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Leaving politics at the Capitol door

Photo by MARK H. HUNTER -  The Rev. Dr. Rodney Wood explains how each time he comes to the State Capitol, he goes to the observation deck at the top and prays over the state, the city, LSU, industry and commerce on the Mississippi River.

The Rev. Dr. Rodney Wood was driving through Baton Rouge on a hunting trip with two of his sons in January 1993, when, he says, God quietly spoke to him about his next step in ministry. He had just finished a seven-year pastorate at Trinity Church in Covington. “As we passed by the Capitol, suddenly… Continue reading →

Faith Matters: Biblical boost for marriages

Russ Taff

The Bible remains the best source for helping a troubled marriage, said Zachary minister and author Gwendolyn Perry Honore. It’s the wisest advice Honore said she can offer women with marital questions. “I use the Bible. I always go back to the Bible to help them out,” Honore said. “Women are really anxious to give me… Continue reading →

Religion Bulletins for Aug. 23, 2014

Rev. Demetria Jones-Smith

Baker Sunday USHER MINISTRY ANNIVERSARY: 11 a.m., Shady Grove First Missionary Baptist Church, 16443 Plank Road. The Rev. Sam Williams will be the guest speaker and the Holly Grove Baptist Church of Zachary will be the guest ushers. All are invited. Baton Rouge Saturday RELIGIOUS CLASSES: 8 a.m., Greater King David Baptist Church, 222… Continue reading →

BR Mormon missionaries get new leaders for next three years

Photo by MARK H. HUNTER --  The new President of the Louisiana Baton Rouge Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Reed H. Hansen and his wife, Mary Anne Hansen, look over a map of the area where they are overseeing more than 180 missionaries. The couple, from Boise, Idaho, will be in Baton Rouge for the next three years.

You’ve seen them riding their bikes or even talked to them after they knocked on your door, a pair of clean-cut young men wearing white shirts and ties or modestly-dressed young women who introduce themselves as “elder” or “sister.” They are missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and more than 180… Continue reading →

Theologian to speak on role of activism

Author Matthew Fox, a spiritual theologian and Episcopal priest, will speak Aug. 22 and 23 at the Unitarian Church of Baton Rouge, 8470 Goodwood Blvd. Fox, who has authored more than 30 books, will speak from 7-9 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 22, on exploring spirituality that integrates contemplation with social justice, and blends spiritual practices from various… Continue reading →

Religion Bulletins for Aug. 16, 2014

Rev. Emma Woods

Baton Rouge Saturday Fall Rally: 8:30 a.m., Broadmoor Presbyterian Church, 9340 Florida Blvd. Presbyterian Women of South Louisiana will hold their annual fall rally, which includes worship and an overview of the new study book used in women’s circles. Reports will also be given on the Living Waters of the World in Cuba and the Presbyterian Children’s… Continue reading →

Apostle came from vilest of sinners

Apostles pictured in Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper are, from left, Bartholomew, James Minor, Andrew, Peter (also called Simon Peter), Judas Iscariot, John, Jesus, Thomas, James Major, Philip, Matthew, Thaddeus, Simon the Canaanite (also called Simon the Zealot).

Matthew was a shakedown artist before meeting Jesus. The Matthew who would eventually write the first Gospel in the New Testament, who would be proclaimed a saint, whose name means “gift of Yaweh” or “gift of God” in Hebrew, that Matthew was a tax collector, who tacked on extra fees for personal profit,… Continue reading →

Concert aims to start Breakthrough

Shaquille O. Davis

Ministers at Baton Rouge’s St. Mary Baptist Church want to break through to their community. They envision a youth group traveling to nursing homes and prisons and women’s shelters, playing music, serving communion and ministering to people in need. To jump start the program, they are having a concert, says Chris D. Plant, a… Continue reading →

Faith Matters for Aug. 9, 2014

Photo provided by FREDERICK JONESThe Jones siblings include, from left, Anna, Lucy, Sylvester, Tammi, Louise, Elmer, Marie, Joyce, Georgia, Geneva, Emma, Mary, Leroy and Carl.

