Local group sends missionaries throughout
President and CEO, The Mission Society
Special to GwinnettForum
NORCROSS, Ga., Aug. 19, 2008 -- Founded in 1984 in the Wesleyan
tradition, The Mission Society, based in Norcross, recruits, trains,
and sends Christian missionaries to minister around the world. At
present, The Mission Society has more than 225 missionaries in 32
While many organizations recruit people to fit into a structured
program, The Mission Society allows individuals and organizations
to develop ministries that fit their unique gifts and talents. These
range from well-drilling and the arts to more traditional ministries
such as teaching English and church planting.
We connect those called to cross-cultural ministry to areas around
the world where the Lord has opened doors for us to minister to
peoples' physical and spiritual needs. Our passion is helping individuals
and churches realize their God-given vision.
The Rev. Tamlyn Collins, former pastor of Berkmar United Methodist
Church in Lilburn, sensed the call to go into international missions.
She will be going to Zambia for two years in late September through
The Mission Society. Her mission work will be diverse, including
teaching English, computers, and how to grow cash crops, as well
as working with women and young girls in Bible studies.
She learned of The Mission Society through Cannon United Methodist
Church in Snellville, when she traveled on a mission trip three
years ago to work alongside missionaries, Ed and Linda Baker. Last
fall she contacted the Bakers, who put her in touch with The Mission
Society and our director of mobilization and candidacy, Richard
Coleman. They worked together to find a successful match.
The Mission Society emphasizes entrepreneurship in ministry, providing
services that help our missionaries become effective in ministry.
Drawing upon decades of ministry experience, we provide extensive
training and preparation, counseling, prayer support, and centralized
services to simplify missionary life. Our accountants track ministry
funds, provide health insurance, offer pension plans, and transfer
funds internationally. Our membership in the Evangelical Council
for Financial Accountability gives donors the assurance of financial
integrity and accountability. The Mission Society doesn't seek to
micro-manage missionaries, but provides the logistical and decision
support to help them thrive as they follow God's call.
The Mission Society works to understand the cultures of the countries
served, so Mission Society teams can communicate in culturally appropriate
ways. Its resident missiologist, an anthropologist and former missionary,
help train personnel in effectively communicating the Gospel cross-culturally.
Developing relationships is a key component of our work. When we
can reach people where they are---at the point of their felt need---and
introduce them to the Gospel, God changes lives.
The Mission Society receives no denominational funding and is not
associated with any one denomination. Its church ministry department
provides seminars, workshops, and mentoring for congregations in
the United States and overseas, helping equip churches for strategic
outreach in their own communities and throughout the world. The
Mission Society has worked with several churches in Gwinnett County
and welcomes the opportunity to visit more.
For more information on The Mission Society, call
1-800-478-8963 or visit www.themissionsociety.org.
* * * * *
Dr. Philip (Phil) R. Granger, president
and CEO of The Mission Society, lives in Sugar Hill. He is a native
of Michigan and a graduate of Michigan State, with a doctorate from
Oral Roberts University. He has held pastorates in Indiana and Illinois.
His expertise lies in the management of Christian organizations,
discernment planning and strategic implications. Phil began his
career as a certified public accountant and has been a pastor, conference
director of finance and administration, as well as a district superintendent
overseeing more than 70 churches.
Little-recognized flood control dams major
benefit to area
Editor and Publisher
AUG. 19, 2008 -- One of the amazing aspects of Gwinnett's fast
growth has been its ability to provide infrastructure on a timely
basis so that the smooth-flowing county operations can continue.
That takes in all sorts of infrastructure, from schools and roads,
to government buildings and parks. An overlooked aspect of the infrastructure
is the dams on streams of the county. As Gwinnett built more housing
within its borders, the upland hilly area of Gwinnett could have
threatened the lower-lying areas of the county with serious flooding
without considerable foresight of its past leaders.
We're talking of people like former County Commission Chairmen
Ray Morgan and Dudge Pruitt, and their fellow commissioners, O.F.
Thompson, Ray Gunnin, Carvis Williams, Maron Buice and Julian Archer.
plus others like cattleman David Kistner and the leaders of the
Soil and Water Conservation programs.
It was in the early 1960s that efforts began which made Gwinnett
the only urban county designation in the nation as one of ten pilot
Resource, Conservation and Districts. Work on this program and others
eventually saw the construction of 14 dams on the early reaches
of rivers and streams in the county, which curbed what had been
previously serious flooding and soil erosion in the county.
