More than 100 guns brought to buyback

CHAMPAIGN — Sherry Rogers knows what guns can do to a family.

Her cousin, 20-year-old Desirae Austin, was shot and killed at the corner of Thornton Drive and Cruising Lane on July 4. Austin was a mother, a sister and a cousin, Rogers said.

"This should have never happened," she said.

Giveaway of school supplies planned

CHAMPAIGN — Local churches will give away more than 900 backpacks stuffed with school supplies and other items to families in need on Aug. 4 at Salt and Light, 1512 W. Anthony Drive, C.

The free items are part of the 10th annual Family Resource Day held by the Christian Mercy and Justice Network, a ministry of local churches.

The event will take place from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Church groundbreaking set for Sunday in Champaign

     A groundbreaking ceremony will be held this weekend for a new church on the north side of Champaign.

     A new Church of The Living God will be built at the corner of Fourth Street and Bradley Avenue to replace the existing facility.

Principal picked for Catholic school

CHAMPAIGN — The High School of St. Thomas More has hired an educator from the Peoria area to be its new principal.

Chinese pastor recalls persecution for printing Bibles

RANTOUL — John Stone can barely speak a word of English, but he delivers a powerful message.

Choice for St. Thomas More principal decides to stay at Mahomet

CHAMPAIGN — The administrator expected to be The High School of St. Thomas More’s next principal has decided to keep his current job in the Mahomet-Seymour School District.

Churches renovating, expanding

CHAMPAIGN — Several local churches are embarking this summer on expansion and renovation projects of $400,000 or more.

— Apostolic Christian Church has begun a $925,000 renovation of its building at 1401 Devonshire Drive, C.

— Friendship Lutheran Church of Joy has plans for an expansion, estimated at $750,000, of its building at 3601 S. Duncan Road, C.

Local monsignor leaving 'home'

CHAMPAIGN — A priest who has shepherded the largest Catholic parish in Champaign for nearly a decade is leaving to head a Catholic high school in Peoria.

Monsignor Mark Merdian, pastor at St. Matthew Catholic Church since 2003, has been reassigned as president of Notre Dame Catholic High School in Peoria, effective June 27.

Salvation Army leadership changing

CHAMPAIGN — The Salvation Army of Champaign County will have a change of leadership next month.

Envoys Michael and Kris Fuqua are being transferred to the Salvation Army in Willmar, Minn., after four years of leading the local Salvation Army and pastoring its church here.

Scholar inspired by reply: 'I am a citizen'

Not long ago, noted religion scholar Martin Marty heard an interview on National Public Radio about a generous doctor who had continued working for free in poor communities after retirement.

When asked why, the doctor replied, "Because I am a citizen."