Fire guts northwest Georgia church building

RISING FAWN, Ga. (BNc) — Fire destroyed a small congregation’s building early Sunday morning in this small community in the greater Chattanooga, Tenn., area.

The fire started presumably around 1 am Sunday morning. It is believed to have begun from a heater explosion.

Gaston Green said they were going to meet with the church at Trenton until they decide what they are going to do. About 30 members of the body of Christ meet there.

Rising Fawn is an unincorporated community in the southern part of Dade County, Ga. It is part of the Chattanooga Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Gaston’s father Gabby helped form the Rising Fawn congregation, which met in the Greens’ living room before building the meeting house in 1968.

For a video report and more information, see the WTVC page.

Thanks to James Suiter for the link and information.

God uses preacher’s mistake to get the gospel in woman’s door

Preacher Neil Richey

Preacher Neil Richey

MARIETTA, Ga. (BNc) by Neil Richey — While out to visit a gracefully aging member to wish her a happy birthday, I found myself in the wrong location. I don’t know why this happened, I’ve been by to check on her before. But for whatever reason I knocked on the wrong door and an unfamiliar face answered.

She was no doubt as surprised as I was. I introduced myself, and so did she. She invited me in and I accepted. I told her my funny story, and we had a good chat.

Most times when I knock on a stranger’s door to pay a visit, I’m kindly told “not interested” and sent on my way. Thankfully, this was not the case this time.

We talked about our families, religious background, and shared our “stories.” I learned that this friendly lady was retired, had recently moved to town to be closer to family as she deals with some health issues, and at one time thought of becoming a nun.

Before leaving, I asked her if I might come by and study the Bible with her.

She was surprised that I’d offer to come back and study with “just her,” as if I needed a larger group before I would offer to teach the Bible. I assured her that I wanted to talk to anyone and everyone that would listen.

So we’ll be getting together again real soon. She was so very pleasant, and I look forward to that time.

You know, there is more said in the Bible about Jesus teaching in a one-on-one scenario than giving large public discourses. Statistically, more people decide to become members of a local church when they are invited by an individual, than by hearing public preaching.

What does that tell us? Perhaps we should knock on the “wrong door” a little more often.

The Bible says, “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel” (Mk 16:15). That’s our job. How’s work going?

Neil is a gospel preacher with the Piedmont Road congregation in Marietta. He graciously gave us permission to use and adapt his article.

16-year-old preaching student speaks at Georgia School of Preaching Annual Bible Lectureship

gsop-lectures-2013MARIETTA, Ga. (BNc) by David Decker — The Georgia School of Preaching & Biblical Studies hosted its 8th Annual Bible Lectureship May 4-5, at its Marietta campus located at the Piedmont Road church building.

This year’s lectureship theme, taken from Esther 4:14, was “For Such a Time as This.” Speakers included the youngest student currently enrolled at GSOP, 16-year-old Thad Williams from Bremen, Ga., as well as brother Allen Webster of Jacksonville, Ala.

Also on the program were Mike Greene (Bowling Green, Ky.); Gene Godfrey (Hahira, Ga.); Laron Poulian (Warner Robins, Ga.); Ricky Phillips (Martin, Tenn.); Robert H. Martin (Missionary, Pacific Islands); Misty Golden (Marietta, Ga.).

Topics included “Bearing a Young Person’s Cross,” “Bearing an Ancient Cross,” “No White or Black Church,” “What the World and the Church Need from Men of God,” “Offering Acceptable Worship,” and “Overcoming a Dangerous World in Such a Time as This.”

Several awards of recognition were given.

Bill and Connie Dedmon of the Bowdon church and LeRoy and Nila Fogle of the Piedmont Road congregation were recognized with the GSOP Distinguished Service Award for their years of faithful service in various capacities in the body of Christ.

Thad Williams became the inaugural recipient of the Tate Williams Memorial Scholarship, given in his brother’s memory.

Michael Lovelady of the Lithia Springs congregation was recognized as the GSOP Alumnus of the Year.

GSOP graduates for 2013, Mass Kalango Darcio and Michael David Domingue, received their Preaching Certificates during the Commencement portion of Saturday’s program.

Lectureship attendance in 2013 more than doubled that of past years. Neil Richey, Piedmont Road preacher, estimated that the number “was just shy of 200.”

GSOP is enjoying its fourteenth year of service as a school of preaching and biblical studies. There are nine GSOP campuses located across Georgia, with an average enrollment of 225 per quarter.

The school’s web address is

Mission-minded elder, Gene Russell, dies

Gene RussellLAKE CITY, Ga. (BNc) — Brother Gene Russell left this earth Sept. 26, 2012 at the age of 78. At the time of his death, Gene had served with the Forest Park church in Lake City.

He is survived by his wife Loretta, of 52 years; 3 children; 11 grandchildren; 6 great-grandchildren; one brother and sister.

Gene was under hospice care at Southern Regional Medical Center, Riverdale, Ga., at the time of his death. Continue reading

Jimmie Baxter Hill passed from this life

DACULA, Ga. (BNc) - Jimmie Hill, who was an elder at the New Hope Road congregation, died on Thursday evening, Aug. 23.

Hill was a preacher and former missionary to American Samoa and served as co-director of the International Bible Teaching Ministries.

In an April 14, 2012 post on Facebook, brother Hill wrote: “An illness, such as incurable cancer, can torture and hamper the body. However, it cannot affect one’s spirit unless one allows it to do so. Illnesses such as this should set up a greater praise to God who always hears the prayers of the righteous…whatever happens, happens – God knows best!”

