Tag Archives: pastors

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

Two Influential Pastors Receive Honorary Degrees from MACU

Collage: Miki Merrit and Richard Mansfield

By Whitney Knight and Elizabeth Sieg

Mid-America Christian University honored two influential Church of God leaders during commencement services on Saturday, May 13, at Crossings Community Church in Oklahoma City. Reverends Miki Merritt and Richard Mansfield received honorary doctor of divinity degrees for their contributions to the Church of God movement, MACU, and the world. Continue reading

New Video feat. Jim Lyon Urges Pastors, Delegates to Attend General Assembly

More than three decades passed before the new movement known as the Church of God established the General Assembly. The engine of the movement then was the Gospel Trumpet Company. As the movement grew, competing agendas and dysfunctional operations became too much for even the catalytic Gospel Trumpet to handle. In 1917, it had become apparent to Church of God pastors that some recalibration of the movement was needed to keep it going and simultaneously breathe new life into its sails. Since 1917, the General Assembly has been the voice for the movement—not Church of God Ministries, not the various agencies and schools, not the general director. The voice of the General Assembly is the strongest, however, when its shepherds and lay delegates participate. In a new video released by Church of God Ministries, Jim Lyon, general director, urges pastors and lay delegates to make this historic year—one hundred since the GA’s inception—a priority.

View or download the video on Vimeo at https://vimeo.com/209904704.

Advent in Egypt

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Photo: Zeke Oldham (far left) plays role of son of the “wise family.”

By Ken Oldham

While winter sets in for most of the United States, it is becoming winter here in Cairo, too, though it does not have the same look or feel. The colder temperatures swept into the city this week, dropping us momentarily into the 60-degree range; this came with the first bursts of rainfall this year, then heavy winds and dust storms. The temperatures will get cooler in the next couple months, but it is already cold inside, as homes are built to release heat. Continue reading

Eight Simple Ways to Express Appreciation for Your Pastor

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Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who work hard among you, who care for you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. —1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 (NIV)

In October we take time out every year to say thank you to our pastors for the hard work and dedication they show their churches and congregations throughout the year. What does your church have planned for your pastor(s) this year? Here are a few simple ways you and your church can show them your appreciation. Continue reading

Fishers of Men in Sri Lanka

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By Steven and Peggy Beverly

Recently we traveled to meet with several of our pastors across Sri Lanka. We had planned on a five-day trip, but due to the monsoon season and warnings about landslides, our trip was shortened to three days. During those three days, we were able to spend time with pastors in their homes and at their churches. We listened to their stories, prayed with them, and dreamed with them. At every turn, we continue to see God actively at work in the lives of our pastors and church leaders here. Continue reading

Church of God in Barbados on Cusp of Turnaround

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Photo: Paul Dreger, honored to help baptize believers in Barbados.

By Carl Stagner

The Church of God enjoys a rich heritage of ministry in the island country of Barbados. Over time, however, new growth has waned and demographics have shifted to the middle-age and senior adults. But in recent years, signs of new life have begun to emerge. This winter, forty percent of the entire constituency of the Church of God in Barbados attended the closing service of their annual believer’s convention. Knowing they simply could not remain on their current trajectory, pastors and leaders made several important decisions at the conclusion of the convention. The two thousand that make up the eighteen Barbardos congregations are beginning to discover the need for systemic change in their methodologies and ministerial approaches, but most of all, in their relationships. Continue reading

Women in Leadership: Practicing Our Theology

Photo: Four of our outstanding women pastors, (clockwise from upper-left) Shannon New-Spangler, Cheryl Sanders, Melissa Pratt, and Donna Rothenberger.

Photo: Four of our outstanding women pastors, (clockwise from upper-left) Shannon New-Spangler, Cheryl Sanders, Melissa Pratt, and Donna Rothenberger.