Dam No. 17 on the Yellow River
Most Gwinnett residents were not around to see such flooding. However,
as a 34 year resident of the county, we remember seeing U.S. Highway
29 closed and under water at the Yellow River between the Bethesda
community and Lawrenceville after days of intensive rains. Once
the dams were built, with the dams holding back the rainwater and
slowly releasing it over several days, the flooding was abated.
Now, years later, we can look back and see just how well these dams
have served the county. Though we have fast runoff from the hills
after rains, these dams catch these waters and prevent the immediate
That, with careful land planning, and not allowing housing in flood
plains, is another of the reasons Gwinnett has been an attractive
place to live
.and to build houses.
Last week, it was announced that the 14 dams that were constructed
out of these programs are being upgraded to meet modern dam safety
standards. A program held last Thursday signaled these improvements.
The County originally partnered with the Natural Resource Conservation
Service (NRCS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and several
local agencies, including the Upper Ocmulgee River Resource Conservation
and Development Council, the Gwinnett County Soil and Water Conservation
District and the Georgia Soil and Water Conservation Commission,
to design and build the dams between 1965 and 1980.
Gwinnett began a capital improvement program in 1999 to upgrade
all 14 dams. Construction is finished at seven dams and upgrade
designs are being completed for another three. Two already met the
new criteria and the remaining two are considered low-hazard but
will be upgraded due to potential future development nearby.
According to Stormwater Division Director Steve Leo, three of the
seven dams that have been upgraded were accomplished through the
NRCS Dam Upgrade Cost Share Program, which provides 65 percent funding
from the federal government. The three structures, No. Y-14, Y-15
and Y-17, are located within the Yellow River drainage basin.
Gwinnett's seen amazing growth in the last 50 years. Continual
innovation in its infrastructure, including these flood control
dams, have been a part of what has made Gwinnett great.
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needs to patch its declining political system
Editor, the Forum:
President Bush recently criticized Russia's "dramatic and
brutal escalation" of violence toward Georgia, "a sovereign
neighboring state," in retaliation for Georgia's suppression
of Ossetia, its breakaway province. This, Bush said, "substantially
damaged Russia's standing in the world."
Apparently Bush had forgotten that just weeks before his dramatic
condemnation, the brutality of our own foreign policy in Iraq had
been clearly and repeatedly exposed by our own Senate Intelligence
Committee as also unacceptable.
The report is clear: Bush and company distorted the justifications
for the invasion of Iraq, a maneuver that has killed more than 4,100
U.S. soldiers, 350 of the "coalition of the willing" and
hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians. Also, top administration
officials who made the decision to take this country to war knew
they were not telling the country the whole truth about what they
So how is it that our president can make such a pompous display
of condemning - demonizing -- another nation for doing the very
thing we have done? How can we possibly threaten them with international
scorn while we bask in fabricated virtue and ignore public opinion
Is honesty a thing of the past? Is denial now the global political
strategy where truth might be a better answer? Is projection on
an international scale now a global psychological disease? And is
self-criticism no longer a virtue? And if not, what does that do
for the political system and the mental health of the country? Is
this lack of ability to exercise self-criticism itself a deterrent
to our ability to operate in the international domain?
Remember when Dwight Eisenhower admitted that he had lied to the
country about the fact that we were spying on the Soviet Union with
U-2 planes equipped with suicide gear? The first crack in the national
shell could be heard across the country. Since then, it has been
commonplace for our presidents "to lie" for one reason
Now, presidents lie to themselves, to the world, to us to such
a degree that we no longer know the truth.
Without a return to the essentials of truthful political discourse
in a democracy, how much democracy is there?
Maybe we want to be seduced by tales of our national integrity.
Perhaps we should demand the kind of political confessions that
could save our own reputation in the world.
We need to do something about our declining political system. After
all, it's a thin line between invading a country and "liberating
a nation," between our nuclear bombs and theirs, between our
anthrax and theirs. But, we'll have better reasons for using them
than others, and if not, we'll at least spin our lies with much
more class and far better controlled indignation.
-- Ralph Greene, Snellville
to call vote on $850 million SPLOST referendum
Gwinnett Commissioners are expected Tuesday to call for a referendum
to be placed on the Nov. 4, 2008, ballot for voters to choose whether
to continue the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST).
The five-year SPLOST collections, which would begin April 1, 2009,
are estimated to total $850 million.
Gwinnett County and Gwinnett's 15 municipalities have been working
for several months on an intergovernmental agreement for the distribution
of proceeds from the SPLOST in anticipation of the ballot referendum.
The cities met last week to sign the final agreement. The Gwinnett
County Board of Commissioners will vote on the agreement in their
August 19 meeting.
