Handel Smith with Paul, sub-contractor for the church’s affordable homes ministry.
By Carl Stagner
Church of God Ministries staff are known for their roles they play in the collective work of the Movement. But among those who report to “base camp” day after day are individuals who are very active in their local churches. Some are Sunday school teachers, board members, worship leaders, associate pastors, and senior pastors. Others are laypeople who volunteer and get involved in numerous initiatives and projects at the local church level. When Handel Smith accepted the call to fill an executive leadership position at Church of God Ministries in Anderson, Indiana, he accepted a massive portfolio—oversight of the Movement’s influence and impact in the United States and Canada. His ministry Monday through Saturday—and countless Sundays, too—is extensive and expansive. Though a faithful attender of one of the Anderson-area churches when at home, it soon became apparent that he’d received a special leadership assignment that would both bring God glory and give life to a life-giving soul. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Give Life, Great Lakes
Tagged addictions, Anderson, base camp, blight, Celebration Church at Arrow Heights, CHOG Ministries, Church of God Ministries, city, community, decline, deliverance, evangelism, Handel Smith, IN, Indiana, metropolitan, Micah Merritt, multicultural, multiethnic, Nancy Jordan, outreach, salvation, Sharon Montgomery, staff, strategy, testimony, transformation, turnaround, urban ministry, urban missions, vision
The congregation at their centennial in 2017.
By Carl Stagner
In August 2008, Bobby Washington returned as senior pastor to East Denver Church of God in Denver, Colorado, along with his wife Regina. In the mid-1990s, they’d given pastoral leadership to the youth ministry there, soon after graduating from Mid-America. It’s not been easy doing ministry in the heart of the city, but it’s been a tremendous blessing. It’s also not been easy being bivocational, but they’ve found the payoff to be both eternally rewarding and incredibly practical. Meanwhile, the church continues to reach across the cultural spectrum, with flexibility otherwise unavailable if Pastor Bobby had insisted on a full-time position. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Give Life, Western
Tagged Affordable Computer Solutions, bi-vocational, bivocational, Bobby Washington, CO, Colorado, community, computer, Denver, diversity, East Denver Church of God, food bank, food distribution, Godside Ministries, IT, life skills, multi-ethnic, multicultural, multiethnic, outreach, racial reconciliation, Regina Washington, unity
By Carl Stagner
Some had likely never worshiped in Spanish before. Others had probably never experienced firsthand the high-octane energy of urban gospel. History suggests that few had likely ever been in a setting where three cultures converged in the name of Christ. But that’s exactly what happened at the first-ever ONE event, which took place at Church at the Crossing in Indianapolis, Indiana, on April 21 and 22. The result was a glimpse of heaven and a renewed desire to change the world together. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Youth Ministries
Tagged Adam Rentas, Andy Stephenson, CATC, Church at the Crossing, community service, Concilio Hispano, convention, diversity, Gleaner's Food Bank, high school, Hispanic Council, Humberto Mena, IN, Indiana, Indianapolis, International Youth Convention, IYC, Kevin Earley, multi-ethnic, multicultural, multiethnic, National Inspirational Youth Convention, NIYC, ONE Event, Ramon Rivera, students, teenagers, teens, Tim Quainoo, unity, worship, youth
Photo: Pastor Trey locks hands and hearts with basketball ministry youth.
By Carl Stagner
The culture of your community has shifted over the past five, ten, perhaps twenty years. The shift may have been gradual, but somehow you feel blindsided. Your church probably has three choices: adapt with the culture, relocate to another culture, or continue a futile fight against it. Adapting to the culture doesn’t mean changing the message or compromising principles; only the methods change when Jesus is the subject. Crossroads of Life Church of God in Byram, Mississippi, had to make a decision as they watched their community’s culture shift dramatically, largely over the past decade alone. But they’ve chosen to stay put, and they’re certainly glad they did. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Southeast
Tagged basketball, Byram, change, community, cross-cultural, demographics, diversity, family, gym, Jesus Is the Subject, leadership, Mississippi, MS, multi-ethnic, multicultural, multiethnic, outreach, sports, Trey Hammond, unity, visitors, welcome
Photo: Pastor Carlos Lamelas baptizing a believer on Feb. 5.
By Carl Stagner
Pastor Malcolm Tyree described it as a “Super Sunday,” but not because of a certain football game between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons. What happened on Sunday, February 5, at New Vida Church of God in Dallas, Texas, was nothing short of incredible, especially in light of all that had transpired over the past year. Eleven people were baptized, ranging in ages from six to sixty. Wonderful, sure. But not so uncommon. Uncommon was that these individuals represented multiple cultures originating from the United States, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and Cuba. Such celebration came on the heels of a year of transition which saw the finalization of the merger between a Spanish-speaking and an English-speaking congregation. But for New Vida Church of God—once New Life Fellowship and Iglesia de Dios Vida Abundante—this wasn’t the grand finale. This is just the beginning. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Central
Tagged baptism, baptized, bilingual, Carlos Lamelas, Dallas, diversity, functional unity, Iglesia de Dios, Jesus Is the Subject, language, Malcolm Tyree, merge, merger, multicultural, multiethnic, multilingual, New Life Fellowship, New Vida Church of God, ONE, oneness, relational connectivity, Spanish, Texas, united, unity, Vida Abundante