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2003 PE Report

Americans find comfort in ‘nesting,’ but connecting is another matter (December 22, 2002)

Viewer discretion advised: Reality-based programs stoop to new low (December 15, 2002)

A/G among fastest growing faith groups (December 8, 2002)

Christians play crucial role in foster care (November 24, 2002)

A/G churches remember with outreaches (November 17, 2002)

Elderly face added woes from credit card debt (November 10, 2002)

PE Kidz News from BGMC (October 27, 2002)

Cyber-evangelists find innovative ways to share gospel (October 20, 2002)

Risks, stigma accompany wearing of tattoos (October 13, 2002)

Women lead on-campus ministries (September 29, 2002)

Tobacco, alcohol, gambling industries find underage Internet client base (September 22, 2002)

Marijuana, cocaine have abusive company: Ecstasy, meth and prescription painkillers (September 15, 2002)

September 11: A day that changed American Christians forever (September 8, 2002)

Congress, courts clash over Internet filtering issue (August 25, 2002)

People with disabilities bless churches (August 18, 2002)

Short-term youth binges can result in long-term habit (August 11, 2002)

Christians aim to preserve traditional marriage (July 28, 2002)

Payback time: Christian volunteers motivated to give back to community (July 21, 2002)

Urban training centers minister
to ever-growing population
(July 14, 2002)

E-mail rumors dupe multitudes, hurt credibility (June 30, 2002)

Not so innocent: PG-13 films increasingly push sex, language limits (June 23, 2002)

Skipping church: Why are some Americans staying home on Sunday? (June 16, 2002)

Fudge fellowship: Pastor's wife treats tavern clientele (June 9, 2002)

Persevering nomadic church finally reaches promised land (May 26, 2002)

Tragedy brings A/G church, community closer to God (May 19, 2002)

Couples find God's calling in adopting, raising children (May 12, 2002)

A/G chaplain ministers to women in maximum-security prison (April 28, 2002)

Youth center offers alternative to teens (April 21, 2002)

A week without television (April 14, 2002)

Technological know-how aids San Jose church outreach (March 31, 2002)

Cincinnati racial reconciliation brings inner peace to inner city (March 24, 2002)

District's fund-raising efforts aid pastors planting churches (March 17, 2002)

GED program an effective ministry (March 10, 2002)

Building relationshipis at heart of women's ministries outreach (February 24, 2002)

Single-minded devotion: Unmarried ranks offer ministry opportunities (February 17, 2002)

Bethany College honors black minister pioneer (February 10, 2002)

A/G quarterback wins Unitas Award (January 27, 2002)

Camp Melody plants song of love in boys' hearts (January 20, 2002)

Pastor breaks giving record after 10 days atop billboard (January 13, 2002)

2001 News Digest stories

2000 News Digest stories

GED program an effective ministry

(March 10, 2002)

What started out as an outreach to low-income housing projects in Jackson, Miss., two years ago has become one of the state’s largest General Equivalency Diploma learning centers. It is also reaping a harvest of souls.

Diploma ceremony: GED graduates are recognized for their educational achievements.


"There were so many people we were trying to help, but the only way to really help them was through education," says Pastor Eddie Hillburn, the children’s pastor of Southside A/G in Jackson. More than 50 people have graduated from the GED program, and more than a dozen have gone on to higher education at the local community college. Each 12-week semester has about 30 students in attendance.

A key factor in the success of the program has been the free child care offered by the church while the parents attend classes.

"You have these 15- and 16-year-old girls who got pregnant and had to drop out of high school," Hillburn says. "If they don’t have child care, they are looking at 18 years before they can finish their own education."

Southside uses volunteers who hold regular children’s services on the Tuesday nights that the GED classes are held, including a nursery. About 30 kids attend each week. "We added many families to our church through it," Hillburn says. "We were holding a revival, and two of the girls from the GED classes slipped into the Tuesday night service after class. Both made dedications to accept Christ."

Church members donating their time staff the entire operation. "When we applied to become a GED learning center, the man in charge told us he would have to see what he could fit into his budget," Hillburn says. "I asked him why he needed a budget. The man was amazed when I told him that all our teachers were volunteering."

The GED program won three local awards for highest numbers of students, teachers and graduates. The local exchange club awarded Hillburn, and his wife, Ann, the "Golden Book of Deeds Award" for impacting their community.

—Judi Murphy


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