The United Brethren Historical Society sponsored a Celebration of the Wright Family Heritage on Friday, July 18, 2003, in the vicinity of Dayton, Ohio. UB people from at least five states began to gather at the Holiday Inn in Springfield, Ohio, on Thursday evening and joined together for an informal conversation about the Wright family.

On Friday, approximately 55 people went on a day-long historical tour of West Dayton, where the Milton Wright family lived; Woodland Cemetery, where members of the Wright family are buried; the Wright Brothers Memorial; and the area in and around Germantown, where the first United Brethren meeting house west of the Allegheny Mountains was built.

On Friday evening, the group shared a buffet meal at the Holiday Inn and then enjoyed Daryl Elliott’s talk on “Milton Wright, the Wright Brothers, and the Religious Foundations of American Aviation.” He described Milton Wright’s spiritual life and his commitment to all kinds of learning and to the advancement of science within the context of the Christian faith. He also examined the historical evidence for the Christian commitment of the Wright brothers.

At its annual business meeting, the Historical Society elected Howard Cherry as its president, Tom Brodbeck as Vice President, and Chaney Bergdall as Recording Secretary.

While they were in the area, several persons took advantage of the opportunity to visit the Air Force Museum and enjoy the Air Show at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Brian Magnus sent this update on his father, Martin Magnus, who underwent major surgery in May to remove a brain tumor. On June 25, they learned that test results on the tumor show that it was benign. “His head is healing up nicely and he doesn’t need to return to see the doctor for a full year. On the cautious side, the doctor said that the base of the tumor was pretty big, so there’s a chance it could grow back. They also need to keep a close watch on his blood clot medication. He has his blood tested every three days to check that medication level.”

On May 24, Mt. Olivet UB (Mt. Solon, Va.) sponsored a work team to Honduras consisting of one UB and three Russian Baptists. Kevin Lam, the UB, was joined by Konstantin Sarandi, Pavel Sarandi, and Denis Verkhovtsev. Kevin writes:

“We built a house for the Timoteo Gomez family at the Monte Hebron project in El Pino. Timoteo was a valuable help to us along with 7 other local people, most of whom are now living in the Colonia Monte Hebron. We also had the great honor of attending Sunday morning worship service with the brand new congregation of about 80 now meeting at the site of the new houses. Timoteo Gomez and two others led us in singing and worship.

Our team was asked to participate (the melting together of three cultures.) So we shared some scripture and words of encouragement in Spanish, a hymn in English, and Pavel sang a solo in Russian. Then Pastor Ovidio Sanchez preached. This group meets four times a week in the street–Sunday mornings in the hot sun and three nights under a streetlight. When it rains there is no service. They are praying for shelter to come soon, but braving the elements hasn’t dimmed their joy.

Marshalee Brown, a UB from Jamaica, went to Ethiopia in January as a missionary with SIM International. Recently, the government didn’t renew her visa, so she had to leave the country. On June 25 she wrote:

“I have been in England for two and a half weeks…still wondering what I’m doing here. I have been able to visit with family and friends and God has been providing for and taking care of me in every way, but I have not been able to do what so many have suggested, that is, to relax and enjoy it all. I accept the fact that God allowed me to come to England right now, but….

“The latest from Ethiopia is that my work permit situation with the Ministry of Justice should be sorted out soon and I should be back in Ethiopia sometime next month.

“I am able to stay with family and friends while here. I am now visiting with the Indian family I stayed with in Bangalore (India) last year. They have now moved to Cambridge. The program I worked with in Bangalore with girls from slum areas is still going on and two of the girls got baptized.”

Retired minister Martin Magnus underwent major surgery in May to remove a brain tumor. He was doing well, but had a set-back over the weekend. Martin’s son, Brian, sent this note Monday morning:

“He had been steadily improving after the removal of his brain tumor one month ago, and had even travelled to Port Elgin, Ontario, for our United Brethren National Conference this weekend. But before he and Mom could return home to Kitchener, he began experiencing chest pains, shortness of breath, and heartbeat irregularity. He was rushed by ambulance to the Owen Sound hospital and from there to St. Mary’s hospital in Kitchener, Ontario.

