Baptist Briefs

Baptist Briefs: BWA calls for prayer for Ukraine

BWA solicits continuing prayer for Ukraine. The Baptist World Alliance and European Baptist Federation called on Baptists worldwide to pray for Christians in Ukraine. May 2 clashes between pro-Ukrainian and pro-Russian protestors killed at least 36 people in a political crisis being described as on the brink of civil war. Pavel Unguryan, director of the international mission department for Ukrainian Baptists, told BWA officials the city of Odessa “is on fire” and that the “events of the last days have been really terrifying.” Unguryan served in the country’s parliament 2008-2012. “The Christian community of Odessa is mourning,” he said. “The churches, cathedral and groups have united in a prayer for peace and stability. The churches are calling people to forgive and love like Jesus Christ.” The All-Ukrainian Union of Associations of Evangelical Christians-Baptists, a member organization of the BWA, has more than 121,000 members in more than 2,300 churches. The country’s acting president, Oleksandr Turchynov, is a Baptist, but the vast majority of citizens either are Orthodox or nonreligious.

Rural Kentucky pastor to be nominated for SBC president. Jared Moore, pastor of New Salem Baptist Church, in Hustonville, Ky., will be nominated for president of the Southern Baptist Convention during the June 10-11 annual meeting in Baltimore. jared moore130Jared MoorePaul Sanchez, pastor of Willow Baptist Church in Brooksville, Ky., will nominate Moore, who serves now as SBC second vice president. Moore, who serves a rural church of 60 members, said, “I want to represent Southern Baptists like the ones I serve on a daily basis who may not have the opportunity to attend the convention or serve at the convention level.” Moore is the second announced nominee for SBC president, joining Arkansas pastor Ronnie Floyd. Moore holds a bachelor of arts degree from Trinity College of the Bible, a master of arts in religion degree from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and a master of divinity degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is a doctor of philosophy student at Southern Seminary, majoring in systematic theology. Moore and his wife, Amber, have three children—Caden, Ava and Ian.

President of Virginia Intermont College resigns. Clorisa Phillips, who has served since 2010 as president of Virginia Intermont College, resigned May 5 from the Baptist-affiliated school, saying she was leaving “voluntarily for personal reasons.” clorisa phillips123Clorisa PhillipsFinancial difficulties for the 130-year-old college in Bristol, Va., reached a crisis stage last month when a proposed merger with a large Florida university abruptly ended. Virginia Intermont has faced daunting fiscal challenges for years, jeopardizing its accreditation and resulting in a 35 percent drop in enrollment since 2010. On May 6, trustees announced day-to-day leadership of the school has been delegated to Compass Executives, a Nashville, Tenn.-based management consultancy. Art Rebrovick, a Compass management adviser, will serve as interim president and restructuring agent.

Baptists in Turkey form first national alliance of churches. Two months before the Baptist World Alliance holds its annual gathering in Turkey, Baptists in that country have formed their first national organization of churches. Four Baptist congregations formed the Alliance of Baptist Churches in Turkey, electing officers and setting goals. The group aims to encourage member churches, explain the teachings of Baptists, develop Baptist leaders, highlight church needs and strengthen believers by organizing seminars, camps and conferences. Turkey has a long Christian heritage dating to the early church, but Christians are a minority now. An estimated 120,000 Christians live in Turkey, out of a population of more than 76 million. That includes only a few thousand Protestants. Sunni Islam is the majority religion. The BWA annual gathering is set for July 6-12 in Izmir, Turkey.

Volunteers needed to teach in China. Volunteers for China offers opportunities to teach English as a way of showing God’s love to Chinese students. Specific programs include July 3-18 at Changzhi City Health College, July 3-18 with the Changzhi City Education Bureau and July 4 to Aug. 4 with the Amity Foundation. During summer 2013, four programs involving up to 400 students had to be cancelled due to lack of volunteers. For more information, call (865) 983-9852, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit

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