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Chaplains meet spiritual needs of race drivers and their families

Photo by MARK H. HUNTER -- Two cars race down the strip at State Capitol Raceway during an 'Always Fun Friday' event while two more cars wait their turn. Racetrack chaplains  Craft Dunaway and Jay Dunlap are always on hand to pray with the drivers and their families.

PORT ALLEN -- Over the roar of powerful engines and the squeal of smoking tires, State Capitol Raceway Chaplains Craft Dunaway and Jay Dunlap joined hands with a driver to pray for his ailing family member. “Father, we come to you tonight knowing you are still in the healing business and you are still the great physician,”… Continue reading →

Faith Matters: Faith and work lead to ‘Better’ days for Showers

Photo provided by REGINA SHOWERS-GORDON -- The Showers singing group is composed of seven siblings, from left, Tabitha Showers, Tillis, Melody Showers, Regina Showers-Gordon, Ciara Showers, Tiffany Showers-Pines, Angela Showers-Lloyd and Titus Showers.

Even during the tough times, the Showers singing group, of Hammond, always believed there were “Better” days ahead. So the success of the septet’s national debut album, “The Showers Family Group,” featuring the wonderful hit single “Better” and “Praise Your Way Through,” didn’t come as a surprise to the family. “Better” is No. 13 on Billboard’s… Continue reading →

Interim pastor to give first sermon at Broadmoor Presbyterian Church

The Rev. William Joseph 'Joe' Reggin

The Rev. William Joseph “Joe” Reggin, the new interim pastor at Broadmoor Presbyterian Church, will preach his first sermon at the 10:45 a.m. worship service on Sunday. A welcoming “eat, meet and greet” reception will be held at noon, following the service, in the Activities Building. The public is invited. A native of St. Augustine,… Continue reading →

Symposium spotlights African-American issues

The Black Lives Matter Symposium touched on a variety of subjects aimed at children, teens and adults during the five days of sessions from July 6-10 at New Sunlight Baptist Church. The Rev. Dale Flowers said the goal of the symposium was to address “the quality of life in the Baton Rouge community regarding all age… Continue reading →

Religion Bulletins for July 18, 2015

The Rev. Henry J. Brown

RECOVERY SUPPORT ADDIS WOMEN’S GROUP: 6 p.m., Church at Addis, 6781 La. 1. (225) 776-1652 or facebook.com/recoverysupportaddis. RECOVERY SUPPORT ADDIS MEN’S GROUP: 7 p.m., Church at Addis, 6781 La. 1. (225) 218-5630 or churchataddis.com/mensrecovery-support/. Gaither Vocal… Continue reading →

Edward Pratt: Summer vacation Bible school had impact on my life

About a zillion years ago, when I was elementary school age, summer just seemed to drag on. Every day was like the next — hot. There was Little League baseball, but it was only several weeks long, and even then, there were dead hours before practice when bad things could happen. What about vacation trips?… Continue reading →

Ministry stitches cuddly quilts for cancer patients

Advocate photo by JUDY BERGERON -- Cindy Champagne calls her quilting style 'informal,' and says she's now getting donations of fabric, thread and more to make the 'chemo quilts.'

“It’s just a quilt,” Cindy Champagne kept saying, seemingly still in disbelief at what some cloth and thread can nurture. But in the year that Champagne and Charlene Berry have been sewing their close to 200 creations for cancer patients, they’ve learned these simple gifts mean so much more. The… Continue reading →

Faith Matters: Louis Gossett Jr. set to help BR Bible college fundraiser

 Louis Gossett Jr.

Enrollment at the Center Peace Ministries Bible College in Baton Rouge has been an “enlightening experience” for Sheldon Martin. “It has helped me to teach the word,” said Martin, a minister and fourth-year student at the school. “It has really motivated me to delve into the word more and break down scripture and relate it to people.”… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge volunteers help rebuild cabins at Feliciana Retreat Center

Photo by DAVE SNYDER -- Admiring Cabin 4, one of two cabins rebuilt by volunteers at Feliciana Retreat Center, are Camp Agape Explorer Boys, from left, Leo Steward, Herman Pride, Dante Breaux, Austin Nickens and Austin Sledge.

