Current News – 9-23-2020

*CBC Traditional Student Enrollment Increase (pg. 1)

Despite a challenging higher education environment due to the COVID-19 global health pandemic, Central Baptist College saw a 1.1% increase in the traditional student population for the Fall 2020 semester. Additionally, the college reported a 3.6% increase in first-time entering students (includes first-time entering freshmen, transfer students, re-admitted students, and transient students) and an increase in the incoming freshmen class.

*October 1 is Bring Your Bible to School Day (pg. 1)

Jerry Cox – Bring Your Bible to School Day is coming up in just a few days on Thursday, Oct. 1. The event is promoted by our friends at Focus on the Family, and each year it is estimated that more than half a million students across the United States participate by bringing their Bibles to school with them on this day.

JTC Volunteers Still Needed (pg. 5)

Beth Burkes – Just the Crumbs (JTC) continues to serve meals in Reeves, La. — about 200-350 a day. Electricity is slowly returning to the community, but there are a lot of people who still don’t have it.We have not had any chainsaw or cleanup volunteers to feed this week, but are hoping some crews will volunteer because there are a lot of people here who need trees removed, as you see in the photo above. We will be glad to house and feed anyone who is interested in volunteering. Contact me at (662) 582-6667 if you’d like to help.We are just praying that Beta will do no further damage here. We sincerely appreciate your prayers and your donations. If you’d like to contribute, funds may be sent through PayPal at; designated “Just the Crumbs” and mailed to BMAA Missions, P.O. Box 878, Conway, Ark. 72033; or sent to Just the Crumbs, 10 Wagon Trail, Sumrall, Miss. 39482. For more information, contact Director Lavon Haden at; or Beth Haden at; or call (601) 522-6055.

* Update (pg. 7)

Paul White – At present, it appears that we might have at least one new candidate, and maybe two, to present at the state meeting: Clinton Morris is being considered to serve in the Rogers/Bentonville area and, if elected, will go on the field sometime after the first of the year. Michael Hight informed me that he may have an experienced Hispanic church planter, who currently lives in Louisiana, to consider soon to also work in the northwest part of the state. In fact, there is already one of our churches who is working with Michael to ensure a place for them to begin. Even during these uncertain times, God is continuing to bless your State Missions’ efforts. Many of the missionaries are reporting first-time visitors, salvations, baptisms and an increase in attendance. While they have not regained their pre-pandemic strength and numbers, they are all headed in the right direction.  Please keep our missionaries and their families in your prayers.

*Following the Great Multiplier (pg. 1)

Stuart Estes, ABS, Univ. of Arkansas – The reasons to praise Jesus are numerous. He’s the bread of life (John 6:35). He’s the light of the world (John 8:12). He’s the way, the truth, the life (John 14:6). The list goes on and on. But what about his mathematic abilities? Think back to basic math for a moment, specifically to a concept called order of operations. Following the order of operations ensures that we arrive at the correct answer by completing the parts of an equation in the proper order. The order goes like this: parentheses, exponents, multiplication/division, addition/subtraction.Notice those last two. Multiplication takes precedence over addition.

Voter’s Guide Available (pg. 5)

Family Council released its Voter’s Guide for the 2020 Arkansas General Election on Sept. 10. The Arkansas Voter’s Guide has been the premier statewide candidate voter’s guide since 1990, reaching hundreds of thousands of Arkansans each election cycle.  Family Council President Jerry Cox released a statement, saying: “I am pleased to announce the 2020 Arkansas Voter’s Guide from Family Council is available. We surveyed candidates for state and federal office. We asked them to respond to multiple statements covering everything from abortion and religious liberty to guns, economics and hate crimes legislation. This will help voters understand where candidates stand on a wide variety of issues.”

Upcoming PACE Registration (pg. 2)

Terry Kimbrow – Working adults looking for a convenient and flexible college option have another opportunity to enroll in the fourth five-week course of the fall semester. Classes are offered in-class, online or in a hybrid option. The deadline for new student applications for the fourth enrollment period of the spring semester is Friday, Oct. 2.  With eight enrollment periods per year and five-week courses, you always have an opportunity to get started. Take advantage of our $500 BMAA Grant that applies for all students who attend a BMAA church, the Ministry Tuition Grant or the Veterans Tuition Grant. Currently, you can still receive a 20% fall discount for Block 4 to help celebrate 20 years of PACE! (Also see CBC Sports, pg. 2)

Connecting with Other Youth Workers (pg. 2)

Dan Carson – There is no doubt that 2020 will go down in the books as one of the toughest for those in ministry. For large chunks of time, youth workers have been separated from the students they so genuinely care about. Besides separation, many youth workers have had to take on new roles at their churches to help during these unusual days. I know that at my church I became the tech expert. What is the best way to stream our services? How do we keep in communication with all our people? How do we show love to those that aren’t on social media? When you add in no church camp and an online-only SOAR, it can all be a bit overwhelming. I like to think that there is a light at the end of this tunnel, but I don’t quite see it yet.

Presence-Centered Church (pg. 3)

Larry Barker – This quote has really been making an impact on my heart: “You must be present with God to experience the presence of God!” Everyone has so many plans, strategies, programs and good initiatives in our churches but, more than anything else, we need God’s presence. For years we have taught pastors and church planters to pursue prayerful planning, but I recently heard Bill Elliff use the term “God-initiated planning,” and I like it even better. The need for God’s presence and to pray without ceasing cannot be overstated.

