Tag Archives: St. Joseph

The Michigan Church Now Known as the Do Something! Church

First Church volunteers sporting their Do Something! T-shirts (from the book with the same title by Miles McPherson).

By Megan DeBruyn

It wasn’t just the bright T-shirts matching the even brighter smiles worn by First Church of God volunteers that inspired their new nickname. The southwest Michigan church was unofficially dubbed the “Do Something! Church” by the surrounding local community after launching a work day in the summer of 2009 that encouraged members of the congregation to get out and serve. Armed with work gloves, paint brushes, and cleaning supplies, the mob of roughly 800 First Church of God volunteers took to the streets on a Sunday morning in early June and began to serve the most basic needs of their community. Continue reading

Where Everybody Knows Your Name (and His!)

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By Carl Stagner

Sometimes smaller churches feel like they serve in the shadow of the larger churches around them. But not Washington Avenue Church of God in St. Joseph, Michigan. According to their pastor, Washington Avenue is an intimate community where everybody knows your name. But not just your name. To the post-millennial generation surrounding the church, the name of Jesus Christ is largely unknown. But when these young people walk through the doors of their neighborhood church, they discover the God behind what they’d thought was just an expletive. Continue reading

Do Something: Putting Faith into Action in St. Joseph, Michigan

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By Emily Ploetz

Action. This small word can be strongly defined as “an exertion of power or force” on Dictionary.com. There is no greater example of the kind of action that God calls us to than the Parable of the Good Samaritan. Neither of the religious leaders were willing to exert any energy into helping the beaten man. But a Samaritan exerted as much power as he could to help a complete stranger. How many times does the church walk past those who are hurting and only pray that things will get better? As the hands and feet of Jesus, there is incalculable potential to do something.

A few years ago, leaders from First Church of God in St. Joseph, Michigan, traveled to California to listen to Pastor Miles McPherson, author of the book Do Something! Make Your Life Count. This book is about how important it is for the church to be the hands and feet of Jesus and reach out into the community. Pastor David Colp, and Chris Britton, the missional outreach director, were both inspired by this book, and decided to make change a reality in their community. Continue reading

Driven to Serve: Michigan Church Blesses Needy with Cars

By Carl Stagner

No commuter looks forward to dodging potholes on the way to work in the morning. As the snow and ice melts across much of the country, streets and highways—thought to be paved—become rough, rutted, and downright bumpy. Along life’s journey, potholes of another kind challenge even the hardiest adventurer. The challenges are especially difficult for those who don’t have adequate transportation. In many locations, hard-working individuals may be unable to reach the factory or office without a properly functioning vehicle. But in Benton Harbor-St. Joseph region of Michigan, the road ahead lay smoother than ever since First Church of God launched its Cars Ministry. Continue reading