Headlines: December 2017
Headlines: December 2017

By Chris Moon

 

Pastor Shifts Gears to Raise Funds

Jeff Greco will go out of his way for a good fund-raiser—literally.

The pastor of Crossroads Christian Church in Wintersville, Ohio, in September cycled nearly 900 miles in eight days from Kansas City, Mo., back to Crossroads. The goal was to raise money to buy a new pickup truck for the church’s missionary in Thailand.

Greco embarked on the trip hoping people in his congregation and community would be inspired—not just to give money to help the missions effort, but also to step out in their faith.

“I want to show people that No. 1, we kind of have to make a sacrifice,” he told WTOV News 9. “If we want to help other people, it costs us something. And No. 2, I want to show people that—I mean I’m not like super fit; I’m just a regular guy—if you put your mind to stuff, and especially if you’re doing it for the right reasons, you can achieve more than you ever thought you could.”

A video shows Greco moments after he finally reached the Crossroads facility; he was met by a group of cheering church members. He told the congregation the wind always seemed to be at his back while riding and that the churches he stayed at each night along the way went to great lengths to care for his needs.

“I will tell you, there are some places in Missouri and Illinois where it’s 40 or 45 miles between gas stations,” he said. “And that’s a long way on a bicycle, even for somebody who rides [a lot].”
He added, “I’ll be really glad to sleep in my own bed tonight.”

Greco later told Christian Standard that the church met its $35,000 fund-raising goal. The church will send a team to visit Thailand in February, and “when we get there, we’re going to buy a truck,” Greco said.

The truck is for a missionary who serves in a school and hostel in rural Thailand. The missionary also assists with several church plants that Crossroads has helped start.

Crossroads expects to give $110,000 to missions this year, Greco said.

“One of the reasons we’ve grown [as a church] is our insistence on missions,” he said. “The more money we give away, the more people give. It’s incredible.”

Photo of Jeff Greco ©Janice Kiaski/The Herald-Star, Steubenville, Ohio

 

New MACU Biology Major Professes Creation

Mid-Atlantic Christian University in Elizabeth City, N.C., has launched a new biology major placing God at the center of a discipline that typically puts its emphasis elsewhere.

“I’m very excited about being able to teach about the life around us and how to learn about our world and have it all match up with my biblical beliefs and our biblical beliefs,” said new MACU biology professor Gerry Woodworth in a story at DailyAdvance.com.

Biology typically focuses on the way in which evolution has affected life on earth. But, according to the Daily Advance, MACU’s biology program will emphasize God as the creator of the universe.

Woodworth told the website that evolution is not an adequate explanation for the origins of life, but it does help explain the diversity of plant and animal life on earth. He made the distinction between macroevolution and microevolution.

Woodworth holds a PhD in environmental science, the Daily Advance says. MACU has 15 biology majors in its new program.

 

Year-Old Church Plant Helps Houston Rebuild

Wake Church hasn’t been around very long, but it’s already making a big impact in its local community.

The year-old Houston church plant in September raised more than $50,000 in donations from churches across the country for its Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. The church also recruited 300 volunteers to complete demolition work on 35 homes—saving homeowners $15,000 to $25,000 each.

Wake was launched in a partnership with Stadia. Its mission is to “wake people up to new life in Jesus.”

“Wake is committed to helping our city rebuild,” said Wake church planter Josh Gosney in a news release posted on the Stadia website.

Donations to the church’s efforts included truckloads of food, water, diapers, and cleaning supplies. All told, the church figures it has generated roughly $500,000 in relief for Houston through donations and volunteer labor.

In a video at Stadia’s website, Gosney said, “We are a church plant that is coming up on just a year old, and it is incredible to feel the support, to feel the love of churches all throughout the United States and worldwide—for you guys to say, hey, we are sending our love to Houston. . . . Because of you, the vision of our church has been able to be carried out through one of the darkest hours that this city has ever seen.”

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SEE WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE RESTORATION MOVEMENT COMMUNITY.

