New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - November 13, 1987, New Braunfels, Texas
Herald-Zeitung New Braunfels Texas
Friday November 13 1987
Page SAGuest preacher aims at'prime'Christians
Joe McKissick of Lewisville, who is devoting full time to a program to mobilize older Christians for more church growth will be guest speaker Sunday at the Church of (’brist. 1665 U S 81 West The visiting preacher calls his ministry Prime Time and it is aimed at Christians from the age of 50 and older "The graying of the church can mean the growth of the church," he says People are living longer and retiring earlier and their knowledge experience talents and time should be used to good advantage by the church he says McKissick will speak to combined adult classes at 9 a rn in the auditorium and address the worship assembly at IO a rn On Saturday he will be guest speaker at the monthly meeting of Sunny Seniors, a covered dish dinner in the church fellowship hall at 6 p rn At 61 years of age McKissick has a distinguished background as a mis sionary to South Africa and Canada and as a minister in churches in Fort Worth. Dallas Houston and other locations in (>klahoma and Texas A native of (Mahonia he is a graduate of Freed Hardeman College and Murray State College in Kentucky He has also (kine graduate work at Southwestern Baptist Seminary and Abilene Christian University
Religion regaining public favor
NEW YORK (API — Organized religion, which slipped in public esteem last year, is getting back more trust in the eyes of Americans despite the recent TV evangelism scandals
But it still hasn t regained the top level of confidence among various institutions that religion held for many years It now stands even with the military in first rank This is the finding of the Princeton N J . Religion Research Center an affiliate of the Gallup organization, based on interviews with a scientifically representative 1.60? adults Currently, both organized religion and the military were found to head the field in the degree of people's con fidence 61 percent of them consider mg those institutions dependable l^ast year the military had edged ahead, with 63 percent confident in it
compared with 57 percent in organiz ed religion, after seven years in which religion had been rated ahead of all the rest This time. religion moved back to the top rung but shared it with the military, despite the distrust found to have hit TV ministries because of ex-PTL evangelist Jim Bakker s downfall and other TV preaching excesses
Standing below religion and the military in public regard, were these institutions in this order, along with percentages confident in them I S Supreme Court, 52 percent banks 51 percent public schools 50 percent newspapers 31 percent television 28 percent and organized labor 26 percent -As in past surveys. Protestants women, blacks, older Americans and the less well educated expressed the
Moderate Baptists look to consolidate victories
greatest confidence in the church but increased trust in religion show ed up in all population groups this time
New surveys among teen agers however, find that faith has edged downward in their estimate, only 44 percent of them considering it very important, compared with 51 percent in 1984
Fewer of them also believe hard work is very important down from 82 percent to 70 percent, but more of them rated other qualities in the important category , including Responsibility and honesty both 89 percent, self respect 87 percent Most teen-agers favor a time for prayer in public schools 55 percent of them with 31 percent opposing it and the rest undecided An even bigger share of adults 69
percent, were found in a 1985 Gallup survey to favor school prayer Inquiring into a different area -what people do to get over depression and how well their systems work — a new survey found that Americans most frequently turn to a hobby TV reading or listening to music to get out of the dumps Eighty four percent of them say it works
But among those who turn to prayer, meditation or Bible reading at times of depression 94 percent say it works
That was the highest rating of ef fectiveness for any of the relief measures, although greater propor tions of people tried other things such as seeking out friends or family for talk or eating more or less As for the eating remedy only 31 percent found it helped
Overcoming the odds
FORT WORTH \V Moderate Texas Baptists said victories over fundamentalists in state level skir m I shes this week could set the stage for a showdown in San Antonio when the national Southern Baptist ('on sent ion meets in June The Baptist General C onvention of Texas ended its two day meeting Wednesday after electing an in dependent the Rev Joel Gregory of Fort Worth as president and two moderates as vice presidents
Meanwhile moderates made substantial gains in other state con ventions which was viewed by some as a sign the campaign was ready to go national
What has happened this wrrk is that laymen Baptist laymen have risen up and said Fnough is enough said Net! Rodgers ex ecutivr director of the moderate group I-ally few (hr Baptist Faith and Message
But fundamentalists said moderate victories might not last Traditional ly moderates have maintained run tm! at the state level but f'andamen talisls are en! rem-hex I in the SB* s hierarchy
The SB* has beer, so different from the state conventions it s almost Uke two different worlds * said the Rev James leaper of Fuless who is aligned with fun damentailst (av turns Incoming president Gregory noted the series of moderate victories around the nation this week and their likely impact on ’.br san Anturuo meeting
There s no question from what I vr heard It s < hanged the land ti apr br said I would anticipate that there § going to tie another vers large convention in Nan Antonio It ll tie a stem winder
Rodgers compared the BOUT meeting to a political primary
We ve won the primary and it gives us some momentum we need to prepare for San Antonio he said In the elections which had been considered a test of fundamental strength only one moderate can didate was opposed The convention approved a motion authorizing the Texas executive board to support the joint committee a Washington based coalition for first amendment issues that has been criticized bv fun damentalists The fundamentalist controlled Public Affairs Committee has re quested that the SBC cut off fantling to the joint committee The Rev John Iceland Berg of Houston who supported the motion said it demonstrates Texas Baptists longstanding commitment to the joint committee and their dissatisfaction with the current situa lion
lax a1 Baptists are beginning to wake up to the fact that they ve been hood winked arni the tide has turn ed Berg said
