Alabama Baptists called to prayer over concerns about controversial student group at Samford University

Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions

The Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions (SBOM) has authorized an ad hoc committee to work with Samford University in Birmingham regarding official recognition of a student organization called Samford Together (ST), according to SBOM chairman Morgan Bailey, pastor of Canaan Baptist Church, Bessemer.

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Great Commission Globe ready for University of Mobile graduates


The University of Mobile (UM) will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony today at 3 p.m. to celebrate a new focal point on campus and the centerpiece of a new graduation tradition.

Read the full story here or by going to and searching for “Great Commission Globe.” (TAB)

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JD Greear headlining Alabama Baptist Pastors Conference in November

JD Greear 4

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Controversial student group at Samford one step closer to approval


BIRMINGHAM (TAB) — Another step has been taken in the process of approving a new student group at Samford University in Birmingham promoting discussions about sexual orientation and gender identity.

The group, Samford Together (ST), was given provisional recognition in the spring semester 2016 and approved by the student senate in the fall of 2016. A divided faculty senate narrowly approved ST earlier this year and a majority of the full faculty voted for approval this morning.

Samford President Andrew Westmoreland said it would likely be September before there is formal consideration of any proposal related to the organization. There are several other steps remaining in the process, he said.

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Keeping children safe in digital world topic of March seminars in Birmingham


Read more about MySecureFamily taking place at Shades Mountain Baptist Church, Vestavia Hills, for the next three Sunday nights under the Events Promotion category at or click here:

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FBC Orange Beach suffers second devastating loss

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62-year-old Pastor John Price died unexpectedly Feb. 24.

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IMB’s Platt apologizes to Southern Baptists

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David Platt, IMB president, speaks with Will Hall, editor of Louisiana’s Baptist Message, after giving a report to Baptist editors in Ontario, California, Feb. 15. (BP photo)

David Platt, IMB president, speaks with Will Hall, editor of Louisiana’s Baptist Message, after giving a report to Baptist editors in Ontario, California, Feb. 15. (BP photo)

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AG Strange appointed to Sessions’ former senate seat

Attorney General Luther Strange RGB

Attorney General Luther Strange

MONTGOMERY (Jennifer Davis Rash) — Alabama’s Jeff Sessions will be sworn in as U.S. Attorney General this morning (Feb. 9) and Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange will step right into the Sessions’ vacant U.S. Senate seat.

Gov. Robert Bentley announced his appointment of Strange to the seat last night (Feb. 8) and publicly presented him this morning at 9:10 a.m. Bentley and Strange are headed to Washington this morning so Strange can be sworn in today.

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FBC Orange Beach damaged by fire; pastor sees ‘opportunity for new day’


Photo courtesy of Chris Fowler

ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (Grace Thornton) — Pastor John Price said he doesn’t know yet how the fire started in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church, Orange Beach. And he doesn’t know why.

But he does know he’s grateful for the provision of God through the buildings the church still has and the gracious response of the Alabama Baptist community.

“We appreciate folks’ prayers,” he said. “Been so blessed to have all of our sister churches here call and offer their prayers and offer to help, and we’ve been grateful for the community of Baptists around the state rallying to support us.”

The fire, which started a little after 5 a.m. on Jan. 31, quickly engulfed the church’s worship center in flames, according to Jimmy Nichols, deacon chairman.

The exact cause is still unknown, but officials have told church leaders they believe it was not begun by criminal activity.

“By the time the fire department was on the scene, flames were shooting from the roof,” he said. “The structure is still standing, but about half of the building inside has been damaged by fire.”

The church lost musical instruments and hymnals, and the adult and children’s Sunday School space suffered smoke and water damage. Insurance adjusters don’t yet know the extent of the damage to the other end of the building, which housed educational space and the church offices, Price said. “We are in a wait-and-see kind of mode with that.”


Photo courtesy of Chris Fowler

But the church is already switching gears to ready for services in its old worship center, a building that’s been housing youth group gatherings and other activities since the new sanctuary was built in the mid 1990s.

“Our immediate plan is to just roll right into the buildings we already have,” Price said. “We’re blessed to have our old church worship center and facilities still standing and ready to go. Between that and our insurance coverage, we know we have what we need to recover fully.”

Not only that — he said he also believes this will be a time of “renewal and reinvigoration” for the church.

The members of the congregation will each process what happened differently, he said, but as a whole, “we are sad about the building but at the same time realizing that God’s going to work through this. There will be positive to come out of the negative. It’s an opportunity for a new day at First Baptist Church of Orange Beach.” (Debbie Campbell contributed)

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Hayden residents vote ‘wet’ for 2017

margaritaBIRMINGHAM (Neisha Roberts) — The last time Hayden residents voted on the legalization of alcohol sales they voted to remain “dry” in 2015 with only five votes. But on Jan. 24, voters determined the city would become a “wet” city in 2017 with 153 votes in favor and 121 votes opposed.

The referendum will not go into effect for 60 days but will make Hayden the fourth city in the “dry” Blount County to become “wet” as it legalizes alcohol sales.

Look for a full story in the upcoming print edition of The Alabama Baptist.

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