“Christianity is the obstacle standing in the way of full liberation from nature,
Green Acres Baptist Church of Tyler, TX, completed five years of construction with a Freedom Celebration and new conference center.
Thomas Nelson, the world’s leading publisher of KJV Bibles, will present an extensive exhibit of historic Bibles at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention, February 27-March 1, 2011, at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, TN.
Churches are approaching capital building projects differently and in more unique ways than ever before. The effects of the recession and the changing habits of our culture have driven a growing number to lay aside the more traditional 36 month campaign for much shorter options. While their reasons are greater than pure fund-raising strategy, the good news is that the results appear to be as good as the traditional approach when it comes to total dollars raised.
Three years ago a large church of 4,000 merged with a smaller church of 1,500 people, and the pastor of that smaller church, Terry Crist, became the senior pastor. The other pastor, Gary Kinnaman, stepped into a pastor-at-large role with his own personal ministry. Word of Grace church of Mesa, AZ, and CitiChurch in Scottsdale, AZ, chose a new name, City of Grace.
The story of that merger was told in the January 2009 issue of Church Executive. In a time when mergers, in addition to multi-site expansions, are becoming more attractive [see sidebar article on another Arizona merger],we visited again with Pastor Crist to see how the merger was progressing.
“Pastoral transitions are difficult under any circumstance,” Terry Crist reflects. “In our case there were several layers to the transition. On the surface, there was the pastoral transition from Gary Kinnaman to myself. A little deeper there was a generational transition with Gary being a Boomer, and myself being a Gen-X-er. At another level there was a transition in our style of worship and teaching.
Young preachers often aspire to lead a megachurch at one point in their ministry career. Only a few leaders realize this goal, but even fewer have an opportunity to serve as the lead pastor of multiple megachurches. Gene Appel is one member of this very small fraternity, and has effectively led three growing megachurches during his still young ministry career. Appel, 51, started as the lead pastor of Central Christian Church in Henderson, NV, a suburb of Las Vegas. During his 18-year ministry at Central, the church grew from an attendance of a few hundred to more than 7,000 then. Today, Central averages more than 15,000 in attendance.
In 1990 Congress amended the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to create a special immigration status for ministers and non-ministers in religious vocations and occupations. With recent passage of restrictive immigration legislation in the state of Arizona (the now famous or infamous SB 1070) and similar legislation pending in several other states, there has been a growing concern among religious and ministerial workers as to their status or continued status in the U.S. workforce. Further, the Homeland Security department continues to push for inspections of religious organizations in an effort to prevent radical groups from using these special visa programs to get terrorists into the country. Since its inception, reports of rampant fraud have abounded in the guest worker visa program despite attempts to correct this wrong.