Tag Archives: pastor

From the Archives: God’s Moment

By Benjamin F. Reid

The pastor must not be a person who simply presides as a benevolent, kindly referee over a multitude of squabbling children.

The pastor must lead! He or she must develop firmness with love but must sense where the Spirit is leading and then call upon the saints to follow. The pastor must be both prophet to proclaim the will of God and overseer to coordinate all aspects of the church’s life and to channel its varied energies toward the accomplishment of God’s purposes. Continue reading

Massey Legacy Lives On through Newly Published Book

By Carl Stagner

On Sunday, June 24, Dr. James Earl Massey’s life on this earth came to an end. But his incredible legacy has only just begun to affect the lives of students, pastors, and parishioners. One of the many ways his legacy lives on is through his latest book, Views from the Mountain. Published within days of his passing, the compilation of select writings from the brilliant mind of Massey was co-edited by Barry Callen and Curtiss DeYoung. As the back cover of the book states, “Rarely does one voice speak with equal wisdom on fields as diverse and demanding as Bible interpretation, Christian education, inspired preaching, seminary education, and ministries of reconciliation.” Indeed, Dr. Massey did all that and so much more, for the Church of God movement and beyond. Now the Church of God—no, all of Christendom—has the opportunity to glean wisdom from the pages of what Dr. Massey called the “last great goal” of his life. Continue reading

Fifty Years and Counting: Ohio Pastor’s Longevity at One Church Inspires

The congregation honoring Pastor Walls for his faithful service (Image courtesy Ferman Brown Photography).

By Carl Stagner

They came from near and far. Pastors, politicians, family, friends, and members of the community descended upon East Second Street First Church of God in Xenia, Ohio, for a very special and very unique occasion. On Sunday, March 18, notable Church of God figures addressed the over-capacity crowd, including—but not limited to—Ed Foggs, former executive secretary of the Church of God; Miki Merritt, presiding elder of the National Association; Demetrius Booker, associate state pastor of Ohio Ministries; Timothy Clarke, senior pastor of First Church of God in Columbus; and Dennis Kidd, senior pastor of Front Street Church of God in Hamilton, Ohio. Morning and afternoon services, complete with preaching, presentations, and powerful moments of worship, celebrated the sixty-five-year ministry of Dr. J. Douglas and Lady Donna Walls: fifty faithful years at one church. Continue reading

The Last Shall Be First to Hear Convention 2018 Speaker Terry Rolen

By Carl Stagner

Phoenix, Oklahoma City, Columbus, and Fairfax. The Regional Convention makes a stop at these four locations before it ever gets to Safety Harbor, Florida. But the event in Safety Harbor will be no afterthought; neither will be the opportunity to hear from the Lord through his servant Terry Rolen. The lead pastor of Bayside Community Church looks forward to hosting the grand finale Regional Convention next year, September 25–26. While much of the movement won’t wait until then to receive, hear, and embrace all God has for them through next year’s Regional Conventions, those who do—and those who choose to visit more than one location—won’t be disappointed. Continue reading

Pastor Robert Hendrix: A Life Reclaimed

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Photo: Pastor Robert “Spanky” Hendrix

By Carl Stagner

Ten minutes. Possibly fifteen. That’s how long Robert Hendrix lay lifeless following a drug overdose. And that was just the first time he died. For a season in his young life, the forces of hell substituted real peace and joy for the empty promises of sex, drugs, and alcohol. Thanks to the amazing grace of God, and the support of Church of God brothers and sisters, Pastor Robert “Spanky” Hendrix has reclaimed, and continues to reclaim, the peace and joy that hell had stolen. Continue reading

Independent by Design, Cooperative by Choice: Yearbook and Registration

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By Carl Stagner

It’s not a census. It’s not Social Security. It has nothing to do with the title on your car, and it certainly doesn’t mean you’ve just signed a creed, signed up for selective service, or directed shoppers to buy pink onesies for your newborn. It has been said that we Church of God congregations function independently by design, but cooperatively by choice. That means that we don’t have to work together, but we choose to cooperate to further the kingdom of God. We know we can’t do it alone. Yet we don’t know very much about ourselves if ministers and churches overlook the need for annual registration—registration that has historically helped Church of God Ministries produce a Yearbook. Continue reading

The Blessings of Bivocational Pastoring

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By Dave Burnett

While pastoring a small congregation, I struggled with the reality that my salary package comprised 65 percent of the congregation’s undesignated budget. Property expenses (utilities, insurance, and maintenance) required so much of the remaining budget funds that minimal funds were available for the ministries of the congregation. I decided that it was both biblical and appropriate for me to pursue pastoring only in a bivocational context. I have experienced profound blessings through bivocational service to congregations. Continue reading

Boldly Preaching Jesus at Age 100: Linvel Arington

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By Steve Nelson

Retired Church of God pastor Linvel Arington turned one hundred years old on November 24, 2013. Instead of the typical birthday celebration, Linvel spent the morning preaching from the pulpit of Oaklawn Church of God in Hot Springs, Arkansas. What started out as a tongue-in-check joke about preaching his “next-to-last sermon” on his one hundredth birthday turned into a momentous reality. Continue reading

Urban Ministry in Greece Reaches Lost, Crosses Borders

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By Carl Stagner

Pastor Vassilios Tsirmpas is driven to reach the lost. This lawyer-turned-pastor of the Church of God congregation in Athens, Greece, has determined to engage the culture in community activities that paint Christianity in a new light. While the message remains the same, the gospel is communicated in a way that effectively connects with a world unfamiliar with church. By fostering relationships with the poorest of the poor, building bridges across generational and cultural divides, and taking action to make the community a better place, Vassilios is exemplifying Jesus’ ministry of reconciliation to God and humankind. Continue reading