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Mary McNeill, children’s minister for the Central Church of Christ in Amarillo, Texas, hosts a discussion of church members’ favorite Vacation Bible School memories, including snacks.
Photo via facebook.com/amarillocentral

Across the Nation: ‘All-Church VBS,’ a car wreck that led to baptism and more quick takes

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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): Mary McNeill, children’s minister for the Central Church of Christ in Amarillo, Texas, hosts a discussion of church members’ favorite Vacation Bible School memories, including snacks. She also announced a new approach to this summer’s VBS.

“We know that, statistically speaking, children and adolescents have a greater likelihood of sticking with their faith if they have mentors outside their family,” members posted on social media. “Enter ‘All-Church VBS.’ We’re doing things differently this year, and this is on purpose — to create space for those faith-building relationships to take place among all generations.”

Hear the discussion on the Central Church of Christ podcast, available at amarillocentral.org/media.

Related: VBS is one big drama


Sometimes opportunity knocks. Occasionally it comes as a head-on collision.

Mike Aldrich, a deacon of the West Broward Church of Christ in Plantation, Fla., and his wife, Julie, were driving home when they were involved in a car accident with Craig Washington and his fianceé, Anna.

The newly wed, newly baptized Washingtons.

No one suffered major injuries. A police service aide arrived to write a report. As they waited, Aldrich noticed Washington nervously pacing around his car.

The engaged couple was headed to the courthouse to marry, Washington said, and Aldrich feared his now-damaged car couldn’t make the hour-and-a-half trip to Naples, Fla. They were going to be late for their own wedding.

Mike Aldrich prayed with the couple and offered to drive them to the courthouse in Naples.

The service aide told them that she had worked in her job 20 years. In that time, she had seen many situations when the two parties were ready to fight each other. But she had never before seen them pray together on the side of the road.

Julie Aldrich gave the couple her number and invited them to church. Three weeks later, the newly married couple visited West Broward. They studied with church members for a month and were baptized.


CAMPAIGN — The Campaign Church of Christ is serving the Lord — 100 years after its founding.

The congregation recently celebrated its centennial with a full-day worship service. Together, current and former members packed into the church building to sing praises to God, thank him for the years they’ve served the community as a church and fellowship over a meal.

Jason Gann, minister for the Campaign church, spoke on “pressing into the future toward heaven.” The baptism of a new Christian at the service made the celebration even more special.

The Campaign Church of Christ building.

The Campaign Church of Christ building.

“We thank God for the 100 years in which he has blessed our congregation and for those who have gone before us standing for the Lord,” Gann told the Southern Standard. “It is our prayer and hope that as long as this earth stands, the Campaign Church of Christ will be a city set upon a hill in this area and world.”

The church first began meeting in 1923 in a brush arbor before moving into a store when the weather became too cold to meet outside.

Church leaders purchased the congregations’ current building in 1973, adding a fellowship hall 10 years later and a steeple in 2017.


MARTINSBURG — The Vanville Church of Christ has begun holding services at the Berkeley County Youth Fair after a fire in March severely damaged its fellowship building.

Dan Nicksich, minister for the Vanville church, said the congregation has seen an outpouring of support.

“We’ve had over $30,000 in donations come in, some from churches, some from individuals, so there’s been a great community response,” Nicksich said on WEPM radio.

But the fire didn’t extinguish the congregation’s faith.

“Our perspective is, ‘It is just a building,’” Nicksich explained. “‘The church is the people.’”

Related: New Jersey church loses building in fire


HIRED: Tyler Yeager as the college and career minister for the Oldham Lane Church of Christ in Abilene, Texas. Cameron Freeman as minister for the Clarke County Church of Christ in Athens, Ga. Reed Swindle as pulpit minister for the Waterview Church of Christ in Richardson, Texas. Dirk Nelson as the founding dean of the College of Health and Behavioral Sciences and Charla Miertschin as the founding dean of the College of Science and Engineering for Abilene Christian University in Texas. Kolby Tackett as the head football coach for Mount Dora Christian Academy in Florida. Levi Huddleston as the worship and university coordinator for the Downtown Church of Christ in Searcy, Ark.

ELECTED: Dick Cowart as chair of the Lipscomb University board of trustees in Nashville, Tenn.

BAPTIZED: Fred Songer, Hayden Johnson and Grayson Johnson at the Kanawha City Church of Christ in Charleston, W. Va. Ryan Hall at the Washington Avenue Church of Christ in Evansville, Ind. Kelsey Rivard at the Northwest Church of Christ in Fort Worth, Texas. Ashtyn Claire Brown at the South Gate Church of Christ in Columbia, Tenn. Debbie Pyfrom at the Central Church of Christ in Paducah, Ky. Jack Johnson at the Buford Church of Christ in Georgia. Macy Buck at the Fishers Church of Christ in Indiana.

Filed under: Across the Nation Centennial celebration Church building damage National News Newsmakers Top Stories Vacation Bible School VBS

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