Istrouma Baptist Church Senior Pastor Jeff Ginn (R.) opens the the Iron Sharpens Iron conference with a word of prayer and blessing. Rev. Mark Lubbock, (L.) emceed the conference where more than 160 men from a variety of denominations around south Louisiana attended at Istrouma Baptist in Baton Rouge. (photo by Mark H. Hunter)
Louisiana Baptist Convention President Steve Horn shares the gospel with a nine-foot robot named Gigamaxx
Thirty-seven Louisiana Baptists attended the recent Reaching and Unleashing Baby Boomers and Beyond Conference at the Baptist Building in Alexandria.
Michael Johnson, an attorney from Shreveport hired in 2010 to be the law school’s founding dean, resigned in Sept., 2012.
Louisiana College Trustee Tony Perkins sent a leter to LC President Joe Aguillard and Trustee Chairman Tommy French seeking answers on an item in a recent financial audit of the college related to “use of restricted funds.” The letter also addresses the legal responsibilities of the college’s board members.

By Mark H. Hunter, Regional Reporter

BATON ROUGE – When Ted Roberts finished his powerful message on tearing down spiritual fortresses at the Iron Sharpens Iron conference at Istrouma Baptist Church, almost the entire audience of more than 160 men – including several pastors – came forward to turn their secret struggles with lust and pornography over to Christ.

By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer

WOODWORTH – As Steve Horn was talking to more than 330 young men and adults, a 10-foot robot entered the Tall Timbers conference center and made his way through an aisle of eager campers touching and high-fiving the machine.

A few minutes later, Gigamaxx – the white robot that resembles what one might see in a motion picture – came face-to-face with Horn, who began sharing what he told the Royal Ambassadors moments earlier – the message of transformation through salvation in Jesus Christ.

By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer

ALEXANDRIA – To engage today’s older adult, churches must respond to the diversity among the older adult population.

“We have to respond to the fact that this is a diverse group,” Amy Hanson said. “This isn’t a neat package. We’re talking about two different generations – builders and boomers.”

Editor’s note:  The Alexandria Town Talk’s Leigh Guidry wrote this story in which she attempts to present both sides of the on going controversy at Louisiana College. The Town Talk has given the Message permission to reprint the article.

PINEVILLE – The controversy surrounding Louisiana College has stirred strong reactions from alumni and others connected to the private Baptist school in Pineville, flooding social media sites and inboxes of members of the Board of Trustees.

By Kelly Boggs, Editor

PINEVILLE – A letter addressed to Louisiana College President Joe Aguillard and LC Trustee Chairman Tommy French by an LC trustee seeks clarity on an item in a recent financial audit of the college related to “Use of Restricted Funds” and addresses the legal responsibilities of the college’s board members.

Written by LC trustee Tony Perkins, former Louisiana State Representative and head of the Family Research Council, the letter was copied to the entire LC Board.

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Northeastern State Director of Athletics Tony Duckworth announced Tuesday the hiring of Jason Tinsley as the ninth head men's basketball coach in school history.

Tinsley takes over for Larry Gipson, who retired following a 17-year run that included the only NCAA Division II National Championship in school history (2003) and five appearances in the NCAA Championship tournament (2000-03, 2013).

By Staff, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary

NEW ORLEANS – New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (NOBTS) finalized a new partnership with an anonymous donor to provide free theological education for small church and bi-vocational pastors and staff members of Louisiana Southern Baptist churches.

With an initial gift of $1.5 million from the donor, the seminary has established the Caskey Center for Church Excellence to facilitate the scholarship process. The NOBTS Board of Trustees approved the center’s creation on April 16, during their spring meeting.

By Kelly Boggs, Editor

Almost a year ago the Louisiana College Board of Trustees met on the last day of April. Though there were no public utterances, the rumor was LC President Joe Aguillard’s job was in jeopardy.

