Violence pushes missionaries out of South Sudan

JUBA, South Sudan (BNC) by Don Humphrey — Dennis Cady has been working in Bor, about 100 miles north of Juba, and has been affected by the violence.

The violence seems to be isolated to the capitol city of Juba and the main highway from Juba to Nimule, which is the border crossing into Uganda.

Tim Brumfield, who works with us, was in Pajok (where our work is centered) but when rumors started, he was able to leave through some of the back roads into Uganda. Continue reading “Violence pushes missionaries out of South Sudan”

Camp Amerikraine celebrates 14 years of success

UKRAINE, (BNC) by Jamie Suiter – Camp Amerikraine recently met in the Ukraine for their 14th year this July!

According to director Jeff Abrams, Camp Amerikraine had approximately 300 campers. The camp has grown over the years and is the largest gathering of churches of Christ in the country.

The camp started out focusing mostly on young people, but has evolved into serving more adult Christians and being a tool for uniting churches and strengthening Christian relationships. Twenty-five of the campers were from the occupied territory and fifty were from what we would call a war zone. Continue reading “Camp Amerikraine celebrates 14 years of success”

Patient, soft-spoken school principal blessed students

GAINESVILLE, Ark. (BNC) — Joe Yeargain was a tall, big man, a no-nonsense kind of man, as a school principal had to be. He served for longer than my young mind could remember, but my passing 11 years in the same rural school building tends to blur what happened when and how long things lasted.

After those 11 years of grade school, middle school, and high school at Lafe, Ark., I was transferring out to spend my last year in the Marmaduke system.

Joe and Jeannie Yeargain, 2015

On one of my last days, perhaps the very last, Joe called me into his office.

He offered me a small book.

“We give these books to graduating seniors,” he said. “But since you almost finished here, take this with you.”

I still have that book, on having a positive and successful life, tucked away somewhere. I was touched by his gesture and felt honored that Joe would recognize me in this way.

Joe passed away Sunday, June 5, at 76.

He was a patient and soft-spoken man, which in some ways made him more ominous to students. Often, a look was all it took to settle a situation. But, in an age when corporal punishment effectively settled discipline problems, Joe wasn’t afraid to use the paddle either. And a small paddle it was not.

Joe exemplified the positive male role for students, with all fairness and a kind strictness that kept the school running smoothly.

In my return visits to the area, I only ran into Joe once or twice in the remaining years. But I have always remembered him fondly.

Joe also taught and coached the basketball team at Lafe for a time. In a social media group, former students remembered his sense of humor and commented how much he was loved and respected by the student body.

Joe and his wife Jeannie were part of the Gainesville congregation.

Photo of the Yeargains: Denise Knuckles. School building photo is an old picture digitalized and posted on the Lafe school group page.

Preacher evacuated from Mongolia due to measles outbreak, others ‘very sick’

ULAANBAATAR, Mongolia (BNC) — One preacher has been evacuated from Mongolia because of a measles outbreak and two others are very sick, Tom Langley of World English Institute said today.

Bill Stewart is “deathly sick,” Tom said. “He has seen a doctor and been given medication for the flu, but I don’t think he’ll be up for a couple of days.” Continue reading “Preacher evacuated from Mongolia due to measles outbreak, others ‘very sick’”

J. Lee Roberts leaves a rich heritage

J. Lee Roberts

LUBBOCK, TX (BNC). At the age of 90, J. Lee Roberts, former missionary to Belgium and Professor Emeritus of Lubbock Christian University, passed away at Lubbock, Texas on May 6, 2016.

J. Lee and Margaret RobertsJ. Lee and Margaret Roberts were missionaries at Liege, Belgium from 1954 until 1966. They met at Paris, France after WWII where J Lee was attending art school and Margaret’s father was working with the Marshal Plan. They were married in 1950. J Lee had been in the military in Europe during the war.

When support for their mission work was terminated in 1966, they returned to the States where J. Lee first taught art at Harding University and then at Lubbock Christian University from 1970 to 1994. He chaired the art department there from 1970 to 1984.

An exhibition of some of his art work is found here.

Margaret passed away on January 3, 2007 at the age of 80. She taught at LCU from 1970 to 1995.

Former missionary to Belgium, Donald Taylor, writes: “J and Margaret were our neighbors in Belgium (Liege/Verviers). We loved them very much, were often in their home, and worked with them to establish churches in Belgium. J was a zealous, fervent Christian man who involved himself with young people. We will miss him and his Internet posts, but look forward to being with him in heaven with our precious Lord.”

