As First Church grows, they don’t forget to have fun together!
In the summer of 2016, First Church of God in Marion, Indiana, found themselves without a pastor. With only forty folks on average in attendance on Sunday mornings, they weren’t sure how to move forward. Determined not to give up on the mission they believed God was calling them to in their community, they sought a bi-vocational minister who could lead them in a restart. By September, they found just the pastor God had intended for them. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Great Lakes
Tagged associate pastor, bivocational, church growth, church health, community, direction, elder board, feature, First Church of God, IN, Indiana, Jonathan Secrest, lead pastor, Marion, ministry experience, ministry journey, mission, New Life, purpose, renewal, restart, revival, Scott Depot, senior pastor, story, team leadership, Teays Valley Church of God, turnaround, vision, West Virginia, WV, youth leader, youth ministry, youth pastor
Photo: This year’s community Easter celebration.
By Carl Stagner
You’re now a big church. You’ve poured your heart and soul into the people and the place, the church and the community. The service projects, carnivals, car shows, car washes, neighborhood walk-throughs, mission trips, Easter egg hunts, and “harvest festivals” are too many too count. It might be easy to kick back and relax, to feel like you’ve “arrived.” But nothing could be farther from the truth for Teays Valley Church of God in Scott Depot, West Virginia. Nine years have passed since Melissa Pratt became the senior pastor, and though attendance has jumped almost 500 percent and the number of first-time decisions for Christ is approaching 300, she’s not stopping to stare at the scenery. Don’t misunderstand—Teays Valley knows how to celebrate what the Lord has done like few other churches do. But until all of Putnam County experiences the transforming power of Jesus Christ, it’s full steam ahead. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Northeast
Tagged church growth, church health, expansion, Melissa Pratt, new construction, outreach, salvation, Scott Depot, Teays Valley Church of God, Thom Pratt, turnaround, West Virginia
Photo: Tyler Weiford, ready to support sustainable hunger relief.
By Carl Stagner
Imagine a world where a McDonalds or a Taco Bell couldn’t be found on every corner. Recent news coverage cited a report that showed, for the first time in history, Americans spend more money on eating out than on groceries. In stark contrast, the convenience of a fast food restaurant—let alone, a supermarket—just doesn’t exist for some three billion people around the world. Even where fresh food is available, extreme poverty only prohibits adequate nutrition. The children of Teays Valley Church of God in Scott Depot, West Virginia, have decided to do something about the problem. They’ve raised money to purchase a cow. Continue reading
Photo: Free haircut at Teays Valley Church of God, July 2014.
By Carl Stagner
We were created to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do (Eph 2:10). The best kind of good works are the kind that meet real needs. In July, Teays Valley Church of God in Scott Depot, West Virginia, hosted a day of free haircuts, free hair products, and plenty of free hugs and expressions of God’s love. In a culture that often questions the authenticity of churchgoers, the compassion behind these friendly faces was genuine. Continue reading