(405) 425-5070
Sammie Berry presents the Living Legend Award to James O. Maxwell.
Photo provided by James A. Maxwell

Across the Nation: A living legend, new leadership 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): Sammie Berry presents the Living Legend Award to James O. Maxwell in Dallas, Texas.

Maxwell, longtime minister and administrator at Southwestern Christian College, was honored with the Living Legend Award. Dallas-area preachers and church leaders presented the award during a recent citywide lectureship.

The Cedar Crest Church of Christ hosted the event. Maxwell’s “imprint on the city of Dallas and the country will transcend generations to come,” Cedar Crest minister Jonathan W. Morrison said.

James A. Maxwell, the honoree’s son, preaches for the West End Church of Christ in Terrell, east of Dallas. He thanked “Dr. Maxwell’s sons in the Gospel and longtime friends” for honoring his father.

Related: A lover of Jesus and paperbacks: Remembering a faithful Christian


CUMBERLAND — Bruce Bates, Kairos Church Planting’s former coaching director, has succeeded Ron Clark as executive director as the Rhode Island-based organization looks for changes in fundraising and partnerships.

Clark had served in that role for four years before stepping down.

“Our long-term vision is to raise up a worldwide church planting movement out of the heart and fellowship of Churches of Christ.”

“Our long-term vision is to raise up a worldwide church planting movement out of the heart and fellowship of Churches of Christ,” Bates told The Christian Chronicle. “Going forward, kind of our three-year vision is that we see church planting happen through regional church planting hubs around the United States.”

Bates also serves on the board of directors for Love Lights the Way, a humanitarian ministry associated with Churches of Christ that works in Liberia, and shepherds The Feast Church in Providence, R.I., one of Kairos’ church plants. He previously preached for the Blackstone Valley Church of Christ in Cumberland, R.I. 


NASHVILLE — Carl Royster has been appointed as president and his wife, Carrie Royster, as vice president of 21st Century Christian. 

Mark McInteer, the publishing house’s owner and former president, praised the Roysters.

Carl and Carrie Royster at the 21st Century Christian bookstore in Nashville.

Carl and Carrie Royster at the 21st Century Christian bookstore in Nashville.

“Their combined 46 years of experience in Christian publishing makes them the perfect couple to continue the vision of promoting New Testament Christianity in the present age,” McInteer said.

Carl Royster joined 21st Century Christian while still a student at Lipscomb University in 1989. Carrie Royster began working with the publisher in 2011.

“It’s amazing to see what God can do,” Carl Royster said of the appointment. “It’s very humbling.”


CELEBRATED: Three Chopt Church of Christ in Richmond, Va., for 100 years as a congregation. Rusty Tugman for 21 years of service as minister for the Alameda Church of Christ in Norman, Okla. Matthew Morine for 15 years of service at the Castle Rock Church of Christ in Colorado.

HIRED: Michael Bush as communications and outreach minister for the Great Oaks Church of Christ in Memphis, Tenn. Bill Nocita as campus minister at the Church of Christ Care Community in Clinton Township, Mich. Nocita also serves as an elder of the Northeast Church of Christ in Eastpointe, Mich.

BAPTIZED: Braxton Brownrigg, David Saunders III and Lisa Saunders at the North Terrace Church of Christ in Zanesville, Ohio. Braxton Kupfner at the Grand Central Church of Christ in Vienna, W.V. Gerald Merriweather and Austin Wierenga at the Lakewood Church of Christ in Huntsville, Ala. Cade Lamb, Caitlin Lamb and Quinn Elliott at the Turkey Church of Christ in Texas. Katelyn Davis at the Linary Church of Christ in Crossville, Tenn. Marisa Smalls at the 20th Street Church of Christ in Saint Petersburg, Fla. Paisley Millraney at the South Pittsburg Church of Christ in Tennessee. Larry Graham at the Fordland Church of Christ in Missouri. 

Filed under: 21st Century Christian Across the Nation Churches of Christ Kairos Church Planting National News Newsmakers Top Stories

Don’t miss out on more stories like this.

Subscribe today to receive more inspiring articles like this one delivered straight to your inbox twice a month.

Did you enjoy this article?

Your donation helps us not only keep our quality of journalism high, but helps us continue to reach more people in the Churches of Christ community.

Personal Info

Dedicate this Donation

In Honor/Memory of Details

Card Notification Details

Credit Card Info
This is a secure SSL encrypted payment.
Billing Details

Donation Total: $3 One Time