Blackaby heart surgery successful. Southern Baptist Bible author Henry Blackaby’s Sept. 24 quadruple bypass surgery “could not have gone better,” and his prospects for future ministry look good, according to a statement from his family. He had been living with arteries blocked 70 percent or more several years, the Blackaby Ministries International website reported. A Sept. 25 update on the website said he had been removed from the respirator and had been transferred from the intensive care unit to a regular hospital room. Blackaby, 78, suffered a heart attack while driving in Atlanta, becoming confused and traveling 29 hours before police found him Sept. 20 in Tifton, Ga., 150 miles southeast of his home. Blackaby is best known for the Experiencing God curriculum he wrote with Claude King. The discipleship resource, first published in 1990, has sold more than 7 million copies in 45 languages.
Historic New Orleans church calls woman pastor. St. Charles Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans called as its 19th senior pastor Elizabeth Mangham Lott, associate pastor at Westover Baptist Church in Richmond, Va. Founded in 1898, St. Charles Avenue Baptist Church was instrumental in the development of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and other Southern Baptist institutions in New Orleans. The congregation voted to leave the Southern Baptist Convention in 2001 and now is affiliated with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Alliance of Baptists and American Baptist Churches USA. In 1971, St. Charles Avenue became the first Baptist church in Louisiana to ordain women as deacons. In 1980, it became the first Baptist church in the state to ordain a woman to the gospel ministry. A native of Mobile, Ala., Lott is a 2008 graduate of Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond, earning the master of divinity degree. She has served in associate ministerial positions at Northminster Baptist Church in Richmond and at Baptist Church of the Covenant in Birmingham, Ala. She earned her bachelor’s degree in congregational studies at Samford University. She is married and the mother of two.
N.C. ministers urge release of torture report. The head of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina joined other faith leaders in a letter from the North Carolina Council of Churches seeking the public release of a 6,000-page Senate intelligence report on U.S. torture of terrorism detainees after 9/11. The letter tells Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), a member of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the use of torture is always wrong from a Christian perspective. In addition to Larry Hovis, executive coordinator of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of North Carolina, other signers include Brooks Wicker of Raleigh, N.C., on behalf of the Alliance of Baptists, and Haywood Gray, executive secretary-treasurer of General Baptist State Convention of N.C. About 200 religious leaders from North Carolina added their names to the appeal, including Peter Carman, pastor of Olin T. Binkley Memorial Baptist Church in Chapel Hill; Christopher Harbin, associate pastor of First Baptist Church in Huntersville; Nancy Petty, pastor of Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh; and Guy Sayles, pastor of First Baptist Church in Asheville. Signers also included several faculty members at Wake Forest University School of Divinity—Gail O’Day, Bill Leonard and James Dunn, former executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty.