Churches That Work – the nominees
cLandmark Church of Christ, Montgomery, Ala.
Landmark Church of Christ, Montgomery, Ala., is a church that works!
Evangelism is primary purpose from the nursery to the oldie- weds. Workers lead in teaching and worship. We have missionaries in five countries (China, Ghana, Honduras, Thailand and Ukraine). Over 60 members of the congregation have participated in mission trips this year.
Encouragement within the body (besides classes on Sunday and Wednesday) includes Financial Peace University, Men’s Tues. A.M. breakfast, Ladies’ Bible class, Trims for Him (blankets for mission hospital), Ladies’ Night Out, Mary and Martha (cooking and cleaning for families with sickness or death), and Life groups. These are vital in caring for individual physical and spiritual needs.
Outreach for the community is provided through Benevolence, a Preschool Program, “Over comers” support group for alcohol, drug, and co-dependency problems, “Relational Wholeness” support group for persons choosing to leave the homosexual lifestyle, Hospice ministry (food is prepared for patients and their caretakers), use of the facilities by other groups like Senior citizens, Upward Basketball, Karate, etc.
Daily e-mail updates allow members to pray for the sick, those in the military, or other special needs. Landmark is a working, loving, growing church of and for Christ; for in Him we live, and move, and have our being.
Minister: Buddy Bell
Los Altos Church of Christ, Long Beach, Calif.
We will be celebrating our 25th Anniversary this July.
Although we don’t own our own building or have any paid staff, our congregation of 100 is truly a working group of believers.
The following are some of the ministries we have been, or are currently involved in: VA hospital visitation, campus ministry, Thanksgiving dinner for 150 seniors, homeless ministry, missionary support (Brazil, Chile, and Zimbabwe), local rescue mission, sponsor orphans at City of Children, teen counseling hotline, Dial-a-Daily Devotional, free Bible correspondence courses, Manna International, free car maintenance program (“Iffy Lube”) for single women of the church, also “Helping Hands” workdays for needy.
Southern Crescent Church of Christ, Tyrone, GA
Southern Crescent, in metro Atlanta, is a “church that works” because it provides a whole and healthy environment in which both newborn Christians and mature disciples can grow into deeper levels of faith and service.
One newly-baptized 13-year-old, whose family began worshipping here in December, said “This is the first church I’ve been in where I’ve felt the presence of the Holy Spirit.” Another new member commented, “What I appreciate is that people here are real.”
Guests at Southern Crescent invariably remark about how genuinely warm and welcoming people are. Tremendous freedom exists here, along with tremendous respect for Scripture.
Minister: Dr. Alan C. Henderson
Housing Board Church of Christ, Amalapuram, India
I ,George Raju, am an evangelist from Amalapuram. I have seen your Web site. I enjoy it so much. We are all Brothers in Christ. …
I am running two congregations. Please tell (your readers) about me and our Indian gospel churches of Christ that work. Please introduce my work through your magazine. Then our work will improve. …
Please pray for me. I am praying for you.
Minister: George Raju
Johnson County Church of Christ, Shawnee, Kan.
I would like to nominate the Johnson County Church of Christ in Shawnee, Kan. We are a congregation that is actually a church plant — for about 2.5 years we have been at it. Since then we have grown exponentially and have just moved into our new building facility in the middle of a growing area.
We started with about four families, and now we are at about 80 members with about 100 people in attendance every Sunday. We are still growing week by week with new baptisms.
We also — for such a small church — have quite a few community ministry activities that are touching lives. We also have a urban ministry program, which is heavily involved with affordable housing issues, “digital divide” by providing computer training classes, homeless, job creation.
We are a church that not only talks about faith, but lives it day by day. …
This year we plan to also have an adult senior day care program, children’s day care, and a bible correspondence college as well.
Minister: Ephren W. Taylor, Sr.
White’s Ferry Road Church of Christ, West Monroe, La.
An elder leads the opening prayer wearing hunter’s camouflage and a duck call tied around his neck. Three members move to the front at the invitation and 10 pews empty as supportive friends surround them in prayer.
These would be “typical” activities on Sunday morning at WFR.
White’s Ferry Road Church of Christ of West Monroe, Louisiana is a church that works! WFR is striving to be a healthy, vigorous, Christ-centered church that reaches the community and the broader world with evangelism, benevolence and missions.
Our Sunday morning worship assemblies are dynamic and uplifting and focus on glorifying Jesus Christ. Our classes center on thoughtful, transforming Biblical truths. Our ministries focus on member involvement, saving the lost, and offering healing to the hurting. Our membership spans from blue-collar to executives who fellowship together with no reservations.
We love to tell the Good News of Jesus at WFR.
Minister: Alan Robertson
Pitman Church of Christ, Sewell, N.J.
The Pitman Church of Christ in Sewell, N.J., is a loving church that works. Our membership has increased to over 300.
This church supports missionaries both here and abroad and recently reached out in faith to the community with free tickets when we rented a 900 seat theater to see “The Passion of The Christ.”