As authorized in state law, the County will utilize 20 percent
of the proceeds for level two countywide projects consisting of
recreational facilities and libraries. The cities will then receive
funding based on the percentage of the population within incorporated
Gwinnett County according to 2007 Census Bureau numbers, 19.522
percent. The estimated amount to the cities is just under $132.8
million. The remainder of the SPLOST proceeds will go to the County.
The total estimated amount to the County including the 20 percent
level two projects is just over $717.2 million. The intergovernmental
agreement reflects the County breakdown between roads, streets and
bridges - $380.9 million; public safety facilities and equipment
- $66.3 million; recreational facilities - $162 million; libraries
- $13 million; and court facilities - $95 million.
Loganville to get
new imaging facility of Eastside Hospital
Emory Eastside Medical Center has won approval for a Certificate
of Need for a Loganville Imaging Center. The Department of Community
Health agreed with the need for Loganville citizens to have state-of-the-art
imaging services within their community. Emory Eastside estimates
their investment in this diagnostic imaging center will be $3 million.
The imaging center will be located on Georgia Highway 81, south
of U.S. Highway 78, and will include MRI, CT, mammography, x-ray,
ultrasound, and bone density testing. Construction is expected to
begin soon, with the opening expected in early 2009.
Emory Eastside Medical Center is a 210-bed acute care hospital,
located on a dual campus in Snellville, Georgia. For more information,
Aurora Theatre returns
with Club Comedy on Friday nights
Inspired by sold-out performances and audience feedback, Club Comedy
on the Square in Downtown Lawrenceville is back this season. The
first of 11 Funny Fridays over the next 10 months is scheduled for
Friday, August 22, with shows at 7:30 and 10 p.m.
The initial signature act is The Blacktop Circus, the nation's
only African-American improv comedy troupe. Because they use audience
suggestions every show is unique and with hundreds of improv comedy
games in their arsenal, theatre goers will want to see them again
Lilburn Library marks
20 Years at Hillcrest Road location
On Friday, August 22, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Gwinnett County
Public Library invites the community to celebrate the 20th anniversary
of the opening of the Lilburn Branch in its present location. The
Lilburn branch is located at 788 Hillcrest Road NW in Lilburn.
In spring 1986, voters passed a $16 million library bond for the
construction of nine new branches, with Lilburn being one of the
libraries built. In August, 1988, the Lilburn branch moved from
a small cottage house with an enclosed front porch for the children's
collection to its current location of more than 10,000 square feet
on Hillcrest Road in Lilburn. The former Lilburn branch manager,
Sue Calbreath, commented that it was nice to see the customers that
she knew by name in the cottage branch enjoy the amenities and increased
programming of the new facility.
With the new facility, Gwinnett County Public Library was able to
greatly improve services, assist more people, and offer better children's
programming. Elisa Kadish, Lilburn branch manager, says: "We
underwent a facelift in spring 2008 -- new carpeting, upgraded lighting,
improved seating and shelving arrangements. We hope we can continue
to exceed our customers' expectations in the years ahead."
Superior Court digitizes
Gwinnett real estate records
There is a new way for storing Gwinnett real and personal property
records. The project, which began in 2002, will end with the dedication
of the new Real Estate Records Room on August 19, hosted by Clerk
of Superior Court Tom Lawler and attended by the Commissioners and
The project, which involved scanning and indexing over 12 million
real estate documents, digitizes all Gwinnett County real estate
records dating back to Sept. 26, 1871, after the old Gwinnett courthouse
burned down. The Clerk's office receives and processes more than
a quarter million property records each year. At the time the Clerk
requested the project, the office was creating between 25-to-40
300-page deed books each business day. These books had to be secured
on traditional shelving, so temporary shelves were added when no
more shelf space was available.
The property room now operates without paper books. The new property
room will never have to be expanded beyond its present size. Security
for the deeds and other property records of Gwinnett citizens has
been greatly enhanced. The only paper books in the new property
room are indexes, which are required by current law to be printed
monthly and made available for use by the public. These same indexes
are also available electronically.
Matt Retter named
new chairman of Gwinnett Ballet Theatre
Gwinnett businessman Matt Retter has been elected as Gwinnett Ballet
Theatre's new Board Chairman effective July, 2008. Retter owns his
own real estate appraisal business in Lawrenceville, Billingsley,
Retter and Associates, Inc., and is involved in consulting and developing
He has been a resident of Gwinnett for the past 34 years. He graduated
from Berkmar High and has a degree in Business Administration from
Georgia State University. He has been active in the South Gwinnett
Rotary and has served as a Gwinnett County Planning Commissioner.
