The fall 2015 CH Global newsletter has a short article about the King Street UB church in Chambersburg, Pa. King Street decided to come alongside the Arcahaie United Brethren church in Haiti with various kinds of support. As part of that, King Street challenged its members to sponsor 50 children from Arcahaie through CH Global. They far surpassed that goal, ultimately sponsoring 98 children.

The funds from these sponsorships enabled CH Global to pour more money into the United Brethren school at Arcahaie. The school had been struggling to pay teachers and was on the brink of closing. No more.

Presenting a check for $700 to Water4. L-r: Chet Conley (impact minister at First UB), Ron Monday (Mission’s chair), and Jerry Rieger of Water4.

Presenting a check for $700 to Water4. L-r: Chet Conley (impact minister at First UB), Ron Monday (Mission’s chair), and Jerry Rieger of Water4.

Darwin Dunten (right), senior pastor, First UB Church (Findlay, Ohio)

The 2015 theme for First United Brethren Church (Findlay, Ohio) is, “Whatever you do to the least of these, you have done it onto me.” In Matthew 25, part of that discourse focuses on giving a cup of water in Jesus’ name.

In February, a goal was presented to FUBiC to raise $1500 for one water well for the Water4 organization out of Oklahoma City. These wells are drilled in Third World countries by the citizens of that region.

When the goal was presented to the congregation, one elder proclaimed from the sanctuary that we can do even better–that we could raise enough for 10 wells. After six months, the church had raised $6270, which was enough for four wells.

Jerry Rieger, director of Global Resource Development for Water4, called the church and said that since we were first-time givers, the money donated would be doubled by an anonymous donor. That donor, in turn, would be doubled by another donor. Therefore, the funds donated would be quadrupled.

More funds were raised to even the donation to $7000. With the matching grants, the funds raised now stood at $28,000. This was enough for 18.5 wells.

On Sunday, September 27, Jerry Regier traveled to Findlay, Ohio, to receive the donation and share a message to the church.

Mark Smith, Morocco UB church (Temperance, Mich.)

On September 13, Morocco Church held its annual Family Fun Fest. We had a wonderful morning service with music and a message from Tom Treece a local man who has a heart to serve the Lord. Following the service the church offered pork sandwiches, salads, along with other goodies. We offered cotton candy, snow cones, face painting, a bouncy house, and other games. Later in the day came our annual homemade ice cream contest.

Many of our children who attended VBS attended with their families, along with several other area families. The day’s events were all free and a way to share God’s Love with the community. We praise God for the blessings he provides and the growth we are seeing at Morocco Church.

Dr. Jody Bowser (right) has been appointed as senior pastor of King Street UB church in Chambersburg, Pa. King Street is the second-largest United Brethren church, with a weekly attendance of over 1500.

Dr. Bowser has been senior pastor for over 12 years at Moses Lake Alliance Church in Moses Lake, Wash. His ministry experience also includes five years as youth pastor at First Baptist Church in Visalia, Calif., and over ten years as director of Student Ministries and Preaching Associate at The Chapel in Akron, Ohio.

He and his wife, Caryn, have six children, three of whom currently attend Christian colleges in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Their oldest son, Jay, is on staff as a video producer at a church in Charlotte, N. C.

Jody’s doctor of ministry degree, with an emphasis on preaching, is from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, Mass. His doctoral preaching studies were done under Dr. Haddon Robinson.

Jody’s first Sunday in the pulpit at King Street will be November 1, 2015. King Street Church is excited to see where God takes us under Jody’s leadership. The congregation has been without a senior pastor since Dr. John Beukema left in January 2014 to become pastor of a church in Houston, Texas.

August 30 was a big day for Mill Chapel UB church (Reedsville, W. Va.). Pastor Marshall Woods reports that they baptized 31 people and dedicated 15 children. The attendance that day was approximately 300.

The annual outdoor service at Camp Michindoh.

The annual outdoor service at Camp Michindoh.

Pastor Lester Smith delivering the book of Philippians.

Pastor Lester Smith delivering the book of Philippians.

The annual outdoor service at Camp Michindoh.

The annual outdoor service at Camp Michindoh.

Hillsdale UB church (Hillsdale, Mich.) held its 17th annual outdoor service at Michindoh Ministries Camp & Conference Center on Sunday, August 23. A capacity crowd of about 450 packed into the Fireside Memorial Chapel (amphitheater) to see Pastor Lester Smith, clad as the Apostle Paul, deliver his letter to the Philippians.

Earlier in the day, about 100 people attended an indoor service at the church. That gave Hillsdale an attendance of 538 for the day, including guests from Ohio and Indiana.

United Brethren people have been busy writing, performing, and publishing worship music. Here are some projects you can find on the internet.

