Distinctive way to offer Bible studies
for high schoolers
Special to GwinnettForum.com
(Editor's Note: with some people wanting Bible
studies to be taught at the public school level, we thought this
column from the Jesup Press-Sentinel was extremely timely.
It shows what another community did with this idea for high school
MAY 18, 2007 -- When I graduated from high school in 1954, I had
earned two elective credits, one in Old Testament and one in New
Testament, from the Dallas, Texas Independent School District. They
were two of the most important courses I ever took and certainly
prepared me well for my major studies in religion at Southern Methodist
The recent news about Muskogee County, Georgia being the first
to implement the newly state-certified course in the study of Bible
as History and Literature certainly brought back fond memories for
me. Several other counties will implement the course next year.
I would have enjoyed teaching such a course. However, those who
voice strong concern about the difficulty in separating fact from
faith in a public school classroom setting have legitimate concerns.
Although I know of several teachers who would excel in teaching
this course, I can also think of a number of people I would not
like attempting this task with my children. And Biblical scholars
must ask themselves: How in the world do you teach Biblical facts
without their implications for living today? I see lawsuits on the
I think the Dallas School System displayed the wisdom of Solomon
in its offering of these studies years ago. The school system prepared
the textbook with specific facts---name the books of the Bible in
order, name the 12 disciples, identify these Biblical sites on the
map. The system also administered and monitored the final exam based
entirely on the lessons in the textbook.
Every student then went to one locale in the city one Saturday
morning to take this final exam, much in the same way school systems
today administer the SAT. The system contracted the high schools
as to which students would receive the credit.
Here's the kicker, though. All of the classes were taught on Sundays
at a variety of church denominations throughout the city. Churches
registered with the school system to offer the course. The classes
were publicized through the schools, but it was up to the students
to go to the church of their choice to sign up for the class and
to attend each week.
Although churches selected their own teachers, the school system
certified the results based on the score they earned on a system-wide
test prior to starting the class. Each teacher had to maintain strict
attendance rolls. No student was eligible to take the final if he
had not attended class regularly.
The school system specified the historical and literary information
that it wanted the students to become proficient in; each church
presented the factual information in keeping with its own doctrine.
Both years, my class filled the classroom. And while most participants
were members of our large church, several students came from churches
not offering the class or those who didn't attend any church regularly.
Because most of us were Methodists in a Methodist church, our class
discussions were lively. No question was off limits because of separation
of church and state laws. Our teacher felt free to explore the faith
issues each fact raised.
Many eyes across the country will be watching these first schools
as they attempt to walk a very fine line. Some will be too eager
to pounce if they falter or stumble. Others will constantly nag
the system to introduce more doctrine as they see it than Biblical
fact, a death trap for sure. While I hope the students in these
experimental classes come away with a fine body of knowledge, I
also wish that they too could have had the best of both worlds as
Problems have closed Snellville food co-op
since July 2006
Editor and publisher
MAY 18, 2007 -- A growing county like Gwinnett continually gets
new ventures, commercial, public, and charitable. One of the most
beneficial to develop in the last 25 years has been the various
community co-ops serving the less fortunate people.
Food ministries, under different names, are operating in Norcross,
Lilburn, Duluth, Lawrenceville and North Gwinnett/Buford. However,
at present, the Southeast Gwinnett Food Co-Op in Snellville is not
operating as it once was.
A series of changes, dropped balls, perhaps some bureaucratic bungling,
and plain misfortunes have caused the Co-op virtually to be closed,
since July 2006. In the meantime, the 8,000-plus people it served
(for the last full year), have no source of emergency assistance.
The Co-op, which started in 1992, was operating out of a building
owned by the First United Methodist Church in Snellville. The land
of that building was swapped to the City of Snellville, and the
co-op had to move last July.
The Co-op found a welcoming reception from the Vision Board of
Community of Grace Lutheran Church, located on U.S. Highway 78,
just outside the Snellville city limits. The co-op purchased two
mobile units to be located on the five acre church property
ran into difficulties.
Apparently no building permit was secured when the trailers were
placed. The church was to lease the property to the Co-op for a
sum of $10 for three years, but its insurance policy required both
a contract and building occupancy permit.
