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Across the Nation: Black-white dialogue, Thanksgiving made special and more quick takes

Across the Nation is our monthly rundown of news briefs, links and quotes from Churches of Christ across the U.S. Got an idea for this column? Email Bobby Ross Jr. at [email protected].

Featured photo (above)

Arkansas congregations — one black, one white — engage in dialogue, prayer: Members of two Little Rock, Ark.-area congregations pray during a joint Wednesday night assembly. The predominantly black Rose City Community Church of Christ in North Little Rock and the predominantly white Sylvan Hills Church of Christ in Sherwood came together for a night of dialogue and prayer, hosted by the Sylvan Hils church.  Rose City minister Thomas Jackson and Sylvan Hills minister Greg Clark responded to questions from the audience. The churches planned a later fellowship event at the Rose City church.


A beloved teacher: Not long after becoming a Christian in the early 1970s, Pearley Taylor began teaching Sunday school at the Wetzel Road Church of Christ in Liverpool, N.Y.  
At the time, Taylor was a young widow with eight children. She worked as a hospital housekeeper.
Four decades later, the church recently held a reception for Taylor as she retired from teaching in the church’s children’s program, elder and minister David Owens said.

Pearley Taylor, top left, with some of the children at the Wetzel Road church.

Quick takes


LAS VEGAS — “The Bible says the devil is real and a force in the world today.”

After a gunman killed 58 people at a country music festival Oct. 1, minister J.B. Myers made that point at the Bright Angel Church of Christ.

Myers’ sermon, titled “The Depths of Satan,” can be downloaded.


SAYRE — Thanksgiving will be extra special for the Valley Cities Church of Christ, which was launched three years ago by the Antioch Institute, a church-planting movement overseen by the Elmore Church of Christ in Alabama.

The congregation recently began raising funds for its own building.

“Hearts were warmed and souls encouraged.”

“Hearts were warmed and souls encouraged as one young man from the church in Camp Hill, Pa., set up a booth to sell candy and donated his earnings,” minister Arthur Barry said.

Later, the Flushing Church of Christ in New York made a large contribution to allow the congregation to buy a building outright and make some needed upgrades. “God has definitely had a hand in this,” Barry said.


OPAL — Zona Vig, a Church of Christ member in rural western South Dakota, was nominated for the state’s 2017 Ag Woman of the Year award.

Zona Vig

The Rapid City Journal quoted a family friend who called her “a gem in a wide open space of prairie land.”

The newspaper described Vig and her husband of 49 years, Dwayne, as an outstanding Christian ranch family. They have four daughters, a son and 17 grandchildren. Dwayne Vig preaches twices a month at the Prairie City Church of Christ.


HOUSTON — U.S. Rep. Ted Poe, a longtime member of the Bammel Church of Christ, won’t seek re-election next year.

Ted Poe

“Thanks to the good Lord, I’m in good health, but it’s time for the next step,” Poe, 69, said in a statement. “I am looking forward to spending more time in Texas, especially with my 12 grandkids who have all been born since I was first elected to Congress.”

The seven-term congressman recently battled leukemia. He’s one of two members of Churches of Christ in the U.S. House. U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie, a member of the Alvaton Church of Christ near Bowling Green, Ky., is the other.

Related: They are friends in Congress — and brothers in Christ

The church sign at the Three Rivers Church of Christ in South Texas.

THREE RIVERS — The Satanic Temple caused a stir in this rural South Texas community by posting a billboard that proclaims: “Our religion doesn’t believe in hitting children.”

The message takes aim at the local school board’s decision to reinstitute corporal punishment.

The Three Rivers Church of Christ responded with its own sign: “Satan doesn’t own all the signs in (Three Rivers) — don’t let him own you.”

“Our religion causes us to love our children, and therefore we discipline them,” minister Kevin Mackey told Religion News Service. “Now, that discipline doesn’t have to be spanking. But it also can be spanking.”

Stephen and Pam Willeford on a motorcycle ride in Sutherland Springs, Texas, before the shooting. The First Baptist Church can be seen in the background.

Quote of the month

“He doesn’t want to be thought of as a hero — but just kind of like the Good Samaritan, somebody who was willing to step up when it had to be done.” — John Wood, on his friend Stephen Willeford, who confronted and shot the gunman who killed 26 people at a Texas Baptist church. Read the full story.

Filed under: National Race

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