Tag Archives: unity service

“Progressive” Revival Strengthens Unity Among Central Ohio Churches

The Columbus-area revival pastors at Kimberly Parkway CHOG.

By Adrian D. Powell

Five Church of God congregations organized and participated in revival meetings at five different locations around the Columbus, Ohio, metro area, in early October. The pastors met for over a year together and had planned to do revival differently than the traditional way, and bring hope to the greater Columbus area, which is home to 2.4 million people. Not unlike a progressive dinner, where you might begin at one location and go to a different house for each course of the meal, the pastors agreed to this kind of unique approach. Continue reading

Creativity, Generosity, Boldness Characterize Easter Celebrations

Photo: Lord’s Supper drama at First Church, Inverness, Florida.

By Carl Stagner

As a pinnacle in the church year, some might get the feeling that it’s all downhill from Easter. But perhaps Pastor Paul Strozier of Madison Park Church of God in Anderson, Indiana, said it best last year in an article he wrote: “The baskets have returned to the attic, the plastic eggs are being recycled, somewhere in the house there is at least one purple Peep left unconsumed—at least until the toddler finds it…But can we really let the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ wait a whole year to be acknowledged and celebrated again? Easter never ends for the follower of Jesus Christ…Imagine how it might change our homes, our families, and our communities if we lived every day with resurrection power, hope, and joy.” For Church of God congregations across the country, Easter has only just begun! Here’s a look at how churches observed Easter week. Continue reading

Cultural Differences Eclipsed by Christmas

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Photo: Pastor Mejia, with Kathi Sellers translating.

By Carl Stagner

One church worships in Spanish. The other, English. The two churches are just a few miles apart in the same city, and both lift up the name of Jesus Christ. But these two Church of God congregations weren’t even acquainted with one another. Often the holidays are associated with family scuffles and awkward dinner conversations that lead to division. When Christ is at the center, however—when Jesus is the subject—Christmas has a way of bringing believers together. Just before Christmas, Iglesia de Dios La Hermosa and Main Street Church of God of Anderson, Indiana, united in a special worship service open to the community. Continue reading

Oklahoma Unity Celebration Goes Swimmingly

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Photo: Crowd from five churches gathered for worship.

By Nathan Hinkle

On August 28, five churches banded together to celebrate each other’s company and God’s grace at Lake Keystone in Oklahoma. These five churches, Bristow First Church of God, Red Fork Church of God, First Church of God Sand Springs, Springs Church, and Reclamation Church headed outdoors to sing, eat, and have fellowship. More than three hundred people showed up to join in the celebration. Continue reading

SW Missouri Unity Service Shines Spotlight on Sex Trafficking

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Photo: At the unity service, the “Grand Avenue Express” carries the banner of “four churches strong”–now five churches strong!

By Carl Stagner

After attending the Church of God Convention in Oklahoma City in June, a group of leaders returned to their home congregation particularly inspired by the direction of the movement. The Holy Spirit has been leading Grand Avenue Church of God (Carthage, Missouri) to focus more on ministry outside of its four walls. At the convention, Jim Lyon’s telling of the story of the Shelter in Cuttack, India, captivated senior pastor Chuck Davis. When his turn came to host the fifth Sunday unity service for four area congregations in August, he boldly changed the format and focus to reflect a motivation to change the world—starting in their own backyard. Continue reading

The More We Get Together: Gospel Music Unity Services Spread

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By Carl Stagner

Unity services are not altogether a relic of the past. In recent years, more churches are discovering they can do more together than apart. Some are coming together for fellowship and worship; others are realizing the greater impact of joint service projects in their communities. Ultimately what brings them together isn’t the point; the fact that they are getting together reflects a foundational oneness of the body of Christ that can’t be divided by distance, cultural chasm, or generational gap. The love of the Lord and good old gospel music are bringing congregations from several Midwest states together for times of spiritual refreshment and revival. Continue reading