Tag Archives: government

Transformation Begins Outside the Walls in West Texas

Community block party at the new church facility.

By Carl Stagner

Deep in the heart of west Texas, surrounded by semiarid plains and prized oil country, you’ll find the small city of Odessa. Though it may not garner much media attention, a remarkable story of transformation is developing out of the city’s young Church of God congregation known as New Dawn Fellowship. Focusing more on discipling new believers and not simply packing the pews, the church has celebrated relatively slow, but healthy growth. The congregation, 90 percent previously unchurched, has rejoiced at more than 30 salvations, more than 30 baptisms, and multiple rededications in just three years. On August 5, after outgrowing its previous facility, the community-oriented church enjoyed a grand opening worship service in their new home, welcoming 154 people through their doors. Continue reading

Michigan Church Courageously Combats Flint Water Crisis

Distribution of water at West Court Street Church of God.

By Megan DeBruyn

It has been four years, one month, one week, and one day since Flint, Michigan has had access to clean drinking water.

The crisis began back in 2014, when Genesee County implemented a new pipeline designed to deliver water from Lake Huron to the residents of Flint. Shortly thereafter, the city announced that fecal coliform bacterium had been detected in the water supply and issued a water boiling advisory to neighborhoods on the west side of town. The situation continued to escalate into early 2015, when it was announced that the water could be causing serious health issues and an increased risk of cancer. Continue reading

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

God is On the Move in Egypt

Jim Lyon speaks to leaders in Egypt.

By Ken Oldham

The birth of the Protestant Reformation is attributed to Martin Luther nailing his Ninety-five Theses on the door of the Wittenberg Church (Germany) on October 31, 1517. All across the region, this 500th anniversary has been remembered, and the evangelical churches in Egypt began planning months ago to have a special event of their own, encouraging each church group to seek international guests to join the celebration. The Church of God in Egypt was delighted to have Global Strategy regional coordinator Patrick Nachtigall, U.S.-Canada general director Jim Lyon, and Pastor Marcus Archer of Crosspoint Church (Natchez, Mississippi) accept their invitation to join the celebration, November 17–19, in Cairo. Continue reading

Maryland Church Selected to Receive Funds for Community Transformation

Photo: Pastor Kevin (second from right) with state government staff.

By Carl Stagner

On March 11, the pastor of Accokeek First Church of God in Accokeek, Maryland, represented his congregation during testimony before the Maryland State General Assembly in Annapolis. Kevin Wayne Johnson was humbled to present the church’s plans to help bring about community transformation, even if just for a few minutes. Recently the church was one of three in their entire district to be selected to receive bond bills to enhance the lives of their neighbors. While it was certainly exciting to speak before a gathering of state senators, it was even more exciting to first hear of the funds that would come their way. But for Pastor Kevin, neither experience can compare to the thrill of new opportunities to see lives changed for the cause of Christ. Continue reading

Former Warner Pacific President Sworn in as Mayor

jay-barber_forweb

Photo: Jay Barber

Building on a life dedicated to serving others, Rev. Dr. Jay Barber, president emeritus of Warner Pacific College, is taking on another leadership role as the newly appointed mayor of the coastal town of Seaside, Oregon. Continue reading

Fairfax Church Adopts Syrian Refugee Family

fairfax_welcomes_syrian_refugee_family2016_forweb

Photo: The airport welcoming team with the refugee family.

By Carl Stagner

Earlier this year, a report was released indicating that the total number of displaced persons in the world is higher than it’s ever been. At the end of last year, the refugee agency for the United Nations estimated the figure at more than 65 million people.* Staggering statistics like these suggest to some that finding solutions is a lost cause. But Fairfax Community Church, our Church of God congregation with campuses in Fairfax, Virginia, and Clarksburg, Maryland, determined that something had to be done. Boldly stepping into unknown territory, their missions staff cut through red tape and navigated a myriad of challenges until they got the answers they were looking for. Because of their efforts, Fairfax Community Church now celebrates the “adoption” of a Syrian refugee family. Continue reading

State Representative Battling ALS Honored by Warner Pacific

WarnerPacific_Honors_Rep_Gilliam_FORWEB

Photo: Rep. Gilliam honored by Warner Pacific leadership.

During Warner Pacific College’s spring graduation ceremony on Saturday, May 14, 2016, the college bestowed on Victor “Vic” S. Gilliam ’75, the honorary doctor of laws. As an alumnus of Warner Pacific, Vic Gilliam embodies the mission of the college through his strong gift of leadership and his deep commitment to civic engagement and service. Continue reading

Woman Lay Minister Appointed Ambassador to the United States

PresidentObama_ThelmaPhillipBrowne_FORWEB

Photo: Thelma Phillip-Browne with President Obama.

On January 28, 2016, Dr. Thelma Phillip-Browne was appointed ambassador to the United States of America by her home country of St. Kitts and Nevis. Ambassador Phillip-Browne is a 2011 graduate of Anderson University School of Theology, where she earned a master of theological studies. She attends the Basseterre Church of God where Eustace Rawlings is pastor, and has served as a lay preacher and active member of the Women of the Church of God (CWC). Ambassador Phillip-Browne is a partner of Child Evangelism Fellowship (C.E.F.), St. Kitts and Nevis chapter. Her community involvements also included hosting of a morning devotional program on a local radio station, WINN FM, as well as co-hosting a “One Love” spiritually based program on Sugar City Rock radio. Continue reading

In the Shadow of the Capitol: An Inside Look at Ministry in D.C.

UnitedStatesCapitol_stock_FORWEB

By Carl Stagner

Less than three miles to the Lincoln Memorial. Only two to the Washington Monument. Just one mile to either the Capitol or the White House. Proximity to these national icons make ministry in Washington, D.C., anything but typical. Though she has crossed paths with Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, this pastor takes it all in stride. Cheryl Sanders and the flock she pastors at Third Street Church of God have a job to do, and they will not be deterred. They’re ambassadors for Christ in the nation’s capital. Continue reading

CHOG Convention 2014 Speaker to Address National Day of Prayer

NationalDayOfPrayer2014logo_FORWEB

By Carl Stagner

Each year in the United States of America, the first Thursday of May is designated as the National Day of Prayer. People come together from all walks of life, spanning the range of faith groups and denominations, to look away from themselves and turn to God. Early leaders in government and society confessed their dependence on the Lord for peace, safety, and security. This year, Church of God congregations across the country also unite with community leaders and other faith groups in prayer. Anne Graham Lotz, who is scheduled to speak at the Church of God Convention 2014, will address the National Day of Prayer gathering in Washington, DC. Continue reading