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Dads and their children build mangers for Christmas lesson

Advocate photo by MARK H. HUNTER -- Sawyer Earnest, 7, pounds in the nails to hold the legs on a manger she and her father Todd built during a Manger Build family-bonding activity at Parkview Baptist Church.

“And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: You shall find the babe… Continue reading →

Facets of Faith: Christmas music

For many people, the Christmas season is about music. This is true in my household. Our eclectic Christmas albums range from Handel’s “Messiah” to Dr. Demento. There are a few albums I return to when I want a dose of the Bible Christmas story with my music. Here are some… Continue reading →

Religion Bulletins for Dec. 20, 2014


CLOTHING GIVEAWAY: 10 a.m., Greater Beulah Baptist Church, 955 E. Polk St. Free clothing in various sizes. FESTIVAL OF LESSONS & CAROLS: 5 p.m., St. James Episcopal Church, 205 N. Fourth St. Music by the St. James Treble Choir, a… Continue reading →

Christmas kettle bells work hard to meet needs

Advocate photo by Mark H. Hunter -- This sign explains how donations to the Salvation Army help the needy.

The Christmas season is probably the most challenging time of the year for many families trying to pay the bills and feed the children and still put some gifts under the tree. That’s why the Salvation Army rings bells and collects donations in red kettles all across America to help. Capt. Brett R.… Continue reading →

Faith Matters: Walking with God through challenges

Stephanie and Phillip Robinson

Stephanie Robinson never expected her husband to die before her. Born with a hole in her heart 62 years ago, she wasn’t expected to live past age 36 and even today requires an oxygen supplement 24 hours a day to breathe. Her husband, Phillip, was a bodybuilder and plant worker who took yearly physicals and had no… Continue reading →

Religion Bulletins for Dec. 13, 2014

The Chancel Choir of University United Methodist Church will perform a Service of Lessons and Carols with orchestra accompaniment at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 18. The concert, which is free and open to the public, will be held in the church sanctuary, 3350 Dalrymple Drive, Baton Rouge. Complimentary childcare will be provided.For more information, visit or call (225) 344-0343.

A NIGHT OF INTERCESSION & WORSHIP ... THE EXPERIENCE!: Shepherd’s Gate International Ministries, 6867 Van Gogh Ave. “THE ONLY CHRISTMAS PAGEANT IN TOWN”: 3 p.m., Jefferson Baptist Church, 9135 Jefferson Highway. An original holiday production by Jefferson Baptist. Free. DETERMINED OF BATON ROUGE MUSICAL: 6 p.m.,… Continue reading →

Religion Bulletins for Dec. 6, 2014

Dixie Echoes

THE GOOD NEWS PARADE: 1 p.m., 2100 block of Highland Road. The Alpha & Omega Sister Sorority sponsors the parade, which distributes Bibles. The parade travels from Highland to Terrance to Thomas Delpit to Roosevelt Street and back to Highland.… Continue reading →

Young Life Capernaum ministers to teens with special needs

Photo by MARK H. HUNTER -- Young Life Capernaum club director Jenny Pearce, center, hangs out at Chick-fil-A during a recent club activity with sisters Kathryn Sisson, 24, and Grace Sisson, 14.

Sam Abant was having a great time with some of his best friends at the Chick-fil-A restaurant. The 23-year-old young man with special needs had his arm around a pretty college girl while she took “selfies” of them with some handsome college guys. Abant and six other young people with special needs and a half-dozen college-age… Continue reading →

Faith Matters: College coaching prepared Gant for ministry role

Photo provided by Desmond GantPastor Desmond Gant of Prince of Peace Ministries in Baton Rouge.

