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Across the nation: God’s love from an overpass


FRESNO, CALIF. — Almost every morning and some afternoons, Cheryl “Monique” Turks waves to northbound and southbound traffic from various Freeway 41 overpasses.
Turks, a member ofthe College church, parks her burgundy three-wheeled bicycle nearby, asreported by The Fresno Bee. The bike has a wire basket on back that holds anovercoat and Bible, with a piece of cardboard with a neatly scrawled Scriptureattached to the basket.

“I just want tospread love to everybody,” Turks, 34, whose daughters are named Miracle andFaith, told the newspaper. “People get to go to work with a good, positiveattitude. God has blessed me to spread the joy that I get from him to thepeople.”

Turks, who is ondisability, suffered a brain aneurysm and stroke at age 16 that affectedmovement on her left side.

Manydrivers return Turks’ greetings by honking their horns or waving their hands.

ARKANSAS

JONESBORO

Less than two yearsafter it began as a mission plant of the Nettleton church, the Valley Viewchurch broke ground recently on a $3.7 million, 45,500-square-foot building,leaders said.

Meeting in a rentedfacility, the church has grown from 147 at its first service to more than 400in worship Dec. 4. The church added a second Sunday morning service toaccommodate the growth.

FLORIDA

SARASOTA

More than 100 peopleattended a Dec. 2 candlelight vigil at the Central church in memory of11-year-old Carlie Brucia.

The service was heldin The Garden of Joy, built near the spot behind the church where Carlie’s bodywas found in February 2004.

The day before thevigil, a jury recommended the death sentence for a former auto mechanic foundguilty of the girl’s kidnapping, rape and murder.

Carlie was abductedfrom a car wash three miles from the Central building and murdered. Her bodywas abandoned on wooded property owned by the church.

KANSAS

OVERLAND PARK

At the beep, pleaseleave your prayer.

The Overland Park church has joined the growinglist of congregations with “prayer pager” ministries.

It works like this: Amember needing prayers can check out a pager from the church. The member’s nameand pager number are distributed to the congregation. Then, fellow members pagethe designated number every time they pray for the person.

No response isexpected from the person holding the pager.

Rather, the ministryoffers the encouragement of knowing the congregation is praying for the person.

LOUISIANA

WEST MONROE

Christians On CallNetwork, a ministry of the White’s Ferry Road church, has launched its Web site at www.christiansoncall.org.The network aims to serve victims of recent hurricanes.

“There is a rising callto respond to the emotional, mental and spiritual needs of those whose liveshave been devastated,” program director Kevin Nieman said. “Shock, depressionand emotional instability are all natural responses to personal crisis.”

MICHIGAN

ROCHESTER HILLS

Think of it asmotor-home evangelism.

Jerry and ConnieTallman, members of the Rochesterchurch, are buying a recreational vehicle and going on the road to conductpersonal evangelism seminars across the nation.

Jerry Tallman, authorof the book His Eternal Plan, said he hopes to work with small churches whosememberships have plateaued.

“The only waychurches are going to grow is to share the gospel with people who haven’t heardit,” he said.

NORTH CAROLINA

CHARLOTTE

Every Friday nightfrom December through March, the Providence Road church has “Room In The Inn.”

The church offers theFriday night program to provide a loving relationship to homeless men and womenand keep them from freezing on cold winter nights, leaders said.

Small groups take turnsproviding a warm meal Friday night, breakfast Saturday morning and a sack lunchfor the guests to take with them.

OKLAHOMA

ANADARKO

A total of 130 Caddo Countyinmates have been baptized in the past 10 months through the Anadarko church’sjail ministry, jail/prison minister Tom Erickson said. The inmates studiedBible correspondence courses provided by the Memorial Road church, Oklahoma City.

OREGON

TIGARD

The parking lotserved as the stage as the Southwest church presented “Celebrate Jesus,” a drive-throughseries of drama presentations.

The series presentedduring two weekends in December depicted eight New Testament scenes rangingfrom the birth of Christ to the resurrection.

Church leaders saidthe event served as a means of reaching out to the community and telling morefully the story of Jesus’ life.

TENNESSEE

KINGSPORT

Hoping to serve thebody as well as the soul, the Northeast church is investigating the benefits ofadding a registered nurse to the church staff.

Northeast’s elderssaid the paid nurse would check on the homebound, ill and elderly andcommunicate their needs to church leaders.

NASHVILLE

It’s Real Life.

At least that’s thethe name of a new television program started by the Crieve Hall church.

The30-minute program, featuring Bill Watkins, airs on a Nashville station on Sunday afternoons andTuesday mornings, minister Tim Frizzell said.

Filed under: National Staff Reports

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