UB Global has scheduled an IGNITE conferences in late October.

Date: Saturday, October 28, 2017
Location: College Park UB church, 1945 College Avenue, Huntington, IN 46750

IGNITE is a one-day missions conference conducted by UB GLOBAL that will inform, inspire and help you integrate missional principles and resources into your outreach efforts in your neighborhood and among the nations. The day will include worship, updates and a variety of workshops covering topics relevant to ministry in your context.

The conference begins at 9 a.m. and continues until 4:30 p.m. The $15 cost includes lunch.

For more information and to register, go to ubglobal.org/ignite, or call us at 1-888-622-3019.

Praise Point United Brethren church (Willshire, Ohio) is searching for a person who shares our passion for teaching through leading worship. It’s our current “low hole in the barrel.” As one worship leaders has described the role, “He preaches his sermon through leading the congregation in many voices, then the pastor preaches his sermon.”

We are looking for a person who is musically talented and can develop others to lead the congregation with excellence. Our ideal candidate will also possess media/tech skills to enhance our weekend services and make the most of every minute our congregation is assembled. Our ideal candidate will also understand the value of using doctrinally sound worship to enhance the topic of the day’s lesson. We are ready to invest into someone to develop them even beyond their current skills and abilities as they invest into the Kingdom through the local church.

Here are a few important details:

Status: Part-Time with the possibility to go FT as the congregation grows.
Salary & Benefits: Negotiable based on experience, abilities, etc.
Chemistry, Character, Competency: Chemistry with our congregation and our staff matters. We are a rural church and the right candidate will embrace the benefits and strengths that come from our geographical location. Character to model a life of worship and godliness matters. Competency with the Scriptures and music matters.

For more information or to apply: Please contact lead pastor, Brad Kittle via email at Brad@PraisePoint.net. Please include your name, contact info, and how you heard about the opening. This opportunity will be posted until filled.

Praise Point is the result of two smaller churches sharing vision for more effective ministry. These two churches combined in 2006 to address the needs of both the congregations and the region. Located in the rural village of Willshire, OH, a town of only 400 people, Praise Point has people who will travel for over 40 minutes just to be a part of what God is doing here.

Today, the church has grown to about 200 (bumping to just under 300 on special holidays) and impacts our region in practical and tangible ways. The growth potential here is exciting. Our slogan is “Teach. Train. Transform.” We diligently teach the Scriptures, Train in righteousness and watch God Transform hearts and lives. We are a teaching church. We desire to be known as a church that holds the Scriptures high as our authority for life and godliness. It’s been a joy and an honor to see so many lives transformed by the power of God.

We are a member church of the United Brethren in Christ, the first American-born denomination. Famous UBers such as Francis Scott Key and the Wright brothers are a part of our history. For more information, check us out on Facebook or our website.

September 15 has significance for our first two Overseas bishops. Duane Reahm (right), who served as bishop 1969-1981, was born on this date in 1917. His successor, Jerry Datema, passed away on this date in 1994.

Many UB churches have come and gone over the years. Interestingly, Reahm spent his life and career in United Brethren churches that, with one exception, remain today…though in different form.

Reahm grew up in the Halladay UB church, which later merged with what is today Sunfield UB church in Michigan. He entered Huntington College in 1935 to become a teacher, but committed his life to Christ as a student and began studying for the ministry.

He started out with three years in Kalamazoo–the only church which no longer remains. That was followed by three years in Fort Wayne, Ind., at Third Street UB church–what is today called Anchor. Then he became pastor of a three-church circuit in Willshire, Ohio–what is now Praise Point UB church. He then spent 13 years in Grand Rapids, Mich., at Banner Street church–today’s Banner of Christ Church.

In 1961, he began 20 years in the denominational office–eight years as director of missions, followed by 12 years as bishop, most of it supervising the Overseas District.

We already told much of Duane Reahm’s story on March 19, the date of his death. He chose to retire in 1981, and he and Leona had planned to do some traveling. But that never happened. Shortly after retiring, Reahm was diagnosed with ALS–Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Something similar happened to his successor.

In 1981, Jerry Datema (right) concluded 20 years of overseas missionary service–six terms in Sierra Leone, one term in Jamaica. He served the next 12 years as the Overseas Bishop, and chose to retire from that role in 1993. He and Eleanore had planned to move to Jamaica to work with the national church in leadership development. Their missionary barrels were already en route to Jamaica. Then illness crashed in.

