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Biblical battle of Nineveh | Photo provided by Danny Helms

Across the Nation: Bible scenes painter, Minneapolis preacher honor, COVID-19 sermons 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 Bobby Ross Jr. at [email protected].

Featured photo (above)

Minister’s paintings depict Old Testament: Danny Helms aims to help people understand that the people of the Old Testament were real.

Danny Helms

Danny Helms

To do that, he produced 39 oil paintings, each inspired by the books from Genesis through Malachi. His exhibit, titled “Led by the Spirit,” is on display through Sept. 30 at the 1894 Gallery in Texarkana, Ark.

“It has taken a little over a year, about 1,500 hours,” Helms, associate minister for the Arkansas Boulevard Church of Christ, told the Texarkana Gazette. “I can paint when I want to, so sometimes I would paint 10 hours a day; sometimes I might do a little one and get it done fast. There are several large paintings. They’re all oil paintings … on canvas.

“Some of the subjects are very familiar that people grew up with as kids, like Daniel and the Lion’s Den,” he added. “But other things are unusual … like the Siege of Nineveh is a big battle scene.”

This oil painting by Danny Helms depicts a story from the Book of Isaiah. It’s titled “And a Little Child Shall Lead Them.”

This oil painting by Danny Helms depicts a story from the Book of Isaiah. It’s titled “And a Little Child Shall Lead Them.”


Mayor Jacob Frey proclaimed Aug. 9 as “Dr. Russell A. Pointer Sr. Day” in Minnesota’s largest city, recognizing the senior minister for the Minneapolis Central Church of Christ.

The Minneapolis mayor’s proclamation cited Pointer’s 44 years of preaching the Gospel, the last 10 years in Minneapolis. Pointer’s service with the Harrison neighborhood, the Hennepin County sheriff’s African American/Social Religious Leadership Council, the Minnesota Council of Churches and The Bridge of Reconciliation also were cited.

“Pointer and the Minneapolis Central Church collaborates with the Food Group of Minnesota providing 7,500 pounds of food to families twice a week on Tuesdays and Saturdays,” Frey noted. “This ‘Man of God,’ Dr. Russell A. Pointer Sr., has taken the Church and Community beyond the realm by providing a vision to evangelize, embrace, encourage, equip, empower and exalt the people of God.”

Quick takes


SURPRISE — The coronavirus pandemic forced the Surprise Church of Christ to stop meeting in person, but it didn’t keep the congregation from serving its community.

“At a time when so many feel lost because of a pandemic, the Lord’s church sees a need to be met.”

“Behind the scenes, a group of ladies have set up calling each member to check for needs, whether it be physical or spiritual,” church secretary Vicki Fausett said.

Other ladies formed a sewing circle to provide masks when there was a shortage. They made hundreds of masks for the Navajo Nation, a local rehab center and a food bank.

“At a time when so many feel lost because of a pandemic, the Lord’s church sees a need to be met,” Fausett said.


COLORADO SPRINGS — What would Jesus say about the coronavirus?

Eddie White, minister for the Eastside Church of Christ, believes the Lord and his early followers have much to say to Christians experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020.

White’s sermon series on the topic was the focus of a recent feature by the Colorado Springs Gazette’s David Ramsey, an alumnus of Abilene Christian University in Texas.


BROWNSBURG — Forced to cancel its Vacation Bible School because of the COVID-19 shutdown, the Brownsburg Church of Christ tried a creative approach.

Instead of its regular four-day, in-person VBS, the elders asked member Ron Milliner to develop a four-week online study on Noah and the flood. Milliner is a retired instructional technologist.

Families will be “looking at videos, reading and discussing materials … as well as engaging in various outside projects,” Milliner said. “Good can come out of adversity.”


CLAY COUNTY — The Hermitage Springs Church of Christ, which started in 1840, celebrated “180 Years Together” on a recent Sunday.

The anniversary gathering featured worship, a fellowship lunch, the rededication of the original church bell and the dedication of a new electronic carillon bell system that plays throughout the day.

A little log church house was first built on the current grounds.

Young and old alike helped the Hermitage Springs Church of Christ celebrate 180 years.

Young and old alike helped the Hermitage Springs Church of Christ celebrate 180 years.

ENGLEWOOD — The Liberty Hill Church of Christ in McMinn County is celebrating its bicentennial.

One of the nation’s oldest Churches of Christ, the congregation had a special service recently to mark the milestone, although the coronavirus pandemic kept attendance down.

Church member Joe Guy, McMinn County historian and sheriff, gave a presentation on the church’s history.

Dwane Casteel, associate director of Churches of Christ Disaster Relief Effort, was among those present.

His great-great-great grandfather, Barney Casteel, was the first preacher for the congregation, which traces its roots to 1820. His father, Hayse Casteel, did fill-in preaching there in the 1950s.

“I preached my first sermon there in the 1950s,” Dwane Casteel said. “I held gospel meetings there during the 1960s and 1970s. In the ‘new’ cemetery behind the present church building, my uncle Kenneth Casteel was the first person buried there in 1948. … You can begin to see why this church means so much to me.”

Minister and lawmaker John DeBerry Jr. speaks at a Polishing the Pulpit event in 2017.

Quote of the month

“I tell people all the time when they talk to me: It’s not about the elephant. It’s not about the donkey. It’s about the Lamb.” — Tennessee state Rep. John DeBerry Jr., on whether opposition to abortion is a Republican stand. Read the full story.

Filed under: artist church anniversaries Minneapolis National Old Testament painting Top Stories

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