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THE BUILDER JULY 2021

NEXT MEETING JULY 26
Union Christian Church, 970 Union Church Road, Hodgenville, KY. The Executive Committee will meet prior to the 8 p.m. (EDT) regular meeting. The speaker will be Bro. Delane Pinkston.

FUTURE MEETING SCHEDULE
August 23 – Glendale Christian Speaker: Nathan Ayers, Campus Minister, WKU Christian Student Fellowship.
September 27 – White Mills Christian Speaker: Kamarr Richee, Minister, Dogwood Christian, Hopkinsville
October 25 – Woodlawn Christian Speaker: Michael Luke, Minister, Lebanon Christian
November 22 – Jamestown Christian

WELCOME
Campbellsville Christian announces Justin Dewell as our new Preaching Minister. Justin is a graduate of Ozark Christian College and Asbury Theological Seminary. He comes to us via Southeast Christian Church where he served the last two years in the Preaching Residency.

SERVANTS WILL BE MISSED
Bro. Raymond A. Martin, age 97, of Columbia, KY passed away on Sunday, June 20, 2021 at his home. His funeral was June 25 at Columbia Christian Church with burial in Haven Hill Cemetery.

Bro. Eldon Rucker, age 74, passed away June 11, 2021. His funeral service was June 18 at Tabernacle Christian Church.

THE PURPOSE OF MEN FOR CHRIST
January 28, 1952 – 69 years ago – Men for Christ conducted its first meeting at Columbia Christian Church. The meeting was in response to the need for new congregations. Our bylaws still lists our primary purpose as “to establish new congregations.”
1952–1956 Magnolia Street Christian
1953 – Owensboro Christian
1958 – Mannsville Christian
1959 – Greensburg Christian
1959 – Westside Christian
1961 – Indian Hills Christian/Danville
1962 – Bowling Green Christian
1968 – Glenview Christian
1969 – Community Christian/London
1974 – Southern Heights/Somerset
1977 – Lebanon Christian
Quite a list! So it seems that the purpose of Men for Christ was being accomplished. It has become increasingly difficult to singly launch a new congregation although many existing congregations have been assisted. Numerous factors have played into this situation. The goal to establish new congregations has not changed, but our methods have changed. We discovered that there is strength in numbers and that we can do more together. Our most recent church plantings have been joint ventures. In October 2010 we joined with North Bullitt Christian Church and Salt River Christian Men’s Fellowship to launch Journey Christian Church in Shepherdsville. In September 2017 we joined with Okolona Christian Church, Salt River Christian Men’s Fellowship and others to launch Crossroads Christian Church in Mount Washington. God has blessed both of these congregations. We now have an opportunity to join with others in launching Elevate Christian Church, a new congregation in Lexington. At the June 28 meeting, Men for Christ joined the effort with a contribution of $25,000. Launch date is set for September 12. Please pray for Bro. Rob Harlamert and Bro. Andrew Dawson in their efforts to reach lives for Christ.

THE BUILDER JUNE 2021

THE BUILDER
June 2021
WE ARE BACK!
Our June 28 meeting is set for Columbia Christian Church. We are still unable to have a fellowship meal. You are encouraged to patronize a local restaurant on your way to the meeting. The Executive Committee will meet at 7 p.m. (EDT) and the general meeting worship service will be at 8 p.m. (EDT). Scheduled speaker is Bro. Kerry Allen, President of Louisville Bible College.

IT’S TIME
If you have not yet experienced the joy of returning to worship with your friends at church, it’s time! It’s also time to make an effort to attend the meetings of Men for Christ. Even without the meals, the meetings can provide a time of Christian fellowship with our brothers in Christ. I don’t know about you, but I really missed it. –Charles Young

WHEN PEOPLE DROP OUT OF CHURCH
“If horse-racing fans can return to the Kentucky Derby and if customers can now eat in restaurants, it is time for genuine believers to return to church. Admittedly regular church attendance is not the only measure of a person’s commitment to Christ, but it is a significant indicator. Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for it. If we love Christ, we are going to love His bride and long to fellowship with His family. Of course, I am not talking about people who are still vulnerable to Covid. Some feeble, elderly saints and some who are infirm…need to continue to watch online. But the rest of us should not pretend that watching at home is an acceptable substitute for actual participation in worship.” –Excerpt from Bob Russell’s blog, April 25, 2021

There’s nothing SOCIAL about SOCIAL DISTANCING!

CHASING STRAYS
Chasing Strays. It’s not the title of a new movie or video game. Chasing strays is a task that belongs to elders. For centuries, people have been straying from the local church. This is not a new phenomenon. While on death row, the apostle Paul was deserted by Christians (2 Timothy 4:9-16). Some elders in the church at Ephesus “distort[ed] the truth in order to draw away disciples after them” (Acts 20:30). For a variety of reasons, the church has experienced an age-old revolving door of members—people come, and people go. The question is, do we chase strays? We should. After all, this is one of the responsibilities of elders as we shepherd the flock.

