What Billy Graham’s split with John R. Rice means for me

What Billy Graham’s split with John R. Rice means for me

(Disclaimer: I’m not a scholar on this issue. For more information, I suggest reading this: https://www.academia.edu/19789269/John_R._Rice_Billy_Graham_and_the_Dilemma_of_Ecclesiastical_Separation)

I grew up independent Baptist (fundamentalist), so the name Billy Graham was always familiar to me, but no one in my theological camp seemed to champion his preaching. It wasn’t until a church history class last semester that I realized why.

When I became Southern Baptist in college, few of my peers were having in-depth discussions of Graham, his impact, or theology, but it was understood that he was a big deal in our convention and the world at large.

I’m now, in addition to my role as a Southern Baptist journalist, a student at Southern Seminary, where we boast of having the only theological school named in his honor. Because of work opportunities, I’ve gotten to take a silly picture with his statue that used to be located at the LifeWay plaza in Nashville, and I’ve accidentally photo-bombed his son, Franklin, during his Decision America 2016 tour, while taking pictures on the job.

Nevertheless, I’d be lying if I said that I grew up on Graham. Still, he’s impacted my world.

But like I said, I grew up very independent Baptist, so much of my formative theological education was under John R. Rice’s followers. When I go home, I see a John R. Rice commentary on a bookshelf. When I decided I was called to Baptist journalism, my youth pastor’s wife advised me to work for Sword of the Lord. My pastor during my formative years was a staunch supporter of Rice.

So, don’t get me wrong, I was converted in the camp that follows Rice’s legacy, almost to a t. It was there I learned to take Jesus seriously.

But, I am a product of both men’s, sometimes cohesive, sometimes colliding worldviews. Continue reading “What Billy Graham’s split with John R. Rice means for me”


Church plant finds success in being intentionally multiracial

Franklin–A vacant building and vision for a multisite church led to Woodburn Baptist Church planting what would become Franklin Community Church seven miles down the road but across the county line.

The church, that had around 100 on its first Sunday, now, eight years later, has been completely autonomous for about four years and averages 400-450 in attendance between two services. The key to their success is being intentionally multicultural.

“It was very important for us in church planting to establish a very ethnic, very multicultural congregation. I think it’s important that churches reflect their community. A church that doesn’t reflect its community is a church in decline,” Tim Harris, pastor of planting church, Woodburn, said. Continue reading “Church plant finds success in being intentionally multiracial”

Couples gather for a time of refreshment at Shepherding

Lexington–Nearly 140 couples, Kentucky Baptist pastors and their wives, gathered on February 1-3 for a time of refreshment, encouragement, and fellowship for the 20th annual Shepherding the Shepherding retreat.

“When the Apostle Paul sent for the Ephesian elders to meet him in Miletus (Acts 20), he reminded them of the necessity to ‘keep watch’ over their flocks, but to also keep watch over themselves,” Steve Rice, the Kentucky Baptist Convention’s church consulting and revitalization team leader, said. “The Shepherding conference is designed with that in mind.”

Shepherding is hosted by the Kentucky Baptist Convention in partnership with Baptist Health. This year, at least three couples who have attended each year for the past two decades were in attendance. Continue reading “Couples gather for a time of refreshment at Shepherding”