Former missionary to France, Bren White, writes: “J. Lee encouraged many people all over the world during his life! He was a wonderful example of faith and love in Jesus Christ! He encouraged me to get involved in French-speaking mission work, to help start a church in Strasbourg, France and to launch ‘Operation French World’ twenty-years ago.”


Beautiful day for the graduating class at Freed Hardeman University

HENDERSON, TENN., (BNC) by Jamie Suiter — In spite of a cold snap and what we call in West Tennessee a “Blackberry Winter” Freed Hardeman University (FHU) in Henderson had a beautiful sunny day for their graduating class of approximately 250 students.

Three of these students were from the new Dixon, Tenn., facilities. Nineteen states were represented and three different countries. Two students were from Canada, one from Uganda and one was an American living in Singapore who completed his Master of Ministry with the online program.

Jay Lockheart , pulpit minister and an elder for the Whitehouse church in Whitehouse, Tex., spoke at the commencement in the Loyd Auditorium. Jay and his wife Arlene Carter Lockheart met while attending Freed Hardeman College. Brother Lockheart has done work with Truth For Today in Searcy, Ark., and was host of the popular television broadcast “The Search” in Tyler, Tex., from 1985-2007.

One of his outstanding quotes given to the class was, “As you prepare to leave these sacred halls of a university that we love so much and you go to make your mark on the world, you will go as those who have learned to make a living, but you’ll also go as those who have learned how to live. No greater life could we live than the life of a servant. Wherever you go, go as a great servant.” (From the Jackson Sun, Jackson Tenn.)

I asked one of the graduates, Drew Crews of Samburg, Tenn., to give us his assessment of the four years he spent at FHU and he gave this heart-stirring statement.

“The money I spent to attend Freed-Hardeman University was well worth it. My teachers, whether they taught Bible or biology, were top-notch, and helped me to think critically about the world around me and also how to think and live as Christ would. That pertains to every teacher I had at Freed, didn’t matter what subject they taught. More than anything, the growth I experienced while at Freed is what really means the most to me.

“The friends I made during my time there are amazing. I know I can talk to them about anything and know they will be there for me. I think back to all of the crazy, fun things we did late at night in the dorm when we should have been asleep or studying that we still talk and laugh about to this day. I also recall the deep, meaningful talks I had with them, as well. One time, my friends and I stayed up until 3 am talking about faith, and it was awesome. While at Freed, I found a desire to want to know more about God, and love him and others the way he loves me and you. I found a desire to serve others for his glory.

“My worldview has expanded, and my thirst for knowledge of God and his word has grown. I wouldn’t change a thing about my time at Freed. I think if you are serious about challenging your faith, growing spiritually, and learning how to live as Christ would in any occupation you choose, then going to Freed-Hardeman University. Don’t let the cost scare you. You are going to be so glad you invested your money into a Freed-Hardeman education.”

This is why I love my job

Kristy Woodall

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (BNC) by Kristy Woodall — A policeman was posted outside his door. This angry young man in the emergency room would soon be having surgery for two gunshot wounds. Due to circumstances, his family was not allowed to be with him.

He was frustrated and wanted to be heard. I listened and sympathized and could see the anger for what it was—fear. He was alone before surgery and afraid. I asked if prayer would offend him. The chip on his shoulder fell off as he thanked me.

Hours later, after surgery, I was called once again to draw his blood. As I entered, he smiled. Before I left, he thanked me through tears and told me that God answered my prayer.

My heart swelled for this young man whose life seems to be on a fast track to destruction. His own choices probably put him in the hospital.

Simple sincere compassion and a redirect to Christ could possibly, just maybe, point him in the right direction. I was given the opportunity to make a small difference in his life today.

THIS is why I love my job.

Kristy currently lives in Albuquerque, NM where her husband preaches with the Northeast church of Christ.

Restored preacher focuses on church’s plans and efforts

CORDOVA, Alabama (BNC) — Zac Langley hopes the recent newspaper article about him encourages people to visit the Zion congregation he works with.

“Let us all pray that it does the story justice and does not bring shame to our Zion Church of Christ but instead give people a reason to visit,” he wrote May 7 on Facebook, the day before the feature article appeared in the area newspaper. Continue reading “Restored preacher focuses on church’s plans and efforts”

Should I boycott if I love Jesus?

SINGAPORE (BNC) by Chantelle Swayne — “I love shopping at Target but I love Jesus more.” I read these words and I stopped.