The trailers were delivered in July, 2006, yet still today, have
no certificate of occupancy. The last contact with the Gwinnett
Dept. of Planning and Zoning, which issues the permits, was in January,
when the county found the footings were not poured properly.
Meanwhile, the Co-op employed the Lawrenceville firm of Macon Gooch
Building Consultants to help with the problem. Mr. Macon Gooch of
the engineering firm said that they found problems with the two
trailers, including not having a permanent foundation. The Gooch
firm is presently at work to design the foundation, and talking
with the firm which installed the trailers to get the work complete.
No indication of a timetable for this work to be finished has been
A few facts: Don Ashworth of Loganville was the director of the
Co-op for more than 11 years. A retired Forest Service employee,
he had also headed the Lawrenceville Housing Authority for six years
before being approached by four Snellville area churches to found
the co-op in 1992. Those initial churches included the Snellville
First Baptist, Evangel Community Church, Anniston Road Baptist and
Snellville United Methodist. Eventually 29 churches were part of
the Co-op. It was thriving.
Beth Moffat, the current director, says that in the Co-op's last
full year of operation, its monetary contributions were $102,188.
Meanwhile it handed out $60,375 in financial assistance; $92,724
in food assistance; $8,238 for in-kind clothing assistance; and
$1,949 for school supplies. (All this doesn't all up, since the
Co-op receives many in-kind gifts.)
The Rev. Matt Henning, pastor of Grace Church, says his church
was excited about the Co-op being on its land. "It provides
a great ministry, helping those on the edge of poverty, and networking
to find people work, and help with food and housing.
"Lots of little things have held them up, and it's very complicated.
We want to do what we can to get their trailers open and the Co-op
operating again. "
The Co-op is set up to serve those people in need in four zip codes
of Snellville, Loganville and Grayson (30078, 30017, 30052 and 30039).
Because the Snellville Co-op is not operating now, this puts additional
pressure on the other co-ops in Gwinnett.
Gwinnett has growing needs in many areas, including helping people
in dire circumstances. The lack of a Co-op in Snellville is a black
mark on Gwinnett, and will be, until bureaucratic wrangling, professional
assistance and innovative leadership takes hold and gets the program
public spiritedness of our sponsors allows us to bring GwinnettForum.com
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what additional poles are for at intersections
Editor, the Forum:
I've been doing a little bit of digging online to see if I can
find out what the poles are that I just noticed at several intersections
At both Lawrenceville Highway and Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road, and
at Lawrenceville Highway and Indian Trail Road, there are poles
not associated with the light system, located just off the intersection.
At the top there seems to be a string with a weighted item hanging
down. Attached to the pole is a box that I would assume is a computer
or communication device of some sort.
I wondered if this was traffic related or possibly weather related.
I have not noticed them before, but while sitting in some of the
wonderful Gwinnett traffic over the last couple of weeks, spotted
them at these two intersections.
Do you have any information on these? Sorry, but I do not have
a photo of them for reference.
-- Scott Phillips, Dacula
Dear Scott: No clue here. Maybe our readers can
help us. Or maybe it is a guidance system for unidentified flying
All the news that's
Another great cartoon from Bill McLemore:
4th Art on Square exhibit coming May 25-26
The fourth annual Art on the Historic Square comes May 25-26 this
year in Lawrenceville. The Dunwoody Arts and Crafts Guild and the
Lawrenceville Tourism and Trade Association coordinate the event.
Works will be displayed by over 40 local and regional artists. This
is a free family festival and will include a variety of juried fine
arts exhibitors and crafts vendors. Included will be an extensive
assortment of paints, prints, pottery, jewelry, glass, and photography.
Hours are 10 a.m.- 8 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Saturday. For
more information contact Rebekah Cline at 678-226-2639 or via e-mail
Secretary of State
speaks May 25 to Gwinnett Chamber
Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel will be the speaker on
May 24 at the Governmental Affairs of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce.
The meeting will be Thursday, May 24 at 5:30 p.m. at the Gwinnett
Chamber of Commerce building.
