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Conference unifies men from variety of Christian faith groups

Photo by MARK H. HUNTER -- T.C. Stallings talks about 'Playing on God's Team' to men attending the Iron Sharpens Iron conference at Istrouma Baptist Church.

Unity — across cultures and religious faiths — was the unofficial theme of the 2015 Iron Sharpens Iron conference that brought about 150 men together at Istrouma Baptist Church. The conference, sponsored by Gulf South Men on March 21, was designed to bring together men from a variety of Christian faith groups to help them become more… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge churches help address hunger in the community

Photo provided by Church of the Way Presbyterian Church -- Orchard tender George Reeves, left, and orchard master Kane Mire work in the Church of the Way Memorial Community Orchard that was planted March 21 on South Foster Drive. The orchard is a cooperative project to help feed the hungry.

Two Baton Rouge churches are putting their green thumbs to work to help feed the hungry here. The Church of the Way Memorial Community Orchard, which will allow those in need to pick fruit, was planted Saturday, March 21, on land adjacent to the church on South Foster Drive. Some 20 citrus trees —… Continue reading →

Book, play compares death penalty to the crucifixion of Jesus

Photo provided by Baton Rouge Community College -- Aaron Fontanilla takes on the role of convicted murderer Matthew Poncelet in Baton Rouge Community College's production of 'Dead Man Walking,' which focuses on the relationship between Sister Helen Prejean and the death-row inmate.

Sister Helen Prejean compares the death penalty to the crucifixion of Jesus and uses the cross to illustrate her argument against it. “This is a really conflictual, really hard, moral issue — and you have to start with the crime,” Prejean said. “Somebody in cold blood has taken the life of… Continue reading →

National Single Moms Conference set for Baton Rouge

Chief Executive Officer Jennifer Maggio and The Life of a Single Mom Ministries will present the 2015 National TLSM Single Moms Conference on June 19-20 in Baton Rouge. This national event is open to single moms and supporters of single moms from around the country who desire to be empowered, educated and encouraged. Since its… Continue reading →

Church marks pastor’s anniversary

Moss

St. Alma Baptist Church in Lakeland will mark the seventh anniversary of Pastor Mary W. Moss with celebration services on Friday and Sunday, March 20 and 22. At 7 p.m. Friday, Pastor Troy Johnson, of Fresh Start Community Church in Houston, will preach at Belfair Baptist Church, 4444 Fairfield Ave., Baton Rouge. On Sunday at 2… Continue reading →

OLOL joins church for mental health symposium

A mental health symposium designed to heighten awareness within the faith community and beyond about mental illness among specific local at-risk groups and to develop strategies to better support those struggling with mental health will be held Friday and Saturday, March 20-21. The event is being sponsored by Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center and… Continue reading →

Baptist Ministry at LSU to present ‘Into the Woods’

The Baptist Collegiate Ministry at LSU is staging Stephen Sondheim’s “Into the Woods” as a fundraiser for student missions. The production will be held March 19-24 at the BCM Center, 3800 Highland Road, Baton Rouge. Performances are 7 p.m. Thursday, March 19, and Monday and Tuesday, March 23-24, ($10); 6 p.m. dinner and 7 p.m.… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge businessman’s devotional book inspired by scenery

Photo provided by FRANK PHILLIPS -- Author Frank Phillips shot this photo of Bryce Canyon, which he says illustrates Jesus Christ standing in front of an open theater addressing a large group of people. It is the cover of his new book, 'Living Life.'

Frank and Sandy Phillips were on a vacation out west when a scenic Utah vista became, he said, a geologic description of Jesus Christ. The vast Bryce Canyon amphitheater, crowded with eroded rock formations called “hoodoos,” appears to have a lone, pale-colored figure facing the rest of the red-rock geological formations, Frank Phillips said. The scene stirred… Continue reading →

LSU's Glassel Gallery to feature work by Pope artist Michael Triegel

Advocate staff photo by ANGELA MAJOR -- German painter and illustrator Michael Triegel at his exhibit in the Glassell Gallery inside the Shaw Center for the Arts.

The story spread quickly through Europe’s religious and artistic communities: a nonbeliever was painting Pope Benedict XVI’s official portrait. Michael Triegel smiles about it now. He was baptized in the Catholic church last Easter, but it’s true his spiritual doubts ran deep when he agreed to paint the portrait. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to… Continue reading →

Book ministry seeks to ‘free’ inmates

Photo by MARK H. HUNTER -- John and Andi Bayer, directors of Free at Last Prison Ministries, are distributing a new book, 'Ministry from the Inside,' to as many prisons and jails as they can.Thousands of inmates are becoming Christians, they say, and the book is a 'manual' to help them in spiritual growth.

John and Andi Bayer have such compassion for incarcerated men and women that they have devoted the last several decades of their lives to their small but influential Free At Last Prison Ministries. “We believe God has a special unconditional love for inmates,” John Bayer said. “Great men of God, such as Peter,… Continue reading →

Two Louisiana men sign on to help lead Latter-day Saints

Photo provided by DEANNE BRYANT --  Reed Mackay, of Zachary; Chris Hollis, of Liberty, Mississippi, and Mark Rotolo, of Central, from left, are from the Denham Springs Stake Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The three will lead 10 congregations of more than 3,600 Mormon members from Livingston, Tangipahoa and East Baton Rouge parishes and from Liberty and McComb, MIssissippi.

Two Louisiana men have been called to serve in the newly reorganized stake presidency of the Denham Springs Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Reed Mackay, of Zachary, was called again as first counselor and Mark E. Rotolo, of Central, was called as second counselor. They will serve with Christopher W.… Continue reading →

‘‘If God can come down in human form, I can change from being a lawyer.’’

