12 June, 2021

OCC Observes 10-Year Anniversary of Joplin Tornado (Plus News Briefs)

by | 2 June, 2021 | 0 comments

A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers map showing damage of 2011 Joplin tornado (courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Several folks gathered at Ozark Christian College recently for a time of worship, prayer, and remembrance on the 10-year anniversary of a tornado that ravaged Joplin, Mo., killing about 160, injuring more than 1,100, and causing $2.8 billion in damage. The deadly tornado occurred May 22, 2011.

Randy Gariss shared a devotion and remembrance of the tragedy. (Click here to view it.) Gariss was serving as senior minister of College Heights Christian Church in Joplin 10 years ago; he now serves as co-director of the OCC’s Life and Ministry Preparation Center.

Shortly after the disaster, OCC president Matt Proctor wrote a pamphlet called “In the Midst of the Storm: Stories of the Joplin Tornado and the Presence of God”; OCC has made that publication available for viewing and download via ISSUU.

In the days after the tornado, Joplin’s Victor Knowles wrote a “Firsthand Report” on the destruction for Christian Standard.

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News Briefs

Passion for Planting, the church planting ministry of New Life Christian Church in Chantilly, Va., is now accepting applications for their 2021–22 Distance Church Planting Residency Cohort. The cohort commences in September and runs through May. 

Through the program, residents receive live training from nationally recognized church leaders while staying in their local context. During the nine-month program, residents develop their own contextualized church-planting strategies while building lifelong friendships with other church planters. 

For more info about the program and to learn how you can reserve your spot, visit church-planting.net/residencies.

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“Seniors by the Sea”Mid-Atlantic Christian University’s first post-COVID-19, in-person event—is slated to start at 10 a.m. this coming Tuesday at the Davenport Chapel on the campus in Elizabeth City, N.C. The day’s activities will center on a presentation by Dr. Kevin Larsen, vice president for academic affairs, who has participated in several archaeological digs in Israel. Activities will include a tour of his exhibit at the Museum of the Albermarle. There also will be presentations by MACU leadership. Cost to attend is $20, which will include lunch. Learn more at www.macuiversity.edu.

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Holley Christian Church in Sweet Home, Ore., will celebrate its 150th anniversary on Sunday, the same day lead pastor Kevin Hill will mark his 20th anniversary with the church. The New Era carried a lengthy article about the church’s history and about Hill, a Boise Bible College graduate who admitted he was only planning to stay at HCC for a few years.

“People say, ‘If you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans,” Hill told the paper. “Jesus had different plans, and I’m still here.”

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Point University’s men’s golf team finished fourth in the NAIA Men’s Golf National Championship but retained its No. 1 position in the final Golfstat poll. Also, senior Ruan Pretorius finished No. 1 in the player rankings. Pretorius and teammate Ryan van der Klis, a sophomore, were named to the PING All-America First Team and also have been named finalists for the Jack Nicklaus National Player of the Year Award. Head coach Shannon Liphan was named a finalist for the Dave Williams Award.

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Suncrest Christian Church of St. John, Ind., has partnered with Habitat for Humanity of Northwest Indiana to help build a home. A group of 50 volunteers from the church recently gathered in the Suncrest parking lot and built all 32 interior and exterior walls. The church also provided donations for materials. The walls eventually will be shipped to the site in Merrillville, www.nwitimes.com reported.

Jared Mehrle, SCC’s missions pastor, said partnering with H4H has given the church an opportunity to “transform lives in ways we could not on our own.”

When the home is finished, Leslie Corona and her family will move in to begin their next chapter, the website reported. 

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Central Christian College of the Bible in Moberly, Mo., started its Master of Arts in Ministry Leadership program only last August, but the program has already seen its first graduate. On May 14, Mark Williams was “hooded” at the school’s commencement, according to CCCB’s Facebook page. How did it happen so fast? Williams started his master’s studies at Cincinnati Christian University, but that school closed after the fall semester in 2019. CCCB was one of several accredited Christian colleges that reached out to CCU students as potential transfer homes.

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Hundreds of churches had checks totaling $740,000 stolen from their mailboxes over a period of months, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Romanian nationals living in Orlando, Fla., are charged with stealing donations from church mailboxes and depositing them into ATMs, and then withdrawing the funds as soon as the checks cleared, the Associated Press reported. Four of six of suspects had been arrested as of last week.

“This low-tech yet well-organized effort to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of mailed-in charitable donations—at a time when donations may have been most needed—has been stopped,” FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen said in a news release.

In total, the FDLE identified 636 churches that were victimized, more than half of them in Florida.

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The Word Diet is a Bible-reading plan for newbies and strugglers. The program seeks to help nurture Bible reading and light journaling as a spiritual discipline, empowering people to read the Bible on their own. The plan is for individuals, pairs, and group study. Click here to learn more.

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