Supporters have helped Ozark Christian College meet the $5.9 million goal for its Ready To Go campaign. President Matt Proctor says the gifts and commitments are being directed toward accomplishing three initiatives:
• Support the launch of its graduate program, which started in fall 2022 and now has more than 90 students.
• Pay for dorm renovations. A women’s dorm (Mabee Hall) and a men’s dorm (Boatman Hall) are now complete.
• Fund student grants. International students and at-need students are receiving these grants.
Proctor offered thanks to those who are supporting the school, located in Joplin, Mo. He noted he was recently informed, “In 2021-22, among the 16 colleges in our fellowship, 401 students graduated with a Bible or ministry degree. Of those 401, 115 were from Ozark . . . which means our college trained 29 percent of our movement’s ministry graduates.”
_ _ _
There’s still time to register for SpireConference, which starts next Tuesday and runs through next Thursday at the Gaylord Opryland Resort Center in Nashville, Tenn. Learn more and register to attend at spire.network.
_ _ _
Neal Windham will be the featured speaker next month at the Midwest Ministers’ Retreat at Lincoln (Ill.) Christian University. The theme will be “A Call to Compassion.” Doors will open at 5 p.m. Oct. 23 and the gathering will conclude with prayer at 2 p.m. Oct. 24. Windham is professor emeritus at LCU. He is currently teaching in the School of Ministry at Northside Christian Church in New Albany, Ind. Cost is $30 per person ($20 for spouses). Learn more and register at lincolnchristian.edu.
_ _ _
A children’s pastor in Shawnee, Kan., is charged with five counts of attempted murder and one count of aggravated arson with risk of bodily harm after allegedly stabbing his wife and setting their house on fire, the Kansas City Star reported. The couple have five children, at least some of whom also suffered lacerations, according to the Shawnee Police Department.
Matthew Lee Richards, 41, was arrested Saturday and is being held on a $5 million bond. He had served with Crossroads Christian Church in Shawnee for several years.
The church family “is shocked, sickened, and saddened by Saturday morning’s events involving our former children’s pastor,” CCC shared on its Facebook page Monday. The church is cooperating with investigators, providing support to members of the Richards family who were victimized, and offering grief counseling for children and families. A fund for the family also has been established.
_ _ _
After morning worship services on Sunday, Sept. 10, Grande Prairie Church of Christ celebrated Alan and Sheena Jones’s 40 years of ministry with the congregation. Forward congratulations to the Joneses in care of the church at 9602 92 Ave., Grande Prairie, AB T8V 0H4 CANADA; [email protected], or (780) 538-4211.
_ _ _
A post at Juicy Ecumenism chronicles the decline in membership in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) from nearly 2 million in the mid-1960s to about 278,000 in 2022. Attendance last year averaged about 90,000. “Their ability to minister as a denomination of nationwide reach is rapidly fading,” the post noted.
_ _ _
Best-selling Christian author Max Lucado, pastor of Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, recently confessed to relying on alcohol for a time to try to relieve stress and pressure he was feeling.
“The staff needed me. The pulpit required me. The publisher was counting on me. The entire world was looking to me,” he wrote.
Finally, after a conversation with God, Lucado said, “I confessed my hypocrisy to our elders, and they did what good pastors do. They covered me with prayer and designed a plan to help me cope with demands.”
The Christian Post reported on the Lucado’s struggles.
_ _ _
Send news to [email protected].