First UB of New Castle, Pa., erected a steeple atop the church in honor of Rev. David Bell, who pastored the church for 28 years. Bell died in September 2018 of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease).

The church held a dedication service for the steeple in April. Ann Bell, Dave’s widow, attended along with 33 other family members. Rev. Marc Stephenson, the current pastor, presented to her a collection of memories assembled by members of the congregation.

Read the article about the steeple in the New Castle News.

Grace UB Church in Sherkston, Ontario.

The sanctuary of Grace UB church.

Brian Magnus, bishop of the United Brethren Church in Canada, reports that the Grace UB church in Sherkston, Ontario, burned to the ground during the night.

He said the the pastor’s family, living in the parsonage next to the church, noticed smoke coming from the church building around 3:30 in the morning. They immediately called 911. Fire trucks came from Sherkston, Port Colborne, Fort Erie, and even Niagara Falls.

Bishop Magnus said, “The front half (sanctuary, lobby and basement) are down to the basement foundation walls. The back half is also burned, and smoke- and water-filled, and will need to be torn down to the concrete slab.”

The parsonage has some smoke damage. Fortunately, nobody was hurt in the fire.

Bishop Magnus writes, “Please be praying for this congregation. I guess the news spread and some of the church members and neighbors stood around watching the last couple of hours. They’re in shock and need God’s comfort.”

Grace UB has consistently been one of the largest contributors to United Brethren missions. Over the years, a number of UB missionaries have come from Grace, including Ruth Benner, Shirley Fretz, Kathy Jones, Audrey Federline, Olive Weaver, and Eula Eby, all of whom served in Sierra Leone.

L-r: Coach Kevin Marshall, Calvary member Jeff Frazier, Athletic Director Gabe Rodriguez, and Pastor Ted Doolittle.

Ted Doolittle, senior pastor, Calvary Community Church

One of the “Be the Church” projects of Calvary Community Church (Saginaw, Mich.) was collecting water for the Bridgeport Public Schools. While most students are doing virtual school online in our school district, we learned that there are a total of 445 in-person students in the school district.

Drinking fountains are closed due to Covid-19, so our Leadership Team challenged the church to bring in water bottles so that schools could make every Wednesday in October “Water Wednesday” courtesy of Calvary. We set a goal of 1,780 bottles, but we surpassed that goal in two weeks by receiving 2,148! The schools were delighted when we delivered them.

While we have not been doing indoor worship yet, the church is not closed! The motto is: “While we can’t GO to church, we will continue to BE the church!” In addition to the water project, the church has continued to distribute more than ninety boxes of food each month to needy families in our community through our bi-monthly Outreach Ministry. More projects are planned.

I joined with buglers across America at 3:00 PM to pay tribute to all who gave their lives for our freedom.

Posted by Mark Young on Monday, May 25, 2020

L-r: Mark and Kimberly Young; Kimberly; Airman Christopher Young.

At 3:00 pm on Memorial Day, thousands of musicians across the country stepped outside to play “Taps.” Most persons played the trumpet or bugle, but there were trombones, tubas, flutes, and other instruments. The “Taps Across America” idea originated with Steve Hartman, the “On the Road” correspondent at CBS News.

Among those musicians was one very talented United Brethren minister: Rev. Mark Young, Pastor of Worship and Music at Mount Pleasant UB church in Chambersburg, Pa. He has been on staff there since 2004, and helped lead music during the 2017 US National Conference in Lancaster, Pa.

Mark knows “Taps” well. For six years, 1989-1995, he played lead soprano bugle for “The Commandant’s Own,” the US Marine Drum & Bugle Corps in Washington D.C. For a year before that, he was a Presidential Honor Guard with the US Marine Corps.

Mark’s Dad, Rev. Paul Young, played and taught trumpet and baritone at the Navy School of Music before he became a Minister of Music.

“My Dad taught me to play the trumpet when I was four years old,” Mark says, “and I played it from middle school to college. He was my mentor all my life until he passed on to Heaven last year.”

Mark entered the US Marine Corps as an infantryman in May of 1988. Six months later, he became part of the Presidential Honor Guard, and served in that role until September 1989.

“In the Presidential Honor Guard, we stood in formations at the Pentagon for the President and visiting dignitaries. We did parades at the Iwo Jima monument on Tuesdays, and at Marine Barracks 8th & I on Fridays, where the Commandant of the Marine Corps resides. We were ‘professional marchers.’ All of our steps and M1 rifle movements were in complete synchronization. We marched for Presidential Inaugural parades and for other special events. We did 21 gun salute ‘firing parties’ for funerals at Arlington National Cemetery almost every day, and marched in formation for full honors funerals.”

They also trained as infantry platoons at Quantico, Va. In 1989, Mark switched to the Marine Drum & Bugle Corps. A month later, his platoon suddenly and unexpectedly went to fight in Desert Storm. Fortunately, all of his fellow Marines made it back safely.

