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Current News July 18


*Swahili: A Language and a People Group (pg. 1)

Holly Meriweather – Only five languages have been chosen by Lifeword as “starter languages” included in the beta-testing stage before the public rollout of the new in August…and one of those is Swahili. The Lifeword language of Swahili has been on air since 2015, and its round-table-discussion format has been very effective in reaching Tanzanians with the Gospel. For Tanzanian broadcasters and brothers Deus and Renatus Kanunu, it is simply a part of their tribal culture where problems are solved through discussions. A resolution is reached when the chief has the last word. The idea was first used by the Garifuna of Central America, who created this culturally relevant broadcast format in 2009: eight pastors sitting at a table and interrupting each other with their opinions.


*ChangeMaker 100 Cycling Event to Benefit Missionaries (pg. 1)

Mati Corbett – A personal fitness challenge turned in to an event to help missionaries across the globe when Dr. John David Smith, executive director of BMA Missions, decided to dedicate his century ride to “ChangeMaker Missionaries.” A century ride is when a cyclist rides 100 miles within the span of 12 hours. Several months ago, Dr. Smith challenged himself to this fitness goal for his 50th birthday, but then he continued to wonder how his goal could be used for the kingdom of God. “I kept thinking,” said Dr. Smith, “‘How could we leverage this to more than just a personal fitness goal? How could we bring awareness and participation in God’s global mission?’” After speaking to John Meriweather and Donny Parrish, who serve at the BMA America offices, they decided to focus on raising grants for “ChangeMaker Missionaries.”


*Vandals Damage Malvern Church, Steal Van (pg. 1)

  • Susan El Khoury, Fox News – A small Malvern church is asking for help after vandals targeted their congregation. The suspects not only damaged the New Beginnings Baptist Church building, but robbed the church. Pastor Stephen Keith cleaned up most of the damage, but says when he walked into the church last Thursday morning, vandals had left their mark in most of the rooms. A back door was broken in, several windows were busted, file cabinets were ransacked, a vending machine was knocked over and the money inside taken, locked cabinets were pried open, and a safe was dragged across the floor, thrown into the back parking lot and busted open.


*BMA Seminary Ranked #1 (pg. 1)

Dr. Philip Attebery – We are pleased to announce that BMA Seminary has been ranked the #1 most affordable online Christian college. The seminary has also been ranked the #1 Most Affordable Online Colleges for a Master’s in Theology, and the #2 Most Affordable Online Colleges for a Master’s in Religious Studies.


Books Needed for BMAP Bible College (pg. 2)

Doug & Diane Lee – We made application last year for the Bible School to be CHED recognized. The process was started. After many hours of work, money, sweat and tears, along with many prayers, we are in the final process. If all goes as planned, we will be certified by August. The next phase is a site inspection in July. Our weak spot is the library. We have over 12,000 books in our library, but less that 1,000 are qualified as acceptable by CHED. We must have at least five books for each subject offered and three copies of each. The library is required to have 3,000 books that are not older that 1991. We have been scrambling to bring our library up-to-date with current books. If anyone has books they would like to donate, please notify us and we can give you information for shipping. (


Fall Registration (pg. 2)

Terry Kimbrow – The traditional Fall 2018 semester is quickly approaching. There is still time to start or complete the enrollment process, and competitive scholarships and grants are available. Take advantage of our new $500 BMAA Grant that applies to all students who attend a BMAA church, the Ministry Tuition Grant, or the Veterans Tuition Grant. Our next Connect Registration Day is July 24. If you have completed the enrollment process, you are eligible to attend Connect Day where you can register for classes and attend many other sessions to prepare you for college life. The registration deadline for Connect Day is July 18. You can get more information and sign up online at


Greater Things (pg. 3)

Larry Barker – Jesus clearly promised His disciples that they would do even “greater things” than He did. Here in North America, we desperately need “greater things” to happen in our hearts, lives and our churches. We need a movement of God that would fit His description in John 14:12-14 of “greater things.” We need revival in our established churches and a recommitment to a church planting movement. A newly released Barna Report has reinforced some of the concerns about our culture here in America moving farther and farther away from God.


Student Ministry Workers Retreat (pg. 3)

Dan Carson – I extend a personal invitation to each of you to join us Sept. 8 at South City Church of Little Rock for our first Student Ministry Workers Retreat. We have made arraignments for Ben Trueblood of Lifeway Students to be with us and share principles from his book, Student Ministry That Matters. He serves as the director of Student Ministry for LifeWay Christian Resources and has 17 years of student ministry experience, 14 of which were spent in the local church as a student pastor.


How Do I Make Wise Choices? (Joshua 2) (pg. 3)

Becca Watts – The story of Rahab has always been such an encouragement to me. Rahab, a prostitute, a sinner, redeemed through faith in who God is and placed into His plan for salvation. It makes me think about how if God could use her to do something epic like being in the lineage of Christ, then He can use me. But often as I read this narrative, I get so caught up in Rahab’s story, her perspective, that I forget about the other characters in the narrative. There is much to learn from Joshua and his spies.


Facing My Fear (pg. 4)

Dr. Gary O’Neal – “I ain’t afraid o’ you,” we hear the young child blurt out as he stands with fists clenched by his side, looking up into the face of the neighborhood bully. He’s had enough — he has been bullied for the last time. Although he doesn’t want a confrontation, everything else he has tried has failed. Now he has to face it head on. The child is learning a lesson what will serve him well for years to come — bullies thrive on fear. They get what they want through intimidation and fear. When their target responds with courage, their control is broken.


