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August 16, 2022

 

 

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How five Nashville churches came together
 

How five Nashville churches came together

 

Aaron Tremblay, now a minister in the Nashville, Tenn., area, preached for 10 years for the 75-member Leominster Church of Christ in Massachusetts. 

In Tremblay’s native New England, congregations tend to be small and isolated, the 37-year-old minister noted.

“But what helps them continue on, even though in some cases the churches are only 25 or 30 people, is that they stay connected,” he said. “That’s the only way they survive.”

It’s different in Tennessee: Hundreds of Churches of Christ — often with 300, 500 or even 1,500 members — encompass the Nashville area, sometimes called “the buckle of the Bible Belt.

Historically, those congregations compete for members and attention, Tremblay and other preachers told The Christian Chronicle. 

But as overall attendance numbers shrink in Music City — and across the United States — the ministers see a profound need for Christians to come together.

Bobby Ross Jr. reports.

 
 

 
‘The Gospel is for the poor’
 

‘The Gospel is for the poor’

 

John Morkli has a dream.

The vision is to get a movement to send the Gospel to every corner of Ghana and Togo,” said the 49-year-old preacher and businessman. “I’m trumpeting what Jesus said, ‘Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you.’”

He gives God the glory for what has happened in West Africa.

Three decades ago, the first Church of Christ opened its doors in a town of less than 20,000, a few hours northeast of Ghana’s coastal capital, Accra. Today, Greater Dzodze has expanded to more than 30 congregations with an estimated 5,000 members.

And this community is far from alone. Churches of Christ are springing up across this part of West Africa. Last year, a 10-day campaign in northern Togo led to 2,800 baptisms. February’s campaign was no less breathtaking with 1,537 baptisms and 47 new churches.

Jerry Mitchell reports from Dzodze, Ghana.

 

 
Two adoptions, two differing views: Christian women reflect on their experiences
 

Two adoptions, two differing views: Christian women reflect on their experiences

 

Two Christian women, 18 years and a half-continent apart, faced painfully similar decisions — what to do about the baby. 

Yet, a generation later, their work with women and children confronting difficult circumstances has brought them to different conclusions about abortion.

Audrey Jackson reports.

 
 

 
VBS is one big drama
 

VBS is one big drama

 

For the Edmond Church of Christ, VBS stands for Very Busy Summer.

Actually, preparations for the 1,100-member congregation’s Vacation Bible School begin nine months in advance, Chara Watson said. She directs the 25-minute dramas that open four nights of Bible lessons, crafts and — of course — snacks for children from age 3 to fifth grade.

Leading up to the performances are long weeks of scripting, staging and costuming for a cast of 50 — some teens, some age 80 and up.

“Many of the cast members work full time and come straight from work to daily practice until 10 p.m.,” said Meredith Graham, who has volunteered with the church’s VBS for five years. “So many church members and youth group members are involved in setting up, tearing down … decorating, designing, sewing, cleaning costumes.”

The result: a four-part, a cappella, off-Broadway musical in central Oklahoma.

Erik Tryggestad reports from Edmond, Okla.

 
Indiana preacher faces ‘trials and tribulations’ after Batmobile shop raided
 

Indiana preacher faces ‘trials and tribulations’ after Batmobile shop raided

 

As a Christian and a big fan of Batman — a superhero who fights for justice — Mark Racop had never been on the wrong side of the law.

But the 57-year-old preacher and Batmobile maker found himself there when a team from the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department in California recently raided the garage of his company, Fiberglass Freaks, in Logansport, Ind.

Calvin Cockrell reports.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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