Manhattan (Kan.) Christian College recently opened its first campus gymnasium, according to The Mercury newspaper. Howie’s Activity Center is the key element of MCC’s Next Generation Campaign, which began in 2015 and coincides with the school’s 90th anniversary celebration. The school raised $3.4 million.  //  Ozark Christian College alumnus Steve Bycroft was interviewed for a recent story in the Joplin (Mo.) Globe about his missionary work in Sri Lanka. He is the founder of Lamp Lighters World Ministries. Since 2000, Bycroft and his wife, Shanthi, have helped establish nine churches and have three more awaiting governmental approval in Sri Lanka.  //  MOKAN Church Planting Network is sending Chris and Mandy Hedges to plant a church in Winfield, Kan. The church plant will be in partnership with Nexus Church Planting and CEA:Kansas.  //  Church of the Crossroads in Mount Washington, Ky., held its first official service on Sept. 17 in a local elementary school. Lead pastor John Parkey and his wife, Valerie, launched the church saying, “We are committed to loving one another, loving our neighbors, and serving Mount Washington and beyond in radical, selfless fashion.”  //  Intermountain Church Planters is preparing to launch churches in Nampa, Idaho, and Missoula, Mont. Mickey and Julie Strong are on the ground in Nampa raising money in partnership with Canyon Springs Christian Church in Middleton, Idaho. Meanwhile, Paule and Mollie Patterson are in Missoula, Mont., preparing to launch a church with the assistance of a Lolo, Mont., church that decided to shut down and use their resources to help spark the new church plant in Missoula.  //  Westside Christian Church in Parsons, Kan., celebrated its 50th anniversary in September. Pastor Doug Baty said the church hosted a special service sharing about the church’s history that included a concert by The Texans.  //  Hope International University in Fullerton, Calif., held its annual Spirt of Hope Gala on Sept. 23. The evening entertainment featured comedian Michael Jr.  //  Roger Whaley, founder of Servants of Our Lord Ministry and a member of Eastview Christian Church in Normal, Ill., died in September. Servants of Our Lord delivers food, clothing, and furniture to more than 200,000 people annually in the Appalachia region of Eastern Kentucky. The ministry serves 25 food pantries in the region.  //  Forget Me Not Ministries, founded by Lincoln (Ill.) Christian University graduate Rachel Ross, recently held its 11th Annual Benefit Dinner and Silent Auction to raise money for its Romanian mission. The ministry seeks to give aid to Roma-Gypsy families in Romania.  //  Milligan College will begin offering a Master of Arts degree in Humanities in the fall of 2018. The 30-hour program will offer concentrations in cultural studies; faith, arts, and community; and global studies.  //  Northwest Christian University, Eugene, Ore., this fall welcomed its biggest-ever freshman class, pushing NCU’s total student population to roughly 800.  //  Southeast Christian Church celebrated Labor Day by hosting a huge “Family Palooza” with more than 25,000 people in attendance, according to WDRB.com. The free-to-the-public, carnival-like event featured games, inflatables, a water slide, and a petting zoo at three Southeast Christian Church locations.  //  Baseball legend Darryl Strawberry spoke at the sixth-annual Pivot Men’s Conference at Compassion Christian Church, Savannah, Ga. Strawberry is now an ordained minister who runs two addiction recovery centers in Orlando with his wife, Tracy. He travels to about 80 churches and conferences each year sharing his story of redemption, according to Bluffton Today.  //  Crossroads Christian Church in Newburgh, Ind., celebrated its 50th anniversary with a movie on the lawn, bounce houses, free candy, drinks, and food trucks. The church started in 1967 as Plaza Park Christian Church with 50 members and now has nearly 4,000, according to 14 News in Evansville.  //  First Christian Church in Cleburn, Texas, celebrated its 150th anniversary in September with an outdoor party that included multiple preachers giving short messages to the crowd. Jeff Foster is senior pastor.  //  First Christian Church in Fayetteville, Ark., partnered with 7Hills Homeless Center in September for the second annual “Shelter Jam,” which raised money with the goal of ending homelessness in Northwest Arkansas.

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