Church of Christ News

Church of Christ News (149)

The Augusta Chronicle - Tired, hot, drenched-in-sweat youths from Churches of Christ across the Southeast pressed on through Tuesday afternoon’s heat to meet their goal of inviting 10,000 people to church.

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SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
Jackie Cook opens her door to Ariel Reynolds (left), 19, of Hattiesburg, Miss., and Siebert. Adults traveled with the teenagers as they visited homes in Columbia and Richmond counties.

More than 100 youths from churches in Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina and Georgia knocked on the doors of homes in Richmond and Columbia counties for up to six hours a day starting Saturday in a campaign they call Magnify Augusta.

At each, the kids, ranging in age from 11 to 18, invited people to a vacation Bible school, gospel meeting or Sunday church service.

“It’s the first time we’ve done anything like this,” said Jeremy Hinote, the youth minister at Central Church of Christ. “We do a lot of missions away. As a church, we go to Panama and other places. This is a way to minister to our own backyard.”

Hinote is one of a handful of adults who accompany the youths as they canvass the neighborhoods this week, offering brochures, in-home Bible studies and registration forms for a nondenominational Bible correspondence course.

“We’ve found that people are more receptive to the kids than the adults,” he said. “Someone is a lot more apt to open the door to them.”

As of Tuesday afternoon, the group had handed out nearly 10,000 of the 13,000 invitations they had printed.

“You really don’t realize how many doors you cover and how many people you’ve reached until they do a summary and add it all up at the end,” said Margan White, 18. He’s a member of Roebuck Parkway Church of Christ in Birmingham, Ala., which inspired Central’s Magnify campaign. The Alabama church has held a similar event of its own for 43 years and regularly sends youths to other cities across the country to assist with the ministry.

“My parents went on them. If you’re in the youth group, it’s one of those things you grow up watching the older kids doing,” he said.

On Tuesday afternoon, Kory Desjadon took a break from door knocking to participate in another aspect of the campaign: local service projects. Throughout the week, youths have volunteered at places such as the Golden Harvest Food Bank, Morningside Assisted Living of Evans and Brandon Wilde Retirement Community.

“I think it’s a good way to spread the Gospel. We want people to know there are people who care about them,” said Kory, 14, of Augusta. “We want people to know they are welcomed. I hope the church gets too big for this building. It would be a good problem to have.”

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PHOTO BY MURRAY EVANS Playing for a championship -       Miami Heat rookie Norris Cole, a lifelong Church of Christ member, poses for a photo during NBA Finals media day in Oklahoma City.

OKLAHOMA CITY - Miami Heat rookie guard Norris Cole has an opportunity afforded only a small percentage of basketball players – the chance to play in the NBA Finals.

The lifelong Church of Christ member has played in a reserve role this season for the Heat, who are in Oklahoma City this week to take on the Thunder in the Finals, which start Tuesday. After a second game in Oklahoma City on Thursday, the best-of-7 series will shift to Miami starting on Sunday.

Cole, who grew up in the Webster Street Church of Christ in Dayton, Ohio, and now attends the Miami Gardens Church of Christ in south Florida, said he’s tried to focus on spiritual matters as best he can as he deals with the often-hectic NBA schedule.

 

“It’s pretty tough, but any time we don’t have practice on a Sunday morning, or we don’t have a game or we’re not the road, I’m there (at Miami Gardens),” Cole told The Christian Chronicle on Monday.

When he misses services, Cole said, he gets a DVD of the sermon and watches it later.

 
Becky Poe remembers Cole, son of Norris and Diane Cole, participating in the annual Bible Bowls hosted by the Northridge Church of Christ, a Dayton congregation where her husband served as the minister.
 
"I recall his mother telling me at the Bible Bowl that she was very proud of him for his basketball, but she always taught him to 'seek first the kingdom of God,'" Becky Poe said in an e-mail to the Chronicle.
 
The younger Norris Cole helped Dayton Dunbar High School win a pair of Ohio state championships before playing for four seasons at Cleveland State University, where in 2009 he helped the Vikings reach the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1986. The Chicago Bulls drafted him last summer and traded him to the Minnesota Timberwolves, who traded him to the Heat.

