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Homosexual rights activists gain influence in public schools (10/17/04)

Church’s prayer births children’s ministry (10/17/04)

Partner program revitalizes dying church (10/10/04)

Church music festival attracts variety of visitors (10/10/04)

Churches urge compassion for alienated smokers (9/19/04)

Youth ride wooden waves in church parking lots (9/12/04)

A/G, COGIC join forces through inner-city campus (9/12/04)

Christians respond to victimized women and children (8/29/04)

Growing slavic church shares new facility (8/29/04)

Couple embarks on capitol prayer tour (8/29/04)

ADHD requires multifaceted treatment approach (8/22/04)

Small congregation grows — by planting churches (8/22/04)

‘Under God’ stays in Pledge of Allegiance, at least for now (8/8/04)

Church reaches out to those feeling loss (8/8/04)

Churches act pre-emptively to reduce risk of abuse (7/25/04)

Credit cards ensnare record number of Americans (7/25/04)

Church helps out with donated CD, recycled buses (7/25/04)

New wave of pastors minister to emerging adults (7/18/04)

‘Walking Witnesses’ raise thousands for missions (7/18/04)

Healing center offers alternative medicine (7/18/04)

Growing number of Hispanics impact economy (7/11/04)

'Busy' couple finds time for compassion ministry (7/11/04)

Hand-copied Bible leaves 40-year legacy (7/11/04)

Pastor ends hunger strike when strip club promises to sell (6/27/04)

‘Military survival kit’ requests inundate A/G (6/27/04)

Fourth of July outreach draws thousands (6/27/04)

Drivers warned to steer clear of distractions (6/27/04)

Pastors face more counseling demands (6/20/04)

Church uses touch of ‘flavor’ to reach community (6/20/04)

Outrageous self-expression often starts, stops at home (6/13/04)

Runner raises $5,200 for Convoy of Hope (6/13/04)

Euphemisms tempt Christians to conveniently shed sin, guilt (5/30/04)

Funds for Easter play buy groceries instead (5/30/04)

Identity theft threatens millions of Americans (5/23/04)

Spanish speakers face challenges, opportunities in United States culture (5/16/04)

Health experts implore Americans to get fit (5/9/04)

Leaders say Christian faith stems recidivism (4/25/04)

Riders feel at home in Orlando sanctuary (4/18/04)

Churches try to keep human touch with new media (4/11/04)

Christians see Passion as ministry opportunity (3/28/04)

Tutoring improves lives, opens doors for evangelism (3/21/04)

Cybertheft costly — especially for Christians (3/14/04)

A/G women seize new ministry opportunities (2/29/04)

Investment in early spiritual maturity reaps rewards (2/22/04)

Christian families respond to foster care opportunities (2/15/04)

Childless couples grapple with emotional roller coaster, faith challenges (2/8/04)

Few men seek help from abortion grief, guilt (1/18/04)

Women who answer God's call provide valuable local ministries (1/11/04)

2003 PE Report stories

Frontline Reports

2002 PE Report stories

2001 News Digest stories

2000 News Digest stories


Partner program revitalizes dying church

By Deann Alford (10/10/04)

When the precursor to the Assemblies of God “Every Church a Parent or Partner” campaign came to Dallas/Fort Worth in September 2002 with the challenge, “How are you going to expand the kingdom of God?” Dallas First Assembly Pastor Tom McMahan began to consider the tiny church that his church had planted 70 years earlier in Rockwall.

In recent years, ever-expanding Dallas overtook the little farming town of 350 people 23 miles to the northeast, making Rockwall a 20,000-strong suburb with young families of Gen-Xers. First Assembly of God of Rockwall, however, had just 19 active members, all senior citizens. Tom McMahan’s son, Tommy, was the pastor.

Father and son began talking about what Dallas First Assembly could do to renew its ties to the Rockwall church. Soon, the parent church sent some of its best workers, teachers and musicians to Rockwall and made the little church Dallas First Assembly’s Rockwall campus. Dallas shared all assets, including facilities and vehicles. Rockwall began ministry for children, youth and Hispanics.

“We’ve got a full band with praise singers now,” Tommy says. In June, Sunday services averaged 77 worshipers. Two Rockwall deacons sit on the Dallas board.

Now the former country church is thriving. Tommy says the meeting in 2002 challenged churchgoers to be risk-takers, just like in the early days of Pentecostalism.

Are there drawbacks? “It’s a win-win every way you go,” Tom says. “The people were burned out, exhausted, and realized that without a major change their church wouldn’t exist much longer. These same faithful people are excited about doing something for Christ.”

A/G Church Planting Director Paul Drost, who organizes church revitalization campaigns such as the one Tom McMahan attended, says he would like to see other congregations follow the Dallas example. “The paradigm has to change for the future vitality of the Assemblies of God,” Drost says. “It’s really churches helping churches rather than only being concerned with their own four walls."

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