Tag Archives: Florida

Warner University Reintroduces Greek, Enhances Study of God’s Word

A student studies Greek.

By Tim Dwyer

After a hiatus of several years, Warner University ministry students are tackling Greek once again, preparing themselves to study the New Testament in its original language in depth and in detail. The fall semester began with a bad case of “Greekophobia” for our ministry students—a fear of that ancient language, of how hard it would be, and what it would do to their grades. After eleven weeks, that fear has passed away! Continue reading

Convention 2018 Speaker: Light to Hollywood, Living Water to the Desert

Jeff Whye

By Carl Stagner

All the glitter, glamor, and glitz of Hollywood can’t be outshined by the light of Christ reflecting through one of his own. Jeff Whye, known across the Church of God for his high-octane personality and knack for making people laugh, rocked Hollywood for a season but never lost his footing on the solid Rock. When God called him to the dry soil of the Southwest, his ambition was to point people to the source of Living Water. At Anderson University and Long Reach Church of God in Columbia, Maryland, before that, Jeff was molded and made into the man of God he is today. Overflowing with a love for reconciliation and restoration of relationships—between people and to the Lord—Jeff Whye looks forward to the opportunity to speak to the Church of God at the five Regional Conventions in 2018. Continue reading

CWC Convention 2017 in Words and Pictures

Christian Women Connection (CWC) strives to serve Christ through equipping and empowering women for Christian ministry. CWC aims to provide positive relationships, as well as ministry resources to the Church of God and other groups in order to connect women through relationships, spiritual formation, and service. They are also committed to training and empowering women for leadership in peace-building and reconciliation. One of the ways in which they are able to carry out this goal is through their biennial convention. Continue reading

Pastor of All People: Ministries Council Secretary Called to Lead Amid Diversity

Pastor Vincent Miller and family.

By Carl Stagner

“Everybody has a different fingerprint. I just think this is my fingerprint.” At Church of God Convention 2017 in Wichita, Kansas, many were first introduced to Vincent Miller, who accepted the role of secretary for the Ministries Council earlier this year. But he isn’t new to the Movement at all. Vincent’s ministry in the Church of God has spanned several states, as has his fingerprint, as he puts it. What is his fingerprint? To pastor ethnically and culturally diverse congregations. Because Jesus is the subject, Vincent knows that diversity does not have to equal division. Because Jesus is the subject, not skin color or language, unity amid diversity can be a powerful witness to the amazing love of God. Now entering his second year as pastor of First Church of God in Tampa, Florida, Pastor Vincent Miller is more eager than ever to give witness to the love of God available in Jesus Christ. Continue reading

Your Support Needed as Hurricane Irma Relief Underway

A symbol of hope post-hurricane at Warner University.

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UPDATE 9-12: Hurricane Irma Disaster Assessment Begins

Warner University students safe in their shelter (credit: David Hoag).

By Carl Stagner

UPDATE, Tuesday, September 12: The following report came from Warner University president, David Hoag, this afternoon:

As you may know, over one million Floridians do not have power. Warner University is one of the institutions still without power. We are working with Duke Energy to get that restored as soon as possible. We are canceling classes for the remainder of this week (on campus and online). Pending power being restored, we are planning to resume classes beginning Monday morning and allowing students to return Sunday after 6:00 PM. Students are not permitted to return to campus until power is restored.

Our campus was very fortunate, however we did have damage from the hurricane. Insurance will cover some of the damages, but not all. If you would like to help with a gift towards the restoration of the campus you may make a gift online.

Thank you for your patience as we await more damage reports and a disaster assessment from our churches and area organizations. You can support Church of God Disaster Relief anytime at give.jesusisthesubject.org/disasterrelief.
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Hurricane Irma Disaster Assessment Begins

Warner University students safe in their shelter (credit: David Hoag).

By Carl Stagner

More than six million people in Florida remain without power today as the remnants of Hurricane Irma batter much of the southeastern United States. What once was a Category Five storm has been downgraded to tropical storm status, but not without leaving behind damage across much of the state of Florida and utter devastation on some Caribbean islands. Residents in much of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina are not yet out of the woods. At last count, Irma’s wrath has claimed nearly forty lives across the Caribbean and some reports suggest up to 95 percent of buildings on the island of Barbuda. As of Monday, September 11, assessment is ongoing. Continue reading

Students Experience Cross-cultural Community, Ministry at A.One.8

The A.One.8 group of students and leaders!

