From Global Ministries

“After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken” (Acts 4:31a).

There are two opportunities in the coming weeks to support our UB missionaries in their spiritual battles. We will be gathering and having Scripture guide us in praying for Thailand and Sierra Leone. If you can’t join us physically, we invite you to do so right where you are. But if you can, come be a part of a powerful time of gathering!

If you’re interested in prayer resources and/or hosting similar future prayer gatherings for UB missionaries, let us know by sending an email to

Thailand: 7-8 pm on Thursday, May 11. Location: Emmanuel Community Church in Fort Wayne, Ind. The event will be held in the Galatians Room. Address: 12222 Us Highway 24 W, Fort Wayne, Ind.

Sierra Leone: 6:30 – 7:30 pm on Wednesday, May 17.
Location: Corunna UB Church in Corunna, Ind. Address: 315 South Bridge Street, Corunna, Ind.

hanby-william300Bishop William Hanby passed away on May 7, 1880. It was written, “He was a master of the secret of growing old gracefully. No one ever heard him complain that the former times were better.” His last words: “I’m in the midst of glory.”

Hanby was elected bishop in 1845-1849. He had been editor of the denominational publication for eight years, and much preferred that role. As bishop, he was regularly gone several months at a time, riding alone and frequently afflicted with vertigo. He didn’t want the burden of constant traveling–not with a wife, nine children (eight of his own, one adopted), and feeble parents at home.

To his relief, the 1849 General Conference again elected him as editor of The Religious Telescope.

Hanby supplemented his meager church salary by running a saddlery business, a trade he learned as a teen. When the occasional plague was going around, he would use his own money to buy medicine and personally dispense it among poor people. He kept a poor widow’s woodpile stocked.

The April 8 post told about his work in sheltering fugitive slaves. Hanby was said to be “a firm believer in the equality of the sexes, and never more delighted than when his daughters showed themselves the intellectual equals of their brothers.”

It was written, “He possessed a very tender conscience, was slow to give offense, and when overtaken in a fault, could not rest until he had said, ‘Forgive me, I was wrong,’ even if the injured one was the smallest child.”

Hanby’s last years were difficult. Three of his four sons died, as did his wife of 49 years. He suffered serious illness, and reportedly lost all of his property. But he never gave in to bitterness, and was cared for by his remaining children.

Interestingly, the Hanby name died out. Two sons only had daughters. The only son who had a son was Benjamin, but that grandson married late in life and had no children.

musgrave-walter300Bishop Walter Musgrave passed away on May 6, 1950, in Huntington, Ind. He served 24 years as bishop, 1925-1949. Only three other bishops served longer than that. He was most know for his energetic, dynamic preaching.

Musgrave grew up on a farm near Stockport, Ohio, and at age 19 became a Christian in a Methodist church. He received a Methodist ministerial license, but three years later transferred to the United Brethren church. In 1903 he was assigned to a church near the West Virginia border. He promptly began starting a church in a nearby community–where, as it turned out, he met his future spouse. They were married February 6, 1904, and in November had their first child.

For nearly 20 years, Musgrave pastored various UB churches in southern Ohio, in what was then Scioto Conference. Then, in 1921, General Conference chose him to spearhead an ambitious renewal campaign called the Otterbein Forward Movement. He threw himself into it, but the campaign fell short of its goals. Regardless, the 1925 General Conference elected him as bishop.

Dr. M. I. Burkholder, who led the Huntington College seminary for 30 years, described Musgrave as “a dynamo in the pulpit.” Bishop Clarence Kopp, Jr., wrote, “He was probably one of the most animated and energetic of the old-fashion-style preachers. He would literally rush from one side of the pulpit to the other.”

He would pace back and forth, peering into the audience, talking rapidly while employing his signature gestures (like pointing his index finger while keeping one eye closed). His face would grow red, causing some people to fear he might be on the verge of having a stroke.

One time, Bishop A. M. Johnson, concerned for Musgrave’s health, suggested he scale back the energy and vigor he put into his preaching. Musgrave responded, “Well, I believe this!” He couldn’t do any less.

