HURST, Texas (BNC) – “Let’s Start Talking” was begun as a ministry by Mark and Sherrylee Woodward in 1981. The idea was to make contacts and give Bible instruction by offering people in other countries the opportunity to learn English by reading the Bible with American students.
Recently, I was surprised when someone mentioned that not all workers sent by LST are members of the church of Christ. For verification I sent this question: “Are all those sent on LST campaigns active members of the church of Christ?”
Casondra Chazarreta, Executive Assistant, sent this reply: “To answer your question, we have several sites that only accept Church of Christ workers but we also have other sites who take Christian Church workers. So, not all of our workers we send out to the field are only Church of Christ but several are.”
This saddens me since I know several people personally who became Christians through “Let’s start talking” campaigns.
Until researching this article, I did not realize that from the beginning, LST has been closely associated with churches that use instrumental music.
For the first decade, the program was informal and local congregations were responsible for various aspects of the program. In 1989 Sherrylee Woodward was employed by the Dayspring Church of Christ in Edmond, Oklahoma to work with LST. It was the congregation the Woodwards attended.
Lindo King recently submitted these comments to a website: “Dayspring Church has always been gender-inclusive throughout its 34-year existence. We have had female deacons and full participation in public worship for over 20 years. For the last 4 years, we have also had female shepherds (elders).”
The LST ministry was under the oversight of the Dayspring church until 2000 when the program was continued under the oversight of the Richland Hills Church of Christ in Fort Worth, Texas. Like Dayspring, this congregation also uses instrumental music and encourages women to participate in public worship.
The following explanation was given regarding the “West Campus” of “The Hills Church”: “Women presently lead prayer, worship, and participate in other worship activities. There are plans to move steadily to a much stronger egalitarian position at all levels of church involvement and worship.”
Let’s Start Talking is incorporated as an independent non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, but is still closely associated with “The Hills Church.”