Tag Archives: politics

Governor Appoints CHOG Pastor as Faith Commissioner on Suicide Prevention

Kevin Wayne Johnson

By Carl Stagner

The former pastor of First Church of God in Accokeek, Maryland, was intent on cultivating a congregation-wide heart for community and societal transformation. In the last five years of his thirty-four working for the federal government, Kevin Wayne Johnson served the local church faithfully as a bivocational senior pastor. For Kevin, this calling was far more than filling the pulpit; it was about shifting the gears of the congregation to a more community-oriented direction, all the while laying the groundwork for evangelism and discipleship that would continue long after his tenure was complete. Observing national holidays and marking months of societal awareness quickly became a tangible step toward accomplishing these goals. One of the church’s annual emphases, in particular, caught the attention of the governor’s office—suicide prevention. Continue reading

Serving Hope in Venezuela

Serving food – and hope – in Venezuela.

By Jason and Abby Torgeson

One of the countries of our region that has been making the news lately is Venezuela, and it’s a country that is particularly close to our family’s heart. Abby’s sister Emily studied in Caracas for a year and a half in 2003–04, and Abby had the opportunity to spend a month there in her first real overseas Spanish-immersion experience. Both were struck by the country’s tremendous beauty and rich culture. While the rumblings of discontent were evident even then, it’s been impossible to wrap our minds around the crisis that has exploded there over the past few years. Continue reading

IYC Intern Engages in Sports Ministry, Captures Media Attention Abroad

Mark Shaner (left) with Austin Shaner (right) in India.

By Carl Stagner

Meet Austin Shaner. The December 2017 Warner University graduate and IYC2018 intern has his sights set on Christ and his heart tuned to students at home and abroad. An interdisciplinary ministry concentration on sports ministry from Warner left Austin with a deeper desire to spread the hope of Christ through relatable methods like recreation, but that’s not what recently captured the attention of the international media. With his father Mark Shaner, Austin traveled to Bangladesh and India this spring for a few scheduled—and a few unscheduled—ministry engagements. While in India, certain circumstances put him unexpectedly on the front page of the newspaper. Continue reading

Simply Ministry: Arizona Churches Respond to Teacher Walkout

By Carl Stagner

There wasn’t much time to respond, but there was no question what had to be done. When public school teachers in Arizona went on strike beginning on Thursday, April 26, the church community didn’t hesitate. Uninterested in taking sides or entering the political fray, the church saw their role as simply ministry. For the single parent who must work during the school day, the church was there. For the student who relies on the school for daily sustenance, the church was there. For a community divided, the church was there with a message of hope. With no certain end to the teacher walkout in sight (as of Tuesday, May 1), Church of God congregations were among those hardest at work to meet the needs of their neighbors. Continue reading

Prayer Movement Overtakes New Mexico, Gains National Traction

Prayer for New Mexico’s Lieutenant Governor John Sanchez.

By Carl Stagner

All 33 counties in New Mexico are covered. Ninety churches are participating, representing 26 cities. With Jesus as the subject, numerous denominations are represented. They’ve come together in a movement devoted to prayer, a movement which has overtaken the state. From the halls of government, to the classroom, to the streets, this prayer movement has already been proven powerful and effective. For 24 hours a day, every day, 365 days a year, they’ve set out to cover the state in prayer until Jesus comes back. One of the co-founders of what’s been dubbed “New Mexico Prays” is Richard Mansfield, senior pastor of New Beginnings Church of God in Albuquerque. Continue reading

Former Warner Pacific President Sworn in as Mayor

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Photo: Jay Barber

Building on a life dedicated to serving others, Rev. Dr. Jay Barber, president emeritus of Warner Pacific College, is taking on another leadership role as the newly appointed mayor of the coastal town of Seaside, Oregon. Continue reading

From the Archives: Concerning Religion and Politics

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By Marvin J. Hartman

It is certainly the greatest of understatements for one to say that there are severe pressures on the Christian faith in the world today. A new wave of political and individual struggle for freedom has spilled over into a new inquiry about faith and religion. While this may be disturbing to some, truth need not fear inquiry nor exposure to questioning. We need to remind ourselves that when the inevitable occurs, and tradition and truth come into conflict, it is tradition, comforting though it may be, that has to go. We have much more to fear from ignorance than we do from knowledge. If we really believe as we ought, that there is no conflict between intellectual honesty and the Christian faith, let us welcome rather than resist the present inquiry and struggle. Continue reading

State Representative Battling ALS Honored by Warner Pacific

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Photo: Rep. Gilliam honored by Warner Pacific leadership.

