Tag Archives: West Side Church of God

Poplar Bluff, Missouri: Capacity Crowds Require a Coliseum

Worship on Easter at the Black River Coliseum (credit: Nico Cuevas).

By Carl Stagner

Last Easter, West Side Church of God in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, welcomed a crowd of about 640 people between two services. With average attendance running 17 percent higher this year than last, they expected about 750 people to be present on April 1. Leadership had to prepare for sufficient seating and ample parking, all of which could not be found at their facility. As they dreamed of the possibilities, they concluded that capacity crowds would require booking the local coliseum for their Easter gathering. Good thing they did—some 1,400 people showed up! That’s especially remarkable when you consider the church had declined to just 25 people less than four years ago. Continue reading

From 25 to 125 in 1 Year

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By Carl Stagner

Just one year ago, Jason Jordan and his family took the reins of leadership at West Side Church of God in Poplar Bluff, Missouri. Average Sunday morning attendance in August 2014 was down to 25. The church had entered into a season of decline and discouragement. As the average age of the congregation climbed, cobwebs formed in the baptistery. Flash-forward one year—125 people gather for worship each week, the cobwebs were swept out of the baptistery out of necessity, and up to fourteen infants recently needed care in the church’s nursery. Continue reading

Church of God Adventures in VBS

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By Jonelle Frazier

Whether you think it’s a spiritual blessing, a fun week of volunteering, or a (much-needed) break from your kids, you’ve probably had some experience with Vacation Bible School. Every year, local churches work long and hard to put together a week of summer fun and Bible education, each church adding its own flavor to the well-known week. Continue reading