Coaching college football offered Desmond Gant the opportunity to recruit, mold and minister to young men. Those experiences also helped prepare Gant for his role as a minister and the pastor of Prince of Peace Ministries in Baton Rouge. “When I first got into coaching, I just wanted to change young mens’ lives,” said Gant, a… Continue reading →

Religion Bulletins for Nov. 29, 2014

CHURCH ANNIVERSARY: 7 a.m., New Jerusalem Baptist Church, 1627 Thomas H. Delpit Drive. Celebration of the church’s 116th year. Guest preacher will be the Rev. Gregory Coates, pastor of St. John the Baptist Church of Dorseyville. ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION: 11 a.m., Sweet Home Baptist Church, 343 W. Buchanan St. In celebration… Continue reading →

Jefferson Baptist presents ‘Only Christmas Pageant in Town’

Jefferson Baptist Church will present its holiday program, “The Only Christmas Pageant in Town,” Dec. 12-14. This is the 18th season that the choir, orchestra and cast of over 200 at the church will be entertaining with a Broadway-style show, which is scheduled at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 12; 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13 and 3… Continue reading →

United Methodist group sets communication workshop

Churches of every size and budget needs a communication strategy. Whether a pastor, professional communications staffer or a volunteer, church leaders can benefit from The Church Communication Puzzle Workshop, a half-day training session hosted by the United Methodist Foundation of Louisiana on Thursday, Jan. 29. Led by former newspaper publisher and denominational marketing strategist Scott Vaughan,… Continue reading →

Holiday Bazaar features various homemade crafts

A Holiday Bazaar featuring homemade crafts of many types, including jewelry, soaps, artwork, woven baskets and services, such as massage and counseling, will be held Dec. 6-7. The bazaar, which will also include an area where youngster can select their gifts for others, and a gift wrapping on a love offering basis, will be from 9… Continue reading →

Prayer group asking for continued blessings for La. gathers outside State Capitol

Advocate photo by Mark H. Hunter -- Helen Poydras, center left, prays for God's mercy on America for 'shedding of innocent blood' during abortions during a recent prayer outreach service at the Capitol. The meeting, open to anyone, is held at 10:15 a.m. the first Saturday of the month.

“If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”… Continue reading →

Facets of Faith: Bible memory app and giving thanks verses

Screen image -- The verse page of the Bible Verses by Heart app presents the verse in print and in a recording. Users can tap the Learn This icon and use a fill-in-the-blank game to practice or hit the Record Recital button to practice.

For some Christians, Bible memorization is an important activity. Penguin Random House released an app that could help some with memory work. Bible Verses by Heart is based on a 2013 app called Poems by Heart from Penguin Classics. Both aim to help users memorize important works. The Bible version… Continue reading →

Religion Bulletins for Nov. 22, 2014

PRAYER BREAKFAST: 9 a.m., Mirror of Grace Outreach, 921 N. Lobdell Blvd. Guest speakers will be Co-pastor Celeste Bean Payne, of Impact Christian Center; Minister Aldina Jackson and Minister Mary Bessie. Reservations required. (225) 300-4528 or PRAYER WALK 3.3 MILE: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Flannery Road Park,… Continue reading →

Southern Baptists add ethnic congregations to roll of churches

Photo by Mark H. Hunter -- The Rev. Carlos Rosales, pastor of First Hispanic Baptist Church, preaches to his congregation in the Fellowship Hall of Florida Blvd. Baptist Church in Baton Rouge.

Contrary to the conventional wisdom that the Southern Baptist Convention is primarily a white Southern organization, about 10,000 of the SBC’s 46,124 churches are “ethnic” congregations, according to the convention’s chief operating officer. In Louisiana, of the 1,600 churches in the Louisiana Baptist Convention, 162 churches are classified as “ethnic,” meaning they are predominantly… Continue reading →

Faith Matters: Rolling lifestyle of faith out into community

Photo provided by STEVEN ARMSTRONGInside the Hopemobile bus for Westside Community Church in Addis.

