Thanks to everyone who participated in this year’s “Kids Helping Kids” VBS project. We have received $10,850 so far. You are making a meaningful difference in the lives of kids in India, Haiti, and the Philippines who really need your assistance. In Haiti, 20 children from a new church plant have enrolled in school because of the VBS gifts. Additional funds will be going to Haiti, as well as to the Philippines to help pastoral families, and to India to help children with AIDS.

The Cumberland Times-News of West Virginia carried a September 15 article about Mark Elliott, son of Pastor Daryl and Ruth Elliott of Fountain UB Church in Keyser, W. Va. Mark excels in academics (now a semi-finalist in a national merit scholarship program, plus various other honors), sports (regional doubles tennis champ), and music (third-chair trumpet in the All-State band).


A major project will begin in January: working with the Jamaica Conference church camp at Malvern. One of their main buildings, a 100-year-old wooden structure (above)), has become unsafe. The goal is to replace this building with a cement structure in time for their summer children’s ministry.

Heart O’ the Lakes Church (Brooklyn, Mich.) and Mainstreet Church (Walbridge, Ohio) have been involved with the camp for years. They, again, are rising up to help their brothers and sisters in Christ, but will need help from other UB churches. This ambitious project will take about six weeks to complete.

If you or your church are interested in helping, please contact Donna Hollopeter at Global Ministries or Don Coward (Heart O’ the Lakes) at 517-529-4462.

Huntington University has a record enrollment of 1,084 for the fall semester of the 2006-2007 school year. That includes 251 first-time freshman, a 10 percent increase over last year and topping the previous high of 240. Students are coming from 30 states, and 36 students come from 16 countries beyond the United States.

“Several factors contributed to our record enrollment,” said Jeff Berggren, vice president of enrollment management and marketing. “Our new academic programs accounted for a significant part of the increase in our freshman class over last fall. Affordability was also a significant factor. Our tuition has risen only two percent since the fall of 2004.”

“When asked why they chose Huntington University, the most consistent theme with these students is our unique academic programs,” Berggren said. “For example, our major in digital media arts brought students from places like California, Texas and Maine. Film studies attracted a student from Alaska, and theatre design and technology brought a student from Montana.”

The University has set a goal of 2000 students by 2016.

Total Enrollment (Headcount)
2006 2005 2004 2003
Undergraduate 861 844 819 838
Graduate 87 70 60 53
EXCEL (Adult) 136 105 96 89
Total 1084 1019 975 980

oestreicherMark Oestreicher, President of Youth Specialties, is coming to Huntington University on September 25. UB pastors and youth workers are invited to a (free!) luncheon with Mr. Oestreicher from 11:30 – 1:30 pm. It will be held at the Habecker Dining Commons. There will be door prizes to win, and each person will receive a goodie bag.

Tom Blaylock, Director of Church Multiplication

How many of you remember high school chemistry class? Even though I have to go back 20-plus years, I vividly remember my experiences. Our teacher was your classic “nutty professor” type, brilliant but not fully plugged into reality. One day in class an experiment went awry resulting in a fireball about four feet in diameter that left a blackened scorch mark on the ceiling. Now that was cool!

In that class we learned about several laws of physics. One of those laws had to do with gravity, or more precisely, “gravitation.” The Encyclopedia Britannica says “gravity shapes the structure and evolution of stars, galaxies, and the entire universe….On Earth all bodies have a weight, or downward force of gravity, proportional to their mass, which the Earth’s mass exerts on them.”

Dennis and Debbie Osberg, former UB endorsed missionaries, are back in Honduras serving at Academia los Pinares (Academy of the Pines) outside of Tegucigalpa. Dennis is the elementary school principal and Debbie is a substitute teacher. For the past six years Dennis and Debbie have worked at Westminster Academy, part of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Florida. The church has taken them on as one of their many missionaries.

Son Eric and his wife are in Denver, where is is looking for a teaching job. Graham is in his last semester at the University of Miami and plans to pursue medical school there. Amanda is a sophomore at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Ga.

Debbie writes, “Dennis and I have loved our jobs and ministry at Westminster Academy. Several months ago the superintendent from Academia Los Pinares, the school we were at for six years in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, contacted us to see if Dennis would be willing to return as Elementary Principal. After much prayer and thought, we realized our goal for returning to the states six years ago–establishing our kids in high school and college–had been accomplished, so we were available to return to the mission field. We quit our jobs, sold our house, and bought a condo so Graham could live in it while in med school and we’d have a place to call home when we visit the States. Dennis and I have now begun a new chapter in our lives, serving on the mission field with our kids in the States.”

Debbie, the daughter and granddaughter of UB ministers, says that though they are no longer involved in a UB church or UB missions, “I’ll always be UB through and through.”

People expect certain basic amenities in a church. Indoor plumbing. A roof. Chairs to sit on. Telephone service. And now–a website. The younger generations, at least, expect a website. If you don’t have one, then to many people, you don’t exist. Like it or not. That’s just a new reality.

When young adults look for a church, the first place they go is Google, which is pretty much the new Yellow Pages. People will type in the name of a city and state, and perhaps a zip code–“church Huntington IN 46750”–and see what turns up. They can then anonymously research churches at their leisure, 24/7, and decide which one they’d like to visit. By the time they physically attend a church, they’ll feel like they’ve already “visited” five (or more) churches by checking out their websites and reading about them.

The Olivet UB congregation (New Lebanon, Ohio) and the Park Layne congregation of New Carlisle, Ohio, are holding a Gospel Sing to help raise funds for the rebuilding of the Park Layne church, which was destroyed by arson fire. The two churches are working togather under the leadership of Cluster Leader George Rhodifer.

Four gospel groups are donating there talent to help raise funds for this project. The groups are Air City Quartet, The Barns Family, Beracah & Valley (a bluegrass group), and The Williams Family (also bluegrass).

The sing will be held on the church site on Saturday, September 16. It will be held in a tent being used for revival September 13-15 (Wednesday through Friday).

Pastor Roland Albert is the pastor of the Park Layne Church.

Pastor Greg Helman (right) of Dillsburg UB church sends this update about his daughter Greta, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He writes:

“My daughter, Greta Helman, was operated on in May to remove a tumor the size of a fifty-cent piece. By God’s grace, it was found to be benign. Greta’s recovery time was very short and she has been leading our praise band in worship since early June. My family would like to thank everyone who prayed for Greta. God bless you all.”