Elizabeth & Keith Hall (back) with Delores Bailey.
By Carl Stagner
The pastor of Shady Grove Church of God in Meridian, Mississippi, kept leading her congregation for five-and-a-half years. Others might have opted to let up, slow down, or quit altogether, but Delores Bailey wasn’t going to let cancer get the best of her. She had a divine calling on her life to go and preach the gospel, regardless of the circumstances. Her cancer journey was no cakewalk, but neither were the journeys of people all around her living without Jesus. She had peace; others within her reach needed that same peace. The day before she began her last hospital stay, only one week before she breathed her last, she led two teens to Christ. Her deteriorating condition wouldn’t allow her to baptize these new believers, but as Providence would have it, Delores’s bold witness would continue to give life beyond her own. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Give Life, Southeast
Tagged baptism, baptize, baptized, cancer, clergy women, clergywomen, death, Delores Bailey, Give Life, hospital, Keith Hall, memorial, Meridian, Mississippi, MS, New Life, salvation, saved, Shady Grove Church of God, sickness, tribute, woman pastor, women pastors
Community block party at the new church facility.
By Carl Stagner
Deep in the heart of west Texas, surrounded by semiarid plains and prized oil country, you’ll find the small city of Odessa. Though it may not garner much media attention, a remarkable story of transformation is developing out of the city’s young Church of God congregation known as New Dawn Fellowship. Focusing more on discipling new believers and not simply packing the pews, the church has celebrated relatively slow, but healthy growth. The congregation, 90 percent previously unchurched, has rejoiced at more than 30 salvations, more than 30 baptisms, and multiple rededications in just three years. On August 5, after outgrowing its previous facility, the community-oriented church enjoyed a grand opening worship service in their new home, welcoming 154 people through their doors. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Central, Give Life
Tagged baptisms, baptized, building, church growth, church plant, church planting, city, community, discipleship, evangelism, government, grand opening, New Dawn Fellowship, Odessa, outreach, partnership, property, purchase, relocation, salvation, saved, slow-growth model, Texas, transformation, TX, Wally Schiwart, west Texas
Tri County Church celebrates one of many baptisms.
By Carl Stagner
January 23, 2016. A day Tri County Church of God in DuBois, Pennsylvania, will never forget. A day that could have dismantled much of the good that had been accomplished since the dawn of the congregation in 1995. Dave Bish, founding pastor, died suddenly and unexpectedly that day while out on a trail run. Devastation swept across the community, but hell would not prevail. Instead of a downward spiral, the church rallied together in an outpouring of love like they’d never seen before. God had a clear mission for Tri County Church, and neither the remaining leadership nor the new lead pastor would be deterred. As they relate the timeless story of Jesus Christ to the stories of those near and far from God, Tri County Church is inviting everyone into their own developing story in DuBois. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Give Life, Northeast
Tagged baptisms, baptized, blessings, campus, campuses, challenge, Chris Trethewey, Dan Smith, Dave Bish, DuBois, expansion, Great Commission, growth, hurdles, Jesus Is the Subject, leadership, multi-site, multisite, obstacle, PA, Pennsylvania, stories, story, tragedy, Tri County Church, victory
Photo: Pastor Carlos Lamelas baptizing a believer on Feb. 5.
By Carl Stagner
Pastor Malcolm Tyree described it as a “Super Sunday,” but not because of a certain football game between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons. What happened on Sunday, February 5, at New Vida Church of God in Dallas, Texas, was nothing short of incredible, especially in light of all that had transpired over the past year. Eleven people were baptized, ranging in ages from six to sixty. Wonderful, sure. But not so uncommon. Uncommon was that these individuals represented multiple cultures originating from the United States, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Cuba. Such celebration came on the heels of a year of transition which saw the finalization of the merger between a Spanish-speaking and an English-speaking congregation. But for New Vida Church of God—once New Life Fellowship and Iglesia de Dios Vida Abundante—this wasn’t the grand finale. This is just the beginning. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Central
Tagged baptism, baptized, bilingual, Carlos Lamelas, Dallas, diversity, functional unity, Iglesia de Dios, Jesus Is the Subject, language, Malcolm Tyree, merge, merger, multicultural, multiethnic, multilingual, New Life Fellowship, New Vida Church of God, ONE, oneness, relational connectivity, Spanish, Texas, united, unity, Vida Abundante