Does shopping at Target really mean that I hate Jesus? Will I lose my soul if I don’t follow along with everyone else as they boycott yet another wayward company?

It may seem like a black and white issue on the surface. There’s a company whose moral code conflicts with your faith—so you shouldn’t give them your business and no one should, right? It seems like an open and closed case, but there’s actually a bit more to it than that.

Continue reading “Should I boycott if I love Jesus?”

Brother defends popular brotherhood author against gossip

MCLOUD, Okla. (BNC) — A gospel preacher has come to the defense of one of the most popular authors in the brotherhood, answering charges and rebuking brethren for engaging in gossip.

Bradley Cobb, of website and Cobb Publishing, knows Michael Shank, author of Muscle and a Shovel. Bradley works with the McLoud congregation.

He’s heard it all about Michael, he said in a post published Apr. 19. Continue reading “Brother defends popular brotherhood author against gossip”

Missionary, editor, author, illustrator Glover Shipp goes home

Margie and Glover Shipp
Margie and Glover Shipp

AUSTIN, Tex. (BNC) by Barry Newton — Earlier today, Dr. Glover Shipp, a tireless worker for Lord left this life to be with his Lord. With a fire in his bones to serve the expansion of the Lord’s kingdom, Glover and Margie Shipp left for Belo Horizonte, Brazil in 1967 with their five children where he was instrumental in contributing to the establishment of the Carlos Prates congregation.

An ardent student with a natural creative flair, Glover acquired a wide variety of tools for serving the Lord. He would earn degrees in art, communication, theology, missiology and anthropology. The impact of his ministry has had a wide influence spanning decades and continents. Continue reading “Missionary, editor, author, illustrator Glover Shipp goes home”

Worldly business mentality invades the church

Steven Rasberry
Steven Rasberry

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (BNC) Guest Editorial by Steven Rasberry — As the church, we should seek to adhere to the inspired pattern. We often, and rightly so, go to great lengths to keep our worship in spirit and in truth. But as any well trained solder is trained to know, we need to guard our flanks and not allow the enemy unhindered access. Even if we have the worship down pat, if we are off on our heart and mindset, we can become just as lost.

For decades, many congregations, even many that consider themselves conservative and sound, have begun to mix worldly management practices into that which is holy and spiritual. Continue reading “Worldly business mentality invades the church”

WVBS sends second film crew to Israel

MAXWELL, Tex. (BNC) by Brian Howard — What was it like to live during Bible times? What do the lands of the Bible really look like? The Bible talks about so many different places that they often just become names to us without any real connection to the actual location. In fact, many times when it comes to these cities and towns of the Bible, they almost seem like fiction. But the places of the Bible are real.

In 2015, World Video Bible School (WVBS) sent a crew over to the Bible lands to film a series of lessons designed for faith-building. This project has been extremely rewarding, and one that we believe will strengthen the faith of viewers as they visually connect these places to those they read about in Scripture. Continue reading “WVBS sends second film crew to Israel”

‘This is my Father’s world, and he does not care if I touch it!’ Christians and the climate

DENTON, Tex. (BNC) by Weylan Deaver — Cries of alarm go out about the future of Earth, along with accusations that people are destroying it and must take immediate, drastic measures or else face ruin.

It used to be conventional wisdom that the climate was cooling, then it came to be thought the climate was warming. Now, it seems enough for proponents of doom to simply say the climate is changing, and, whichever the direction, it is our fault. “Manmade climate change” has become a sacred tenet of political and cultural progressives that is used to scare, intimidate, tax, regulate, and even obliterate certain freedoms to grow government in the name of saving us all. Continue reading “‘This is my Father’s world, and he does not care if I touch it!’ Christians and the climate”

New Gospel Advocate head shares vision of company direction

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BNC) — Randy Duke took time out of his new role as owner of the Gospel Advocate Company, which he assumed Apr. 1, to give an exclusive interview to BNC.

BNC: What challenges do you foresee as you assume responsibility for the company?

randy-duke-gaRandy Duke: Evaluating and assessing talents/skills of employees and learning the business processes are the most important as we get started. We are not going to compromise the spiritual integrity of the Gospel Advocate, but we realize that we can improve our businesses practices and processes.

BNC: What new opportunities do you see for the company in the coming years?

Randy Duke: Embracing technology to further the message is a top priority. There will always be a need for printed material, especially in our curricula, but the potential for digital and social media is an area that needs serious investigation. Continue reading “New Gospel Advocate head shares vision of company direction”