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Last Groan of a Dying Church, The

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Price: $6.00
Author: Clayton Pepper
Cover: paper

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This is the true story of a congregation of God's people.  They have a nice building in a good community.  The congregation is about 45 years old at the present location.  They have always used part-time preachers, been generous in helping good works, and have had regular services and Gospel meetings.  Their preachers knew well how to visit the sick members, marry the young and bury the dead.  However, they did not know how to build a strong, growing church.  They were like a hospital.  They served those who came.  They may be described as largely inward focused.  Their building seats about 300.  Today 45 seats would be more than enough.  No classrooms are needed, as there are no children.  The members are old, and so is the preacher.  They have given up hope.  No matter what is suggested, they give their negative reasons as to why it would not work.  There seems to be no possible way for this church to be helped.  It appears that death is inevitable unless an infusion of Christians from the general area start attending.  Even though there is only one class, they always insist that the bell be rung at the end of the one adult class in the auditorium on Sunday morning and Wednesday night.  A preacher friend of mine, visiting this church, tells of their only elder giving the signal to one of the members to go to the rear of the auditorium and ring the bell.  There are many other congregations that are in the same state of decline and, after a few more deaths, will expire.  This has led the writer to assemble information on a number of causes of the death of churches and give this book the title, The Last Groan of a Dying Church.  It did not have to be that way.

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