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COGIC Church Takes Gospel Door-to-Door

A Pentecostal church in Southern California has taken to heart Jesus' commandment to go and make disciples.

The members of Love and Unity Church of God in Christ in Compton have visited every door in their city three times, and recently began working on the neighboring city of Carson. Last year, the 2,600-member congregation logged more than 5,300 decisions for Christ, which its director of evangelism said isn’t unusual. “We range between 4,000 and 7,000 decisions for Christ every year,” said elder Ray Branch, Love and Unity’s outreach coordinator.

A former street preacher himself, Love and Unity pastor Ron Hill staffs two full-time evangelism coordinators at his church. And though the congregation has grown, Hill said the door-to-door evangelism campaign is not simply a tool to gain new members. “The first reason we do this is for kingdom growth,” Hill said. “We take the position that one will plant, another will water and God will give the increase. We would like them to come to our church, but what’s most important is that they go to some church.”

In addition to evangelizing door-to-door, Love and Unity leads regular outreach events targeting children and the homeless, and it distributes roughly 10,000 tracts each month. Since January 2008, after the church had blanketed Compton three times, Love and Unity members began visiting every home in Carson, which is near the congregation’s new facility. Branch says they’ve knocked on several thousand doors so far, but they don’t rush their visits. “We can go out on one particular day and cover only six homes,” he said. “It’s predicated on the ministry that’s needed.”

Branch said recently a team prayed with a young man to accept Christ. When they called to make sure the teenager had gotten plugged into a church, his father answered and said his son had been shot two days before while riding his bicycle. “The father received comfort knowing his son had been prayed for and received Christ as Savior,” Branch said.

On another occasion, the team knocked on a door and no one answered. But Branch said he didn’t feel led to leave. “Finally, a woman came to the door and said: ‘I can’t believe you’re standing here. I was just about to take my life, but I heard a knock on the door.’”

Hill admits that motivating people to evangelize isn’t always easy. But he said soul-winning isn’t optional for Christians. “I feel that every born-again believer ought to be involved in personal evangelism,” he said. “I don’t see it as a calling. Once you get born again you’re called to evangelism.”

Adrienne S. Gaines

 

 

 

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Virginia Earthquake Rattles D.C., New York

New York is shaking—and it’s not just Wall Street. In what some may view as a sign of the end times, a 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck Virginia on Tuesday afternoon, rocking the Northeast U.S.

The earthquake hit Washington, D.C., forcing the Pentagon to evacuate, before rolling over Manhattan and causing skyscrapers to sway in the sky.

Developing... read more

New Wave of Violence Erupts in Egypt

After several violent incidents impacting Christians and their property in February—a priest was murdered, several monasteries attacked and a demolition order issued for a five-story church property—Middle East Concern is reporting new incidents in March.

On March 4, a large mob attacked Christian homes and a church building in Souf, Helwan governorate in south Cairo. Several homes were damaged and the Church of St. Mina and St. George was set ablaze. The mob prevented the fire brigade attending the fire, and consequently the building was badly damaged.

An army unit was stationed nearby but initially declined to attend, and when they did respond they stopped when local Muslims assured them that all had become calm. A curfew was imposed on Christians in the surrounding area, affecting 12,000 people. Several church members were initially reported to be trapped within the church building. However, it subsequently became clear that they had escaped safely via the church's roof. read more

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After Attacks, Christian Leaders in Indonesia Decry Lax Security

Christian leaders faulted Indonesian authorities for security breaches that allowed Islamic extremist mobs this week to attack a defendant convicted of defaming Islam, the judge that sentenced him, two churches and a Christian school.

The judge in Temanggung, Central Java on Tuesday (Feb. 8) sentenced Antonius Richmond Bawengan to five years in prison – the maximum allowed under Indonesia’s “blasphemy” law – for distributing pamphlets that allegedly disparaged the Kaaba, the black cube-shaped building in Mecca, Saudi Arabia that Muslims face when praying, source said. 

Not satisfied with the five-year sentence, Islamist mobs rushed toward the defendant and judge, who were whisked out of the courtroom. Crowds outside began to break windows and burn vehicles around the courthouse, also damaging the lobby, and before nightfall more than 1,000 Muslim extremists had damaged Sts. Peter and Paul Church and the Indonesia Pentecostal Church, as well as Shekinah Christian School. The school belongs to the Indonesia Bethel Church of Temanggung. read more

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FL University Shuts Down Christian Student Group

Commissioned 2 Love has been ordered to cease operations on the campus of Florida A&M University. Florida A&M officials revoked the Christian student group’s active status based on a finding that the club violated what the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) calls a “constitutionally problematic” rule that prohibits student groups from meeting, holding events, and hosting functions unless a university-appointed advisor is present at all times.

In a January e-mail to Commissioned 2 Love, the university advised the club that it had been deactivated for violating the university’s advisor policy and ordered that “no meetings, events, activities, or gatherings of any type take place prior to Fall 2011 semester certification period.” As a result, Commissioned 2 Love has ceased to exist in any meaningful way on campus. ADF officials sent the university a letter Tuesday urging them to reinstate a Christian student group they de-recognized in January. read more

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Planned Parenthood Offers Taxpayer-Subsidized Service to 'Pimp'

New undercover footage was released on Tuesday showing a New York City Planned Parenthood clinic supervisor and medical practitioner aiding and abetting the sexual exploitation of minors, even giving the undercover "pimp" advice on how to pose as a legal guardian and get the taxpayer funded discount for his sex workers, some as young as 13 years old.

Local and national pro-life group leaders are outraged at the steady stream of recorded violations released over the past week as evidence of a system-wide crisis within Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Now, the Expose Planned Parenthood coalition is fighting back.

Lila Rose, president, Live Action, the group that’s recording the videos, says Planned Parenthood has shown, repeatedly, for the past three years of its investigation, that the group is willing to aid and abet the sexual exploitation of minors and young girls, even girls as young as 13 and here illegally, all under a sick code of “confidentiality.” read more

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Google Works to Preserve Holocaust Archives

In line with Google’s mission to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful, the search engine giant has partnered with Yad Vashem to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day with a new project that aims to preserve the world’s largest historical collection on the Holocaust.

Yad Vashem, a Jerusalem-based archive, is devoted to the documentation, research, education and commemoration of the Holocaust. With the Google partnership, its photo collection will be easier to search and encourage visitors to share personal stories and thoughts. Sharing is a key word in the Google partnership. By making the photos more accessible, Yad Vashem expects people around the world to contribute more stories behind the photos and add their knowledge to the site.

“We’re focused on finding new and innovative ways to make the enormous amount of data in our archives, accessible and searchable to a global audience,” says Avner Shalev, Chairman, Yad Vashem. “Google is an integral partner in our mission, as they help us to reach new audiences, including young people around the world, enabling them to be active in the discussion about the Holocaust.” read more

Televangelists Pass Senate Probe, But New Commission Formed

Sen. Church Grassley’s probe into high-profile television ministries may be over, but the ranking member of the Committee on Finance’s investigation has led to the formation of a new commission on accountability and policy issues for churches and other religious organizations.

Grassley reviewed the activities and practices of six media-based ministries—Joyce Meyer Ministries, Kenneth Copeland Ministries, Creflo Dollar Ministries, Bishop Eddie Long Ministries, Benny Hinn Ministries, and Paula White Ministries—and found no wrongdoing.

One of the six ministries, Joyce Meyer Ministries, responded fully to Grassley’s inquiry and joined the ECFA in March 2009. Benny Hinn of World Healing Center Church also provided complete answers to all questions. Four ministries either did not provide any information or provided incomplete information, according to the Senator’s office. read more

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