A United Brethren Ministry Resource Day will be eld May 11 at Rhodes Grove Camp in Chambersburg, Pa. It is designed for pastors and church leaders. Time: 9am – 3 pm.

Here is what will happen.
From 9am – noon, Bishop Phil Whipple and Todd Fetters, Director of National Ministries will offer:

  • Updates from the UB National Office.
  • Updates related to Huntington University.
  • Opportunities to learn about and discuss proposals for revising the UB Discipline which will be voted on at this summer’s US National Conference.

Lunch will be served from noon to 1pm.

From 1-3pm, the focus will be on new Pennsylvania laws that take effect on July 1, 2015, regarding child protection, background checks, and mandated reporting. The resource person will be Jim Bower, Jr., of James O. Bower Insurance Agency representing Brotherhood Mutual. He will help churches understand the new requirements in the Child Protection Service Law.

Please RSVP to Carrie 717-375-4162.

The United Brethren History Course is a requirement for ministerial licensing in the United Brethren denomination. However, people who just want to learn more about United Brethren history are free to take the course. The course is held periodically in regional settings.

Two dates and locations are available in May 2015.

Akron, Ohio (Two Days)

Date: May 4-5, 2015 (Monday and Tuesday)
Time: 9 am – 4 pm each day
Location: Holiday In Express & Suites Airport, Akron, Ohio
Address: 898 Arlington Ridge East, Akron, OH 44512
Instructor: Daryl Elliott, senior pastor of Fountain UB church (Keyser, W. Va.).

Fort Wayne, Ind. (One Day)

Date: May 20, 2015 (Wednesday)
Time: 8 am – 5 pm
Location: Emmanuel Community Church, Fort Wayne, Ind.
Address: 12222 W Jefferson Blvd, Fort Wayne, IN 46814
Instructor: Bob Bruce, associate pastor of Emmanuel Community Church.


  • $200, if you are seeking a ministerial license. There is a $50 discount if you pay fully in advance of the class, making your cost just $150.
  • $100 for everyone else.

Register on the UB Website.

Trials and Triumphs Book

In addition to the registration fee, you will need a copy of “Trials and Triumphs,” a history of the United Brethren church. ($14.95 for the book, $5.75 shipping for US, $12.95 international). You can order a copy for $20.70 from the national office. Or, stop by the office and pick up a copy, to save shipping. You MUST have a copy of the book for the class. Order a copy from Church Services by calling toll-free: 888-622-3019, ext 301.

Scott Graham (right), senior pastor, Good Shepherd UB (Greenfield, Ohio)

The roof at Good Shepherd UB desperately needs to be replaced. Over 20 years of storms and deterioration have taken a toll, and shingles are peeling off. It won’t be long until it starts leaking.

Members of the church’s facilities team have received bids to replace the roof. The church needs $16,500 and it’s not in the bank. The church had discussed and prayed about the need, and $9700 has been received over the past year through small gifts.

Instead of going through a long capital campaign to raise the rest of the funds, the church decided to receive one special offering, trusting God to provide.

For about six weeks, we shared the Raise the Roof special offering. We asked the congregation to prayerfully consider a sacrificial gift over and above their tithes.

On Sunday, April 19, we received the offering. The one-time special offering was $6,815, which brought the roof total to $16,515—nearly exactly what was needed!

Ray Hilbert

Ray Hilbert

Ray Hilbert, CEO of Truth@Work, will be the keynote speaker at Huntington University’s 117th Commencement on Saturday, May 16. That day, the university will award master’s, bachelor’s and associate degrees to 285 graduates.

Huntington will honor graduates in the fieldhouse of the Merillat Complex at 2:30 p.m. The graduate hooding ceremony will take place at College Park Church at 10:15 a.m.

Ray Hilbert is the CEO and co-founder of Truth@Work, a not-for-profit organization headquartered in Indianapolis, Ind., which he co-founded in 1998. Through its monthly roundtable groups, Truth@Work equips Christian business owners and leaders in building their organizations on proven biblical principles, while integrating their faith into their daily operations.

Truth@Work is one of America’s fastest growing marketplace ministries, with nearly 700 participating members in 25 chapters across the country.

As CEO of Truth@Work, Hilbert has coached more than 500 business owners/executives in a wide variety of industries (both public and private companies). His faith-based approach covers such areas as hiring, firing, marketing, personal integrity, and organizational development.

His 20007 book “The Janitor – How an Unexpected Friendship Transformed a CEO and his company,” has been published in six languages, and is an international bestseller with more than 1 million copies sold worldwide. The book features the story of a young CEO mentored by a wise old janitor who teaches the struggling young business executive the true definition of success and business.

Previously, Hilbert was a regional director for Promise Keepers, where he facilitated large conferences and developed training programs for churches and other ministries. He has co-founded an inner-city church and food pantry and worked with some of America’s top corporations in sales and marketing.

Hilbert holds degrees from Anderson and Taylor universities. While in college, he played for the traveling Athletes-in-Action baseball team.

2015 US National ConferenceWe’re excited to have Dr. Wayne Schmidt as keynote speaker for this summer’s US National Conference. He will speak on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday nights, and will also lead a workshop on Friday morning.

The US National Conference will be held July 15-18 in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Dr. Wayne Schmidt comes to us with 35 years of ministry experience in local churches and in training pastors.

From 1979-1981, he served as assistant pastor of the newly-formed Kentwood Community Church under founding pastor Dick Wynn. Within two years, Dr. Schmidt became senior pastor.

Over the years, Kentwood developed into one of the flagship churches in the Wesleyan denomination while becoming increasingly multi-ethnic and planting 10 churches. In 2009, KCC averaged more than 2600 attendees each weekend.

