The church in the Rampachodavaram/Tuni area (Andrhra Pradesh state) of India began in 1972 when brother J. C. Bailey, a Canadian missionary, converted Barre Ratnam of Rampachodavaram. Brother Ratnam, an educator by profession, began converting his contemporaries, and many educators were brought into the church early on. Most all of htese men became gospel preachers, and their teaching abilities provided unusual church growth in the early years. Willette assumed the responsibility for this work on January 1, 2000. As of May 2005, Jack Honeycutt, former pulpit minister at Willette, became fulltime coordinator.
In India, many congregations meet to worship in pentals, structures held up by poles and with thatched roofs. Many of htese have to be rebuilt year after year due to the Monsoon season. Since the church is growing so rapidly in this area, there is always a need for additional buildings. At present, we have nineteen permanent church buildings, most sponsored by individual Christians and congregations in the U.S. The average church building in India is 20' x 50' made from block stucco, steel trusses and a metal roof. It will seat 300 Indian style. They sit on the floor.
Presently there are over 1,400 native preachers who have proven themselves worthy of support. This support provides he and his family with their basic needs: food, shelter, and clothing. All of our preachers work with at least three congregations.
Since it is a custom in India for women to never remarry after the death of their husbands, this leaves many women destitute. At present, we have 8 widows' homes in this area. These house approximately 550 Christian ladies, and approximately 800 widows are provided with monthly support. Those who can read are trained to teach the gospel to other ladies (it is against custom for a man to approach a woman) while others care for orphans.
This area of India is saturated with many orphans. The 9 facilities operated by the church in this area provide care for over 550 children. Most of these young people will become Christians before age 15, and many of the boys will become gospel preachers.
In January, 2012 we began the Tuni school of Preaching. This is a two year full time program that takes the students through every book of the Bible. This school is vital to the continued growth of the Kingdom in India. www.indiamissionwork.org
We are the sponsoring congregation for Brother Thaddeus Duncan, who preaches for the Sandy Bay church of Christ. In cooperation with several congregations, Brother Rob directs a campaign every other year to strengthen the Saints from one of two congregations on the island. We take evangelists, construction workers, medical personal, Bible class teachers, and preachers to work during these campaigns.
Worship services are conducted on the third, fourth, and fifth Sunday afternoons of each month. We also have a birthday gathering on the third Wednesday afternoon of each month.
Our 6 teams address five areas: sick, suffering, shut-ins, prospects, and new members. Our works are composed of personal visits, writing letters, cards, making phone calls, and providing food to those in need.
Hawesville church of Christ was established on February 6, 2000. We provide support for Brother George as he works for the growth of the church at Hawesville.
We have a 5 minute radio segment titled "Moments With the Master" that comes on every weekday around 12:15 pm on the local radio station 102.1 FM. Lessons are from Rob Whitacre, Jack Honeycutt, or brother Thomas Warren.
GBN is a worldwide Christian media network. It is directed by Brother Don Blackwell and is under the oversight of the Southaven church of Christ. Bible-based content covers a variety of topics, including lessons on the Bible, science, and morality. It is accessible via cable and satellite, the web, and phone apps. www.gbntv.org
Operated under the oversight of the Forest Hill church of Christ. "It is the desire and intent of this school to send forth men who love the Lord into the fields of labor, and who will always be set for the defense and proclamation of the gospel of Christ." Since 1966, the have produced over 1,000 preachers. Brother B.J. Clarke serves as the director. We support three students and their families. www.msop.org
From November to March, Willette volunteers take meals to the elderly and infirmed every Monday.
Our Benevolence building has clothes, food, furniture, and household items which are donated by Christian members of the community. The building is open each Tuesday morning from 8:30am - 12:30pm.
The Willette congregation began its ministry in the Macon County Justice System in May of 2010. We conduct weekly Sunday afternoon classes with inmates, averaging 25 participants. The challenge of the work is two-fold. Not only are we trying to help these precious souls turn their lives around and avoid future prison time, but more importantly, to give themselves completely to God and live faithfully all the rest of their lives. We have succeeded in converting many souls to Christ, but we continue to educate them while they are incarcerated. The greatest task is to help them readjust to faithful daily living upon release. However, as prisoners are released, more continue to come into the system with damaged lives, outside of Christ. Our hope is to steadfastly be there for every one of them, knowing the great value God has put on their souls, as Jesus said Himself, "I was in prison and you came to me" (Matthew 25: 36).
HTH began with the idea of having churches of Christ throughout the world cooperating to seek and save the lost through direct mail. In the U.S., it has distributed over 2.5 million copies! Here at Willette, we send over 2,500 issues to homes in Macon, Jackson, and Smith counties. www.housetohouse.com