Mark Beers has been named senior pastor of Decatur UB church (Decatur, Ind.). He had been pastor of Gaines UB in Caledonia, Mich. Mark is originally from Emmanuel UB in Fort Wayne, Ind. He will start at Decatur in mid-September.

Jim Sturgeon, the current pastor at Decatur, will officially retire on Sunday, August 31. Dr. Paul Fetters will serve as Minister of the Word for the Decatur church until Mark’s arrival.

David Meece will be in concert at Pleasant Valley United Brethren Church (Lake Odessa, Mich.) on Saturday evening September 20, starting at 6:30 pm. There are 200 reserved seats and 100 additional seats available on a first-come basis. Reserved seats can be requested by calling pastor Gary Taylor at 616-693-2366. A free will offering will be taken at the concert with proceeds going to the local pregnancy resource center. The church is located 10 miles west of Lake Odessa, Mich., on highway M-50.

The Eagle’s Wings church (Brice, Ohio) has disbanded. Central Conference is in the process of selling the property and dissolving the membership roll.

Kathy Bruce, chairperson of the Women's Ministry Leadership Team, addressing the conference.

The International Women’s Conference, July 25-27, brought about 140 United Brethren women to Huntington, Ind. They came from eight states: Indiana (40), Ohio (25), Michigan (29), Pennsylvania (16), plus others from Alabama, Illinois, Kansas, and Virginia. In addition, eight women came from Ontario.

The conference featured a variety of seminars and keynote addresses, complemented by drama by the group “All for One,” and music by the group “One Faith.”

Presenting the van keys to Francisco Raudales, superintendent of Honduras Conference.

A group from King Street UB in Chambersburg, Pa., delivered a new van to Honduras. Ray Ankerbrand reports:

“We arrived late on Tuesday, July 15, a little late since we were held up at the Mexican border. The paperwork was not complete for permanent use, but the van can be used while it is being completed. The bus remains at the Guatemalan border pending completion of the paperwork, but it is just across the border in Honduras. We had a very good trip. One tire blowout on the bus.”

On Sunday, August 3, New Hope UB (Huntington, Ind.) dedicated a new church sign. After the morning service, everyone gathered around the sign, and Rev. M. E. Burkett conducted the dedication ceremony, assisted by Rev. Kent Maxwell and Rev. Ron Evans. To end the ceremony, all believers received communion.

The Santa Clarita Hispanic congregation (Canyon Country, Calif.) has been one of the fast-growing churches in the denomination for the past several years, now running around 400 people (and they have also helped started several other churches). They have been meeting at a Lutheran church. However, they were recently notified that they will no longer have the use of the facilities, at least not to the extend that they need. They are simply growing too fast, using too much space…and they are not Lutherans.

Starting in August, they will be using the building only on Sundays, and one or two other times, for a total of only 29 hours per month. They will be paying 100 dollars per hour, or $2900. The church has already started saving money to buy property and build their own facility. Edwin Recinos is the pastor.

The Burbank Hispanic church, under the leadership of Pastor Luis Benitez, is also experiencing fast growth and has outgrown the UB church in Burbank. They need a larger facility.

The United Brethren Historical Society sponsored a Celebration of the Wright Family Heritage on Friday, July 18, 2003, in the vicinity of Dayton, Ohio. UB people from at least five states began to gather at the Holiday Inn in Springfield, Ohio, on Thursday evening and joined together for an informal conversation about the Wright family.

On Friday, approximately 55 people went on a day-long historical tour of West Dayton, where the Milton Wright family lived; Woodland Cemetery, where members of the Wright family are buried; the Wright Brothers Memorial; and the area in and around Germantown, where the first United Brethren meeting house west of the Allegheny Mountains was built.

On Friday evening, the group shared a buffet meal at the Holiday Inn and then enjoyed Daryl Elliott’s talk on “Milton Wright, the Wright Brothers, and the Religious Foundations of American Aviation.” He described Milton Wright’s spiritual life and his commitment to all kinds of learning and to the advancement of science within the context of the Christian faith. He also examined the historical evidence for the Christian commitment of the Wright brothers.

At its annual business meeting, the Historical Society elected Howard Cherry as its president, Tom Brodbeck as Vice President, and Chaney Bergdall as Recording Secretary.

While they were in the area, several persons took advantage of the opportunity to visit the Air Force Museum and enjoy the Air Show at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

On May 24, Mt. Olivet UB (Mt. Solon, Va.) sponsored a work team to Honduras consisting of one UB and three Russian Baptists. Kevin Lam, the UB, was joined by Konstantin Sarandi, Pavel Sarandi, and Denis Verkhovtsev. Kevin writes:

“We built a house for the Timoteo Gomez family at the Monte Hebron project in El Pino. Timoteo was a valuable help to us along with 7 other local people, most of whom are now living in the Colonia Monte Hebron. We also had the great honor of attending Sunday morning worship service with the brand new congregation of about 80 now meeting at the site of the new houses. Timoteo Gomez and two others led us in singing and worship.

Our team was asked to participate (the melting together of three cultures.) So we shared some scripture and words of encouragement in Spanish, a hymn in English, and Pavel sang a solo in Russian. Then Pastor Ovidio Sanchez preached. This group meets four times a week in the street–Sunday mornings in the hot sun and three nights under a streetlight. When it rains there is no service. They are praying for shelter to come soon, but braving the elements hasn’t dimmed their joy.

Mt. Pleasant people standing on the outline of the new educational facility.

Mt. Pleasant UB held a groundbreaking ceremony on Sunday, May 4, for a new educational facility. It will add two stories of additional classroom space. Meanwhile, the current educational wing will be remodeled to provide larger classrooms and a new office complex.

Two Sunday school classes made substantial contributions to the Stewardship Campaign. The most senior class, the King’s Sons and Daughters, (who like to be called “Recycled Teenagers”), made over 26,000 chocolate-covered Easter eggs (peanut butter and coconut) between January and Easter. The profit exceeded $10,000, all of which went toward the building.

Meanwhile, the Berean class organized a church-wide benefit auction which raised over $20,000.