After Hickory Valley Christian Church raised money to give Rosa Berry a new car, the staff member at Chattanooga (Tenn.) Rescue Mission paid it forward by giving her old car to Jeff Willard, a man recovering from drug addiction. The formerly homeless man has been using a bike to get around. Willard said the first place he hopes to drive the car is to church.
HVCC minister Jack Dyer told WDEF.com it’s heartening to see one good deed followed by another good deed. “It spreads and spreads . . . like a snowball—it just keeps going,” Dyer said.
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Longtime Ozark Christian College professor of preaching Mark Scott, who is retiring after this school year, was saluted by colleagues and former students in a video shown at the school’s Baccalaureate service.
Said OCC president Matt Proctor: “On the seventh day, God rested, but on the eighth day, he said, ‘Let there be preacher’ . . . and there was Mark Scott.”
Scott served Ozark a total of 35 years, including time as academic dean. He will transition to full-time preacher with Park Plaza Christian Church in Joplin, which he began serving late last year. Scott also will continue writing the weekly Bible lessons for Christian Standard.
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As more people return to in-person worship in the wake of COVID-19, Visioneering Studios will host a webinar on “The New World of Kids Ministry” that features Jessica Bealer, director of family ministry services with Generis. Visioneering’s Dave Milam will speak with Bealer about what changes she sees in the processes and spaces used for kid’s ministry. The webinar will take place at 3 p.m. (CST) Wednesday, May 19. Register at visioneeringstudios.com.
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Milligan University moved its spring 2021 commencement ceremony to TVA Credit Union Ballpark in Johnson City, Tenn., to uphold the university’s COVID-19 safety protocols and allow the entire class of graduates to celebrate together May 1. Milligan commencements historically have been held in the university’s Seeger Chapel. To commemorate this year’s event, which saw more than 250 degrees awarded, Milligan president Dr. Bill Greer began the ceremony by throwing out a first pitch to the graduates. The ballpark is the home field for the Johnson City Doughboys’ baseball team.
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Although some believed the COVID-19 pandemic might lead to a baby boom, the birth rate and fertility rate in the United States actually fell to historic lows during 2020, according to a provisional report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics.
The CDC said last week the provisional number of births in the U.S. in 2020 was 3.6 million, a decline of about 4 percent from 2019 and the lowest number of births since 1979. It was the sixth consecutive year the number of births in the U.S. declined.
The general fertility rate was 55.8 births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44, down 4 percent from 2019.
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Dr. Fay Ellwood, associate professor of English at Hope International University, Fullerton, Calif., received the Rose B. and Edgar B. McReynolds Faculty Excellence Award for the 2020-21 academic year. The award is presented yearly to a faculty member who embodies teaching and learning excellence. Students described Ellwood as “immensely intelligent, genuinely interested, and kind to all of her students.”
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The Indianapolis Business Journal wrote an historical biographical feature about Ovid Butler, a lawyer and influential Christian who was instrumental in founding Northwestern Christian University in 1850, the forerunner of Butler University, Butler School of Religion, and Christian Theological Seminary.
In an essay from 1998, former Christian Standard editor Edwin V. Hayden wrote that in 1934, P.H. Welshimer recommended he attend “the Butler School of Religion, led by Dean Frederick D. Kershner, with able assistance from Bruce Kershner, Professor Dean E. Walker, Dr. Toyozo W. Nakarai, and other dedicated Christian scholars, ‘sound in the faith.’” We will feature that article, “Not Too Busy to Help,” as tomorrow’s Throwback Thursday feature.
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A late-April poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that white evangelicals (54 percent) were about as likely to have received the COVID-19 vaccine as the country overall (56 percent), Christianity Today reported. But among those not yet vaccinated, white evangelicals “are half as likely as Americans overall to say they plan to get the shot ASAP, and 20 percent say they definitely won’t be getting the shot, 7 percentage points lower than the rest of the country.”
There are a range of perspectives on vaccination in most evangelical churches, CT reported, making it difficult for pastors to know when or how to address the topic.
“I know pastors who won’t even mention masks because people would leave. I’d say vaccines are even more sensitive,” Dan DeWitt, director of the Center for Biblical Apologetics and Public Christianity at Cedarville (Ohio) University, told the magazine. “Pastors feel so constrained. They want to take care of their people, but they know one careless comment could cost them.”
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The producers of the new film Walking with Herb describe it as “uplifting” as it “takes audiences on an 18-hole rollercoaster ride as one man discovers how the impossible can become possible through faith, family and second chances.” The movie, which opened this past weekend, stars Edward James Olmos, Kathleen Quinlan, and comedian George Lopez.
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