Sam Quinn underwent brain surgery on October 6 in San Francisco to remove a small tumor which was feared to be cancerous. Sam is superintendent of United Believers in Christ, a group of former United Brethren churches in California that withdrew from the denomination in 2005.

Burney Fix, who works with Sam, sent this report:

Sam went into surgery Monday morning about 8:00 and came out in the early afternoon. His son Mark told me the doctor reported that all went very well and the tumor was removed. He also said that he doubted the tumor was cancerous, but it has been sent to the lab for testing.

I was over to see Sam on Monday evening in ICU. He was awake, feeding himself, and propped up in bed. He was slow to speak and had difficulty finding words and remembering names, which was expected in the recovery. On Tuesday evening, Sam was transferred out of ICU into a private room. He was doing much better, and was communicating more clearly.

I have not heard when Sam will be released to go home, but last week it was expected that he would be going home Thursday or Friday.

I believe that we are seeing answers to prayer and that if the doctor is right about no cancer, then it is a BIG answer to prayer! So keep praying for his recovery and we will keep you posted whenever possible.

Pat Jones, Director of Healthy Church Ministries
The South Mountain UB church in Dillsburg, Pa., has withdrawn from the United Brethren church. They do so with our blessing.

Some connections existed between people at South Mountain and at Celebration Church, a local Assemblies of God church plant. Celebration needed a place to meet, and there were conversations about sharing South Mountain’s building. After senior pastor Greg Helman left to become pastor of Blue Rock UB church (Waynesboro, Pa.) earlier this summer, some leaders at South Mountain began pursuing the idea of becoming part of Celebration. I did some checking. Celebration is a good church with a highly regarded pastor.

Bishop Ron Ramsey and I both met with people from South Mountain. We told them, “If you want to withdraw, here’s the proper way to do it.” They followed those steps, which culminated in a congregational meeting on Sunday night, September 28. I was present during that meeting.

Five options were presented:

  1. Remain United Brethren and let us find them another pastor.
  2. Remain United Brethren, but become part of a circuit with another UB church.
  3. Remain United Brethren, but sell the building and become a house church.
  4. Remain United Brethren, but hire a bi-vocational pastor.
  5. Join with Celebration.

Of the 52 votes cast, 43 were in favor of joining with Celebration.

South Mountain took all the proper steps. So as of September 28, we consider them to have properly withdrawn from the United Brethren denomination.

Here is an excerpt from Jennifer Blandin’s latest newsletter from Macau, where she serves.

“Since my return to Macau I have been preaching once or twice a month at Living Stone Church. I have been learning a lot! While there are a lot of things I enjoy about the preparation, I must admit there are few things that I really wish were not part of the prep time.

“One thing is the need to wait and process what I have been studying. Some weeks the waiting is a short period of time, other weeks I wonder if my ‘processor’ is in need of an upgrade so it will process faster. πŸ™‚ Nevertheless, by the end of the preparation I am grateful for what God has shown me through the time of waiting.

“The other thing that is difficult for me is how to narrow down the topic so that the message is clear and (hopefully) easier to communicate! I know there are a number of good reasons to prune the message, but there have been times when I have learned a lot of great things and just want to share it all. Yet, if I shared everything, the intended focus would be lost in the midst of other stuff. ‘Keep It Simple’ is a new motto of mine!”

Faith Community Church in Findlay, Ohio, has a new name: The ROCK (Reaching Others for Christ’s Kingdom).

The ROCK is a combination of two congregations: the former Faith Community UB church, and a church of the Evangelical Congregational denomination. They formally combined forces on October 3, and about 50 people joined the church.

The senior pastor is Brad Kittle, who was pastor of the EC church. The two congregations had been holding joint services for most of 2008.


The Pastoral Ministry Leadership Team. L-r: Craig Burkholder (mostly hidden), Lester Smith, Robert Bruce, Lee Rhodes (chair), Bishop Ron Ramsey, Charles Wheatley. Not pictured: Dennis Sites and Chris Little.

