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Across the nation, April 2008


Hospitality Apartments: sweet rest for cancer patients
David and Addell Delony visit with Pao-Chiu Tsao, a patient at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and her sister from Taiwan. The Delonys, members of the West University church, are two of more than 100 volunteers who allow the Hospitality Apartments to function with no paid staff. The ministry, which offers free housing to out-of-town patients and their family members, recently opened a new, 46-unit residential facility near the Texas Medical Center. It cost $4 million.
ARIZONA
ANTHEM — It might be snowing elsewhere, but Arizona churches enjoy great weather — and record crowds — this time of year, Canyon minister Tom Riley said.
A group from his congregation called the Canyon Hikers meets every other month to explore the outdoors.
“We send out press releases … inviting any in the community to join in the fun,” Riley said. “Some have become part of our church because of it.”
CALIFORNIA
FRESNO — The Woodward Park church has started a FriendSpeak ministry, coordinated by Gary and Linda Gearhart, former missionaries to China.
Through the stateside branch of Let’s Start Talking, Christians help non-English-speakers learn the language. Already, more than 60 immigrants attend, minister Jim Gardner said.
“In a city as multiethnic and multicultural as Fresno, our hope and dream is that God will use this ministry to
further expand the kingdom in Fresno and the central valley of California,” Gardner said.
LOS ANGELES — A joyful celebration of a cappella music rang through the Renaissance Montura Hotel recently. More than 200 attendees from a dozen states brought back a 22-year-old tradition of Southern California black congregations.
Dubbed “Sing-A-Rama II” and directed by Willie Norwood, minister of music at the Woodland Hills church, the program of workshops, fellowship and performances picked up where the last “Sing-A-Rama” in 1990 had left off, participant Ken Hougey said.
“We anticipate another great ‘Sing-A-Rama II’ next year as we honor men and women of Christ who have shown support for music ministry in the church of our Lord,” Norwood said.
YORBA LINDA — The Yorba Linda church held a candlelight vigil March 1 to provide the community a time for prayer, worship and healing after a man named Orland Cho killed his wife and three children and wounded his stepson before turning the gun on himself. The worst killings in Orange County since the 1970s happened less than a mile from the church, member Jennifer Mazo said.
GEORGIA
TUCKER — Thirty years ago, the Northlake church invited graduating Lipscomb University students to move to Atlanta to join in the church’s “mission and life together,” minister Carson Reed said.
Now, the congregation again invites graduates to participate in “Mission Atlanta.” Ministers and elders from the church recently traveled to Nashville, Tenn., to meet with Lipscomb students.
In a bulletin article, Reed urged members to do their part: “We need teachers, accountants, educators, business people and many others to say that they are willing to help a student locate a position.”
LOUISIANA
WEST MONROE — The White’s Ferry Road church, known for international ministries such as World Radio, AMEN and WFR Relief, celebrated its 50th anniversary March 2.
MISSISSIPPI
TUPELO — The West Main church could begin moving as early as July to make room for an unnamed retailer, the church leadership confirmed to the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal.
The 400-member church plans to sell its current 5.9 acres as it buys new property nearly twice that large to make room for growth, leaders said.
SOUTH CAROLINA
COLUMBIA — The 2008 South Carolina State Bible Bowl was hosted recently by the St. Andrews Road church.
Eighty-two teams from 21 congregations participated, including 44 adult teams, 21 teen teams and 17 pre-teen teams.
The adult and pre-teen winners came from the Essex Village church in Charleston. The winning teen team was from the Boiling Springs church.
TEXAS
HOUSTON — On a recent Saturday, members of the West Houston church ended a week of prayer and fasting with a special breakfast in the gym.
Then they had a devotional, picked up their “Servin’ the ’burbs” T-shirts and headed out in the community to do service projects, member Lyn Rudel said.
“We are saving the shirts and plan to do this again,” Rudel said.
KILGORE — The Chandler Street church marked its 30th anniversary recently with a homecoming.
The Sunday morning attendance of about 350 was nearly double the usual attendance, minister Chris Vidacovich said. Current and past ministers were the speakers: John Gardner, Kirk Eason, Lane Brown, Britt Davis, Daniel Morgan and Vidacovich.
WASHINGTON
SHELTON — A prison minister who asked church members to help him buy a wheelchair-accessible van has succeeded in raising about $20,000 to do so, said his wife, Marjorie Eldred.
The Christian Chronicle reported in January that Clio Eldred could not get his wheelchair out of his car by himself, which was limiting his access to some in the prisons where he teaches the gospel and music.
“If you donated to Clio’s need, or if you prayed, or if you passed the word on to someone else, thus making the need known, we owe you a debt of gratitude that we can never repay in this world,” Marjorie said in a March 2 e-mail.

Filed under: National Staff Reports

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