At Musgrave’s funeral, Dr. M. I. Burkholder quoted him as saying, “I don’t know what the Lord has for me on this earth, but whatever it is, He has all of me.”


Every year, children in Vacation Bible School support a mission project of some kind. For 2017, Global Ministries has selected Project Compassion, which ministers to children in India who live with HIV/AIDS.

Global Ministries is providing five short videos along with suggested foods, activities, and ideas for follow-up at home which can be used for VBS or summer Sunday school.

Through these short daily videos and activities, your kids will learn and experience a taste of what daily life is like for these UB children on the other side of the world—whether by learning how to say say hello, or trying out lentils and rice.

Our prayer is that our kids will deepen in their understanding of God’s global family as they have the opportunity to learn, pray, and give.

If you are interested in receiving these materials, let us know at by sending an email or by calling toll-free (888) 622-3019.

Bishop David Edwards (1849-1876)

David Edwards, Bishop 1849-1876

On May 5, 1816, David Edwards was born in Wales. He would become one of our longest-serving bishops–27 years, 1849-1876–and one of the most influential. During that time, he played a role in starting our first college, a seminary, our missionary society, and our denominational publication and publishing house. A fellow bishop remarked, “I have looked upon Bishop Edwards on every side. He is the best man this Church has ever yet had. It has never seen his like; it will be years before it finds his equal.”

Edwards’ family came to America when he was five years old, lived two years in Baltimore, and in 1823 moved into Ohio. He was converted at age 18 in a United Brethren meeting, and a year later, in 1835, he was licensed to preach. They didn’t dilly dally back then.

Edwards was assigned to the Brush Creek circuit, which included 28 appointments spread over five counties; he traveled 360 miles making one round. For the next several years, he was assigned to a different circuit each year. In 1839 he married Lucretia Hibbard, whose father was both a lawyer and a United Brethren minister; her brother was also a UB minister, and a sister married a UB minister.

Like many ministers back then, Edwards had very little formal education but was an avid self-learner, constantly reading on horseback and wherever he found to stop for the night. He began to be noticed as a young preacher of tremendous potential, described as studious, a powerful preacher, prudent, methodical, and fearless.

The 1845 General Conference elected him as editor of The Religious Telescope, the denominational publication. During the next four years, he put the Telescope on solid financial footing, and took it from semi-monthly to weekly. As editor, he strongly defended the church’s stands against slavery, alcohol, and Freemasonry.

Edwards was also a zealous advocate of entire sanctification; holiness of heart and life became a central theme throughout the rest of his ministry. Wrote biographer Henry Adams Thompson doubted that anyone else could explain entire sanctification “more clearly, more profoundly, and in a way less liable to objection.” He said many other “best minds in the church” embraced the doctrine.

Historian John Lawrence said Edwards tended to come across as “unnecessarily rigid” because of his stern adherence to his convictions, and that the “set of his teeth” seemed to say, “You can neither coax nor drive me from what I believe to be right.”

In 1849, at age 33, Edwards was elected bishop, and continued in that role until age 60. During his last term, he suffered much from illness–cancer, probably, which advanced quickly and painfully. He died June 6, 1876, with one year left in his seventh term.

Thompson wrote, “However much good men may have differed with him in their views, none doubted the purity of his motives or the uprightness of his character. As a preacher he had few, if any, superiors in the church….He knew how to live and walk by faith….He would not only urge the ministry to try to do more and better work for the Master, but he led them by precept and example in the doing of it.”

Old Otterbein Church in Baltimore, Md.

Old Otterbein Church in Baltimore, Md.


On May 4, 1774, William Otterbein became pastor of the Howard’s Hill church in Baltimore, Md. He remained there for 39 years, until his death in 1813. All that time, he also provided leadership to the United Brethren movement he and Martin Boehm had launched in 1767.

Otterbein was coming into a messy situation, and he knew it. The German Reformed church in Baltimore had gone through a nasty split, with various accusations flying around. The church’s more evangelical element split off, bought property, and built their own church, which became known as Howard’s Hill.

In 1773, Otterbein was asked, at least twice, to come pastor the church. The first time, he said no. The second time, he said he would go IF the German Reformed synod approved; they didn’t.

