The 2004 VBS project was the Living Water Christian School in Big Laurel, Kentucky. We are pleased that $11,000 was received.

The disastrous hurricanes in September prompted us to create relief funds for Haiti, Jamaica, and Florida. Some people and churches contributed directly. Here is a summary of the money channeled through the United Brethren offices as of early October:

  • Haiti: $4,700.
  • Jamaica: $6,820.
  • Florida: $14,407.

Work crews will go to Jamaica in early 2005 and possibly to Haiti. Haiti, struck by two hurricanes, suffered grave damage. Several UB churches were destroyed, some UB people were killed, and other UBs lost their homes and possessions. Charley wiped out the entire village where one of our churches was located, and the whole population must relocate.

In Jamaica, several of our churches lost parts of their roofs, as did several parsonages. Seven buildings at Jamaica Bible College suffered roof damage.

  • Dan Young has been appointed senior pastor of Crestview UB church in Lafayette, Ind., effective October 7. He had been serving as a part-time interim pastor at Crestview since July 1. Dan will continue on a part-time basis while he finishes some schooling this semester, and will be full-time around the first of the year. He has previously pastored the UB church in Coleta, Ill., First UB in Findlay, Ohio, and Faith UB in Findlay (a church he planted).
  • Dick Case has been appointed senior pastor of Dillman UB church (Warren, Ind.) effective November 1. Dick has been serving as a part-time interim pastor at Dillman since September 1. He previously pastored the Crestview UB church in Lafayette, Ind.
  • Bryan and Gina Converse will be planting a church for Central Conference in the Daytona/Cincinnati area. They are currently in the very early stages of generating support, and welcome the chance to speak in UB churches.

October 24 was the inaugural service for the Cornerstone Community Church (Decatur, Ind.). The Missionary Church congregation in Decatur closed its ministry and has now joined with our United Brethren congregation. Even though the churches have been working cooperatively for several months, this service marked the official transition from two congregations into one new one. Mark Beers, an ordained UB minister, is the pastor of this church.

The Huntington College Board of Trustees voted October 14 to change the name of the institution to Huntington University.

The campus will continue to operate as Huntington College for the next several months, says President G. Blair Dowden. A task force will be appointed to manage the transition to the new name, which will probably occur in mid-2005.

“Huntington will continue to be an institution that stresses the Christian faith and the liberal arts as foundational for our educational program,‚Äù Dowden said. ‚ÄúOur name may change; our mission will not.”

The decision comes after a year-long study.

George Rhodifer has been assigned to the Olivet UB church in New Lebanon, Ohio, effective October 10. He was previously serving the Hillsdale UB church in St. Mary’s, Ohio. Hillsdale will be supplied on a week-to-week basis while a new pastor is sought.

On September 17, Rev. Winston Smith, Superintendent of Jamaica Conference, wrote, “I visited most of the worse hit areas (Clarendon, Manchester and St. Andrew) and here is an update of the damages done to our people and churches:

  • Pastors Donald Dacres and Trevor Williams have lost their roofs.
  • Approximately six members from New Green, Battersea, Halse Hall and Mount Prospect churches either lost their roofs or had their roofs partially damaged.
  • A member of the Mount Pleasant church lost his house because of land-slide.
  • New Green and New Bowens churches had their roofs partially damaged.
  • The New Gardens church lost its roof.

Scenes from Jamaica Bible College. The bottom picture shows Frances Gordon, wife of JBC President Owen Gordon.

Owen Gordon, a UB minister and president of Jamaica Bible College, sent this information on September 28:

“Our first week of classes went well without electricity and water. Thankfully, we got back electricity and water over the weekend. These, along with telephone. occasionally go off, but we are grateful. We are slowly rising again! Three friends are here from Canada to help us with general clean up. We hope to try to start putting back the library roof sometime next week.

“Special request: Prayer for our students who are exhibiting signs of the effect of post hurricane trauma. One young lady broke down in tears yesterday as her dream of coming to school has been shattered when the hurricane took away everything. Continue to keep us close in prayer and thanks for the many expressions of help.”

“This is my first attempt to send some information since Ivan’s passage. First, thank God for His protection! Thank you all for your loving concern and your earnest and effectual prayers. We are battered, bruised, but thankfully alive!

Bishop Emeritus Wilber and Mossie Sites are also at Jamaica Bible College, serving as volunteers this fall. Bishop Sites wrote the following on September 27:

“Things are slowly returning to normal. We now have all our utilities back, but every day we lose electricity from a few minutes to four to six hours. We had a three-man team come from Southridge Community Church last Tuesday and they have been using power saws to clean up trees, etc. Before they arrived some of the workmen worked several days doing the dame thing. Another team from the same church is to come on Saturday, if we have gotten the roofing materials. The supplier promised to have it to us on Friday. Other teams have volunteered to come later in October and will probably work on the interior of the damaged buildings.”

“Our first week of classes went well without electricity and water. Thankfully, we got back electricity and water over the weekend. These, along with telephone, occasionally go off, but we are grateful. We are slowly rising again! Three friends are here from Canada to help us with general clean up. We hope to try to start putting back the library roof sometime next week.

“Special request: Prayer for our students who are exhibiting signs of the effect of post hurricane trauma. One young lady broke down in tears yesterday as her dream of coming to school has been shattered when the hurricane took away everything. Continue to keep us close in prayer and thanks for the many expressions of help.”