Church attendance has been declining for decades; COVID-19 simply exacerbated this phenomenon. At the height of the pandemic last summer, “one in three practicing Christians stopped attending church,” according to the Barna Group. In the third quarter of 2020, churches experienced only a 36 percent average in-person return rate after America reopened following the national lockdown, the UnStuck Group reported. Like it or not, many seats remain empty on Sunday morning, and rather than stew about it, we should do something about it. Now is the time to chase strays. –Read complete article in Christian Standard 1 May 2021; By David Roadcup, Jim Estep, and Gary Johnson.

NO ROOM FOR FEAR
“Regardless of your circumstances, you can take comfort in the fact that your identity, your worth, and your eternal security are not up for grabs. The Holy Spirit, who will never leave you, wraps your spirit in a warm blanket, surrounds your heart with a thick wall of protection and comfort, and says, ‘Everything is going to be okay.’ When you tune your heart to listen only to that voice, the Comforter drowns out all the other voices and noise, calming you in the most powerful way. And then fear will subside.” –Excerpt from His Mighty Strength, Randy Frazee.

ASSISTANCE OFFERED
Bro. Bill Welker is available for pulpit supply or interim ministries. Please call 270-566-0570.

CONGRATULATIONS
Congratulations to Bro. Tim Underhill on his 20 years of ministry with Rolling Fork Christian Church.

QUOTABLE QUOTES
“A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word ‘Darkness’ on the walls of his cell.” –C.S. Lewis

“You can’t love someone or something if you’re always criticizing it. That’s not God’s heart for the church, and it shouldn’t be ours either.” –Jim Tune

“The most critical need of the church at this moment is men, bold men, free men. The church must seek, in prayer and much humility, the coming again of men made of the stuff of which prophets and martyrs are made” —A.W. Tozer

“Our aim is to build a church of Christ without denominational name, man-written creed or other barriers to Christian unity, whose terms of fellowship shall be as broad as the conditions of salvation, and identical with them.” –P.H. Welshimer

LIKE FACEBOOK?
“The Bible doesn’t work like Facebook, where your likes or opinions matter. God’s Word is true whether you agree with it or not.”

FUTURE MEETING SCHEDULE
July 26 – Union Christian (Speaker: Delane Pinkston, Retired Minister, Bradfordsville
August 23 – Glendale Christian (Speaker: Nathan Ayers, Campus Minister at Western Kentucky Christian Student Fellowship.)
September 27 –
October 25 –
November 22 – Jamestown Christian

THE BUILDER MAY 2021

THE BUILDER
May 2021

LET’S MEET MAY 24!
First Christian Church at 1811 North Miles Street in Elizabethtown is excited to be hosting our May 24 meeting. Preliminary plans are as follows:
*Executive Committee will meet at 6 p.m. ET
*Worship and regular meeting at 7 p.m.
*No meal will be served.
*Stuart Jones, Senior Minister at First Christian, will bring a pertinent message on Rising From The Rubble.

SYMPATHY EXTENDED
Among the hardships caused by the pandemic has been the inability to stay in touch with our brothers in Christ. We have received information about the deaths of more of our faithful members:
*Tim VanDyke, 72, Bradfordsville; 1-18-2021
*Elmer Wheatley,Sr., 87, Louisville; 1-25-2021
Sympathy is extended to the families.

MEMORIAL DAY
Over the years, Memorial Day has become a big holiday weekend. It’s now the unofficial start of summer, rather than a day of tribute to the departed it was originally meant to be. Even if we plan fun events for Memorial Day weekend, it’s important to stop long enough to bow our heads and pay respect to our departed loved ones—especially those who fell in battle while helping preserving America’s liberties. Let us take time to make the pilgrimage to various cemeteries and pause long enough to say, “Thank you, Father, for these special lives, for sacrifices made and for friendships we have shared.”

EMERGENCY FUNDS DISBURSED
Ten percent (10%) of the net yearly interest from the Votaw Trust Fund is transferred to the Emergency Fund. This fund is designed to cover needs created by weather damage, floods, earthquakes, fire or other types of natural disasters. In response to a request from Beattyville Christian Church, $10,000 was approved to assist the congregation with the major flood damage incurred.

LET’S PLAN AHEAD
Our June 28 meeting is set for Columbia Christian Church. Scheduled speaker is Kerry Allen, President of Louisville Bible College. Additional details soon.

