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Athletes at all levels find FCA a place to champion Christ

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Members of the UL-Lafayette baseball team pray in right field following a loss. It's not unusual to see teams showing their Christian faith on the field.

You’ve seen them on high school, college and pro football fields, crossing the goal line then raising their hands heavenward, giving the glory to God. And no doubt it will happen again Sunday as the world focuses on the extravaganza of the 50th Super Bowl. Many football players bring their Christian faith to… Continue reading →

Faith Matters: Group keeps Negro spirituals alive

Photo provided by CLARENCE JONESHeritage choral ensemble is holding its 25th annual Festival of Negro Spirituals at 3 p.m. today at Chistian Life Fellowship.

The Negro spiritual should always have a place in the black church and community, said longtime musician and retired teacher Clarence Jones, who continues to do his part to make sure the genre is not forgotten. “It’s a form of music, and it’s a source of our culture, and I just think it’s worth saving. It’s important… Continue reading →

Louisiana filmmakers’ faith fuels movie projects

Photo provided by Caged Movie LLC -- Skye, played by Cassidy Gifford, is auctioned at a Greek brothel in 'Caged No More,' a new film which shines a light on human trafficking.

Jarred Coates always wanted to work in movies. He just took a roundabout way to get there. “When I graduated from high school in ’88, the option of doing film here in Louisiana was not even thought about,” Coates said. Now it is, and Coates is half of a Louisiana… Continue reading →

Facets of Faith: Special services put emphasis on mercy

Last spring, Pope Francis announced that 2016 would be a jubilee year, or holy year. This Extraordinary Jubilee Year for the Church is being hailed as a “Holy Year of Mercy.” It began Dec. 8, the 50th anniversary of the end of the Second Vatican Council, and will end Nov. 20, the Feast of Christ the… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge area religion bulletins: Jan. 30 - Feb. 6

WORSHIP SERVICES: 11 a.m., New Covenant Christian Center, 6515 Myrtle St. (225) 775-3127. HOUR OF POWER PRAYER: 6:30pm New Covenant Christian Center, 6515 Myrtle St. Followed by Bible study at 7:30 p.m. (225) 775-3127. FELLOWSHIP FRIDAYS: 6:30 p.m., New Covenant… Continue reading →

Highland Presbyterian welcomes new pastor

Rev. Janie McElwee-Smith

After a two-year search, the congregation of Highland Presbyterian Church has named a new pastor, the Rev. Janie McElwee-Smith. McElwee-Smith is a graduate of Wake Forest University and Vanderbilt Divinity School. She was ordained as a Presbyterian Church (USA) teaching elder in 2009 and formerly served as associate pastor in the First Presbyterian Church of Sumter, South… Continue reading →

Interchurch group wins Farm Aid grant

The Louisiana Interchurch Conference has received a grant from Willie Nelson and Farm Aid to continue the Farm Advocacy Program that the LIC began just over 30 years ago, according to a news release from the conference. The LIC is a 16-member group of Christian denominations that began in 1970 to further the aims of Christian unity… Continue reading →

Faith Matters: Longtime pastor Newman left mark on 2 churches

Photo provided by DEXTER NEWMANDexter Newman speaks at retirement celebration for his father, the Rev. David Newman.

Retirement is the Rev. David Newman’s long-awaited, extended break. Newman certainly didn’t take much time off in 47 years as the pastor of Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church and 42 years leading Greater St. Luke Baptist Church, both in Baton Rouge. The only time he missed a Sunday service was following surgery about 12 years ago,… Continue reading →

Leadership in church group makes generational shift

Photo by MARK H. HUNTER -- The pastors of the 4th District Missionary Baptist Association gather at the front of Mount Zion First Baptist Church to lay hands on the group's new president and vice president as outgoing president/moderator the Rev. Dr. Jesse B. Bilberry Jr. prays for them.

In 1970, the student journalists of the then-segregated Rosenwald (now Tensas) High School snapped a yearbook photo of their principal holding a baby boy on his lap. Five decades later, the principal and the baby, now both pastors, shared the platform of Mount Zion First Baptist Church in downtown Baton… Continue reading →

Facets of Faith: World Religion Day and interfaith goals

In 1950, the United States leadership of the Bahai religion declared the third Sunday of January as World Religion Day. While the Bahai don’t lead the activities on a national level anymore, the day continues to make its mark, being observed by many churches and organizations. Most people find some common ground when they study other… Continue reading →

African Children’s Choir to bring joy of song to Baton Rouge

Photos provided by the African Children's ChoirThe African Children's Choir brings gifted singers from several African nations to tour the United States and perform at area churches. They will make a stop in Baton Rouge this month.

