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Baton Rouge faith community responded to Katrina evacuees in many ways

Associated Press file photo by DAVE MARTIN -- Many of the thousands who evacuated from the New Orleans area during Hurricane Katrina ended up in Baton Rouge, where churches opened their doors to provide food, water and shelter.

As tens of thousands of Hurricane Katrina evacuees poured out of New Orleans, the people of faith of Baton Rouge opened their arms and doors to welcome them. “It was quite amazing,” Mayor-President Kip Holden said. “The church answered the call. … A lot of churches took in a lot of folks. They fed people.… Continue reading →

Facets of Faith: Christmas gifts that appeal worldwide

This time of year, many area residents gear up for a Christmas project: the annual collection of shoeboxes filled with gifts for children around the world. Many churches gather Operation Christmas Child boxes from members. Those boxes then go to Florida Boulevard Baptist Church, which acts as a collection point for the region and loads the… Continue reading →

Religion bulletins for Aug. 29, 2015

RECOVERY SUPPORT ADDIS WOMEN’S GROUP: Text ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/SolidText ColorSwatch/NoneStrokeStyle/$ID/Solid$ID/NothingText ColorText Color$ID/NothingText ColorText Color6 p.m., Church at Addis, 6781 La. 1 S. Group is for individuals seeking freedom from destructive habits. Free. (225) 776-1652. Sunday WORSHIP SERVICES: 11 a.m., New Covenant Christian… Continue reading →

Author returns to Baton Rouge in new Christian novel

Photo by MARK H. HUNTER -- Sammy Tippit ran track at Istrouma High School, now closed, in the 1960s, a background shared by Win Bass, the lead characters in Tippit’s new Christian mystery-thriller ‘Running Home.’

American novelist Thomas C. Wolfe famously wrote in the 1930s, “you can’t go home again,” but Baton Rouge native Sammy Tippit isn’t on the same page. In his latest novel, a Christian mystery-thriller, Tippit does just that. Tippit, who lives in San Antonio with his wife Debara, better known as “Tex,” grew up in Baton Rouge… Continue reading →

Religious bulletins for August 22, 2015

 The Rev. Geoffrey Sykes, pastor of Greater St. Mary Baptist Church of Plaquemine

Sunday RECOVERY SUPPORT ADDIS WOMEN’S GROUP: 6 p.m., Church at Addis, 6781 La. 1. Group is for individuals seeking freedom from destructive habits. Free. (225) 776-1652. Sunday WORSHIP SERVICES: 11 a.m., New Covenant Christian Center, 6515 Myrtle St. (225) 775-3127.… Continue reading →

Faith Matters: Churches need to fight death

Manuel Scott

Too many sick and dying churches in the country are in denial over their dire situations, a nationally renowned speaker, author and evangelist told a recent Baton Rouge seminar. “Most churches are moving toward death because they refuse to acknowledge their condition. Stop living in denial,” said the Rev. Manuel Scott Jr., of Los Angeles. Scott… Continue reading →

Church program offers boys guidance on education, community, current events

Photo by MARK H. HUNTER -- Veterinarian Dr. Raphael Malbrue quotes Pope Paul VI to those attending 'A Gathering of Neighborhood Boys': 'Whatever you want to do, do it now. There are only so many tomorrows.'

The question was put to a group of youngsters on a Saturday morning as they assembled in New St. John Baptist Church for “A Gathering of Neighborhood Boys,” an initiative the church began this year in conjunction with its monthlong “Boy’s Academy,” which provides third-grade boys an academic boost into fourth grade. The gathering is the next… Continue reading →

Facets of Faith: New Jersey teen shows Muslim hijab can have many forms

A New Jersey teen is receiving attention because she was selected by her senior class as the best dressed. It was unusual because she wears a Muslim head covering. The word used to indicate this type of garment is hijab, which means cover, but Muslim women interpret hijab in different ways. Here’s a… Continue reading →

Religion Bulletins for August 15, 2015

Dennis Swanberg

RECOVERY SUPPORT ADDIS WOMEN’S GROUP: 6 p.m., Church at Addis, 6781 La. 1. Group is for individuals seeking freedom from destructive habits. Free. (225) 776-1652. SONSHINE FELLOWSHIP SENIOR ADULT MINISTRY: 11:30 p.m., Church at Addis, 6781 La. 1. Dr. Florent Hardy Jr., director of the Louisiana… Continue reading →

'Cops and Clergy' training sessions help build bonds between police, clergy

Photo by MARK H. HUNTER -- Baton Rouge Police Chief Carl Dabadie Jr. tells a group of faith leaders at a meeting of Cops and Clergy that he is dedicated to improving relations with the pastors and their neighborhoods. Sgt. Riley Harbor III, standing left, a police officer and pastor of two small churches, heads up the Cops and Clergy program.

