Tag Archives: Georgia

Black Woman Pastor Takes White Kansas Congregation to New Heights

Presephoni (center, middle row) with part of the congregation.

By Carl Stagner

Liberal, Kansas, never saw it coming. The city of only about 20,000 people couldn’t have imagined the day. Only 3.8 percent of the population is African American, and the new pastor of South Church of God is both black and a woman. Presephoni Fuller is, in fact, the first black pastor in the ninety-year history of the church. Still, Pastor Presephoni takes it all in stride. She doesn’t have time to ponder the uniqueness of her situation; she’s too busy reaching deeper into the community and taking the Kansas congregation to new heights. Continue reading

Michael Aftermath: Post-Hurricane Help Needed Now (updated Oct. 31)

The cross remains on the Panama City church’s sign!

By Carl Stagner

One hundred fifty-five miles per hour. That’s how powerful Hurricane Michael’s winds were when the Category Four monster made landfall near Mexico Beach, Florida, on October 10. Meteorologists are calling the storm the strongest to ever hit the continental United States since Hurricane Andrew of 1992. In its wake, Michael left behind widespread catastrophic damage, leveling homes and businesses, and claiming the lives of at least nineteen, as the search for missing persons continues. The Church of God was not left unscathed; to date, two congregations have reported damage to their church building and their homes. As information continues to be collected by state ministry offices and Church of God Ministries, Church of God congregations across the country are already responding to the imminent and critical needs of funds, supplies, time, and labor. Continue reading

Georgia Church Gives Food, Health, and Life to Community

Children, families are important to Community Church of God.

By Carl Stagner

When Jason McClendon was a child, there were grown-ups in his life who spent quality time with him. One gave him his first Bible, and said, “Jason, God will do something special in your life.” That moment may have seemed insignificant to the one who said it, but to Jason, it meant the world. Over the years, he’s not forgotten that blessing, he’s learned to love authentically, and he’s developed an especially soft heart toward children. The pastor of Community Church of God in Macon, Georgia, says, “Now, I have the privilege to look into a child’s eyes and say, “God has the ability to take you to places you’ve never been!” It should come as no surprise then, that when the need became clear for a summer feeding program for local children, Community Church of God rose to the occasion. Continue reading

Christmas Across the Church of God

Crossroads Church (Yuba City, CA) drive-through nativity (& more!).

By Carl Stagner

The Christmas season is upon us; a quick glance at the social media of a handful of Church of God congregations suggests we are a Movement that knows how to celebrate! Certainly, the birth of Jesus gives us many reasons to celebrate, and that celebration has taken the form of hanging of the greens services, advent readings and candlelighting, choral cantatas, Christmas pageants, caroling, dinners (also known as potlucks, pitch-ins, and carry-ins!), and much, much more. Because the gift of Jesus is meant to be shared with as many people as possible, Church of God congregations have come up with a variety of creative means to share the reason for the season. A number of churches have already reported lives won to Christ, too! The following are just a few of the ways Church of God congregations are celebrating. Continue reading

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

Wesleyan Holiness Women Clergy: Advocating for Women in Ministry

Back row: Carron Odokara, Deidra Johnson, Joy Sherman, Randee Doe, and Rebecca New-Edson. Front row: Ann Brandon, Melissa Pratt, MaryAnn Hawkins, and Cheryl Sanders. Ron Duncan was also in attendance as executive director for the Global Wesleyan Alliance.

By Carron Odokara and staff

The Wesleyan Holiness Women Clergy (WHWC) organization held a “think tank” Congress on February 23–24, 2017, in Atlanta, Georgia. Forty representatives, both women and men, from five member-church groups, came together to discuss the state and mission of the twenty-five-year-old organization. The Congress welcomed representatives from the Church of God (Anderson), Brethren in Christ, Free Methodist Church, Church of the Nazarene, and the Wesleyan Church. These faith groups came together not only under the banner of Jesus, but also because they’ve each taken a stand in support for women in ministry. Continue reading

Georgia Church Lives Out its New Name ‘Legacy’

legacychuch_canton_ga_worship_forweb

Photo: Worship at Legacy Church-Canton.

By Carl Stagner

Town Center Community Church in Marietta, Georgia, has been an influential church in its community for many years, but its new name reflects God’s vision for the congregation today. Not only are they intentionally targeting the family unit as the primary conduit of faith to the next generation, they’re also making investments beyond their own neighborhood to reach even more people for Christ. The seeds Legacy Church-Marietta is planting twenty-six miles to the north of their original location have already begun to blossom and bear fruit. Legacy Church-Canton now exists as a satellite location which, after just one-and-a-half years, has exploded in growth from 66 to 140 in attendance. Continue reading

Georgia Church a Historic Leader in the Gospel, Social Justice

jason_mcclendon_by_michaelwpannell_forweb

Photo: Pastor Jason McClendon at Community Church of God (Photo courtesy Michael W. Pannell).

By Michael W. Pannell

For years, the Community Church of God has been at the forefront of both social justice and Gospel proclamation. In fact, it has been for 120 years. “We just celebrated 120 years,” said the Rev. Jason McClendon, who has led the congregation for four years and been in ministry for 18 years.

“Our church was started by four women—four freed slaves—who were not allowed to take communion at a Methodist church or be ministers,” he said. “They felt a call and believed in holiness as did John Wesley and finally associated with the Church of God, headquarters in Anderson, Indiana. They started this church at our former 283 Grant Ave. location.”