Broadmoor Presbyterians were among the 15 volunteers who spent long weekends for five months rebuilding two cabins at the Feliciana Retreat Center in Norwood. Dave Snyder, project coordinator, described the work that ran from January through May: “We reused the materials that we could, but we had to replace both roofs entirely. The main achievement, and a… Continue reading →

Diocese raises $1 million in appeal for first time

Bishop Robert Muench

For the first time since its inception in 1985, the Bishop’s Annual Appeal of the Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge raised more than $1 million in gifts for 2014-15. The appeal, which officially closed on June 30, serves the diocese’s 12 civil parishes by supporting a host of programs and services that would otherwise go unfunded.… Continue reading →

Religion Bulletins for July 11, 2015

Photo provided by Writer's Ink Publishing -- Bill Gaither and the Gaither Vocal Band

RECOVERY SUPPORT ADDIS WOMEN’S GROUP: 6 p.m., Church at Addis, 6781 La. 1. Recovery Support at Addis Women’s group is for individuals seeking freedom from destructive habits. (225) 776-1652 or facebook.com/recoverysupportaddis. RECOVERY SUPPORT ADDIS MEN’S GROUP: 7 p.m., Church at Addis, 6781 La. 1.… Continue reading →

Facets of Faith: 'GodFit' offers fitness program for mind, body

In his new book, “GODFIT: Through Love Serve,” John Hayden writes about exercise — both physical and spiritual. This six-week program offers exercises and devotionals that use four pieces of equipment — your body, kettlebells, dumbbells and a Bible. The book also offers a password to access online videos… Continue reading →

‘French National Day’ Mass set at St. Joseph Cathedral

St. Joseph Cathedral will celebrate French National Day, Bastille Day, and Louisiana’s French heritage at a special Mass at 4 p.m. Saturday, July 11. The Mass, featuring French and English scripture readings and prayers, will include a symbolic presentation recognizing the achievements of the French culture in Louisiana. A Knights of Columbus honor guard will present the… Continue reading →

Law enforcement officers recognized in special service

Photo provided by PATRICIA TURNER-BROWN -- At the Sons of Allen of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church Father's Day celebration, which also honored law enforcement officers, are, front row from left, Freddie Wiliams, honored as 'Grandfather of the Year'; Lowell Major Sr., 'Father of the Year,' and Kenri Avery, 'Man of the Year,' and, back row, Bethel pastor, the Rev. Dr. Herman Kelly Jr. and Sons of Allen President David Whiten.

The Sons of Allen of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, led by President David Whiten, observed Father’s Day with a special service recognizing law enforcement officers and men of the church. The message was delivered by the Rev. Riley Harbor, pastor of Rock Zion Baptist Church in St. Gabriel and Ebenezer Baptist Church in Burtville. Harbor is… Continue reading →

Faith Matters: Finding comfort in times of grief

Grief is Velma Matthews’ calling. “It’s been my calling all along. I just didn’t know it,” said Matthews, a certified life coach and the minister of congregational care at Star Hill Church in Baton Rouge. Matthews, 56, said she has always been concerned about people in pain during her 21 years of ministry. But it wasn’t… Continue reading →

Answered prayers, recovery for Father’s Day

Photo provided by GEORGE HOLDER -- Pete and Carol Dazzio, center, with their five children, four in-laws and 18 grandchildren -- 29 family members in all -- in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. On the family trip, the couple, who marked 50 years of marriage in January, renewed their vows. The trip came after Pete Dazzio was almost killed in a car accident last fall.

When Pete Dazzio celebrates Father’s Day tomorrow, it will seem more like Thanksgiving Day. A Baton Rouge attorney, the 74-year-old Dazzio is the patriarch of a 29-member family who recently traveled halfway around the world for prayer and reflection on a long journey of faith and recovery from a serious brain injury that… Continue reading →

Pastor wants to improve African-American families through fathers

Photo by MARK H. HUNTER -- The Rev. Donald Hunter Sr., pastor of New Beginning Baptist Church and head of The Black Family Initiative, a local group dedicated to healing broken families, holds a portrait of his own family of five grown children and 12 grandchildren near a family photo display in the annex of the church.

The state of fatherhood in the African-American family is “over the cliff” in one local pastor’s words. According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a think tank that documents American culture, in 72 percent of African-American families, there is no father. Comparatively, in 70 percent of white families, 66 percent of Hispanic families and 72… Continue reading →

Facets of Faith: Recalling the church fathers

. ‚ÄčAs we celebrate our fathers, we also talk about fathers of things, such as George Washington being the father of the United States.

In Christianity, there are church fathers, which the American Heritage Dictionary says are “any of the authoritative early writers in the Christian church who formulated doctrines and codified religious observances.”

