Single in the Church

Single in the Church of Christ….
Twenty four years ago Hurricane Andrew hit Miami and left me basically homeless, spiritually lost and hurting. My wife had left me a few months before and I was drowning my pain with alcohol. A big storm was part of the solution.
I went back to church by accident (a story for another time). I was impressed with the compassion of many churches in Miami but drawn to the Sunset church as I had been baptized and attended a church of christ in high school. So I started volunteering with church people cleaning out damaged homes, serving meals and gennerally being useful. A wonderful elder took me under his wing and showed me that Jesus loved me and church was more than a place to attend and keep checklists of holiness. Loved it!
Unfortunately, my soon to be ex- wife wasn’t buying it and divorced me. She had reconnected with an old boyfriend and moved back to New Jersey. She took our daughter away with her, of course. Many prayers and much anguish didn’t bring her back.
While the Sunset church was supportive, individuals in other churches of christ were not. The Key Largo Church of Christ told me i would have to be celebate and alone for the rest of my life and God didn’t forgive this sin. I honestly felt suicidal after meeting with him. After a few stops with work, I went back to my roots, the Gulf Coast of Alabama, for school. Most churches I visited in Mobile, Alabama, didn’t want single dads and their kids. I landed at the University Church of Christ where I was lonely but excepted. The minister, Marshall Underwood, sae would support an effort to have a singles ministry and we planned a singles day. Sixty five adult singles attended with little planning or advertisement! Many were single parents, divorced or shunned by their local congregations.
Twenty years later LAUNCH ministry continues. Our ministry is run by volunteers, outcasts and the neglected. We have never had a budget yet have met for twenty years. Never had a building yet baptized several each year (well over a hundred). Never promoting dating yet many pictures of husbands, wives and their children (our alumni)come in the mail with the Christmas cards each year.
God is good. He allows us to serve the widowed, divorced and never married. We take Jesus to the people the local congregations do not want.
We have our first get together in 2017 this February in Lake City, FL. Our topic is “planting Seeds, preparing soil” and we will study the parable of the planter. We expect a least one hundred singles to join us at a tiny church and learn about Jesus, raise the roof in enthusiastic singing and encourage one another.
Send us your singles…..we want to work with them. Regitration ino i as follows:




February 24-26, 2017       LAUNCH SINGLES WEEKEND! LAKE CITY , FLORIDA!!!

                                                                             “Planting Seeds-Preparing Soil”

Hosted by the New Horizons Church of Christ, Lake City, FL

Lessons about planting and harvesting, exploration of different techniques of farming, life application lessons, fellowship, singing…..Fun! Fun! including best cake contest…..more to come! $33 suggested conference cost….

**MAILING ADDRESS: New Horizon Church of Christ 184 SW Crescent St, Lake City, FL 32025**


                            Church Building address:    6130 South US Highway 441, Lake City 32025….(386) 288-4274
Cole is getting a list of hotels/ there are many in the $60 range. **Days Inn (441 at I-10)- 10 MIN/5 MI-  about $65
**Stephen Foster State Park has Cabins-24 MIN/15 MI- $100 a night , sleep 6.
**Suites 2 Home by Hilton -9 MIN/4 MI-sleeps 6 (we can help group you) , full breakfast, $124.

What about Homelessness?

Ok….a little change of pace. What about the homeless in our community? Are they invited to church? Lunch after? Do you have a personal friendship with anyone who has been homeless?

Here is why most church folks don’t hang out with the homeless. Many of the homeless are mentally ill and not treated. Bipolar disorder and schizophrenia cause unusual and unpredictable behavior. Neglect and abuse are common in the homeless population. Alcohol and drug abuse are common. Medical conditions like hypertension and diabetes are exacerbated by mental illness, bad diet and non- compliance with medication. Additional stress of heat in the summer and cold in the winter contribute to growing health problems. Most of the homeless are “single” though many may be legally married. Companionship is difficult and trust had to come by.

Now! Take away the definition “homeless” and you define many of the mainstream church population….we are all about two weeks of income away from financial disaster. Thousands fear a loss of home daily. We need to look around and not treat the homeless as “those people” but see many who need a hand up. Cook a little extra and share.  Buy a meal. Give away socks. Everybody needs socks. Nurture your relationship and encourage the marriages that are struggling ( a divorce can cause another homeless person). Help a person keep a job instead of making them work harder. Listen to a friend…(even if you have seen it before)

Did Jesus have a solution for the homeless? Well, one time he cured an illness of a crazy guy who lived in the cemetery and then sent him out to be a missionary. Read about it ….Matthew 8:28-34