Francis Asbury, a young Methodist leader who had been in America for three years, was asked to write a letter to Otterbein, asking him to come pastor Howard’s Hill. Asbury hadn’t yet met Otterbein, but had heard a lot about him. How much the letter helped, we don’t know. But three months later, Otterbein became the pastor (despite the synod’s continuing disapproval). And he and Asbury became close friends.

Howard’s Hill was essentially a independent church which maintained nominal ties to the German Reformed denomination (which had little or no authority). Otterbein himself kept his German Reformed credentials, but was not considered a minister in good standing. He had other things on his agenda. Most ministers were assigned from the United Brethren ranks.

In 1949, the church united with the Pennsylvania Conference of the Evangelical United Brethren Church. That denomination, in 1968, merged into today’s United Methodist Church.

Today, that church is called Old Otterbein Church. Their website says, “Old Otterbein Church is the mother church of the United Brethren in Christ and the oldest church edifice in continuous use in the city of Baltimore.” Otterbein is buried in the church yard.

The biking team at the sign outside the UB National Office.

The biking team at the sign outside the UB National Office.

Bishop Todd Fetters (left), making some remarks to the biking team, with Dr. Anthony Blair.

Bishop Todd Fetters (left), making some remarks to the biking team, with Dr. Anthony Blair.

Amos and Annalee Rawley (left), Anthony Blair and Bishop Todd Fetters (right), and the bike team in between.

Amos and Annalee Rawley (left), Anthony Blair and Bishop Todd Fetters (right), and the bike team in between.

Dr. Anthony Blair (right) with members of the biking team.

Dr. Anthony Blair (right) with members of the biking team.

On Saturday morning, April 29, a small group of people met in the parking lot of the United Brethren National Office in Huntington, Ind. They came to send off three men who were beginning the 640-mile bike ride to Myerstown, Pa.

The ride celebrated the relationship of Evangelical Seminary in Myerstown with the United Brethren Church. Evangelical Seminary is a preferred partner when it comes to graduate education; a number of United Brethren ministers over the years have graduated from Evangelical, and three United Brethren ministers (all Huntington University grads) have served as president of Evangelical.

Dr. Anthony Blair, an ordained UB minister, is the current president. Blair came to Huntington for the send-off. Both he and Bishop Todd Fetters gave some remarks to the bicyclists, and then led a time of prayer for them. The bikers were:

  • Dr. Mark Draper, Executive Director of the Pense Learning Center and Assistant Professor of Historical Theology at Evangelical.
  • Kevin Henry, Vice President of Finance and Operations at Evangelical and National Director of the Evangelical Congregational Church.
  • Rev. Ralph Owens, a retired minister in the Evangelical Congregational Church.

Here are the remarks from Bishop Todd Fetters:

It’s my honor to be a part of this bike launch today. The United Brethren in Christ and Huntington University have a longstanding and significant bond with Evangelical Seminary.

Many of our pastors who received their undergraduate and graduate education from Huntington University went on to receive further graduate degrees from Evangelical Seminary in Bible, theology, or counseling (marriage and family studies).

Huntington University and the United Brethren in Christ have a strong leadership tie with Evangelical Seminary. We are proud that three of the last five Presidents at Evangelical received their education at Huntington University and were ordained United Brethren in Christ pastors – Dr. Ray Seilhamer, Dr. Kirby Keller, and now Dr. Tony Blair.

Tony and I think it is pretty significant that the current President and the current Bishop are graduates of both institutions. Our connection has helped to reenergize the relationship between Evangelical and the United Brethren in Christ.

I’m proud of the shared history that our denomination has with Evangelical Seminary and Huntington University. Since 1897, Huntington University has been our preferred partner for Christian liberal arts education. And, I am happy to call Evangelical a preferred partner for graduate training. Both the University and the Seminary have bold, creative leadership, and faculty that are scholarly and caring. It’s no wonder that students that emerge from both institutions have a passion for Jesus Christ, a love for His Church, and a commitment to share the Good News in their neighborhoods and among the nations.

