Northeast Ohio Church Fall Fest Attracts Unprecedented Crowd

Lines forming at the Eleventh Street Church of God Family Fall Fest.

By Carl Stagner

Like other parts of the country, weather in the Midwest can be unpredictable. Eleventh Street Church of God in Canton, Ohio, knows this fact firsthand. But one thing they can predict is God’s blessing when his people choose to be the hands and feet of Christ for a community event. As the northeast Ohio congregation recently discovered, the combination of great weather, effective promotion, and an amazing God is a recipe for unprecedented response. After preparing for a crowd of up to 300, following a year where only a couple hundred showed up, the church welcomed an estimated 1,000 people to their annual fall festival. Continue reading

Trafficklight 2.0: The Fight Starts Here

By Carl Stagner and staff

The fight starts here. That means right where you are. Right where we are. At home. Among your friends. In your church. At your school. At work. The Church of God has raised awareness and dollars to fight human trafficking. Now it’s time to pull it out by the roots. It’s going to get personal, and it may not be pretty. It’s going to require that we take a long, hard look at ourselves and how our actions permit and promote sexual exploitation in our world. To get you and your church started, we’ve partnered with our agencies to equip you for the battle and engage the issue like never before. Continue reading

Will I Have Enough? Finding Contentment in Christ Alone

By Ryan Harter

Ron Blue, founder of Ronald Blue & Co. and author of numerous personal finance books, asks the question “How much is enough?” in his new Bible study “God Owns It All.” This seems like a simple question that can be answered by looking at your income, expenses, dreams, and goals. Even though the question is simple, the answer can leave many with a feeling of anxiety. The reason for the anxiety is not because what we have is too little or what we have is too much. The anxiety comes because no matter what we have, the answer to the question “How much is enough?” is almost always “More than I have right now.” Continue reading

The Storied History of Campus Ministries at AU

Photo: AU students participate in ministries such as Differently-Abled.

Ministry opportunities have been a part of Anderson University’s campus since its inception in 1917 as Anderson Bible Training School, growing larger along with the enrollment of students. However, the catalyst for structure came when President Robert H. Reardon hired Don Collins (BA ’51), who had been working as the pastor of Park Place Church of God, as the college’s campus pastor in January 1978. Continue reading

Missouri Church Holds VBS for Kids with Special Needs

VBS 2017 at South Side Church of God.

By Lydia Sergeant

South Side Church of God in St. Louis, Missouri, held a fantastic Vacation Bible School late in the summer. This was their second year to host a Bible school that not only included children from their own church, but also families of children with special needs. Continue reading

The Michigan Church Now Known as the Do Something! Church

First Church volunteers sporting their Do Something! T-shirts (from the book with the same title by Miles McPherson).

By Megan DeBruyn

It wasn’t just the bright T-shirts matching the even brighter smiles worn by First Church of God volunteers that inspired their new nickname. The southwest Michigan church was unofficially dubbed the “Do Something! Church” by the surrounding local community after launching a work day in the summer of 2009 that encouraged members of the congregation to get out and serve. Armed with work gloves, paint brushes, and cleaning supplies, the mob of roughly 800 First Church of God volunteers took to the streets on a Sunday morning in early June and began to serve the most basic needs of their community. Continue reading

From the Archives: Why I Choose to Be a Pastor

By Frederick J. Davey

As of March, I have completed forty years as a minister of the Church of God, all of which has been spent in the pastoral ministry. Why would a person choose to be a pastor? Why do I still want to continue in this field? To explain why, I first need to say that I did not choose the ministry; God chose me. Of this I am very sure. I was called to be a minister while still in high school. During some of the difficult times in the work of God through the years, that calling has kept me at the task. Otherwise, I think I would have given up. Continue reading

Freeway Forces AZ Church Relocation, Opens Doors of Opportunity

Carrying the cross from the old property to the new.

