Dr. Richard Land, President Southern Evangelical Seminary and former head of the SBC’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commision and Northwest Louisiana Baptist Association Director of Missions Lane Moore led a large crowd of participants over the Texas Street Bridge in Shreveport during last year’s Louisiana Life March North. An estimated crowd of 5,280 people attended the inaugural event. Meanwhile at last year’s fourth annual Louisiana Life March South, which took place in Baton Rouge, an estimated crowd of 3,500 attended that event which went through the streets of downtown Baton Rouge and ended on the steps of the Louisiana State Capitol.
Clovis Sturdivant (left) and Bert Langley (right)
The 2015 Evangelism conference also will feature a servant evangelism project in which everyone is encouraged to bring clean coats on hangers to be used for the poor and at risk in the Shreveport-Bossier City area.
A young boy prays with others over Operation Christmas Child boxes on the big collection day for all churches in November. For the 10th straight year, Louisiana exceeded the number of OCC boxes given by its churches.

By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer Standing up for the lives of the unborn is the unofficial theme of two Louisiana Life Marches scheduled for later this month. Scheduled for Jan. 17 in Shreveport/Bossier City and Jan. 24 in Baton Rouge, the Louisiana Life March is a chance for different denominations, ages and ethnic and racial backgrounds to march together and pray to declare their opposition to the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in 1973.

By Brian Blackwell. Message Staff Writer BATON ROUGE – The United States is a nation in crisis. Christians concerned for the direction in which the country is headed plan to gather on the campus of LSU in Baton Rouge on Jan. 24 for a day of prayer. Called for by Gov. Bobby Jindal, The Response Louisiana will take place from 10 am to 4 pm at the Pete Maravich Center and will include people of all ages, denominations and ethnic and racial backgrounds whose purpose is the same – fasting and praying for a historic breakthrough in the country.

By Holly Jo Linzay, Regional reporter Two long-term directors of missions may be retiring from their positions, but both Bert Langley and Clovis Sturdivant said they will not be retiring from ministry. CLOVIS STURDIVANT WINNFIELD – Sturdivant, who recently retired from the position of director of missions for the North Central and Shady Grove Baptist Associations, first accepted the position in July 1996. “It was as much of a call of God as that of any church I have accepted,” Sturdivant said about his role as director of missions for the last 18 years.

By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer SHREVEPORT – The countdown is on for the 2015 Louisiana Baptist Evangelism Conference. Hosted by Summer Grove Baptist Church on Jan. 26-27, the theme of the event is RESET: a Revitalization Conference. The conference will feature inspiring messages, high-energy music and a servant evangelism project. Former Southern Baptist Convention First Vice-president and past Florida Baptist Convention President Ted Traylor will preach the first message of the Evangelism Conference.

By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer SHREVEPORT – Some held up colorful signs that read “Stop Abortion Now” and “Defend The Defenseless.” Others just simply walked alongside their spouses, children and friends during the 1.2 mile journey from Bossier City to Shreveport. But despite their method of getting across their emotions, their message was all the same – stand up for those who have yet to be born. Nearly 7,000 people from various denominations, ages and races turned out for the second Louisiana Life March North on a mild January morning.

By John Kyle, LBC Communications Director Upon assuming the position of Executive Director on Feb. 1, 2005, David Hankins knew his new responsibilities would present challenges and opportunities – he just didn’t know they would come so quickly as Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated much of south Louisiana during his first year. Hankins was elected unanimously by the Louisiana Baptist Convention Executive Board to be the Executive Director of the LBC in October, 2004. He officially assumed his duties on Feb. 1, 2005.

By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer Editor’s Note: January is human trafficking month. Kay Bennett believes the power of prayer can transform Interstate 10 from the highest-rated corridor for sex trafficking to one of the least trafficked, one interstate mile at a time.