A part of Steve Armstrong died the day he buried his grandmother nearly 20 years ago. During the funeral in 1995, the then-35-year-old Armstrong also said goodbye to the old “self-centered” Steve and became a new person in Christ with a newfound love and commitment to God and others. “I came under deep conviction of my… Continue reading →

Religion Bulletins for Nov. 15, 2014

Pastor Shannon J. Warner

LIFE CHOICE: 9 a.m., Catholic Life Center, 1800 S. Acadian Thruway. A one-day Pre-Cana program for engaged couples seeking to get married in the Catholic Church. It combines talks with personal reflection and couple dialogue in a classroom setting. ANNUAL COMMUNITY CLOTHES CLOSET: 9 a.m., Greater Divine Missionary Baptist… Continue reading →

BR Baptist pastors from black, white congregations hold preaching conference

Photo by Metro Source -- Three dozen pastors and pastoral students both black and white, male and female came together for a history-making conference in Baton Rouge.

Just a few days ago in Baton Rouge, a new chapter was written in the history of black and white churches. Three dozen pastors and pastoral students, both black and white, male and female, from two different Baptist denominations met for the first Expository Preaching Conference at New Hope Baptist Church.… Continue reading →

Facets of Faith: Bible Lands Museum/Dead Sea Scrolls

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Visitors look over the Dead Sea Scrolls repository touring the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem.

Editor’s note: In May, Pope Francis, head of the Roman Catholic Church, met in Jerusalem with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, “first among equals” among the various patriarchs of 300 million Eastern Orthodox Christians. Advocate photographer Bill Feig was there. This is the second in an occasional series of photos from Feig’s journey.… Continue reading →

Religion Bulletins for Nov. 8, 2014

FAMILY AND FRIENDS DAY: 8 a.m., Donaldson Chapel Baptist Church, 2501 Gracie St. A family and friends celebration. (225) 344-4480. DAUGHTERS OF NAOMI: 9:30 a.m., Camphor Memorial Methodist Church, 8742 Scenic Highway. For women ages 9-18. (225) 933-7475. VETERANS DAY SERVICE: 10:45 a.m., Broadmoor Presbyterian Church, 9340 Florida Blvd. The… Continue reading →

Downtown BR host to new ministry hoping to take ‘the church out into the world’

Advocate photo by Mark H. Hunter -- The Rev. David Melville recently opened 'Christ in the City,' what he calls 'an Oasis of Christian hospitality downtown' in Baton Rouge at 320 Third St. Open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., anyone can browse the small library, brown bag lunch or visit with Rev. Melville about spiritual or personal issues.

Tucked between tall buildings near one of downtown Baton Rouge’s busiest intersections, a new “oasis of Christian hospitality” quietly opened late last month. Christ in the City is a nondenominational, storefront ministry geared to meet the needs of downtown workers who seek a quiet place for prayer, communion, counseling or a cup of… Continue reading →

Faith Matters: Church celebrates reunion with day of worship, delight

Leonard Smith

The prospect of seeing many of his former “family” members has Leonard Smith excited. Smith and the Star of Bethlehem Baptist Church have invited former members and ministers to come back — if only for a day of worship, reminiscing, food and fun. The combination 105th-year church anniversary and reunion event is set for 3 p.m.… Continue reading →

Religion Bulletins for Nov. 1, 2014

Pastor Kenn Dixon

STEPHEN MINISTRY WORKSHOP: 9 a.m. St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 8833 Goodwood Blvd. Participants will learn how to minister to people in grief and how to use Stephen Ministry to train and organize lay people for one-to-one caring ministry. $15-$50. (314) 428-2600 or Healing on the Spiritual Path… Continue reading →

How you can help: Drive seeks warm clothing for homeless in Baton Rouge

Photo provided by DEBBY GAUTREAUX -- Debby Gautreaux visits with women at a downtown bus shelter. She and husband Russell are working to aid the homeless in Baton Rouge. 'We help them find resources, to find a job, to get transportation to a job or to get bus tickets to get home,' says Debby Gautreaux.