He’d been experiencing problems for several months, including some weight loss and lack of appetite. A battery of tests in August 1993 proved inconclusive. Then, in September 1993, exploratory surgery revealed the presence of inoperable abdominal cancer. He began a two-month program of chemotherapy. But it was terminal. He would not make another trip to Jamaica. However, the Lord granted Jerry Datema another year of life, during which he spent much valuable time with Eleanore, their four children, and their eight grandchildren. He also devoted much time to writing a history of the United Brethren work in Jamaica. If he couldn’t be there, he would write about it.

The end came very peacefully and without pain on a Thursday afternoon. For several days, his physical condition had been deteriorating rapidly. However, he was able to remain in his upstairs bedroom in their house in Huntington, as he had wished.

Eleanore, along with sons Tom and Dave, were with him when he died. Kyle McQuillen, Director of Missions, spent time with his predecessor that morning. Dr. Richard and Miriam Prabhakar, good friends on furlough from India, visited during the day. So did June Brown, with whom he had served throughout his ministry in Sierra Leone.

Brent Birdsall knew Bishop Datema in several capacities—first as a fellow missionary, then as his bishop, and ultimately, as one of his parishioners at College Park UB church in Huntington, Ind. At the memorial service, he commented on the six months Jerry Datema spent traveling from village to village to preach in evangelistic meetings in Sierra Leone. He was accompanied by two blind African pastors—one playing the accordion, the other preaching.

“Jerry was involved in the ministry of telling people about Jesus Christ. I have talked to him over a number of years about a number of issues of ministry, but I think the ministry he probably enjoyed the most was those six months of evangelistic ministry in the villages of Sierra Leone. He did all kinds of other ministry. He had higher profile positions. But somehow, there was that tone of voice, or maybe there was that look in his eye, as he almost put himself back in the villages around Bumpe and Mattru and Gbangbaia. And somehow, in that elementary but essential work of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Jerry was at his best.”

Francis Scott Key

Francis Scott Key was a United Brethren member. He and a UB preacher named John Snook organized a Sunday school in Keysville, Md. Key donated songbooks and led the singing. They also went on evangelistic tours together, with Key handling the music. Key later became a prominent lawyer in Baltimore and Washington, D.C.

In 1814, during the War of 1812, Key, now 35 years old, boarded the HMS Tonnant to arrange a prisoner exchange; a friend, Dr. William Beanes, was being held aboard the ship. The exchange was successful. However, the British wouldn’t let the Americans leave until they had finished their attack on Fort McHenry in Baltimore, lest Key betray their plans and strength. Fair enough.

Thus, on September 13, 1814, Key had a front row seat to watch the extended bombardment of the American fort. The next day, Key wrote a poem which he titled “Defence of Fort M’Henry.” It was published within a few days in newspapers, and it became a big hit. Key later had the poem set to a popular British tune.

The war ended six months later, and Key returned to his career as a lawyer. A slave-owner until 1820, Key set all of his slaves free and labored fervently against slavery. However, he apparently didn’t remain United Brethren.

“The Star Spangled Banner” became the national anthem by a Congressional resolution in 1931.

Peter Glossbrenner, a second-generation immigrant from Germany, was an artilleryman helping to defend the city of Baltimore. Perhaps he was in Fort McHenry itself–we don’t know. We do know that, somewhere in the city, was Peter’s wife and two-year-old son, Jacob John. Peter died in 1819 after being kicked by a horse. But his son grew up to serve 40 years as a United Brethren bishop–longer than anybody before or since.


Defence of Fort M’Henry

O! say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watch’d, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there —
O! say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze o’er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines on the stream —
‘Tis the star-spangled banner, O! long may it wave
O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havock of war and the battle’s confusion
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash’d out their foul foot-steps’ pollution,
No refuge could save the hireling and slave,
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave;
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.

O! thus be it ever when freemen shall stand
Between their lov’d home, and the war’s desolation,
Blest with vict’ry and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserv’d us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto — “In God is our trust!”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.