“As a bugler in the Marine Drum & Bugle Corps, I played ‘Taps’ at Arlington National, Lincoln National, and other cemeteries near D.C. with my friends from the Honor Guard (A Company) who did the firing parties. They called me ‘the Boogie-woogie bugle boy from company A.’ We also performed at the Iwo Jima monument on Tuesdays and at the Barracks on Friday. We traveled around the U.S., performing for several thousand spectators every year.”

Mark and his wife, Kimberly, met when Mark was in the Honor Guard, and they were married in 1992. Their son Christopher is currently deployed in Qatar with the US Air Force.

Kimberly, too, is a vet–a former major in the Army Nurse Corps. Interestingly, their fathers served together in the Navy at the School of Music in Anacostia, and their mothers grew up together, in both church and school, in Bladensburg, Md. Kimberly is now the Clinical Educator for the Summit/WellSpan Physician Offices. Among other things, she teaches new nurses how to correctly swab for Covid-19.

Thank you Mark, Kimberly, and Christopher for your service to our country, and for your ministry within the United Brethren church. And thank you, Mark, for participating in “Taps Across America” and sharing it with us.

On Good Friday, the UB Global staff led United Brethren from around the world in a Day of Fasting & Prayer. A lot of people took part in several different ways. Here are some highlights:

  • 23 people joined at 10:00 Friday morning for a prayer time on Zoom.
  • 12 accounts (some with multiple participants) engaged in a second Zoom prayer time at 8:00 Friday evening. Milton and Erika Pacheco, UB Global missionaries in Thailand, led in worship.
  • 42 family units (21% from outside the United States) signed up to pray for a 20-minute slot as part of the Friday 24/7 prayer time. They included UBs from Canada, Costa Rica, Honduras, and the US.

Pastor Mike Brown preaching at the drive-in service.

Franklin UB church (New Albany, Ohio) held a drive-in service on Easter. They normally have two services every Sunday, but their last service was March 15. They decided to try to drive-in concept at 10:15 on Easter Sunday. People stayed in their vehicles, and parents were encouraged to bring snacks or games to keep kids occupied during the message. Pastor Mike Brown preached from a wagon outside the church, the people listened by tuning in to FM 88.3. A local TV station did this news story.

Faith UB church in Port Orange, Fla., is boarded up in preparation for the hurricane.

Faith UB church in Port Orange, Fla., is all boarded up as they await the arrival of Hurricane Dorian, which is expected to hit the Port Orange/Daytona area on Tuesday. First UB church of Holly Hill, located just up the road, will be making similar preparations. Pray for Pastor Josh McKeown and the Faith UB congregation, and for his father, Pastor Chuck McKeown, and the congregation at First UB.

The Fowlerville UB church (Fowlerville, Mich.) hosted the 4th annual Opiate Awareness Community Forum on May 30.

The local police chief, John Tyler, opened the event with an introduction to the epidemic. He said that in 2018, opioids accounted for more deaths than the entirety of the Vietnam War.

Various other agencies participated, sharing their own perspective on the crisis–the county Community Alliance and Catholic Charities, Celebrate Recovery, and others.

Scenes from the Pie Auction and Pasta Dinner.

Teddy Fairchild (right), senior pastor, Banner of Christ (Byron Center, Mich.)

Banner is excited about our recent church Pie Auction and Pasta Dinner! This is an annual event to raise money to send Banner youth on a mission trip. This year we will be going to Laurel Mission in Big Laurel, Kent.

The night was full of enthusiastic bidding and great fellowship. In the past, this event has raised about $3,000. This year, the Pie Auction and Pasta Dinner raised $6,060! There were some fierce bidding wars. One pie fetched a $450 winning bid.

The Banner people are excited to see how God will use this amazing night to fund the trip to Laurel Mission.


Sarah Jo Fairchild (right) has published a book The Story of the Spirit: Knowing Who He is Transforms Who You Become (Resource Publications, Eugene Oregon). Sarah is the wife of Teddy Fairchild, senior pastor of Banner of Christ UB church in Byron Center, Mich. The book is available on Amazon.

The book examines the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of various Old Testament persons. Through the eyes of leaders like Moses and Gideon and lesser-known heroes like Jephthah and Bezalel, we discover a Spirit who champions second chances, emboldens the insecure, restores lost peace and purpose. and transforms places of wounding into places of worship. Bishop Todd Fetters wrote the introduction.

The appendix includes resources for group discussions, and for sermon or teaching series. A digital media package, which includes imagery for teaching slides, is also available for purchase. However, Sarah is making it available free of charge to any UB pastor or teacher who purchases the book during its first six months of release.

Sarah completed her bachelor’s degree in biblical studies at Huntington University, where she met and married her Marine. She earned her master’s in ministry from Bethel College and draws on diverse leadership experiences in worship and women’s ministries, international missions, and more. Sarah believes adventurous Bible study is best shared with others, and thrives on seeing God’s truth transform people in ways they never imagined possible.