With the first stings of cold weather in the air, two ministries to Baton Rouge’s homeless men, women and children are teaming up to collect 1,000 coats in the next few weeks. Catherine Comeaux, of Signs and Wonders Outreach Ministry, and Russell and Debby Gautreaux, of Fire House Ministries, are asking for for coats,… Continue reading →

Facets of Faith: For King & Country to play Istrouma Baptist Church; check out the band’s plans for the show

Photo provided by King & Country, a duo of brothers Joel and Luke Smallbone, will be bringing their 'You Matter' tour Nov. 1 to Istrouma Baptist Church.

Two Australian brothers who found themselves in Nashville, Tennessee, as young people want to make sure that others know “You Matter.” Joel and Luke Smallbone are the band For King & Country, which released its second album “Run Wild. Live Free. Love Strong.” in the past month. The “You… Continue reading →

Religious bulletins for Oct. 25, 2014, in Baton Rouge

CRAFT SHOW, TRUNK OR TREAT: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, 5-6:30 p.m. Sunday, Blackwater United Methodist Church, 10000 Blackwater Road. Craft show on Saturday. Trunk or Treat on Sunday, with trick or treating out of cars and lots of games. No scary costumes please. or (225) 261-4646.… Continue reading →

South Louisiana Youth Federation set to hold ‘WIFI: Are You Connected?’ rally in Baton Rouge

The South Louisiana Youth Federation, which represents 16 Seventh-day Adventist churches from an 11-parish region, will meet Friday, Oct. 31, and Saturday, Nov. 1, in Baton Rouge. The theme is “WIFI: Are You Connected?” and will include a discussion on “We’re in Final Introspection, Intervention & Investigation.” The gathering begins the night of Oct.… Continue reading →

‘Roots & Promises’ musical set for First Presbyterian in Baton Rouge

Photo provided by First Presbyterian Church -- Steve Rushing, left, as God and Ray Gaspard as Abraham will perform in 'Roots & Promises: A Genesis Musica,l' which will be staged Nov. 1-2 at First Presbyterian Church on North Boulevard.

First Presbyterian Church Baton Rouge will present two free performances of “Roots & Promises: A Genesis Musical.” Performances are at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2, at the church, 763 North Blvd.. The musical was co-written by Gerrit Dawson, senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church, and the production will be in celebration… Continue reading →

Professor, author to lead discussion, worship services at University Baptist in Baton Rouge

The Rev. Canna Carter Florence will speak about vocation at 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2, at University Baptist Church, 5775 Highland Road, Baton Rouge. Florence is the Peter Marshall Associate Professor of Preaching and Worship at Columbia Theological Seminary. Her research focuses on testimony, feminist theology, the performative dimensions of worship and the role of experience in… Continue reading →

La. church establishes mission, ties in tiny village

Photo provided by The Mission Church -- The fifth mission team to Haiti in 2014 was, from left, Michael Perez, Cullen Chapin, Youth Pastor Jon Vidrine, Jim Grega, Andrew LaBorde, Erika LaBorde, Conner Chaffin, Tammy Chaffin and Bruce Chaffin. This was the fifth trip to Haiti for the father-daughter LaBordes, and the second trip for the Chaffins as their vacation.

During a post-earthquake mission trip to Haiti in 2010, Deven Pedeaux got a message from God. “Pastor Deven said he felt like God said, ‘Go to Jeremie,’ ” Jim Grega recalled. Pedeaux and his wife, Kathy, are lead pastors of The Mission Church in Hammond, while Grega serves as… Continue reading →

Catholic group seeks bigger place for priest, to assist community

Photo by MARK H. HUNTER -- Charbel Harb, a leader in the St. Sharbel Maronite Catholic Mission of Louisiana, says the congregation would like to one day build a church on the Antioch Road property it purchased last year.