Prayer — and a weekly teleconference — has kept the Jones family connected. The 14 siblings (nine women and five men) and a host of other family members from five to seven states gather at 7 a.m. each Saturday for the prayer line and “minichurch” service. “It brings us closer. It bonds us,” said sister Anna… Continue reading →

Religion Bulletins for Aug. 9, 2014

Circuit Judge John Michael Guidry

Baton Rouge Saturday Life Choice (Pre-Cana): 9 a.m., Catholic Life Center, 1800 S. Acadian Thruway. Program is for engaged couples seeking to get married in the Catholic church and combines talks with personal reflection and couple dialogue. Day of Renewal: 9 a.m., Our Lady of Mercy Activity Center, 445 Marquette Ave. Catholic Charismatic Renewal… Continue reading →

Need a birth record from 1904? Try Kindle

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- An original hardcopy of the archived documents, left, and a newer soft copy version, in the archiving room at the Catholic Life Center, Thursday.

More than a century after Augustin Giroir and his wife, Elizabeth Montet, welcomed the first of their two sons named Augustin into the world, the birth record can be downloaded with a click of a computer mouse. Little Augustin Andre Edouard Giroir was born on Aug. 3, 1904 — most likely at home — in… Continue reading →

Homegrown leader finishes first year at Healing Place

Photo provided by Healing Place Church -- Pastor Mike Haman, of Healing Place Church, visits with church members before a weekend service at a local church campus. Haman became senior pastor of the large nondenominational church a year ago, following the resignation of the Rev. Dino Rizzo.

When Mike Haman was attending Louisiana College in Pineville 21 years ago, he’d come home to Baton Rouge on weekends to do what needed to be done at the newly established and very small Trinity Christian Center. Now, Haman, 40, is the senior pastor of what that little church has grown into — Healing Place Church,… Continue reading →

Religion Bulletins for Aug. 2, 2014

Circuit Judge John Michael Guidry

Baker Sunday I Can, Gifted & Blessed: 9:15 a.m., Wayside Christian Fellowship, 201 Sherron Ave. Free monthly showcase. Baton Rouge Saturday Youth Taking Jesus Back-to-School Workshop: 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church, 9700 Scenic Highway. Herman Brister, associate superintendent for student support services at East Baton Rouge Parish school system,… Continue reading →

‘Spirituality & Sexuality’ discussions set for Broadmoor church

Broadmoor United Methodist Church is kicking off a three-week conversation titled “Spirituality & Sexuality” on Sunday, Aug. 10. This series will cover a variety of issues related to human sexuality, including the sexualization of children, human trafficking, homosexuality and various viewpoints within the United Methodist Church regarding these issues, according to a news release. “Spirituality… Continue reading →

Religion Bulletins for July 26, 2014

Rev. Fred Jeff Smith

Baker Sunday Homecoming Worship Service: 11 a.m., Shady Grove First Missionary Baptist Church, 16443 Plank Road. The Rev. Robert Lee Chandler Jr., associate minister of St. Matthews Missionary Baptist Church in New Orleans, will speak. Monday-Friday Vacation Bible School: 6:30-8:30 p.m., Rock Zion Baptist Church, 1768 Alabama St. Theme is “Building Disciples for Christ.” All… Continue reading →

Religion Bulletins for July 19, 2014

PRAY St Paul center story, photo by mark h hunter, This sign in the entry of St. Paul Adult Learning Center welcomes students who want to learn how to read and write and solve math problems.

Baker Saturday Nursing home visit: 10 a.m., North Ridge Community Nursing Home, 3612 Baker Blvd. The First Love Missionary Baptist Church Nursing Home Ministry will visit the home. The Rev. Frank Rideau Jr. and Elder Maxine Williams will speak. Baton Rouge Saturday Building Healthy Communities Health… Continue reading →

Facets of Faith: What about hell?

