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Churches answer call to worship


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There are a wide variety of churches in the Quad-Cities area, appealing to just about every religious group. A 12-week course coming from England to the United States is designed to reintroduce youth to Christ through the fundamental teachings of Christianity.

Savon Ahlman, referance librarian with the Moline Library helps Allen Wolford of Geneseo with the CD-Rom computers at the 41st street branch library. As the Quad-Cities grows, the diversity, and number of churches increases.

``There is a diversity among churches and a growing difference among Christian denominations,'' according to the Rev. Charles Landon Jr. of Churches United of the Quad City Area, an organization that works at connecting area churches.

``We are seeing more growth of individual churches as well as non-Christian churches which are free-thinking. Unfortunately, we have even seen the influx of some churches with satan and witchcraft worship.''

Even the ``older more-established'' Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran and Christian churches have branched into sub-categories brought about by fallouts, changing theologies, mergers and other situations.

For example, area Methodist churches include African Methodist Episcopal, Methodist Free and Methodist United Churches.

The Lutheran Church includes Lutheran, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and Lutheran Wisconsin Evangelical Synod.

The Baptist church has divided into Baptist, American Baptist, Conservative Baptist, Free Will Baptist, Independent Baptist, Missionary Baptist, Southern Baptist, General Association of Regular Baptist and General Conference Baptist churches.

Area churches also include other denominations as well as sectarian groups of: Spanish Mennonite, Open Bible Standard, Friends, Community, Road Ministry, Faith Gospel, Good News, Evangelical, Grace Korean, Living Church of Jesus Christ, Quam Nam Temple, Community Fellowship, Spirit of God, Gospel Mission, Universal Life, Word of Life, Bible Missionary, Church of God, Church of Christ, Greek Orthadox, Foursquare, Congregational, Jehovah's Witness, Nazarene, Protestant, Spanish Assembly of God, Ark Tabernacle, Adventist, Unitarian, Spiritualist Harmony, High Point, Living Waters, Praise Fellowship and United Church of Christ.

Also, there are two Baha'i Centers in Davenport and Bettendorf as well as a Christian Science Reading Room in Moline, and Christian Science churches in Moline and Davenport.

A Carmelite Monastery is located in Eldridge while the Franciscan Sisters of Christ the Divine Teacher are in Davenport.

In Moline, there is an Eckankar Information Center.

A (Moslem) mosque, the Islamic Center of the Quad Cities, is in Moline.

There are only two synagogues in the area which are Temple Emanuel in Davenport and Tri-City Jewish Center in Rock Island.

Many of the newly formed churches are ``breaking with tradition,'' said Rev. Landon. ``Design a church with the focus on worship, music and teaching to the boomers...it's a freedom from denomination agendas. There has been a restlessness in the air since the 1960s.''

Rev. Landon reported the ``Alpha Project'' is coming to America from England. The 12-week course in fundamental teachings of Christianity will reintroduce Christ to the youth of the country.

With more and more churches being built and modernized for various reasons from outdoing other churches to taking care of their expanding congregation and meeting disabled needs; some place too high a value on the looks of a building, Rev. Landon says. ``God cannot be contained -- he can be found in any setting. Our lives are the temple of God; buildings just enhance the worship of God.''

What's in a Name

Even though the religions are diverse, many share the same name. There are:

-- Calvary Baptist Church -- East Moline and Kewanee.

-- First Baptist Church -- Milan, Kewanee, Cambridge, DeWitt, Aledo, Joy, Bettendorf, Galva, Orion, Cordova, Davenport, East Moline, Moline, Rock Island and Toulon.

-- Victory Baptist Church -- East Moline and Davenport.

-- Bible Missionary Church -- Davenport, Coal Valley, East Moline and Milan.

-- St. John's Catholic Church -- Rapids City, Woodhull, Galva and Bettendorf.

-- Sacred Heart Church -- Davenport, Moline and Rock Island.

-- St. Mary's Church -- Kewanee, Moline, Davenport, East Moline, Rock Island and Keithsburg.

-- New Hope Baptist Church -- Coal Valley, Davenport and Colona.

-- Church of Christ -- Davenport, Cambridge, Geneseo and Moline.

-- Jehovah's Witness -- Geneseo, Davenport, Bettendorf, Moline, Rock Island, Silvis, Aledo and Kewanee.

-- Messiah Lutheran Church -- Aledo and Port Byron.

-- United Methodist Church -- Joy, Erie, Orion, Reynolds, Preemption, Aledo, DeWitt and Viola.

-- Immanuel Lutheran Church -- Rock Island, East Moline and Davenport.

-- First Lutheran Church -- Moline, Sherrard, Geneseo and Rock Island.

-- Presbyterian Church -- Kewanee, Reynolds, Sherrard and New Windsor.

-- First Congregational Church -- Moline, Kewanee, Geneseo and DeWitt.

Other interesting information:

-- Some Baptist churches are known by unique names such as All Seasons, Blackhawk Bible, North Side, Open Door, Destiny, God's Family, Macedonia, Sovereign, Landmark, Harmony Hills, Riverview and Progressive.

-- Some of the longest church names are Road Side Tabernacle Church of God in Christ, Word of Life Center of the Open Bible, Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Moline and Davenport and Derrick's Temple Church of God in Christ,

There is one Unitarian Church in Davenport; one Christ's Family Church in Davenport, one Salvation Army Church in Kewanee, one Spanish Memmonite Church in Moline, one Free Methodist Church in Kewanee; one Heritage Wesleyan Church in Rock Island; and one Grace Brethren Church in Davenport.

-- By Judy Meirhaeghe (February 2, 1998)

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