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God at work in U.S.

Members of Churches of Christ in all 50 states and the District of Columbia weigh in.

What can God do through 1.5 million souls devoted to him?

As the overall membership of Churches of Christ in the United States declines, it’s easy to focus on the negative.
Yet Ephesians 3:20 points to the power of God at work within us.
Among the 1,519,695 men, women and children who make up our fellowship nationwide, God can do — and is doing — “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.”
To highlight that fact, The Christian Chronicle asked Christians in all 50 states and the nation’s capital to answer this question:
“How is God working in your congregation?” 

Churches of Christ: 854
Adherents: 110,215
“God is working mightily through our outreach-focused membership, which is dedicated to serving our community with a missionary’s spirit. Our congregation has grown in number, faith, zeal and holistic reach over its short existence due to God’s empowering of his evangelistic-minded people.”
— Patrick Stone, Westview Church of Christ in Huntsville, Ala.
Churches of Christ: 28
Adherents: 2,461
“I see God working by the way he is including me in a family that gives me courage to keep going … to face the loneliness that comes from my husband’s passing.”
— Alice Walsh, Anchor Point Church of Christ in Alaska 
Churches of Christ: 131

Adherents: 12,943

“I see God moving in our campus ministry. Recently, our group has really found its footing, and we are seeing a group of young people who are supporting one another, loving one another and building each other up. More importantly, they are reaching out to the students around them. It is such a blessing.”
— Jessica Knapp, Mountain Avenue Church of Christ in Tucson, Ariz.
Churches of Christ: 706

Adherents: 83,377

“God is working at Levy through our ministries. He continues to raise up servants committed to serving him, our church and our community as their gifts lead them. This creates an atmosphere of growth and creativity which is proving to be contagious.”
— Danny Dodd, Levy Church of Christ in North Little Rock, Ark.
Churches of Christ: 609
Adherents: 68,955
“We believe God is working through the Culver Palms Church of Christ in Los Angeles through our ministry to the homeless. Serving God by serving others where they are opens the door for people who wouldn’t come to church otherwise.”
— Keith Brisco, Culver Palms Church of Christ in Los Angeles
Rakestraw COLORADO
Churches of Christ: 141
Adherents: 14,652
“God’s spirit is alive and well in Colorado. His hand is mighty. We are seeing numerical growth.   Moreover, we are experiencing individual spiritual growth.  We are taking more time to celebrate being his children and appreciating our fellowship. This is prompting us to reach out into our communities and serve their basic needs.”
— John Rakestraw, Northwest Church of Christ in Westminster, Colo.
Churches of Christ: 22
Adherents: 2,574
“God is working in our congregation through our new Sunday evening small group ministry, where we are building stronger relationships with each other. God is also working in our congregation through our Sunday morning small group Bible studies, where adult classes are studying how each member can reach out.”
— Mary Brown, Manchester  Church of Christ in Connecticut
Churches of Christ: 11
Adherents: 1,151
“God has injected new life into our body through our 2-year-old food pantry, serving hundreds of precious people weekly that we might not otherwise encounter and connecting an eclectic group of members who weren’t previously well acquainted. The result: hope for our clients, hope for us.”
— Mariann Snyder, Cedars Church of Christ in Wilmington, Del.
Churches of Christ: 4
Adherents: 620
“God is always at work in all his creation and, of course, in his church. The blessing he has sent us in the recent past is new members with talents we very much need. He has also blessed us with a minister, Ed Wilson, who has served us faithfully for 24 years.”
— Donnis Crump, 16th and Decatur Church of Christ in Washington, D.C.
Churches of Christ: 498
Adherents: 67,991
“God is opening doors in some amazing ways right now. For one, a director with the Habitat for Humanity has recently started worshiping with us. He has asked us to partner with them by serving a neighborhood. Also, we have begun a partnership with the Homeless Family Center in town. God is good!”
— Tracy Moore, Vero Beach  Church of Christ in Florida
Churches of Christ: 412
Adherents: 53,135
“Corners Church of Christ is seeing God work daily while hosting college students from Harding, Troy and Ole Miss.  Responding to the needs of others can be seen daily as we try to meet people where they are. Also, the North Atlanta Church of Christ has adopted the work of the Corners Outreach trailer park ministry.”
— Terry Davis, Corners Church of Christ in Peachtree Corners, Ga.
Churches of Christ: 14
Adherents: 945
“God is working in our congregation by putting the right people in the right places. From our elders to our youth, each has a place and a purpose in our
congregation. God works through each of us to be better servants for him.”
— Mindy Bailey, Pearl Harbor Church of Christ in Hawaii
Thorson IDAHO
Churches of Christ: 41
Adherents: 3,108
“God is working in our congregation by bringing in younger people.  We have many people who have been attending for years, but we also have many younger people who are involved in all aspects of Christian growth. It seems to me that God is caring for us all and is showing us how to deal with people of all ages.”
— Barbara Thorson, Caldwell Church of Christ in Idaho
Churches of Christ: 266
Adherents: 24,994
“God is working and alive as we continue to feel his amor and cuidado (love and care).Our focus on teaching love and unity continues to let us see growth and blessings from him. As the families leave services, everyone is talking about the same topic since all of them received the same message at their level during classes.”
— Ricardo Barrera, Elgin Iglesiade Cristo (Church of Christ) in Illinois
Churches of Christ: 315
Adherents: 32,702
“God is working through our involvement with a congregation in Baja, Mexico. We support the preacher and have made annual mission trips to Vicente Guerrero, conducting medical clinics, Vacation Bible Schools and various construction projects. Adults and teens return spiritually recharged. Praise God!”
— Ron Huffman, Newburgh Church of Christ in Indiana 
Collier IOWA
Churches of Christ: 62
Adherents: 3,706
“God is working through our young men who started two unique classes.  One is a Monday evening men’s class that enjoys the attendance of non-member families and friends from work.  A second Wednesday night class was started to ‘learn by leading,’ a discussion-based class on faith and purpose.”
— Tom Collier, Grandview Church of Christ in Des Moines, Iowa
Yeakley KANSAS
Churches of Christ: 159
Adherents: 16,228
“God works through Northside in many ways. Over 1,200 women will attend our Women Walking with God conference in April. In June, our Wichita Workcamp will send out 250-plus teens to paint houses. And for 28 years, we’ve aired a TV program called ‘Know Your Bible.’”

