LifeWay camp staffer charged with child molestation in Arizona

OVERGAARD, Ariz. (BP) — A 2019 camp staffer with LifeWay Christian Resources was arrested this week in Overgaard, Ariz., and charged with multiple felony counts of child molestation by the Navajo County Sheriff’s Office.

Noah Paradis, 19, served as a summer staffer at CentriKid Camp, a ministry of LifeWay. The alleged abuse of two minors occurred at Bison Ranch Retreat Center during the camp. Paradis’ LifeWay camp involvement was limited to the week of June 10-14, LifeWay said in a news release received by Baptist Press Friday (June 14). As soon as LifeWay was informed of the charges, they terminated his employment, the release said.
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Pastors and wives enjoy Date Night

About 25 ministry couples enjoyed a casual, relaxing Pastors and Wives Date Night at the Word Church in Mesa, May 17. The date night, hosted by a partnership of the Arizona Southern Baptist Convention’s church life team and Valley Rim Association, was the first of a series of partnership events meant to encourage and strengthen ministry families across the state.

“This evening had nothing to do with leadership training per se,” said Keith Henry, AZSBC church life team facilitator. “Instead, we designed the evening to be relaxing. Plus, we hoped to build and strengthen relationships between these couples who are in ministry.”

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Garcia elected SBC second vice president

Noe Garcia, senior pastor of North Phoenix Baptist Church, was elected by acclamation as second vice president of the Southern Baptist Convention during the June 11-12 SBC annual meeting in Birmingham, Ala.

In nominating Garcia, Micah Fries, senior pastor of Brainerd Baptist Church in Chattanooga, Tenn., said, “Noe is a good man who has led his church extremely well. … Noe’s story is one of grace and redemption. He grew up in an extremely broken home. He began using drugs and alcohol in the 6th grade. He continued walking away from the Lord until this culminated with a suicide attempt at 18 years old. It was after this that God began to grab his heart. He was gloriously saved. He began to walk faithfully with Jesus.”

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Men called to accountability at retreat

Rod Handley,
Character That Counts Ministry

Man after man stood and spoke about addictions and failures. They spoke of drugs, alcohol, pornography and video games that were robbing them of their lives and their purposes in Jesus Christ. Then they committed aloud that they were going to move away from these past enslavements to victory, by means of accountability with other men. <p>

This scene took place on Sunday, May 5 at the closing session of MMR2019 (Metamorphosis Men’s Retreat). This event is a men’s retreat planned for and predominantly attended by Arizona Southern Baptist churches. <p>

As they met Friday evening through Sunday morning at Lost Canyon, a Young Life camp outside of Williams, 265 representing at least 27 churches were present. In addition, 30 servers from Set Free, Needles, assisted with food service and similar background tasks.

This year’s speaker, Rod Handley of Character That Counts Ministries, suggested the retreat’s theme, CIA, referring to character, integrity and accountability.

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Disaster Relief teams serve following flooding

Devastating flooding has rocked the states of Nebraska and Iowa for months. Record snowfall coupled with warm rains falling on the frozen ground set the perfect conditions for the historic flooding.

Catastrophic damage and lack of fresh drinking water means the need is great for help in the hardest hit communities. When Arizona Southern Baptist Disaster Relief was called for help, they were read to serve.

“[We] were ready to help in whatever way needed,” said Patty Kirchner, Arizona Disaster Relief associate state director. “Many responded and were organized into several Flood Recovery teams.”

Three flood recovery teams and two feeding teams were deployed, with the first team heading out on April 22. Team 1 worked in Fremont, Neb., helping clean and muck out the flooded area. The second team arrived on May 3 and finished clearing out Fremont before moving on to Glenwood, Iowa. Finally, on May 12, both teams 2 and 3 worked in the small town of Pacific Junction, Iowa.
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For Arizona pastors: Evangelism conference calls

Tuesday, April 16, about 80 Arizona Southern Baptist pastors took advantage of the exclusive opportunity to engage in the first of a series of evangelism conference calls with Eddy Pearson, church life team facilitator, and a noteworthy guest. This first call featured Johnny Hunt, longtime senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Woodstock, Ga., and currently the vice president of evangelism and leadership at the North American Mission Board (NAMB).

Pearson intentionally scheduled the quarterly 45-minute brown bag lunches at noon so bivocational Arizona pastors have the opportunity to participate. Pastors were prompted to dial a provided number and enter an access code 10 minutes before the scheduled call or to log onto the call through an online meeting link. Either way, participation in the live conference call is free of charge.
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Six receive degrees from Gateway AZ

Six students graduated in the commencement ceremony of the Arizona Campus of Gateway Seminary May 25. Dallas Bivins, director of the Arizona Campus, presided and Jeff Iorg, president of Gateway, delivered the commencement address at the formal ceremony held at CalvaryPHX in Phoenix.

Iorg spoke about the graduates being called to people who are physically, emotionally, socially and spiritually hurting. Iorg read from Mark 1:40-45 and shared the story of the leper as an illustration of Jesus’ ministry to hurting people. Jesus had compassion on the leper, which Iorg defined as, “a deep inner stirring that motivated him to action.”
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Seasonal outreaches yield results

A number of churches partnered with the Arizona Southern Baptist Convention and Outreach Inc. in an effort to reach more people at Easter.

At Engage 24, the North American Mission Board evangelism event held in Phoenix last February, about 10 churches won free promotional materials worth $1,500-$2,000, said Eddy Pearson, AZSBC church life team facilitator. At the meeting, churches also received information about an Easter postcard mailing through Outreach that included free social media advertising.

Aletheia Church, Sedona, received an evangelism grant from Arizona Southern Baptists to assist in its Easter promotional efforts through Outreach, which included mailing 6,900 postcards to homes in Sedona and the Village of Oak Creek.
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Multiplication Pipeline aims to grow leaders

One thousand churches working together across the state to change the lives of individuals, families and communities by 2028 — that’s the vision Arizona Southern Baptist leaders have cast.

Monty Patton, North American Mission Board Phoenix Send City missionary, urges Arizona Southern Baptists to catch that vision. “This does not happen by accident,” he said, “but by intentionality.”
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