Oct. 1, 1965: Connecticut target of ’66 Exodus move
TUSCALOOSA,Ala. – An exodus of 300 Christians to Stamford, Conn., in Sept.1966 has been announced by the elders of the University Church of Christ in Tuscaloosa.
Nearly 100 persons have committed tothis effort.
The exodus will combine the efforts andtalents of several mature Christian families and recent college graduates fromthroughout the South.
The project, called Target ’66, will besponsored by the University Church elders, until the exodus congregation isestablished in Stamford, Conn., in Sept. 1966.
Jim Pounders, a graduate of David Lipscomb College and a preacher,will lead the exodus. Two other full-time ministers will assist Pounders in theprogram of the Stamfordcongregation. A personal work director and an educational director will workwith the evangelist in spearheading the church’s program of evangelism.
Pounders sees great potential in the Stamford effort:
“The mass exodus of Christians to thearea can draw the immediate attention of nearly a quarter million souls to ourconcern for the lost. Add to this the result of at least 100 projected homeBible study classes a week, and it is easy to imagine the tremendous growththat the exodus congregation will experience.”
Pounders served the Laurel AvenueChurch of Christ in Knoxville, Tenn.,for three years as the director of the ChristianStudent Centerat the University of Tennessee. Whilethere, he earned his master’s degree from the university.
Following this, he served as theminister of the church in Martin, Tenn., and taught in the Schoolof Religion at the University of Tennessee Martin Branch.
Pounders and his wife, Carolyn, andtheir two sons, Gary and Steve, moved to Tuscaloosain July to begin active preparations for Target ’66.
Pounders will be assisted during theyear of planning by Lynn Nelson, a graduate of Abilene Christian College. Together theywill travel to churches throughout the South to encourage many Christians to bea part of the exodus. In addition, they will visit Christian colleges and Biblechairs in an effort to influence 1966 graduates to join the move to Stamford.
The idea for Target ’66 was originallyconceived in 1963 at the annual Bible chair lectureship held that year in Tuscaloosa, Ala.At that time, two men – Jim Poundes and Kenneth Reed, minister of theUniversity church – met and found they were both acutely aware of the necessityof spreading the gospel in the Northeast United States.
Under the leadership of the Universitychurch elders, these men decided to plan an exodus to Connecticut, already determined to be anideal area for this type of evangelism. They were assisted in the selection ofa specific city by three Connecticut preachers– J. Harold Thomas of Groton, W.A. Harrison of Hartford, and Paul Watson of New Haven.
With the help of these men and afterseveral months of investigation and prayer, they chose Stamford as the “Target” area.
Since the selection of the city, thesebrethren have been assisted by a family of Christians already living in Stamford. The GainesTurners are performing many necessary chores in the exodus city whilepreparation continues in the South.
Stamford,known as “The City of Research” because of its 1600 industrial laboratories,offers unlimited employment to members of the exodus congregation, saidPounders. “In fact, though New York City is only40 minutes away, there are more working people commuting into Stamfordthan out of Stamfordfor jobs,” he said.
The population of Stamford has grown by 11,000 in the past fiveyears, with an increase of 11 percent. Industrial growth assures an evengreater rate of growth in the future. The mayor of Stamford recently approved an $86 millionurban renewal project to improve the downtown area of the city.
“Another attractive feature is the Connecticut turnpike system which makes Stamfordaccessible to New York, Washington, and other metropolitan areas,”said Pounders.
“To a member of the exodus,” saidPounders, “all this means a beautiful place to live, an abundance of jobopportunities, and a fruitful area for soul winning.”
There are already nearly 100 Christianscommitted to the exodus. Every week names of interested individuals are beingadded to the mailing list, indicating that interest is growing throughout thebrotherhood, he added.
If you wish to know more about theExodus to Stamford,write: Target ’66, University Church of Christ, 1006 University Avenue, Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
reprinted June 1, 2006