Spotlight on Missions (pg. 3)

Michel & Ruth Poirier – Canada/Haiti/Africa

Trumpet Notes (pg. 4)

Conway Kroger Sued For Religious Discrimination; Justice Ginsburg Dies, Trump to Choose Successor; Netflix Cancellations Skyrocket Over “Cuties;” SA Red Kettle Program Starts Early; MacArthur “Sees Chance For Jail Ministry”

He Will Never Leave Us (pg. 4)

Jeff Swart – During World War II, Solomon Rosenberg, his parents, his wife and their two sons were arrested and placed in a Nazi concentration camp. The rules of the camp were simple — as long as you did your work, you were permitted to live; when you became too weak to work, you would be exterminated. Rosenberg watched as his own father and mother were marched off to their deaths, and he knew that his youngest son, David would be next because he had always been a frail child. Every evening, Rosenberg came back to the barracks after his hours of hard labor and searched for the faces of his family. When he found them, they would embrace one another and thank God for another day of life.

State GMA Project (pg. 5)

Tori Sinsley – The Arkansas State GMA’s project for this year is Paige Sanchez and Piece of Hope in Nicaragua. Paige runs a school for kids with disabilities. They have grown to 35 families that they are serving and have approximately 15 on their waiting list. They need more space for their school and have already found a building to purchase and renovate for a second location for their ministry. Paige has asked the Arkansas GMA to help her spread the word that she has an offer of a $10,000 matching grant. This means every dollar you give will be doubled until the $10,000 goal is reached. 

Bobo Honored (pg. 5)

Kenneth Bobo was presented with a portrait last week after revival services at Providence Baptist Church in Hope. The portrait was given in celebration of his 60 years of faithful service in the ministry. Bro. Kenneth’s first full-time pastorate was at Providence in 1960, and his last full-time pastorate was at Providence in 2016. The portrait is of his last sermon as pastor at Providence. Please join us in celebrating his 60 years (and counting) in the ministry!

Louis James Hale Dies (pg. 5)

Louis James Hale, 73 of Springhill, La., passed away Sept. 14. He is from Springhill, La., but had been living in Conway with his daughter, Angela Rice and her husband, Phillip, who both serve the BMA of America. Survivors include: his wife of 45 years, Drenda Stevens Hale; two sisters, Gloria Jean (Clyde) Stephens of Taylor and Sylvia (James Ronald ) Lindsey of Springhill, La.; another daughter, Terri (Kenneth) Waites of Mayflower; a son, Waco (Lori) Hale of Greenbrier; five grandchildren, Colby Waites of Mayflower, and his wife, Tasha, who serves with BMA Life; Emily (Tyler) Brantley of Conway, who are BMA missionaries to South America; Mary Beth Rice of Conway; Cassidy Hale and Conner Issiac Hale, both of Greenbrier; and two great-grandchildren, Tessa Waites and James Jared Waites. Graveside services were held Sept. 18 at Welcome Cemetery in Taylor, with his brother-in-law, Danny Stevens officiating. Interment was under the direction of Bailey Funeral Home in Springhill, La.

Adjusting to the Pandemic (pg. 6)

Holly Meriweather – On March 17, the BMA’s Global Missions Center closed down for six weeks because of COVID-19. There were many unanswered questions for all of those who serve in the building. For Lifeword Executive Director Donny Parrish, one of those questions was, “How can we produce new programming when we have no recording studios?” Computers, cameras, lights, teleprompters, sets, everything the Lifeword and Productions teams depended on for gospel broadcasting was now off limits.  Four days before the shutdown, the Lifeword Board had met and approved exciting plans for the future, and there was a lot of anticipation for implementing them. Parrish says he began to pray and ask God, “Did I make a mistake here, Lord? Are you telling me to back up or back out? What in the world are you up to?” But just a few days later God’s plans become clear: He wasn’t putting Lifeword on hold. He wasn’t putting the plans they prayed about on a shelf. God was using the pandemic to open doors for Lifeword in ways they could never dream.

Alarming Decline in Marriage Rates (pg. 6)

Larry Page – The incessant, negative drum beats against the institution of marriage are paying dividends for the cultural elites, radical feminists, humanists, progressive academicians and other assorted social warriors. Their objective seems to be to destabilize the nuclear family structure by endorsing living arrangements for couples that are indefinite, transient and devoid of any meaningful commitment capable of weathering the typical storms that inevitably arise in intimate relationships. A just-released report by the Institute for Family Studies (IFS) reveals some stark figures. The IFS found that in 2018 (the last year for complete computations), a record 35% of Americans aged 25-50, about 39 million people, had never been married. That represented a 14% increase in unmarrieds in less than 20 years.

Daniel Springs Baptist Camp (pg. 6)

Jason Prewitt – As you know, Daniel Springs Camp was unable to host our normal summer camp season due to COVID-19. We were so disappointed that we didn’t have our summer staff family of young adults who invest their summer into camp, and we missed church groups being at camp each week of the summer. We so missed seeing our long-time friends and building new relationships with church leaders that come as sponsors and the students that come with their church groups. Needless to say, it was too quiet at Daniel Springs during the months of May, June, July and August.

It’s a Mess (pg. 6)

Tony Cleaver – Let’s just go on and say it out loud — “It’s a mess!” Our United States of America is in a mess. One coast is on fire, another coast is whipped by storms, another coast is deluged with floods and the center of the country is lashed by winds. Not to be ignored is the virus that has us all in its grip. Our country’s social, school, business and even our religious process is being shut down, changed and irrevocably altered by this bug. We, as citizens, scan the news daily, hoping to learn of a cure from the disease. We try to turn our calendars quickly to attempt to get past the storm season and fires. We hope for governmental rescue from our economic plight. We even put on our masks during our public outings to surely and certainly protect us from the scourge. Many are out of work and are scrounging for ways to provide for their families.

Mailbox – Thank You/Card Note Album (pg. 8)

Stan & Donna Scroggins and Jeff Herring

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