— Mark Yeakley, Northside Church of Christ in Wichita, Kan.
Harrington KENTUCKY
Churches of Christ: 591
Adherents: 54,600
“God is working through our bus ministry. He is building bridges into the community and creating relationships with children and their families that will last through eternity. It’s a blessing to see what he will do once we are willing to get out of our comfort zone.”

— Paula Harrington, Calvert City Church of Christ in Kentucky
Churches of Christ: 220
Adherents: 23,335
“God is working through the lives of our dynamic, active young adults. They give communion meditations, lead worship, teach classes and tutor after school. They’re the leadership of our Celebrate Recovery. They are salt and light in the community, too, mentoring and feeding the homeless with dignity.”
— Jenny Garrison, Carrollton Avenue Church of Christ in New Orleans
Harrison MAINE
Churches of Christ: 22
Adherents: 937
“I see God working in our congregation through simple things such as work being done on our building inside and out. We have people who excel in the grace of giving. God has blessed them, and others have followed their leading. God is also at work in our men who meet for leadership studies.”
— Charlie Harrison, Brunswick Church of Christ in Maine
Churches of Christ: 48
Adherents: 7,211
“God is working through our congregation in our Life Groups. Life Groups are what have really held our congregation together over the past year as we have gone through difficult losses. They provide opportunities to form closer bonds with fellow Christians.”
— Elizabeth Ray, Laurel Church of Christ in Maryland
Churches of Christ: 28
Adherents: 2,250
“God is working through our brothers and sisters’ lives as our worship services and Bible class attendance have vastly improved. The Christians here are involved in numerous committees and ministries that enhance our spiritual growth. There is a spirit of family connectedness as soon as you enter the door. ”
— Janette Briceno, Milton Church of Christ in Massachusetts
Churches of Christ: 183
Adherents: 25,700
“We have been praying and growing. We praise God for growth. We have a great food ministry at Metro and are feeding a lot of people. God is in control, and his church will prosper as he wills. We have not grown a lot, but we are trending upward.”
— Doug Edwards, Metro Church of Christ in Sterling Heights, Mich.
Churches of Christ: 39
Adherents: 2,437
“God is working through the Hands of Compassion ministry of this small, loving church family. People come from all over the world to get answers for their health challenges at Mayo Clinic. Our Houses of Compassion host up to 30 visitors free of charge. We encourage our visitors spiritually and help connect them.”
—  Patti Sikes,  Rochester Church of Christ in Minnesota
Churches of Christ: 363
Adherents: 41,126
“God is working through our grief recovery ministry. Linda Woods lost her daughter Jenny and is the reason we started this ministry. Margie Butcher’s husband, Russ, a beloved elder, died, leaving her struggling. Both now find new focus and purpose helping others.”
— Bill Denton, Rodenberg Church of Christ in Biloxi, Miss.
deSambourg MISSOURI
Churches of Christ: 427
Adherents: 40,802
“God is working through many of our members as we strive to live a missional life. Along with yearly short-term mission trips to Honduras and local areas, some members are also active in focused missions to Africa and Cambodia.”
— Whitney deSambourg, Lafayette Church of Christ in Ballwin, Mo.
Churches of Christ: 40
Adherents: 2,687
“It’s powerful to see God use his message and his people to take individuals from the world, bring them into his Kingdom and transform them to look more and more like him every day. I’ve seen him do this year after year through the church in Great Falls.”
— Christopher Crooks, Great Falls Church of Christ in Montana
Churches of Christ: 49
Adherents: 4,064
“How I see God working is that we have developed more family togetherness. We have a stronger bond through him. Because of that, we are able to help others in need. They know that they can talk to us because they feel comfortable. We’re growing and reaching more people.”
— Ana Osborne, Lifewalk Church of Christ in York, Neb.
Churches of Christ: 29
Adherents: 2,925
“God is working on the lives of Christians in Las Vegas. I see it most in the lives of our youth. Our teen group is growing up to be amazing Christians. We have wonderful leadership and a loving congregation that supports this program, and it is evident in the kids’ lives. They always rise to the occasion.”
