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*From the States – Mississippi and Oklahoma (pgs. 6 & 8)

*Who “CARES?” —– Weighing in on the Economic Security Act (pg. 1)

Dr. Steve Crawley – Never in our nation’s history has the economy come to a standstill as it has over the past month. Financial and economic analysts agree that a possible major recession, which is essentially a twenty-first century term for depression, is looming large. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the economy, the U.S. Federal Government passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to assist citizens, businesses and non-profits in navigating through these unprecedented circumstances. The legislation, which is the largest economic relief package in history, provides benefits to citizens in the form of cash payments, enhanced unemployment benefits and delayed tax obligations.

*When God Brought the World to its Knees (pg. 1)

Charles CostaHave you ever seen the COVID-19 virus? Neither have I. Yet this unseen creation has shut down the whole of creation. The sovereign Lord, whose throne is in Heaven (a theme that is emphasized repeatedly in the Psalms), has decided that enough is enough. Looking back the last few years, several natural cataclysmic events have taken place. Hurricanes (Harvey, Irma, Jose…), earthquakes (Mexico, Haiti, Croatia…) and brush fires (California, Australia) to name a few. And now COVID-19. Many are interpreting these events from an eschatological perspective. I like to think of these events in the here-and-now. Could God be saying something to the world that the world could not and would not hear, unless it was on its knees?

*Empty Buildings Attract Problems (pg. 1)

Safety – Churches need to take steps to prevent vandalism and theft issues during coronavirus restrictions. As Christian ministries shift to temporarily hosting virtual services, empty buildings can become targets for vandalism and theft. These are some practical steps you can take now to help protect your ministry property:

*Pastor & Wife Recover From COVID-19 (pg. 1)

Daniel Williams -What is that thing that is so precious that we cannot charge for it, yet we are compelled to spread it? It is hope! Creation is groaning, we are groaning underneath these conditions that seem to overwhelm the world. The precious truth of God’s Word is that hope is not in what we see, but it is the product of our faith in the unseen. It is easy for us to turn on the TV and see despair, to see our leaders frightened and to face the horrible prospect of the number of people who have lost and will lose their lives. And Paul even says in our weakness we do not know what to pray for.

*CBC Extends Tuition Discount for PACE (pg. 2)

Central Baptist College President Terry Kimbrow has announced that the one-time 20% tuition discount for new students enrolling in the PACE Program has been extended through the Fall 2020 semester. This tuition discount was initially offered for Spring 2020 to celebrate the PACE Program’s 20th Anniversary… To take advantage of the one-time 20% tuition discount, first-time entering, transfer or readmit students should apply for admission and complete the registration process. There are four registration periods (blocks) for the Fall 2020 semester, the first deadline is June 12 for classes beginning on July 6. To learn more or to complete an application for admission visit cbc.edu/itsyourtime. Claudette Holt, director of PACE Enrollment, can be reached at cholt@cbc.edu or (501) 205-8840.

Thank You, BMA of Arkansas! (pg. 2)

Duffy Guyton – Central Baptist College loves our churches! It is a great honor to be praying for all of you during this unprecedented time. We rest in knowing that our Lord graciously guides and loves His church during all seasons of life. It is our prayer through Scripture that you continue to pursue Christ with steadfastness and that you not grow weary in doing good. Even though these are challenging times, my heart has been very inspired by your sincere love for each other and of your relentless determination in carrying out the powerful message of the gospel through different and sometimes stretching venues. (Also see CBC Sports, pg. 2)

Evaluating Your Student Ministry (pg. 2)

Dan Carson – During these unusual days of COVID-19, we have a great opportunity in front of us. We can put our student ministry through a magnifying glass and measure the value of the things we are doing. If your church is like most, you are unable to physically meet for group meetings and spend time with each another. Many have figured out how to meet together in an online format in one form or another, but it just isn’t the same. Ultimately, this change in format gives us more time to ponder and reflect on the current state of youth ministry in our church. So, where do we start? What questions do we ask? Isn’t it enough for our students to just have fun and show up? Why should we go any deeper than that?

Perspective During Crisis (pg. 3)

Larry Barker – In New Morning Mercies, Paul David Tripp nailed it when he said: “A desire for a good thing becomes a bad thing when that desire becomes a ruling thing.” Are you worshiping a service more than the One it was created to worship? The reality is that we were made to be worshipers continually, not just occasionally in a formal, intentional setting. Please know that we all miss the blessing and privilege of worship services we have taken for granted for far too long. We grieve because we’re not able to fellowship by singing, studying and praying together as a church family.