This encompasses a large number… Continue reading →

Religion Bulletins for June 20. 2015

Addis RECOVERY SUPPORT ADDIS WOMEN’S GROUP: 6 p.m., Church at Addis, 6781 La. 1. A support group for women seeking freedom from destructive habits. (225) 776-1652, ellie@churchataddis.com or facebook.com/recoverysupportaddis. RECOVERY SUPPORT ADDIS MEN’S GROUP: 7 p.m., Church at Addis, 6781 La. 1. A support group for men seeking… Continue reading →

Faith Matters: Anti-abortion advocate hopes to help others heal

Kathy Allenstate director the Louisiana Black Advocates for Life

Healing after an abortion was a difficult process for Kathy Allen. “It takes a long time,” said the 54-year-old, who had an abortion at age 19. But Allen said her relationship with Christ has not only allowed her to heal but enables her to help other women dealing with an abortion or preventing them from making… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge doctor travels to Guatemala to help treat poor

Dr. Lee Bruner, an ear-nose-and throat doctor and elder at Broadmoor Presbyterian Church, recently completed a 10-day mission trip to Guatemala. With him is Guatemalan pediatrician Dr. Sylvia Rucinos,who interpreted for the American group.

Dr. Lee Bruner, an ear-nose-and-throat doctor and elder at Broadmoor Presbyterian Church, recently completed a 10-day mission trip to Guatemala to treat residents there who live in extreme poverty. “It was my first mission trip, and the way I found it was providential,” said Bruner, explaining that he heard a visiting physician speak to the ENT Medical… Continue reading →

Priests being ordained in Diocese of Lafayette

Two priests will be ordained Saturday in the Diocese of Lafayette. In 10 a.m. ceremonies in the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, Bishop Michael Jarrell will confer the Sacrament of Holy Orders on the Revs. Travis Abadie and Charles William Massie IV. Abadie is the son of Jules Abadie and Sharon… Continue reading →

Facets of Faith for June 6, 2015

Pope Francis is publishing an encyclical, or letter, about the environment later this year. While it won’t carry the weight of church law, this type of letter to the bishops carries much authority in theological debates. And this one is already triggering debates. So, what should you consider when preparing to read the pope’s… Continue reading →

Diocese of Baton Rouge transfers three priests, assigns three deacons new positions; parishioners at Christ the King, St. Aloysius to see fresh faces

Father Joshua Johnson

Bishop Robert Muench will transfer three priests and assign three deacons positions once they are ordained priests starting July 1, the Diocese of Baton Rouge has announced. TheRev. Joshua D. Johnson, 27, current parochial vicar at Christ the King Church at LSU, will become parochial vicar at St. Aloysius Church in Baton Rouge.… Continue reading →

New president of Pineville college stops at Baton Rouge church on state tour

Advocate photo by Mark H. Hunter -- The Rev. Dr. Rick Brewer, the newest president of Louisiana College, kicked off his tour of area Baptist churches by speaking and playing the piano at Woodlawn Baptist Church in Baton Rouge on May 17.

The newest president of Louisiana’s only Baptist college visited the oldest Baptist church in East Baton Rouge Parish to introduce himself and encourage parents to send their students there. The Rev. Rick Brewer, ninth president of Louisiana College, spoke to the congregation of Woodlawn Baptist Church, established in 1850, and received a warm reception… Continue reading →

Facets of Faith: New books, movie offer study options

Bible Women: All Their Words and Why they Matter by Lindsay Hardin Freeman

Lots of interesting things come across my desk. Recent items include books, a DVD and a conference notice. Here’s a sampling of recent products. Chad Gibb’s first book “God and Football: Faith and Fanaticism in the SEC” incliuded his visit to an LSU football game. I wrote about it… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge Buddhist temple to celebrate anniversary

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- The Tam Bao Temple is celebrating 30 years in the Baton Rouge community. It moved to this property at 975 Monterrey Blvd. in 2000.

Covered in the immense shade of live oak trees, the grounds of Baton Rouge’s Tam Bao Temple exude peacefulness. Tucked into a large lot on Monterrey Boulevard not far from Florida Boulevard and Cortana Mall, the Buddhist temple provides an oasis of calm, said Thich Dao Quang, the abbot, or administrator, of the… Continue reading →

Faith Matters: Grace Life dives into relationship with Lasalle

The school year has been a learning and loving experience for some members of Grace Life Fellowship Church in Baton Rouge. In its mission to reach the community, the church answered the call to get involved in schools, establishing a relationship with Lasalle Elementary School at 8000 Lasalle St. “We had wanted to get connected to… Continue reading →

Facets of Faith: Seeking music stories

Music plays a big role in religious celebrations, and the Louisiana Folklife Program is looking to identify traditional sacred music ensembles of all faiths. Program Director Maida Owens said this project is part of a larger project to document Baton Rouge traditions. To see the work already done, visit louisianafolklife.org/batonrouge/. “Very… Continue reading →