The children behind the voices of the African Children’s Choir are bringing a message of hope to their audiences. Composed of Ugandan children ages 7 to 10 years old, the choir, which performs in Baton Rouge this month, can help Americans realize that many African nations are full of potential, said Tina Sipp, the choir manager.… Continue reading →

Faith Matters: Preacher says calling came in womb

Photo provided by Derrick ShaversDerrick Shavers

The call to the ministry came at an early age for Derrick Shavers. “My preaching call was really in my mother’s womb,” said the dynamic young pastor of St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church in Baton Rouge. “Kind of like Jeremiah (the Old Testament prophet), the Lord had already anointed me and ordained me to be a… Continue reading →

Faith leaders look to 2016 with hope, prayers, resolutions

Michael Acaldo, executive director St. Vincent de Paul, Baton Rouge

We asked some faith leaders in the area two questions: n What are your hopes and prayers for the new year? n What, if you make one, is your New Year’s resolution? Continue reading →

Baton Rouge Mass to celebrate universal call to holiness

Bishop Robert W. Muench

On the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, Bishop Robert W. Muench will celebrate the universal call to holiness begun in the sacrament of Baptism at an International Mass at 10 a.m. Sunday, Jan. 10, in St. Joseph Cathedral in downtown Baton Rouge. This special liturgy will highlight the proud, colorful history of Baton Rouge and… Continue reading →

Facets of Faith: Wrapping up 2015 with news, saints

Photo by Dominick Guillemot -- Natalie Grant will be one of the performers in the K-Love Christmas tour Dec. 18 at the RiverCenter in Baton Rouge.

As we start 2016, here’s a look at a news item and several items that never seemed to make it into a column. Singer Natalie Grant was in the area as part of the KLOVE Christmas tour. She was featured in the Dec. 4 Facets, where she mentioned that her family would spend… Continue reading →

InterVarsity’s unabashed support for #BlackLivesMatters may be its boldest move yet

Star Tribune/Associated Press photo by RICHARD TSONG-TAATARII -- Black Lives Matter activists have taken to the streets, here in northeast Minneapolis, to demand answers in the deaths of black people. This week,InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, an evangelical college ministry, issued a full-throated, unapologetic call to support #BlackLivesMatter.

InterVarsity Christian Fellowship is an evangelical college ministry that is no stranger to social justice movements. Still, it took a bold step when, at its yearly student missions conference, which concluded Thursday, the group issued a full-throated, unapologetic call to support #BlackLivesMatter. What InterVarsity did was more than a nod to current events or the need to… Continue reading →

Christian businessmen’s group gives 100 bikes for Christmas

Photo by MARK H. HUNTER -- Six-year-old Trimane Lombard rides off, with his grandmother, Bernice Lombard, trailing behind, on the bike he received at Operation Hope, a pre-Christmas bike-giveaway hosted at Ben Burge Gardere Park and three other area parks by Bethany South and the Businessmen's lunch group.

Six-year-old Trimane Lombard jumped on his brand-new bike and took off down Antigua Drive, his grandmother, Bernice Lombard, trailing slowly behind. “I like it!” he said excitedly before riding out of the Ben Burge Gardere Park and pumping hard on the pedals of his bright-red bike last Saturday morning. Lombard… Continue reading →


WORSHIP SERVICES: 11 a.m., New Covenant Christian Center, 6515 Myrtle St. (225) 775-3127. HOUR OF POWER PRAYER: 6:30 p.m., New Covenant Christian Center, 6515 Myrtle St. Followed by Bible Study at 7:30 p.m. (225) 775-3127. FELLOWSHIP FRIDAYS: 6 p.m., New Covenant… Continue reading →

Central couple builds small chapel for family, friends, community

Photo by MARK H. HUNTER -- Gil and Michelle Matherne stand in front of St. Julia's Chapel, a roadside church open to the public they built as a gift to the community of Central.

Although Christmas is still a few days away, Central-area residents and holiday travelers can already open a gift tucked under the sheltering branches of a live oak tree along Joor Road. A festive Christmas wreath hangs from the front door of St. Julia’s Chapel, a miniature roadside church that is always open… Continue reading →

Prison hospice program blesses both the living and dying

Advocate staff photo by BRYAN TUCK -- Hospice of Acadiana, whose volunteers include, from left, Martie Beard, Lyle Ann Hernandez, Ann Wallace, Lewis Bernard and Charlene Miller, annually visit state prisons to support inmates administering end-of-life caregiving to fellow prisoners.

According to Luke 23:42, a thief crucified alongside Jesus said to him, “Remember me when you come into your kingdom” to which Jesus replied, “Amen, I say to you today you will be with me in Paradise.” Hospice of Acadiana takes the verse to heart and annually sends volunteers to support inmates administering end-of-life caregiving to… Continue reading →

Facets of Faith: St. Julia, known for work, died for beliefs

St. Julia, the namesake for the chapel in today’s story, was born to nobility in Carthage and was captured at a young age by invaders in 439. She was sold into slavery. As with many figures from early history, her story is filled with legend and contradictions.… Continue reading →

Here are this week's religion bulletins: Dec. 19-25

WORSHIP SERVICES: 11 a.m., New Covenant Christian Center, 6515 Myrtle St. (225) 775-3127 . HOUR OF POWER PRAYER: 6:30 p.m., New Covenant Christian Center, 6515 Myrtle St. Followed by Bible Study at 7:30 p.m. FELLOWSHIP FRIDAYS: 6 p.m., New Covenant Christian… Continue reading →

Miracle necessary for Mother Theresa to become saint approved by Pope Francis

Photo by MARIE CONSTANTIN -- Marie Constantin's photo of Mother Teresa graced St. Peter's Basilica in Rome for the nun's beautification ceremony in 2003 and will be part of her first out-of-state art show.

. VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis has signed off on the miracle needed to make Mother Teresa a saint, giving the tiny nun who cared for the poorest of the poor one of the Catholic Church's highest honors just two decades after her death. The Vatican said Friday that Francis approved a decree attributing a miracle to Mother… Continue reading →

Faith Matters: Pastoring role takes more than preaching, says new 4th District Baptist Association leader

Please process for Coffee Photo provided by Pooja Johnson Attending the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity's Founder's Day Church Service at Mount Zion First Baptist Church are, from left, Michael Robinson, chapter president; Adell Brown, Jr., National Pan-Hellenic Council Southwest Regional director; the Rev. Rene' Brown, pastor of Mount Zion First Baptist Church and Jackie Tucker, Basileus of Omicron Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.

Getting pastors to play a bigger pastoral role is important to the growth and influence of the 4th District Baptist Association, said the association’s new moderator/president. “It starts with the pastors,” said the Rev. Rene Brown, who was elected last month. “That’s what we’re going to have to deal with. Their role is more than preaching.”… Continue reading →

Check here for this week's religion bulletins: Dec 12-19

SERVICE: 8:45 a.m., Mount Bethel Missionary Baptist Church, 13450 Scenic Highway. The Rev. Theodore J. Smith, of Damascus Baptist Church in Magnolia, Mississippi, will speak. The theme is “Something to Shout About.” WORSHIP SERVICES: 11 a.m., New Covenant Christian Center, 6515 Myrtle… Continue reading →

Beth Shalom’s interim rabbi is Torah scholar, author

Photo by MARK H. HUNTER -- Rabbi Mark S. Glickman holds open the front cover of a 1764 copy of a 'The Digest of the Laws from the Talmud,' part of his collection of rare books. The stamps on the page show it was looted by the Nazis during WWII.

Rabbi Mark S. Glickman tells the story of how the Nazis looted tens of millions of Jewish books from families and institutions throughout Europe during World War II and what happened in the aftermath in his upcoming book “Stolen Words: The Nazi Plunder of Jewish Books.” The Nazis initially tried to burn the books, but they… Continue reading →

100 families remain in Baton Rouge charity’s wish list

With Christmas drawing closer, 100 families remain unsponsored for The Community Comes Together for Christmas, said officials at Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Baton Rouge. “Never have we had so many families remaining on our wish list at this late date,” said Lisa Lee, CCDBR Mission Effectiveness Director. “It’s a problem we’ve never had to… Continue reading →

Community invited to raise voices for Handel’s ‘Messiah’ ‘sing-in’

Photo provided by TERRY R. BOWMAN -- About 200 local residents have shown up in past years to take part in the 'Messiah Sing-In' at St. Luke's Episcopal Church, which has room for about 300. Everyone is invited to join the Dec. 6 event.

2 There’s nothing that proclaims the joy of Christmas more than the “Hallelujah Chorus” of Handel’s “Messiah.” That’s why the community is invited to a free “Messiah Sing-In” and to become the choir at 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6, at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. The audience/choir will accompany some outstanding local soloists… Continue reading →

Baptist students host LSU internationals for dinner for special Thanksgiving

Photo by MARK H. HUNTER -- LSU international students, from left, Angi Wang, Eli Roblero, George Zhao and Xiao Guang-En, show their approval and empty plates at the Thanksgiving dinner at the Baptist Collegiate Ministry at LSU.

For most Americans, Thanksgiving means turkey dinner with more side dishes than there is room on the table. But some of LSU’s international students got their first taste of the traditional meal Monday evening at the Baptist Collegiate Ministry. Thanksgiving turkey was not the only item on the menu, said Sarah Farley, the… Continue reading →

Chanukah celebration planned at State Capitol

Chabad of Baton Rouge will host a Chanukah celebration on Dec. 6, the fist night of Chanukah on the steps of the State Capitol. Hot latkes, chocolate gelt, soufganiyot (traditional jelly doughnuts) children’s activities, along with the lighting of the city’s largest menorah, are scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m. and go until 6 p.m. The… Continue reading →

Centenary College Choir to visit south Louisiana

The Centenary College Choir takes its 2015-2016 program, “It’s About Time!,” on the road to south Louisiana Nov. 21-22. On Saturday, Nov. 21, the choir will perform at 7 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 2200 Rue Denise, Hammond. The concert is sponsored by FUMC Hammond, FUMC Ponchatoula and Well UMC Ponchatoula. On Sunday, Nov. 22,… Continue reading →