Ms. Handel was sworn into office on January 8, as Georgia's first
Republican secretary of state. This constitutional office oversees
elections, corporations, securities, and professional licensing
boards, and also controls the state archives and the Capitol museum.
Previously, in 2003, she was elected chairman of the Fulton County
Board of Commission, becoming the first woman chairman for the state's
largest and most populous county. She is also credited with passing
the strongest ethics laws of any local government, uncovering corruption
in the Sheriff's Department, and reforming a badly managed tax assessors
This event is free for Chamber members and guests. To RSVP, please
contact Demming Bass at 770-232-8807 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
clinic for public health opens in Lawrenceville
Gwinnett County will opened a new Public Health Services facility
Tuesday. The building, at 455 Grayson Highway in Lawrenceville,
was built for Wal-Mart and also served as a temporary American Red
Cross recovery center for people displaced by Hurricane Katrina.
About 47,000 square feet in the building will be devoted to public
The county health department, also known as the East Metro Health
District, will have a 21,000 square-foot clinic plus lab space for
dentistry and infectious diseases. The facility will offer screenings
for hearing and dental health, immunizations, and children's medical
services among others. There will also be program offices for Babies
Can't Wait and the Women, Infants and Children program known as
The $3 million renovation of the building was designed by Lindsay,
Pope and Brayfield and built by Hogan Construction Group. The East
Metro Health District's Environmental Health Unit is also relocating
to the building that already houses the elections office, a records
center and storage for various county government departments.
County to lease house
to Norcross for Welcome Center
Gwinnett commissioners will lease a house to the City of Norcross
for use as a welcome center in the historic downtown area. The house
is adjacent to and part of a site that the county bought for a new
fire station and fire equipment museum.
The city will lease the 1,380 square-foot house at 2189 Lawrenceville
Street for 25 years and has agreed to pay for maintenance and utilities
costs and to provide restrooms for visitors to a nearby museum.
Norcross will use the building for historical and educational displays
or for a welcome center or visitor's bureau office.
After the new expanded fire station is built, the city will buy
the site of current Fire Station 1 at 75 College Street, the county's
first and oldest fire station, which was opened in 1971. Last December,
Gwinnett commissioners awarded a $2.6 million construction contract
for the new station to C.P. Richards Construction Co. of Lithonia.
Work is expected to be complete by January 31, 2008.
Duluth seeking applicants
from youth as police explorers
The Duluth Police Department is currently accepting applications
from those interested in becoming a Police Explorer.
The DPD Explorer Program involves all aspects of policing, with
classes and tours covering a wide range of experiences. They include:
- Use of Force
- Laws of Arrest
- Departmental Organization
- Mechanics of Arrest
- Search and Seizure
- Criminal Investigations
- Domestic Violence
- Patrol Procedures
- Traffic Enforcement
- DUI Investigations
Each participant will have an opportunity to "ride along"
with a Duluth Police Officer on patrol and experience the Immersive
Virtual Reality (IVR) Training Simulator. The IVR is a 300-degree
high-definition use of force firearms training simulator system
that will put each participant in the role of a police officer.
Participants will have to make split second decisions while reacting
to changing scenarios.
The Law Enforcement Exploring Post is designed for young men and
women who live in or near the city of Duluth, as a mentoring and
training program for teens to become familiar with and involved
in Law Enforcement.
For more information contact Officer Scott Parrish at 678-417-3514/
or you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mercer seeks applicants
for master's of medical science
Mercer's College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Atlanta is
currently developing a Physician Assistant program in conjunction
with its educational partnership---Piedmont Healthcare of Atlanta.
The graduate program is set to matriculate its inaugural class in
January, 2008 following successful provisional accreditation by
the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician
Applications for the inaugural class are currently being accepted.
Twenty-six students will enroll in a 28-month program that will
lead to the Master of Medical Science degree. In addition to the
graduate program, Mercer will have a bachelor's degree pre-physician
assistant program in the College of Liberal Arts. Undergraduate
students successfully completing a minimum of 90 hours of pre-requisite
coursework in the program, including all CLA general education requirements
and the designated number of hours of direct patient care experience,
will be considered for admission into the highly-competitive master's
program in Atlanta.
