Members of First Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., voted to call Julie Pennington-Russell as senior pastor. Pennington-Russell, former pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Waco, is the 19th senior pastor in the Washington congregation’s 213-year history and the first woman chosen for that role. She most recently served as senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Decatur, Ga., from 2007 to 2015. She and her husband, Tim, a minister of media and communications, have been married 27 years. They have two children, Taylor and Lucy, both in their 20s. Her ministry at First Baptist begins officially in January. Founded in 1802, First Baptist Church in Washington is the oldest Protestant church in the nation’s capital. Former worshippers at the church, located six blocks from the White House, include presidents Jimmy Carter and Harry Truman.
Accrediting agency lifts Louisiana College probation. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Colleges has removed Louisiana College from probation. The commission placed the Baptist-affiliated college on probation in June 2014, citing issues related to trustee governance, institutional integrity, personnel policies and audit findings that pertain to some financial control matters and student financial aid. Throughout the 18-month period, Louisiana College maintained its accreditation but remained on probation, most recently because the commission’s board of trustees determined the college failed to demonstrate compliance with a standard related to external influence. The cited standard, which the college now meets, requires an accredited institution to ensure its governing board is free from undue external influence from political, religious or other external bodies and protects the institution from such influence.
WMU Foundation helps Syrian refugees in Jordan. The Woman’s Missionary Union Foundation is working with Arab Woman Today Ministries to provide food, blankets and other necessities for Syrian refugees living in Jordan. The Jordanian government reports 1.5 million Syrian refugees in the country, but only a small percent live in official refugee camps. Refugees outside the camps are not eligible to receive food or other assistance from theJordanian government. Through the WMU Foundation, donors can provide a blanket for $25, a heater for $50 or a month’s worth of food for a family for $100. Gifts can be directed to the WMU Foundation’s AWT Fund, 100 Missionary Ridge, Birmingham, AL 35242 or online here.