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Across the Nation: A church secretary’s surprise, a viral flash mob praising God 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)

At church’s 60th anniversary event, the prize is … a mimeograph machine?Laughter breaks out at the 60th anniversary celebration of the Northlake Church of Christ in Tucker, Ga., as church secretaries are honored.

The light moment came as secretary Betty Glenn was presented with the prize — a mimeograph machine.

The Northlake church was born in the summer of 1958 when the Druid Hills Church of Christ in Atlanta planted a satellite congregation in suburban Decatur, east of Atlanta.

“God has been using us now for six decades to do his work in this community and around the world,” said Joe Glenn, a charter member who also served as an elder and pulpit minister.

More photos from the anniversary:


A cappella singing flash mob goes viral: A Facebook video of worship leaders from Churches of Christ singing “Every Praise” at a Chick-fil-A in Madison, Tenn., has been viewed more than 13 million times.

CBS News, Fox News and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution are among the major news organizations that have covered the video posted by Chris Armstead, worship minister for the East Cobb Church of Christ in Marietta, Ga.


The video was made during Keith Lancaster’s Worship Leader Institute, conducted earlier this month at the Madison Church of Christ. Worship leaders from 18 states and six other countries — Australia, Brazil, Canada, England, Guatemala and South Africa — attended, said Shane Coffman, worship minister for the Memorial Drive Church of Christ in Tulsa, Okla.

Quick takes


PARAGOULD — In 1841, at the highest point of Greene County, Ark., James Monroe Hyde — barefooted and in overalls — began preaching.

Thus began the Pine Knott Church of Christ.

James Monroe Hyde was the first preacher.

James Monroe Hyde was the first preacher.

“That was 177 years ago, and Pine Knott is still going strong, and the descendants of James Hyde are still here,” church member Savannah Johns said of her great-great-great-great-grandfather.

The Pine Knott church is the fourth-oldest Church of Christ west of the Mississippi River that still meets every week, Johns said.

The congregation marked its recent anniversary with a homecoming celebration featuring a sermon by Jay Lyles, a great-great-great-grandson of Hyde.

“Jay talked about looking back and missing our family members who have passed on, but how we also need to look forward,” Johns said. “So here’s to the next 177 years and more!”


LOS ANGELES — The Southside Church of Christ recently honored minister Carl Baccus for 62 years of service — no, that’s not a typo — to the congregation.

Carl Baccus

Baccus obeyed the Gospel in 1948 at the Lawrence and Marder Church of Christ in Dallas. After high school, he came to California to attend Pepperdine University.

He placed membership with the Figeroa Church of Christ, where his father in the faith, R.N. Hogan, was the minister. Baccus served as an assistant minister at Figeroa for a few years.

In 1956, Hogan and the Figeroa leaders sent 19-year-old Baccus and a small group to minister to new converts near the Jordan Downs projects. The congregation quickly outgrew every building it occupied and became the Southside church.


EDMOND — Faith, meet fireworks.

The two mixed on the Fourth of July as the Edmond Church of Christ opened its parking lot and nearby Angel Park for the community to view the city’s Independence Day celebration.

Edmond Church of Christ volunteers offers snacks to community neighbors who came to watch the Oklahoma city's Fourth of July fireworks show.

Edmond Church of Christ volunteers offers snacks to community neighbors who came to watch the Oklahoma city’s Fourth of July fireworks show.

Dozens of church volunteers served snacks and bottles of water to neighbors who came to watch fireworks staged just across the street from the church building.

Preaching minister Randy Roper and deacon Jim Goodin said the congregation saw an opportunity to engage the community when the city’s fireworks moved closer to the church.

Residents of Edmond, Okla., watch fireworks from the church's property on the Fourth of July.

Residents of Edmond, Okla., watch fireworks from the church’s property on the Fourth of July.

“In our adult Bible classes, we are discussing the perceptions that many unchurched people have about the church,” Roper said. “Unfortunately, these perceptions are not always positive. The Fourth of July event is a small way for us to help shape our community’s perception of the Edmond Church of Christ.”

Goodin added: “Water and a snack and a parking lot may seem like a small thing. But I think it provides a real opportunity for our members to be visible and friendly and engage in some positive dialogue.”


NASHVILLE — The Granny White Church of Christ is getting a new name. As of Sept. 1, the congregation will be known as the Church of Christ in Green Hills.

The congregation began in 1903 when the Nashville Bible School moved to David Lipscomb’s farm, the site of what is now Lipscomb University.

When the present building was constructed in 1953, the name chosen was Church of Christ at 3805 Granny White Pike. Over the years, usage abbreviated the name most often to Granny White.

“Younger families with no knowledge of local history questioned the wisdom of such a name, even though it comes from the name of the road where the building is located,” elder Dennis Loyd said. “The elders decided to study the issue and address the membership about individual attitudes before making a decision.”


FORT WORTH — The West Freeway Church of Christ hosted the recent kickoff assembly for next summer’s Crusade for Christ, minister Britt Farmer said.

More than 240 Christians came together to worship God, West Freeway minister Britt Farmer said.

Fort Worth, Texas-area Christians sing at the Crusade for Christ kickoff assembly.

Fort Worth, Texas-area Christians sing at the Crusade for Christ kickoff assembly.

The Crusade for Christ will take place June 22-29, 2019, in Fort Worth.

Launched four decades ago in Chicago, the crusade occurs every two years. Each time, it draws hundreds of volunteers and leads to dozens of baptisms in a different major city.

Ray Coleman (top center, light blue shirt) with members of his family.

Quote of the month

“Every Sunday he would stand back there and open the doors and invite folks in, just a quiet man.” — minister Stanley J. Hubbard, recalling Indiana church member Ray Coleman, one of 17 victims of a duck boat tragedy outside Branson, Mo. Read the full story.

Filed under: Across the Nation National Top Stories

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