When One Suffers, We All Suffer

The following was written by the Rev. Arnold Nelson, Sr. Minister at First Christian Church, Duncan, Oklahoma to his congregation in response to recent losses suffered by two Disciples congregations.

First Christian Church, Tupelo, Mississippi

First Christian Church, Tupelo, Mississippi

Two years ago, I took off a couple of days to visit Tupelo, Mississippi. The star attraction wasn’t Elvis’ birthplace, (though I did visit) but the First Christian Church of that city. I led an elders’ workshop, and I had a great time. There are fine Disciples at that FCC and they’re much like us. They have bake sales, and make a big deal out of Christmas. They recently had an Easter egg hunt and they love having folks join them. From the looks of things, their new pastor is doing a great job and they seem to love her. On Monday, April 28, they lost their entire building to a tornado. As suddenly as that, a structure that had served them for 46 years was a teetering wall and a pile of rubble and memories.

I’ve never visited the First Christian Church of Washington, North Carolina but I’ve heard of it for years. A predecessor of mine at Pulaski Heights Christian Church left Little Rock to serve that historic congregation. To read their web site you’d think they’re us. Their mission statement sure sounds like us. They make sure visitors know meeting at the Lord’s Table is at the heart of their worship. They go on mission trips but they also serve their community on the Pamlico River because that’s where God put them. On Monday, April 28, a sanctuary they had worshipped in since 1891 was the beginning place of a fire that engulfed the entire structure.

Both congregations have fresh reminders of important things today. They’re reminded churches are made up of people called by God meeting in buildings and the church goes on regardless of structures made by human hands. They’re reminded the primary purpose of church is to worship God in all circumstances. This Sunday FCC, Washington will meet in a lodge hall. FCC, Tupelo has been invited to worship in a Methodist building. On Wednesday, West Point, Mississippi native and Week of Compassion Interim Executive Director, Johnny Wray, took a Week of Compassion check to the saints at Tupelo so they’re reminded they’re part of a greater church community called by God and meeting in buildings made by human hands. As to the FCC of Washington, the check is in the mail. With both checks go our love and prayers.

Glad to be your pastor,


Week of Compassion's Partners at Foods Resource Bank (FRB) invite you to join as representatives from several of FRB's partner organizations share their insights on how and why their organizations work to create an international network and learning community. Alden Braul, learning coordinator from the Canadian Food Grains Bank (CFGB), will share how CFGB has created a learning network among their 15 member agencies and field partners across the globe. Alden will also speak to CFGB's recent deeper look at what helps make an agriculture program sustainable. 

Tim Albright and Rick Burnette, agriculture network staff at ECHO will speak about the work of the ECHO Regional Impact Centres located in Asia, Africa and Latin America, and how the work of these centers benefits all those working in small-holder agriculture development. We invite anyone interested in ending hunger through agriculture to join this webinar! Please pass this invitation on to others. Together, let's grow the network of lasting solutions to hunger. 

Space is limited. Reserve your webinar seat now!

Date: Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM EDT

This Week’s Responses:

Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance

Nicaragua, Earthquake Relief
North Carolina, Tornado Damage (1)
North America, U.S. Storm Relief
Mississippi, Tornado Damage