2009: The year in quotes

rick warren

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I humbly ask this in the name of the one who changed my life, Yeshua, Isa, Jesus, Jesus (hay-SOOS), who taught us to pray …. — Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren, in inaugural prayer for President Barack Obama.

"We don't know whether we have a meeting or a movement. What we're after is a movement." — New Baptist Covenant organizer Jimmy Allen at first of four regional gatherings scheduled during 2009.

"There is no way to measure the impact of Tom Corts' life and ministry on this university and the thousands of lives whom he touched. We have all lost a great friend."–S amford University President Andrew Westmoreland, who succeeded Corts in June of 2006.

Youth from Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth paint house in Nashville, Tenn.

"We are not a church where homosexuality is a defining issue. While we extend Christian hospitality to anyone — including homosexuals — we do not endorse, approve or affirm homosexual behavior." –From a letter from Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, to SBC Executive Committee

"I wouldn't give you a nickel for deafness, but, let me say, I wouldn't take a million dollars for what I have learned because I have had to cope with this handicap." — Baptist seminary professor Glenn Hinson reflecting on his 50 years in the classroom at a ceremony in his honor.

Glenn Hinson

"You are what you are under pressure. If you squeeze an orange, you don't get Dr Pepper…. When you're squeezed, what's on the inside is what comes out." — Al Meredith, pastor of Wedgwood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, at First Baptist Church in Maryville, Ill., one week after the church's pastor was killed in the pulpit.

"We were all praying, but we had no idea how bad things were outside the doors of the church." — Kristina Brown, a staff member at First Baptist Church in Murfreesboro, Tenn., describing a Good Friday worship service interrupted by tornado warnings that devastated the community.

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"At some point I think we have to stop and recognize that human beings are more alike than we are different." — Author Maya Angelou, speaking on racism at New Baptist Covenant Southeast region meeting in Winston-Salem, N.C. (ABPnews.com)

Any church — congregation, parachurch organization, denomination, or group of individual Christians — that supports torture has violated its confessed allegiance to you and can no longer be considered part of your true church. Let them be anathema. — David Gushee, in an "open letter" to Jesus in ABPnews.com.

"When economic policies treat the poor unjustly, pro-life concerns take a big hit. The economy has been so devastated now that more pregnant women may conclude they cannot afford a baby, and have an abortion in 2009." — Ethicist Glen Stassen, column in ABPnews.com

"Not since the days of Jim Crow has the U.S. government maintained a policy that systemically brings death to a group of people based on their race or ethnicity. Our immigration policies are killing Hispanics." — Columnist Miguel De La Torre, ABPnews.com

"The usurper that is in the White House is one, B. Hussein Obama." — Former Southern Baptist Convention officer Wiley Drake, in response to a question by Fox Radio host Alan Colmes if there was anyone alive at whom he was directing "imprecatory prayer."

"In the name of missions, ministry and evangelism, the SBC is now in danger of embracing a new liberalism — 'cultural liberalism' that claims to be theologically conservative.'" — Conservative activist Roger Moran in a pamphlet handed out at the Southern Baptist Convention warning of dangers of the "Emergent Church."

"You say, 'What are you saying?' I'm saying you need to have a bunch of kids," Akin said." — Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary President Danny Akin, on his statement challenging "unbiblical notions about marriage and family," such as "children are a burden rather than a blessing and smaller families are more 'responsible' than large families."

"All these kids want to do is praise God with their singing and serve God by helping those in poverty. We're not going to let denominational politics keep them from doing this good work." — Brent Beasley, pastor of Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, about decision by University of the Cumberlands to withdraw invitation to the church's youth choir to a conduct mission trip after the Southern Baptist Convention disfellowshipped the church for being too gay friendly.