There will be a memorial service on Saturday, Sept. 1 at 11:00 a.m. at the New Hope Road Church of Christ, 3353 New Hope Road, Dacula, Ga.

Chick-fil-A Executive Don Perry Dies

ATLANTA, Ga. (BNc) – Donald Agustus Perry, vice president of corporate public relations for Chick-fil-A died Friday morning, July 27 of a heart attack. Perry was 60 years old at the time of his death.

Perry was an elder at the Hillcrest congregation in Decatur, Ala. When asked what his greatest satisfaction was, Perry replied, “Talking about the church, teaching, and being rewarded when someone ‘gets it,’ and embraces the Savior.”

In recent weeks, Perry had spoke out on numerous occasions in defense of the company’s practices.

“Don was a member of our Chick-fil-A family for nearly 29 years,” said Chick-fil-A in a statement. “He was a well-respected and well-liked media executive in the Atlanta and University of Georgia communities, and we will all miss him. Continue reading

PTSD: Recovering from war

by Bobby D. Gayton

PTSDCARTERSVILLE, Ga. (BNc) — I served in the U.S. Army as a combat infantryman soldier during the Vietnam War. My tour of duty in Vietnam was Sept. 4, 1967, to Sept. 1, 1968. I was assigned to Alpha Company of the 3rd Brigade, 3rd Battalion, and 22nd Infantry of the 25th Infantry Division.

This unit was involved in four counter-offensives during my tour of duty.

During my military service, I was not a Christian. After my military service, I struggled with the events of Vietnam.

As I sought help from the doctors, I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This became my thorn in the flesh. Continue reading

Talking to telemarketers about their soul

by Arthur Pigman

TelemarketersI often receive calls from telemarketers here at the Evans, Ga., church. Recently, I have started taking over the conversation and talk to them about their soul, about God and the Bible. Most of them hang up on me.

But today a man called, and he admitted he was an atheist. I talked to him about some of the proofs that there is a God. He has become interested and called back three times. We have had some good discussions. He plans to call back tomorrow.

I still do not know what product he was trying to sell. But I have something to give him, that is the truth.

Minister, church music teacher Ralph Casey dies

Church music workshopsFRANKLIN, Tenn. (BNc) – Ralph Allen Casey, minister and church music teacher, passed away Saturday, June 25. He was 86.

Minister for over 20 years with various congregations in the Atlanta area, Casey was one of the founding officers of Greater Atlanta Christian Schools.

He taught Christian music workshops, both domestic and international, over a 20-year period.

He is survived by his wife Margaret Casey; two sons, Kevin Casey and Terry (Katie) Casey; daughter Karen Casey; and grandchildren, Bridget, Austin and Shara Casey.

Entombment was at Arlington Memorial Park, Sunrise Chapel, Atlanta.

Former GBN director, Barry Gilreath, dies

Former GBN executive directorDalton, Ga. (BNc) – Gospel Broadcasting Network announced the death of Barry Gilreath Monday, June 8:

We, sorrowfully, announce the passing of our dear brother, Barry Gilreath, early this morning, June 7. Brother Gilreath was the original executive director of the Gospel Broadcasting Network and was active in its operation as late as yesterday. We will have more details later.

Brother Gilreath was one of the elders of the Highland church in Dalton, which oversaw the creation and operation of GBN until this year.

Visitation will be Friday, June 10, from 3:00-8:00 p.m., at Heritage Funeral Home, 3239 Battlefield Parkway, Fort Oglethorpe, Ga.

Another visitation has been scheduled for Saturday, June 11 from 2-3 pm at Highland church of Christ, 901 Chester St., Dalton, Ga.

The funeral will begin at 3:00 p.m., at the Highland church building following this visitation. The burial will follow at Woodstation Cemetery in the Woodstation Community on Hwy 151, Ringgold, Ga.

The family has asked that, in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to the Gospel Broadcasting Network, 3969 Cloud Springs Rd., Ringgold, GA 30736.

Jim Dearman, GBN Program Director, wrote, “Only eternity will reveal the souls who will be saved because Barry Gilreath, Sr., acted upon his dream to help make the dream of God a reality. Life brings us many acquaintances, but God brings us friends like Barry Gilreath, Sr. I will continue to thank God for that gift.”

Jeffrey Archey, preacher with the East Side church in Cleveland, Tenn., recalls,

“At an area preacher’s luncheon, Barry Gilreath, Sr. was seated next to me. During the luncheon, he leaned over and said, ‘Brother Jeff, what would you think of a 24/7 television network with nothing but gospel preaching?’ My reply was, “Brother Barry, that would be great.”

The seed was being sown and, eventually, the outreach tool of the “Gospel Broadcasting Network” was a reality.

“Brother Barry knew the power of television,” said Archey. “When James Watkins retired from local preaching work in 1997, it was brother Barry who talked to brother Watkins about the program ‘Preaching the Gospel’ and we know the effect that program has had.”

“Brother Barry envisioned the current GBN studios. He wanted to see crowds come in and fill the studio area for various ‘live’ broadcasts. When he sold the idea of GBN, he had a passion for souls and he knew the right people to work with him to make that dream come true,” Archey said. “I considered him a good brother in the Lord, a friend, an encourager and a good advisor in my GBN work. He always had a smile and never complained of his ailments—it was always, ‘I’m doing pretty good.’”

The obituary for the Times Free Press can be found at this link.

Further questions may be directed to