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Builders work on the new fellowship hall for the Mount Vernon Church of Christ in Missouri.
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Across the Nation: A 75th anniversary, Ukrainian refugee welcome party 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 Audrey Jackson at [email protected]

Featured image (above): Builders work on the new fellowship hall for the Mount Vernon Church of Christ in Missouri.

The 6,000-square-foot addition to the church campus coincided with the Mount Vernon church’s 75th anniversary, which members plan to celebrate June 5 with a special Sunday service and potluck. 

The first members of the Mount Vernon congregation met in the Legion Hall on West Dallas Street in 1947. A year later, church member Emma Whaley purchased the land that the present-day building occupies. 


TENNESSEE

MEMPHIS — Joshua Henley, former youth minister for the Holladay Church of Christ in Tennessee, pleaded guilty recently to an eight-count federal indictment.

By pleading guilty, Henley admitted that he produced child sexual abuse material involving three minors, transported a minor interstate with the intent to engage in sexual activity with the minor, sent obscene videos and images to a minor, and possessed and transported child sexual abuse material, according to a news release from the court.


Related: Church of Christ minister charged with state, federal sex crimes against minors


The plea was entered in the Eastern Division of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee on May 16.

Henley was arrested in Tennessee on June 18, 2021, on state and federal charges. He had previously entered a not-guilty plea. At his Aug. 23 sentencing, Henley will receive a prison sentence of at least 15 years and could face a life sentence.

Read the full story.


MASSACHUSETTS

WEST SPRINGFIELD   The West Springfield Church of Christ is welcoming more than 100 Ukrainian refugees who have been resettled in the surrounding Massachusetts area by hosting FriendSpeak 2021, a free conversational English course with trained facilitators, throughout the year. 

The West Springfield Church of Christ welcomes Ukrainian refugees with a party.

The West Springfield Church of Christ welcomes Ukrainian refugees with a party.

Participants receive one-on-one lessons in 45-minute sessions, allowing refugees to build a foundation of English. 

“There are a lot in the area that felt like this was a great need,” Gareth Flanary, minister of the West Springfield church, told news station WWLP.


Newsmakers:

HIRED: Hunter Kennamer as the Woodson Chapel Church of Christ youth minister in Nashville, Tenn. Rob Berghorst as a minister for the Calhoun Church of Christ in Georgia. Aaron Hill as minister for the Mineral Springs Church of Christ in Arkansas. Caleb Colley as the preaching minister for the North Jackson Church of Christ in Jackson, Tenn.

APPOINTED: Mark Crews, Dr. Swaid Swaid and Mark Weeks to the Harding University board of trustees in Searcy, Ark. Their addition raises the number of trustees serving as Harding’s governing body to 23 men and women. 

HONORED: Fred Gray, a former minister and lifetime member of the Churches of Christ, by the University of Alabama School of Law with an honorary doctorate for his civil rights work.

RETIRED: Richard Gibson from the Harding University board of trustees after serving 54 years. Cliff Craig from serving as minister for the Northridge Church of Christ in Shawnee, Okla., after 28 years.

From left to right: Robbie Dunning, Lads to Leaders scholarship administrator for Harding University in Searcy, Ark., Makayela Rollins and her mother, Heather. Rollins was the recipient of a $16,000 L2L scholarship to attend Harding University.

From left to right: Robbie Dunning, Lads to Leaders scholarship administrator for Harding University in Searcy, Ark., Makayela Rollins and her mother, Heather. Rollins was the recipient of a $16,000 L2L scholarship to attend Harding University.


Quote of the month

“In the midst of ‘Sin City’ dwells a group of Christians who will not be denied their crown or cause their labor to be in vain,” said Leo Gay, minister for the North Las Vegas Church of Christ during the inaugural Lads to Leaders convention in Nevada. “Yes, they are truly ‘more than conquerors.’”

Read the full story on the inaugural convention that brought together Christians from Arizona, California and Nevada.

Filed under: 75th anniversary Across the Nation churches and sexual abuse Churches of Christ and sexual abuse National News Newsmakers Top Stories Ukrainian refugees

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