Virginia (Royse) Blaine, 92, passed away at 3:17 p.m. on Wednesday, July 14, 2010. She was the wife and companion in ministry since 1944 (66 years) of Rev. Robert Blaine, a longtime pastor in the United Brethren church.

The Blaines and their two children and families all live in Greenfield, Ohio.

Virginia was a member of the United Brethren Church in Greenfield for over 70 years. She had been attending Anchor Baptist Church in Washington Court House.

Visitation: 5-8 p.m. Friday, July 16.
Visitation location: Anchor Baptist Church, 456 Jamison Road, Washington Court House, Ohio.
Funeral: 1 p.m. Saturday, July 17, at Anchor Baptist Church. Pastor Jeremy Griffith and Rev. William Blain will officiate.

George Rhodifer, 83, pastor of the Olivet UB church (New Lebanon, Ohio) and a cluster leader, passed away Tuesday night, July 13.

George began pastoring with the UB church in 1972, and served these churches in Ohio and Indiana: Wren/Greenbrier (Ohio), Innisdale (Ind.), Pleasant Hill (Ind.), Prescott Avenue (Ohio), Zanesville (Ind.), Mt. Victory (Ind.), Park Layne (Ohio), Hillsdale St. Mary’s (Ohio), and Olivet (Ohio). He also served in the US Army 1947-1950.

  • Viewing: Sunday, July 18, 5-8 p.m.
  • Viewing location: Newcomer Funeral Home, North Dayton Chapel, 4104 Needmore Road, Dayton, OH 45424.
  • Funeral: 12 noon Monday, July 19. Viewing one hour before the funeral. Roland Albert, pastor of Park Layne UB church, will officiate at the funeral.
  • Funeral location: Park Layne UB church, 1320 Styer Drive, New Carlisle, OH 45344.

Surviving are his wife, Beverly, whom he married in 1950; three children; 7 grandchildren; and 9 great-grandchildren.

Huntington University’s Institute for TESOL Studies (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), is conducting a three-week program in East Asia. This is the fourth year the University has been involved in this project. They are conducting both teacher training sessions for English teachers and English Camps for students. A broad network of friends has been developed through these efforts, and we would ask for your prayers.

Dave and Becky Spencer, Global Ministries staff serving in Brazil with Wycliffe Bible Translators, have returned to the States on furlough. They are now in Littleton, Colorado. They are staying in the home of a Wycliffe friend who travels a lot.

For transportation, they found a mini-van through RighteousRides, a ministry which provides reliable vehicles for a nominal fee to furloughing missionaries. The mini-van will be available until they return to Brazil in January 2011.

Though in the States, Dave is managing preparations for a conference in Brazil which will draw 120 indigenous representatives and 60 missionaries. The Scripture Use Forum will be held August 29-Sept. 3. Dave writes about some of the topics to be addressed in the forum:

“The traditions of language, culture, literacy, church denominations, syncretism, and many other issues create barriers that interfere with the clear understanding of the Scriptures. For example, how much of the Bible would you and I understand if we were instructed to read it only in Greek or Russian? What is the right translation of the Bible? What is the right church denomination? What language does God speak? We know of one church that prohibits the people from praying in the indigenous language, claiming that God does not understand that language! What are the biblical responses to these issues?”

Dave will travel back to Brazil August 21 – Sept. 8 to attend the forum and help in the administration.

Huntington University’s EXCEL Adult Degree Programs will offer three new online degree programs.

  • Associate of Science degree program in Organizational Management (August 2010).
  • Bachelor of Science degree program in Business Administration (August 2010).
  • Bachelor of Science degree program in Human Resource Management (spring 2011).

All three programs will be entirely online. EXCEL began offering an online bachelor’s degree program in not-for-profit leadership in the spring of 2009.

EXCEL offers online and evening classes tailored to the schedule of working adults. Onsite classes are held one night per week, one subject at a time in Huntington, Columbia City, and Wabash, Ind. Classes last 5-8 weeks.

EXCEL also has the Gateway Program onsite and online, giving adults the opportunity to take continuing education classes for personal enrichment.

Financial aid is available. Options include grants, scholarships, loans, and a Three-Pay Plan. Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA), WorkOne, and veteran’s benefits are accepted.

Annette Sites sent this update about her father-in-law, Bishop Emeritus Wilber Sites, Jr. (right). As reported earlier, he was admitted to Intensive Care in Chambersburg, Pa., on June 27.  Annette writes:

“Many thanks for all the prayers and well wishes sent on Wilber’s behalf over the past two weeks. We praise the Lord that he was able to come home this past Friday, July 9, after a nearly two-week stay at the hospital. Please continue to pray for his continued healing and increased strength in the days ahead.”

2010 graduates of Jamaica Bible College

2010 graduates of Jamaica Bible College

Owen Gordon (right), a UB minister in Jamaica and president of Jamaica Bible College, sent this note:

“It has been a couple weeks since I requested special prayers for our lovely island. Thank you for being faithful in upholding us in your prayers! God continues to come through for us. The Security forces continue the relentless effort of putting the criminals out of business. Christopher Coke has been captured, extradited, and is now facing trial in New York. The evil forces of destruction continue to retreat as the law enforcement agents continue in the effort to restore this country to peace and quietness.

“Amidst the external turmoil, Jamaica Bible College is experiencing one of its best years. On Sunday, July 4, we graduated 54 students from our various programs:

  • 7 from Bible.
  • 10 from Business.
  • 12 from Pre-College.
  • 25 from Early childhood.

“We had a great day with Dr. Las Newman, president of Caribbean Graduate School of Theology, giving the main address.

“It was an added delight to have Dr. Joyce Thornton along with six friends from Union Chapel (Fort Wayne, Ind.) and Dillman UB (Warren, Ind.) churches as special guests at the graduation.”

Jenaya Bonner has begun her service as a member of the Global Ministries staff in Macau. She left Fort Wayne, Ind., on the morning of July 6. She will teach English as well as build relationships with local youth and assist as a teacher trainer.

Jenaya grew up near Huntington, Ind., and attended Emmanuel Community Church in Fort Wayne. She graduated from Huntington University in 2009 with a degree in Educational Ministries with a cross-cultural focus.

Elizabeth Lydia Grace Hunt, 81, of Ithaca, Mich., passed away Wednesday, June 30. She was the widow of Rev. William Hunt, a former United Brethren minister.


Viewing: 6-8 p.m. Monday, July 5.
: Smith Family Funeral Homes Ithaca Chapel, Itacha, Mich.
: 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 6.
Location: Ithaca Church of God.

Elizabeth married William Hunt in Sunfield, Mich., on December 23, 1957. Bill passed away in 2008. Elizabeth retired from teaching in the Ithaca Public Schools in 1985 after 30 years. She was a singing evangelist for 5 years in the United Brethren Church in 1952.

Online condolences can be sent from the Smith Family Funeral Homes website.