Across the Nation, December 2015
MAYFIELD — Debt on a 4,000-square-foot educational annex that the Seven Oaks Church of Christ built in 2014 cost the congregation $1,000 a month in interest alone, minister Josh Ketchum said.
However, the church was “shocked and thrilled” when it recently learned it was the sole beneficiary of a trust worth $367,000, Ketchum said.
“We are able to completely retire our debt,” Ketchum said. “No more interest will have to be paid, freeing us to invest in more missions and ministries.”
Elizabeth Allene Morris, who died in 1998, had arranged for the church to receive the money after her half-sister, Estelle Seay, was taken care of. Seay, who had been a longtime Seven Oaks member, died in September.
SEWELL — As pizza delivery tips go, this one was a doozy.
On a recent Sunday, the Pitman Road Church of Christ extended what minister Dan Cooper described as “extravagant grace” on a Pizza Hut driver named Brandon.
“In keeping with the spirit of the Corinthian church, the church went above and beyond to extend grace because we were first extended grace,” Cooper said, citing 2 Corinthians 8:1-5.
The congregation gave Brandon a stack of cards 5 inches deep —including thank-you notes, gift cards and cash.
PROVIDENCE — After many months of planning and seed planting, The Feast: a Church of Christ officially launched Oct. 18.
Sixty-eight people attended the inaugural Sunday service, said Caleb Borchers, the lead church planter along with his wife, Fran.
“We have been blessed with a building we are leasing in our target neighborhood,” Borchers said. “We recently finished some renovations of that space, which added to the excitement of the day.”
For more information, see www.thefeastprovidence.org.
EL CAMPO — The El Campo Church of Christ, situated between Houston and Victoria in the Gulf Coast region, recently completed a building expansion that includes three new classrooms.
Also included in the expansion: space for the new Gulf Coast Christian Counseling center.
Licensed marriage and family therapist Jerry Heiderich will serve as the church’s family life minister and lead the counseling center. His hiring grew out of the church’s desire to find someone to teach a quality class each week, lead the life group ministry and start a counseling service.
“I just wanted to share our story and encourage others that small churches can pack a big punch for the kingdom,” preaching minister John McCord said.
MURRAY PARK — Salt Lake City’s alternative newspaper City Weekly honored the Murray Park Church of Christ for having the city’s best food pantry.
The church intervened in 2013 after a community agency shut down its food pantry and now feeds an estimated 9,000 people per month, minister Mike Wiist said.
“With five to seven volunteers, what is most striking about this pantry is its accessibility and the warmth of its welcome,” City Weekly wrote. “While some pantries put up red tape, particularly for those without papers, this pantry … is a reflection of the best in nonprofit service organizations that struggle with passion and commitment to put food on the tables of Utahns who otherwise would go hungry.”