Tag Archives: Church of God

Pakistan: Educators Celebrate Pastors, Invest in Leadership Development

Dr. MaryAnn Hawkins teaches in Pakistan.

By Carl Stagner

Earlier this year, we brought you the story of “Facebook Seminary”—an innovative, online approach to providing quality education to pastors-in-training in Pakistan. Every Saturday evening during their semester, they gather around a screen to learn under the teaching of Anderson University adjunct professor, Dr. Sarah Blake LaRose. The George Theological College in Karachi, Pakistan, originally hoped that a theological professor from the United States could actually come and teach for at least a year, but the costs were prohibitive. Thus, the Facebook idea was born. Sarah has now taught the Pakistani students for three semesters using the free video option of Facebook Messenger. Continue reading

Convention 2019 Day Three: Rediscovering Our Mission

Samir Salibi and Jim Lyon lead Saturday morning’s session.

By Carl Stagner

Prayer has cloaked Convention 2019 and General Assembly, top to bottom, front to back, and all around. Behind the scenes, from before dawn until after dusk, formal and informal prayer gatherings and prayer walks have taken every aspect of this international event before the throne of grace. It really should come as no surprise, then, that God has come through on our behalf, delivering a Convention experience like never before. When encouragement is mixed with exhortation and inspiration is mixed with introspection, and the Holy Spirit’s orchestrating all of it, it’s hard to remain unaffected. That was certainly the case on Saturday. The General Assembly meeting, the interview with Samir Salibi, the heritage hymn sing, worship led by Amante Lacey, a timely message from Lori Salierno-Maldonado, and the commissioning of missionaries Nate and Stacy Tatman were only a few of the moments that helped us rediscover—and recommit to—our mission as individuals, congregations, and as a movement. Continue reading

Why We Do What We Do at Warner Press

Scroll through a few websites, watch a news program, or talk to someone in line at the grocery, and you will soon discover that our world is far from God. The harsh realities of life leave many people searching for hope. At Warner Press, we know that our hope for living can only be found through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. That is why we have been in publishing for over a century. Continue reading

Church of God-Christian Church Merger Still Loving, Serving Minnesota

Discovery Church providing a free oil change.

By Carl Stagner

In 2002, “the talks” started. Two churches, only about two blocks apart, in Saint Paul Park, Minnesota, were loving and serving in a strikingly similar fashion, with nearly identical theology and doctrine. The Church of God congregation was without a pastor at the time, and the youth groups had begun to participate in activities together, discovering they were better together than apart. As is often the case, the younger generation set the example, essentially paving the way for who would ultimately follow: the adults! Authors Barry Callen and James B. North had recently written a book about the similarities between the two Christian fellowships, and they’d heard about the possibilities in Saint Paul Park. Joining the meetings and helping foster dialogue, they celebrated when the Christian Church and Church of God congregation each voted unanimously to merge. A decade-and-a-half later, Discovery Community Church is still loving, still serving their community, state, and world for Christ. Continue reading

Passing the Torch: Reflections on the Legacy of Paul Tanner

Some of the family to whom Paul has passed the torch.

By Carl Stagner

Sometimes words cannot adequately express the totality of a great leader. Such is the case with Paul Tanner, who served as executive secretary for the Executive Council of the Church of God from 1979 to 1988. His family and closest friends may try to find the words, but the human lexicon inevitably falls short. Of course, Paul was so much more than a role, as Natalie Farmer, Dave Lawson, Ed Foggs, and Jim Lyon explain. Though Paul Tanner passed away on October 23 at the age of 94, the light of Christ planted in his heart is truly inextinguishable. An ever-burning torch of love and leadership has been passed on to multiple generations of those who are following in his footsteps. Continue reading

From the Archives: The Glue That Holds Us Together

By Merle Strege

I have often observed and said that the Gospel Trumpet Company, publishing house of the Church of God movement, has provided its way of being together, its polity, for much of the movement’s history. Furthermore, I have stated that certain virtues are necessary for a church that has such a polity.

If I might slightly alter my metaphors here, the publications of the Gospel Trumpet Company/Warner Press have been the pot that contains the glue that has held together the rich and diverse fellowship called the Church of God movement. That glue is composed of several elements, but three in particular are the moral virtues of love, courage, and presence. Continue reading

A Call to Purity for 2017 and Beyond


By Levi Scott

Angela Lu, writer of the World news article “Connecting the dots between sex trafficking and pornography,” quoted that 87 percent of male and 31 percent of female college students watch pornography. Even more men and women outside the college environment are participating in this media—a practice that is endangering the way we look at each other as human beings. God surely knew what he was doing when he called each of us to purity. Continue reading