The news prior to the LC board meeting was overwhelmingly negative in regard to Aguillard and focused on whistleblower allegations that he had misappropriated $60,000 intended for the Caskey Divinity and used the money on LC projects in Tanzania, Africa and had mislead the board about a $10 million pledge concerning a new building on the Pineville campus.

By Frank Page, President of the SBC Executive Committee

On Tuesday morning (March 25) I had the privilege of speaking with Vyacheslav Nesteruk, president of the Baptist Union of Ukraine. A fellow Baptist who works in Ukraine helped facilitate the phone call and served as our translator.

Vyacheslav is a faithful servant of Christ. It was a wonderful conversation between brothers in the Lord.

By Steve Horn, President of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, Pastor of First Baptist Church, Lafayette

Dear Louisiana Baptist Family,

By God’s grace, we have enjoyed a season of peace for several years in the Louisiana Baptist Convention. For that, we are thankful to the Lord.

Recent developments associated with Louisiana College have apparently and unfortunately disrupted our peace. I pray, however, that this disruption will be for a brief moment. However, this moment is where we find ourselves, so what do we do now?

TO THE EDITOR

Being a Baptist, it saddens me concerning the recent conflicts, issues, and problems involving Louisiana College and Dr. Joe Aguillard. The TOWN TALK and The BAPTIST MESSAGE have and are reporting the problems. I appreciate these reports or news articles. It would be nice if Dr. Aguillard would present his views. That will help resolve these problems. Without resolution, this once great institution will continue to struggle. As Baptists, we need closure to the problems.

To the Editor

Once upon a time there was a small private Christian college.  Its stellar reputation was known far and wide. Her faculty was among the finest in the nation.  Her buildings were well-maintained. 

The student body was strong and proud and growing steadily. Students were proud of their school.  Her graduates were the cream of the crop.  Alumni were proud to say she was their alma mater.

To The Editor

First of all, thank you for informing Louisiana Baptists about the disturbing chaos at our much beloved Louisiana College. An age-old quote states it rather poignantly: “The greatest friend of truth is time.”

Maybe time is what it will take to overcome the ranting and railings which continue about circumstances that seemingly were handled appropriately by its Board of Trustees and by its President.

By Kelly Boggs, Editor

PINEVILLE – A recent report by Alexandria’s daily newspaper questions not only the fiscal health of Louisiana College, but also the school’s enrollment, especially as it relates to freshmen. Alexandria’s daily newspaper indicates both have seen better days.

The Town Talk report included Information from LC’s most recent 990 tax form, which is from the fiscal year that ended July 31, 2012. The document reveals that while LC generated $29.2 million in revenue it had $30.5 million in expenditures which resulted in a $1.3 million deficit.

By Marilyn Stewart, Regional Reporter

When Waylon Bailey, Louisiana Baptist Convention president, 2011-2013, and pastor of First Baptist Covington, presented to his congregation the 2020 vision for reaching Louisiana with the gospel, his members’ response was a collective, “At last.”

It was a plan they’d been waiting for.

“It was as if they were saying, ‘This is who we are; this is what we want to do; it may not be easy, but this is what we want to do,’” Bailey said.

By Marilyn Stewart, Regional Reporter

NEW ORLEANS (BP) – A Baptist seminary leader joined a special panel at Loyola University New Orleans to discuss end-of-life cases that have sparked national debate.

Steve Lemke, provost of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and bioethicist, was among the panelists for the discussion titled “Who Lives? Who Dies? Who Decides?”

ON THE MOVE

Damon Kirk new as worship leader Richey Baptist Church, Center Point.

Aaron (wife Layla) Shamp new as pastor at Redeemer City Church, Lafayette (a new church plant).

Lavelle Spillers resigns as pastor from Pleasure Point Baptist Church, Homer.

David (wife Leslie) Sullivan, Jr., new as family minister at First Baptist Church, Bastrop.

Danny (wife Jo-Dee) Taylor new as pastor at Belle Park Baptist Church, Haughton.

George Steer resigns as pastor from First Baptist Church, Arcadia.