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Across the Nation, June 2012


HEBER SPRINGS — The recent ninth annual Heber Springs Bible Bowl drew 102 participants from 12 Arkansas congregations.
Students took five exams covering 1 Samuel, said Lance Mays, pulpit minister for the Heber Springs Church of Christ.
Other participating congregations included the 14th Street Church of Christ in West Memphis, the Cloverdale Church of Christ in Searcy, the Guy Church of Christ, the Harrison Street Church of Christ in Batesville, the Highway Church of Christ in Benton, the Liberty Church of Christ in Conway, the Mulberry Church of Christ, the Paris Church of Christ, the Pleasant Valley Church of Christ in Van Buren, the Rena Road Church of Christ in Van Buren and the Robinson and Center Church of Christ in Conway.
HOT SPRINGS — It was egg-cellent.
That’s the report from the National Park Church of Christ’s “One Egg-cellent Day for Jesus.”
As part of the Easter outreach effort, 400 children and families enjoyed activities ranging from bounce houses to face painting to arts and crafts. “I am grateful for the opportunity to provide an event for families in our community to have fun and spend time with each other,” preacher Allen Coker said.

STARKVILLE — One hundred Bible studies set up in 10 months. That’s the result of the Starkville Church of Christ simply asking assembly guests, “Would you like to study the Bible?”
“While many congregations may be hesitant to ask visitors for a Bible study, the Starkville Church of Christ is not,” minister Andy Miller said.
As a result, the congregation’s number of baptisms has increased fivefold since 2006, Miller said. He has developed “Spread the Word” outreach literature to train Christians to share the faith.

ST. LOUIS — After two years of working on merging, the McKnight Road Church of Christ and the Mid-County Church of Christ have become the McKnight Crossings Church of Christ.
The Mid-County church was started in 1983 after a split from the McKnight Road congregation.
When merger discussions began, “it was decided they would only merge if they could do more outreach together than they could do independently,” said David Bearden, preaching minister for the former McKnight Road church.
Bearden serves as co-lead minister of the new congregation with Jeff Kryder, the preacher for the former Mid-County church. The church offers simultaneous Sunday assemblies — one with a cappella singing and the other with instrumental music.


CINCINNATI — Through its Bread of Life Cafe, the 120-member Central Church of Christ offers a free meal to anyone every Wednesday night.
“We get people who are clearly homeless, and we get those who eat at Olive Garden and similar restaurants other nights,” member Lanita Bradley Boyd said. The goal is to draw people with more than food by offering friendship, conversation and a time of singing, prayer and spiritual thoughts, Boyd said.
Typically, the church feeds between 90 and 150 people from the neighborhood.


TULSA — The North Peoria Church of Christ hosted a prayer service for the victims of a recent shooting rampage that made national headlines.
Three people died and two were seriously injured during the series of shootings. Tulsa police arrested two white men. All of the victims were black.
About 100 people gathered for the prayer service as church leaders called for residents to unite, regardless of race, in the wake of the shootings, the Tulsa World reported.

FORT WORTH — “Mr. Optimist” Wyatt Sawyer lost his battle with leukemia April 22. The beloved seniors minister for the Southside Church of Christ was 87.
Sawyer helped pioneer youth ministry. A fatherless child, he felt an urgency to give boys what he grew up without by organizing sports programs for inner-city youths. The one stipulation for playing on his teams was to attend Bible school each Sunday.
Under his leadership, Red Oak Springs Youth Camp was built. He also wrote books, including “Must the Young Die, Too?”
Later, Wyatt and Chris, his wife of 67 years, shifted to ministering to the needs of older Christians and shut-ins.

Filed under: National Staff Reports

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