EDITORIAL: Looking back on my time and ahead to a great new Herald

Serving as editor of the Religious Herald has been the greatest privilege and challenge of my life. To have served as successor in that position to some of the greats in Baptist life has been humbling, but, conversely, being associated with this publication has also been a source of (I hope) justifiable pride. Read More

WINN RECOMMENDS: Books that matter

An antidote to anyone resistant to the temptations to produce numbers in church and hungry for simple connection with others; a collection of sermons which challenge the church to boldly be the church; and a collection of poetry which wrestles with the places of loss and leanness in life. Read More

VITAL SIGNS: The reformation of your church

I have had the privilege of working with numerous congregations to clarify their identity and lean into the future proactively. When that has gone well, one consequence has nearly always been true. The fresh vision requires a significant shift in the organizational life of the congregation. Read More

LEADERSHIP LINK: It takes a community to lead a community

Churches are collaborative communities. Remember Paul’s conversation about how diverse spiritual gifts blend together to empower congregational ministries in First Corinthians 12? Romans 16 emphasizes that same theme — but with names and roles. Read More

OPINION: Billy Graham and the 'old, old story'

“Billy Graham is the most famous evangelist in the world and his power of persuasion has softened the skeptics who used to call him the hot-gospeller from the Bible Belt.” That’s how legendary (cigarette-puffing) CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow introduced his 1956 interview with the then 38-year-old revivalist. Read More

TRENDING: Scatter-shooting some trends

Ed Stetzer is an interesting missiologist based in Nashville, Tenn. Brash, opinionated, and fiercely research-driven, he met with a group of Spence Network pastors recently for a “what’s trending” conversation. Here are a handful of his many descriptions/predictions. Read More

REVIEW: 'Twelve Years a Slave' portrays human suffering, without the filter

There are some movies that you will only watch once. They are so intense and deal with subject matter that makes you not want to repeat the experience. Yet, when you finish viewing it you are grateful for the experience. You find that you have an insight that you would otherwise not have. Read More

OPINION: Unwrapping the church

Let’s be honest: at the start of my pastorate I had no idea what I was doing. Combined with my glaring inexperience, that first year of pastoral ministry also carried a heavy weight of congregational expectation: “Finally our new pastor has arrived! If she does her job right, our church will start to look like it did in 1954.” Read More

HeraldBeat: Tracking Baptists across the Mid-Atlantic

Church events, staff moves and other news of Baptists in Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland and the District of Columbia. Read More

Three leaders draw kudos from BGAV, which also commends new Baptist media platform

A trio of Virginia Baptist leaders were honored for distinguished service Nov. 13 by the Baptist General Association of Virginia, which also commended the upcoming merger of the Religious Herald and Associated Baptist Press. Read More

Former Bluefield College president Roy Dobyns, whose tenure saw enrollment growth, dies at 82

Roy A. Dobyns, the eighth president of Bluefield College, died Nov. 12 in a Dandridge, Tenn., nursing home. He was 82. Dobyns was president of the Baptist-affiliated school from 1989 until he retired in 1996, a period of enrollment growth for the school in southwest Virginia. During his tenure the number of students doubled, to an all-time high of 853. Read More

Virginia Baptist ministries looking at largely unchanged funding levels in BGAV's 2014 budget

Virginia Baptist ministries next year will be funded essentially at 2013 levels following adoption of a $12,214,00 budget by the Baptist General Association of Virginia Nov. 13. The 2014 budget, approved at the BGAV’s annual meeting, is slightly more than this year’s $12,100,000. Read More

Don't adopt proposed prayer amendment, BGAV tells General Assembly in resolution

An amendment to the Virginia constitution aimed at permitting prayer in public schools and government meetings should be rejected by the state’s General Assembly, according to Virginia’s oldest Baptist network of churches, which adopted a resolution Nov. 13. Read More

BGAV elects Blacksburg pastor as president, names Waynesboro pastor and former banker as treasurer

In an uncontested vote Nov. 13, Blacksburg, Va., pastor Tommy McDearis was elected president of the Baptist General Association of Virginia in an annual meeting which also featured the election of Waynesboro, Va., pastor David Washburn as treasurer of the BGAV. Read More

Virginia Baptists adopt far-reaching governance proposal for likely implementation in 2015

The Baptist General Association of Virginia adopted a far-reaching governance proposal Nov. 13 which leaders said would position the denomination to more effectively meet the challenges of the 21st century while maintaining broad representation from its diverse constituency. Read More

Virginia Baptists allocate $20,000 to assist victims in Philippines displaced by devastating typhoon

Virginia Baptists have allocated $20,000 to assist victims in the Philippines of one of the most powerful typhoons ever recorded. Typhoon Haiyan, which made landfall Nov. 8, displaced more than 800,000 people and left more than 2 million in need of food aid. Read More

Church and people news

Church and people news Read More

OPINION: A Christian film critic's conundrum

I was once reprimanded by a reader for suggesting Casablanca as a video alternative because the Humphrey Bogart character owned a bar. I remember my consternation over the fact that this man had dismissed this classic romantic adventure that salutes love, self-sacrifice, honor and patriotism because the story was set in a nightclub. Read More

LETTERS: Not the way of Christ

The guest editorial “Kill or be killed” by David Gushee left me wondering — what was the point that Dr. Gushee was trying to make? Was he saying that we have crossed some line where it is now legitimate to do whatever it takes to stay alive? Has it now come down to survival of the fittest? Read More

LETTER: Kill or be killed

I was a bit surprised to read David Gushee’s article “Kill or be killed” in the Religious Herald [Oct. 21]. The piece was well-written and thought­fully prepared, the kind of essay one might find in The Atlantic Monthly, for instance, or The New Republic. This was not the surprise, and the Religious Herald consistently meets high standards. The surprise was that the Herald would use its editorial space to publish such a thoroughly secular document. Read More