Ozark conference report
The third annual Ozark Regional Founders Conference was held September 8-9, 2000, at Immanuel Baptist Church in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Over fifty people attended this gathering with the provocative theme "Would Jesus Join Your Church?" The conference messages focused on various aspects of the doctrine of the church.
Pastor Jim Orrick of North Pointe Baptist Church, Kansas City, Missouri, delivered three messages addressing the nature of the church, church discipline, and biblical church growth. Dr. Jim Elliff, President of Christian Communicators Worldwide, presented sermons on the role of the pastor and the biblical view of how to invite men to Christ.
Pastor Scotty Karber of Faith Baptist Church, Batesville, Arkansas, spoke on the meaning and importance of the ordinances. And Dr. Steve Cowan of the Apologetics Resource Center in Birmingham, Alabama, preached in defense of plural eldership in local church government. Tapes of the conference may be ordered by contacting Pastor Jason Anderson of Immanuel Baptist Church at 604-442-7053.
New Founders Press title
A Southern Baptist Looks at the Biblical Doctrine of Election, by Ernest Reisinger, is the newest title to be offered by Founders Press. This small booklet is an excellent introduction to one of the most wonderful yet misunderstood doctrines in the Bible. The pamphlet has a retail price of $3.50.
Pope becomes Globetrotter
Pope John Paul II was recently made an honorary member of the Harlem Globetrotters basketball team. In a ceremony conducted at St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, the Pope was presented with an autographed basketball and his own jersey by the team. Pope John Paul joins other honorary team members, including Nelson Mandela, Henry Kissinger and Whoopi Goldberg.
Reformed Baptist meeting
Heritage Baptist Church, Mansfield, Texas, will host the 5th General Assembly of the Association of Reformed Baptist Churches of America, March 6-8, 2001. For a brochure listing all pertinent information for registering call (817) 453-5580 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Dr. Poh Boon Sing, pastor of Damansara Church, Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia, will be the keynote speaker on the subject of Church Planting. The theme this year, "Turning the World Upside Down for Christ," emphasizes the necessity of church planting. Further encouragement and challenges will come from several pastors and missionaries.
Pop goes the Gospel
Christianity Today (June 8, 2000) and other news sources have reported on what appears to be a new trend in some large evangelical churches. First Baptist Church in Springdale, Arkansas hired a well-known former Disney World designer of children's amusement rides to design two "high tech sets" for elementary age worship areas: Toon Town for first-through third-graders, and Planet 45 for fourth- and fifth-graders. The fully animated cartoon town has 26-foot-tall buildings. The rationale behind the $270,000 project is summed up by the church's children's minister: "Putting a talking head in front of kids for an hour doesn't work ….This is a visual generation. We need to use technology to the max." That includes a special baptistry which is built around a fire engine. When a child is baptized, the sirens sound and confetti is fired out of cannons.
When kids enter the rooms, a music video is playing on a giant screen in front, and they can amuse themselves at a row of nonviolent video game screens along walls. Once the service starts, "it's 90 minutes of mostly frenetic activity, akin to a live television variety show from the 1950s. In Toon Town, buzzers and bells sound, lights flash from the ceiling and from car headlights on the set, bubbles come out the top of a giant bucket and fill the room, confetti streamers squirt out onto the first few rows, and mist is sprayed onto the crowd." According to the designer, Bruce Barry, "It's just like going on a ride at Disney World."
Founders YOUTH Conferences
A third Founders YOUTH Conference has been planned for the summer of 2001. In addition to the meetings in Bolivar, MO ("Reconciliation: Can't We All Just Get Along?" July 9-13) and Toccoa Falls, GA ("Spirit-Filled Relationships," June 18-22), a conference is also scheduled for Panama City Beach ("Who Am I? The Doctrine of Man," July 30-August 3). For more information contact Bill Ascol, phone: 318/798-7088; email: email@example.com.