At the end of August, Rev. M. E. Burkett will step down from the active pastorate after 66 years in the ministry. He and his wife, Frances, will move to Florida for about nine months. He has served as a missionary in Sierra Leone and at the Laurel Mission, and has pastored churches in Canada and across the United States. Most recently, he has been pastor of the New Hope UB church in Huntington, Ind.
First UB (Findlay, Ohio) has been involved with a new church plant in Findlay. First, they parented the Faith Community Church in a mother-daughter situation. Now they are fostering a new Korean congregation. Because of the University of Findlay, the city has a large Korean population.
Kangchoon Lee is a church planting pastor from Korea. He has planted two churches in Korea and is now planting a Korean congregation in the United States. He is partnering with First UB to start a new congregation called, in English, “The Forever Love Church.” Currently, the church is running around 12 individuals. Once school starts, the numbers will escalate.
The First United Brethren Church is supplying the building, along with partnering in ministry. Also, First UB will provide an “English as a Second Language” course for the Koreans. This is very similar to the course that our missionaries teach in Macau.
On June 27, Colwood UB (Caro, Mich.) dedicated a new 28,000 square-foot addition. Sandra Whipple writes, “We are blessed with a great group of dedicated laity that did almost all of the interior work on a wonderful building that includes a new sanctuary, children’s center, and an administrative wing. We also remodeled our old sanctuary into a youth center.”
During the week of July 12, Colwood did VBS using the Lava Lava Island curriculum. Sandra writes, “Our building was transformed into a jungle island. It was a wonderful week that was topped off on Wednesday and Thursday evenings, when 72 kids made first-time commitments to Jesus Christ. Over 400 kids and parents shared in a luau together on Friday night.”
West Windsor UB (Dimondale, Mich.) held a surprise 90th birthday party for Rholland “Archie” Carpenter on Sunday, July 18, during the Sunday school hour. He still attends every Sunday, and can quickly recall Bible verses for any subject they happen to be discussing. Among the 44 people attending were 16 Carpenters, mostly cousins, nieces, and nephews of Archie.
Archie and Cora Carpenter hosted the West Windsor church in their living room for many years before the current building was constructed. They are church patriarchs. Cora died a few years ago. Their daughter, Carol, who retired from school-teaching several years back, now takes care of Archie. He was the first Christian in his family, which included 11 brothers and three sisters.
First UB of Findlay, Ohio, held its 4th annual community block party on Saturday, July 17. This concluded a week-long VBS that saw 14 decisions for Christ. In preparation for this party, individuals within the congregation blitzed the neighborhood with fliers and personal invitations. On Saturday, the church prepared games, food, and entertainment that was all 100% free to everyone. Individuals from the community showed up, and the next Sunday, one individual even visited the church.
A growing number of UB churches run announcement loops prior to services–PowerPoint slides, shown via an electronic projector, which contain announcements and information about upcoming events, birthdays, etc. This is like the slides often shown in theaters before the movie. You have a captive audience, and people will watch whatever’s on the screen. It’s a good communication vehicle.
Global Ministries has produced slides for all of our missionaries, as well as for a number of our international leaders and countries. These can be added to your announcement loop to help people become more familiar with the things we are doing in missions, and particularly with our missionaries. The slides are available on the website, and can be downloaded directly to your computer. Or, Global Ministries will be happy to burn a CD containing all of the slides currently available and mail it to your church. You can find the slides here.
Angela Oesterle is returning to Jamaica Bible College in September, and plans to serve there for a year. She is from the Eden UB in Mason, Mich. Jamaica Bible College is a primary training institution for many of our Jamaican UB pastors, along with students from many other denominations. Rev. Owen Gordon, a pastor and leader in Jamaica Conference, also serves as president of the college. Angela previously served six months at JBC, and returns now to help organize their new library, reach out to women students, and assist with occasional teaching responsibilities. Angela is raising support for her year of service, and would appreciate any financial support from UB people and churches. You can contact Global Ministries about supporting her. Call toll-free: 1-888-622-3019.