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Across the nation: Baptism, novel style

TUSCUMBIA, ALA. — Christian fiction novels always have frustrated 19-year-old Alexis Rhae Hester, she said, because “none of them seem to express the necessity of baptism.”
So, Hester wrote and self-published her own novel, Thief of the Gallows.
She said her novel, available at www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoblecom, “shows my deep-seeded Church of Christ beliefs, although it does not name any one denomination.”
The aspiring writer, a member of the Fox Trap church, works as a server at an Italian restaurant and saved money her senior year of high school to publish the novel.
For more information, see www.rhaebooks.com.

The Northside church is fighting a neighboring grocery store’s plans to sell alcohol, telling the city council it would “be a threat to the safety and peace of mind” of worshipers.
Petitions by members aim to gain a hearing before the Alabama Alcoholic Beverages Council and force a citywide vote to overturn Athens’ decision to become a “wet” city a few years ago.
“We’re just trying to stop it if we can,” minister Bud White said of the proposed alcohol sales at L&S Grocery, about 50 to 75 feet from the church.


Not every youth minister merits a mention on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno.
Then again, not every youth minister is named Michael Jackson.
Jackson — the youth/associate minister at the Winfield church — achieved a few seconds of fame when Leno mentioned him and his position in the “Headlines” portion of his show.
Now, Jackson is leaving the congregation to become a distance education librarian, director of Christian service and adjunct professor at Heritage Christian University in Florence, Ala. So far, Leno has not called to congratulate him.


After 30 hours without food, teens from the Lindberg Road church got relief — in a nice, hot meal, The Herald Bulletin reported. The youth group participated in a recent weekend famine to help raise money to fight hunger. The teens collected more than $2,000, the newspaper said.
Proceeds will benefit World Vision, a relief and development organization dedicated to fighting the causes of poverty.
“The motto is ‘starve hunger,’” youth minister Adam Hill said.


Five-month-old Ethan Powell has leukemia and needs a stem cell transplant to live. But a rare gene in his blood makes the odds of finding a good donor about one in 2 million, his parents said.
However, Ben and Becky Powell, members of the University church, said they see those odds not as an obstacle, but rather as a goal.
They hope to persuade 2 million people to be tested with a cheek swab to see if they are a potential match.
They also ask Christians worldwide to commit to pray for Ethan’s healing.
For more information, see www.ethanpowell.com.

A new church has been started in West Kennebunk, said Charles Cook, director of Focus Northeast/Northwest domestic missions program.
Richard Flow, who meets with his wife and about 10 others at the Southern Maine church, said members seek a family to move to West Kennebunk and work with the church. For more information, see www.sm-cc.org.


The Laurel church greeted thousands of visitors at the city’s annual Main Street Festival, which attracted a crowd estimated at as many as 100,000.
Members handed out copies of House to House, balloons and 2,500 flower seed packets imprinted with the church name, logo and service times. They also painted flowers, butterflies and othe designs on the faces of children, minister Michael Ray said.
“It’s a great way for us to raise the visibility of our congregation in an area where few people have even heard of the Churches of Christ,” Ray said. Last year, a dozen people visited the church after receiving an invitation at the festival.

About 50 men and women from 15 congregations attended the first Mid-Ohio Leadership Conference recently. Sponsored by Ohio Valley University in Vienna, W.Va., the conference was held at the Marysville church.
Marysville minister Tim Nowlin said he was pleased with the first-year attendance. The church hopes to make the conference an annual event.
“I think our churches in Ohio and throughout the region are struggling greatly with a lack of solid leadership,” Nowlin said. “I am hoping this conference will be one way to address those needs and to provide hope to hurting churches.”


A recent youth rally drew 110 children from all over Wyoming and northern Colorado, said Chris Crooks, an evangelist at the Great Falls, Mont., church.
Crooks, one of the teachers at the rally, said it was exciting to meet fellow Christians from Wyoming. “Wyoming is much like Montana in many ways,” he said. “The economy, the climate and the culture are all similar. Therefore, the churches tend to have a similar flavor.”


Ninth and Columbia church, Plainview, Texas. 100th year. Contact [email protected] or (806) 293-2616.

Filed under: National Staff Reports

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