DENHAM SPRINGS – Farmers and missions enthusiasts from across the state will gather to learn how missions and agriculture work together during the Agricultural Missions Fellowship Annual Meeting. Scheduled for Jan. 31 at Amite Baptist Church, topics include the challenge to feed earth’s growing population, agricultural missions needs in Bosnia, Haiti and Uganda and agricultural missions’ importance. For more information contact Gene Baker at 225-665-6515 or bakergene@att.net.

By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer More children around the world will have a very Merry Christmas, thanks in part to a record-breaking Operation Christmas Child collection year. Throughout the year, churches of different sizes and denominations filled shoeboxes for the ministry of Franklin Graham’s Samaritan’s Purse organization. And by the end of National Collection Week – when individuals and churches dropped off their shoeboxes at major collection centers in the United States from Nov. 17-24 – more than 135,500 boxes were collected in Louisiana alone.
By Brian Blackwell. Message Staff Writer ROBELINE – Brian Ray’s full-time job at Red River Oil and Gas takes him to the pipelines and roadways of Louisiana and East Texas most days of the week. Throughout the day Ray may field a call from a church member where he pastors, stop in at a Shreveport hospital visitation or preside over a funeral in Robeline. While juggling both jobs may seem like a lot to handle to some, the pastor of First Baptist Robeline contends he wouldn’t want his life any different.
By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer WINNSBORO – The third song on the order of service at Coax Baptist Church is about to start and the pastor has just arrived inside the sanctuary. However, Paul Perry has a good reason for walking into church after the service has begun. Only 45 minutes earlier, Perry was wrapping up a burial 35 miles south of Winnsboro which he oversaw as director of Gill First National Funeral Home.
MOUNT VERNON, Ga. – Ergun Caner has stepped aside as president of Brewton-Park College. Speaking to a packed room of trustees and others, Caner informed the board that the suicide of his 15-year-old son, Braxton, was still taking a toll on his ability to lead in his role. Caner said he plans to move back to Texas to continue healing with his wife and 10-year-old son, Drake.
By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer NEW ORLEANS – Caroline Fontenot chose to spend her lunchtime on the University of New Orleans campus recently not eating a sandwich with friends but rather making tattoos on fellow students with the mindset of reaching them for Christ.
NEW ORLEANS – New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary hosted its fall commencement ceremony Dec. 13 in Leavell Chapel on the school’s main campus. NOBTS President Chuck Kelley was the featured speaker. Of the some 250 students who received undergraduate and graduate degrees, the following master’s and doctoral level graduates of NOBTS boast ties to the State of Louisiana: Ronald Harold Thompson of Natchitoches received the doctor of ministry degree. Thompson is the assistant to the coordinator of missions and ministries at the District Eight Baptist Convention in Natchitoches.
By Kelly Boggs, Message Editor Just days after I trusted Christ for salvation and committed my life to His lordship, I was introduced to George Muller by way of one of his biographies.  Muller, who lived in England during almost all of the 1800s, was a fascinating man of prayer and faith. During his life time, he recorded over 50,000 specific answers to prayer with over 30,000 of them were answered within 24 hours. Through prayer and faith alone – without ever sharing any need with any person other than the Lord – Muller trusted God to respond to meet his needs of his ministry
By Barrett Duke, Vice-President of Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission On Jan. 22, our nation reaches the 42nd anniversary of the horrific Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion-on-demand. For more than four decades, our nation has sanctioned the killing of more than 1 million unborn children every year, resulting in more than 60 million abortions, with no end in sight. This is a tragic milestone that should cause us to repent and weep.
By Richard Land, President of Southern Evangelical Seminary No single issue facing the American family today has produced more heartache or tragedy than abortion. In the 42 years since the Supreme Court handed down Roe v. Wade, more than 60 million American babies have been legally aborted. Although the justifications given for abortion are many – finances, lifestyle, family size, etc. – the root cause is simple: As a culture, we have chosen to ignore the value God places on each human life.
