Brooklyn Bridge, New York City
By Carl Stagner
Home to more than 8.6 million people, New York City is the most populous city in the United States. The “Big Apple,” as it’s commonly called, is also the mission field for the Church of God of East New York, a congregation which has had a growing influence on the borough of Brooklyn for ninety years. Before a portion of the Church of God descends on the “city that never sleeps” next September 18–20 for the third-and-final Regional Convention 2020, ministry leaders from across the city and places far beyond will return for an anniversary homecoming at the church pastored for the last thirty-eight years by Clifton McDowell. A recent interview with Pastor McDowell shed light on what healthy, enduring ministry looks like among millions of neighbors in such a diverse, fast-paced, and densely populated environment. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Church of God Convention, Northeast
Tagged 2020 Regional Convention, 2020 Regionals, anniversary, Big Apple, big city, bowl-a-thon, bowling, Brooklyn, Church of God of East New York, city, Clifton McDowell, COGENY, community, concert, Convention 2020, diversity, ethnicity, homecoming, kingdom partnerships, Ministries Council, multi-ethnic, multicultural, NACOG, National Association, National Association of the Church of God, New York, New York City, NY, NYC, partnership, presiding elder, Regional Convention 2010, Regional Conventions 2010, regionals, Regionals 2020, The Way of Jesus, unity, urban, urban ministries, urban ministry, urban missions, Way of Jesus, worship
By Samuel G. Hines
I believe that the urban pastor must be a lover of the city. If he is attracted to skyscrapers as some people are by mountains, if he can enjoy the often strange and irreverent city sounds as some people enjoy hearing birds chirp, more power to him! But whether he can “fall in love” with these things or not, he has to love them. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God
Tagged city, D.C., District of Columbia, From the Archives, Sam Hines, Samuel G. Hines, Third Street Church of God, urban, urban ministries, urban ministry, urban missions, Vital Christianity, Washington
By Lane Webb
God’s Warehouse in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is a ministry, placed in the heart of a red-light district, that looks to inspire change for the less-fortunate through acts of Christlike love. This nonprofit organization has been responsible for transforming the lives of the homeless community by providing limitless compassion for each person in need of their help. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Western
Tagged Albuquerque, Charles Aragon, Chuck Aragon, city, clothing ministry, community, food pantry, God's Warehouse, homeless, hunger, Michael Romero, New Beginnings Church of God, New Mexico, NM, parachurch, Richard Mansfield, street ministry, urban, urban ministry, urban missions
Special moment of prayer at New Antioch Church of God.
By Carl Stagner
New Haven, Connecticut, is home to Esau Greene. He grew up in a family well-known to the community, achieving success in school, excelling especially in sports. After college, his story took a turn for the worse. But before it was too late, Jesus Christ not only rescued him from a life of drugs but also called him into ministry. Knowing what it’s like to live on the streets yet highly educated with a degree in human services, and coming from a family of influence yet familiar with the allure of drugs, Esau Greene is God’s man for the job—urban pastor in a college city. Though the church he leads is only three-and-a-half years old, it’s already grown from 5 to some 130 people. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Give Life, Northeast
Tagged addiction, addiction recovery, Black History Month, church growth, college city, College town, Connecticut, CT, drug abuse, drugs, Esau Greene, Handel Smith, higher education, Inner city, New Antioch Church of God, New Haven, Northeast, northeastern, street life, street ministry, streets, testimony, Tiffany Greene, universities, university, urban ministries, urban missions, Yale
Handel Smith with Paul, sub-contractor for the church’s affordable homes ministry.
By Carl Stagner
Church of God Ministries staff are known for their roles they play in the collective work of the Movement. But among those who report to “base camp” day after day are individuals who are very active in their local churches. Some are Sunday school teachers, board members, worship leaders, associate pastors, and senior pastors. Others are laypeople who volunteer and get involved in numerous initiatives and projects at the local church level. When Handel Smith accepted the call to fill an executive leadership position at Church of God Ministries in Anderson, Indiana, he accepted a massive portfolio—oversight of the Movement’s influence and impact in the United States and Canada. His ministry Monday through Saturday—and countless Sundays, too—is extensive and expansive. Though a faithful attender of one of the Anderson-area churches when at home, it soon became apparent that he’d received a special leadership assignment that would both bring God glory and give life to a life-giving soul. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Give Life, Great Lakes
Tagged addictions, Anderson, base camp, blight, Celebration Church at Arrow Heights, CHOG Ministries, Church of God Ministries, city, community, decline, deliverance, evangelism, Handel Smith, IN, Indiana, metropolitan, Micah Merritt, multicultural, multiethnic, Nancy Jordan, outreach, salvation, Sharon Montgomery, staff, strategy, testimony, transformation, turnaround, urban ministry, urban missions, vision
Harvey Carey’s heart is for all ages in the city.
By Carl Stagner
Jesus is the subject for Harvey Carey. The urban pastor and church planter—also an avid amateur photographer—isn’t affiliated directly with the Church of God, but he’s a familiar face to many in the Movement. The former IYC speaker was invited to speak again to the Church of God, this time at the Regional Convention in Columbus, Ohio (June 19–20). His firsthand experience shining the light of Christ in the inner-city not only informs, but inspires listeners young and old, from downtown to down yonder. This product of the inner-city, turned proponent of the inner-city, challenges Christians to give life to their community—population three, or population three million. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Church of God Convention
Tagged camp meeting, Campmeeting, CHOG Convention, Church of God Convention, Citadel of Faith Covenant Church, Detroit, downtown, Harvey Carey, inner-city ministry, IYC, MI, Michigan, multicultural, NAC, photography, regional convention, students, unity, urban ministries, urban missions, youth
Photo: Easter egg hunt at the apartment complex the church adopted.
By Carl Stagner
Byram. Pronounced like the pioneer Church of God family, but spelled with an a. Home to fewer than eight thousand residents, it’s often overshadowed by the larger capital city to its north—Jackson, Mississippi. But Byram has no reason to be ashamed. Not only does it boast a unique, historic suspension bridge, but it’s also home to a vibrant Church of God congregation known as Crossroads of Life. Like the International Youth Convention, their goal and motivation is life change in Jesus’ name. From their intensive discipleship training weekends, to their food pantry and apartment ministries, transformation is on the move in Byram, and it’s picking up momentum. Continue reading
Posted in All Church of God, Southeast
Tagged apartment complex, Byram, Crossroads of Life, discipleship, Easter egg hunt, Encounter weekends, food pantry, Mississippi, outreach, Trey Hammond, urban missions