For more information about the program, please check out the website
at http://www.mercer.edu/pharmacy/pa.htm, or contact the COPHS Student
Affairs and Admissions Office by calling (678) 547-6232 or e-mail
Gwinnett Tech has
11.2 percent jump in spring enrollment
Gwinnett Technical College's spring quarter enrollment increased
11.2 percent over the same period last year. College leaders credit
in-demand program offerings, highly flexible class options, and
improvements made to ease enrollment procedures, for the increased
Gwinnett Tech led metro Atlanta area technical colleges in enrollment
growth this spring quarter, according to the Department of Technical
and Adult Education (DTAE). The Lawrenceville-based college was
the second largest of area technical colleges in terms of total
enrollment with 4,196 students enrolled for the current quarter.
Gwinnett Tech President Sharon Rigsby credits the growth in enrollment
to strong interest in many of the college's newer programs. They
include childhood education, coupled with increasing interest in
healthcare programs, computer science, commercial construction management
and automotive service, programs which correlate to the area's most
in-demand job sectors.
Gwinnett Tech has also expanded registration times, simplified
enrollment procedures and tailored class schedules that meet the
needs of working students. For more information about Gwinnett Tech's
more than 45 educational offerings, call 770.962.7580.
Women's Survival Guide
By Lisa Creedon
I have a friend, Lisa
Creedon, who recently published a book entitled, The Women's
Survival Guide. Lisa is a Snellville mom, raising two daughters.
This book is for any woman, unless of course, you have a full time
maid who takes care of these activities. It is stuffed full (neatly
so) of practical advice on running your home, becoming organized,
being a stay-at-mom and making some money on the side, how to perform
basic maintenance on your car, kid/family tested recipes, staying
healthy, stretching a dollar, starting a new career, and more. It
is a realistic hope for real life problems written with humor and
heart. Take a look at her website www.lisacreedon.com
for a list of content and for ordering information.
-- Leslie Raab, Loganville
- An invitation: What
Web sites, books or restaurants have you enjoyed? Send us your
best recent visit to a restaurant or most recent book you have
read along with a short paragraph as to why you liked it, plus
what book you plan to read next. --eeb
grown to 114th largest Georgia company
In the 1940s Cagle's
was a mom-and-pop poultry shop in downtown Atlanta where customers
could choose any live bird and wait until it was processed to order.
Today, it is one of the top poultry producers in the world, selling
more than 400 million pounds of chicken to supermarkets, food distributors,
food-processing companies, fast-food chains, restaurants, and schools
since its founding.
By 1945 the company's founder, George L. Cagle, who had dabbled
in the north Georgia egg and poultry industry, decided to open his
own poultry shop. Armed with $8,000, Cagle opened a store in the
Five Points area of downtown Atlanta, which catered to walk-in customers
as well as to hotels, hospitals, and restaurants.
As Cagle's grew, George Cagle realized that personal service alone
wouldn't keep the company competitive. The business would have to
own and raise the birds it was selling in order to cut down on costs
to the middleman.
Cagle's contractor-farmers have played a large part in the company's
growth by producing 2.6 million eggs each week for Cagle's hatchery.
Once the chicks are hatched, the farmers use the feed and any other
assistance provided by Cagle's to produce the best birds possible.
The company's rigid quality-control standards have also been important,
guiding what it will and will not sell to its customers. Cagle's
inspectors ensure that sizing conforms to customer wants and that
every piece is carefully deboned and free of bruises and blemishes.
Cagle's products have changed as consumers' needs have changed.
As more and more women headed into the workplace, Cagle's began
selling chicken that was cut up and sold in individually frozen
pieces, which could be easily thawed and cooked. The company also
sold individually frozen pieces that had been breaded and marinated,
which were targeted for busy families or singles. Fast-food companies
in search of consistent chicken nuggets turned to Cagle's for ready-to-cook
pieces that could be prepared with the same result each time.
In 2004 Cagle's was the 114th-ranked publicly traded company in
Georgia, with more than $300 million in revenue. The Cagle family
still manages the company and owns more than 60 percent of its stock.
One important person
with a fresh, positive outlook
"Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but
with what it is still possible for you to do."
- - Pope John XXIII, via Cindy Evans, Duluth.
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