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State Churches Have A Lot Going Oncomment (0)

April 17, 2003

By Johnie Sentell

Mount Hebron West Baptist Church in Elmore has a cemetery adjoining it. One of the first plots you come across contains members of the Hanks family. Three men and two women are buried there. All three men’s markers list their service in a war. One died during World War II at the age of 21. We are reminded that freedom isn’t free.

Amer­ican troops are being lifted up in prayer across Alabama. Signs in front of churches around the state attest to that fact.

In the center of the state, a sign at Coosada Church in Mont­gomery Association reads, “Pray for Our Troops,” and one in front of Millbrook Church in Elmore Associ­ation says, “We Support and Pray for Our Troops.” In north Alabama, Marshall Association, a sign at First Church, Albertville, reads, “Prayer Time for Our Nation Nightly at 7:00.” In south Alabama near First Church, Enter­prise, the fence around the famous statue of the boll weevil is decorated with yellow ribbons as well as red, white and blue ribbons.

Many countries have patterned their freedoms after those of the United States. But most Amer-icans are probably unaware just how great an influence the religious beliefs of the colonists were in starting the Revolutionary War and in establishing our freedoms. A new one-hour video produced by the Southern Baptist Convention’s North Amer-ican Mission Board helps set the rec-ord straight. “Saints and Strangers” highlights the contributions of Baptists and other groups and involves historians ranging from Harvard Univer-sity to Southwestern Semi-nary to Notre Dame University.

Christians in Romania appreciate help from other countries. Members of Sardis Church near Boaz will go to Romania in June for the dedication of a church in which they and their pastor, Bro. Mike Goforth, have been closely involved.

The Vasser family at Sardis has even closer ties by being family for a Romanian student here. Their “daughter” for two years, Dana (pronounced Don­na), a student at Gads­den State Community College, will celebrate her 21st birthday April 29. You can send her a card in care of the Vassers at Sardis Baptist Church, 1501 Church St., Boaz, AL 35956.

A few months ago at Mount Calvary Church, Albertville, member Regina Gregg had a good idea to improve the preschool and children’s classrooms wing. The church picked up on her initiative and reworked the area, rearranging some walls, adding tile floors and painting bright scenes on the walls of the rooms and hallways. Pastor Dean Timbes said the renovation project in­volved a good number of church members and has proved very popular with youngsters and parents.

About the same time, the church received fire and smoke damage from a blaze that started from a malfunctioning baptismal heater. While the building was repaired and cleaned up, for several weeks Mount Calvary held worship services in the church’s new $1.5 million Christian Life Center.

Marie Green of Orange Beach, a member of Island Fellowship Church, also had a good idea approved by her church: provide The Alabama Baptist for all its families. The church was started about a year and a half ago. The congregation meets at the Mariner Lakes clubhouse and hopes to acquire property before long. Mrs. Green said things, “keep falling into place. The Lord is taking care of us.” Brother Kenneth Webb is pastor of Island Fellowship.

Mrs. Green said she enjoys reading The Alabama Baptist to find out what other churches are doing. “There are just so many enlightening things in the paper,” she said.

She is also glad the Baldwin Association newsletter is delivered as a part of the paper.

Does your church provide The Alabama Baptist to all resident families? If not, this is a good time to start. Be sure to put the paper in your church budget for next year. Although the cost is low, it is an important investment in the families of your church.
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