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Pastors say state paper ‘brings us together’comment (0)

October 17, 2002

By Johnie Sentell

Most of us have noticed people talking on the phone while they are driving a car. Their lack of focus on the task at hand endangers not only themselves but also the people around them.

We Christians can also get distracted from doing our main task, which is working together to spread the good news of God’s love.

Pastors around the state recently described ways their churches benefit when their members read The Alabama Baptist. One major theme emerged: The paper keeps Baptists well informed so we can do the Lord’s work together.

Pastor Winston McNiel of Spring-dale Church, Tarrant, and a former missionary to Colom-bia, noted the paper “keeps us informed and brings us together.”

Brother Bill Hewett, pastor of Southridge Community Church, a new Baptist church in Tuscaloosa Association, called last week to arrange for his church members to get The Alabama Baptist.

“It is a fine paper,” Bro. Hewett said. “We want to keep our members informed about the convention’s missions work.”

He noted that the inclusion of Tusca-loosa Association’s news-letter shows what is going on locally.

“It is very informative,” he said.

Brother Allen Davis, pastor of East Gardendale Church, said, “We want our members to be better informed and more missions-minded, “to seek the lost at all costs.

“That is what we are doing,” Bro. Davis said, adding the paper promotes Christian morals and a high standard of ethics. For new members from a non-Baptist background, the paper “educates our people about what Baptists stand for,” he said.

Pastor Larry Fincher of Pleasant Springs Church, Huntsville, said it is important for new church members to read The Alabama Baptist.

“Through the paper they can get a broader horizon; they read what Baptists are doing in the state and around the world,” he said.

“It is beneficial to help other churches know what is going on and what our missionaries are doing,” he added. “These kinds of things draw people together and make us a better denom-ination.”

Pleasant Springs gives 15 percent through the Cooperative Program, 2 percent to the association, 1 percent to the Alabama Baptist Children’s Homes and Family Ministries and 2 percent for a food ministry.

Soon Pleasant Springs members will vote on building space for 11 classrooms, a gym and a fellowship hall.

Pastor Allan Murphy of North Shelby Church (Shelby Association) said, “I am glad we send The Ala-bama Baptist to everybody. It is our church’s newsletter vehicle, too.”

Brother Murphy and his wife, Mary, formerly served as missionaries to Curacao, off the coast of Venezuela. Each year North Shelby members go there for missions work. The church annually gives more than $105,000 to convention causes.

“The paper helps us understand what Baptists are doing together,” Bro. Murphy said. “It also helps us build understanding and fellowship between churches. We can understand and appreciate each other, the more we see what our sister churches are doing.

“I am very proud of The Alabama Baptist,” he said. “I think it is balanced and not slanted in any particular direction except toward the gospel. Our people need a worldwide perspective, and there is no better way than The Alabama Baptist.

“I think we are doing the right thing by giving The Alabama Baptist to every church family.”

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