Brothers In Christ
Tim Tebow is preparing himself once again for the physical demands of the National Football League. A devoted Christian, he is also preparing himself for the mental demands associated with the hate that has long been associated with his career. There are those who simply can’t resist bad mouthing and making fun of his faith. Football coaches, players and some in the sports media feel so threatened by Tebow’s strong Christian faith that they go out of their way to verbally hate him. In America we place a great deal of value on free speech. Lines have been drawn when it comes to hate speech toward Muslims, Hindus and Jews, as there should be. Gender and race are protected from hateful talk and we often see TV personalities lose their jobs for a slip of the tongue. Apparently, Christians are fair game.
This time Tebow has found some unexpected support from an unlikely celebrity in American culture. Gene Simmons, a Jewish-American member of the rock group KISS spoke up in Tebow’s defense, “It’s a shame that Tebow’s critics would stoop so low and mock the man for holding to his Christian convictions.”
In Acts 5:34-41, the Pharisee, Gamaliel, defended Peter and the Apostles when they were brought before the Sanhedrin and he eventually secured their release. Gamaliel was not a Christian, but he was, just like Simmons, a man who was not afraid to speak up and do the right thing. Just think about how much easier it should be for we as Christians to do the right thing for the Lord.
Jesus Christ was harassed, tortured and eventually suffered a painful death on the cross. He suffered through all of that for us. Do you have what it takes to stand firm against the mockery of hate speech, censorship, and horrible jokes directed at your Christian faith? Do you have what it takes to speak out when someone is harassed because of their Christian faith, as Simmons has done?
Tebow has stood firm and I’m sure he will again. He is an inspiration to his teammates and fellow Christians.
Grace and Peace to you, Russell Lunsford

THE BUILDER FOR APRIL 2021

MEN FOR CHRIST MEETING SCHEDULED
After 14 months, plans are being made to resume meetings. First Christian Church in Elizabethtown has agreed to host the May 24 meeting. Preliminary plans are as follows:
*The Executive Committee will meet at 6 p.m. prior to the general worship meeting at 7 p.m..
*There will be no meal served. Participants are encouraged to eat at one of numerous Elizabethtown restaurants or eat prior to leaving for the meeting.
*There will be ample meeting space for all who prefer to exercise social distancing.
*The worship time will consist of music, a guest speaker, and a business session.
*Additional details will be posted on the website at www.kymenforchrist.org and in The Builder.

IT’S OFFERING TIME!
The last offering for the General Fund was received February 24, 2020 at our meeting in Columbia. Most of us found new ways to get our tithes and offerings to our churches even though they were not meeting in person. Fewer men have expended the same effort in getting offerings to Men for Christ. Thankfully, approximately 25 churches have been faithful with their monthly gifts. Although we haven’t been meeting, the normal expenses have continued. So, we need to Catch Up! There will be an opportunity to do that at the May 24 meeting. Or, if you prefer to Catch Up now you can send your check to our treasurer, Randy Herron, 108 Ronaldson Court, Campbellsville, KY 42718.

BYLAWS AMENDED AND LOAN APPROVED
Thanks to the members who responded to the recent request. Ballots were sent to those whose names are on the email or regular mail address list for The Builder. Both the proposed amendment and the Votaw loan for Bristow Christian were approved by 98.03% of those responding.

AUDITOR REQUESTS
The firm of Wise, Buckner, Sprowles & Associates will be conducting an audit of Men for Christ records. If your congregation receives a confirmation request from the auditor, please encourage your leaders (treasurers) to respond quickly. This action will assist the auditor in completing a prompt, thorough examination of our records.

BROTHERS IN CHRIST
In the mid-1800s Camp Meetings were held on my great-grandparent’s farm on the Kentucky River in Lee County. They were Methodists. Traveling preachers, or circuit riders conducted the meetings. People would travel for miles to hear God’s word. The camp meetings would sometimes last two to three weeks. People would set up tents, sleep in covered wagons or just sleep on the ground. Preachers would jump on a stump or preach off the back of a convenient wagon. Folks brought food and my great-grandparents would provide fresh corn and vegetables from their fields, fruit from their orchards. Cattle and hogs would be killed. No one went hungry. Eager for the Word, people would move from preacher to preacher and old-timey hymns were sung. Soon rumors would spread about a special preacher and crowds would gather. I witnessed one such event while I served in Kuwait in 2002. I was sent to Qatar on a mission as the war in Afghanistan ramped up.

