Fowlerville UB church (Fowlerville, Mich.) was broken into Wednesday night, April 15. The pastors gathered t the church that morning to travel together to a cluster meeting, and noticed that a door was ajar. They found the locked doors of the various offices busted open, kicked in, and offices ransacked.

However, not much was taken. Laptops remained on desks. A couple LCD TVs and a video player, all purchased by the youth, were taken. So was some cash. Associate Pastor Jeff Reser says it looked like someone was mainly looking for cash, and also took anything else that sounded interesting.

“It’s more of a mess and a nuisance than anything,” he said.

Huntington University will hold its 111th commencement exercises at 3 p.m. on May 16 on the front campus, weather permitting. Degrees will be awarded to 230 graduates (associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees). Three honorary degrees will also be presented.


The commencement address will be given by Dr. John Bernbaum (right), founder and president of Russian-American Christian University in Moscow, Russia. RACU’s mission, as a private faith-based university, is to equip young Russians for leadership roles in their local communities, in the marketplace, in their churches and in their nation.

doughty_del.jpgBernbaum works out of the U.S. office of RACU in Wheaton, Md., and spends approximately one-third of the year in Moscow; the remaining time is spent traveling across the country sharing RACU’s mission, recruiting faculty and raising scholarship support for financially-needy Russian students.

Dr. Del Doughty (left), Huntington University professor of English, will deliver the baccalaureate sermon to graduates and their parents at 10:30 a.m. in the Zurcher Auditorium of the Merillat Centre for the Arts. For the past dozen years, he has taught HU courses in creative writing, world literature, and academic writing and research. 

Sarah Joy Bittick, daughter of Pastor Rod Bittick of Pixley UB church (Pixley, Calif.) will graduate from UCLA this spring and then spend seven weeks in Japan with the Navigators’ B.E.S.T. Club (Bible, English, Sports and Travel).

Mark Scroghan, Rugby UB (Hope, Ind.)
Easter service was amazing. We had Sunrise service at the church for the first time (as I understand) in years. Pastor Jesse Tays is still recovering from his back surgery, but felt well enough to conduct a wonderful service. I am currently studying under his leadership to become a pastor, although I need to obtain a local church minister’s license to get thing’s started in the process of being ordained. I am so excited for the church growth and being a big part of it.

Valerie Reynolds, senior pastor, Mount Hope UB (Carson City, Mich.)
We had a full house! It was a great day, with 166 people attending. We had two recommitments and a house full of kids for junior church.

Every once in a while I become a character. At Christmas, I became the woman who lived across the road from the stable. This Easter, I became a woman who followed around a new Roman guard who was involved in the crucification and beatings. All through the monologue I wondered why Jesus kept looking at me…realizing at the end that he was the Messiah and that he died for me. Actually it was much better than I just described.

In a nationwide contest for “The Ugliest Church Website,” our own Good Shepherd UB church in Huntington, Ind., won the grand prize. That prize happens to be a complete redesign by Collision Media, which is worth a lot of money.

Good Shepherd, by the way, is going through a major transition. In August they will move out of their current building (a former monastery) and begin meeting in temporary quarters. Their property will be put up for sale, and they will adopt a new name. Obviously a lot of change is in the works, but Pastor Josh Kesler and this congregation has a vision for a brighter future, and they’re going for it. A non-ugly website will help.

You can read about here.

Rick Pride, senior pastor, Eagle Quest UB (Columbia City, Ind.)
Wow, sweet things happen when God shows up! The band was in the groove, the house was full (extra chairs had to be brought in), the Spirit was moving, and the message was on target. Wow!

This year we themed our Easter service “A Second Chance,” using the movie “Walk the Line.” An eight-foot silhouette of Johnny Cash stood outside the church for the past six weeks. We distributed nearly 1000 invitations with a seed package attached to represent new birth and we packed the house.

People came to the altar to rededicate their lives, and we had one new conversion! Many lives were touched. What an awesome God! What an awesome day! Can’t wait till next Easter, so I guess we’ll just do it over every Sunday!

Roger Reeck, UB endorsed missionary with Wycliffe, recently travelled to the Zapotec town in southern Mexico where they worked many years ago translating the Bible. Roger still speaks the language, and it was a great homecoming for him. He went to do a Storying workshop, and reported:

I had a great time in the San Juan Mixtepec with Meinardo, our Mexican son and his family.

Telling Bible stories (instead of reading them) has turned out to be an exciting new way to share God’s Word. Over 20 Zapotec Indians attended the workshop. They came each day to learn the stories and how to present them.

On Good Friday, they all climbed into the back of a big old truck and travelled to a nearby Zapotec town, San Andres. There, each one told the story they had memorized (all 18 of them). The stories started with the creation of the world and went through the story of Jesus and the cross, and then to the beginning of the church.

The team did a great job of telling the big story. Our friend Sergio accepted the Lord and everyone wants to keep on learning and telling stories. We praise God for how well everything went!

Roger and Marilyn met up in Texas, where they spoent a few days with their daughters Teresa and Elisa. Amanda was in Lima, Peru, for a few weeks with a research team, and oldest daughter Chrysti and her family were back in Honduras.

Roger and Marilyn are now on their way to Michigan, and will spent the next two months visiting churches in Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Ontario, and Maryland until the beginning of June. Then Marilyn will return to Honduras and Roger will travel to Israel to take an advanced Hebrew course.

Roy Atherton, Imagine This LLC, Grand Ledge, Mich.
Our Sermon Series leading up to Easter was “Look Who is Coming.” We had well over 100 in our Easter morning full-legth feature and another 50-some for the evening.

We did a Passion offering where people gave something special back to the Lord, held open communion on Friday, and helped distribute Easter fun things to two trailer parks in Grand Ledge. Some of our people helped put together Easter baskets to hand out to the children who came to church and to the National Guard post through Operation Homefront.

We recently posted the nominees for Bishop and Executive Leadership Team, along with an explanation from the Nominating Committee That ballot is only tentative and not considered complete until the current Executive Leadership Team approves it. My bad. The ballot will be reviewed and approved by the ELT when it meets next Tuesday, and then we will publish the official one prior to National Conference.

I also want to comment on having just one nominee for Bishop. In case anyone questions whether that is procedurally allowable, the answer is “yes.”  There is no Constitutional or Discipline requirement to have more than one candidate for a position. That concept is found in our Standing Resolutions.  Current Resolution 23 states:

23. The Nominating Committee will nominate at least twice the number of persons required for all positions.

But Rule 24 states:

24. The Nominating Committee may move to suspend the preceding rule as it sees fit.

The Nominating Committee did due diligence in seeking qualified candidates for the position of Bishop, and after asking a number of individuals to consider the nomination, found one qualified candidate who was willing to serve. By consensus, they submitted one name and will take action at National Conference to move that Rule 23 be suspended for the ballot for Bishop.

I applaud their efforts. In their search, they had in mind a list of qualifications for the position. It was desired to see someone who has a proven track record of leadership.  Who knows what it was to lead a church to grow. Who is committed to Great Commission ministry. Who knows what it is to work with a team. Who has the gift of administration. Someone who has a heart for the church, and believes in the ministry of the local church.

It is imperative that we don’t compromise qualifications for the sake of a perceived procedural need. Our procedures allow for a single name to be placed in nomination.

My desire is that we all pray fervently for the work of our upcoming National Conference and for those who will lead us in the future. The task before them is great, but our God is greater.