Tag Archives: school

Churches Bless Schools, Families as Fall Semester Dawns

Back-to-school haircut at Bedford First Church of God.

By Carl Stagner

Teachers making final preparations for their classes, students dreading the end of summer, parents adjusting to new routines, and school buses on the streets again (drivers, be careful!)—it can only mean one thing: it’s that time of year again! School is back in session or will begin again soon across much of the country, signaling a community-wide shift from one season to the next. Sometimes that shift can be anything but smooth for families, just as it can be for teachers, administrators, and staff. We celebrate the Church of God congregations across the country that recognize the need and do what they can to meet the need. School supply drives, special prayer gatherings, and “back-to-school bashes” are just a few of the ways numerous congregations are coming alongside schools and families as the fall semester dawns. Continue reading

Church of God in Honduras Sets Sights on Societal Transformation

Church of God in Honduras engaging their culture.

By Carl Stagner

Much of the Church of God in Honduras is in the midst of a season of growth and health. In such seasons, it can be tempting to get comfortable and enjoy the ride. But instead of complacency, the Church of God is actively searching for ways to engage and support their communities. Believing God to expand their outreach, they’ve pursued plans to establish a school, train entrepreneurs while funding ministry, and build a retreat center. Donnie Allen, national representative for the Church of God in Honduras, offers the Church of God in the U.S. and Canada a glimpse of their efforts to bring hope and help to the population. Continue reading

Kevin Earley: Aspiring Psychiatrist, Banker Becomes Pastor Instead

Pastor Kevin (far right) with his family.

By Carl Stagner

Much of the Movement knows Kevin Earley. He’s served as senior pastor for the past nine years at the church in Detroit founded by Dr. James Earl Massey. For the past three years, he’s served as the president of the National Inspirational Youth Convention (NIYC). He serves on the board of directors for Anderson University, and he authored the book Every-Member Ministry: Spiritual Gifts and God’s Design for Service, a valuable church resource published by Warner Press in 2013. But many may not know the story behind Kevin’s call to ministry and the journey that brought him to such positions of widespread influence in the Movement today. Continue reading

God Breathes New Life into Host Church Ahead of Florida Regional

When renovation was underway in the sanctuary.

By Carl Stagner

It’s been noisy, a bit dusty, and very busy in the halls, offices, classrooms, and sanctuary at Bayside Community Church. The Safety Harbor congregation is experiencing a season of expansion and growth, not due to, but rather evidenced by, the upgrades happening throughout their facility. Not exhibiting an “if-you-build-it-they-will-come” mentality, the congregation is intentionally seeking debt reduction and giving a portion to missions, all the while improving the appearance and functionality of the space God’s entrusted to them. So, while they’re certainly making final preparations to welcome a cross-section of the Movement to their home (September 25–26), the enhanced worship and meeting environment is a byproduct of the new life God is breathing in their midst. Continue reading

AU’s President Pistole Provides Vision for School’s Second Century

Anderson University President John Pistole

By Kylie Osborne

Distinctive. Compelling. Relevant. When President John Pistole stepped onto campus as head of Anderson University in 2015, those three values were his compass for what he would strive for the university to be. “In everything we do, how can we be a distinctive, compelling, and relevant institution?” In his first three years with AU, Pistole and his staff have found a multitude of answers. Continue reading

Reclaiming Hope: Arizona Church Turns Old Jail into Children’s Ministry Wing

Down to the studs at Community of Hope!

By Carl Stagner

Rusty Akers couldn’t have known what the journey would entail, but no doubt he knew it would be the journey of a lifetime. Planting a church in the heart of one of the fastest-growing cities in the country had its strong points, but it wasn’t going to be easy. The hard work of holding services in an elementary school, the years of community involvement, and the faithful communication of the gospel has more than paid off in eternal rewards—souls won to Christ, believers baptized, lives transformed, and a community better for it. But more than one purchase of property since 2005 and a community far more transient than expected, resulting in frequent turnover of residents and congregational makeup, has proved grueling. Nonetheless, the opportunity seized recently by Community of Hope, a life-giving Church of God congregation in Maricopa, Arizona, is one with implications for both now and the future. By the end of the summer, they will have completely renovated a former jail, transforming it into the church’s new children’s ministry wing. Continue reading

Spotlight on Schools: Oklahoma Churches Band Together for Students, Teachers

By Carl Stagner

For the past few months, the eyes of the country—and much of the world—have been on schools. Tragic shootings, student walkouts, student walkups, and teacher strikes are among the issues that have sparked more than a few arguments in the breakroom, the dining room, and on social media. But while the media, politicians, and pundits have debated the issues, believers have been busy being the body of Christ. As the national spotlight shines on schools, churches in Nowata, Oklahoma, have been shining the light of Christ in schools. Continue reading

Evangelism, Revival Key Themes at KIST as Semester Concludes

kist_open-air_evangelism_forweb

Photo: Open-air evangelism gives practical experience to students.

