Bishop Todd Fetters getting things started on Monday night.

Andy Sikora speaking on Tuesday morning.

Dan Kopp introducing the Barnabas Project.

The event was held in The Commons at Emmanuel Community Church.

Discussion time at one of the table. L-r: Mark Wilson, Andy Sikora, Todd Fetters, Marty Pennington.

Having prayer for Christopher Little, who will be starting a new church in Pennsylvania. L-r: Dan Kopp, Christopher Little, and Derek Thrush.

The annual Cluster Leader Winter Gathering was held on Monday and Tuesday, January 14-15. Twenty of the 24 cluster leaders attended, along with several spouses. The meeting was held at Emmanuel Community Church in Fort Wayne, Ind.

The event began Monday night with a catered meal. Dr. Sherilyn Emberton gave an update about the work of Huntington University, and Jeff Bleijerveld gave an update about UB Global and our international partners. Bishop Todd Fetters concluded the evening with a short message.

The attendees reconvened at 8:30 Tuesday morning. While the cluster leaders continued their meeting, Lisa Fetters led the spouses on a tour of the local Debrand’s chocolate factory.

Much of the morning involved presentations on two new initiatives.

Andy Sikora, pastor of ReNew Ministries in Berea, Ohio, spoke about the Fresh Start Initiative, which will recruit ministers and mobilize existing churches for church planting.

Dan Kopp, a UB minister in Columbus, Ohio, introduced the Barnabas Project, which will focus on coaching and encouraging members of our ministerial family. The Barnabas Project will recruit, train, and deploy persons interested in coaching.

The afternoon consisted entirely of Barnabas Project information and training by Dan Kopp. A number of other persons joined the group for the afternoon session.

George McCombs

George Alexander McCombs, Jr., 76, passed away on Wednesday, January 9, 2019. After many years as an accountant, he became a United Brethren minister at age 55 and served United Brethren churches in the area of Columbus, Ohio. He was ordained in 2005 after graduating with a Diploma of Pastoral Leadership from the Huntington University Graduate School.

Visitation: 4-7 pm Monday, January 14.
Funeral: 10:30 am Tuesday, January 15.
Location: Schoedinger Northeast Chapel, 1051 E. Johnstown Road, Gahanna, Ohio 43230.

Pleasant Heights UB Church (East Liverpool, Ohio) is looking for a fulltime Director of Youth Ministries.

Status: Full-time, salaried
Hours: 40 hours per week
Benefits: Health insurance, pension, continuing cducation funds

General Purpose of Position: To build young disciples for Christ by developing and implementing a comprehensive approach to youth ministry (in the areas of group building, worship, discipleship, mission, and outreach) while serving as a spiritual leader and role model.

Download the complete job description here.

Respond to:
East Liverpool UB Church
528 Grandview St
East Liverpool, Oh 43920
Phone: 330-386-4740
Pastor: Joe Cilone

Two mission teams are leaving the United States today–one to Africa, one to Asia.

South Africa
A team of 18 persons, about 13 of them women, will spend two weeks in South Africa. This is a Huntington University trip in cooperation with UB Global. They will work in Johannesburg with Impact Africa, the organization UB Global missionary Nichie Parish Stonall has served with since 2015. Two of the team leaders are Arthur Wilson, the HU Dean of Spiritual Life/Campus Pastor; Jessica Hatcher, a residence hall director and therapist for Counseling Services at HU; and Christia Whitacre, an HU grad and UB pastor’s wife from Anchor UB church in Fort Wayne, Ind.

Thailand
A team of 13 persons will spend two weeks in Thailand. This is a “vision” trip, designed to introduce people to our overseas work. Frank Y, associate director of UB Global, is leading 12 persons from various United Brethren churches. They will get to see, hear, and experience what God is doing among the ethnic Thais, one of the least-reached people groups of Southeast Asia.

UB Global is sending a couple of work teams to Sierra Leone to build a new roof for the maternity unit at Mattru Hospital. The teams will go for two weeks starting in mid-February through mid-March, and will work alongside Sierra Leoneans.

The main work will be welding. We have three welders along with others familiar with construction. We need five more people to complete the teams. Trip cost is approximately $3000.

If interested, please contact Michelle Harris, associate director of UB Global, at michelle@ub.org.

Shirley and Emmett Cox and family as missionaries in Sierra Leone.

Shirley Cox, 90, former missionary in Sierra Leone and UB pastor’s wife, passed away December 28, 2018, in Huntington, Ind.

Shirley Cox

Visitation will be held 3-7 pm on Thursday, January 3, 2019. Location: Bailey-Love Mortuary, 35 West Park Drive, Huntington, IN 46750. A memorial service will be held at a later date.

Shirley grew up in a United Brethren pastor’s home in Ontario, the daughter of Rev. Glenn and Lillian Betterly. At Huntington College, she met Emmett Cox, and they were married on August 14, 1948. They both graduated from HC in 1951, Shirley with a degree in Education. Emmett went on to graduate from the HC seminary.

