Across the nation, February-March 2010
SAN FRANCISCO — The Golden Gate church recently hosted the second quarterly ACAPINOY — an a cappella singing of favorite hymns and Gospel songs in English, Spanish and major Philippine dialects such as Tagalog, Ilokano, Pangasinan and Cebuano.
LAFAYETTE — Seth Mullen became an Eagle Scout, the Boy Scouts of America’s highest rank, in a recent ceremony at the Elmwood Church of Christ, his family’s home congregation.
He earned the honor in spite of needing a wheelchair because of severe cerebral palsy, the Journal and Courier reported.
To complete his Eagle Scout project, Mullen, who is nonverbal, organized volunteers to scrape and seal 31 picnic benches at the Indiana Veterans’ Home in West Lafayette.
DISTRICT HEIGHTS — Two years ago, four women at the District Heights church embarked upon a journey to improve their health — and incorporate God in the process.
A year later, the Faithfully Fit ministry was opened to the rest of the congregation, said Tabatha Akins, one of the organizers.
“Today, the ministry has expanded, with other congregations in the area modeling similar ministries that incorporate practical health knowledge with the wisdom found in the Scriptures,” Akins said.
LIVONIA — In his 36 years as a church elder, Hayward Burton chaired a missions committee, performed 13 weddings and a dozen funerals and taught numerous Bible classes.
His wife, Sandra, created a neighborhood Bible study program, taught Sunday school for 40 years and started a weekly chicken soup ministry for hospice patients.
Together, they visited missions overseas, welcomed missionaries into their home and cared for foster children in addition to their own five youngsters, the Livonia Observer reported.
The Livonia church, the couple’s home congregation, recently celebrated the Burtons’ service and commitment to the church with a special dinner and program.
“It takes a love of God and his people, not just church people, but people in our community,” minister Larry Stephens told the newspaper. “I’ve known them for 34 years myself, but they have been very special people to a lot of people. They had been involved 36 years, and we felt that kind of longevity needed to be honored.”
KIRKSVILLE — The Kirksville church helps smokers kick the habit. The church’s “Cold Turkey” program offers free events, literature, support and vouchers for nicotine patches, KTVO reported.
“I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of Sojourner Truth. She was an abolitionist some years ago, and she also smoked a pipe, and someone asked her, ‘How do you expect to get to heaven with smoker’s breath?’ She paused, reflected and said, ‘Well, I expect when I get to heaven, I’ll leave my breath behind,” elder Barry Poyner told the television station.
“And so we’ve kind of approached it from that angle, that we all have problems, and smoking is one of those for some of us.”
ABILENE — Through a program called Proof of Love, the Oldham Lane church hopes to provide preaching and teaching materials to congregations that either have no minister or need additional help.
The Oldham Lane church is offering to help these congregations by providing, free of charge, DVDs of sermons and classes to satisfy their need for biblical preaching and teaching.
“In addition to the DVDs, we will also travel to the various participating congregations to conduct Gospel meetings,” pulpit minister Chris McCurley said. “Our teens will also choose to conduct a Vacation Bible School for one of the congregations each year.”
For more information, call (325) 695-0055 or e-mail [email protected] or [email protected].
PUYALLUP — The Renovo church celebrated 20 baptisms in 2009, lead church planter Scott Christensen reported.
The congregation is associated with Kairos, a church-planting ministry based in Portland, Ore.
“What makes this number so strong is that they launched in October 2008,” said Stan Granberg, Kairos executive director. “They began with 12 people on their seed team, had 50 on their launch team and averaged 79 in 2008 after their launch.
“Now … they are averaging 150.”
NITRO — For nearly 18 years, Helen Arthur has managed the baby basket program at the Nitro church.
Arthur calls her service to the community her “labor of love,” as the Charleston Daily Mail reported.
In 2009, Arthur donated more than 380 baskets to a birth center and a hospital in Charleston.
“A lot of people don’t give clothes because (mothers) are having the baby out of wedlock, and that really upsets me,” Arthur told the Daily Mail. “We don’t do it for the mothers. It has always been about the babies.”