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The Rev. Dr. Michael Bell looks out the window of the Wilson Renaissance Complex, a downtown building that has been renovated by the nonprofit arm of Bell's congregation, St. John AME Zion Church.  Photo by Alex Maness

A renovation project brings income to a church nonprofit and vitality to a former tobacco town

An enterprising leader of St. John AME Zion Church pushed his congregation to revive its dormant nonprofit and undertake an ambitious plan to buy and improve seven properties in a historically African-American area of Wilson, North Carolina.

Rabbi Jeremy Simons Skypes with a bat mitzvah student to help prepare her for her coming-of-age ceremony. Photo courtesy of the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life

Mississippi institute is an anchor for Jewish communities in the South

By blending new technology with traditional methods such as circuit-riding clergy, the Institute of Southern Jewish Life helps form young people in faith even in places where the community has disappeared.

Bigstock / Auremar

Nathan Kirkpatrick: Leading across generations

To receive the gifts and overcome the challenges in an intergenerational community, a leader must communicate effectively, listen for values, understand events that have shaped generational worldviews, harvest wisdom and continue learning, writes a managing director for Leadership Education at Duke Divinity.

BigStock / Alexeys

Dave Odom: Reclaiming the distinctive gifts of a small church

Few places in the U.S. support the conditions for small churches to act like big churches. So they have an opportunity to focus on the activities that both foster the particular gifts of the congregation and make a distinctive witness to the community, writes the executive director of Leadership Education at Duke Divinity.