Charles and Doris Malson

Charles and Doris Malson

An Ice Cream Social is being held to recognize the 70th wedding anniversary of Charles and Doris Malson. Charles, a retired United Brethren minister, served many years in Michigan as a pastor and fulltime superintendent.

The details:

Date: Saturday, November 19, 2011
Time: 3-6 pm
Location: East Washington UB church, M57 & Crapo Rd, Ashley, MI 48806

Congratulations can also be sent to Charles and Doris at their home address and by email:

Charles and Doris Malson
10928 Easy Street
Carson City, MI 48811

The Malsons pastored Brown Corners UB church (Clare, Mich.) 1952-1957, and then planted the Richfield Road UB church in Flint, Mich., which they served until 1981. In 1981, Rev. Malson was elected fulltime superintendent of Michigan Conference. He continued in that role until 1991, when he and Doris retired.

They are active in their local church, community, and as volunteers at the Carson City Hospital. They have 6 children, 19 grandchildren, and 24 great-grandchildren.

I received this update, dated November 11, from Lori Wenzel of IN Network. We are in the early stages of starting ministry in Turkey in partnership with IN Network. Earlier we invited individuals and churches to contribute toward earthquake relief, which we are coordinating with IN Network.–Jeff Bleijerveld

Early this morning I talked by phone with Behnan who had just returned from the area where the earthquake struck in October in Eastern Turkey.

A 5.7 earthquake took another 80 lives that are documented and others are being searched for in the new rubble. More houses were destroyed and a multi-level hotel collapsed.

The people are experiencing a great deal of fear and are quite exposed to the winter snow and temperature. Behnan told me that the Evangelical Church in Van has been serving over 300 meals a day, and teams from the church are going out into the tent cities offering blankets and warm clothes to the people who are camping there and have lost everything.

We are receiving funds from many of you and your churches, and those gifts are being coordinated by IN Turkey to be sure they get where they are needed most. These gifts are important as the Church reaches out to their neighbors who are Christians, as well as to Muslim brothers and sisters.

In his latest email, Behnan reported, “Tonight in Van another earthquake took place (5.7). There are newly collapsed buildings. We were able to reach the believers and found that they are okay, but this sparked a lot of fear again. Right now everyone in Van is in the streets, and it is freezing cold. People are really in a desperate state. Please pray for Van and may God show His warmth to the believers and people of Van.”

On Thursday, October 27, 2011, Hillsdale UB church (Hillsdale, Mich.) filled the local theatre to view the movie “Courageous.” Pastor Les Smith (right) had previously approached the theatre manager and purchased all 180 seats. On Sunday, October 23, he showed a couple of clips from the film during both worship services.

Afterwards, members of the congregation snatched up the discounted tickets. Many bought extra tickets to invite persons who don’t attend Hillsdale UB, so there were many guests at the film showing, too.

Thursday at 7 pm was chosen for the film event, because the church was kicking off a new men’s ministry with Assimilation Pastor Travis Ambrose at the exact same time one week later. Postcard invitations were passed out to all men at the theatre before the show.

Pathway UB church in Jackson, Mich., made the national news on Monday, November 7.

A pastor from another church, while driving by just before noon, spotted a six-foot alligator roaming the church property. He turned the car around, telling his two young daughters in the back seat, “I think I just saw an alligator.” The girls, ages 7 and 9, didn’t believe him. But he stopped the car, got out, and threw small stones at the alligator to make sure it was real.

He called 911. The dispatcher sounded skeptical about someone seeing an alligator, but the police were dispatched. They slipped a noose around the alligator’s head, and then duct-taped its jaws shut.

The alligator will be sent to a sanctuary. It probably wouldn’t have survived long in a Michigan winter. Considering its size and good health, zoo officials suggest that the reptile was just recently released into the wild.

You can watch a video of the alligator being caught on the WLNS-TV Facebook page. You can see Pathway Community Church in the background.

The report was picked up by a number of news outlets, including the Associated Press, MSNBC, and the Huffington Post.

Brooks Fetters, an ordained United Brethren minister, is the new mayor of Huntington, Ind. After a tough Republican primary race last May against six other persons, including the incumbent mayor, Brooks easily won the general election on Tuesday, November 8. He received 1816 votes, while the Democratic candidate received just 760 and an independent candidate added 132.