By Doug Talley

I remember the gender wars of elementary school. As kids looking for validation of our worth, we guys would declare that we were the superior gender and, of course, the girls would make the same claim. We’d argue back and forth, but I don’t remember anyone ever winning. The arguments led to tension, but not to resolution. By the time we got into middle school or high school, we readily abandoned those arguments. But that doesn’t mean that gender bias went away. Continue reading

Church of God Honors, Prays for Veterans

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By Carl Stagner

They put their lives on the line for you and me. With courage, they served to protect the freedoms we take for granted in the United States of America. Since their days in the military, these gentlemen have committed their lives to another kind of battle—a battle for souls. Military veterans Gary Campbell and Gerald Rudd are just two of the numerous examples of those who started out in the armed forces before joining the Lord’s Army. The two thousand Church of God congregations in the United States are indebted to their service to God and country, and we honor and pray for them—not just today, but every day. Continue reading

Pastor Track Added to 2015 Retreat to the Cove

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By Carl Stagner

How many hats does your pastor wear? Maybe you are that pastor, and you know all too well that we’re not talking about fashion. From preacher to teacher, from administrator to janitor, today’s pastor continually juggles responsibilities at the church, the hospital, the nursing home, the second job, and more—not to mention his or her own household. It’s time to relax, take a deep breath, and make plans to get away for just a few days in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, North Carolina. The annual CBH Retreat to the Cove could be just the break you need. Pastors will be intrigued this year by the first-ever Pastor Track added to the schedule. So, churches, would you consider making it possible for your pastor to “retreat to The Cove” this year? After all, the October 18–21 event takes place smack dab in the middle of Pastor Appreciation Month. Continue reading

General Assembly 2015: Church of God Speaks Life, Hope into Future

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By Carl Stagner

Conducting the business of the church doesn’t have to be business as usual. In fact, this year’s General Assembly looked and sounded much like a worship service had broken out in the Venue at Crossings Community Church. Worship was expected during the times set aside for morning devotions led by Bart Riggins, Leslie Barnes, and Carron Odokara. But at this year’s General Assembly, the variety of business presentations were especially poignant, moving, and inspirational. Dialogue was gracious, the optimistic atmosphere was contagious, and the resolutions that followed exemplified the move of the Holy Spirit to unite the Church of God in 2015 and into the future. Continue reading

The First One to the Cross Wins

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By Alfred Ells, M.C.

Ever have a conflict with your spouse, associate, or family member? Who won? Susan and I have had many conflicts in our marriage, especially when we were younger and more immature. Her common refrain was, “You just want to win!” At first I didn’t agree—I thought she was the one who always wanted to win. Over the years I’ve become convinced we both want to win and so do most people in conflict. Continue reading

Six Pastors Weigh In On ‘Jesus is the Subject’

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By Carl Stagner

For this moment in history. For all time. “Jesus is the Subject” is more than a catch phrase—it’s new life breathed into our very existence. It has already reinvigorated ministries across the movement, inspiring the Church of God back to its foundation, its purpose, its core—Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord. Six Church of God pastors, including Tom Dougherty, Stephanie Collins, Milton Grannum, Steve Nelson, Mitchell Burch, and Mark Fast, have each weighed in on what “Jesus is the Subject” means to them. Here’s what they said: Continue reading

SHAPE Expands to Jamaica

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By Paul Dreger

The first SHAPE training outside of the United States and Canada took place November 6–8, 2014, in Kingston, Jamaica, as nine pastors from across the country gathered for three days of intensive training as SHAPE cluster leaders. Gathering at the United Church Center Conference and Retreat Center in Meadowbrook, the group spent long days in relationship building, being introduced to the core values of SHAPE, and experiencing the SHAPE journey. Continue reading

Jesus—the Subject at Pastors’ Fellowship 2014

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Photo: A choir leads in worship at Pastors’ Fellowship 2014 at First Church of God in Winchester, Kentucky.

By Carl Stagner

Jesus—Savior and Lord. The way, the truth, and the life. The apostle Paul describes Jesus as the one by whom all things were made and for whom all things were made (Col 1:16). On May 5 and 6, Jesus was the subject through the preaching, teaching, worship, and fellowship at the annual meeting of the Pastors’ Fellowship at First Church of God in Winchester, Kentucky. Their theme clearly illustrated this focus on the author and finisher of our faith (Heb 12:2 NKJV): “When Jesus Does the Preaching.” As they have for forty years, Church of God pastors from near and far met to encourage one another and once again emphasize the theology and doctrine of the Church of God, at which Jesus is the center. Continue reading