The All-Africa Baptist Fellowship set aside Sunday, Oct. 12, to focus prayer on the Ebola outbreak, which to date has claimed more than 3,000 lives across West Africa. The prayer focus, endorsed by leaders of American Baptist Churches USA and the North American Baptist Fellowship, aims to create awareness of the deadly Ebola virus and ask God for divine intervention to stop epidemics raging in some countries, prevent their spread to others, “sanctify” medications given to patients to speed up healing and protect the lives of health workers and other care givers. The call to prayer spans two days because some NABF member bodies worship on Saturday. The All-Africa Baptist Fellowship is one of six regions of the Baptist World Alliance. It represents more than 10 million Baptists in Africa and more than 50 member bodies, including conventions, unions, churches and institutions.
European Baptists lament violence in Middle East & Ukraine. The European Baptist Federation pledged solidarity with persecuted Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East in a resolution approved at a council gathering in Bucharest, Romania. The resolution “deplores as evil the aggression and actions of extremist groups and prays for an end to all current violence and hatred throughout the Middle East.” One of six regions of the Baptist World Alliance, the federation is composed of about 770,000 Baptists in 52 unions and conventions and seven affiliated churches and networks across Europe and in the Middle East. The council also passed a resolution recalling “with sorrow” the 100th anniversary of “the sacrifice, slaughter and human suffering which was a result of the First World War.” The resolution challenged Baptists in all regions of the world “to work for peace under the lordship and rule of Jesus Christ.” The council also adopted a Baptist World Alliance resolution adopted in Izmir, Turkey, on the political crisis in Ukraine. It encouraged the work of Ukrainian Baptists in reaching out to those most affected by the conflict and urged leaders and churches of the Baptist unions of Ukraine and Russia to overcome prejudice and misunderstanding and work together in partnership.
Brewton-Parker remains accredited on probation. A decision this summer to revoke a Georgia Baptist college’s accreditation has been reversed, officials at Brewton-Parker College in Mount Vernon, Ga., announced. Administrators learned Sept. 29 the appeals committee of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Colleges has ordered a remand of a June 19 decision by its board to remove Brewton-Parker College as a member institution. At that time, the full board found the school—after two years on probation—in noncompliance with standards related to financial resources, stability and control, as well as those for federal grants, loans and work-study programs. During the appeal, however, Brewton-Parker College reportedly presented evidence demonstrating improvement in its financial position that persuaded the committee to let the school keep its accreditation and remain on probation. The case now goes to a committee on compliance and reports, which in turn will make recommendation to the Executive Council. The council then will make a recommendation to the board of trustees.