The Briefing: Former SBC President’s church helping Syrian refugees resettle in U.S., 38% of Americans believe churches fuel racial tension

Lisa Misner —  December 15, 2015

The BriefingFormer SBC pres. church helping Syrian refugees resettle in Georgia

Bryant Wright, a former president of the Southern Baptist Convention and the pastor of Johnson Ferry Baptist, confirmed the church is helping resettle a Sunni Muslim Syrian refugee family that arrived in Georgia last week.  Wright said,“Knowing the United States was going to be taking on more Syrian refugees, we just wanted to be stepping up to minister with the love of Christ to these folks who have often lost everything.”

Suburban Chicago school to allow boy in girls’ locker room

A Palatine high school will allow a transgender student access to the girl’s locker room, under a contentious agreement reached Dec. 7 during an emergency school board meeting. The decision to comply with government demands for inclusivity comes after months of back and forth between school officials and the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights.

38% of Americans believe churches fuel racial tension

A recent Barna survey found a significant minority of Americans believe churches add fuel to the fire of racial animus; more than one-third say “Christian churches are part of the problem when it comes to racism” (38%). Millennials (ages 18 to 31) are most likely among the generations to agree (46%).

Wheaton College prof. wears hijab to show solidarity with Muslims

Larycia Hawkins, a Wheaton College professor announced she will be wearing a hijab (Muslim head scarf) throughout her celebration of the Advent as a way of showing solidarity with Muslims. The political science professor at the Wheaton, IL evangelical college, explained she will be wearing a hijab to work, class, and church.

Willow Creek gives Christmas gift packs to every prisoner Illinois

Willow Creek Church assembled 70,000 Christmas gift packs for every inmate incarcerated in Illinois. Last year, church members packed 32,000 care packages.

Sources: Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Baptist Press, Barna Research, Christian Post,

Lisa Misner


Lisa is IBSA Social Media/Public Policy Manager. A Missouri native, she earned a Master of Arts in Communications from the University of Illinois. Her writing has received awards from the Baptist Communicators Association and the Evangelical Press Association.