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Across the Nation, October 2014


ALABAMA


HUNTSVILLE — For more than three decades, pulpit minister Gary Bradley has been the face of the Mayfair Church of Christ.
Gary Bradley has served the Mayfair church for 35 years. (PHOTO PROVIDED BY TIM HALL)Bradley said he has seen the 2,000-member congregation go through building programs, leadership changes and economic turmoil but continue to thrive as one loving family.
After 35 years, Bradley is stepping aside, and Jason Bybee, a former Mayfair youth minister with a heart for preaching, will take the reins.
Bradley and Bybee said they have a unique bond — “a mentor relationship that you seldom find within many churches,” the younger minister said. For years, Bradley has been preparing Bybee for this new role. Bradley plans to stay active, working with Mayfair and helping other churches.

ARIZONA
FLUTED ROCK — Twelve miles from the nearest paved road and far from running water or electricity, Navajo Nation church members gathered for the 22nd annual Fluted Rock Bible Camp.
No permanent structure stands where families gather for five days of Bible classes, worship, sports, games, crafts, meals and fellowship, said Jeff Foster, minster for the Gallup Church of Christ in New Mexico.
“Churches of Christ are organized and meeting at 10 places in the vast Navajo Nation,” Foster said. “These churches are small but vibrant with a desire to learn more about God’s Word and to fellowship together. The Fluted Rock Bible Camp is a highlight of the year for all involved.”
For more information, see www.gallupchurchofchrist.com.
ARKANSAS
NORTH LITTLE ROCK — At the Levy Church of Christ, every school-age child gets a “backpack buddy.”
Church leaders partner students with adults who pray for them and encourage them throughout the school year, minister Danny Dodd said. The congregation launched this year’s program with a recent “Blessings of the Backpack” Sunday.
NEBRASKA
PILGER — New appliances, box springs and mattresses were delivered to nearly 50 tornado-stricken families in northeast Nebraska, the Norfolk Daily News reported.
The donations came as part of an ongoing relief effort by the nearby Norfolk Church of Christ, working with Nashville, Tenn.-based Churches of Christ Disaster Relief Effort.
NEW YORK
ROCHESTER — The Lawson Road Church of Christ got a chance to connect with residents of a nearby apartment complex.
“All it took was a grill, hot dogs, chips and a smile,” minister Peter Horne said.
The cookout reflected the church’s desire to reach out to neighbors and “make the world a better place,” Horne said.
Members hope to build on the relationships formed.
OHIO
HILLSBORO — A door-knocking initiative by the 22-member Sunnyside Church of Christ increased the size of the congregation by more than 50 percent, organizers said. 
The campaign resulted in 25 Bible studies, 14 baptisms and one restoration, church member Dale Schraw reported. 
The Gospel Sharing Ministry and Sojourners helped prepare members for the effort, Schraw said.
TENNESSEE
COLUMBIA — A community day organized by eight Churches of Christ in Middle Tennessee featured food, fun and fellowship.
Grade-level-specific bags full of school supplies were given to hundreds of children, said Deltric McCullough, minister for the Macedonia Church of Christ.
“Over 500 families’ needs were met on this day,” McCullough said.
Other participating congregations included Pleasant Union, Fort Cooper, Dry Fort, Burn Springs, New Town, Carmack Boulevard and Columbia Avenue.
Illinois

Teens perform in “David’s King-Sized Adventure,” the Vacation Bible School drama at the Naperville Church of Christ in Illinois, where Adam Mearse serves as youth minister. “In this scene, they’re singing a song about how Saul has killed thousands but David has killed tens of thousands,” said Brady Ross, a youth ministry intern. (PHOTO BY BOBBY ROSS JR.)

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