“They discovered that he has blood clots in both lungs and one leg and immediately put him on blood thinners. Unless things change he’s predicted to be in St. Mary’s hospital (7th floor) for about 10 days.”

The UB Church in Canada helds its annual national conference the weekend of June 8 in Port Elgin. One highlight was the ordination of Bob Cotie, pastor of Shiloh UB and Livng Hope Christian Centre. The picture above shows Bob and Debbie Cotie kneeling during the ordination, as three conference ministers pray over them (l-r): John Duyck, John Pierce, and Brian Magnus, bishop of the UB Church in Canada.

David and Melissa Kline, headed for Macau next spring, attended the Canadian National Conference. Canada has agreed to pick up 50% of their support. Here they are being prayed over by Canadian brethren.

  • Donald Barrett resigned as senior pastor of Bethel UB (Elmore, Ohio), effective May 25.
  • Josh Kesler will be assigned as the senior pastor at Bethel beginning sometime in September.
  • James Pryor is the new senior pastor of Mt. Olivet UB (Franklin Co.) in Chambersburg, Pa., effective July 1. He was previously associate pastor of Dillman UB (Warren, Ind.).
  • We received word that Robert W. Mueller, a retired pastor from Central Conference, passed away recently. His last address was in Indianapolis, Ind.
  • Jim Pryer has been named senior pastor of Mt. Olivet Church (Chambersburg, Pa.) in Mid-Atlantic Conference effective July 1, 2003.
  • Ben Geiser, as of May 1, is Associate Pastor of Christ Fellowship UB in Westerville, Ohio. this is a part-time position. Ben holds a local conference license.
  • Also as of May 1, Carolyn Monsul is Children’s Ministries Director (part-time) at Christ Fellowship UB (Westerville, Ohio).
  • Kevin Gift was named Supply Pastor of Mount Olivet UB (Mt. Solon, Va.), effective May 14. He was previously the associate pastor at Mt. Olivet.
  • Peter Martindale was named senior pastor of Mount Hermon UB (Pomeroy, Ohio), effective May 4.
  • Josh Good accepted a position as Pastor of Discipleship and Youth at Banner of Christ UB (Grand Rapids, Mich.), starting June 15.

Mt. Pleasant people standing on the outline of the new educational facility.

Mt. Pleasant UB held a groundbreaking ceremony on Sunday, May 4, for a new educational facility. It will add two stories of additional classroom space. Meanwhile, the current educational wing will be remodeled to provide larger classrooms and a new office complex.

Two Sunday school classes made substantial contributions to the Stewardship Campaign. The most senior class, the King’s Sons and Daughters, (who like to be called “Recycled Teenagers”), made over 26,000 chocolate-covered Easter eggs (peanut butter and coconut) between January and Easter. The profit exceeded $10,000, all of which went toward the building.

Meanwhile, the Berean class organized a church-wide benefit auction which raised over $20,000.

Brent and Loretta Liechty are the parents of twin baby girls. Lauralei Elizabeth and Susanna Elyse Liechty were born June 2. Brent writes, “Unfortunately, they had some lung problems from being early and were transported to Hershey Neo-natal unit. But everything is going well; they are breathing on their own, but still need oxygen.” Brent is Youth Director of Criders UB in Chambersburg, Pa.

Marshalee Brown, a UB from Jamaica, arrived in Ethiopia early in the year to begin serving with SIM International. One June 4, she wrote, “I was told today that I need to leave the country by Saturday. I cannot get a work permit at the moment and we are not sure when I will be able to get one. It might be next week, next month or it might take a couple of months. I do not know and the SIM personnel here do not know as well. This has never happened before.

“There is a project agreement for the Youth Center in Mekelle and the number of people has been approved, which includes me as the English teacher. There have been a lot of changes in the government and in the requirements for work permits over the past few months. I leave for London early Friday morning. Please pray that I will not have to stay in England for very long, that the problems with issuing work permits will be worked out soon.”