Roy Medley, general secretary of American Baptist Churches USA, called on each of the denomination’s 5,200 congregations to offer prayers each Sunday in August for nations impacted by the “continued escalation of conflict” around the globe this summer. He noted particularly the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 and acts of violence between Israel and Hamas. Medley also cited continued violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which he called “one of the bloodiest conflicts in the world.” The American Baptist leader urged congregations to pray especially for churches in the unsettled regions that “labor for peace.”
Kentucky Baptists escrow university funds. Kentucky Baptist Convention leaders voted to hold in escrow Cooperative Program funds earmarked for Campbellsville University after the school changed bylaws to elect its own trustees. Don Mathis, chairman of the convention’s business and finance committee, made the recommendation after the university proposed phasing out over four years about $1 million a year it receives from the convention in exchange for being able to include non-Baptist trustees and to ensure academic freedom. The committee voted to maintain scholarships to Kentucky Baptist students attending Campbellsville. The convention offers first-time freshmen from Kentucky Baptist Convention churches need-based scholarships of up to $1,000, renewable for three years. Scholarship funds are distributed separately from the university’s annual allocation from the Cooperative Program unified budget.