Tag Archives: education

Simply Ministry: Arizona Churches Respond to Teacher Walkout

By Carl Stagner

There wasn’t much time to respond, but there was no question what had to be done. When public school teachers in Arizona went on strike beginning on Thursday, April 26, the church community didn’t hesitate. Uninterested in taking sides or entering the political fray, the church saw their role as simply ministry. For the single parent who must work during the school day, the church was there. For the student who relies on the school for daily sustenance, the church was there. For a community divided, the church was there with a message of hope. With no certain end to the teacher walkout in sight (as of Tuesday, May 1), Church of God congregations were among those hardest at work to meet the needs of their neighbors. Continue reading

Prayer Movement Overtakes New Mexico, Gains National Traction

Prayer for New Mexico’s Lieutenant Governor John Sanchez.

By Carl Stagner

All 33 counties in New Mexico are covered. Ninety churches are participating, representing 26 cities. With Jesus as the subject, numerous denominations are represented. They’ve come together in a movement devoted to prayer, a movement which has overtaken the state. From the halls of government, to the classroom, to the streets, this prayer movement has already been proven powerful and effective. For 24 hours a day, every day, 365 days a year, they’ve set out to cover the state in prayer until Jesus comes back. One of the co-founders of what’s been dubbed “New Mexico Prays” is Richard Mansfield, senior pastor of New Beginnings Church of God in Albuquerque. Continue reading

Spotlight on Schools: Oklahoma Churches Band Together for Students, Teachers

By Carl Stagner

For the past few months, the eyes of the country—and much of the world—have been on schools. Tragic shootings, student walkouts, student walkups, and teacher strikes are among the issues that have sparked more than a few arguments in the breakroom, the dining room, and on social media. But while the media, politicians, and pundits have debated the issues, believers have been busy being the body of Christ. As the national spotlight shines on schools, churches in Nowata, Oklahoma, have been shining the light of Christ in schools. Continue reading

Texas Church Targets Drug Abuse, Domestic Violence, Education Issues

Pastor Darius Miller at food giveaway.

By Carl Stagner

One church’s ministry to their community might not be the best for your community. You can’t address the needs of your neighbors until you know your neighbors. Motivated by a genuine love for people—not just a goal to see more bodies fill the pews—Shadydale Church of God in Houston, Texas, conducted a survey of their area. The survey, designed to determine how they could best take care of their neighbors, revealed that drug abuse, domestic violence, and educational issues were of greatest concern. In 2006, to maximize the long-term impact on the community on what mattered most, the church established what’s known as the Shadydale Community Development Corporation. More than a decade later, Pastor Darius Miller is at the helm, leading the church and community to take back what hell has stolen. Continue reading

Church Steps Out in Faith for the Children, Teens of Atwater, California

Some of the youth group of First Church of God.

By Carl Stagner

Take a look at 2100 Fruitland Ave, Atwater, California, on Google Maps. What you’ll find is that First Church of God is literally a stone’s throw away from Atwater High School. The front-row seat the California congregation has to roughly 1,800 students and their families is certainly incredible, but the church hasn’t sat down to enjoy the scenery. They’ve seized a number of opportunities God has presented them to minister to these teens and their families. What’s more, through their preschool established in 1964, they minister to children who one day accept their diplomas right across the street. Recently the church stepped out in faith to expand the preschool facility, as teachers reap the benefits of a Fruitland Christian School early education, and as parents on a waiting list eagerly knock on the door. Continue reading

School at the Shelter Prepares to Celebrate 100th Anniversary

Photo: Shelter Primary School girls

By Carl Stagner

In 2014, the Church of God was reintroduced to the Shelter at the Church of God Convention. That year, the ministry, which began housing unprotected orphan girls a hundred years earlier, held a grand celebration of God’s goodness and provision. At the same time, the Church of God rallied around the Shelter and Church of God Trafficklight in the preventative role it plays in the fight against trafficking. A few years have passed since the spotlight was shone brightly on this life-giving work in Cuttack, India, but now they’re gearing up for another celebration with similar significance. This November, the Shelter Primary School, on the same grounds as the Girls Shelter Home, will set aside three days of centennial ceremony and activity to commemorate its impact on the church and community. Continue reading

Evangelism, Revival Key Themes at KIST as Semester Concludes

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Photo: Open-air evangelism gives practical experience to students.

By Ernie and Lori Nicholas

Field experience provides students opportunities to expand upon what is learned in the classroom. Shown above is the evangelism class involved in an open-air service situated just above the main road junction market in Majengo. The students assisted the Vihiga Church of God with its outreach in this community, resulting in several being added to the church. Pastor Steve, a graduate of Kima International School of Theology (KIST) in Kenya, was excited about the potential ministries these students opened for his church. KIST’s mission is to assist in developing effective and influential servant leaders for the church here in East Africa. Continue reading

Kingdom Keys: Linda Fast Strikes Chord with Students, Neighbors

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Photo: Linda Fast (far right) stands proudly with her students who received honors at a piano competition.