By Andrew Gale

On July 6, twelve students began their journey to Lake Wales, Florida, for the start of A.One.8 2017. The students came from nine different states from across the country. For some, it was their first-ever flight, beginning a journey of firsts. Continue reading

Disaster Relief Urgent Request

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” —Isaiah 41:10 NIV

In light of what has been classified as truly extraordinary need, the Church of God Disaster Relief Committee is highlighting an urgent request. The current scope of devastation from natural disasters around the world is beyond our scale of imagining. The Disaster Relief Committee is working with national leaders and regional pastors in the affected regions to meet needs. Would you help? Donate now to Disaster Relief. Continue reading

A.One.8 Launches as Students Arrive

Thursday, July 6 was the culmination of several years of hard work and planning, the fruition of years of dreaming. A.One.8 launched today in Lake Wales, Florida. A.One.8 is Global Strategy’s answer to the need for a training experience for young leaders within the Church of God who are called to cross-cultural missions. Andrew Gale, from Global Strategy, is heading up this experience. Continue reading

Creativity, Generosity, Boldness Characterize Easter Celebrations

Photo: Lord’s Supper drama at First Church, Inverness, Florida.

By Carl Stagner

As a pinnacle in the church year, some might get the feeling that it’s all downhill from Easter. But perhaps Pastor Paul Strozier of Madison Park Church of God in Anderson, Indiana, said it best last year in an article he wrote: “The baskets have returned to the attic, the plastic eggs are being recycled, somewhere in the house there is at least one purple Peep left unconsumed—at least until the toddler finds it…But can we really let the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ wait a whole year to be acknowledged and celebrated again? Easter never ends for the follower of Jesus Christ…Imagine how it might change our homes, our families, and our communities if we lived every day with resurrection power, hope, and joy.” For Church of God congregations across the country, Easter has only just begun! Here’s a look at how churches observed Easter week. Continue reading

Florida Ministry Exemplifies ‘the Innkeeper’ in Good Samaritan Story

By Carl Stagner

Jesus told it first. Countless preachers and teachers have expounded on it since. The Parable of the Good Samaritan has captured the attention and the hearts of men and women around the world with its profound, yet simple message of love expressed in action. As church leaders renew the call to boldly move outside the walls of the church, more and more believers are identifying with the character of the Samaritan. But every Good Samaritan needs a good innkeeper! Lake Wales Care Center in Lake Wales, Florida, not only provides a place to stay (and numerous other services) for people in need, but also bridges the gap between the heart to serve and the means to do it effectively. Continue reading

The Church of God in the U.S. Celebrates Thanksgiving

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Photo: Turkey giveaway at Jubilee Christian Church, Boston, MA (courtesy jubileeboston.org).

By Carl Stagner

In the Church of God in the United States, Thursday, November 24, 2016, will not just be another day to stay home from work. While many must clock in on Thanksgiving Day, others who don’t have to are choosing not to sleep in, kick back on the sofa, and watch football all day. Instead, they’re choosing to give back. Ephesians 2:10 is written on the tablet of their hearts, and their appetite for serving others is greater than their appetite for turkey and all the trimmings. They understand that thankfulness and giving go hand-in-hand, and that such values must not be restricted to the fourth Thursday in November. Nevertheless, in worship, in teaching, in good works, and in fellowship, the Church of God loves to celebrate Thanksgiving. Continue reading

Hoag Inaugurated as Third President of Warner University

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Photo: Jim Lyon presents Bible to David Hoag.

By Leigh Ann Wynn

On Friday, November 4, with over a thousand attendees packing the First Baptist Church of Lake Wales sanctuary, Dr. David A. Hoag was inaugurated as the third President of Warner University. Warner students, faculty, staff, community leaders, donors, guests, and presidents from other colleges came together for this most regal of ceremonies. Continue reading

What Satan Meant for Evil, God Meant for Good in Sanford, Florida

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Photo: Worship at Crossings Community Church, Sanford, Florida.

By Carl Stagner

“The first couple of years, we were just trying to survive.” In June 1998, Keith Wilkins accepted the call to pastor the Church of God congregation in Sanford, Florida. The situation was not good. Legal challenges, insurmountable debt, and a small group of people isn’t exactly the description of an opportunity pastoral candidates would get excited about. Well-meaning individuals advised against it, not out of ill intent, but simply trying to be realistic. Bankruptcy and closure made the most sense at the time. But the God we serve loves to defy that which makes sense to us, particularly when he receives the glory. Approaching two decades and countless miracles later, Pastor Keith is glad he chose to stay. Continue reading