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Editor’s weekly roundup: June 7, 2019

Our end-of-the-week review of important and/or simply interesting headlines from the world of religion.

Got a tip for this column? Email Editor-in-Chief Bobby Ross Jr. at [email protected].

From the editor

I love country music, as I mentioned when I wrote about the queen of my doublewide trailer.

I highlighted a few country songs that refer to the Church of Christ:

In its 2002 hit “My Town,” Montgomery Gentry sings about a “For Sale” sign on a rusty tractor, the mill closing down, a whistle blowing every day at noon and the interstate coming through.

“Come Sunday morning service at the Church of Christ, well, there ain’t an empty seat to be found,” the chorus continues. “And this is my town.”

And who can forget (although I did, until reader Bob West pointed it out after the original version of this column was published) “the preacher from the Church of Christ” in Collin Raye’s 1994 hit “Little Rock.”

More recently, Aaron Watson — an alumnus of Abilene Christian University in Texas — sang about what he likes about a country song:

Some like to rock, some like to roll
Some like it fast and some like it slow
If you’re left or right or right down the middle 
Everybody stops to listen when that bow hits the fiddle 
It’s music for the rich or poor, 
hot mamas driving to the grocery store
All the farmers, the doctors, 
the truckers and the teachers 
The young punks, the old drunks, 
even Church of Christ preachers 

Why do I bring this up now?

Because Holly Meyer, religion writer for The Tennessean newspaper in Nashville, had a terrific story this week about “a slate of Christianity-infused tracks … receiving radio play this year.”

Read all about it.

From our pages

At 87, ‘disaster deacon’ opens his heart — and church — to flooding victims: I enjoyed meeting Kenneth Hearrell at the Crosstown Church of Christ in Tulsa, Okla., this past Sunday. His story just might inspire you.

Linda Ramsey, 5, is given a stuffed bear by her father, Wade Ramsey, at the Red Cross evacuation shelter in Crosstown Church of Christ in Tulsa, Okla.

Church member known for notes of encouragement dies in Oklahoma floods: Erik Tryggestad reports on the death of Larry Larimore, a U.S. Navy veteran and a member of the Blackwell Church of Christ in northern Oklahoma. Also, Christians in Oklahoma and Arkansas are serving victims of recent storms.

‘Our house starts a popping and a cracking and the doors blowing’: Chellie Ison reports on Wayne and Marie Tolley, Ohio church members who survived a Memorial Day tornado. “They are beautiful, beautiful people,” Wayne Tolley says of the Christians helping after the twister.

Recommended links

Who can adopt a Native American child? A Texas couple vs. 573 tribes: A bitter custody battle threatens affirmative action laws, tribal rights and and the future of one little girl, the New York Times reports. According to the Times, the adoptive parents — Jennifer and Chad Brackeen of Fort Worth, Texas — attend a Church of Christ and “fill their home with plaques of prayers and inspirational sayings.”

South Carolina church’s forgiveness narrative is ‘complicated,’ says reporter-turned-author: Religion News Service’s Adelle M. Banks interviews Jennifer Berry Hawes, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for The Post and Courier in Charleston, S.C. Hawes is the author of the new book “Grace Will Lead Us Home,” about the June 17, 2015, massacre at Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. (The Landmark Church of Christ in Montgomery, Ala., recently hosted a “Forgiveness Is a Choice” racial reconciliation event with an Emanuel AME survivor and a victim’s husband.)

Your journalism tip sheet for next week’s annual Southern Baptist Convention extravaganza: GetReligion’s Richard Ostling previews next week’s annual meeting in Birmingham, Ala., of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination. Ostling notes that the sex abuse scandal that has hit the SBC in recent months will be a major focus. (As Christian Chronicle readers know, this is not a problem limited to any one religious group.)

More religion news

Praying for presidents? That’s normal. Praying for Donald Trump? That fires up Twitter: GetReligion’s Terry Mattingly delves into the controversy over Trump showing up at an evangelical church, where the pastor brought the president on stage to pray. Read a related analysis for the Washington Post by Michael Wear, who directed former President Barack Obama’s faith outreach during his successful 2012 re-election campaign.


Catholic bishop gave powerful cardinals and other priests $350,000 in cash gifts: This investigative piece by Washington Post religion writer Michelle Boorstein and a few colleagues delves into the actions of Michael J. Bransfield, the former top Catholic official in West Virginia. He was ousted for alleged sexual harassment and financial abuses.

Finally, a question

Robbie Warrell, a deacon of the Conestoga Valley Church of Christ in Lancaster, Pa., emailed us with these questions:

Our church in central PA is in need of a new baptistery. The problem however is that most manufacturers of fiberglass baptisteries do not recommend leaving water in them 24/7. Question that I’ve asked on other Christian forums do not get me the answers I need because of our beliefs on baptism. Have you heard of this issue before? Do you know of companies that other CoCs have used?

Got any advice or insight for Warrell? Please comment below.

Filed under: Arkansas flooding country music disaster relief Inside Story mass shootings National Ohio tornadoes Oklahoma flooding President Trump sex abuse Top Stories

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