During Warner Pacific College’s spring graduation ceremony on Saturday, May 14, 2016, the college bestowed on Victor “Vic” S. Gilliam ’75, the honorary doctor of laws. As an alumnus of Warner Pacific, Vic Gilliam embodies the mission of the college through his strong gift of leadership and his deep commitment to civic engagement and service. Continue reading

Woman Lay Minister Appointed Ambassador to the United States

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Photo: Thelma Phillip-Browne with President Obama.

On January 28, 2016, Dr. Thelma Phillip-Browne was appointed ambassador to the United States of America by her home country of St. Kitts and Nevis. Ambassador Phillip-Browne is a 2011 graduate of Anderson University School of Theology, where she earned a master of theological studies. She attends the Basseterre Church of God where Eustace Rawlings is pastor, and has served as a lay preacher and active member of the Women of the Church of God (CWC). Ambassador Phillip-Browne is a partner of Child Evangelism Fellowship (C.E.F.), St. Kitts and Nevis chapter. Her community involvements also included hosting of a morning devotional program on a local radio station, WINN FM, as well as co-hosting a “One Love” spiritually based program on Sugar City Rock radio. Continue reading

Church of God Pastor Becomes City’s First Black, First Woman Mayor

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By Carl Stagner

“Sixty years ago, Rosa Parks sat down so I could stand up today.” Pastor Rochelle Robinson’s words reflect a strong sense of both gratitude and accomplishment for her historic win. She never set out to make a name for herself or capture the attention of the national media. All she wanted to do was serve God and her community. But when the votes were tallied in the runoff election on December 1, Rochelle Robinson became the first African American and first female ever to be elected mayor of Douglasville, Georgia. Continue reading

In the Shadow of the Capitol: An Inside Look at Ministry in D.C.

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By Carl Stagner

Less than three miles to the Lincoln Memorial. Only two to the Washington Monument. Just one mile to either the Capitol or the White House. Proximity to these national icons make ministry in Washington, D.C., anything but typical. Though she has crossed paths with Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, this pastor takes it all in stride. Cheryl Sanders and the flock she pastors at Third Street Church of God have a job to do, and they will not be deterred. They’re ambassadors for Christ in the nation’s capital. Continue reading

Church on the Battlefield—Literally

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By Tonya Miller

On September 13, 2015, Prestonsburg Church of God was blessed with a unique opportunity to hold “Church on the Battlefield” during a three-day Civil War re-enactment of the Battle of Middle Creek. Living history intermingled with the contemporary as Pastor Jason Johnson led the congregation, and God revealed just how similar our current difficulties are with those of our war-torn nation of the distant past. Continue reading

CHOG Contact Addresses Hong Kong Protests

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Photo: Hong Kong skyline at night. (stock image)

By Carl Stagner

Protesters lining the central corridor of Hong Kong know full well that the world is watching. Media outlets across the United States and around the world are covering the activists both from a distance and on the ground. Thousands of people supporting the Occupy Movement have rallied themselves around democracy and universal suffrage. Whether or not believers in Hong Kong want to get wrapped up in the matter, they also feel the impact of the hot-button issues of the day. Our Church of God contact on the ground offers unique insights from a kingdom perspective. Continue reading

Scottish Referendum: Implications for Church and Society

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Photo: Christians in Scotland could not ignore the recent referendum. Dunblane Cathedral, Scotland. (stock image)

By Carl Stagner

On September 18, Scotland held a referendum on independence from the United Kingdom. Though a margin of 10 percent gave “No” voters a decisive victory to remain with the UK, the vote revealed a starkly divided nation. Though the vote received relatively little media attention in the United States, much was at stake for the people of Scotland. Now that the referendum has passed, Church of God ministers with connections to Scotland reflect back on the historic day that speaks volumes about church and society. Continue reading