He’s appeared in 15 of the Heat’s 18 playoff games through the first three rounds of the playoffs, averaging 1.4 points per game.

During the regular season, he played in 65 of Miami’s 66 games – tied for tops on the team – started twice and averaged 6.8 points per game.

Cortland Church Breaks Ground For New Building

CortlandChurchGroundBreakingYoungstown, Ohio - The congregation of Cortland Church of Christ cheered as leaders dug up the first piles of dirt on land where their new church home will sit.

"It took us quite a while to get to this point," said Elder Victor Rossi.

The church started more than ten years ago, but never opened an official building. Members would meet at each others homes for services. Over the last few years, the church has rented the Opera House in Cortland, but decided to step out on faith and build a brand new facility.

It's been great, because it has fulfilled our opportunity to worship and praise God," said Burdette Stewart. The church applied for a $70,000 dollar grant, but believes divine intervention played a part in what they actually received.

"When I got a call a year later, they said Mr. Rossi I want you to know that The Lasko Foundation has granted The Church of Christ a grant for $225,000," said Rossi.  "It was like wow!"

The new 42 by 80 feet building will be located on Hoagland Blackstub Road, and cost about $460,000.  Longtime members reached in their pockets to help raise the funds, and are excited this day has finally come to past.

"Because, I guess I've wanted to see this a lont time, and it's now going to be possible," said Stewart.

"It's gonna be a lot better because some of the older people can get in," said George Henderson.

Construction starts in the next couple weeks. Church leaders hope to be in before Christmas.

"So, it'll be quite a Christmas present for all the members," added Rossi.

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Church of Christ

The Church of Christ in Branson is located downtown at 307 Seventh St.

 While Church of Christ in Branson is expanding its stage, visitors shouldn’t expect a big band playing worship music Sunday mornings.

“We don’t have band,” said Tim Kidwell, church minister. “We don’t have a choir. Everybody sings. We don’t have rehearsed prayers. Everything is from the heart. Everything we do is from the Bible.”

Kidwell said he knows people will say “Times have changed.”

“But, God hasn’t changed,” Kidwell said. “His doctrine hasn’t changed.”

He explained that the Church of Christ is a simple New Testament body, leading men and women to an understanding of the plain Gospel of Christ and doesn’t exist to entertain people with instruments.

He said what people can expect when they attend a Sunday morning Bible class or worship service at the Church of Christ is a warm welcome and teaching that follows the New Testament.

“You can expect everything we say or do is because of what the Bible says,” Kidwell said holding one in his hand.

He said they take the Lord’s supper every week, just as the people of the church gives offerings the first day of every week.

The church also has a clothing room and food pantry for people in need, but it isn’t something they make a big deal about.

Kidwell said while they want to help take care of people physically, that isn’t their focus.

“Primarily, we want to help them spiritually,” he said.

Sunday Bible study begins each week at 9 a.m. with worship following at 10. Sunday evening services are at 5 and a mid-week Bible study is held every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.

Burleson Church of Christ’s new facility is located at 1150 N.W. John Jones Drive. Courtesy photo

 

The Cleburne Times-Review

 

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More than 1,400 people attended the inaugural service on Sunday.Courtesy photo/Burleson Church of Christ

“You are more than just guests,” Preacher Karl Jones told the more than 1,400 congregants attending the first service at the new building for Burleson Church of Christ on Sunday.

“You are our friends. You are our extended family. You are people that we love and who love us.”

Jones thanked the guests who joined members attending the inaugural service at the new building located at 1150 N.W. John Jones Drive. The building sits on 20 acres, allowing for future growth.

The 56,000-square-foot building, which had been a dream for members for many years, was constructed by the G.L. Barron Co. Inc.

“The Barron group have done just exactly what they told us they would do,” Jones said. “This is a company of the highest ethics who have been very straightforward and honest and who have built for us a beautiful, a functional and a wonderful church home.”

