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
Posted in All Church of God, Global Strategy, Great Lakes
Tagged Abby Torgeson, Anderson, cultural, Don Billey, experiential unity, functional unity, Global Strategy, Heriberto Mejia, Hispanic, Iglesia de Dios La Hermosa, Indiana, Kathi Sellers, Main Street Church of God, Missionaries, missions, multicultural, Spanish, translation, united, unity, unity service
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
Posted in All Church of God, Central
Tagged baptism, Bristow First Church of God, First Church of God Sand Springs, Lake Day, Lake Keystone, Nathan Hinkle, Oklahoma, Reclamation Church, Red Fork Church of God, Springs Church, unity service
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
Posted in All Church of God, CHOG TraffickLight
Tagged Ashley Edgemon, Chuck Davis, Church of God Convention, Granby, Grand Avenue, Missouri, RFamily, Scotland, sex trafficking, Southside, unity service, worship
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