George Henry Spayth

Henry Spayth was born on September 13, 1788, in Germany, not all that far from William Otterbein’s old stomping grounds. He was three years old when his parents emigrated to America, probably settling in Maryland. It is thought that he became a Christian through George Geeting, the most influential early UB after Otterbein and Martin Boehm. His name first appears on United Brethren rolls in 1812 as a minister in Maryland and Virginia. He probably knew all of those early leaders.

Spayth played a significant role in the crucial 1815 General Conference. With the founders gone, the ministers spent the first two days awash in discord and harsh words. Finally, Henry Spayth–27 years old, and wise beyond his years–stood and addressed the ministers. They halted everything and held what was described as “such a prayer meeting your humble servant never witnessed before nor since. Brethren with streaming eyes embraced and thanked God.” After that, things went fine. Like night and day.

It was written that from 1815-1845, Spayth did more than anybody else to shape how the United Brethren church operated–its polity. He had that kind of mind. He was well-read, with a broad knowledge (including medicine and history), and had a commanding presence from which he could deploy logic and eloquence to influence people. He had a way of diplomatically bringing diverging factions together.

It helped that Spayth was fluent in both German and English. The westward expansion, which Spayth joined, was almost entirely among English-speaking people. He no doubt attracted English-speaking ministers to the cause.

Spayth is remembered most for writing our first history book, a task given to him by the 1845 General Conference. The book was published in 1851, in English, under the title, “History of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ.”

In 1815, Spayth married and moved to western Pennsylvania, around Pittsburgh. In 1817, he helped organized the Muskingum Conference of eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania. He later moved on to Tiffin, Ohio, where he spent the remainder of his life.

The United Brethren church might have fractured at that discordant 1815 conference, if not for Henry Spayth’s intervention. Imagine what Spayth witnessed during the next 60 years–the denomination expanding from coast to coast, weathering several wars, establishing a foothold in Africa, and starting a publishing house, colleges, and a seminary. By the time Spayth died on September 2, 1873, the church had grown to over 125,000 members.

Spayth saw so much. And he lived to write about it.

Bishop Todd Fetters

On September 5, Rev. Jim Bolich (right) began serving as our denominational Director of Ministerial Licensing. He will continue pastoring the Prince Street church in Shippensburg, Pa., but will carve out 5-10 hours a week for this additional role. This person chairs the Pastoral Ministry Leadership Team, which oversees a range of responsibilities regarding the education, licensing, and stationing of United Brethren ministers.

When I was appointed Interim Bishop in 2015, one of my first staffing responsibilities was to secure a Director of Ministerial Licensing. Gary Gates had been serving in that role since 2010, while also pastoring the South Scipio UB church in Harlan, Ind. I asked Gary, who was then retiring as pastor, to continue as Director of Ministerial Licensing for another year. It turned into a second year.

On August 31, 2017, Gary Gates (right) completed his work with the United Brethren in Christ as Director of Ministerial Licensing. He did a fantastic job in that role. In addition to solidifying and simplifying our complex system for licensing, he introduced the UB Ministerial Association, the regional UB History Courses, the provisional license, and other new elements. More significantly, he helped us get a firm handle on where United Brethren men and women were in the licensing process, and shepherded them toward furthering their education and pursuing ordination.

Gary’s departure is bittersweet for me. He has been a kind, supportive mentor during these past two years. On the other hand, we will welcome a new team member whom Gary and I both believe will fulfill the role well. Jim Bolich has served at three United Brethren churches in Pennsylvania since 1995—seven years in two associate positions, and since 2002 as senior pastor of Prince Street UB church (Shippensburg, Pa.).

Thanks to Gary Gates, the licensing procedures are running efficiently and will only need tweaked from time to time. Now it’s time to focus attention on our stationing system. That’s the mission I’ve given Jim—to think through, refine, and update the process which the bishop, cluster leaders, and local church leaders use to station senior pastors. Jim has the organizational mind and the administrative skills to meet the challenge.

Join me in saying “Goodbye” to Gary (and Rebecca Gates), and saying “Hello” to Jim (and Janet) Bolich – two treasured ministry couples.

Dr. C. Stanley Peters

On September 9, 1959, the name “C. Stanley Peters” first appeared on the masthead as editor of the United Brethren magazine. And there it remained for 22 years, until December 1981, as he oversaw publication of 491 issues of the magazine.