The Pastoral Ministry Leadership Team met today. They actually started last night. Some of the issue they discussed:

  • Licensing status of various ministers. How to nudge forward (or get tough with) ministers who seem to be stuck in the process.
  • Various changes to the Pastoral Ministry Handbook (coming soon to the UB website).
  • Sabbatical policies for UB ministers.
  • Dealing with ministers in crisis.

Dirk Small resigned as pastor of Idaville UB (Idaville, Pa.) to take a staff position at Otterbein Church in Waynesboro. Otterbein is a former UB church that withdrew from the denomination in 2005.

Dirk has been a cluster leader and a member of the Higher Education Leadership Team (and thus a member of the Huntington University Board of Trustees), two positions which will now need to be filled. We’re also, of course, looking for a new senior pastor at Idaville.

Canadaboy_100.jpgThe Roseville UB church (Roseville, Ontario) suffered a great tragedy on Saturday, October 4. David Perrin, a 14-year-old from Roseville, who also attended the United Brethren summer camp in Ontario, was killed in a farm accident.

David climbed a silo to check the silage. He was overcome by notrogen dioxide fumes, fell into the silo, and died.
Randy Magnus is pastor of the Roseville church.

During the month of October, Robert and Virginia Blaine will celebrate these dates:

  • Their 65th wedding anniversary on October 9.
  • Virginia turns 91 on October 9.
  • Robert turns 89 on October 20.

To celebrate these great milestones, Good Shepherd UB church in Greenfield, Ohio, will hold an open house:

Date: Saturday, October 11th
Time: 2-4 p.m.
Location: Good Shepherd Church, 12920 State Route 28 West, Greenfield, Ohio.

Robert and Virginia began pastoring churches the years they were married. Robert was pastor of Greenfield UB church for many years. Currently, his son, Jim, is the pastor.

Ron Ramsey, Bishop

I had a great day yesterday in Findlay, Ohio, at The ROCK, formerly known as Faith Community Church. Faith began in 1995 under the leadership of Dan Young, who now pastors Crestview UB church in Lafayette, Ind.

brad_jamie_kittle200.jpgA couple years ago, I appointed a young man as pastor of Faith Community Church. He had attended seminary with Brad Kittle (right, with wife Jamie), who was then pasturing a church in Findlay with the Evangelical Congregational denomination. They began talking about merging the two congregations. At the 2005 US National Conference, I met with Brad and a delegation from his church, and they attended part of the conference.

Early this year, they decided to begin holding services as one congregation. A few months later, they invited me and the Evangelical Congregational bishop to meet with them on a Sunday morning. Neither of us had any idea which way they would go, EC or UB. In this case, they voted to become United Brethren.

This past Sunday, October 5, was the grand finale. The EC congregation, plus a number of Faith people who had never joined the church, became members of the United Brethren church en masse. I was privileged to lead about 45 people in taking their UB membership vows.

They also baptized two women. One had been a Christian for a while, but had never been baptized. The other, however, was a brand new convert who was excited to be a Christian. We require people to be baptized before joining the church. These women joined the church the same day they were baptized, which was kind of neat.

I would guess they had 120 people there. They have a lot of kids for that size of church! They also ordained three men as a board of elders, and anointed them with oil. They held a hog roast after the service.

The church recently adopted the name The ROCK (Reaching Others for Christ’s Kingdom). Pastor Brad Kittle took the UB church history course this summer. He’s a fine young man doing a good job for us.

Sam Quinn, superintendent of the United Believers in Christ (the former United Brethren churches in California that withdrew in 2005), will undergo brain surgery on Monday, October 6.

An MRI showed a small tumor, and which contains an aggressive cancer. It is operable and accessible.

Burney Fix, a minister in California who works alongside Sam, says, “It appears that the tumor has caused some interference in Sam’s short-term memory functions. Otherwise, he feels perfectly healthy and physically normal. He is expected to be in the hospital 3-4 days.”

Please remember Sam in your prayers.