  • Chris and Bethany Solyntjes are husband and wife worship leaders out of Renew Communities, the United Brethren church in Berea, Ohio. Their album of worship music, “Refuge,” is currently streaming for free on the Relevant Magazine website.
  • The worship team from Colwood UB church (Caro, Mich.) has released a full-length worship album titled “DOXA” (as reported in July on UBCentral). The album has 3 original songs and 7 re-arranged hymns. It is available now on iTunes and AmazonMP3. In iTunes, do a search on “doxa colwood”.
  • Emmanuel UB church in Fort Wayne, Ind., has produced several projects that are available on the Emmanuel website.
  • Matt McKeown, a pastor at First UB church in Holly Hill, has created some worship music of his own. It is available on iTunes.

Music in the park in Findlay, Ohio

Music in the park in Findlay, Ohio

Grilling hotdogs for the Back to School Bash

Grilling hotdogs for the Back to School Bash

The Findlay First UB church (Findlay, Ohio) organized a “Back to School Bash” on August 15 at a local park to celebrate the beginning of the school year for the Findlay area community.

The vision for the “Bash” started six months ago when several local churches came together and asked, “How can we make an impact on our community?” The idea of the school bash was planted.

Four area churches adopted two parks. One park enjoyed the eventual participation of five churches, a Toledo radio station, health department, and Child Evangelism. They provided free haircuts, health inspections, concerts, and games.

findlay-boy300Findlay First UB, along with a smaller church, adopted the Riverside park and provided the food and entertainment, the backpacks give away, and face painting by Child Evangelism.

The UB church collected 180 backpacks and filled them will school supplies and Bibles. They also collected 850 cans of pop and close to 1000 hot dogs to be grilled and handed out for free.

In preparation for this, flyers were handed out and Pastor Darwin Dunten was on two radio stations discussing the vision of the “Back to School Bash.” The musical group “Live 4:1” from Fort Wayne, Ind., provided the music and a Christian magician (arranged by the Crosspoint Church) provided the entertainment.

It is estimated that close to 400 individuals from Findlay passed through the “Back to School Bash” at the Riverside park, and 400-500 individuals passed through the Bernard park. Pastor Dunten was also approached by an individual for prayer, and several church women also prayed for a request that was given by an outside person.

The excitement at Findlay First is so great that one Sunday after the event, the people began discussing what they can do next year.

It is the vision of the ad-hock organization to eventually have one church adopt one park on the same Saturday of the year. Meaning, a city-wide “blitz” where the churches go to the people.

Pictured in front of the steel being erected on July 30 are (l-r): Doug Davisson (job site superintendent from Midwest Church Construction), Cliff Iles (Lake View Church project manager), Steve Smith (senior pastor), Duane Knisely (co-chairman of Expansion Team), and Ben Gladhill (associate pastor).

Pictured in front of the steel being erected on July 30 are (l-r): Doug Davisson (job site superintendent from Midwest Church Construction), Cliff Iles (Lake View Church project manager), Steve Smith (senior pastor), Duane Knisely (co-chairman of Expansion Team), and Ben Gladhill (associate pastor).

Steve Smith (right), senior pastor, Lake View UB church (Camden, Mich.)

Lake View UB church has been into its Expansion Construction now for six weeks, and we are excited to see how God is moving things along! Our expansion will be in 2 phases.

  1. Phase 1, the center structure, will eventually be our gymnasium. It should be complete before the end of the year.
  2. Phase 2 will wrap around the construction of this steel building and offer us plenty of storage, a large stage, a new and large kitchen, six classrooms, a teen center, and a new lobby/foyer.

The Avlon congregation on anniversary Sunday.

The Avlon congregation on anniversary Sunday.

At the noon meal.

At the noon meal.

L-r: Current pastor Jason Sheets, David Hedrick, Edward Daley, and Chuck Wheatley.

Pastors of Avlon UB church. L-r: Current pastor Jason Sheets, David Hedrick, Edward Daley, and Chuck Wheatley. David Hedrick followed Herbie Householder, who pastored Avlon for 40 years. Jason Sheets followed Chuck Wheatley.

avlon-sign800

Avlon UB church celebrated its 125th anniversary on April 12, 2015, with a Homecoming Celebration. The day began with the morning worship service, when pastor Jason Sheets shared a message titled “Leaving a Lasting Legacy,” with the text being from Proverbs 13:22.

After the service, the congregation gathered in the fellowship hall for a meal. On display were several pictures and items from the Avlon’s past. There was also a 125th plaque that everyone had the opportunity to sign; it will be on display in the fellowship hall.

After lunch, those in attendance assembled in front of the church for a group photo, then everyone gathered inside for the afternoon service. All of the remaining previous pastors shared about their time and experiences at Avlon.

At the conclusion of the service, a dogwood tree was planted in front of the church and a time capsule was assembled that will be opened at the church’s 200th anniversary.