Tag Archives: book

Drunkenness: A Sobering Reality in Church and Society

By Carl Stagner

A November 16, 2018, article published in USA Today spells out the latest statistics on the rise of alcohol-triggered deaths in the United States, especially over the last decade. While the media has shone the spotlight on the horrific and very real epidemic of opioid abuse, the article suggests the alarming truth that alcohol kills far more people each year through liver cirrhosis, cancer, pancreatitis, and suicide—not to mention traffic accidents. Meanwhile, the conversation about alcohol has started again in the Church of God, as the general director of Church of God Ministries issued a column on the subject in the October issue of Move! in the wake of the hotly debated Kavanaugh Supreme Court hearings. David Sebastian, dean emeritus of Anderson University School of Theology and Christian Ministry, has talked about the subject for years in the classroom, at conferences, and at camp meetings. As he’s observed, drunkenness is a sobering reality in church and society. That’s also the title of his new book, which challenges Christians to re-examine the issue of alcohol use and abuse. Continue reading

A Sure Bet: West Virginia Pastor’s Kid Reclaims “Wasted Years”

Duane singing “He’s All I Need.”

By Carl Stagner

Duane Clarke was raised in a Christian home with loving, godly parents. As a PK—“pastor’s kid”—he heard the gospel preached more times than he could count, whether at Middle Grave Creek Church of God near Moundsville, where his father was senior pastor, or at Ash Avenue Church of God, where his father had served as Sunday school superintendent. At age fifteen, while attending youth camp, Duane went to an old-fashioned altar and asked Jesus into his heart. Soon after, he followed Jesus’ example in baptism. But when this young sports fan checked into a local bar to purchase Lakers tickets, he was inadvertently introduced to sports betting. It wasn’t long before he was thrust into the world of gambling, and for thirty years, he couldn’t find his way out. Hell stole much from Duane Clarke’s life, but Jesus would have the last word. Continue reading

Former School of Theology Dean: Never Give Up!

Dr. David L. Sebastian, former dean of the AU School of Theology and Christian Ministry, has published his ministry memoirs in a book titled Just Never Give Up. Sebastian answered God’s call to ministry while he was an auto mechanic in Middletown, Ohio, so the book is appropriately subtitled, “An Unlikely Person Following God into Unlikely Places.” Continue reading

Bored Meetings No More! Moss Authors Book to Save Churches Lost in Logistics

By Carl Stagner

Bob Moss has again added lead pastor to the hats he wears in the Church of God, shepherding the flock at Hope Community Church in Niles, Michigan, while he continues his work as executive liaison for Project Imagine. But he’s also spent six years total in state and national Church of God offices and thirty-five in pastoral ministry. Over those years, it’s safe to say he’s experienced (endured?) more than a few board meetings. Indeed, he’s witnessed firsthand churches get lost in logistics, bogged down under the constant pressure of the next decision that must be made—or tabled for another day. In his new book Lost in Logistics: A Step-by-Step Guide to Transform Your Board and Get Your Ministry Moving, Bob offers tested tools to help churches stop gridlock and jumpstart ministry. Board meetings don’t have to be bored meetings! Continue reading

Massey Legacy Lives On through Newly Published Book

By Carl Stagner

On Sunday, June 24, Dr. James Earl Massey’s life on this earth came to an end. But his incredible legacy has only just begun to affect the lives of students, pastors, and parishioners. One of the many ways his legacy lives on is through his latest book, Views from the Mountain. Published within days of his passing, the compilation of select writings from the brilliant mind of Massey was co-edited by Barry Callen and Curtiss DeYoung. As the back cover of the book states, “Rarely does one voice speak with equal wisdom on fields as diverse and demanding as Bible interpretation, Christian education, inspired preaching, seminary education, and ministries of reconciliation.” Indeed, Dr. Massey did all that and so much more, for the Church of God movement and beyond. Now the Church of God—no, all of Christendom—has the opportunity to glean wisdom from the pages of what Dr. Massey called the “last great goal” of his life. Continue reading

Out of Death, Life: Gathering Celebrates CHOG History, Ohio Church’s Unique Story

Nyle Kardatzke highlighting stories of the CHOG in Elmore, OH at the recent Historical Society retreat.

By Carl Stagner

Stories connect us. They connect us to each other, to our roots, to our God. Stories help us learn from our past—to repeat the good and avoid the mistakes. Jesus used stories to communicate concepts with his listeners, and preachers do the same today. Individuals like the Church of God historian (Gary Agee) and our archivist (Nicholas Stanton-Roark), as well as groups like the Historical Society, strive to preserve, tell, and retell stories, too. Their stories take place within the context of the Church of God movement, and all point to the love of an eternal Father whose provision is not bound by time and space. At a late-June gathering of the Church of God Historical Society in Anderson, Indiana, Nyle Kardatzke was invited as a guest speaker to highlight some of the common experiences of “growing up Church of God”—both serious and whimsical—as well as the unique story of one Ohio church that came to life in the wake of death. Continue reading

Fifty Years and Counting: Ohio Pastor’s Longevity at One Church Inspires

The congregation honoring Pastor Walls for his faithful service (Image courtesy Ferman Brown Photography).

