By Bobby Ross Jr. | The Christian Chronicle

CALGARY, Alberta — In the shadow of a white steeple, spray-painted graffiti defames the beige brick wall of the Calgary Church of Christ.

The black scrawls testify to the gritty nature of the area served by the 300-member church — one of only eight a cappella Churches of Christ in a province nearly the size of Texas.

“It’s not uncommon for us to have drug deals going down in our parking lot,” said Kelly Carter, lead minister for the only mainstream Church of Christ in this city of 1.1 million souls east of the Rocky Mountains.

But what some might see as a burden, Carter counts as a blessing, as the church endeavors to share Jesus in an ethnically diverse boomtown known for its oil-and-gas headquarters and love for hockey, football and country music.

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