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Across the nation: Beauty queen, Bible teacher

HARTFORD, CONN. — Sheree Farrell, a member of the Southwest church, is the new Mrs. Connecticut. The first black woman to attain that honor, she will compete in the Mrs. America Pageant in Tucson, Ariz., this fall.
A Christian since 2001, she was baptized at the Reseda Boulevard church in Reseda, Calif.
The competition recognizes outstanding married women who juggle home, family, volunteerism and career. Farrell also serves on Illinois Sen. Barack Obama
SAN DIEGO — Youth Day 2007 at the 61st and Division church drew more than 200 participants. Workshop leaders at the recent youth rally included April and Justin Webster, Ashley O’Quinn, Ashley Parker, Abra Haynes and Diana Blackwell.
LEWISTON — The Lewiston church hosted a spaghetti dinner fund-raiser to help pay burial costs for a 3-year-old boy, the Morning Tribune reported. Dallas Jackson died from an accidental gunshot wound.
OLATHE — The slaying of a teenager abducted from a Target store parking lot in a nearby city prompted action by the 151st Street church.
The congregation hired a self-defense instructor to conduct a three-hour seminar and training session July 7 for women and girls of the church.
“While not advertised to the public, friends and relatives of members were encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to gain knowledge and skills that will make them a little safer,” minister Richard Wolfe said.
SWARTZ CREEK — Vacation Bible School at the Swartz Creek church drew a record attendance of 358, up from 285 last year, said Rich Wells, VBS director. The program featured the theme “It’s a Jungle Out There!” and focused on helping children make wise decisions.
“The auditorium activities were inviting with high emphasis on audience participation,” Wells said. “We even had a live, 12-foot python from a local zoo during the first night to enhance the lesson of Adam and Eve with the serpent.”
INTERNATIONAL FALLS — Ray and Shelley Wheeler, former missionaries to Albania, are working with a 3-year-old congregation in International Falls. It’s one of the northernmost Churches of Christ in the United States outside of Alaska.
The work in International Falls was started by Danny Jaekel and Pete Nuthak, who made a three-hour drive from Duluth for three years, Ray Wheeler said.
Larry and Della Scott from Del City, Okla., helped with a recent door-knocking campaign, along with several Christians from Minnesota, including Jaekel, Joel Solliday, Dickie Joe Turner, Tommy Carr, Dave May, Ricky May and Alex May.
CLOVIS — The 21st Street church has expanded its community outreach by working with the “Matt 25 Hope Center,” a community center based on the passage in Matthew 25 about taking care of those in need.
The congregation distributes food and clothing out of the center, member Dottie F. Hoxie said.
By working with other groups in town and encouraging non-church members to help, “we are afforded a wonderful opportunity to show Christ living in us and also to touch the lives of other volunteers,” Hoxie said.
RALEIGH — After fleeing its old location because of flooding, the South Central church has a new building — and a new 28-foot steeple. “This steeple is a culmination,” minister Michael Dublin told the News and Observer. “It is the end of a journey. We know a church is actually the people, but there should be something special about the building where they worship.”
DICKSON — The 116-year-old Walnut Street church recently completed a new, 1,500-seat auditorium.
The congregation pledged $2 million in advance for the construction, which includes classrooms and a chapel incorporating the pews, windows, ceiling tiles and original pulpit from the old auditorium, built in 1911, said Larry Snow, minister of involvement.
Members gave about $1.5 million by the recent dedication day.
“The new facilities accommodate recent growth as well as the congregational mission of seeking to manifest the spirit of Christ by saving the lost and serving mankind to the glory of God,” Snow said.
NASHVILLE — The Gospel Broadcasting Network sponsored “The Tabernacle Sermons Today” at the Ryman Auditorium from July 1-3. The idea was to present sermons from the same platform that N.B. Hardeman used in the 1920s and 1930s.
PLAINVIEW — The Ninth and Columbia church, a main instigator of the original Sunset School of Preaching, now Sunset International Bible Institute, celebrated its 100th anniversary July 14-15.
In recent years, the congregation has sought to look more like its changing community.
“We combined our Hispanic and Anglo brethren into one assembly, reaching out to everybody,” pulpit minister Colquitt Nash told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. “It’s beginning to work.”
SALT LAKE CITY — The Southside church’s children’s and adult Bible classes are taking a “Journey with Jesus” every Sunday.
In an effort to draw visitors, the congregation promoted the special study recently in the Salt Lake Tribune.

Filed under: National Staff Reports

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