Stan, as everyone knew him, grew up as a UB preacher’s kid. His father, J. Clair Peters, was managing a furniture plant in Hagerstown, Md., but resigned that position in 1926 to prepare for the ministry. He bundled up the family—wife and three children, Stan being the oldest—and moved to Indiana that year to attend Huntington College. Eighteen years later, Stan himself headed off to Huntington College, graduating in 1944 with majors in math and science. He then taught junior high and high school for two years.

In June 1945, Stan married Lola Lee Stites, whom he had met at college. Later that summer, Stan received his quarterly conference license to preach from the North Avenue UB church in Baltimore, Md. He received a Master of Divinity degree from Huntington College’s seminary in 1949, and was ordained in 1950 by Bishop A.M. Johnson. In 1974, Huntington College awarded him an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree.

In 1948, while still a seminary student, Stan began three years as pastor of Third Street UB church in Fort Wayne, Ind. (now it’s called Anchor Community Church). The congregation, which had been meeting in a basement, erected its present sanctuary during that time. Next, he served the St. Paul-Winchester circuit of Monroe, Ind., 1951-53, and then spent a year on the Berne circuit of Monroe and Geneva.

In 1954, Stan and Lola Lee began an exciting five years starting a new church in Kettering, Ohio. Stan visited hundreds of homes in the area, forming a prospect list of over 200 names on whom he concentrated. The congregation grew steadily. In 1959, a Christian education unit was completed under Stan’s leadership.

After 10 years in the pastorate, Stan Peters accepted the editorship of the United Brethren publishing house in 1959.

Over the years, Stan had accumulated a variety of experience in many aspects of the printing business. While in high school, he worked for a local newspaper, gaining experience in nearly every aspect of the operation. He ran his own small printshop during his senior year of high school, using a small letterpress in the upper story of a bank back of their property to crank out letterhead, envelopes, calling cards, and other printing jobs. As a college student, he worked in the college printshop and later in the denominational printshop. He even worked as a pressman in Berne, Ind., while in the pastorate. So he had been around the business.

As editor, Peters wrote, edited, and designed the various publications, including the United Brethren magazine and the Sunday school materials for adults and youth. He also worked on special publications, such as the UB Discipline and the UB hymnal. He traveled throughout the US and Ontario promoting the magazine and Sunday school literature, and helped oversee construction of the new UB headquarters building in 1976.

Stan served the church with dedication and humility. He passed away at age 91 on June 9, 2014.

There has been concern that Haiti, where we have many churches, would get brushed by some of Hurricane Irma. Jeff Bleijerveld, director of UB Global,  spoke today with Rev. Oliam Richard, our superintendent in Haiti. He said they were rejoicing that the hurricane passed to the north of the country and that there was very little damage.

L-r: John Christophel, Dick Thorp, Michael Richardson, David Kisamore, Dan Maas.

John Christophel has been named pastor of Mt. Olivet and (Mt. Solon, Va.), effective May 28, 2017. He most recently pastored Brooklyn Park UB church (Baltimore, Md.) 1998-2014. Before that, he served at Fifth Street UB church (Staunton, Va.).

Richard Thorp has been appointed pastor of New Beginnings UB church (Montpelier, Ohio), effective June 11, 2017. He pastored United Brethren churches 1980-2005 in Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. He retired in 2005, and has come out of retirement to meet this need in Montpelier.

Michael Richardson has been named pastor of Cream Ridge UB church (Lewiston, Idaho) effective June 8, 2017. He was granted a local church license by the congregation at the time of his assignment.

David Kisamore has been named pastor of Mill Chapel (Reedsville, W. Va.) effective June 20, 2017. He was granted a National Conference ministerial license on July 15, 2017.

Daan Maas has been appointed pastor of Findlay First UB church (Findlay, Ohio) effective July 10, 2017. He previously served at UB churches in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan until 2000. He was ordained in 1987.

Pastor Josh McKeown measuring some cuts.

Preparing to hang plywood.

The folks from our Faith UB church in Port Orange, just south of Daytona Beach, spent Thursday preparing for the arrival of Hurricane Irma this weekend. Josh McKeown, who has been on staff at the Daytona UB church, has just been appointed by Bishop Todd Fetters as senior pastor of Faith UB.