Worshipers leave a Sunday service at the Capitol Hill Baptist Church (CHBC), a fast-growing congregation in Washington, D.C., that embraces Calvinist Christian teachings. Mary Knox Merrill / Staff
Taneesha Johnson (far left) distributes church programs as members of the congregation enter CHBC for a Sunday worship service. Mary Knox Merrill / Staff
Church members and visitors attend a Sunday service at CHBC. The church has more than 700 members who hold to Reformed, or Calvinist, doctrine. Mary Knox Merrill / Staff
Dr. Mark Devor, senior pastor at CHBC since 1994, gives his hour-long sermon during a Sunday service. “A lot of people think religion is something you piece together from ideas you think are sweet and that you personally find beneficial,” says Pastor Devor. “No…. It’s an objective reality. It’s just what it is.” Mary Knox Merrill / Staff
An overflow of worshipers watch and listen to Pastor Devor on projection-TV screens in the basement of CHBC. Mary Knox Merrill / Staff
Kasey Gurley testifies about her faith during the annual ladies Christmas tea at CHBC. “I worship my own comfort, my own opinion of myself,” she says. “Like the idolatrous people of Judah, we deserve the full wrath of God.” Mary Knox Merrill / Staff
People bow their heads in prayer at the beginning of a one-hour class titled "Guidance" before the main church service at CHBC. Mary Knox Merrill / Staff
Catherine Snow prays during the ladies Christmas tea at CHBC. More than 200 women attended the annual event, with church members taking the opportunity to introduce neighbors and co-workers to the church. Mary Knox Merrill / Staff
Working toward the insurgent stronghold of Barawe, African peacekeeping troops and Somali forces have regained several towns this year, capturing Bulamareer on Saturday.
ByAbdi Sheik, Reuters
African peacekeeping troops and Somali forces recaptured a southern town from Islamist al Shabaab rebels on Saturday, bringing them a step closer to the insurgent stronghold of Barawe, commanders said.