Jason Garwood (right), senior pastor, Colwood UB church (Caro, Mich.)

Typically, churches will boast in how many attendees come to their services. We oftentimes get caught up in the “hype” of an event instead of the Person behind it all.

So this year, I wanted to end our Easter services on a different note. Instead of worrying about how many people showed up, I ended with a benediction (Rom. 15:13) and commissioned those who came to remember that simply coming doesn’t achieve the mission of God–we must go as well. We must go and make disciples.

I asked, “What if instead of counting how many of you came, we counted how many of you were sent on mission to make disciples in your places of work, play, and school? The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is alive and well inside of you.”

Many had never heard nor seen such a thing, and I’m glad we were able to give them something to think about. Making disciples is our mission, even on Easter.

Members of the nominating committee (l-r): Kevin Cherry, Jody Harr, Craig Burkholder, Greg Helman, Randy Carpenter.

Members of the nominating committee (l-r): Kevin Cherry, Jody Harr, Craig Burkholder, Greg Helman, Randy Carpenter.

A nominating committee is at work developing two ballots for the upcoming US National Conference:

  1. Bishop. Every four years, we elect a bishop. This is the year for that.
  2. ELT members. Every two years, we elect 8 members of the Executive Leadership Team–a minister and a layperson from each of the four regions. (Here is the current ELT.)

The nominating committee consists of:

  • Kevin Cherry (chairman), senior pastor of Heart O the Lakes UB in Brooklyn, Mich.
  • Jody Harr, senior pastor of First UB church in Van Wert, Ohio.
  • Craig Burkholder, senior pastor of Hudson UB church in Hudson, Ind.
  • Greg Helman, senior pastor of Blue Rock UB church in Waynesboro, Pa.
  • Randy Carpenter, senior pastor of Sunfield UB church in Sunfield, Mich.

The nominating committee will present its report directly to the National Conference. When the report is finalized (probably not until May or June), it will be published on the US National Conference website under the “Business” tab.

Gary Brooks (right), a former UB pastor and missionary, is currently pastoring the Mantee RV Park Community Church in Ruskin, Fla. He sent this report about their Easter service:

“Shortly after dawn on Resurrection Sunday, we had a coffee and pastry fellowship. Sixty-six people were present for the worship service. During that service we celebrated the Lord’s Supper. The message was taken from Matthew 28:7 and Isaiah 62:6, and was titled, ‘No Time to Be Silent, No Time To Rest.’ In short, the message encouraged believers to ‘Go and tell’ the good news of Christ’s resurrection rather than remaining silent.

“Immediately after the service, we went to the community pool for a baptismal service. We chose the pool over the nearby lake because a seven foot alligator was basking on the shore of the lake just 50 or 60 yards from the pool.”

Pastor Les Smith conducting one of the 15 baptisms at Hillsdale UB on Easter Sunday.

Pastor Les Smith conducting one of the 15 baptisms at Hillsdale UB on Easter Sunday.

Lester Smith (right), senior pastor, Hillsdale UB church (Hillsdale, Mich.)

The HUB in Hillsdale, Mich., holds two services each Sunday in two different locations in the church building. The 9:30 service is held in the smaller sanctuary and the 11:00 service takes place in the Worship Center (gym). A SON-Rise breakfast was held in between Resurrection services at the HUB Activity Center building.

There were four baptisms in the first service and eleven more in the second. The first service attendance was close to 200 and the second service was completely filled with over 500 present. A grand total of 728 were ministered to by the Children’s Choir in the two services.

Two of the 15 baptized were women who were saved earlier this year at the HUB.

The Easter season–-Lent, Palm Sunday, Good Friday, Easter Sunday-–is always exciting for churches. There are special events, and often large attendances. Churches do some pretty creative things to capitalize on the Easter season.

Tell us what happened during the Easter season at your church. You can use this form. Then we can share it with other UBs right here on UBCentral.

If you have digital photos, send them along using the mechanism on the form, or email them directly to

For the second year, Heidlersburg UB church (Gettysburg, Pa.) held an Easter Community Outreach. Debbie Frost, from Heidlersburg UB, writes:

“We always have an amazing donation of hard boiled eggs that our children color the Sunday before the event. The children come on a Saturday morning at 10:30 a.m. and are divided into age groups in the sanctuary, where they will first hear the advertisement for Summer Vacation Bible School. The lady that heads this up, Sharon Megonnell, has a gift for rallying the church together to help. She gets so many volunteers: kitchen, crafts, animal lovers for the petting zoo.

“Each age group is led around by two or more leaders to each one of the stations–egg hunt, petting area (live goat, chicks, bunnies, etc.), pony rides, lunch, small crafts. The event is held inside the church and outside for the animals and egg hunt. My daughters run the horse camps at Rhodes Grove Summer Camp, so God has blessed us with some amazingly calm, obedient horses. Animals always draw interest. We are a farming community, so there are lots of animals to go around.”

Todd and Michelle Manke are part of ReNew Communities, a two-year-old United Brethren church in Berea, Ohio. Todd and Michelle lead one of the church’s missional communities. On Easter Sunday, they told their story through this video.

Huntington University will hold its 115th Commencement at 2:30 pm on Saturday, May 18, in the Merillat Complex fieldhouse. Degrees–bachelor’s, associate’s, and master’s–will be awarded to 323 graduates. The graduate hooding ceremony will take place at College Park Church in Huntington at 11 a.m.

The commencement speaker will be Mike Packnett, president and CEO of Parkview Health, the largest employer in northeast Indiana. HU works with Parkview through its nursing program and through Fort Wayne-based academic programs.

L-r: Mike Packnett, Emmett Lippe, Dale Haupert, and Ed Souers.

L-r: Mike Packnett, Emmett Lippe, Dale Haupert, and Ed Souers.

The university will also award four honorary doctorate degrees.

  • Doctor of Humane Letters: Commencement speaker Mike Packnett.
  • Doctor of Commercial Science: Dale Haupert, a 25-year member of the HU Board of Trustees. Haupert has worked in the life insurance business for 44 years.
  • Doctor of Humane Letters: Dr. Emmett Lippe, an 18-year board member. Lippe graduated from Huntington University in 1964, and went on to serve 29 years as a school district superintendent in Michigan. In 2005, he formed his own consulting company, Lippe Consulting, LLC, through which he mentors other school leaders. He holds earned doctorates from both Michigan State University and Ball State University.
  • Doctor of Commercial Science: Edward Souers, a 15-year board member and past president of the HU Board. He graduated from Huntington University in 1975 with a degree in accounting, management, and business education, and in 1977 received an associate of arts degree in accounting. He is a partner in Christen Souers LLC, a certified public accounting firm with locations in Fort Wayne and Marion, Ind.