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2017 The year in quotes


“When I compare it to eternity, it’s really not that long at all.” — Lucinda Wilson, Texas inmate, serving a life sentence after being baptized and confessing to a murder. (May 2017) Find the full story HERE.

“Preaching was real good that day,” minister Joey Spann says with a smile as he reflects on the ordinary, peaceful worship assembly that preceded the chaos. (PHOTO BY BOB SMIETANA)

“If he had come walking up that sidewalk without that mask on — we’d have hugged him and asked, ‘Man, where have you been?'” — Joey Spann, minister for the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch, Tenn., on Emmanuel K. Samson, the suspect in the church shooting that claimed a member’s life. (November 2017) Find the full story HERE.

“I need to do this.” — Cassie Holder, on her decision to share her experience as a victim of sexual assault during her time at a Christian university. She was inspired by the #metoo movement. (December 2017) Find the full story HERE.

“Our heritage of being the little movement that makes a radical difference, founded on the blood of Christ, unites us no matter where we come from.” — John Lim, member of the Pasir Panjang Church of Christ in Singapore, studying at Harding University in Searcy, Ark. (August 2017) Find the full story HERE.

“We as a church should be striving to maintain the unity of the Holy Spirit. We know that as a result of the death of Jesus Christ, walls have been broken down — walls that once sparated men and women, Jews and Gentiles, slave and free.” — Edward Cribbs, minister for the Oakland Church of Christ in Southfield, Mich., on racial unity efforts 50 years after the 1967 Detroit riot. (September 2017) Find the full story HERE.

National Guardsman Gary Ciko checks buildings for snipers during the 1967 Detroit riot

National Guardsman Gary Ciko checks buildings for snipers during the 1967 Detroit riot

“It just broke me down to tears to see the church had been destroyed like that. But I knew God was going to bring it back.” — Troy James, minister for the rural Hanmaker Church of Christ in South Texas, a victim of flooding brought by Hurricane Harvey. (December 2017) Find the full story HERE.

“It’s the least we could do to try to help. God bless.” — Ted Bell, deacon of La Grange Church of Christ in Texas, talking to a flooding victim while distributing food and supplies after Hurricane Harvey. (October 2017) Find the full story HERE.

Deacon Ted Bell, wearing a Churches of Christ Disaster Relief Inc. T-shirt, visits with residents in a hard-hit area of La Grange, Texas. (PHOTO BY BOBBY ROSS JR.)

“I went through ups and downs, and they’d always accept me with open arms. They would never judge me or anything like that.” — Jordan Taylor, recovering heroin addict, on the support and salvation he found through Grand Strand Church of Christ in Surfside Beach, S.C. (September 2017) Find the full story HERE.

“The ladies I’ve met … just kind of blow me away. The spirit it takes to have the attitude they do when they come here is really incredible to me.” — Reda Hicks, member of the Memorial Church of Christ in Houston, on the refugee women who form microbusinesses through a nonprofit with which she serves. (March 2017) Find the full story HERE.

“This is a glimpse of the kingdom, that’s what it is. You see the upside-down kingdom in action because those often overlooked are given special honor.” — Chris Benjamin, minister for the West-Ark Church of Christ in Fort Smith, Ark., on the church hosting a “Night to Shine” party for special-needs individuals. (March 2017) Find the full story HERE.

“If God’s people don’t do anything, then we have to answer to God for that. Our salvation depends on our willingness to defend victims.” — Ron Clark, minister for the Agape Church of Christ in Portland, Ore., on the responsibility of churches to victims of sexual harassment and assault. (December 2017) Find the full story HERE.

“When the drug addicts got here, they taught the rest of us how to be honest.” — Mac Owen, former church elder, recovering addict and national director of Celebrate Recovery, on churches’ response to the U.S. opioid epidemic. (October 2017) Find the full story HERE.

Mac and Mary Owen address hundreds of Celebrate Recovery ministry coordinators during the program’s 2017 Summit at Saddleback Church in southern California.

“The families I have met through this ministry have meant more to me and touched my heart more than words can express. I may have signed up to help them, but God has used them to bless and help me more than they know.” — Natalie Reed, who volunteers with her Oklahoma church’s ministry for children with special needs. (April 2017) Find the full story HERE.

“I took it by mistake, of course. We had it delivered by the State Department back to the Brussels Church of Christ.” — U.S. Rep. Ted Poe, member of the Bammel Church of Christ in Houston, on accidentally taking a songbook from a worship assembly in Belgium. (February 2017) Find the full story HERE.

“There are no rice Christians! Just because there are a lot of benevolent activities going on in India, that does not mean people are going to change their religion for a bag of rice and then die for their faith. That doesn’t make any sense.” — Dr. Mani Pagidipalli, minister and surgeon in India, on the increasing persecution endured by Christians in his homeland. (September 2017) Find the full story HERE.

Christians from Colombia

Christians from Colombia

“No es una casualidad. Es una causa.” — Ingrid Espinoza, making a play on words, translated as, “It’s not a coincidence. It’s a cause,” as she describes the circumstances that led her and her husband, Fray, to the Church of Christ in Cúcuta, Colombia. The couple, from Venezuela, was suffering from their country’s harsh economy until they found the newly planted church, serving as a relief center. They studied the Bible and were among the church’s first baptisms. (June 2017) Find the full story HERE.

 

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