When the Rev. Bland Washington was shot during a recent “Cops and Clergy” training session, he didn’t die and go to heaven, but he did see the light. Fortunately, Washington’s wounds were only of the make-believe kind, delivered by an angry man during a violent role-playing scenario, the kind Baton Rouge police officers face… Continue reading →

Faith Matters: Energetic Rev. Darryl Tate finds fit at St. Andrew

Photo provided by DONNA LEGGETT -- The Rev. Darryl Tate, St. Andrew's United Methodist Church

The move to St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church has been the “right fit” for the Rev. Darryl Tate, who came to Baton Rouge with an exuberance for evangelism and ministry. “This church has given me even more energy,” said Tate, who took over at the church at the end of June after a three-year stint in Rayville,… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge religion bulletins for Aug. 8, 2015

Pastor Ronald A. Sutton and Lady Mary C. Sutton

RECOVERY SUPPORT ADDIS WOMEN’S GROUP: 6 p.m., Church at Addis, 6781 La. 1. Group is for individuals seeking freedom from destructive habits. Free. (225) 776-1652. RECOVERY SUPPORT ADDIS MEN’S GROUP: 7 p.m., Church at Addis, 6781 La. 1. Group is for individuals seeking freedom from… Continue reading →

Leaders unite in prayer against crime in cities

Photo by MARK H. HUNTER -- About 200 people march from the Governor's Mansion to the State Capitol on July 25 as part of the 12th annual World Link of Churches and Businesses 'Save Our Cities Now Prayer Initiative.' The group spent two hours in preaching, music and praying on the Capitol Steps for America and its cities.

The sounds of gospel music and fervent prayers to heaven boomed through loudspeakers across downtown as hundreds of people attending the 12th annual Save Our Cities Now Prayer Initiative gathered on the State Capitol steps under a scorch-ing sun. The Saturday morning rally was hosted by the World Link of Churches and… Continue reading →

Speakers rally crowd with fiery political rhetoric

Photo by MARK H. HUNTER -- State Rep. Randall Gaines told about 200 people gathered on the State Capitol steps on July 25 that their voting rights are being eroded.

At times, World Link’s Save Our Cities prayer rally on the State Capitol steps last Saturday seemed more like a political rally with elected officials and speakers from the NAACP, the Nation of Islam and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference speaking to the crowd. “Right now, the rights that were won in the ’60s are being eroded,”… Continue reading →

Preschool’s new director is 1st who also attended it

Sherry Kairdolf Beard

Sherry Kairdolf Beard spent her preschool years at Broadmoor Presbyterian Preschool. Now the 39-year-old is in charge of it. Beard is the first director of the 56-year-old preschool to have attended it. Prior to being named director, Beard taught 4-year-olds at the school for 10 years. The school starts on Aug. 10, with orientation on Aug.… Continue reading →

Food, exhibits featured at Faithfest on Aug. 7-9

Photo provided -- James Linden, left, and his father, Jim Hogg

Faithfest 2015 is being held Aug. 7-9 and will include Christian music, films, food, book-signings and presentations. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 7; from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 8, and from 1 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, ending with a faith rally. It will be… Continue reading →

Facets of Faith: Animals of the Bible

In this week’s Pray section, a story tells of families from New Jersey who will sleep in buildings at the Philadelphia Zoo as a cost-cutting measure on a trip to hear Pope Francis. The zoo buildings house insects and birds. Will any of those critters they are sharing quarters… Continue reading →

Religion Bulletins for August 1, 2015

Pastor Ronald A. Sutton and Lady Mary C. Sutton

Sunday RECOVERY SUPPORT ADDIS WOMEN’S GROUP: 6 p.m,. Church at Addis, 6781 La. 1. For individuals seeking freedom from destructive habits. (225) 776-1652 or email RECOVERY SUPPORT ADDIS MEN’S GROUP: 7 p.m., Church at Addis, 6781 La. 1 S. For individuals seeking freedom from any strongholds. (225)218-5630… Continue reading →

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 RECOVERY SUPPORT ADDIS MEN’S GROUP: 7 p.m., Church at Addis, 6781 La. 1. (225) 218-5630 or 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 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

. ​As 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, or RECOVERY SUPPORT ADDIS MEN’S GROUP: 7 p.m., Church at Addis, 6781 La. 1. A support group for men seeking… Continue reading →