Shirley and her family were missionaries in Sierra Leone over a 20-year period beginning in 1957. During those years Emmett served as a high school principal, business manager, general superintendent, primary school secretary, and field secretary. Shirley kept busy with her own various roles, including matron of the Minnie Mull girls’ home and teacher at Centennial Secondary School.

In 1969, General Conference elected Emmett as General Secretary of Missions. He filled that role for four years. Then he and Shirley pastored churches for the next 30 years:

  • 1976-1984: Victory UB church (Burbank, Calif.).
  • 1984-1985: First UB church (Lake Havasu City, Ariz.).
  • 1985-1992: Willshire UB church (Willshire, Ohio).
  • 1992-2003: Six Mile Church, a non-UB congregation in Bluffton, Ind.

In retirement, Shirley and Emmett served short-term as volunteers in Myanmar.

Shirley and Emmett enjoyed 66 years of marriage before his death in 2015. They had four children: son Douglas, daughters Diane and Darlene, and foster son Billy Simbo, from Sierra Leone.

Preferred memorials are to UB Global, the United Brethren in Christ mission organization. Send in care of Bailey-Love Mortuary, 35 West Park Drive, Huntington, Indiana, 46750.

Mark Vincenti (right) has published a book titled Pursuing the Third Option: Following Jesus in a Polarized World. Mark, an ordained United Brethren minister, has served since 2011 as youth pastor of College Park UB church (Huntington, Ind.). Before that, he served 11 years as youth pastor of King Street UB church (Chambersburg, Pa.).

The back cover explains:

Are you tired of the relentless rhetoric trying to convince you that one extreme and problem-laden approach to an issue is superior to all others? Do you long to follow Jesus authentically, but wonder if the choices typically presented to you are the only real options? You are not alone….Pursuing the Third Option invites us to consider the possibility that there is another way to approach issues, one which Jesus, himself, option exemplified. It requires a rejection of polarized thinking and the embrace of nuance and opens up new possibilities for following Jesus in this polarized world. More than ever, we need a fresh paradigm to help us engage in a world full of complex issues.

The chapters tackle a variety of subjects–nuance, politics, the church, leadership, the body, sex, disciplines, and more.

Pursuing the Third Option is available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle editions.

At the Harvest Celebration.

On November 29, the Haupert Institute for Agricultural Studies hosted its third annual Harvest Celebration in Huntington University’s Habecker Dining Commons. Mitch Frazier, CEO of Reynolds Farm Equipment, was the featured speaker. His presentation focused on historic waves of innovation in the agriculture industry.

Reynolds Farm Equipment began providing agricultural equipment in Fishers, Indiana, in 1955. Since then, the business has expanded to include locations throughout Indiana and in Kentucky and Ohio and has become a leading equipment dealer.

“This year, we topped attendance records and continue to attract more regional voices in the agribusiness community,” said Dr. Sherilyn Emberton, president of Huntington University. “We are honored to host Mitch as our guest speaker. He represents the integration of agriculture and technology in providing our farming industry with emerging tools for use in crop and animal production.”

In addition to Frazier’s keynote address, the Harvest Celebration included a complimentary dinner, a recognition of the Haupert Institute’s sponsors and remarks from current Huntington University agribusiness students and members of the Ag Advisory Council.

The Haupert Institute for Agricultural Studies opened in the fall of 2015 and promotes a Christian perspective on agriculture which recognizes the responsibility to be good stewards of God’s creation. The Institute is intended to help meet the growing need for agriculture professionals and offers eight concentrations in agribusiness as well as an agricultural education degree.


Sarah Jo Fairchild (right) has published a book The Story of the Spirit: Knowing Who He is Transforms Who You Become (Resource Publications, Eugene Oregon). Sarah is the wife of Teddy Fairchild, senior pastor of Banner of Christ UB church in Byron Center, Mich. The book is available on Amazon.

The book examines the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of various Old Testament persons. Through the eyes of leaders like Moses and Gideon and lesser-known heroes like Jephthah and Bezalel, we discover a Spirit who champions second chances, emboldens the insecure, restores lost peace and purpose. and transforms places of wounding into places of worship. Bishop Todd Fetters wrote the introduction.

The appendix includes resources for group discussions, and for sermon or teaching series. A digital media package, which includes imagery for teaching slides, is also available for purchase. However, Sarah is making it available free of charge to any UB pastor or teacher who purchases the book during its first six months of release.

Sarah completed her bachelor’s degree in biblical studies at Huntington University, where she met and married her Marine. She earned her master’s in ministry from Bethel College and draws on diverse leadership experiences in worship and women’s ministries, international missions, and more. Sarah believes adventurous Bible study is best shared with others, and thrives on seeing God’s truth transform people in ways they never imagined possible.