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Speaker at First Baptist in Deadwood

Rev. Arthur J. Campbell will be the Sunday morning worship service guest speaker at First Baptist Church of the Northern Hills, in Deadwood, Sept. 3, at 9:30 a.m.

Rev. Campbell is joining with the congregation in the celebration of the historic 100th anniversary of the laying of the church's cornerstone.

Rev. Campbell grew up and received his ordination in this church in June 1974 when both the Lead and Deadwood Baptist churches were merging.

In 43 years he has served seven American Baptist Churches. He and his wife, Karen, are semi-retired and live in Topeka, Kan.

Rev. Campbell's grandparents, Arthur and Laura Welf, and Alvah and Karin Campbell, were long-standing members of both the Deadwood and Lead Baptist Churches and were undoubtedly present at the ceremonious laying of the original cornerstone in September 1917. All are welcome to attend. 

New South Dakota Catholic Conference director

Christopher Motz has been named the first Executive Director of the South Dakota Catholic Conference.  The conference will serve as the official voice of the bishops in the state and talk about issues of public policy. 

Motz is originally from Sioux Falls and graduated from Iowa State University and University of St. Thomas School of Law. 

Pope Francis inspires Iowa church to use solar energy

Church leaders in central Iowa are turning to solar power for their buildings in an effort to aid the environment and save money.

The Des Moines Register reports that the St. John the Apostle Catholic Church in Norwalk has more than 200 solar panels which the Rev. John Ludwig says saves them about $2,000 a year.

Church member Terry Dvorak founded Red Lion Renewables, a solar development firm. Dvorak gathered investors who contributed about $200,000 to purchase the panels.

The company then sells the energy generated to the church at a low rate.

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Bishop Robert Pates says Pope Francis' campaign combating climate change inspired the move toward solar.

Leaders of the Catholic Diocese of Des Moines say the church is just the first in a larger scale solar energy initiative.

Pakistani police arrest Christian youth on blasphemy charges

 Pakistani police say a Christian youth was arrested on blasphemy charges after he allegedly desecrated the Quran, Islam's holy book, in eastern Punjab province.

Police chief Pervez Iqbal says the teen, about 18 years of age, was seized by a mob on Aug. 12 near the town of Wazirabad. The mob wanted to "punish" him for blasphemy.

Iqbal said on Monday that the police acted swiftly and probably saved the youth from being lynched. He says the man is now awaiting trial.

Earlier this year, a student was lynched in northwestern Pakistan for blasphemy. The charge was later proven baseless.

Under Pakistan's blasphemy laws, anyone accused of insulting God, Islam or the Quran can be sentenced to death. Rights activist say the law is often misused to settle personal disputes.

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