Handel Smith with Paul, sub-contractor for the church’s affordable homes ministry.
By Carl Stagner
Church of God Ministries staff are known for their roles they play in the collective work of the Movement. But among those who report to “base camp” day after day are individuals who are very active in their local churches. Some are Sunday school teachers, board members, worship leaders, associate pastors, and senior pastors. Others are laypeople who volunteer and get involved in numerous initiatives and projects at the local church level. When Handel Smith accepted the call to fill an executive leadership position at Church of God Ministries in Anderson, Indiana, he accepted a massive portfolio—oversight of the Movement’s influence and impact in the United States and Canada. His ministry Monday through Saturday—and countless Sundays, too—is extensive and expansive. Though a faithful attender of one of the Anderson-area churches when at home, it soon became apparent that he’d received a special leadership assignment that would both bring God glory and give life to a life-giving soul. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Give Life, Great Lakes
Tagged addictions, Anderson, base camp, blight, Celebration Church at Arrow Heights, CHOG Ministries, Church of God Ministries, city, community, decline, deliverance, evangelism, Handel Smith, IN, Indiana, metropolitan, Micah Merritt, multicultural, multiethnic, Nancy Jordan, outreach, salvation, Sharon Montgomery, staff, strategy, testimony, transformation, turnaround, urban ministry, urban missions, vision
Photo: Ad for New Life’s community block party.
By Carl Stagner
A Sunday morning and Wednesday evening preacher. That’s how Stephen Terry, pastor of New Life Church of God in Fort Wayne, Indiana, described his default function at the church for at least four years. As a bivocational pastor, Stephen Terry struggled with what most bivocational pastors struggle with—balancing work, continuing education, family, and the divine calling to shepherd a flock. While there are many great blessings that come with bivocational ministry, it wasn’t long before Pastor Stephen found himself working fifty hours per week in the school system and looking for remaining moments to keep up with his master’s program. Then one day when he was examining the declining health of his congregation and the continuing decline of the community around the church, he realized something had gone wrong. Without opportunity to lead the church, they’d come to a place in their life cycle that required immediate attention. That’s where Church of God Ministries, the National Association of the Church of God, and Indiana Ministries spoke life into the future of New Life Church of God—and ultimately two other Indiana churches. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Great Lakes, Leadership Development
Tagged Celebration Church at Arrow Heights, Destiny Life Church of God, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Indiana Ministries, NACOG, National Association, New Life Church of God, reactivate, renewal, Stephen Terry, turnaround, urban ministry