A groundbreaking was held March 20, 2011, which dignitaries attended, including Burleson Mayor Ken Shetter.

Shetter returned to the property on Sunday to celebrate with the congregation.

“As we opened the service in song I was inspired by your collective voices,” Shetter said. “On behalf of the 38,000 residents in Burleson, all of whom are apparently here this morning, I congratulate you on building this new church.

“How appropriate it is that in this, our city’s centennial year, as we celebrate our founding, which was made possible by a courageous, religious pioneer, Henry Renfro, your congregation, which is one of our city’s most historically significant, is living out its mission with such courage and with a pioneering spirit.”

The church also recognized the ministers, elders and their wives for their service over the past years.

“Sunday was an exciting day for our church family,” said Buster Williams, an elder at the church. “But, as exciting as it is for us to be in a more accommodating facility, we are even more excited about the ways we can use this building as a tool to reach out and meet the needs of our neighboring community.”

This is the fourth church facility over the 79-year history of the church.

“While our location has changed, we are still committed to ministries such as Thanksgiving food baskets, Stars of Hope [Christmas gifts], and the Burleson

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eson Church of Christ’s new facility is located at 1150 N.W. John Jones Drive.

Counseling Center, which the community has come to rely on for many years.”

On May 27, the church held its last Sunday service at 820 S.W. Wilshire, with 927 attending. A memories service was held May 30, as members reminisced about the building where many were baptized, married and raised their children.

“It does take courage to leave a home that holds sweet memories and the comfort of familiarity,” Shetter said. “I’m guessing that you didn’t get here without a little bit of turbulence at least.

“I thank you for your willingness as a congregation to accept the challenge of growing  with our community in a way that will allow you to meet the spiritual needs of our fellow citizens.”

Services begin at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, with Bible class at 10:45 p.m. Sunday night service begins at 5 p.m., with Bible class at 7 p.m. Wednesday. For information, call 817-295-2233 or visit www.btxcoc.com.

A March 2 tornado that ravaged the eastern Kentucky town of West Liberty caused major damage to a Church of Christ.

“Our congregation needs your prayers,” said Rusty Hutchinson, who leads singing for the West Liberty Church of Christ.

The scene in West Liberty, Ky., after the tornado. (Photo via WFPL News, www.wfpl.org)

West-Liberty-tornadoHutchinson’s late father, Charles, a longtime minister who died in 1996, oversaw the construction of the brick building, where the 40-member congregation had worshiped since 1968.

While the building’s walls remain standing, “the roof was damaged bad, and the inside was damaged bad,” said Rusty Hutchinson, 59. The church’s insurance coverage on the building will not be enough to rebuild, he said. For now, the congregation meets in members’ homes.

“It devastated the town,” Hutchison said of the tornado, which claimed a half-dozen lives in West Liberty. “There’s nothing left. .. We’d just request the prayers of everyone. Not just for the congregation here but for everyone who lost their homes.”

The home of Hutchinson’s mother, Reva, sustained severe damage. State police rescued her, but her family could not locate her for 24 hours after the storm, her son said.

“We’re just grateful nobody was seriously hurt or killed from the congregation,” he said. “It could have been worse — a lot worse. Prayer sure helps a lot.”

The Church of Christ was not the only church hit by the tornado. Methodist, Baptist, Church of God and Christian churches were struck as well, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.

To help with the rebuilding effort, send checks to the West Liberty Church of Christ, Attn.: Danny Clark, Treasurer, 111 Oakwood Lane, West Liberty, KY 41472. For more information, call Clark at (606) 743-1158.

from the Christian Chronicle Blog

osman[2]Ty Osman, an 18-year-old freshman at Harding University in Searcy, Ark., died March 3 from injuries he received in a multi-vehicle wreck the night before, TV station KARK reports.

The wreck happened on Interstate 30 near Hooks, Texas. Osman and five fellow Harding students were on their way to Fort Worth, Texas, in two vehicles. Osman was driving a truck with one passenger and the other four students were in a Jeep. Road construction and a wreck on the interstate had slowed traffic, Today’s THV reports.

