Neal and Carol Brinneman

Richard Neal Brinneman, 83, a longtime United Brethren endorsed missionary, passed away Saturday, May 26, 2018, after several days in hospice care.

Neal, a 1957 Huntington University graduate, spent 1966-1969 as a teacher and principal at Bumpe High School in Sierra Leone. In 1970 he joined Wycliffe Bible Translators and went to Togo to begin translating the Bible into the Lama language spoken by 200,000 people in West Africa.

Meanwhile Carol, also an HU graduate, joined Wycliffe in 1970 and ended up spending seven years translating the Bible for the Godie people in Ivory Coast, a West African country to the west of Togo.

Neal and Carol were married in 1979 in Ivory Coast, and worked together in Togo. They helped complete the Lama New Testament in 1994, and then moved to North Carolina to work with JAARS, the aviation and technical support service of Wycliffe. Neal helped translators with computer and software needs, while Carol was a talented writer and editor.

Carol wrote, “Neal and I had an extraordinary chance to serve God together so that others might have God’s Word, God’s promises, in their own language. We worked together well as a team. We anticipated seeing the entire Bible completed by the Lama (Togo) team within three years. At 83 years old, Neal had still not retired from Wycliffe. He loved helping others complete Bible translations, and loved attending church and teaching Sunday school.”

These churches are currently in need of a senior pastor.

  • Corunna UB church (Corunna, Ind.).
  • Living Grace (Fort Wayne, Ind.).
  • Philomath UB church (Philomath, Oregon).
  • Mt. Morris UB church (Mt. Morris, Mich.).

These churches will have a senior pastor opening as of July 31, 2018:

  • First UB church (New Castle, Pa.).
  • Mt. Zion UB church (Wayne, Ohio).

If you are interested in any of these positions, please complete a Minister’s Profile form and submit it to:

Todd Fetters, bishop
United Brethren National Office
302 Lake Street
Huntington, IN 46750

Updated May 29, 2018

Mt. Zion United Brethren in Christ Church in Wayne, Ohio, is a congregation with a rich history positioned to step into a dynamic future. We are looking for a pastor who will help us experience the fruitfulness in ministry we are anticipating God bringing to our caring community with an emphasis on prayer.

Our next pastor will bring a giftedness in biblical preaching and a pastor’s heart. Strong administrative skills and the ability to enable people to relate their faith to everyday life are essential. Skill and experience with debt reduction and missional engagement will be a benefit.

Mt. Zion is a congregation of approximately 175 people. We are located in a rural community in which many individuals commute to Bowling Green, Ohio, for work. Though our congregation currently trends toward senior adults, our thoroughly modern facilities will enable us to connect well with the growing population moving from town into our community.

If this sounds like something for which God has been preparing you, please send a copy of your resume, a cover letter, and a current photo to bishop@ub.org.

Les and Linda Smith in front of the lighthouse replica.

Lester Smith is retiring on June 1 after 38 years of United Brethren ministry, and 20 years as pastor of Hillsdale UB church (Hillsdale, Mich.).

On April 30, a Sunday evening, the Hillsdale congregation celebrated Les and Linda Smith with a retirement “roast.”

Smith writes, “The lighthouse on the platform behind my wife and I is a smaller size replica of the one they are having installed in honor of my almost 20 years of service at the HUB. A 12-foot lighthouse will be the centerpiece of a new playground that will replace the existing one in front of our church. It symbolizes a combination of my twin passions of spreading the gospel light to our community, and my love for ministry to children. I’m truly a blessed man to have served such a wonderful congregation. Their gift is both creative and inspiring! “

Jim Bolich (right) has been appointed senior pastor of Mount Pleasant UB church (Chambersburg, Pa.) effective July 1, 2018. He had been senior pastor of Prince Street UB church (Shippensburg, Pa.) since 2002, and prior to that served in associate pastor roles at two other Pennsylvania UB churches–Franklin (New Castle) and Mongul (Shippensburg). He is also part-time Director of Ministerial Licensing for the US National Conference.

At Mount Pleasant, he will replace Dr. Ray Seilhamer, who is concluding a two year assignment as interim pastor. He and Ruth will be moving back to their home in Roanoke, Ind.