In 2009, Dr. Schmidt accepted a position at Indiana Wesleyan University as head of the Wesley Seminary. That is where he continues serving. A coveted speaker, Dr. Schmidt has addressed churches and conferences around the globe and throughout the Wesleyan Church.

Dr. Schmidt earned the Bachelor of Arts in Pastoral Ministry from Indiana Wesleyan University in 1979, the Master of Arts in Church Education from Calvin Theological Seminary in 1989, and the Doctor of Ministry from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in 1994. He has taught as an adjunct professor at Indiana Wesleyan University and Bethany Bible College.

He is the author of several books, including Accountability: Becoming People of Integrity (Wesley Press, 1991), Soul Management (Zondervan, 1996), Power Plays (Wesleyan Publishing House, 2006) and Ministry Velocity (Wesleyan Publishing House, 2010).

Dr. Schmidt and his wife, Jan, have three adult children.

Justin Marva (right), conference administrator of Sierra Leone Conference, sent this note on April 10:

The Ebola situation is gradually coming to an end.

For the past few weeks there have been very few cases in the north and west of the country. The south and eastern region continue to have zero cases for the past two months.

There were smiling faces last week when we all saw students in uniform going to write their public exam after eight months with no school in the entire country. The Ministry of Education has just announced the reopening of schools and colleges on the 14th of April. Our kids are just too exited and looking forward to going back to school. To gGod be the glory.

However, we still continue to uphold the major rules for the final eradication of Ebola. In the midst of our setback, we are confident that we will get there soon.

Keep praying for the United Brethren Conference and the Church in Sierra Leone.

Matt and Jodi Coppess and children.

Matt and Jodi Coppess and children.

Steve Dennie, Communications Director

For the second year, Bishop Phil Whipple created an NCAA bracket on ESPN and invited UB ministers, missionaries, and national office staff to participate. A total of 73 persons filled out brackets. Of those, 44 picked Kentucky to win, 11 picked Wisconsin, and 7 picked Duke. Six persons got the Final Four right, but none of them picked a Wisconsin vs. Duke final, and none of them picked Duke to win it all.

Bishop emeritus Paul Hirschy was solidly in the lead going into the Final Four. However, both of his teams (Kentucky and Michigan State) lost on Saturday, so Paul dropped out of contention.

The winner was a new guy: Matt Coppess. In October 2014, Matt became Pastor of Family Ministries at Heart O the Lakes UB church in Brooklyn, Mich. He finished with 1400 points, 30 points above second-place finisher James Hippensteel, Pastor of Congregational Care at The Well in Huntington, Ind.

Congratulations, Matt! And welcome to the United Brethren family!

Matt is an interesting guy. He grew up in Lansing, Mich., and for a good part of his childhood attended the UB church in Sunfield, Mich. In Lansing, he was part of Youth for Christ groups directed by another UB, Trent Bushnell.

Matt always wanted to become an officer in the military, and to play football at one of the military academies. His good grades and gridiron skills provided two choices: West Point, or the Air Force Academy. He says he chose West Point because his hero, George Patton, wasn’t in the Air Force.

Matt played offensive tackle for three years at West Point. He spent one summer serving at Fort Benning, in Georgia, as a drill sergeant.

Then, in a wrestling class, Matt injured his shoulder. Badly. He returned to Lansing to spend a year on medical leave, trying to rehab the shoulder, and then went back to West Point. Matt knew his shoulder was still messed up, but he tried to fake it. However, doctors saw through it, and said his shoulder wasn’t good enough for military life.

So, back to Michigan. He finished his studies at Michigan State, and embarked on 20 years with Youth for Christ. He started with ten years in Lansing, where he developed student leader curriculum and supervised both paid staff and volunteers. In 1999, he married Jodi Traynor, a 1996 Huntington University graduate with a degree in youth ministry. She served on staff with Lansing YFC for ten years, 1995-2005.

In 2005, after the birth of their first child, Jake, the Coppess family moved to Saginaw, where Matt served as executive director for Great Lakes Bay YFC. Cristin and Zach joined the family in 2006 and 2009.

After nine years in Saginaw, Matt took a YFC position in Tuscaloosa, Ala. But Matt grew weary of fundraising. After a year, he learned about a staff position open at Heart O the Lakes. He was familiar with the pastor, Kevin Cherry, who had previously pastored the Sunfield church. He applied…and there they are.

Marshall Woods (right), senior pastor, Mill Chapel (Reedsville, W. Va.)

Easter Sunday was an exciting day at Mill Chapel. The attendance exceeded 400. The best news was that approximately 30 made first-time decisions for Christ. Sunrise service was at 6:30, followed by breakfast. Our regular worship services were held at 8:30 & 11am. It was a profitable day for the kingdom of God. Our sermons are now on a local television station.

God is doing great things.

The Lent and Easter season is always a great time of the year for United Brethren churches. A time of special emphases, meaningful services, and, often, record attendances.

Let us know what happened at your church during Lent and Holy Week. Write up a little description, and we’ll get it posted on UBCentral.org. Other United Brethren will enjoy hearing about it.

Nichie Parish signing the agreement. Pastor Randy Carpenter is on the left.

Nichie Parish signing the agreement. Pastor Randy Carpenter is on the left.

Sunfield United Brethren Church (Sunfield, Mich.) celebrated Palm Sunday with a signing ceremony with Global Ministries staff member Nichie Parish. The church has committed to praying for Nichie’s ministry in South Africa, and providing $10,000 per year toward her annual budget for the next three years. Nichie will serve in Johannesburg with an organization called Impact Africa.