A Dodge Charger rear-ended the Jeep. Osman stopped and got out of his truck to check on the students in the Jeep and the driver of the Charger.

Everyone was OK, so Osman headed back to his truck. That’s when a 2009 Chevy Silverado hit Osman’s truck, which struck Osman.

Osman was airlifted from the scene and received treatment at the Good Shepherd Medical Center in Longview, Texas.

Friends set up a Praying for Ty blog and posted updates. A post from Sunday, March 4, reads:

We regret to announce the passing of Ty Howard Osman II. He has succumbed to the severe injuries he sustained on 3/2/12. We celebrate, along with his family, the great gift of God he was to all who knew him. The family wishes to thank friends and loved ones for the ocean of prayers raised up on Ty’s behalf. Ty Sr., Nancy, Adair, and Kendall continue to covet your prayers as they negotiate the difficult days to come.

Before he graduated from Brentwood High School in Tennessee and left for Harding, Osman was an active member of the youth ministry Woodmont Hills Church of Christ in Nashville.

Keller Phillips, one of the Harding students who witnessed the accident, described Osman as someone who “really cared about the people around him,” the Tennessean reports.

Sunday services at the family’s church, Woodmont Hills Church of Christ, were emotional after Osman’s death was announced there. …

At Brentwood High, Ty ran the 300-meter hurdles and was a member of the 4×400-meter relay team. He helped the Bruins win Class AAA boys track and field team state titles in 2011, 2010 and 2008.

“It’s a loss for Brentwood High School. It’s a loss for Harding University simply because of the type of person that he is,” said BHS Athletic Director Ronnie Seigenthaler. “Because he is a recent graduate, several of the underclassmen knew him because he was so active and so involved in so many things.”

The family donated Ty’s organs and posted on Woodmont Hills Student Ministry Facebook page to pray for those who will be recipients in the next 48 hours. They also asked for prayers for the driver of the truck that hit Ty’s truck.

“We’re just out of tears,” said Keller Phillips, who will head back to Harding University with Burch next Monday. “It’s been tough.”

Read the full story.

See the Praying for Ty blog for funeral and memorial information.

p32 iphone 04121Not since the first days of the printing press has the Bible been so suddenly prolific.

In Johannes Gutenberg’s day, it was a wondrous thing to hold a single copy of the Bible. Readers today can enter a virtual library of Bible study tools with just a few clicks on a keyboard or taps on a touchscreen.

We asked our readers which electronic Bible study tools they use the most, and compiled their suggestions here. These are not reviews or recommendations — simply information about the tools our readers use that we hope you find useful in your quest to experience the living and active Word of God.

Free Resources

1. Olive Tree BibleReader: includes two Bible versions, Nave’s Topical Bible, and a handful of commentaries and dictionaries. Users can take notes and highlight texts, and then sync these between smartphone, e-reader and computer. Other resources can be purchased to add to the program. Free, download necessary, apps available

2. YouVersion:  This online Bible offers many different versions, with the ability to choose any two parallel. Users can also take notes, follow a reading plan and view the notes of other users. Free, no download necessary, apps available

3. E-Sword: This program allows users to view up to four translations at once. Like other software programs that cost, the user can customize the view so that translation, commentary, and other resources are all visible at once. Free, download necessary

4. Bible Gateway: With about 25 searchable English translations, three commentaries, and many audio translations available, this website offers a quick way to search the Word and switch between translations. Free, no download necessary, phone-friendly website available

5. Blue Letter Bible: This searchable Bible website has almost 20 translations, including Hebrew and Greek, and searchable Hebrew and Greek lexicons. It also has a rich library of charts, outlines, and articles. Free, no download necessary, apps available

6. Bible.is: this searchable Bible, formatted like a physical page, offers a clean format for reading, with audio options for most translations. The site offers a Twitter feed, Facebook page and podcasts. Users who register for free can make notes and highlights and sync between smartphone and computer. Free, no download necessary, apps available.