Continue reading the article, originally published by The Telegraph on November 10, 2016, at http://www.macon.com/living/article113938758.html.

Movement-wide Prayer Experience Planned for September 11

Cry_Out_LOGO2_FORWEB

By Carl Stagner

No great move of God in history has ever occurred without having been preceded by the extraordinary prayer of his people. Log on to Facebook or Twitter, turn on the television, or pick up a newspaper and just try not to grieve for the shape of our culture. We need a great move of God. Walk our streets, visit our prisons, or spend some time in our poor urban centers and realize the overwhelming condition of our society. Then, instead of shaking your fist at hell, turn inward. What if we were to take a closer look at ourselves—the church? We possess the hope of the world, the world needs that hope, but we’re too busy dealing with our own issues to do anything about it. It’s time for change. It’s time for a spiritual overhaul. In Joel 1, the people of God found themselves in a similar predicament. They consecrated a fast, proclaimed a solemn assembly, and gathered the elders and all the inhabitants of the land. Together they cried out to the Lord for repentance, reconciliation, and revival. We’ve determined we must do no less. On Sunday, September 11, Church of God congregations will unite on their knees as they set aside regular weekend schedules for a singular focus—to cry out to the Lord. Continue reading

AU Student Group Fights Trafficking, Experiences Church on the Street

COTSAtl_Bound_ArtInThePark_FORWEB

Photo: Bound members at Art in the Park, Atlanta.

By Carl Stagner

Some students gather to play chess, raise support for sports programs, or promote social activities and events. Bound is different. The Anderson University student-run, extra-curricular group has sought to put a dent in the epidemic of trafficking since the 2011-2012 school year. Started by now-Global Strategy missionary to Germany, Audrey Weiger, the group was actively championing the cause for freedom before CHOG TraffickLight came on the scene. From raising awareness to raising dollars, Bound is offering more and more hands-on assistance for Stripped Love in central Indiana. Not content to simply read or hear about what God is accomplishing in the work beyond Indiana, the group recently took a trip to Atlanta, Georgia, to experience Church on the Street firsthand. It was an experience they’ll never forget. Continue reading

Legacy of Love: Rev. Janice Turner’s Ministry of Presence to Native Americans

PassCreekCHOG_Dec2014_JaniceTurner_and_Annie_FORWEB

By Carl Stagner

Her adventure of a lifetime began with simple obedience to God. Considering the proximity of other Native American communities, this Georgia woman could have easily found ministry opportunities closer than Allen, South Dakota. But God’s call didn’t have to make sense; she was told to go. Rev. Janice Turner knew she was called to do more than apply Band-Aids to societal maladies. Thus, one summer mission experience led to numerous 1,300-mile trips across the country since 2008. God called Janice to invest for the long-term, to build relationships, and to effect substantial and sustainable change in a culture that resembles that of a third-world country. Not limited to the gifts she brought to the local children each December, Janice Turner’s ministry was truly a ministry of presence. Continue reading

Church of God Pastor Becomes City’s First Black, First Woman Mayor

Rochelle_Robinson2015_FORWEB

By Carl Stagner

“Sixty years ago, Rosa Parks sat down so I could stand up today.” Pastor Rochelle Robinson’s words reflect a strong sense of both gratitude and accomplishment for her historic win. She never set out to make a name for herself or capture the attention of the national media. All she wanted to do was serve God and her community. But when the votes were tallied in the runoff election on December 1, Rochelle Robinson became the first African American and first female ever to be elected mayor of Douglasville, Georgia. Continue reading

Homeowner’s Garage Becomes Sanctuary for Neighborhood Kids

By Carl Stagner

After a full day at work, she comes home and opens her garage door. That’s when they come. Often in droves. The approach Angela Conti now takes to spreading the gospel may be unconventional, but it’s exactly what God has called her to do. After serving as a missionary to South Africa, God asked her what she was doing to reach the lost back at home. “What was I doing for the children I drove past every day in my subdivision?” she pondered. Continue reading

The ‘Art’ of Reconciliation: Church on the Street Gives Garbage a Second Chance

ArtOfReconciliation_2_FORWEB

By Serena Ellens

“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” or so the ancient saying goes. But realistically speaking, how often is trash literally collected, repurposed, and beautified into a stunning new creation? Meet “The Art of Reconciliation,” a new art project recently designed by the Church on the Street ministry based in Atlanta, Georgia. Continue reading

Church on the Street to Host Reconciliation and Justice Academy

Andy_Odle_ChurchOnTheStreet_FORWEB

Photo: Andy Odle (right) sharing community with the most vulnerable in Atlanta, Georgia.

By Carl Stagner

In 2013, the Global Gathering of the Church of God held its Global Forum on the subject of reconciliation. In 2014, Church of God Convention attendees were introduced to a form in which reconciliation could be lived out—in awareness and action concerning human trafficking. This May, the Church of God has an opportunity to dig deeper into what it means to be reconciled to God and neighbor. Church of the Street in Atlanta, Georgia, will host the Reconciliation and Justice Academy, May 11–15. Not just another conference, this experience is designed to be a weeklong intensive for those who really want to join with the most vulnerable among us to collectively develop the heart and habits of our Lord Jesus Christ. Continue reading