Steve Dennie, UB Director of Communications
A group of nearly 20 persons from the United States, most of them United Brethren pastors and wives, spent ten days in Turkey November 4-13, 2013. This “Seven Churches of Revelation Tour” was sponsored by Global Ministries, the international arm of the United Brethren churches in the US and Canada.
Several years ago, Global Ministries began pursuing ministry opportunities in Turkey—the first predominantly Muslim nation into which the UB church has ventured. They organized this trip not only as an educational experience for UB pastors, but to introduce UB leaders to ministry opportunities in Turkey. Global Ministries is partnering with IN Network, a mission agency which works in Turkey.
The United Brethren participants were:
- Bishop Phil Whipple.
- Jeff Bleijerveld, director of Global Ministries.
- Donna Hollopeter, associate director of Global Ministries, and her husband, Jason.
- Gary Dilley, pastor of College Park UB church (Huntington, Ind.), and his wife, Rhonda.
- Mike Caley, pastor of Banner of Christ UB church (Byron Center, Mich.).
- John Erwin, pastor of Hopewell UB church (Auburn, Ind.).
- Patrick Daugherty, associate pastor of Atlantic Avenue UB church (New Castle, Pa.).
- Micheal Dean, pastor of Sabetha UB church (Sabetha, Kansas).
- Mark Ralph, pastor of Mt. Zion UB church (Wayne, Ohio).
- Steve Henry, pastor of Victory Heights UB church (Franklin, Pa.), and his wife, Amanda.
Three ministers from other denominations tagged along at the invitation of IN Network.
Leading the trip was Dr. Mark Fairchild, who chairs the Bible & Religion department at Huntington University. His numerous trips to Turkey include two from last summer—one with the Biblical Archaeology Society, the other as a consultant, at the invitation of the Turkish government, to a committee writing curriculum for a Christianity course to be taught in public schools. He knows his stuff, and is recognized for knowing it.