Tag Archives: church

Church of God Missionaries to Sri Lanka Heartbroken After Easter Attacks

By Carl Stagner

Celebration of the risen Christ ended early and abruptly on Sunday, April 21, in Sri Lanka, as the deadliest violence in a decade devastated the island country south of India. More than 300 people were killed and another 500 injured in a series of bombings that struck churches and hotels in the cities of Colombo, Negombo, and Batticaloa. As investigations continue, the Church of God fervently prays for the injured, families of victims, first-responders, and churches affected both directly and indirectly. Steven and Peggy Beverly, missionaries for Global Strategy to Sri Lanka, were just beginning their home assignment at the time of the incident. Their updates on the situation reveal their broken hearts. They would prefer to be with the suffering people they’ve come to love than safe in the U.S. right now. Continue reading

More Than a Building: Arizona Church Celebrates Expansion

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Groundbreaking! All photos courtesy Green Light Photography.

By Carl Stagner

Lost in the middle of the desert, you’d be hard-pressed to find water. But at the edge of the Sonoran Desert in sunny Scottsdale, Arizona, you’ll find an oasis of hope where the Living Water is in full supply. For years, desert-dwellers have made their way to this oasis, quenching their spiritual thirst on the unconditional love Jesus, and telling others where they can find water. The road to a healthy, growing church has been dusty at times, but God has blessed every mile. Now McDowell Mountain Community Church faces a new kind of problem—a good kind of problem. They need more space! Continue reading

Indiana Hispanic Church at the Leading Edge of Kingdom Expansion

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By Carl Stagner

Churches of the Concilio Hispano—the Hispanic Council of the Church of God—are some of the fastest-growing, most on-fire-for-the-Lord in our movement today. It’s exciting to see and hear what God is doing among our Spanish-speaking brothers and sisters as they seek to reach the Latino population for Jesus Christ. Until you’ve attended one of their services, you may not be able to imagine fully the passion and the power overflowing from their worship, preaching, and prayer. It was no different at the building dedication service for Iglesia de Dios la Hermosa in Anderson, Indiana—the first Hispanic church this century to have their own facility in the state. Continue reading

Independent by Design, Cooperative by Choice: Yearbook and Registration

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By Carl Stagner

It’s not a census. It’s not Social Security. It has nothing to do with the title on your car, and it certainly doesn’t mean you’ve just signed a creed, signed up for selective service, or directed shoppers to buy pink onesies for your newborn. It has been said that we Church of God congregations function independently by design, but cooperatively by choice. That means that we don’t have to work together, but we choose to cooperate to further the kingdom of God. We know we can’t do it alone. Yet we don’t know very much about ourselves if ministers and churches overlook the need for annual registration—registration that has historically helped Church of God Ministries produce a Yearbook. Continue reading

Outside City Limits: Muddy Ministry in Monterey, Louisiana

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Photo: Pastor Joey celebrates first baptism at the lake.

By Carl Stagner

When doing ministry in the sparsely populated countryside of Louisiana, one comes to an inescapable conclusion: life…happens…slooooowly. Not that everyone speaks at the rate of Mountain Man (fans of the state’s famed Duck Dynasty television show will understand); rather, the pace of everyday activities seems to take on a refreshing calm. Ask Joey Pepmiller, pastor of Eva Church of God in the unincorporated community known as Monterey. Joey knows the blessings and challenges posed by this relaxed atmosphere. While some readers might panic that the closest Walmart is forty minutes away, these down-to-earth folks take it all in stride. Though large churches often garner the most press, the smaller, rural churches are also making an indelible mark on the kingdom. Amid the cultural nuances, God is up to something big at Eva Church of God. Continue reading