Baptist youth gather in Singapore. About 2,500 youth from more than 60 countries attended the 16th Baptist Youth World Conference, July 17-21 in Singapore. Baptist World Alliance General Secretary Neville Callam urged the young people to “defy the destructive secularism that seeks to push religious faith to the fringes of society” and “let the world know the undeniable truth that faith in Jesus Christ is alive and well.” On each day of the conference, youth delegates gathered in the Global Village to interact with each other and engage in cultural exchanges. The village included exhibition booths, a “fringe stage” for youth to display their artistic talents and a social media center, where they could upload and share media content while conference events streamed live.
BJC names education and outreach specialist. The Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty named Charles Watson Jr. as education and outreach specialist. Watson, a recent graduate of McAfee School of Theology, began work July 8. A native of Millen, Ga., Watson previously worked as children’s director at Buckhead Baptist Church in Atlanta and served as a hospice chaplain. He is U.S. Air Force veteran and a Cooperative Baptist Fellowship-endorsed chaplain.
Hobby Lobby granted preliminary injunction. Hobby Lobby and its Southern Baptist owners won relief from a massive penalty as they challenge contraception coverage mandated by the Affordable Care Act. A federal judge in Oklahoma City granted a preliminary injunction to Hobby Lobby, sparing the arts and crafts chain from a penalty that could have reached $1.3 million per day. The order bars enforcement while the case proceeds challenging a rule from the Department of Health and Human Services that requires employers to pay for coverage of contraceptives, including ones critics insist cause abortions.
Gunman fires shots in worship service. About halfway through Pastor Stephen Fugitt’s sermon July 21, a gunman entered First Baptist Church in Norwood, Mo., and opened fire, witnesses said. Worshippers tackled the gunman before anyone was shot. One man injured his shoulder in the scuffle, but no other injuries were reported. The church had previous contact with the suspect, whom Fugitt described as having mental issues. Worshippers last saw him in early June when he threatened to return to the church with a gun, Fugitt said. On that occasion, the church called an ambulance, which took the man to a psychiatric hospital. This time, the Wright County Sheriff’s Department took the suspect into custody.
CWJC site in Mississippi honored. The Woman’s Missionary Union Foundation selected the Christian Women’s Job Corps of Golden Triangle, Miss., for the annual site award. The monetary award will enable the site to provide transportation assistance to 10 participants and childcare assistance to another 10. Amanda Holloway Thornton directed the site from 2011 until last month, when she became executive director of New Beginnings Life Ministries in Brenham, her hometown.