The congregation of St. Sharbel Maronite Catholic Mission of Louisiana is so small it doesn’t even have its own place of worship or a full-time priest, but they’re praying that will soon change. The Most Rev. A. Elias Zaidan, bishop of the Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon,, headquartered in St. Louis… Continue reading →

Faith Matters: Long journey to new home nears its end

The move to a new location was nearly 20 years in the making for Jehovah Ministry World Evangelistic Outreach Church. The church has been on Wenonah Drive before completing its new $1.3 million center at 6356 Airline Highway in the Brookstown area of Baton Rouge. “It’s a testament to… Continue reading →

Religion Bulletins for Oct. 18, 2014

HEALTH FAIR: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Greater First Church, Emmett W. Bashful/Huel D. Perkins Fellowship and Activity Center, 4669 Groom Road. Discussion of diabetes, diagnosis, treatment and preventative measures. Door prizes. CHURCH ANNIVERSARY: 3 p.m., Evening Star Baptist Church, 16301 Al Sanford Road. Pastor Henry… Continue reading →

Churches to sponsor Stephen Ministry workshop

On Saturday, Nov. 1, St. Aloysius Catholic Church and St. Luke’s, St. James and Trinity Episcopal churches are co-sponsoring a Stephen Ministry Introductory Workshop. It will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at St. Luke’s, 8833 Goodwood Blvd., in Baton Rouge. Participants will learn how to minister to people in grief in a distinctively Christian… Continue reading →

EBR Ministers Conference services scheduled

The annual revival services of the East Baton Rouge Parish Ministers Conference will be held Oct. 27-31 at 7 p.m. each night. The revival services will be held at the following churches: Monday — Magnolia Baptist Church, 960 E. Buchanan St., the Rev. J. Bertell Davis, pastor Tuesday — Elm Grove… Continue reading →

4th District sets annual session

Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church Pastor Rev. Jesse Bilberry

The Fourth District Missionary Baptist Associationwill hold its 140th annual session Nov. 9-14. This year’s theme is “A Call to Unity.” All meetings and services will be held at the Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church, 9700 Scenic Highway, Baton Rouge. Dr. Jesse B. Bilberry Jr. is moderator of the association. A Youth Explosion will kick off the… Continue reading →

Bethel marks 200th year in Pride

Photo by MARK H. HUNTER --  The

The congregation of one of Louisiana’s oldest Methodist churches, Bethel United Methodist, will celebrate its 200th anniversary on Sunday and a big crowd of former members, friends and relatives is expected. From its humble beginnings as a rural, one-room, hand-hewn timber church served… Continue reading →

Facets of Faith: Kari Jobe to perform in Baton Rouge

Kari Jobe will perform Thursday, Oct. 16, at Bethany Church's South Campus in Baton Rouge.

Kari Jobe is in a majestic season. Her album “Majestic,” released in March, won Praise and Worship Album of the Year at the Dove Awards on Tuesday night. Her Majestic tour will stop in Baton Rouge on Thursday, Oct. 16. And oh yeah, she’s recently engaged.… Continue reading →

Religion Bulletins for Oct. 11, 2014

Baker HEALTH FAIR: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Greater First Church, Emmett W. Bashful/Huel D. Perkins Fellowship and Activity Center, 4669 Groom Road. Health fair includes discussion of diabetes, treatments and preventative measures. Door prizes. 119TH YEAR ANNIVERSARY: 3 p.m., Evening Star Baptist Church, 16301… Continue reading →

Contra & Square Dance set today at St. Alban’s

A Contra & Square Dance will take place 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday at St. Alban’s Chapel, at Highland Road and Dalrymple Drive in Baton Rouge. Live music will be by Back Up & Push. Dancers need no experience. A basics for beginners session will be at 4:45 pm. Admission is $6. Call… Continue reading →

Hospice of BR hosting panel discussion Oct. 21

Rev. Amy Ziettlow

To mark the 30th anniversary of The Hospice of Baton Rouge, a panel discussion on the topics of elder care, end of life and the commandment to honor your mother and father will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Oct. 21, at First United Methodist Church, 930 North Blvd., in the conference center.… Continue reading →