May God continue to bless the purposes of these institutions as they help equip the Church to impact this world for Jesus Christ.

Also coming out in the early hours were Amos and Annalee Rawley, who serve the New Hope UB church in Huntington. Both are graduates of Evangelical Seminary.

Evangelical was using the event to raise $100,000 for our Annual Fund for Transformational Leadership.

On the set of "The Amazing Mortimer."

On the set of “The Amazing Mortimer.”

Huntington University’s Arizona Center for Digital Media Arts is pleased to announce that its first short film,

“The Amazing Mortimer” won the Best of Fest award at the Southern Arizona Independent Film Festival. This is the first short film produced by Huntington University’s Arizona Center for Digital Media Arts. The film also won the Best Story and Best Advanced Student Film categories. The awards ceremony was held April 21-22 in Willcox, Arizona.

“The Amazing Mortimer” is a 14-minute picture which tells the story of a once-successful ventriloquist who finds himself at a crossroads in his life. Because his act no longer brings in huge audiences, Mortimer is faced with a loss of his home and his livelihood. As he reminisces about the glory days of the past, he is befriended by Thomas, a troubled young boy who is also facing a frightening future. Their newfound friendship prompts an act of sacrifice and generosity that gives them both hope for the future.

The script was written by student Joe Stone of Glendale, Ariz. It was produced and directed by Phil Wilson, Arizona Digital Media Arts Program Director. Fifteen students from the Arizona Center for DMA played key roles including script supervisor, grip, assistant camera, boom operator, audio mixer, composer, set designer, assistant editor, and production assistant.

Huntington University’s Arizona campus opened in September 2016 with 18 students. The spring 2017 semester had 47 students enrolled. The Center offers bachelor’s degree programs in digital media arts, with majors in film production, broadcast media, and graphic design.

Erika and Milton Pacheco after arriving in Thailand.

Erika and Milton Pacheco after arriving in Thailand.

As of April 29, the Thailand team is complete. After more than 50 hours of travel from Honduras to Thailand, Erika and Milton Pacheco arrived in Chiang Rai to begin their first term of missionary service. There they were greeted by the rest of the team–Julie, Lai, Paula, and the Glunt family. Despite the lengthy trip, Milton and Erika don’t look too bad in this selfie which they took after successfully passing through immigration in Bangkok.

Mary Mullen (upper left) and the five missionaries murdered at Rotufunk (l-r): Isaac and Mary Cain, Ella Schenk, Dr. Mary Archer, and Dr. Henrietta Hatfield.

Mary Mullen (upper left) and the five missionaries murdered at Rotufunk. Top: Isaac and Mary Cain. Bottom (l-r): Dr. Henrietta Hatfield, Dr. Mary Archer, and Ella Schenk.

May 3–two days, 94 years apart, both set amidst national upheaval in Sierra Leone. A day of tragedy for missionaries, and a day of rescue.

On May 3, 1898, five missionaries with the “liberal” United Brethren church were massacred in Sierra Leone. Two more were soon murdered elsewhere. Just like that, seven of the eight missionaries supported by the Women’s Missionary Association were dead. Killed in the Hut Tax War, which was sparked by grievances against the British government.

Although our denominations had split nine years earlier, the ties ran deep, and our goal was the same–to evangelize the people of Sierra Leone.

None of our own missionaries perished. Mary Mullen, who had arrived six months before, served by herself at Momaligi. She found herself at the hands of five young men brandishing blood-stained clubs and swords, which they had used to massacre people in another village. As she sat in her house awaiting her fate, a boat carrying five well-armed policemen pulled up to the wharf. She ran to the boat, and they quickly pushed off. Before long, Mullen was on a ship to England.

UB missionaries Daniel and Elizabeth Wilberforce, along with their four children, fled into the bush as a war party approached Gbangbaia. They hid for several days as warriors passed closely by. The mission buildings at both Momaligi and Gbangbaia were destroyed.

The five Americans at Rotufunk fled into the bush, but were caught. As the rebels surrounded them, Rev. Isaac Cain, standing next to his wife, reportedly held a revolver in his hand. He threw it aside and stated, “I will not have any man’s blood on my hands.”