engaging When Disconnected (pg. 3)

Larry Barker – One of the greatest challenges today is how to stay engaged at such a disengaged and disconnected time. There is so much more to this than how well you are utilizing social media, phone calls, email and other tools to stay connected with your church family. It is making sure that you are going a few layers deeper and connecting with one another on a relational level. The goal is not how many “likes” you are getting on Facebook live or how many “thumbs up” you are receiving while live streaming. How many people are you actually engaging with?

A Pattern for Ministry (pg. 3)

Tom Mitchell – I was just thinking about a friend. Richard Walters, a longtime leader in the BMA of Arkansas and BMA of America, received his heavenly promotion on April 2 at the age of 90 years. In previous articles, I have written about several men who were, in my opinion, trailblazers… patterns for ministry. Richard Walters was certainly one who was a trailblazer in our associated work. Growing up in our neighboring state of Mississippi, Bro. Walters surrendered to the ministry call as an 18-year-old. Prior to becoming an Arkansan, he pastored churches in Louisiana and Texas. It was in Judson, Texas that he met Lynn, the lady who would become his wife; and they were married in 1952. The Lord blessed their home with three children. I first met Bro. Walters in 1963, and I was immediately impressed with him. He was the epitome of a true Southern gentleman. His demeanor was that of a man who was confident, yet modest.

Virtual Meetings Can Put Arkansans at Risk (pg. 3)

Arkansans have adapted to a new environment where social distancing has become our new normal, and working from home brings a new set of challenges. Virtual meetings provide an essential mode of communication for work and school, but bad actors have also found opportunities to exploit vulnerabilities in the virtual environment to steal or extort money from individuals and businesses. “Having fought online predators, I know they seek to exploit any weakness in our security, whether targeting children or businesses,” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “As Attorney General, I’ve been working to ensure these necessary online meeting platforms take every action to protect users as we all do our best to get through this current crisis.”

Trumpet Notes (pg. 4)

Clinic Challenges State Over Surgical Abortions; PP to Close 12 Clinics, Some Cities Abortion Free

Joyce Fagala, Pastor’s Widow, Dies (pg. 5)

Joyce Ann Speer Fagala, 90 of Conway, passed away April 13. She was the widow of BMA Pastor Charles “Dan” Fagala, who died Nov. 19, 2017. Mrs. Fagala was a member of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Greenbrier. While a resident at Village Park she attended Robinson Avenue Baptist Church in Conway… Survivors include: a daughter Mary “Janette” (Gary) Willis; a son, Charles Dan “Danny” (Robin) Fagala, Jr., associate pastor/music minister at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Greenbrier; a sister, Mary (Dale) Ceren; six brothers, Don (Carolyn) Speer, James (Barbara) Speer, John (Jan) Speer, Charles (Linda) Speer, David (Angie) Speer and Ben (Melissa) Speer; five grandchildren and five great grandchildren.  A graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. on April 16 at Cave Springs Cemetery in Cave Springs, under the direction of Bishop Crites Funeral Home in Greenbrier. Memorials can be made to the Central Baptist College Endowed Scholarship Fund Speer Family Scholarship (1501 College Ave., Conway, Ark. 72034); Lifeword (P.O. Box 6, Conway, Ark. 72033); or Bethlehem Baptist Church (505 Hwy. 225 W, Greenbrier, Ark. 72058).

When the Quarantine is Over (pg. 4)

Jordan Tew, Baptist Publishing House – I think it is safe to say we are all missing what we would call “normal life.” We are hoping and praying for the days to return when we can visit others, go out to eat with friends and family and go to church together. Lord willing, this dark time will be over soon, so consider these thoughts: When the quarantine is over, your church will have Sunday School or Bible Study classes again.. When the quarantine is over, we will all continue to face difficult economic times… When the quarantine is over, we are praying for God to save many souls and reawaken many believers. We hope and pray your church remains strong during this time. May God bless your church!

An Opportunity to Make Lemonade (pg. 5)

Jeff Swart – No doubt you are familiar with the opening lines of Charles Dickens’ novel, A Tale of Two Cities: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” This seems like a fitting epitaph for the COVID-19 Pandemic that has swept our world. It is definitely the “worst of times” as thousands of Americans have died, and many more thousands will die, which means that some of our neighbors are mourning the loss of a loved one. Millions of our fellow citizens are quarantined in their homes, have lost their jobs or are worshipping on Sunday in their living room rather than in the sweet fellowship of their local church. And millions of health care professionals are risking their lives on a daily basis to save the lives of others. No doubt about it — these are the “worst of times.” But on the other hand, for the church of the Lord Jesus Christ, these may very well be “…the best of times.” We often hear someone say, “If life gives you a lemon, make lemonade.” The Coronavirus is definitely a “lemon,” but I believe we can make “lemonade” out of it.

Dr. John Adams Award/Moral Action Scholarship Fund (pg. 5)

In 2019 the Dr. John Adams Award/Moral Action Scholarship fund for BMA Seminary students was announced from BMA Seminary President Dr. Charley Holmes and Moral Action Director Dr. John M. Adams (along with the Adams Award Sub-Committee — Dr. Kevin Clayton, Richey Hester and David Inzer)… The scholarship fund has $26,000 as of April 1. This is a continual/perpetual fund. We humbly ask for your support (in these special offerings, and that your church consider) the possibility of placing this in your church budget as Adams Award/Moral Action Scholarship Fund. Offerings should be sent to Moral Action, P.O. Box 305, Mantachie, Miss. 38855.

Spotlight on Missions (pg. 5)

Sam & Sue Jordan, Jordan – Michel & Ruth Poirier, Quebec/Haiti/Africa

Fear (pg. 7)

Paul White – Last week, we talked about the comfort that can be found in Psalms 23. This week, I want us to look at Psa. 19:9: “The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.” The fear of the Lord is a phrase from the Old Testament that means “reverential trust with a hatred of evil.” The fear of the Lord is not a condition; it must be a position. “More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb” (v. 10).

Fairy Tale Ending (pg. 8)

Valarie Fish – They always live happily ever after, right? The prince finds the princess, they conquer the protagonist and the story ends with everyone living happily ever after, but what happens the next day? And the next? And the weeks and months after? Life is what happens; and life, as we know too well, is not fairy tale quality.  When a princess marries the prince, she must learn the duties of her position. There are responsibilities that come with the title of wife to the future king. We are familiar with British royalty, and while those who are born royal learn how to act, sit, talk and walk in the public eye from birth, those who agree to marry into royalty have a different path. They must be taught all those things.  When you accept the covenant offer of God, you are betrothed to Him — the King of Kings — and with your commitment come certain responsibilities. You must learn how to be the covenant partner of the King.

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