A Different Thanksgiving Day in 2020

Typically, the Thanksgiving holiday features some of the busiest travel days of the year. With the pandemic still strong and no vaccine or cure available, travel plans are changing. In the past, it has been estimated that as many as 90 percent of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving Day. While that may not change, the […]

Thanksgiving: The 2020 Experience

The Bible has much to say about being thankful or giving thanks. For example, 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “In everything give thanks for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” The Psalms contain many exhortations to be thankful. Yet, what happens when a pandemic intersects with protests, looting and basic civil unrest? Add […]

Editor’s Word: Election Year

When Barack Obama, one of the most liberal senators in the United States Senate at that time, was elected president, I remember admonishing the church I served as pastor to pray for him. Whoever is elected president this year, I would offer up the same counsel. We may disagree with their values and policies or […]

International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church

Sunday, Nov. 1, is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, and a group from the Upstate is ready and eager to help churches promote this important mission. Jesse French, founder and president of Operation Orange Ribbon, along with vice presidents Maurice Rice and Gerry Barlik, lead a group of volunteers focused on […]

How Many Churches Will Close?

Speculation runs rampant these days as prognosticators and researchers attempt to predict how many churches will be closing within the next 12 to 24 months. Recently, Barna president David Kinnaman indicated that as many as 20 percent of churches could close within the next 18 months. Speaking to the NPR’s “Here and Now” gathering, he […]

Editor’s Word: Don’t Lose Heart

Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary.” This season of pandemic has brought discouragement and despair to many. Some have grown weary and lost heart. Jesus told a parable in Luke 18 “to show that at all times […]

From South Carolina to Arizona: A Story of God’s Faithfulness

Josh and Shannon Jennings, along with their three children, left the familiar confines of South Carolina to plant a church in what Josh calls “one of the major New Age strongholds in the world.” Today, Aletheia Church in Sedona, Ariz., has grown to the point of being a self-sustaining congregation by 2021, intent on planting […]

Dickerson: Trouble and blessing not mutually exclusive

Trouble and blessing are two things we do not usually think about occurring simultaneously. However, pastor Billy Dickerson experienced these two seeming opposites at the same time. After delivering the morning sermon at his church, Cedar Grove in Belton, on June 20, he was driving home when an erratic driver, weaving in and out of […]

Editor’s Word: Pandemic Giving

Financial predictions for giving to churches and Christian ministries looked bleak in mid-March when the American economy seemed to come to a screeching halt. Fast forward to the present, and surprise! Christian giving is alive and healthy. In July, a survey was released by the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. It included over 1,300 Christian […]

Online Crossroads Camp a Success

With over 400 churches and 17,000 students, the new Crossroads: Hometowns — an online alternative summer camp — has reached more people than ever. Crossroads Summer Camps, a ministry of Clayton King Ministries, typically operates summer camps on the campus of Anderson University each summer. With the COVID-19 pandemic, this year is different. “This was […]