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Rockdale turns out for Town Hall Hope
Dave Ramsey delivered his financial advice to venues across the country, including six Rockdale churches
Thunderstorms barreled in on Thursday night but they were no match for the hundreds of Rockdale County citizens who attended Dave Ramsey's Town Hall for Hope. The free, nationwide, interactive, live broadcast was held on cable and radio stations in more than 6,000 venues. Local hosts included Conyers First United Methodist, CrossPoint Christian, Discover Point, Ebenezer United Methodist, Heritage Hills Baptist and Rockdale Baptist.

Dave Ramsey, nationally syndicated radio talk show host of The Dave Ramsey Show, provided the event after polling instructors and graduates of his program, The Financial Peace University, a 13 week financial course that teaches families how to take personal financial responsibility.

Russ and Mary Korte, coordinators for Rockdale Baptist's marriage ministry, were excited to host the event.

"We have had three semesters of Dave's courses at our church. When they polled us to see if we were interested in a town hall event, we told them, ‘definitely yes,'" said Russ Korte.

Standing in an auditorium just a few miles from the Oklahoma City bombing, Ramsey said, "Fourteen years ago this week, we experienced a painful tragedy. It is only fitting that this site is hosting the event. Although this city was scarred, it still has hope."

Churches used their large screens, internet access and sound systems to provide tools for participants to join the discussion. Audience members at each site communicated using the latest technology: e-mail, text messages, phone lines, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

Questions ranged from deciding if starting a small business was wise to reviewing retirement portfolios. Ramsey's advise - the people are the healing agent for this economy.

"There are three things to do if you're struggling with hope. The first step is to get up and take action. The second step is to not participate in loser talk. The third step to get your hope back is to learn to give again," Ramsey said.
One audience member nodded her head as she commented, "That's exactly right. I'm 68 years old and worried about my retirement funds. It's scary. But Dave reminded me that we need to get back to giving. That's exactly what I'm going to do."

Ramsey reminded viewers that giving money, time and or support are important components to his third step.

Local pastors, such as John Beyers, senior pastor at Conyers First United Methodist Church, were personally interested in hosting the evening.

"As a church, one aspect of our mission is to provide hope and help for people who are hurting," Beyers said. "The current economy has certainly produced huge struggles for many people with job loss, pay cuts, foreclosures, and depletion of retirement savings. We are hosting the event to our community because we want to give hope to people - hope for their financial struggles. But even more important, we want to give them hope for their souls."

After the program, the Web site continued to generate a lot of traffic. There are plans to rebroadcast the event on the Fox Business Network. For more information can be located at