Down to the studs at Community of Hope!
By Carl Stagner
Rusty Akers couldn’t have known what the journey would entail, but no doubt he knew it would be the journey of a lifetime. Planting a church in the heart of one of the fastest-growing cities in the country had its strong points, but it wasn’t going to be easy. The hard work of holding services in an elementary school, the years of community involvement, and the faithful communication of the gospel has more than paid off in eternal rewards—souls won to Christ, believers baptized, lives transformed, and a community better for it. But more than one purchase of property since 2005 and a community far more transient than expected, resulting in frequent turnover of residents and congregational makeup, has proved grueling. Nonetheless, the opportunity seized recently by Community of Hope, a life-giving Church of God congregation in Maricopa, Arizona, is one with implications for both now and the future. By the end of the summer, they will have completely renovated a former jail, transforming it into the church’s new children’s ministry wing. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Give Life, Western
Tagged Arizona, AZ, building project, challenge, children, children's ministry, community, Community of Hope, construction, expansion, Give Life, Jesus Is the Subject, kids, Maricopa, Mexico, municipal, New Life, Reclaim, rehab, renovation, Rusty Akers, school, service project, setbacks, Southwest, triumph
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: Steve Chiles preaches about the centrality of Jesus at Shartel Church of God.
By Carl Stagner
Old history textbooks are full of two letters that appear together with every recorded date since Jesus walked the earth. A.D., which stands for the Latin term anno Domini, translates as the year of our Lord. While the Church of God seeks to advance the message that Jesus is the subject, Pastor Steve Chiles of Shartel Church of God in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, got to thinking about what might happen if his congregation truly made 2015 the year of Jesus. Three months into Anno Domini 2015 at Shartel, transformation of hearts is already taking place. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Central
Tagged challenge, ideas, Jesus Is the Subject, Oklahoma City, preaching, series, Shartel Church of God, Steve Chiles, theme, year