Brad and Janet North

Brad North was appointed senior pastor of South Scipio UB church (Harlan, Ind.) effective April 1, 2018. He had been in camp ministry since 1997, most recently as director of Camp Living Waters in Luther, Mich., since 2013. He replaces Ken Thompson, who had pastored South Scipio for two years.

L-r: Josh and Sara Good, Les and Linda Smith, David and Jennifer Dakin.

Josh Good has been appointed senior pastor of Hillsdale UB church (Hillsdale, Mich.) effective June 4, 2018. He has been in United Brethren ministry since 1998, serving in youth ministry until 2012, when he became senior pastor of Homefront UB church in Grandville, Mich.

Lester Smith is concluding 20 years as senior pastor at Hillsdale. Smith is retiring on June 1 after 38 years in United Brethren ministry. During that time, he served at four different UB churches in Michigan–Pennfield (Battle Creek) 1980-1982, Maple Hill (Grandville) 1982-1987, Richfield Road (Flint) 1987-1998, and Hillsdale since 1998. He has provided leadership in a number of roles within Michigan Conference and at the denominational level, including assistant chairperson of the Executive Leadership Team.

David Dakin has been appointed senior pastor of Homefront UB church (Grandville, Mich.) effective June 11, 2018. He had been associate pastor of Jerusalem Chapel UB church (Churchville, Va.).

College Park Church (Huntington, Ind.) is seeking a Youth/Next-Gen Pastor who will be responsible for overseeing our church’s ministry to middle school, high school, and young adults.

Youth Ministry
This fulltime pastoral position will give primary leadership of the ministry strategy to 6th to 12th grade students and their parents.

He/she will be responsible for designing, coordinating and overseeing a dynamic youth ministry focused on building devoted followers of Christ.

Because we believe that parents are meant to be the primary youth leaders in every student’s life, we desire to create a ministry strategy that works in cooperation with the parents of teens.

Next Generation Ministry
This person will also give leadership to theNext-Gen ministry. This includes creating a strategy that will provide community, discipleship, and care for college-age and young adults through a team of people willing to engage theNext-Gen relationally.

College Park Church
College Park Church located in Huntington, Ind., and is adjacent to Huntington University, a Christian liberal arts university of 1200 students.

College Park Church is a part of the United Brethren in Christ Church and has an average worship attendance of 475 people.

Click on this link to access the complete job description.

About 55 United Brethren pastors and spouses are attending the third Pastors Summit, which begins tonight (April 30) in Daytona Beach, Fla. This summit is for senior pastors and spouses from churches with an attendance less than 150. They are coming from seven states–Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, and Kansas.

Also attending are Bishop Todd and Lisa Fetters, and National Ministries director Mike and Pam Dittman. The summit will conclude at noon on Thursday.

The Pastors Summit for churches of 300+ attendance was held three weeks ago (April 9-12), and the summit for churches of 150-300 attendance was held two weeks ago (April 16-19). Last week, April 23-27, was the annual UB Youth Summit for youth leaders in UB churches.

That leaves only the Associate Staff Summit, for ministers serving in staff roles at UB churches. It will be held next week, May 7-11.

All of these events are being held in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Attendees of the April 16-19 summit in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Lisa Fetters (right) with Janet Bolich, from Prince Street UB church (Shippensburg, Pa.).

Bishop Todd Fetters (left) with Marc Stephenson, pastor of Mt. Olivet UB church (Chambersburg, Pa.).

Every other year–the year when we don’t have National Conference–we hold Pastors Summits for senior pastors and spouses. Three such summits are happening during April. All are being held in Daytona Beach, Fla., starting on a Monday and ending on Thursday.

The first summit was held April 9-12. It was for senior pastors and spouses from churches with an attendance above 300. Nine pastoral couples attended, along with Bishop Todd and Lisa Fetters, National Ministries director Mike Dittman, and UB Global associate director Frank Y.

The second summit is ending today. It is for senior pastors and spouses from churches with an attendance of 150-300. The attendees include nine pastoral couples, three senior pastors by themselves, plus Bishop Todd and Lisa Fetters and Mike Dittman.

The third Pastors Summit will be held April 30 – May 3. This one is for senior pastors and spouses from churches with an attendance below 150. This will be the largest group. There will be 22 pastoral couples, plus six senior pastors attending by themselves. Todd and Lisa Fetters and Mike and Pam Dittman will also attend.