Volunteers from Highland Park assist local community for veterans.
By Carl Stagner
Sometimes, on the scale of size and influence, smaller churches can feel insignificant. The truth is that the impact of the smaller churches among us cannot be overstated. The Church of God in Gloucester City, New Jersey, for example, has a rich history of impact for the kingdom. Highland Park Church of God also has benefited from pastoral longevity; as senior pastor Bill Dilks prepares for retirement later this year after twenty years, associate pastor Debra Conner surveys the faithfulness of Highland Park, encouraging the congregation to press on in ministry during this time of transition. Through community partnership, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, the New Jersey church believes God will do many more amazing things in their midst. But they’re not waiting for some elusive big breakthrough to live out their purpose—Highland Park carries on the work of the gospel, even in the face of adversity. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Northeast
Tagged adversity, Bill Dilks, blessing, celebration, city, community, Debra Conner, dreams, faithfulness, Gloucester City, GriefShare, growth, healthy churches, Highland Park Church of God, hurdles, interim, longevity, meeting needs, men's ministry, ministry transition, mission, missional, need, New Jersey, NJ, outreach, partnership, pastoral longevity, Philadelphia, plans, programs, small church, smaller church, struggle, the struggle is real, turnaround, urban, Vacation Bible School, VBS, victory, vision, William Dilks, women's ministry, youth
Norberto Obermann (right) with wife Claudia, son Pedro.
By Carl Stagner
It all began with a prayer. A big and bold prayer—that God would lead Norberto Obermann to do something so challenging it could not be done alone. That, without God, it would simply be impossible. Born in Argentina, and having pastored there and in Brazil for the better part of three decades, Norberto would soon see what happens when such prayers are offered up in faithful surrender. Through a variety of unfolding events, he and his family would be called to pastor North Modesto Church of God in Modesto, California. The quadrilingual pastor—yes, he can speak four languages!—was a perfect fit for the rapidly evolving demographics of the north-central California city. It all made sense to the church and the Obermanns. But God didn’t answer their prayer in the way they were expecting. Instead, they embarked on an adventure that would last two years. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Western
Tagged adventure, application, Argentina, assimilation, bilingual, bold, Brazil, CA, California, CBH, Christensens, Claudia Obermann, cross-cultural, faith, historic, history in the making, hurdles, immigration, international, Jim Lyon, journey, language, languages, Latin America, Mario Hort, Modesto, multicultural, multilingual, Norberto Obermann, North Modesto Church of God, Northern California, overseas, Paul Dreger, Pedro Obermann, pray, prayer, prayerful, precedent, quadrilingual, risk, South America, The Church of God of Northern California Association, trial, visa, waiting
Tri County Church celebrates one of many baptisms.
By Carl Stagner
January 23, 2016. A day Tri County Church of God in DuBois, Pennsylvania, will never forget. A day that could have dismantled much of the good that had been accomplished since the dawn of the congregation in 1995. Dave Bish, founding pastor, died suddenly and unexpectedly that day while out on a trail run. Devastation swept across the community, but hell would not prevail. Instead of a downward spiral, the church rallied together in an outpouring of love like they’d never seen before. God had a clear mission for Tri County Church, and neither the remaining leadership nor the new lead pastor would be deterred. As they relate the timeless story of Jesus Christ to the stories of those near and far from God, Tri County Church is inviting everyone into their own developing story in DuBois. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Give Life, Northeast
Tagged baptisms, baptized, blessings, campus, campuses, challenge, Chris Trethewey, Dan Smith, Dave Bish, DuBois, expansion, Great Commission, growth, hurdles, Jesus Is the Subject, leadership, multi-site, multisite, obstacle, PA, Pennsylvania, stories, story, tragedy, Tri County Church, victory