By Ernie and Lori Nicholas

Field experience provides students opportunities to expand upon what is learned in the classroom. Shown above is the evangelism class involved in an open-air service situated just above the main road junction market in Majengo. The students assisted the Vihiga Church of God with its outreach in this community, resulting in several being added to the church. Pastor Steve, a graduate of Kima International School of Theology (KIST) in Kenya, was excited about the potential ministries these students opened for his church. KIST’s mission is to assist in developing effective and influential servant leaders for the church here in East Africa. Continue reading

Rebuilding Underway After Aldersgate Fire, Your Help Crucial

aldersgate_charred_textbooks_forweb

Photo: Charred foot lockers, textbooks, and personal belongings.

By Carl Stagner

On August 29, 2016, disaster hit too close to home for the Church of God in Tanzania. A fire broke out in the high school boys’ dorm at Aldersgate Education Center at about 8:20 in the evening. Though none of the ninety boys were physically injured by the blaze, most of their belongings were destroyed and some had to be treated for emotional injury. Aldersgate, a school for nusery-age through high school students in Babati, Tanzania, provides education for Church of God laity and prepares leaders to strengthen the church of tomorrow. That’s why it’s so critical to ensure the continuing ministry of Aldersgate. Rebuilding has begun, but because of a lack of adequate emergency funds, the school desperately needs your help. Continue reading

Church’s Vision for Children Yields Life-Giving Public School Partnerships

PraiseTabernacle_PlantationHigh_collage_FORWEB

Collage: Plantation High School outreach.

By Carl Stagner

“I was in one of our Sunday morning worship services in the summer of 2015. The Lord prompted me to look at Judges 2:10, which describes a generation that knew not the Lord nor his works. Then I looked out over our congregation and saw youth and children dispersed among the crowd. Most were engaged in the worship service, but there were a few that were completely disconnected and apparently disinterested. My heart was burdened for them. I was convicted in that moment to reevaluate how we do church, our focus, etc. Are we having church around and above the heads of our children? It was frightening to me to come to the realization that many of our children are ‘church kids,’ but not born-again Christians.” This realization changed Pastor D. H. Dawkins’ approach to ministry planning and practice. Less than half a year into what has been dubbed the Year of Children and Youth, no one at Praise Tabernacle International regrets this fundamental shift. Continue reading

Warner University Honors Retiring President, Introduces New

Warner_University_logo_FORWEB

By Carl Stagner

Twenty-five years. Considering the national average of an eight-and-a-half-year stay for college and university presidents, the tenure of Warner University’s second president is truly remarkable. For Warner University, twenty-five years isn’t just about longevity and consistency, however; it most accurately represents an era of leadership that brought transformative changes and incredible growth to the endorsed agency of the Church of God in Lake Wales, Florida. As the Church of God movement honors the retirement of Dr. Gregory V. Hall, Warner University has also introduced their third president: Dr. David A. Hoag. Though these two major developments in the life of Warner University signal a change in seasons, a steadfast commitment to Christ and Christian higher education remains. Continue reading

When Faith and Education Collide: Illinois Church Invests in Local School

JeremyZerkle_with_school_kids_uniforms_FORWEB

By Carl Stagner

Cannon Elementary School is exactly one mile from Community Church of God in Danville, Illinois. One mile was just too close to ignore the ten-mile long list of difficulties a school faces from year to year. A couple of years ago, the Holy Spirit placed a burden on the hearts of the missions team at Community to begin reaching out to the faculty, students, and staff of Cannon Elementary. Today, the school has come to recognize that if they are in need, the church is available. Now the church has discovered that the school is there for them, too. Continue reading

Rose Chemegemet Named Principal Designate of KIST

RoseChemegemet_FORWEB

By Mike and Heather Webb

In the hills of Kisumu, on the western coast of Kenya, Kima International School of Theology (KIST) stands as a landmark in the community. It’s been there for more than twenty years, and the goal has always been the same: be an excellent school of theology led by Africans that trains Church of God leaders in Africa. Over the past several months, the school, under the direction of the board of governors, has been making significant strides toward accomplishing the goal of African leadership. On November 13, 2015, Rose Chemegemet accepted an invitation from the board to be appointed principal designate. She will undergo eighteen months of strategic and specific training so that she is fully equipped to become the first African principal of KIST in July 2017. Continue reading

Update from Bob and Jan Edwards, KIST

BobJanEdwardsFORWEB

Photo: Jan and Bob Edwards

By Bob Edwards

Bob and Jan Edwards recently returned to Kenya for a four-month stay as consultants at KIST. The following is their latest update:

Jan and I have been here at Kima for a bit over one week. We are settling into the International House, making it our home for the next four months. It is fully furnished and comfortable. The drenching African rains have begun in earnest, the dark black clouds at each evening just before sunset. It refreshes the earth, and fills the rain tanks that we depend upon for our water supply. Electricity is a bit of an issue. It is intermittently on and off. It has been interesting to Jan and me how the simple pleasures of electricity and water bring gladness to the soul. The rain brings wonderful life to the land. Electricity brings light in the darkness. Continue reading

KIST Announces Indigenous Leadership

Rose Chemegemet 1_FORWEB

Photo: Rose Chemegemet

Since the mid-1990s, Kima International School of Theology has prepared students from Kenya and all over Africa for a life of service to God and their communities. KIST has faced several challenges through the years, but through the grace of God and continued support, it is overcoming them. The school recently named a Kenyan graduate, who is also a female, as academic dean. The shift to indigenous leadership continues as KIST prepares to fill the position of principal. Continue reading