He has held the offices of President and also Trustee of the Bethesda
United Methodist Church Men's Club.
Gwinnett Ballet Theatre has been "nurturing young dancers
since 1977." Located with studios in Snellville's Fountain
Square, the school and company are both non-profit, 501C3 entities.
GBT will be producing its 27th annual production of The Nutcracker
this year from December 6-21 at the Gwinnett Performing Arts Center.
For more information about Gwinnett Ballet Theatre, call 770-978-0188
or visit www.gwinnettballet.org.
Here are tips for
parents as new school year begins
Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, one of the leading pediatric
healthcare systems in the country, is offering back-to-school tips
for parents. Simply click on the links below for more information.
Children's experts are also available for discussing these and other
pediatric topics. Please contact Children's 24-hour, 7-day-a-week
media pager at 404-570-9717 to reach a representative immediately.
Children's is a not-for-profit organization that benefits from the
generous philanthropic and volunteer support of our community. Operating
three hospitals with more than half a million patient visits annually,
Children's is recognized for excellence in cancer, cardiac, neonatal,
orthopedic and transplant services, as well as many other pediatric
specialties. Visit our Web site at www.choa.org or call 404-250-KIDS
to learn more about Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.
Playground accidents are one of the leading causes of injury
to elementary school-aged children. Each year, in the United States,
more than 200,000 children visit emergency departments as a result
of injuries that occurred on playground equipment. Approximately
3 out of 4 playground accidents occur on public playgrounds, including
school facilities, as opposed to backyard play equipment. Check
out these tips for parents on keeping kids safe on the playground.
For info, click
Water Important for Body
Kids may be headed back to school, but summer isn't over - in
fact, temperatures are hotter than ever. And back to school means
back to sports for many children. Click here to read tips on how
to keep your young athlete safe and hydrated during hot weather.
As kids file back into the classroom, unexpected illnesses and
injuries can land families in the Emergency Rooms at all hours
of the day and night. Click on the link below to view tips for
parents regarding things they can do before coming to the Emergency
- 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
Monument is reminder to key early holding
Despite the smaller forts and batteries located to the south and
west, St. Simons Island's citadel and the heart of the frontier
defense system was Fort
In his Journal, John Percival (the earl of Egmont) remarked that
the "bay within was very secure for shipping" and the
southern mouth of the Altamaha River "land lock'd from the
Winds." Oglethorpe had observed a high bluff in January 1734
while reconnoitering Georgia's coastal Sea Islands in search of
a suitable fort site. The bluff's elevation and location provided
a commanding view of inland waterways and the salty sea marshes
as well as protection from invasion. The fact that the land had
previously been cleared for an "Indian old field" made
this strategically important location even more attractive.
Accompanied by 30 men, Oglethorpe returned to this setting by February
18, 1736. He traced out a fort with four bastions, "dug enough
of the ditch and raised enough of the Rampart for a sample for the
Men to work upon." Grass was cut into turf from the Indian
old field and used in sodding the fort. By September, 1738 Oglethorpe's
regiment consisted of six companies, each with about 125 men. An
imposing barracks was constructed to house them.
A total of 44 men and 72 women and children had settled at Fort
Frederica by mid-March, 1736. Less than ten years later, the number
had grown to 1,000. Most of the early residents were tradesmen and
their families who had braved a two-month voyage across the Atlantic.
They prospered, supplying the needs of the regiment.
After an unsuccessful siege of St. Augustine by Georgia soldiers
in 1740, Spanish forces launched a retaliatory invasion of Fort
Frederica in midsummer 1742. Oglethorpe was outgunned and outmanned
but not outmaneuvered. Over a two-week period he and his men engaged
the invading Spanish forces in a skirmish at Gulley Hole Creek and
on July 7, 1742, at Bloody Marsh, ambushed them in a drizzling rain.
As a result, the Spanish retreated, never again to present a threat
to English designs in the Southeast.
The British regiment disbanded in May, 1749. With its departure,
many of Frederica's townspeople relocated. Nine years later, in
April, 1758, a great fire swept Frederica, reducing much of it to
ashes. Today the Fort Frederica National Monument ruins stand as
a silent reminder of colonial military struggles.
We need more time for
reason, not glibness
"We no longer have men in public life of the stature of our
Founding Fathers. The impact of immediacy created by TV has placed
a premium not on reflection and reason, but on the glib answer and
the bland statement. The politician is concerned with public relations,
not with public principles. In the founding of the nation we needed
charismatic figures, but today we could do with honest ones. In
Harding's time, they stole national assets; at Watergate, they tried
to steal the country."
-- Historian Richard Morris (1904-1989).
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