7. Bible Explorer: This free download is from the makers of WordSearch, and includes access to more than 200 resources: translations, commentaries, dictionaries, and even classic Christian literature. Free, download necessary

Resources that cost

8. WordSearch 8: the basic version of this software includes ten translations and 48 reference books. Larger libraries intended for preachers and teachers are available for a higher price. Individual electronic reference books can also be purchased through the site to be used with the basic program. iPad and iPhone apps are also available for free with the purchase of the software. Starts at $49.99, download necessary, apps available

9. Logos: Created with teachers in mind, this highly customizable software program has a clean, simple format and includes many infographics and maps.  There are eight packages to choose from. Apps are free, but if the user also has purchased software, the app is much more powerful and can be synced to the computer. Starts at $149.95, download necessary, apps available

10. Bibleworks: this software program focuses on the text, with more than 200 translations in 40 languages, many word study resources and reference works. It has a customizable interface and many options for searching. $359, group discounts available, CD-ROM necessary

Do you have a favorite Bible app or program? Please let us know by leaving a comment below.

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Storm victims touched by volunteers’ efforts

    Wayne Smith uses a chainsaw to chop up one of several trees that fell in the yard of Mount Branson resident Jay Reese, 84, while Reese’s daughters, Sue Smith and Marie Wilson, gather debris.

    The Rev. Tim Kidwell, pastor of the Branson Church of Christ, said he couldn’t help but smile when he saw more than 50 volunteers show up Saturday to help his church get back on its feet.

    “It just makes a guy show his teeth,” Kidwell said. “You smile, and you can’t stop smiling, seeing all these people, happy to be here to work.”

    The church itself sustained relatively minor damage, but the tornado left its property a tangled mess of fallen trees and limbs. About 10 of the volunteers were Kidwell’s own parishioners, while the rest came from other Churches of Christ across Missouri and Arkansas.

    “With the equipment and people they brought, they did in three hours what would have taken us a few weeks,” Kidwell said.

    He said the volunteers moved out into other parts of the tornado-hit community after cleaning up around the church.

    They weren’t alone. On nearby Maddux Street, Collin Suire, 13, and his parents, Gordon and Mellodie, were helping a stranger gather logs from his yard.

    “We live like a mile from where (the tornado) hit,” Gordon Suire said. “We feel like we were spared, and that’s why we’re helping others.

    Lisa Herchenroeder, a nursing professor at College of the Ozarks, got choked up Saturday as she watched dozens of volunteers cleaning up her yard and Hope Park, a mobile home park on Mount Branson she owns with her husband, Gary.

    “It feels like a miracle is happening,” she said. “I looked out here, and I thought this is two years worth of work. I just started praying, and people started showing up. If I have to be in an area where tragedy is going to strike, this is where I want to be.”

    Volunteers came from all over, including about 30 of her daughter’s classmates at Trinity Christian Academy, who came to pitch in Friday. The next day, another group of volunteers about 30 strong came from C of O.

    “We’re just helping out our own,”said Marvin Schoenecke, dean of administration.

    Both Gary and Lisa Herchenroeder work for C of O. A different group went to the home of another employee, Mike Smith, Saturday. His house off T Highway was reportedly in need of major repairs after the twister.

    Smith’s was one of as many as 200 homes in unincorporated Taney County affected by the tornado. Of that number, around 40 have been ruled “permanently uninhabitable” and must be razed, according to the Office of Emergency Management.

    “We’ll continue to be helping the community, going forward,” Schoenecke said. “But this weekend, we wanted to help our folks who are property owners get back on their feet.”

    Around 80 students and staff turned out for the volunteer effort, according to Schoenecke.

    The Herchenroeders’ house was hit hard by the tornado, sustaining massive damage to the roof and possible structural damage. All of the trailers in Hope Park were affected, and at least two will likely need to be demolished.

    The mobile home park wasn’t insured, but Lisa Herchenroeder said they hope to rebuild anyway.

    “Hope Park is a wonderful community,” she said. “It will take some time, but we will move forward as God provides a way.”

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