— Laurie Thomas, Bright Angel Church of Christ in Las Vegas
Churches of Christ: 13
Adherents: 845
“I see God planting seeds through our congregation’s pantry outreach. David Skerry, our deacon in charge of benevolence, gives to each family that comes to our pantry not just a box of food but also a warm reception, a sincere invitation to come worship or study with us and spiritual brochures to read.”
— Park Linscomb, Manchester Church of Christ in New Hampshire
Churches of Christ: 37
Adherents: 3,926
“God is working through our partnership with Family Promise to serve homeless families. Five times a year for a week at a time, we turn our Bible classrooms into bedrooms and our church building into a homeless shelter. We are seeing homeless families served and lives rebuilt through the love of Christ.”
— Rachel Dowling, Monmouth Church of Christ in New Jersey
Churches of Christ: 144
Adherents: 14,745
“God is working through the Gallup church to provide loving and stable homes and Christian-based schooling to children from the Navajo and Zuni nations, a work we have done for 60 years. We seek to share Jesus in a community faced with challenges of poverty, substance abuse and family dysfunction.”
— Jeff Foster, Gallup Church of Christ in New Mexico
Churches of Christ: 100
Adherents: 9,860
“God is working through our growth group members to reach the unchurched and provide an accessible pathway from their first visit right into assimilation with existing Christians. We have been blessed to experience a number of baptisms. May God always be glorified through our work.”
— Cynthia Harris, Lawson Road Church of Christ in Rochester, N.Y.
Churches of Christ: 198
Adherents: 24,500
“I see God working in our congregation in the wonderful quotidian details of average lives, not necessarily in people or programs worthy of headlines but behind the scenes in hopeful prayers answered and promises kept faithfully for ‘the least of these.’”
— Lisa De Maio Brewer, Wilkesboro Church of Christ in North Carolina
Churches of Christ: 7
Adherents: 578
“God is working through our members to help reach out to troubled teens. Our preacher, Walter Clark, and his son Cory work as chaplains at the  local youth correction center. Our membership is donating a Bible to each teen, and at Christmas, we pass out baskets with homemade goodies to each cottage.”
— Shelby Bohl, Bismarck Church of Christ in North Dakota
Riley OHIO
Churches of Christ: 390
Adherents: 41,170
“God is working in our congregation in many ways, most importantly by leading us into deeper relationships with him and one another. As a result, he is opening our eyes to the needs in our community and the world. He is helping us be community with our community.”
— Jamie Riley, Sunshine Church of Christ in Portsmouth, Ohio
Churches of Christ: 566
Adherents: 74,208
“God has been working through our leaders’ encouragement to step outside the comfort of our own church walls — to reach out into the community, to seek the hurt and the lost and the marginalized, to actively build relationships with those who may otherwise not walk through our church doors.”
— Anisa Jackson, Park Plaza Church of Christ in Tulsa, Okla.
Churches of Christ: 108
Adherents: 10,234
“We’re focused on helping the poor and those recovering from addictions. We see Christ in the forward progress folks make as they rebuild their lives. God works even through the ebb and flow of our growth pains, and we’ve deepened as a community and learned to love God and each other better over the years.”
— Nathan Rix, Agape Church of Christ in Portland, Ore.
Churches of Christ: 137
Adherents: 10,139
“God is always at work, and we are trying to follow him. He works in our pantry as we help many families He works through our finances as we support many ministries. He is at work throughout collective worship as we seek to praise him and listen to his voice. We are trying to see more of what God is doing and work in his vineyard.”
— Jeffrey Dillinger, Whitehall Church of Christ in Pittsburgh
Churches of Christ: 7
Adherents: 629
“God is helping us build a community that engages with our neighbors on the west side of Providence with people who do more than just go to church on Sunday and leave but who also
take their faith to other people around them.”
— Anna Borchers, The Feast Church of Christ in Providence, R.I.