We have started a Spanish ministry where Spanish-speaking members are fed the Word via headphones and translation.
Our teen group of approximately 40 (our future leaders in the church) is growing strong under the excellent leadership of our youth minister, Paul Glover.
Minister: Dan Cooper
Southwest Church of Christ, Tigard, Ore.
The Southwest Church of Christ in Tigard, Oregon has a mission statement that keeps the goal of church growth before the congregation constantly. We do this through our ministries and LIFE groups. We had 35 baptisms last year, and for the first time our attendance averaged over 500 (524) and this year we are averaging 550+ and have had 14 baptisms this year with a goal of 52 for the year.
Our contribution is at an all-time high. We have a free pre-school as an outreach program and have baptized many from this program. Our youth group is talked about even by other religious groups because of its outreach.
We have a luncheon for senior citizens monthly to invite their friends to know about Christ. When it came time to hire a new minister we hired an outreach minister because that is our focus. We support mission works in Argentina, Tanzania, Mexico, Nigeria, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Australia, and the United States. We also send one of our elders to these works to encourage and review the work at least every other year.
Minister: Jeff Hicks
Clifton Church of Christ, Cranfills Gap, Texas
The Clifton Church of Christ is growing and active, with 85 families, two ministers, a secretary, four elders and seven deacons, a youth group of 25-30, and plans to soon start two Sunday services.
There’s a healthy mission atmosphere with the Hispanic ministry, providing scripture reading and occasional song in Spanish on Sundays. Even after the recent addition of seven new classrooms and extra parking, the facilities are, again, too small.
The Church is involved in community benevolence and shares its facilities with local organizations. With a fertile field for evangelism, the Lord is working mightily in this congregation.
Minister: Gary Blakeney
Duncanville Church of Christ, Duncanville, Texas
We are a 650-member growing church in suburban (“Inner Ring”) Dallas (50 baptisms last year). …
We have transformed from an all-white “country club” church to a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-economic congregation in 10 years (2/3 white;1/3 minority). We are known in the community as the church “where everything is free”.
The Duncanville church of Christ traffics in HOPE. We serve as an antidote to the poison of worldly despair.
We believe the great evangelism tool of the 21st century is generosity, so we give ourselves away in love.
Here are some of the ways “We are doers of the Word”:
• J.I.G.G. (Joy In Generous Giving): Members give additional 1 percent of their income for ministries to local poor and disadvantaged.
• GREAT NO SALE: Thousands of folks receive free stuff. All donations go to Nicaragua missions where we are building, “The Miracle of God.”
• BACK TO SCHOOL GIVE-AWAY: Hundreds of economically disadvantaged students get the whole package
• ESL (English as a Second Language): 150+ Hispanics on Wednesday nights get a free meal and classes.
• CELEBRATE RECOVERY: Sunday night program attracts 50 folks for healing and friendship
• FREE LUNCH: Every Sunday we serve 150 folks in our Fellowship Hall. …
Minister: Ron Carlson
Rockwall and Brin Church of Christ, Terrell, Texas
We are known in the community as “The Church That Helps People” through the Benevolent Center. Food, clothing, counseling, Bibles and prayers were available for 7,562 families in 2003.
The membership of 250, plus our Spanish ministry provides the 50 volunteers for this work. The congregation supports financially the Benevolent Center, Spanish Ministry and World Bible School with 26 volunteers. Also a student from Africa is supported as he studies at Southwestern Christian College to prepare to start a school of preaching in Zambia.
A Bible-based drama for VBS involves 75 volunteers. The elders serve as Trustees for Boles Children’s Home.
Minister: Keith Feerer
Glenwood Church of Christ, Tyler, Texas
During the past two years, we have undergone a number of changes, including gaining about 200 new members, preparing to double our facilities, for which we raised our funds without any trouble, and a number of staff changes.
Moreover, we are attracting people with Church of Christ backgrounds, as well as people from … denominations, as well as completely unchurched people. …
(People) come to Glenwood to give one last chance, either to Churches of Christ or Christianity as a whole. Most of the people who fit such a profile find a home at Glenwood, a church of about 1,000 members.
Preaching minister: Jeff Christian
Hurricane Church of Christ, Hurricane, W.V.
“Bible-based, Christ-centered and embracing grace.” That is what we stand for!
The Hurricane Church of Christ, located high on a hill in Hurricane, W.V., has found a way to take the gospel halfway around the world without leaving our homes. Four years ago one family provided a Japanese student with a home for a cultural visit to the United States. Seeing her excitement and eagerness to learn has made us increase the number of students we invite each year. Six families from our congregation will host exchange students this summer.
These students will never “know” Christ, until they “see” Christ and this can only be done through our love and acceptance. They experience this love from the entire church family. We are a very close-knit Christian family known in our neighborhood for our clothes closet program as well. When it comes time to leave, all students have expressed their love for “church,” something they had never known. We provide them with Bibles in their language and they keep in contact with the host families as well as newfound friends. They continue to ask questions and we try to connect them with missionaries when we can locate them in their area.
Minister: Steve Kenney