The Gap Fund (pg. 4)

Editor – In years past, we have had a “Gap Fund” that was designed for donations to help people or churches who could not afford to get the Baptist Trumpet due to limited finances. It has been inactive for a while because we haven’t had any offerings designated for that purpose. But I am reactivating it because we need it now, more than ever! Before COVID-19 even hit us, several churches were already being sent the Trumpet free because they had fallen on hard times and could not afford to keep it going. We have been carrying that load for them because it is so very important to get the word out about our BMA work to the most important person in the BMA — the person in the pew! But since our offerings in general, and especially Special Emphasis offerings, are slow, we really need some help. If you’d like to contribute to this fund (which not only benefits our churches, but will also help us send the Trumpet to Williams Facility and others), please send your offerings to Baptist Trumpet, P.O. Box 192208, Little Rock, Ark. 72219 and designate it “Gap Fund.”

Trumpet Notes (pg. 4)

Ark. Gov. Bans Abortions During COVID-19; Atheist Fails to Get “So Help me God” Removed; Group Spends $77K on Petition Drive

Walters, Former BMAA President, Dies (pg. 5)

Richard Lunnie Walters, 90, passed away April 2. He was born in Laurel, Miss. and at the early age of 18, felt the call to preach the gospel. It was then that he began to prepare for a life in the ministry. He attended Jones County Junior College, Jacksonville College and graduated from Mississippi College with a B.A. in Sociology and minors in English and Bible Studies. He received seminary training at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, BMA Theological Seminary and Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary. Bro. Walters began his pastoral work at Bay Springs, Miss. and pastored churches in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas. He met his wife, Lynn, at a revival meeting at her home church, First at Judson, Texas. They were married on May 27, 1952. He pastored Temple Baptist Church in Little Rock (now South City) for 27 years. While he was pastor at Temple, he had the privilege of serving as the industrial chaplain at Affiliated Foods Warehouse. At that time, he was the first industrial chaplain in Arkansas. He also held many revivals across the tri-state area and influenced hundreds of people in the teachings of Christ. He completed is pastoral work at College View Baptist Church in Magnolia in 2010. Bro. Walters served in many associational places of leadership, including serving as president of the BMA of America. In his spare time, he loved to garden, enjoyed woodworking projects and was a master at backyard grilling. “The things he believed, taught and preached, he is now experiencing firsthand,” said his family. He is survived by his wife, Lynn; a son, Richard S. Walters; and two daughters Debra (Kris) Compton and Jill Gray. Memorials may be made to BMA of Arkansas, 10712 Interstate 30, Little Rock, Ark. 72209 or the charity of your choice.

Missionaries Receive Degrees (pg. 5)

Louisiana Baptist University and Seminary announces graduation ceremonies for May 7. Included in this year’s graduation class are Stan R. Scroggins and Donna M. Scroggins, BMA missionaries to the Philippines. Mrs. Scroggins graduates with honors with the degree of Masters in Education. Her dissertation is entitled “The Philippines Implementation of Eleventh and Twelfth Grade Education.” Bro. Scroggins graduates with honors with the Doctor of Philosophy degree in Theology. His dissertation is entitled “A Missionary God from the Very Beginning: An Examination of the Spread of the Gospel through the Book of Acts.” Dr. and Mrs. Scroggins are BMA of America missionaries to the Philippines and are assigned as teachers at the BMA Bible College in Talisay City, Negros Occidental, Philippines.

Spotlight on Missions (pg. 5)

Stan & Donna Scroggins, Philippines

Want to Help Our Arkansas and National Departments? (pg. 5)

Editor – A reader contacted the Baptist Trumpet by email this week and asked for a listing of the addresses and phone numbers of our state and national departments so his church could send them an offering. This is the list I compiled for him. I know all of us would appreciate any help you feel led to give us.

Fear (pg. 7)

Paul White – Almost all of God’s people have found comfort and solace in the words penned in the 23rd Psalm. In this brief, but powerful discourse we find strength in times of weakness and courage in times of discouragement. All Scripture is God-breathed and precious, but there are those passages that seem special. Examples of this are John 3:16, Eph. 2:8-9 and Rom. 10:9. I would like for us to dig a little deeper into Psa. 23:4 because our world is one of uncertainty at this present time. Our lives have been changed as never before in our lifetime, yet there is One who does not change — He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Jesus is the only answer for the fear that has overtaken us in these past weeks and for several weeks to come.

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