Tag Archives: social cause

Growing Spokane Church on Front Lines of Freedom Fight

Pastor Randy Hood preaches at New Horizons Community Church.

By Carl Stagner

The status quo isn’t good enough for New Horizons Community Church. Whether you’re talking about the congregation itself, the progress in the fight against human trafficking, or the condition of their surrounding community, the Church of God congregation on the northwest side of Spokane, Washington, believes God has more in store. So, as they finalize preparations to enhance their fifteen-acre property, they’ve determined not to pull back forces from the front lines of the fight for freedom. Instead, they’re all the more resolved to support anti-trafficking efforts to the point of putting other pursuits on the back burner. Continue reading

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

Freedom Fight Takes Aim at Root Causes of Trafficking

By Carl Stagner

In 2014, the Church of God reintroduced its longstanding commitment to freedom with the launch of CHOG Trafficklight. Since then, the Movement has galvanized around the cause of advancing freedom for the enslaved, the overlooked, and the oppressed through awareness and through support of established organizations. On the heels of Church of God Convention 2017, the first-ever Church of God Freedom Summit not only celebrated the success of CHOG Trafficklight, but also turned our attention to the root causes of trafficking and sexual exploitation. Trafficklight 2.0: Freedom Fight will help us fight a global scourge at an international, domestic, and local church level, even down to our own homes. Continue reading

The Grim Reality of Human Trafficking


By Mary Hutchison

The first time I came in contact with a human trafficking victim was in 2009. My detective called me around 2:00 AM to report that a young woman had been found and that the detective believed her to be a victim of human trafficking. BA’s story is one that will remain with me always. BA was taken because her mother owed a drug debt. BA had done nothing wrong. Initially, the trafficker kept her in an apartment on the west side of Indianapolis, making her strip at night at a local club. While working, the trafficker always had someone watching over her, someone taking all her money to make sure she didn’t run. The trafficker would make her have sex with his friends in front of a group of people, make her sit around naked, and make her kiss a bullet every day. Kissing the bullet was to let her know that he was the one that would kill her if she ever tried to run. Eventually, the trafficker wanted more money and forced her into prostitution. Her rescue came when one of the people helping the trafficker called the police on an unrelated matter and the police found her hiding in the bottom of the bathtub. Continue reading