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Across the Nation: Texas merger, Georgia revival, Minnesota milestone and more quick takes

Across the Nation is our monthly rundown of news briefs, links and quotes from Churches of Christ across the U.S. Got an idea for this column? Email Bobby Ross Jr. at [email protected].

Featured photo (above)

Texas congregations join together in newly named church: Members of the newly named Downtown Church of Christ in Midland, Texas, pose for a group photo after a recent merger of the North A and Main Street congregations.

The North A church began meeting in 1930 at the location where the merged congregation joined together. The Main Street church formed in 1955.

The new name reflects the combined body’s “ongoing commitment to serving the Lord in the central part of Midland,” said Greg Fleming, who will remain as one of the preachers along with Adam Elliott.

More details here.


Special carnival for special children: The Brooks Avenue Church of Christ in Raleigh, N.C., hosted its 19th annual spring carnival for children with special needs and their families.

About 200 volunteers served more than 800 guests, special-needs ministry leader Melinda Oldham said.

“Kids with special needs tend to have trouble at events like carnivals,” Oldham said. “This is suited specifically for them, so they can have fun.”

Ms. Wuf, a North Carolina State mascot, greets a girl in a wheelchair at the carnival.

Quick takes


ROME — It’s a revival — of areawide youth devotionals.

A recent one drew more than 200 attendees from a dozen congregations in Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee.

Matt Wallin, a deacon for the host Oak Hill Church of Christ, preached.

Some of the attendees at the areawide youth devotional in Rome, Ga.

“Our area has not had areawide youth devotionals for years,” Wallin said in an email. “We wanted to revive those in an effort to ‘keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace’ (Ephesians 4:3).

“This year we are doing quarterly events, and if they go well (which they have so far!), we hope to expand to monthly next year,” he added.


PARK RAPIDS — For the first time in its history of more than 60 years, the Park Rapids Church of Christ has appointed elders.

Donald Hemenway, Norman Parks and Lowell Warne will serve as the congregation’s shepherds. Scott Warne is the preacher, and Ernie Mack and Gary Simmons are associate preachers.

“The current average attendance is around 45,” Warne said. “But our hope and prayer is that that number will be increasing as we purposely love and serve our neighbors and share the good news of Jesus with our community.”

Norman Parks, Ernie Mack, Scott Warne, Lowell Warne, Don Hemenway and Gary Simmons pray at the Park Rapids church.


BRANSON — “His Grace, My Faith” served as the theme for the first SPARK (Sisters Pursuing an Active Relationship with the King) Women’s Conference in Branson.

The recent conference, sponsored by the Sunset Church of Christ in Springfield, Mo., drew 135 women from 29 congregations in five states, committee Chairwoman Kate Kail said. Amie Frantz from the Seymour Church of Christ in Missouri was the keynote speaker.


LaGRANGE — Scott Elliott, minister for the LaGrange Church of Christ, helped organize a recent weeklong community technology fast.

The purpose, Elliott said, was “to make people aware of the loneliness epidemic in our country and to promote table fellowship and spending time with others.”

“We got the entire town to join in,” he said. “I don’t think this could be done in a large city, but since we’re a small town, it was easy to get all the churches and local leadership on board.”

Bertrum and Allison Jean, parents of Botham Jean, reflect on the Christian Acappella Music Awards paying tribute to their slain son after his death.

Quote of the month

“There are days when I feel that God has taken him for a reason, and I get comfort that he’s with the Lord. Then there are days when I miss his physical presence, and I miss his telephone conversations.” — Allison Jean, mother of Botham Jean, on her ongoing grief and heartbreak over losing her son. Read the full story.

Filed under: Across the Nation National Top Stories

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