Reclaim 2016 Philadelphia Wednesday: When God’s People Come Together


Photo: When God’s people come together…

By Carl Stagner

Incredible things happen when God’s people come together. The presence of God is powerful when God’s people come together. When God’s people come together, regardless of ethnicity or culture, differences diminish and Jesus Christ is magnified. Hope shines bright, the body of Christ is strong, and the kingdom advances when God’s people come together. In a world so strongly divided by race and politics, Jesus Christ was the clearly the unifying subject on Wednesday at the Regional Convention of the Church of God at New Covenant Church in Philadelphia. In a culture exemplified by competing aspirations and agendas, Church of God pastors and lay leaders came together Wednesday to embrace a common mission: to reclaim our neighborhoods in Jesus’ name. Continue reading

Anderson Regional Day 2: A Movement Again

By Carl Stagner

Day Two of the Regional Convention of the Church of God in Anderson, Indiana, was met with classic camp meeting thunderstorms and classic camp meeting worship and fellowship. But those who gathered in the expanse of Madison Park Church of God on Wednesday, June 22, were also met with bold exhortation and moments of intense introspection. We were challenged to take a hard look at ourselves as individuals, local churches, and as a movement. Though uncomfortable at times, we were invited to take the dare to get off our donkeys, get our hands dirty, and carry out the radical task of reclamation. Continue reading

A Bountiful Harvest: Church of God in Guyana Celebrates Centennial


By Emily Ploetz

Not many people may be familiar with the small South American country Guyana, home to fewer than a million people, sitting on the North Atlantic coastline, but God is working in powerful ways there. This rainforest-covered “land of many waters” has been through many ups and downs as a country, but it now looks forward to a bright future—especially the church. Recently, the Church of God in Guyana celebrated their centennial, as well as a recent partnership with Children of Promise. God tends to work big miracles through mustard seeds of faith, and the same can be said of the church in Guyana. Continue reading

My Thoughts on CHOG Convention 2015


By Jim Lyon

“What was your favorite part of the Convention?” I asked the young guy in the weight room at the YMCA in Anderson yesterday. I had seen him in Oklahoma City last week and wondered what he made of it. Without hesitation, he said, “Sheila Walsh.” “How so?” “Her testimony, her delivery, her message reached me. Deep. So powerful.” I agreed that Sheila’s teaching was anointed. Continue reading

Church of God Response to SCOTUS Same-Sex Marriage Ruling Forthcoming


Church of God ministers and laypeople from across the country and around the world are easing down from the life-transforming, mountain-top experience divinely granted to us at Church of God Convention 2015. Please pray for safe travel, as many are still in the air or on the road—including Church of God Ministries staff. Traveling back from the convention, we’ve not only returned to our families and friends, but this year we’ve also returned home to breaking news from the Supreme Court of the United States. Continue reading

Countercultural Conclusion to Convention 2015


By Carl Stagner

In the earliest days of the Church of God, there was little segregation. In the earliest days of the Church of God, a woman in the pulpit wasn’t such a rare sight. In the earliest days of the Church of God, faith in the supernatural power of God was ubiquitous. In the earliest days of the Church of God, the urgency of the gospel drove men and women to forsake all for the advancement of the kingdom. At some point along the way, we began to look more and more like the culture. The Holy Spirit’s communication through a diverse lineup of speakers at Church of God Convention 2015 reminded us that we were, from the beginning, a countercultural people. Convention Thursday was a day of recommitment to racial equality, loving the least of these, moving from consumerism to compassion, and embracing justice, truth, mercy, and love. Continue reading

CHOG Convention 2015 Opening Day: Prayer, Praises, Power!


By Carl Stagner

“Never felt such unity in the Church of God as I felt tonight in the opening session. Wow. Powerful.”

“Inspired. Motivated. Encouraged. Relieved. Thank you Pastor Jim Lyon…”

“Incredibly awesome start to the 2015 CHOG Convention! Looking forward to what the rest of this week will bring!”

These are just a few of the overwhelmingly positive responses to the powerful opening day of Church of God Convention 2015. From the pre-convention prayer meeting, to the Town Hall session and afternoon conferences, to the kickoff worship experience in the sanctuary, CHOG Convention 2015 opened in a way that few could forget. More than two thousand online live feeds were connected to view the opening service (many individual feeds were shared by congregations of viewers!), and a near-capacity crowd was present at Crossings Community Church in Oklahoma City to worship with Selah and hear God’s Word as only Timothy Clarke can preach it. Continue reading

Church of God Mourns South Carolina Tragedy


On Wednesday evening, June 17, 2015, evil once again reared its ugly head in the United States of America. Our hearts mourn the loss of nine lives brutally taken from this earth in Charleston, South Carolina. In a world where racism, hatred, and sin run deep, we turn our anguished hearts toward heaven to seek hope and divine consolation. It is at the end of a painful week such as this that we strongly encourage Church of God congregations in North America and around the world to seek peace, reconciliation, and justice on bended knee. Continue reading