By Carl Stagner

Well-known and well-loved by the community. A true heart for people. Doesn’t know a stranger. Loves the opportunity to minister. Her primary mission field: a piano studio. Forty-eight years and hundreds of piano students later, Linda Fast is still making the most of her fingers and her voice. Continue reading

Church’s Vision for Children Yields Life-Giving Public School Partnerships

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Collage: Plantation High School outreach.

By Carl Stagner

“I was in one of our Sunday morning worship services in the summer of 2015. The Lord prompted me to look at Judges 2:10, which describes a generation that knew not the Lord nor his works. Then I looked out over our congregation and saw youth and children dispersed among the crowd. Most were engaged in the worship service, but there were a few that were completely disconnected and apparently disinterested. My heart was burdened for them. I was convicted in that moment to reevaluate how we do church, our focus, etc. Are we having church around and above the heads of our children? It was frightening to me to come to the realization that many of our children are ‘church kids,’ but not born-again Christians.” This realization changed Pastor D. H. Dawkins’ approach to ministry planning and practice. Less than half a year into what has been dubbed the Year of Children and Youth, no one at Praise Tabernacle International regrets this fundamental shift. Continue reading

CarolAnn North Announced as Special Assignment Missionary to Asia

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Photo: CarolAnn North

Global Strategy has an opportunity to send a teacher to Asia to work with the children of asylum-seeking refugees from a south Asian country. The children have been without schooling for over two years and, in some cases, three years. A small school using ACE curriculum has been set up expressly for them. Global Strategy and Church of God Ministries are pleased to announce that CarolAnn North has accepted a ten-month appointment as a special assignment missionary working with children in southern Asia. CarolAnn brings unique skills to help the students with their educational needs. Continue reading

When Faith and Education Collide: Illinois Church Invests in Local School

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By Carl Stagner

Cannon Elementary School is exactly one mile from Community Church of God in Danville, Illinois. One mile was just too close to ignore the ten-mile long list of difficulties a school faces from year to year. A couple of years ago, the Holy Spirit placed a burden on the hearts of the missions team at Community to begin reaching out to the faculty, students, and staff of Cannon Elementary. Today, the school has come to recognize that if they are in need, the church is available. Now the church has discovered that the school is there for them, too. Continue reading

Wesleyan Holiness Women Clergy Names CHOG Clergywoman as President

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Rev. Dr. MaryAnn Hawkins, Church of God (Anderson) has been chosen to serve a three-year term as the new president of Wesleyan Holiness Women Clergy. Hawkins, a member of the Wesleyan Holiness Women Clergy board of directors since 2008, is a professor of intercultural studies and associate dean at Anderson University School of Theology. Continue reading

Never Leave nor Forsake: Indiana Church Committed to its Neighborhood

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By Emily Ploetz

Ministry starts as soon as you take that first step outside your door. This is a statement that the South Meridian Church of God does not take lightly. South Meridian, located in Anderson, Indiana, is what many churches would call “outward-focused,” but not in the way you might think. South Meridian is a church known for specifically reaching out to their immediate environment: their neighborhood. As much as the church does care about the city of Anderson, they realize that God has called their church to be a light in the small neighborhood in which the church building stands. The congregation of South Meridian is very aware that their neighborhood has plenty of needs, since the vast majority of those who live there are low-income families. The church decided many years ago that, as the church, as the hands and feet of Christ, they should fill as many of those needs as possible. Continue reading

MACU Partners With Sandi Patty for Worship Ministry Certificate

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Photo: Sandi Patty and John Fozard

Mid-America Christian University (MACU) announced that beginning in the fall 2015 semester, students will have the opportunity to learn from international recording vocalist Sandi Patty while pursuing a new, one-year certificate in worship arts and leadership.

Sandi has agreed to partner with MACU in developing and delivering this opportunity for worship ministers. In addition to weekly course trainings, Ms. Patty will also meet with students prior to concerts for additional training and apprenticeship-type instruction. Continue reading

Update from Bob and Jan Edwards, KIST

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Photo: Jan and Bob Edwards

By Bob Edwards

Bob and Jan Edwards recently returned to Kenya for a four-month stay as consultants at KIST. The following is their latest update:

Jan and I have been here at Kima for a bit over one week. We are settling into the International House, making it our home for the next four months. It is fully furnished and comfortable. The drenching African rains have begun in earnest, the dark black clouds at each evening just before sunset. It refreshes the earth, and fills the rain tanks that we depend upon for our water supply. Electricity is a bit of an issue. It is intermittently on and off. It has been interesting to Jan and me how the simple pleasures of electricity and water bring gladness to the soul. The rain brings wonderful life to the land. Electricity brings light in the darkness. Continue reading