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News Briefs: February 01, 2009

Where David battled Goliath, missionaries who were found guilty, and other news in brief.
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  • Archaeologists claimed they may have found where David battled Goliath. A massive second gate was discovered at the Elah Fortress excavation in November, leading some experts to identify the Israeli site as the ancient Judean city of Sha'arayim, a Hebrew word meaning "two gates."
  • Christian book publisher Thomas Nelson cut 10 percent of its workforce in December after low October sales. The 54 layoffs followed 60 layoffs in April, when the company trimmed its titles by half.
  • Scottish missionaries David and Fiona Fulton were sentenced by Gambia to a year in prison with hard labor after pleading guilty to sedition charges December 29. David had worked as an army chaplain in the West African Muslim nation for 12 years. Supporters said the missionaries, accused of sending e-mails critical of president Yahya Jammeh, pled guilty in hopes of a lenient sentence.
  • LifeBridge Christian Center in Longview, Texas, received a $1.5 million check from a local businessman December 2, paying off the remaining mortgage for the 300-member congregation's first church building. The check came two years after pastor Tom McDaniels prayed over a bank deposit slip for such a million-dollar gift.
  • A small church in western Pennsylvania received an unexpected $2.6 million gift in December, when it was revealed that member John Ferguson, a local farmer who lived in a mobile home, had left his entire estate to the 80-member Hopewell United Methodist Church near Black Lick.


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