By Carl Stagner

They came from near and far. Pastors, politicians, family, friends, and members of the community descended upon East Second Street First Church of God in Xenia, Ohio, for a very special and very unique occasion. On Sunday, March 18, notable Church of God figures addressed the over-capacity crowd, including—but not limited to—Ed Foggs, former executive secretary of the Church of God; Miki Merritt, presiding elder of the National Association; Demetrius Booker, associate state pastor of Ohio Ministries; Timothy Clarke, senior pastor of First Church of God in Columbus; and Dennis Kidd, senior pastor of Front Street Church of God in Hamilton, Ohio. Morning and afternoon services, complete with preaching, presentations, and powerful moments of worship, celebrated the sixty-five-year ministry of Dr. J. Douglas and Lady Donna Walls: fifty faithful years at one church. Continue reading

From 30 Times Behind Bars to 30 Years in the Pulpit

By Carl Stagner

He was barely a teen when he was arrested the first time. Between the ages of thirteen and twenty-five, Paul McCulley was put behind bars a total of thirty times. Charges ranged from truancy to assault, and he was also court martialed three times. His shackles—both seen and unseen—would soon fall off after Jesus Christ changed his life, however. Not only did Paul McCulley become a Christian, but he also entered full-time ministry. Until he retired in 2014, he served the Lord as a senior pastor for thirty years. But he never really retired. Paul McCulley’s gripping testimony is too good to put on the shelf, there are too many people that still need to hear it. Today Paul continues a dynamic ministry program to the incarcerated and their families, turning what the devil meant for bad into something very, very good. Continue reading

Warner Press Releases Groundbreaking Book by CHOG Woman Pastor

Warner Press continues its strong relationship with the Church of God by publishing the first book of longtime, influential pastor, Melissa Pratt. Pratt’s new book, Impact: That’ll Leave a Mark, adds a new resource for women (and men, too!) by a woman to the Warner Press repertoire. Impact shares how you can use your role as a disciple of Jesus to change and impact others’ lives for the better. 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

Warner Press Releases Children’s Ministry Author Tina Houser’s 18th Book

Warner Press and author Tina Houser continue to grow their relationship with the release of Tina’s eighteenth book, Fascinating Preschoolers. Houser’s latest connects Sunday school teachers to a group of kids that are often overlooked as “too young” to connect to Jesus. She teaches us how to embrace their “fascination” and show them the wonder of the world God created. Continue reading

Warner Press Releases Outreach Resource for Children’s Ministry

Warner Press continues to grow its church and ministry books category with the recent release of Go: Beginning a Kid’s Outreach Ministry by Rachael Groll. Go will add depth to teaching resources for the church, bringing together new ideas and solid experience while working with often overlooked youth. Groll’s book can transform entire communities through a hands-on “sidewalk” ministry. Continue reading

New Book Explores, Unpacks R-Rated Bible Stories

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Book cover: Bible Stories for Strong Stomachs

By Carl Stagner

Though both children and adults love the Church of God classic, Egermeier’s Bible Story Book was clearly written with children in mind. By contrast, a new release from prolific author and Church of God theologian Barry Callen is a Bible story book neither for young eyes, nor for the faint of heart. Did you know the Bible talks about crushing the skulls of men and babies? When was the last time you heard a sermon on the curse of the she-bears? When selecting a romantic line of poetry to recite to your significant other, do you follow the biblical example of saying that your bowels moved for him or her? With attention to detail and a whimsical style all his own, Barry Callen offers both theological insights and practical application for these and more incredibly weird passages of Scripture in Bible Stories for Strong Stomachs. Continue reading

Church of God at Front Lines of Societal Transformation

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By Carl Stagner

The world is hungry. Starving, in fact. Decades of devolution into trite programs and a focus on religious rituals have often offered only gristle in lieu of hearty spiritual meat. Regardless of cultural background, people today are craving convictions that lead to meaningful action. They’re searching for answers amid a smorgasbord of platitudes and pretense. But at the forefront of change is the Church of God movement, revitalized by a bright new day of reclaiming what hell has stolen and changing the world by making Jesus the subject. Such theology really isn’t new; it’s New Testament, and it’s leading Church of God ministers and ministries to lock arms with like-minded brothers and sisters in spite of what name may be over the door of the church they attend. A new book edited by Barry Callen celebrates the multitude of faith groups connected by their Wesleyan roots which, through their distinct voices united under Christ, are living out common-held truths and transforming society. Continue reading

A Conversation with C.S. Lewis, Bonhoeffer, Massey and More

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By Carl Stagner

Can you imagine sitting down at a table with C.S. Lewis, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and James Earl Massey? What if fourteen other theologians—some living, and some who have passed on—also sat at the table and began discussing the major subjects of Christian theology? And what if they all spoke in down-to-earth terms everybody could understand? Church of God author and theologian Barry Callen has just released a revised edition of a book that makes it all possible. In Heart of the Matter, Callen serves as moderator for eleven frank conversations imagined as they would have taken place had all seventeen theologians ever been in the same place at the same time. Never speaking above anyone’s head, Callen ensures the dialogue is practical yet accessible. Remarkably, the differing conclusions from a wide variety of theological perspectives always point back to the heart of the matter. Continue reading