By David Roach, Chief Correspondent of Baptist Press NASHVILLE – The claim of some pro-choice groups that Scripture does not address abortion would have surprised both Jews and Christians living in the first century. That’s because they were virtually unanimous that the Bible implicitly – though clearly – prohibited the killing of unborn children.
By Ronnie Floyd, President Southern Baptist Convention SPRINGDALE, Ark. (BP) – This is the State of the Union season, where our president has already addressed the nation, governors will address their respective states, and mayors will address their respective cities. They will unveil their dreams for today and hopes for tomorrow. Questions worth asking Who is addressing the spiritual state of our nation? Are we really trusting only in governmental powers and processes to heal our land?
By John Yeats, Executive Director of Missouri Baptist Convention Who wants to come to the end of something and say, “Oops!” Or, “I really messed up!” Or, “If only I had....” Whether you are talking about closing out an event, a career, a year, a life or a chapter in your life, you want to glance back over your shoulder and see that you finished well. Years ago, an author/speaker challenged me to consider my birthdate and the reality of my end date. Then he said, “What are you going to do with the middle?” He went on to say that no matter how you start, be determined to finish well.
By Zach Cook, Pastor Friendship Baptist Church in Weathford, Texas It only takes a cursory glance at the state of cultural morality here in America can be somewhat disheartening. The Defense of Marriage Act has been labeled unconstitutional and same-sex marriage is being legalized in states all over the nation. If we can be honest for a few moments, we can realize that we now live in a post-Christian culture. The 1950s have come and gone and they aren’t coming back.
By Virginia Burkett, Member First Baptist Church in Many “They cling to deceit…  The pen of the scribes has mishandled the law….  ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace.  Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct?  No they have no shame at all.” Christians, Jews, and many Muslims recognize these words of warning from the prophet Jeremiah. The lawgivers of our Nation have made it legal to murder unborn children in the womb, though our Constitution states that all Americans have the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” 
By Staff, Baptist Message ALEXANDRIA – College students and those soon to be are invited to the annual Collegiate Evangelism Conference, set for Feb. 6-7 at Calvary Baptist Church in Alexandria. “What sets CEC apart from other conferences is the incredibly quality of the program personalities,” said Mark Robinson, director of the Louisiana Baptist Convention’s Collegiate Ministries team, host of the Cooperative Program-sponsored event. “The worship leaders, speakers and venue is always amazing, but the distinguishing factor has historically been the quality of seminar teachers.
By Staff, Baptist Message PINEVILLE – Nearly 300 women will be challenged to pour themselves into Christian service during the upcoming Kaleidoscope women’s conference. Keynote speaker Jaye Martin of Houston, Texas, will base her messages off that topic, found in 2 Timothy 4:6-7. “Our desire is that women will be equipped to impact our world for Christ,” said Janie Wise, Louisiana Baptists women’s missions and ministry strategist. “We are to pour ourselves into serving God, which she will speak to. She wants them to have the equipment at hand, ready to go.”
ON THE MOVE David McGuffee new as pastor at Lighthouse Baptist Church, Monroe. Jason (wife Laurie) Frazier new as pastor at Woodland Hills Baptist Church, Shreveport. Harrell Shelton new as interim Pastor at Airline Baptist Church, Bossier City. Trey Lewis new as pastor at New Prospect Baptist Church, Dry Prong. Jennifer Maddox new as Children’s Director at Northwoods Baptist Church, Shreveport. Brad Solice new as youth minister at Plain Dealing Baptist Church. Joshua Piper new as youth minister at First Baptist Church of French Settlement.   REVIVAL
ON THE MOVE Charles Hugonin new as pastor at First Baptist Church, Cameron. Gil Arthur new as pastor at First Baptist Church, DeQuincy. Jered Thomas new as pastor at First Baptist Church, Lake Arthur. Brandon Smith new as pastor at First Baptist Church, Raceland John (wife Donna) Sparks new as pastor of Antioch Baptist Church, Florien. Pat Lofton new as interim pastor of Forest Baptist Church.   REVIVAL