What do you think of hell? Is it a real place — perhaps a fiery pit or lake? Are there levels of hell? Is it eternal separation from God? Is purgatory real? Can one work his or her way from hell to heaven? All of these views can be found… Continue reading →

Local volunteers shot award-winning project in Baton Rouge

Advocate photo by MARK H. HUNTER -- Brock Kaufman and David Coleman Mills, from left, show off two of the nine awards 'My Choice is Clear' earned at the Louisiana Independent Filmakers Awards Benefit. Kaufman took top actor honors and the film won Best Faith-based film and the audience choice award.

A few miles south of Baton Rouge along the side of Interstate 10, a homemade, white cross adorned with red hearts, plastic flowers and photographs reminds passing motorists of a fatal accident. What’s the story behind that cross? And what if that terrible situation and other tragedies could be divinely altered so they never happened?… Continue reading →

Religion Bulletins for July 12, 2014

Cathy Moffitt

Albany Friday Divorce Workshop: 6-9 p.m., St. Margaret’s Catholic Church, 30300 Catholic Hall Road. “Return to Life,” a four-part series to help those who have been or are going through a divorce. Marianne Skrobiak, the series developer, will administer a Day of Healing on the last day. Cost is $50, which includes all materials and lunch. For… Continue reading →

Churches partner to improve lives in north Baton Rouge

Advocate photo by MARK H. HUNTER -- The Rev. Donald R. Hunter Sr., pastor of New Beginning Baptist Church in north Baton Rouge, watches a crew from Premier South Roofing finish installing a new steel roof on his church. The project was funded through a partnership with The Chapel near LSU, which dedicated its Easter Sunday offering to New Beginning and several other local projects.

The roof of New Beginning Baptist Church needed repairs, but the small congregation couldn’t afford to fix it. The roof of Glynnitra Ellzey’s house on Oaklon Avenue sagged in spots, but she didn’t have the money to repair it, and she said her insurance company wouldn’t pay for it. Down the street and… Continue reading →

Religion Bulletins for July 5, 2014

Cathy Moffitt

Baton Rouge Saturday International 78th Anniversary/Homecoming: 9:15 a.m., Berean Seventh-Day Adventist Worship Center, 4555 Fairfields Ave. Theme is “Eyes on the Prize for Christ Jesus.” It begins with Bible study, followed by an 11 a.m. service featuring Pastor Helvius Thompson as speaker and a fellowship dinner in the Wellness Center, 5100 Osborne Ave. HopeKeepers of Baton Rouge-Chronic… Continue reading →

Summer Sounds returns for St. James Concert Series

The St. James Center for Spiritual Formation is bringing back its popular Summer Sounds at St. James series of musical concerts for a fifth year. Concerts are scheduled at 7 p.m. each Wednesday in July at St. James Episcopal Church, at the corner of Convention and North Fourth streets in downtown Baton Rouge. Admission is $10;… Continue reading →

Religion Bulletins for June 28, 2014

Pastor Shannon J. Warner

Baton Rouge Saturday Evangelistic Rally: 8 a.m., Magnolia Baptist Church, 960 E. Buchanan St. Rally begins with class for all ages, followed by a trip to the streets of south Baton Rouge to speak to those lost and/or unchurched. They will be invited to Magnolia where Pastor J. Bertell Davis will speak. Dinner, prayer, singing and counseling… Continue reading →

Faith Matters: Club seeks literature that inspires faith

The Seekers Book Club seeks more than just a book to read. The organization deals with books that inspire and often lead to discussions of faith and seeking a better relationship with God. “God is the center of what happens here,” club member Regina Roberston said. “The books are all inspirational books that are selected and… Continue reading →

Facets of Faith: Jesus’ tomb sacred site

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Inside the Holy Sepulchre in the walled city of 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 first in an occasional series of photos from Feig’s journey.… Continue reading →

Religion Bulletins for June 21, 2014

Photo provided by TASHA HICKERSON -- Anniversary celebration -- The Voices of Distinction will celebrate their 14th anniversary at 6 p.m. Sunday at Promised Land Baptist Church, 7234 Plank Road. Scheduled guests include The Eternal Light Gospel Singers, of Arkansas; the Williams Family, of Baton Rouge; Light House Senior Gospel Singers and the Crown Seekers. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children at the door. Doors open at 5 p.m.