Another key resolution that won approval recommended that Baptist bodies refrain from endorsing or op posing candidates for public office The resolution will be forwarded to the executive committee of the SHW Many Baptists were angered this year when the national puhlu affair* committee endorsed former supreme Court nominee Robert Burk some local assoc '.aliens passed resolutions supporting the ***paration of church and state
But while moderates enjoved their v ic tones fundament a1 tsts warned the battle was not over
Who s strongest today may tie weakest tomorrow That s an endless precess Draper said
Singer wants to make East Texas town the gospel music capital
OVERTON Texas AP Al Pet tv wants to do something that appears on the surface to be an impossibility That is to make this Rusk County community the gospel music capital of the world Petty well knows about on the surface impossibilities His life has been a series of tough obstacles But right from the start Petty showed talent as a musician He started playing the steel guitar when he was Ii and three months later was playing on the radio three times a week When he was 13 he started recording commercially He began to teach when he was 14 and at that time had three radio programs a day five days a week
At the age of 21 he went to Cal I for ma amt fecarne an entertainer He also changed his name to Al Perry For the first 21 years of his life he w as try mg to serv e the laird
I was the highest tither in the church when I was 21 Petty said Before I was 21 I was working in the music ministry "
I was doing all these things that I though were just really building me up ncbrs and heaven and credibility with God Pettv said "I knew a leg
of scripture but I dido t understand any of it
He says his faith was shattered when he found himself a married man falling in love with one of his secretaries
I just couldn’t believe that God would let me ole selfrighteous holy me fall in love with some other girl Petty said
He says he became an agnostic for 13 years and studied the other major world religions and philosophers Then he moved briefly back to Fast Texas after his father died owning a night club in Longview and broad casting a telev lsion and a radio show I began to believe in a God again." Petty said "But I never came back to him until 13 years later I only went to church twice dunng that time one for my father s funeral
He continued to entertain produce records working rn Las Vegas TV and continued to have problems he says I had death threats continual Iv and had two attorneys on re tamer s fee because somebody was always suing me every time I turned around I really got fed up and moved back in 196?
I had a problem with the 1R> '
Petty said "I had to fork up S5o OOO so I went back to where I could make the most money which was Las Vegas "
He says he was a gambler and an alcholic. twice hospitalized for internal bleeding
"I couian t face the day with a sober mind and so I didn \." Petty-said "I drank and drank and couidn t quit so when I got to the place I knew for positive I couidn t quit I met Jerry Phelps in that elevator
Phelps now pastor of the Tyler Metro Church met Petty at the 1981' International Steel Guitar Convention in St Louis and talked briefly with him about giving his heart to the Lord and using his talent for the Lord
Petty says not long thereafter he recommitted his life to the Lord
But he says he is no believer in faith without works He has alreadv
taken steps to make Overton the gospel music capital of the world This is where I was bom“ Petty said I ve just really felt called to my roots"
He has been bolding a weekly radio talent search for gospel singers with the winning singer awarded a recording session and tap** release on his Love Records Petty has developed a ' guitor chestra ' that he says has the poten na! to imitate any sound that any known musical instrument can produce as well as human voices But the single biggest thing that Petty believes will put Overton on the map is the proposed learning center Land has already been cleared for it The learning center will feature music and more
Probably the biggest thrust of the music will initially be the teaching of people who want to sing duets trios quartets or even choirs. Petty *aKj
One of the major reasons people do not attend church is that they find it Poring1 The Presbyterian Church in America is establishing a new congregation in the New Braunfels area.
• *rienjships mat will Q'q* e a /oyfui worship service e ^semens mat a and ^eet you' neecs<
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Letter urges Reagan to listen to church
UH’ISS ILL*: Kv AP I lear Bonnie began the letter signed by IVX members of the t "hmtun iTiurch Disciple* of iTiriAt rn which Pr**i dent Reagan wax reared in hi* bo v boud day* in luxor 111 Thr letter to which xignature* were gathered at the denomination i recent axaemhly here urge* Reagan lo I i*t rn to the mr wage of thr church msirad of depending upon advice from the Pentagon and the merchant*of war material It a*k* Reagan how our Ghmtaun (aith can justify your ac Hon* in these poi ic ie* among other*
I *e of violence rather than negotiations a* an instrument of foreign poitcy in Grenada Ubya the Persian Gulf and Nicaragua funding of Strategic Ixrfense Initiative Star War* at thr expense of the pour and Mn ie Ie** which could force the country toward national bankrupt
Lutherans sharing pulpits, communion
MINNEAPOLIS AP More than half the world * Lutherans now have compact* for sharing pulpit* and Holy (anim un ion with Presbyterian and Reformed denominations ac' cording to a review of those ec umenical tie*
The review wa* done by the Rev la*wis L Wilkin* of Indianapolis formerly (Mi the staff of the World Alliance of Reformed (’burehe* in Geneva Switzerland and presented at a Lutheran Reformed conference here
However. Lutheran leaders noted that obstacle* are still to be over come before the newly merged 5 3 million member Evangelical lutheran Uhurch m America can enter into such fellowship
Baptist editor retires because of restrictions
ATLANTA (AP) - Jack U Harwell, editor for 21 year* of the
(»«*»rgia Baptist Convention weekly Christian Index is retiring Dec 31 blaming restriction* and cen sorxhip demanded bv now dominant fundamentalist officials Fundamentalist* after nine year* of elec tloneermg have gained the up per hand in thr Southern Baptist i on vendor including it*Georgia wing Harwell ba* t«err. under fire from fundamentalist* for several years and la*t year a review board wa* set up to chee k content* of the weekly newspaper founded in 1822 and the oldest in thr convention
In recent week* Harwell said be noticed that "I had not written my conscience but only "what I knew would pas* muster with the review hoard rather than what I felt to tie true and honest
I could no longer live with thr rest net ions and censorship placed upon this newspaper and he true to my God my heritage my denomina don or mv consc ience *
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