Photo by MARK H. HUNTER -- The Rev. Sharon A. Alexander is the first woman rector of Trinity Episcopal Church. The former lawyer wants to expand the church's reach from LSU to a Bolivian orphanage. She has an extensive collection of crufixes and icons from around the world in in her office.

When Sharon A. Alexander was growing up in Edinburg, Texas, she played golf or tennis on Sundays. She never imagined she’d someday be an Episcopal priest. An eighth generation Texan and the oldest daughter of a lawyer who didn’t attend church, Alexander wanted to be an astronaut. She never flew into space but did log more than… Continue reading →

Watoto Choir sets shows for awareness

The Watoto Children’s Choir, of Africa, is bringing its“Oh What Love” show to the area. All performances are free . The choir acts as Watoto ambassadors to raise awareness about the plight of the orphaned and vulnerable children of Africa. To preview a performance , visit http://vimeo.com/106574540. Scheduled area performances are: --7 p.m. Wednesday,… Continue reading →

Facets of Faith: Finding the word of God

Advocate staff photo by LEILA PITCHFORD-ENGLISH -- The Rev. Stephan Tchividjian explains to the Faith Travel Association how faith-based travel can change a person. He says he and his wife sent their 'wild child' to Africa for four months and she came back to become a champion for the people there.

An unwanted trip to the Dominican Republic changed life for Stephan Tchividjian, pastor, business leader and grandson of the Rev. Billy Graham. Tchividjian spoke about “The Power of Faith-based Travel” and led a panel discussion on growing ministry through faith-based travel during the sessions hosted by the Faith Travel Association in New Orleans recently. He explained… Continue reading →

Choral group Heritage sets Festival of Negro Spirituals

Photo provided by Heritage -- Heritage, a non-profit professional choral ensemble, is holding its 24th annul Festival of Negro Spiritual on Feb. 7 at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church.

Heritage, whose mission is to perpetuate the “Negro spiritual” as a distinctive art form, will host its 24th annual Festival of Negro Spirituals on Feb. 7. The event, which will begin at 3 p.m., will be held at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, 185 Eddie Robinson Sr. Drive. Admission is free. “Heritage has been sharing… Continue reading →

Religion Bulletins for Jan. 31, 2015

Photo provided by Stevedale Baptist Church -- The Mark Trammell Quartet will be in concert at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 5, at Stevendale Baptist Church, 16545 Old Hammond Highway, Baton Rouge. A love offering will be taken.

YOUTH BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT: 9 a.m., H.B. Williams Tower of Strength Center, 690 Kelly St. For youth ages 5 to 19. $5. (225) 937-3419. CLIFF & COMPANY LISTENING EXPERIENCE: 7 p.m., Quarters Endless Entertainment, 4530 S. Sherwood Forest Blvd. A party for the release of the local gospel group’s CD, “Searching… Continue reading →

Watoto Children’s Choir to perform in BR area

Photo provided by Watoto Children's Choir -- The Watoto Children's Choir from Africa is bringing its dynamic show to the area. Performances are free and open to the public.

The Watoto Children’s Choir, which has traveled here from Africa, will be giving several performances of “Oh What Love” in the area. Through this dynamic worship experience, the members of the Watoto Children’s Choir, who were once orphans, share their journeys to redemption. All performances are free and open to the public. The choir… Continue reading →

Jefferson Baptist to hold Women’s Retreat

Best-selling author Lisa Harper will be the featured speaker at the Jefferson Baptist Women’s Retreat on Feb. 6-7. The “Perfectly Imperfect” event, which runs from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6, and from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Feb. 7, will be held at the church, 9135 Jefferson Highway. Tickets are… Continue reading →

Wings hopes Bibles first step of ministry

Photo by MARK H. HUNTER -- Wings of the Spirit mission group members load Gospels of John into their plane at the Baton Rouge Metro Airport. Board President Ryan Williams, left, hands booklets to pilot Gerald Huggins, center, and videographer Daniel Waghorne. Huggins and Waghorne will fly the Super Cub into Central America in February to distribute the Spanish-version Gospel of John to remote villages.

Whenever Gerald Huggins sees video or photographs of poor, barefoot children, especially in Central America, he gets emotional. “I identify with them because I was one of those kids,” Huggins said. “It touches my heart.” A seasoned pilot and president of GH Enterprises, an aircraft maintenance company at the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Airport, Huggins, 64, was… Continue reading →

Meet Joshua Johnson, Baton Rouge's rapping, youngest Catholic priest who 'never liked' church as a kid

A young Catholic priest who enjoys rap music had a few confessions about his faith and his music: He didn’t like the Catholic Church as a youth, and he doesn’t want to simply be known today as the “Rapping Priest.” At 27, the Rev. Joshua Johnson, of Christ the King Catholic Church at LSU, is the youngest… Continue reading →

Religion Bulletins for Jan. 24, 2015

A MATTER OF LIFE AND LOVE: University Presbyterian Church, LSU campus. A regional conference of the Covenant Network of Presbyterians. The Rev. Road Cynthia Rigby, W.C. Brown theology professor, Austin Theological Presbyterian Seminary will be the keynote speaker. The Rev. Road Kenneth E. Kovacs, pastor of Catonsville Presbyterian Church in… Continue reading →

LSU class to explore impacts of ‘Religion, Food and Culture’ on society

Advocate file photo -- An LSU class will explore the importance of food in religious and cultural traditions, such as the Passover Seder meal.

Lent, Passover, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Kwanzaa, Ramadan and a host of other religious observances in the East and West all revolve in some way or another around food and culture. The confluence and the impact of those practices is why LSU Religious Studies Professor Gail Hinich Sutherland is presenting “Religion, Food and… Continue reading →