Northeast Report


Kay and I just returned from our 15th annual trip to work with congregations in the Northeast.  I was able to speak to three congregations and members from several other congregations who attended the various events. 

On Wednesday evening, Oct.7, we were at the East End Church of Christ on Long Island.  This congregation was planted years ago by one of our graduates, Jim Condon.  Jim has recently retired from preaching and moved to North Carolina to be near his children.  East End is now looking for a full time preacher and they have asked for our help to find the right person.

On Saturday, we began a seminar on leadership with the Roosevelt-Freeport congregation on Long Island.  Walter Maxwell, a 1970 Alumnus has preached for that congregation for almost 40 years and has helped grow the church from 8 members to over 300.  The associate minister is Kevin Smith who graduated last May and is doing an internship with Walter.  Several other congregations in the Northeast were represented at the seminar, including a congregation in Queens, a large group from a congregation in Middletown, New York and Jonathan Charley a graduate of our Fall River, Mass.  interactive school, who is ministering in Hartford, Connecticut.

Our final Wednesday night was with the church in Wallingford, Connecticut, where Bud Fenner is the preacher.  Bud has taken most of the Sunset curriculum  by distance learning, and is planning to finish soon and hopes to enter the MBS program.  That congregation of about 150 members is the second largest congregation in the state.  However, there are several surrounding cities of over 50,000 population that have no congregation.  There is a need for more church planting in the Northeast!

While Kay and I were in New York and Connecticut, Chris Swinford was conducting a Leader’s Retreat in Lewistown, Pennsylvania with several congregations and a number of our alumni in that area.  The preacher at Lewistown is Bob Nilram, a graduate of our school in Fall River.

One of the understandings that has been driven home again and again in these annual visits to the Northeast is the great impact that Sunset graduates have had and continue to have in that great mission field on our own shores with over 60 million souls.  Another is the fact that churches in that region are few and far between and the preachers there often feel isolated and are in need of encouragement.  That is one of the reasons we make this annual pilgrimage.  Please keep our brethren in the Northeast in your prayers.