Some of the youth group of First Church of God.
By Carl Stagner
Take a look at 2100 Fruitland Ave, Atwater, California, on Google Maps. What you’ll find is that First Church of God is literally a stone’s throw away from Atwater High School. The front-row seat the California congregation has to roughly 1,800 students and their families is certainly incredible, but the church hasn’t sat down to enjoy the scenery. They’ve seized a number of opportunities God has presented them to minister to these teens and their families. What’s more, through their preschool established in 1964, they minister to children who one day accept their diplomas right across the street. Recently the church stepped out in faith to expand the preschool facility, as teachers reap the benefits of a Fruitland Christian School early education, and as parents on a waiting list eagerly knock on the door. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Western
Tagged Atwater, Bill Barkman, CA, California, children, community, construction, education, expansion, First Church of God, Fruitland Christian School, high school, kids, new building, outreach, parents, preschool, renovation, student ministries, students, teachers, teens, youth
Photo: The El Dara congregation crowded into their old building.
By Carl Stagner
Things are changing for the better in Egypt. Recent legislation has relaxed laws that formerly constricted the ability of churches to build or renovate. The only legal religions in Egypt—Islam, Judaism, and Christianity—maintain a unique coexistence, even as only 10 percent of the country profess Christ. Intending to promote peace among all three, the government made a practice of assessing the majority population in the area surrounding a building project of a religious entity—would such a building bring conflict or disrupt the peace in any way? Now that regulative barriers have been removed, the Church of God in Egypt is hopeful that much-needed renovation can take place with several church facilities, and that multiplication can take place with future church planting. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Global Strategy
Tagged construction, Egypt, El Dara, Europe and the Middle East, Global Strategy, legislation, new building, partnership, Project Link, renovation, UK, United Kingdom, unity
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
Posted in All Church of God, Southeast
Tagged church growth, Crossings Community Church, daycare, Florida, Keith Wilkins, lawsuit, legal challenges, missional, new building, Presbyterian, Sanford, turnaround
Photo: The ribbon-cutting ceremony at the dedication of the new sanctuary for the Church of God of East New York.
By Carl Stagner
The view from the corner of Sutter Avenue and Warwick is markedly different today than it was in 1965. Since 1965, the Church of God of East New York has exercised bold love in their neighborhood for the cause of Christ. They call this kind of ministry B.L.O.C.K., which stands for Boldly Loving Our Community with Kindness. After decades of exemplifying bold love, God has blessed this storefront church with a brand new sanctuary. Today, passersby can’t help but notice the new construction which, for them, represents renewed vitality and hope for a community that others have simply written off as a lost cause. Continue reading
On Sunday, April 6, at 2:00 PM, Teays Valley Church of God in Scott Depot, West Virginia, will be one step closer to seeing their dream of a new community center realized. The church will break ground to develop the seventy-four acres of property they own, known as Teays Valley Acres. The fast-growing church has plans to develop the seventy-four acres into a recreation park, conference site, and community center. “God has given us a vision to serve our community by meeting the needs of the whole person,” said Dr. Melissa Pratt, the church’s pastor. “This is the first step in a multiphase plan to create a space that is open for our community to use every day of the week.” Continue reading
Hundreds of guests gathered at Mid-America Christian University (MACU.edu) for the dedication and ceremonial ribbon cutting of Kennedy Hall, Friday morning, January 10, 2014.
The celebration marked the completion of the 32,000-square-foot Kennedy Hall that is now home to the University Library, multiple classrooms (including three rooms that can be converted into a 150-seat conference area), a computer lab, a physics lab, and faculty and staff offices. Continue reading