Tag Archives: Mississippi

She Went to Rehab Five Times, Now She’s Helping Others Recover

Tami Dean (photo courtesy Billy Watkins).

By Billy Watkins

It doesn’t take long to find someone who needs addiction recovery. “Just look in the mirror,” says Rev. Calvin D. Waddy Jr., of Central Community Church of God in west Jackson, Mississippi. “When we hear the word recovery, we automatically think about drugs, alcohol or gambling. But everyone—and I do mean everyone—needs recovery of some sort.” Continue reading

God is On the Move in Egypt

Jim Lyon speaks to leaders in Egypt.

By Ken Oldham

The birth of the Protestant Reformation is attributed to Martin Luther nailing his Ninety-five Theses on the door of the Wittenberg Church (Germany) on October 31, 1517. All across the region, this 500th anniversary has been remembered, and the evangelical churches in Egypt began planning months ago to have a special event of their own, encouraging each church group to seek international guests to join the celebration. The Church of God in Egypt was delighted to have Global Strategy regional coordinator Patrick Nachtigall, U.S.-Canada general director Jim Lyon, and Pastor Marcus Archer of Crosspoint Church (Natchez, Mississippi) accept their invitation to join the celebration, November 17–19, in Cairo. Continue reading

Mississippi Church Adapts to Cultural Shift to Reach Community

Photo: Pastor Trey locks hands and hearts with basketball ministry youth.

By Carl Stagner

The culture of your community has shifted over the past five, ten, perhaps twenty years. The shift may have been gradual, but somehow you feel blindsided. Your church probably has three choices: adapt with the culture, relocate to another culture, or continue a futile fight against it. Adapting to the culture doesn’t mean changing the message or compromising principles; only the methods change when Jesus is the subject. Crossroads of Life Church of God in Byram, Mississippi, had to make a decision as they watched their community’s culture shift dramatically, largely over the past decade alone. But they’ve chosen to stay put, and they’re certainly glad they did. Continue reading

Initial Reports Offer Glimpse of Freedom Sunday 2017 Impact

Photo: Creative Freedom Sunday approach in Indianapolis.

By Carl Stagner

The Church of God first took a stand against human trafficking in India more than a century ago. With the inception of CHOG Trafficklight in recent years, the issue has returned to the forefront of ministry made possible only when Church of God congregations rally together. Once again, the Church of God is fighting side by side not only to raise awareness of trafficking, but also to attack the issue at its root. On March 5, 2017, Church of God congregations across North America and beyond showed the same video announcing the launch of Trafficklight 2.0. Many also gave financially to support the Church of God initiative as they renewed their commitment to engage the battle—even in front of screens both large and handheld. The Holy Spirit’s presence was palpable, and several churches have already shared stories of God’s hand at work. Continue reading

Momentum in a Town Called Byram

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Photo: Easter egg hunt at the apartment complex the church adopted.

By Carl Stagner

Byram. Pronounced like the pioneer Church of God family, but spelled with an a. Home to fewer than eight thousand residents, it’s often overshadowed by the larger capital city to its north—Jackson, Mississippi. But Byram has no reason to be ashamed. Not only does it boast a unique, historic suspension bridge, but it’s also home to a vibrant Church of God congregation known as Crossroads of Life. Like the International Youth Convention, their goal and motivation is life change in Jesus’ name. From their intensive discipleship training weekends, to their food pantry and apartment ministries, transformation is on the move in Byram, and it’s picking up momentum. Continue reading

Freedom Sunday Fuels Reclamation of Hope in Fight Against Trafficking

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Collage: South Creek Church of God (Kokomo, Indiana) Freedom Sunday observance.

By Carl Stagner

Though Valentine’s Day fell on a Sunday this year, chocolates and paper hearts were not the focus of thousands of congregations across North America. For the Church of God and several other faith groups, February 14, 2016, was about something bigger, something bolder. While the culture celebrated romantic love, God’s people celebrated God’s unconditional love for the least of these, including victims of human trafficking around the world. As ambassadors of God’s love, believers gathered to not only worship the Lord on Freedom Sunday, but also to raise awareness and funds for ministries entrenched in the fight for freedom. While Freedom Sunday stories continue to come in, initial reports reveal yet another groundswell of determination to reclaim what hell has stolen. Continue reading

My Global Gathering Story: Pivotal Moments and Providential Connections

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By Duane Parker

My Global Gathering story stretches back almost a year to an important meeting at Wesley Biblical Seminary in Jackson, Mississippi. I had made an appointment to visit the seminary to inquire about a rental for our state General Assembly meeting in February 2013. Ken Money took me on a tour of the building and discussed our needs and those of the other regular users of the building and grounds. As I described our organization, he interjected that his assistant was an ordained Church of God Minister from Mexico. He introduced me to a quiet young Hispanic man who did in fact confirm that he was Juan Gonzalez, from Saltillo, Mexico. During that meeting he told me how he had met his wife, the daughter of the vice president of the seminary, married, and moved to Mississippi to complete his master of theology. He was working for the seminary and taking classes at the same time. Continue reading