While there I kept hearing about a special chaplain. Attendance in the chapel tent was so large they installed a speaker and seats outside the tent to accommodate the large crowds. That Sunday morning, I got there early and got a seat up front. The small chapel filled quickly and overflowed. Chaplain Northrop did not disappoint me. His message was, “Some thoughts on Trials.” I remember this because I keep the chapel bulletin from that day in my Bible. The sermon scripture was Mark 4:35-41. In it Jesus sleeps calmly on a boat that weathers a severe storm, His disciples panic and wake Him. To their amazement He calms the storm and a lesson in faith is learned. The storm we are going through with COVID 19 will not last forever. The Executive Committee is discussing ways to safely resume our monthly (Camp) meetings. Our brethren at the Beattyville Christian Church have experienced a storm and have shown us the true meaning of faith. While most of their church was still under water, they continued to have Sunday services at a local school gym. Our thoughts, prayers and support are with them.
Grace and Peace to you, Russell Lunsford

SYMPATHY EXTENDED
Among the hardships caused by the pandemic has been the inability to stay in touch with our brothers in Christ. We have received information recently about the deaths of faithful members of Men for Christ.
*James Colson (Science Hill) 2-19-2021
*Jim Chelf (Lebanon) 12-30-2020
*Ethbert ‘Sonny” Norris (Bohon) 4-5-2021
Sympathy is extended to the families.

QUOTABLE QUOTES
“The greatest irony of the ages will be those who were too cool for Christ, and too cool for the church, and too cool for the Bible, and too cool for God; spending an eternity in a place that’s not cool at all.” –Barry Cameron

“Whenever I read the Bible and come across something that I disagree with, I have to assume I must be wrong.” –Francis Chan

“Jesus is not one of many ways to approach God, nor is He the best of several ways; He is the only way.”—A.W. Tozer

GET READY FOR SUMMER CAMPS
Camp Calvary, Mackville, KY
859-375-4376
www.kycampcalvary.com

White Mills Christian Camp
270-862-3933
www.whitemillschristiancamp.com

THE BUILDER FEBRUARY 2021

Brothers in Christ
Planting new churches has been an important part of the Christian Restoration Movement. In 1834, Thomas Campbell issued a “letter of dismission” for a church plant at Wellsburg, Ohio. He wrote, “Be it known to all whom it may concern, that we have dismissed the following brethren in good standing with us, to constitute a church of Christ at Wellsburg.” Campbell’s church in Ohio, Bush Run, seeded 30 members to start the new church in Wellsburg.

In the early 1800’s, the American frontier consisted of everything west of the Appalachian Mountain Range. During this period, an era of restoration took place in the Christian faith. The words of men like Thomas Campbell and Barton W. Stone inspired men to reach out to those on the frontier. Spreading the good news was not without difficulty for those preaching the ”ancient faith,” and yet it must have been exciting. Frontier preachers had to be bold men, strong in their faith, willing to sacrifice comfort during long trips into the wilderness. They endured weather and sleeping under the stars as they traveled from cabin to town converting thousands to Christ. There were no meeting houses to preach in so they met in someone’s home or barn. In towns, they met in courthouses or public buildings. When the weather was nice enough, they met outdoors where they set up logs and planks to sit on.

When congregations became big enough, they built meeting houses. There were few full-time preachers on the frontier. Many churches had itinerate preachers who traveled from church to church preaching as they went. As congregations grew in size, churches looked to plant new churches since some members were traveling many miles to attend. The church plant at Wellsburg, by the grace of God, expanded the Kingdom.

Our Men for Christ organization has a long history of planting churches. Two recent church plants are Journey Christian Church in Shepherdsville and Christian Church of the Crossroads in Mount Washington. Just as the early Restoration Christians faced difficult times on the frontier, we face the difficulties associated with the COVID 19 virus. I personally miss the fellowship of our monthly meetings and, of course, I miss the wonderful hospitality of the host churches. Although we have not been able to meet as a group for quite some time, your Executive Committee has continued to carry on business through text, email, telephone conversations and our monthly Zoom meetings. I am excited about the coming year and with the grace of God, I pray Men for Christ will accomplish great things in His name. Grace and Peace to you,
— Russell Lunsford, Chairman

REMEMBERING THE GOOD TIMES!
It was February 24, 2020. After enjoying a bountiful meal, Bro. John Davis welcomed 131 men from 27 congregations to Columbia Christian Church. Bro. David Brown brought a message from his favorite chapter in the Bible, Romans 8. We departed the meeting looking forward to our next meeting at Egypt Christian Church with Bro. DeLane Pinkston as our scheduled speaker. Of course, the continuing Pandemic has changed everyone’s plans during the past year. I like to remember the good times and pray that we will soon be able to worship and fellowship together again.
— Charles Young

REPORT FROM CHURCH OF THE CROSSROADS
We had our first service in our new building . . . a remodeled skating rink. We had 759 in attendance with 150 in KIDS ministry plus 40 middle school students … and a baptism on our first day! Wanted to say thanks, again, to Men for Christ and their trust in me and partnership in church planting. God is still doing big things here in Mt. Washington and Church of the Crossroads! Just wanted you to know and hear it from me.
— John Parkey

The Builder is published monthly by Kentucky Men for Christ
Editor: Judy Clay
c/o Indian Hills Christian Church
1200 Lexington Road
Danville, KY 40422
859 236-7575