HEADLINES: January 2018
HEADLINES: January 2018

By Chris Moon


Church Planter Helps with Recovery in Dominican Republic

Church planter Chris Hornbrook had to weather the storm last fall in his mission work in the Dominican Republic.

Hornbrook is working to start a church-planting movement on the Caribbean island and watched as Hurricane Maria spun by, doing significant damage to the region. It generated a lot of work for Hornbrook and his team, according to the Daily Journal in Franklin, Ind., which wrote about Hornbrook’s efforts.

“We’re working through our local churches and pastors so that they can help the people in their communities,” Hornbrook told the newspaper. “We’re providing mattresses, clean water, food and we’re also going to be helping fix homes and stuff like that.”

Hornbrook is a former Stadia church planter who launched Momentum Christian Church in 2008 in San Diego. Today, he is helping Louisville-based Go Ministries, which also has partnered with Stadia and has a goal to plant 1,000 churches in the Caribbean during the next 10 years. Hornbrook moved to the Dominican Republic last year.

Hurricane Maria tore up buildings and caused significant flooding on the island.

“The Dominican people are just resilient people,” Hornbrook told the Daily Journal. “It’s a third-world country, so they’re used to responding to crisis and adversity and all that. Even yesterday, there was dancing and celebrating and laughter in the midst of—I’m sitting here going, ‘I have never seen flooding like this in my life.’ They’re just resilient, beautiful people.”


Vegas Church Ministers to Mourners After Shooting

After a gunman opened fire in October on an unsuspecting concert crowd in Las Vegas, the nation began to mourn.

And Canyon Ridge Christian Church sprang to action.

The Las Vegas church hosted a candlelight vigil the day after the Oct. 1 mass shooting to provide a place for people to gather and pray. More than 3,500 mourners showed up, according to local television station WWAY.

The church posted a brief video from the vigil to its Facebook page that showed the mass of people at the church, their faces lit by candles, singing “Amazing Grace” in unison. The video was shared more than 17,000 times.

A commenter named Nina Marie said, “As someone who isn’t even religious, this brought tears down my face. People coming together in a time of tragedy is a beautiful thing. This world is so cruel . . . if only we could love each other like this all the time, it would be a better place.”

Canyon Ridge’s senior pastor is Kevin Odor.


Johnson University Builds New Activity Complex

Johnson University has something big in the works.

The Christian college is building a $19 million athletic and recreation complex at its Knoxville, Tenn., campus. The complex will provide outdoor facilities for baseball, softball, volleyball, tennis, and soccer. An 86,000-square-foot building will host basketball, swimming, and intramural sports, among other activities.

“Someone ought to ask the question, what does building a building like the ARC (Athletic and Recreation Complex) have to do with the mission of Johnson University,” said President Gary Weedman in the Royal Scribe, Johnson University’s student newspaper. “It is a lot of money, the likes of which we have not seen before now.”

But Weedman stressed that research shows college students desire things like social connections and physical activity, which the new facility will provide.

“So, it is not at all unrelated to our mission,” he said.

Construction is expected to be completed in a year. The Royal Scribe reports that the fund-raising effort for the facility still is under way. The project will not impact tuition.




Hope International University raised more than $160,000 toward student scholarships in the fall at its 2017 Spirit of Hope Concert & Awards Gala. Six hundred alumni and friends attended the event at the Grand Ballroom of the Disneyland Hotel. Longtime HIU Trustee Richard Lukas was given the Spirit of Hope Award by the university.  //  Akeem Scott has been named head coach of men’s basketball at Kentucky Christian University, according to the Journal-Times in Grayson, Ky. Scott is a KCU alumnus and most recently served as a coach at West Virginia State University.  // Timberlake Christian Church in Moberly, Mo., raised money for Hurricane Harvey victims by hosting a 5K run/walk. The Moberly Monitor-Index reports proceeds from the race would go to International Disaster Emergency Services.  //  First Christian Church in Deming, N.M., turned 100 this fall. According to the Deming Headlight newspaper, the church was first known as the Basement Church. Darrell Witmer serves as pastor.  //  Three of the five fastest-growing churches in the country are Restoration Movement Christian churches, according to an annual report in Outreach magazine. No. 2, Eastside Christian Church, Anaheim, Calif., has seen average weekly worship attendance increase by 1,979 (or 38 percent). No. 3, Shepherd Church, Porter Ranch, Calif., has grown in weekly attendance by 2,243 (27 percent).  //  The Indianapolis Star newspaper reported on the fast growth of Traders Point Christian Church in Indianapolis, which was named the fifth fastest-growing church in the country by Outreach. Attendance in the 183-year-old church grew by 26 percent in 2016. The church has two satellite campuses.  //  New Heights Christian Church in Connersville, Ind., has turned 70 years old, according to the Connersville News Examiner. Ryan Phelps serves as pastor.  //  Central Christian Church in Queen Creek, Ariz., broke ground this fall on a 40,000-square-foot building, according to the Queen Creek Independent newspaper. Attendance at the church runs between 600 and 800 on Sundays. CCC also holds services in Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Glendale, and Mesa; total combined attendance exceeds 9,000 weekly.  //  Lake Superior Christian Church in Marquette, Mich., hosted its first-ever Fall Fest in September. The event featured live music, free pizza, bounce houses, carnival games, and a maze, according to local news station TV6. Lead minister Brandon Morey said the event was designed simply “to engage with the community and be a blessing.”  //  First Christian Church in Dyersburg, Tenn., hosted its 14th annual pumpkin patch last fall, according to the State Gazette newspaper. Proceeds helped provide a Thanksgiving feast to a local family in need.  //  Manhattan (Kan.) Christian College will host its annual Woman’s World conference Feb. 23 and 24. The conference theme is “In the Eye of the Storm.” Robyn Dykstra will be the keynote speaker. MCC has hosted the conference since 1978.  //  Eastside Christian Church in Anaheim, Calif., served last fall as a collection site for household items and clothing for those affected by “Canyon Fire 2” near Anaheim, according to public radio station KPCC 89.3.  //  Northeast Christian Church in Louisville, Ky., spent one Sunday morning last fall providing landscaping for 31 school campuses in the area, according to WDRB.com. The project was part of the church’s “Love the Ville School Blitz,” which started five years ago.  //  Students from Ozark Christian College in Joplin, Mo., went to Houston in the fall to help Hurricane Harvey victims. The students partnered with College Heights Christian Church to do cleanup work, mold remediation, and demolition.


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