20 receive degrees from Gateway AZ

Gateway Seminary conferred degrees on 20 Arizona Campus graduates at its May 26 commencement ceremony. Dallas Bivins, director of the Arizona Campus, presided over the ceremony held at First Southern Baptist Church, Scottsdale.

Gateway President Jeff Iorg delivered the commencement address, speaking of how we’re called to be the sweet aroma of Christ by spreading the gospel and making it available to everyone.

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Arizonans attend national Collegiate Summit

Collegiate campus missionaries and ministers from around Arizona gathered in May in Nashville, Tenn., with 750 college ministers at the national Collegiate Summit — a conference so big that it is held just once every three years.

Leaders were privileged to learn from experienced ministers from around the country, network with fellow collegiate missionaries, visit with and hear stories from those who have been sent abroad through the International Mission Board and discover ministries serving in collegiate settings.

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Zona Camp: It’s time for celebration

Music booms, lights flash and hundreds of teenagers jump, arms raised, voices hoarse from singing.

The last night of Zona Camp deserves an all-out party.

The camp’s worship band, Becoming Bristol, led around 1,100 students, leaders and staff in celebrating all that God did at this year’s camp for teenagers from 35 churches.

And there’s lots to celebrate. Zona Camp reported 86 students accepted Christ for the first time, 125 rededicated their lives, 74 answered calls to ministry and missions and 367 responded in some way to God’s movement in their lives.

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Wrap-up: Greear, Pence, #MeToo draw SBC’s focus

At an annual meeting that saw what chief parliamentarian Barry McCarty called an “extra heavy volume of business” on its opening day, the Southern Baptist Convention elected J.D. Greear as convention president and heard an address by Vice President Mike Pence.

Amid the national #MeToo movement, messengers to the June 12-13 SBC annual meeting in Dallas affirmed the dignity and worth of women and heard reports of policies SBC seminaries have enacted to address any allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct. Several motions and messenger questions related to the May 30 firing of former Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary president Paige Patterson, who allegedly mishandled a 2003 report of sexual assault at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary during his presidency there.

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Crossover Dallas, Harvest America crusade proclaim Gospel

“I’m not here to talk to you about religion,” pastor Greg Laurie told the crowd Sunday evening, June 10, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, for the Crossover Dallas Harvest America crusade.

“I’m here to talk to you about a relationship with God that you can experience,” he said. “Christ can fill that big hole that is in your heart right now. We all need Him. We all need a Savior. There’s so much stuff to distract us and emptiness to make us feel alone. Yet, Jesus, who created us, also gives us purpose. Jesus loves us all– no matter what we do or say or have done before — so much.”

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Disaster Relief stays active in spring

Not only have Arizona Southern Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers served those in the clutches of disaster in recent months, but they have also prepared to coordinate efforts with other volunteer and government agencies to assist in future catastrophes.

May 21-24, AZSBC Disaster Relief volunteers participated in the annual National Mass Care Exercise (NMCE) in Phoenix and across the state. The NMCE is a cooperative exercise in which state, federal and local governments, along with businesses and volunteer organizations, work through a large-scale simulated disaster in order to better coordinate response efforts in future catastrophic events.

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Moving forward with a new mission

Sometimes it’s best to stand still long enough to get everyone facing the same direction before moving forward. That’s the theory that led Nate Millican to enroll Foothills Baptist Church in the Auxano Church Unique process in the fall of 2015. As a result, the pastor says the church is moving forward with a clearer mission.

When Millican arrived at Foothills Baptist Church in Ahwatukee in July 2015, people quickly began asking him about his vision for leading the church forward. But Millican hesitated to declare any firm intentions as the newly called pastor of a 25 year-old church transitioning through its first ever senior pastor change.

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237 men gather for retreat in Williams

A total of 237 men from 17 Arizona Southern Baptist churches attended the 3rd annual Metamorphosis Men’s Retreat, MMR2018, May 4-6 at Lost Canyon outside of Williams.

MMR seeks to strengthen churches by strengthening the men of the church. The name comes from the Greek word in Romans 12:1. It describes the metamorphosis or strengthening transformation that happens in Christian men who submit themselves to the Lordship of Christ over the long haul.

Roger Daniels, vice president and director of Arizona Baptist Children’s Services & Family Ministries’ New Life Counseling, was the primary speaker at the retreat. The worship music was directed by Aaron Petre, worship and youth pastor at 22nd Street Baptist Church, Tucson, and a team he gathered predominantly from his church.

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Churches use ABCS Mother’s Day materials

More than 83 churches across Arizona utilized free Mother’s Day materials provided by Arizona Baptist Children’s Services & Family Ministries.

The materials are provided as a service to churches to make it easy for them to honor moms. The bulletin inserts, posters and video honored all types of moms, including birth moms, grandmas, foster moms, adoptive moms, grieving moms and more.

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Faith in Action News Briefs

Black Mountain Baptist Church, Cave Creek, exceeded its goal at its annual 2017 Operation Christmas Child Shoebox packing party by filling 3,164 boxes in four-and-a-half hours.

Church members and guests from kindergarten to 80+ stuffed shoeboxes with hygiene and school supplies, toys and clothing items for distribution by Samaritan’s Purse to children affected by war, natural disasters and displacement in more than 100 countries. The purpose of these gifts is to let the children know that someone cares for them and point them to Jesus.

Led by Mary Jane Spear, OCC East Phoenix Team church relations coordinator and OCC project coordinator at Black Mountain Baptist Church, a group of dedicated workers collect, create and assemble gifts year round.

As one of the drop-off locations for the East Phoenix Team, the church delivered to the Phoenix Collection Center almost 7,500 of the 14,143 boxes collected by the team. The church was recently awarded a plaque from Samaritan’s Purse commemorating 10 years of participation in the Shoebox Ministry.

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