Churches of Christ: 134
Adherents: 14,715
“God is working through our church family as we each share a chapter of our story. In our worship center, there are booklets for each member with a quick word about what is going on in our lives. Anyone can pick up a story, read about a person’s blessings and struggles and sign their name to let that person know they’ve been prayed over.”
— Charlie Sells, Holland Park Church of Christ in Simpsonville, S.C.
Churches of Christ: 24
Adherents: 1,064
“God is working in our congregation through our amazing and aspiring youth groups. Our young people are spiritually motivated and committed to
serving the Lord. I know God is at work in building strong hearts and minds for the future Lord’s church in Sioux Falls, S.D.”
— Cheryl Ingalls, 41st Street Church of Christ in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Churches of Christ: 1,422
Adherents: 207,286
“God is working in Memphis in many ways. His hand guides us in adopting and working with a diverse elementary school, in our Spanish-speaking congregation and ministry, and in planning an outreach summer program asking Memphians: “If you had one question, what would you ask God?’”
— John Irby, Great Oaks Church of Christ in Memphis, Tenn.
Parsons TEXAS
Churches of Christ: 1,978
Adherents: 338,580
“First, God is challenging the traditions and ‘American’ mindset of our congregation with his raw truth. Second, God is working through our congregation to provide for the physical needs of its members as well as the local and global community. He is also using our congregation to share his love with singles.”
— Jennifer Parsons, Shiloh Road Church of Christ in Tyler, Texas
Wilst UTAH
Churches of Christ: 19
Adherents: 1,164
“In the past year and a half, we have seen over 100,000 people fed through our food pantry. We have had Bible studies in locations that don’t normally allow Bible studies. We have been blessed in many ways and are excited to see what God does next.”
— Mike Wiist, Murray Park Church of Christ in Utah
Churches of Christ: 10
Adherents: 496
“We see God working through our congregation as we strive to become like Jesus in all our efforts.  We are committed to help feed and nurture our sister congregations in Vermont. We continue to serve the needs of Springfield, and we attempt to behave like Christ in our fellowship with one another.”
— Jay Huntley, Springfield Church of Christ in Vermont
Harrington VIRGINIA
Churches of Christ: 165
Adherents: 15,782
“God keeps sending people our way through our international ESL/FriendSpeak who are open to God and want to learn about Christ. We both help them with their English as well as study the Bible with them using the story of redemption. This has resulted in conversions of many people from around the world — even Muslims!”
— Jerri Harrington, Fairfax Church of Christ in Virginia
Churches of Christ: 129
Adherents: 12,441
“God is working in our congregation here at Tukwila Church of Christ. We’re growing together as Christians, and our youth love being a part of service. The support from the brothers and sisters is very truthful and nurturing. We are family at Tukwila Church of Christ, filled with the love of God.”
— Reggie Carr, Tukwila Church of Christ in Washington
Churches of Christ: 270
Adherents: 20,315
“God is working through our congregation to share the Good News with the lost around us, to strengthen one another through the ministry of the Word, prayer and fellowship and to serve those in our community who are hurting and in need.”
— Joseph Pauley, Belle Church of Christ in West Virginia
Churches of Christ: 68
Adherents: 5,815
“God is working in our congregation by challenging our apathy and lack of focus on Jesus as the ‘author and perfecter of our faith.’ Through God’s word and prayer, we’re seeking the fresh wind of the Holy Spirit to fan embers that were allowed to grow dangerously dim. He is opening our eyes.”
— Evan Bane, Northtown Church of Christ in Milwaukee
Campbell WYOMING
Churches of Christ: 32
Adherents: 1,850
“God is working and alive in the congregation in Lander. We are growing closer together and, in turn, growing into the community. Our theme for 2015 is ‘Becoming a Contagious Christian.’ We are focusing on relationships and growing
relationships within the body as well as within the community.”
— Dustin Campbell, Lander Church of Christ in Wyoming
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