Baker Monday-Friday vacation bible school: 6-8 p.m., Shady Grove First Missionary Baptist Church, 16443 Plank Road. Classes for all ages. Baton Rouge Saturday Gospel Fest: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., ACTS Outreach Ministries, 6892 Hooper Road. Gospel music, food and entertainment. Free. (225) 246-0374. Life Choice (Pre-Cana): 9 a.m., Catholic Life Center, 1800… Continue reading →

St. John Bible Institute graduation set Sunday

St. John Bible Institute will hold its 2014 commencement at 6 p.m. Sunday. The event will be held at St. John Baptist Church, 820 Rafe Meyer Road. The speaker for the event will be the Rev. David Jones, pastor of St. John Baptist Church in Jeanerette. SJBI is accredited by the Association of Independent Christian Colleges… Continue reading →

Faith Matters: Glorifying God despite debilitating disease

Clydette Rispone.

The familiar voice that for so many years allowed Clydette Rispone to pray and speak blessings and encouragement over her family, students and others has been silenced. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, also has robbed the 54-year-old Greenwell Springs woman of her ability to walk or eat. ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects… Continue reading →

Religion Bulletins for June 14, 2014

Charlie Granger

Baker Saturday Health Fair: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Shady Grove First Missionary Baptist Church, 16443 Plank Road. Free eye exams, cholesterol and glucose testing, STD and hepatitis testing, blood drive and blood pressure checks. Children’s activities include fatal vision goggles, book mobile, free ID badges, fingerprinting, gun safety and Home Depot will do woodworking. A… Continue reading →

Gwendolyn Honore to release ‘Wives’

Local award-winning author Gwendolyn Perry Honore, will release her most recent book “Wise Wives Don’t Run” at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, June 21, at the Renaissance Hotel. Honore’s book is a guide to help maintain healthy relationships whether married or single. The book consists of testimonies contributed by different women from various walks of life who share… Continue reading →

4 honored for work in human relations

Photo provided by THELMA DEAMER -- Patrice Melnick, Tony Pryer and Professor Patt Foster Roberson, from left, accept their honors from the The Louisiana Council on Human Relations and the Baton Rouge Council on Human Relations in a June 7 program.

The Louisiana Council on Human Relations and the Baton Rouge Council on Human Relations presented awards to four individuals who have worked to improve human relations in Louisiana at their joint meeting on June 7. The Louisiana Council honored Patrice Melnick and Gloria Trahan Linton with the Oliver-Sigur Humanitarian Award, and the Baton Rouge Council… Continue reading →

Guidry set to speak at Boys to Men Banquet


Judge John Michael Guidry will be the keynote speaker for the Louisiana Missionary Baptist State Convention’s Laymen’s Department Boys to Men Banquet at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. The banquet will be held at Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church Family Life Center, 9700 Scenic Highway. For more information, call (225) 775-2740.… Continue reading →

Christian values guide youth theater group

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING --  Captain Crewe, played by Evan Chesney, dances with daughter Sara Crewe, played by Alyssa Rainey, as he says goodbye before sending her from Africa to London for school in the Christian Youth Theater's production of  'The Little Princess.'

A few minutes before the curtain would rise for the Christian Youth Theater’s performance of “A Little Princess,” many of the cast, crew and orchestra formed a circle, held hands and prayed. “We prayed for encouragement, and it was really helpful and brought us all together,” said Alyssa Rainey, 14, who played the lead role of… Continue reading →