22-27 August 2005 we conducted AIM Session VII, with units on Church History (10 hours), World Religions (10 hours), and Campus Ministry (5 hours). Students converged from Georgia, California, Colorado, Florida, Hungary, and Denmark. Principal teachers were Douglas Jacoby (Atlanta), Joseph Harris (Augusta), and Samuel Laing (Athens).
Our guest speaker in Campus Ministry was Charles (Chuck) Lucas, of Thomasville, Georgia. Chuck was the one who built the evangelistic and highly successful Crossroads ministry (1967-1985). His close associate and campus minister during most of this period was Sam Laing.
The Crossroads Church of Christ trained and sent out some 150 men and women to cities around the United States, including Thomas (Kip) McKean, founder of the so-called Boston Movement (1979). Sadly, this portion of the history of the COC/ICOC movement has frequently been omitted or glossed over. Yet in my opinion, the quantum leap from the missions mentality of many mainline congregations to that of the Crossroads ministry was huge. It was much greater, in fact, than the jump from the Crossroads philosophy of ministry to that of the Boston movement. The Boston Movement took the Crossroads principles to an international level, breaking through many barriers and unifying many disparate groups across the broader brotherhood of the Restoration Movement. Lucas' impact should not be underestimated; many of you reading this article might not be Christians were it not for Chuck's own personal evangelism and convictions.
Lucas was forced to resign because of sin and personal problems in 1985. Although they were at that time in their 40s, he and his wife, Ann, returned to college, studying counseling. After a couple of years, Chuck received his second masters degree, and now not only preaches, but is a practicing psychotherapist.
Despite the "wilderness period" Chuck had to walk through because of his own lack of righteousness, he speaks freely about the experience, what he learned, and how this transformed his relationship with God. We were all deeply impressed at his openness during his 3 hours of instruction in AIM. Though some initially had reservations about Chuck's being on the program, these were laid to rest. His teaching was superb, and his humble disposition created rapport, connection, and resonance with all the students.
Twenty years can change a man, if he is walking with the Lord. This also reminds us to extend grace to all people. Chuck stayed over to spend the weekend preaching for the Athens church. The reports we received indicate that his preaching and teaching on spiritual revival had a great impact on the Athens church and the many visitors from area congregations. We are so glad we brought him to Athens! He is an able teacher, a powerful preacher, and a man pruned by the cross of Christ. I hope that he will receive more invitations to speak, as he and his wife have much to offer us all.
- Douglas Jacoby