Trumpet Notes (pg. 4)

Tribes Pour Money Into Arkansas Casino Measure, Arkansas AG Seeks Stay On Abortion-Law Order, Texas Megachurch to Leave UMC Over LGBT Issues?, KY Reverses Ban On PRAY4 License Plate


National Galilean Camp 2019 Date Change (pg. 5)

Kenneth Colvert – National Galilean Camp 2018 is now history, but we are still rejoicing over the wonderful camp. We are so thankful for the five young men who were saved and the young man who surrendered to the ministry. With a prayer on our hearts for God’s blessings in 2019, we can hardly wait for next year’s camp. National Galilean Camp 2019 will be held one week earlier at StoneRidge Baptist Camp in Smithville. The dates are June 21-24 — Friday afternoon through Monday morning. The Recognition Service and Visitor’s Night will take place on Sunday night. Please place this date change on your family and church calendars and start making plans now to attend.


Save the Date, Ladies! (pg. 5)

Valarie Fish – The Annual Arkansas Lades Retreat is scheduled for Sept. 7-8 at Budd Creek Baptist Camp near Greers Ferry. All ladies are welcome to join us for a casual weekend of fun, inspiration and fellowship. Sabrina Clayton will be returning as our speaker, and the ladies formerly known as the LifeWord Trio will be leading in worship. Registration begins at 5 p.m. on Friday, and supper is at 6 p.m. We will start the program after supper and go until you are ready for bed. Our time together will conclude with lunch on Saturday, so you have plenty of time to relax and do a little sightseeing before you have to head home.  Bring an item for our silent auction. Since we are meeting at a campground, you will also want to bring your own bedding and toiletries. The cost for the weekend is $45 before Sept. 1 and $50 after that date and at the door. Registration includes three meals, a bunk and fellowship with some of the most amazing ladies you will ever meet! Send your registration to Pat Duncan, P.O. Box 30, Hardy, Ark. 72542.


Opal Harmon Harlan Dies (pg. 5)

Opal Deloris Burgess Harmon Harlan, 94 of Trumann, passed away July 14. She was preceded in death by two husbands. Her first husband, Sherman Harmon, was a BMA minister who pastored several churches, served as a missionary and was executive director of Baptist Building Bonds. They were married for almost 50 years, and their children include Dr. Mike Harmon, of Allen, Texas, who also pastored several BMA churches. Mrs. Opal served as Sunday School teacher and ladies leader, on both state and local levels in Michigan, California and Arkansas. She also held various jobs in the business world. Seven years after Bro. Harmon died, she married Delbert Harlan, who was a deacon at First Baptist Church in Trumann where they lived. He died in 2013, and she continued to live there until her death. Other survivors include a daughter, CaSandra Gambill of Jonesboro; three stepchildren: Deborah (Ron) Evans of Bella Vista, Charles (Joyce) Harlan of Bono and Suzanne (Joe) Brickell of Carmel, Ind.; and several grandchildren and great grandchildren. Funeral services were scheduled for July 18 at Emerson Funeral Home in Jonesboro, with her son, Dr. Mike Harmon officiating and Larry Bailey assisting.


My Worst Enemy (pg. 5)

Maggie Chandler – “Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in our own sunshine.” (Emerson). It’s so easy to feel that other people or circumstances have dealt us severe blows in this life. The Apostle Paul looked over his list of enemies one day, and boldly announced that he was his own worst enemy. “0 wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Rom. 7:24). A Christian needs to be delivered from three things — sin, Satan and self. Would you believe that it is “self” that is the most difficult to control? No one else has ever prevented me from serving God, but I have stood in my own way at times. Criticism and ridicule from others has never hindered my progress; if anything, it strengthens my resolve. I, Maggie Chandler, as my own worst enemy, and I have cast some giant shadows along the way.


Random Thoughts From Jeremiah (pg. 6)

Tony Cleaver – Jer. 1:16, “I will pronounce my judgments against them…when they abandoned me…” Our money has emblazoned upon it: “In God we trust.” Do we really trust in God? We sing: “God Bless America.” Do we really mean it? We have a national religion. We have the sacred writings such as the Constitution. We have our sacred heroes such as Washington, Lincoln or King. We have our sacred holidays such as the Fourth of July. What need do we have of God and His precepts?


Please, Treat me Like a Dog (pg. 6)

Travis Plumlee – My dog up and died on me. His name was Revival. I named him that because I picked him up one night at a revival I was doing in Doniphan. Mo. I used to always tell people we had Revival every night at our house, and I wasn’t lying. I couldn’t believe I was so upset over an animal. He was just a dog, but he had been a faithful companion for the past couple of years. As I reflected back, I realized what I was missing was the way he responded to me. What if all Christians started treating other people in our lives the same way a pet dog responds to us? Think about it!


A Great Day of Fishing (pg. 7)

Paul White – Saturday, July 14, a group converged upon the town of Green Forest to help one of our newest missionaries, Carter Pearce, get the word out concerning the meeting times and the meeting place of the Grace Missionary Baptist Mission. The mission provided lunch, then attendees struck out in two-person teams. It is estimated that over 300 contacts were made. Please consider joining us in the future.


Five Biggest Volunteer Recruiting Questions Answered (pg. 7)

Helen GibsonFor those who have been involved in ministry, chances are they’ve been there — in need of an additional volunteer at the last minute and scrambling to find someone they trust to get the job done. Or perhaps a congregation has announced a need for volunteers from the pulpit and advertised it in the bulletin, yet the church still has a hard time filling vital positions. Encouraging people to step forward and serve can be frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be, according to LifeWay’s Todd Adkins, Daniel Im and Eric Geiger, hosts of the “5 Leadership Questions” podcast. Recently, Adkins, Im and Geiger released five episodes specifically related to recruiting church volunteers, providing church leaders with practical advice and answering some of their top questions.

Assistant Editor

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