Fetters, 52, a city councilman, has been general manager and funeral director at Myers Funeral Homes in Huntington and Markle, Ind., since 1998. He holds two degrees from Huntington University: a degree in business administration (1981), and a Master’s in Christian Ministry (1987). He also holds a diploma in Funeral Service and Mortuary Science (1982). Brooks served as a UB pastor and church planter in Fort Wayne 1987-1998.

You can send congratulations via the Brooks Fetters for Mayor Facebook page or his personal Facebook page.

Brian Magnus and Jeff Bleijerveld (left) with Philippine superintendent Prudencio Lim (right) and two other persons from the Philippines.

From the Philippine national convention at the end of October 2011.

Brian Magnus (left) with David and Melissa Kline and children.

Jeff Bleijerveld, Director of Global Ministries

I recently completed a trip to Asia with Brian Magnus, bishop of the UB Church in Canada. Brian and I gathered with 47 key leaders and pastors in the Philippines, and later visited with Global Ministries staff in Macau and Hong Kong.

In the Philippines, we held a leadership conference, worked through a first draft of their national conference Discipline, introduced the historical foundations of the United Brethren Church, and gave an overview of United Brethren presence around the world today. A committee will continue working on their Discipline, which will result in national elections. Pray for them as they take the next steps needed to sustain their evangelistic and church planting efforts since 1983.

The United Brethren Church in Canada provides 50% of the support for David and Melissa Kline, UB staff in Macau, so it only seemed right to have the Canadian bishop visit with them and the rest of the Macau team while in the region. We saw a number of sites and had opportunities to visit with and encourage staff members. We also met with Ajiax Wo, superintendent of Hong Kong Conference, and saw some sites in Hong Kong before heading home.

The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette ran an article about Huntington University’s student loan reimbursement assistance program, which started three years ago. About 400 HU students are taking advantage of the plan. The program helps graduates who take jobs that pay less than $40,000 per year. The Journal Gazette article explains everything very well, and focuses on the experience of a 2011 graduate now working in youth ministry.

Bishop Phil Whipple (right) conducting the ordination ceremony with Todd and Dina Lilley.

L-r: Daniel Lam, Phil Whipple, Todd Lilley, Dennis Sites, and Kevin Dagget.

L-r: Daniel Lam, Phil Whipple, Todd Lilley, Dennis Sites, and Kevin Dagget.

Todd Lilley, senior pastor of Mount Olivet UB church (Mt. Solon, Va.), was ordained by Bishop Phil Whipple on Sunday, October 31. Assisting in the ordination were Dennis Sites (senior pastor of Jerusalem Chapel, Churchville, Va.), Daniel Lam (a lay minister from Mount Olivet), and Kevin Dagget (pastor of a local Brethren in Christ church).

Fonda Cassidy, a member of Mount Olivet, writes:

“This was a great and joyous occasion for our church family. We all enjoyed a meal afterward together.We had 114 people in attendance. What a privilege we have been given by God to give His love away in such a manner, and have people who commit themselves to the calling of God and Christ Jesus. We are so thankful for our pastors. We are thankful for those who invest their lives in others!”

Todd has been pastor of Mount Olivet since 2007. He graduated in 1996 from Eastern Mennonite University with a degree in Management and Organization, and received a Masters in Church Leadership from Liberty University in 2010. He and Dina, a registered nurse, were married in 1989 and have two children.

Sierra Rutile Chief Operating Officer, Andy Taylor (center) at the Moriba Town school.

Sierra Rutile Limited, a prominent mining company in Sierra Leone, donated 30 desks and bench sets to the United Brethren primary school in Moriba Town. Thanking Sierra Rutile for their donation was UBC Conference Education Secretary Albert Combey.

The school at Moriba Town is one of 44 primary schools sponsored by United Brethren churches in Sierra Leone. The conference also operates five secondary (high) schools.

Billy Simbo, former bishop of Sierra Leone Conference, now back in the States, sent this note on November 3 about his wife, Mamei:

“The diagnosis is that Mamei has poisoning in her blood which made her system shut down. She has pneumonia. All of this was confirmed from the fluid they drew out of her right lung yesterday. Also, they have her on dyalisis because her kidneys are not functioning so well today. At least now they know what the problem is and they are treating her accordingly. She will remain of the respirator for now and they will also keep her sedated. Thank you for praying with us and for us.”