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December 31, 2000: California church trailblazer for city's revitalization

December 24, 2000: New Jersey township retracts impediment to A/G congregation

December 10, 2000: Christmas stocking project brings hope, gifts to needy kids

November 26, 2000: A/G church looks to second half-century with founding pastor

November 19, 2000: Quest for souls occupies Christians during Olympics

November 12, 2000: Three ministers reaching their world

October 29, 2000: A/G Minister to ride to each state capitol, pray for nation

October 22, 2000: Art academy connects students with Creator

October 15, 2000: Columbine survivors share testimonies, hundreds respond

October 8, 2000: Graham conducts final evangelism conference

September 24, 2000: Independent congregation receives help from Lousiana A/G church

September 17, 2000: California ministry team breaking strongholds

August 27, 2000: Bold outreach touches hurting in Allentown

August 20, 2000: Baptist church gives A/G congregation its facility

August 13, 2000: Climbers conquer Kilimanjaro, help A/G

July 30, 2000: Chicago church, city partner to improve lives of women, children

July 9, 2000: New Mexico fires damage A/G families’ homes

June 25, 2000: God moves in Mississippi high school assembly

June 18, 2000: California skate park becomes 'teen church'

June 11, 2000: Convoy and partners team up to reach poor

May 28, 2000: Tornado damages A/G church in Texas

May 21, 2000: National Prayer Center ministry expands reach

May 14, 2000: Adventure, ministry on Pathfinder missions

April 30, 2000: Church reaching deaf students in Louisiana

April 23, 2000: 40-day fasts unite, renew A/G churches

April 9, 2000: Colorado church booms with bilingual services

March 26, 2000: Cell groups strengthen California youth group

March 19, 2000: Michigan church bounces back from brink of closing

March 12, 2000: A/G man holds world arm-wrestling title

February 27, 2000: A/G minister helps others get their wings

February 20, 2000: Former editor with Christ


Independent congregation receives help from Louisiana A/G church

Don Banks, then the pastor of a black independent Pentecostal church in West Monroe, La., needed help after his church’s building project stalled midway through construction. A few weeks later, nearby First Assembly of God, with a predominantly white congregation, offered to help.

Pastor Don Banks (pictured) partnered with Pastor Otis Moore to build Greater Realness Assembly of God. Greater Realness was an independent church at the time.

"First A/G approached me and said, ‘We want to do whatever we can to help you,’" Banks recalls. "Was this unusual and unbelievable? Yes. But God allowed our church and their church to be vulnerable to one another. They not only prayed, they put money out there for us until we could get a loan.

"I went there and was blessed by them and came to respect them," he says. "They took us in and adopted us. It’s nice to go through a situation like this and have someone there to help you."

First A/G also helped the independent church by sending volunteers to help finish construction on the half-completed sanctuary that weather threatened to destroy.

"Helping them just gave us a tremendous amount of life and excitement," says Otis Moore, pastor of First A/G. "It was very encouraging to our church. We believe the only way to reach a city is to be a part of it and to be committed to the welfare of it and other churches."

As members of the churches got to know one another through working on the building, worshiping and ministering together, individuals came to a better understanding of one another.

"Spiritually this has given us a broader view of Christianity," Banks says. "When you put Christian in front of ethnicity it changes everything. The relationship kicks in and you are not looking at who is black or white — you just know you are connected by the blood of Jesus."

Banks has since become a licensed A/G minister; his church is now known as Greater Realness Assembly of God and has grown to more than 165 worshipers.

"It began out of a simple relationship," Banks says. "Their help made a bold statement to our church and this community. We can all make a difference when we focus on Christ rather than on skin color."

Moore says the churches plan to continue partnering in ministry.

— Kirk Noonan


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