By Emily Ploetz

Looming highway construction, a church situated in its projected path, and a ticking countdown to a deadline. A greater, divine plan might be hard to imagine. But such a plan had been in the works for years, and when the time finally came, Mountain Park Community Church of God in Phoenix, Arizona, knew they had quite a task on their hands. The church was built back in 1997 and, even at that time, the church was informed that plans to build a freeway through the area were being discussed, but that no action would be taken for years. It did take many years but, in 2015, everything had been decided. ADOT, the Arizona Department of Transportation, confirmed the $1.9-billion project to build a twenty-two-mile extension of Loop 202 from Interstate 10 through the Ahwatukee area of Phoenix, including the property on which the church was currently located. Mountain Park Community Church was given a two-year deadline to find land, design, and build a new church building. Continue reading

Outages, Shortages Plague Puerto Rico Post-Hurricane Maria

Tree and structural damage in Puerto Rico (credit: Caleb Garcia).

The following is a disaster relief update provided by Mary Ann Martinez-Garcia of the Church of God in Puerto Rico. Hurricane Maria first made landfall in Puerto Rico on September 20 (click here for the original report).

Thank you so much for your support and the support of our Church of God family. We really appreciate your prayers! Continue reading

Western PA Churches Band Together for Hurricane-Hit Texas

CHOG Albuquerque team members unloading material in Texas.

By Carl Stagner

Pastor Greg Smith lived in Houston, Texas, from 2010 to 2013, where attended First Church of God. Over those three years, he got to know Texas pastors Tim Gould, Jim Fiertag, and Tim West. During that period, he also worked on a Homeland Security grant, and was a part of a three-person team that wrote the Mass Fatality Incident Response Plan for the city of Houston and thirteen surrounding counties. Though he now lives in Pennsylvania and pastors First Church of God in Punxsutawney, the Hurricane Harvey disaster hit home for Greg. It should come as no surprise that Greg’s church would respond. But what he might not have expected was the incredible show of support from a dozen churches across Western Pennsylvania. Continue reading

Cowboy-Turned-Preacher Spurs Church to Reclaim Health, Hope

Pastor Terry Ames

By Carl Stagner

His horse was one of his closest companions. From the hat on his head to the spurs on his boots, he fit the profile. He and his buddies would go from one town to the next to rob banks and end up in a shootout. But it was all an act—at least the robbing banks and shootouts part! From time to time, his acting job would include a minor role in historical movies and western television shows. He really did own a horse, however, and they were inseparable. He did also come from a small farm and enjoys wearing cowboy hats. The acting career is behind him now, though. Terry Ames has matters of eternal consequence to attend to. For the past couple of years, he’s carried out the task of turning around a declining Kentucky congregation which, at its lowest point, survived an attempted takeover. Continue reading

Messy Marvels: Kentucky Children’s Ministry Reaches Adults, Too

Pastor Earl Litman engaging the children at Cynthiana.

By Noel Marquis

Walk into Cynthiana First Church of God in Cynthiana, Kentucky, on the third Sunday of the month and you might be surprised to witness something a bit different than a typical sermon. In fact, you may be watching a group of energetic kids cheering for God’s love, or water being poured over a youth pastor’s head onstage. Continue reading

Warner Pacific Featured in Book Exploring Diversity in Christian Higher Ed

The book, Diversity Matters: Race, Ethnicity, and the Future of Christian Higher Education was published on August 8, 2017, and explores the unique need for diversity in Christian universities and colleges. The book begins with various universities and colleges that have made diversity a goal and priority. Among these is Warner Pacific College, the Church of God college in Portland, Oregon. Continue reading

WV Church Reclaims Hope Amid Opioid Crisis, Prostitution, and Poverty

Clothing giveaway at Madison Avenue Church of God.

By Carl Stagner

In small towns, big cities, and everything in between, drug abuse is out of control. Especially dangerous is the increasingly popular opioid. Not limited to its common appearance as heroin, addiction to pain killers is also growing concern, as are the deadly additives fentanyl and carfentanyl. Far more complex than a cause-and-effect scenario, a vicious cycle connects the opioid crisis, prostitution, and poverty. Madison Avenue Church of God in Huntington, West Virginia, has declared war on these three products of hell. In the heat of the battle, they’re seeing bonds broken, hope restored, a once-declining church grow again, and a city slowly being reclaimed for Christ. They’re taking back what hell has stolen. Continue reading

MACU Benefits Local Charities with Annual Day of Service

MACU student works at the City Rescue Mission.

By Whitney Knight

On Sept. 22 and 23, Mid-America Christian University upheld its commitment to Christian service by holding its second annual Day of Service. More than one hundred student, faculty and staff participants in thirteen states served at various charities and organizations across the country. Continue reading