"Every story for people of faith has these subplots where God sends his angels."– Greg Hunt, pastor of First Baptist Church in Shreveport, La., on a National Guard unit that stopped to help after a bus carrying youth to a church camp flipped on a Mississippi interstate. Hunt said quick action by the soldiers saved lives. (ABPnews.com)

"One in 10 people in Texas is a Texas Baptist. With those kinds of resources, if one person in this state goes to bed hungry, it's our fault." — Randel Everett, executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas (ABPnews.com)

"If we fail to take seriously the 21st century and merely continue to defend religious freedom as though we were living under King James I, then we will become irrelevant and our defense of freedom irrelevant." — Denton Lotz, former head of the Baptist World Alliance, at a service celebrating the 400th anniversary of the Baptist movement in Amsterdam.

"My goals are to become a better Christian, a better actress and a better performer and a better daughter." –Fatal church-bus crash victim Maggie Lee Henson, in a video played at a memorial service celebrating her life Aug.6 at First Baptist Church in Shreveport, La.

"Maggie Lee, you truly are a star." — Madeline Richardson, cousin of Maggie Lee Henson, at memorial service celebrating the life of the girl who died Aug. 2 from injuries suffered three weeks earlier in a church bus crash.

"It was a step backwards." — Larry Lewis, the last president of the SBC Home Mission Board, on the 1995 decision to merge the HMB with other agencies to form the North American Mission Board.

"Truth be told, there was good reason to believe that Cecil might not leave that hospital. Well, Cecil set that prominent trademark Sherman jaw more firmly than ever and thanks to his unyielding faith … [he] defied the odds and he is here tonight, back in the pulpit, back in the classroom, back with friends and family." — ABP Executive Director David Wilkinson, formally presenting an award given a year earlier when former moderate Baptist leader Cecil Sherman was in a hospital fighting cancer.

"I doubt I would've been a good emeritus, anyway." — David Currie, founding director of Texas Baptists Committed, on his decision to resign instead of remaining in a new role, as previously announced.

"We are Fellowship Baptists. I like the word 'Fellowship' Baptist rather than 'moderate' Baptist, because 'moderate' sort of conveys a reaction to something that we came out of. It represents sort of the past. It represents, 'We're not something else; we're moderate.'" — Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Coordinator Daniel Vestal, on the group's upcoming 20th annual meeting.

Greg Warner

"You know the principles that ABP and I have stood for: freedom of conscience, unfettered responsible journalism and the radical concept that the truth can take care of itself. It doesn't need our props, and telling the facts is its own justification. That's where I cast my lot, and I am grateful that you noticed." — Former ABP Executive Editor Greg Warner, accepting a lifetime achievement award named in his honor. ABP's first full-time employee in 1990, Warner's career was cut short when chronic back trouble forced him to step down last year.

"We are mourning because today once again the rain has provoked desolation and death." — Gloria Cabrera de Rivera, former president of the Baptist Women's Union of Latin America, describing floods in El Salvador that killed several children and adult members of First Baptist Church in San Vicente.

"To be honest, having a Southern Baptist affiliation has not been especially helpful when it comes to connecting with our largely unchurched community." — Julie Pennington-Russell, pastor of First Baptist Church of Decatur, Ga., on the Georgia Baptist Convention's decision to withhold fellowship from the church because it called a woman as pastor.


"Of all the stories I have heard from churches and women about Martha Stearns Marshall Sundays, the most meaningful are those of churches that for the first time invited a woman to preach — or those of women who for the first time were invited to preach. I have heard life-changing stories," she said, "church-changing stories." — Pam Durso, head of Baptist Women in Ministry, encouraging Baptist churches to invite a woman to preach during a special emphasis in February.

"As an American pastor, it is not my role to interfere with the politics of other nations, but it is my role to speak out on moral issues It is my role to shepherd other pastors who look to me for guidance, and it is my role to correct lies, errors and false reports when others associate my name with a law that I had nothing to do with, completely oppose and vigorously condemn." — Baptist mega-church pastor and Purpose Driven Life author Rick Warren, breaking his silence on a law proposed in Uganda that would include the death penalty for aggravated homosexuality.


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