James Holloway resigned as senior pastor of the Coleta church as of December 31. He will not be reassigned. The Coleta Church will be using several different people to fill the pulpit for now.

Jim Ellifritt Sr. (right) and Jim Ellifritt Jr.

Amy Ellifritt knows what it’s like to be a soldier’s wife, and a soldier’s father. Her husband, Jim Sr., is on his way to Afghanistan for a year. And her only son, Jim Jr., is on his way to Iraq. Both are members of the Oregon Army Reserves.

Rev. Jim Ellifritt, an ordained UB minister, serves as superintendent of Northwest Conference and is director of the County-Wide Chaplaincy program, a donation-supported crisis intervention ministry. He and previously pastored the Friendship UB church in Vancouver. But for the next year, he’ll be going by the title Lieutenant Colonel Jim Ellifritt. Army Reserves unit has been called up to help rebuild Afghanistan’s infrastructure. He went on active duty in October, learning the Dari language spoken in Afghanistan. ” I have about 200 hours of reading, writing and speaking under my belt,” he says.

And now, he’s on his way to Afghanistan. He serves in the 364th Civil Affairs Brigade of the Army Reserve.

“As a father, I don’t mind going,” Jim says. “But I wish my son didn’t have to go. But it’s important, and the good thing is that we’re going at the same time and I’ll only have to be apart from him for a year, rather than longer.”

Jim Jr. is a sergeant in the 218th Field Artillery Battalion as an artillery forward observer. He was mobilized with the National Guard and sent to Fort Hood, Texas, at the end of October. He will be with the 39th Separate Infantry Brigage attached to the 1st Cavalry Division, and will probably be in Baghdad by February or March. He and his wife, Rachel, celebrated their first anniversary during the past year, and moved into their first house just three days before the mobilization. Rachel works at a law firm.

Jim and Rachel sold the two daycare centers they owned–something they had planned to do eventually, but which the deployment made urgent. “We have been preparing for the better part of six months for the deployment,” Jim says. “We believe this should streamline many of Debs responsibilities while I am gone. Overall I believe we are as prepared as any of the families that have had this challenge this year.”

This past year has been a busy one for me and the Army. January I spent three weeks in Louisiana. May I was fortunate to be able to go to Thailand for a month. It was a very different and very hot place. I was able to make three dives while I was there. Shortly after I got back I got the alert notification for Afghanistan. Since the first week of October I have been on active duty in the Portland area trying to learn Dari, the language spoken in Afghanistan. I have about 200 hours of reading, writing and speaking under my belt. By the time you get this I should be at Fort Bragg preparing for a year long tour in Afghanistan. It is going to be very unusual to be away from home on Christmas, this will be the first one I have completely missed in 27 years. I am grateful that I was able to spend Thanksgiving at home. The family will be looking forward to Jim being home for Christmas. I am grateful our tours are during the same period instead of back to back, I will miss him for 18 months instead of 2-3 years. There may be a chance of getting leave in the summer and meeting with the wives in Europe, Lord willing.

“I’m excited to be going,” Jim Sr. says. He likes the idea that he and his son will help people in faraway countries experience democracy, education, and a better life. “My daughter Stacy is 18, and she has the right to go to college. In Afghanistan, girls didn’t have that right until we got there. A lot of negative stuff is reported in the neews, but a lot more good is going on.”

Jim Jr. adds, “These Iraqi people have opportunities now to be free, and they’ve never had that before. I’m honored to feel I’m a part of that now.”

  • Robert Larimore is the new senior pastor of Trenton Hills UB (Adrian, Mich.) effective November 1.
  • Gary Abney has been named senior pastor of Gaines UB (Caledonia, Mich.) effective December 8.
  • Wayne Goldsmith has been named interim pastor of Central UB (Montpelier, Ohio) effective November 2003.
  • Donald Palmer resigned as senior pastor at Pennfield Road UB (Battle Creek, Mich.), effective September 30. Mr. Tim Smothers is serving as supply pastor.
  • Steve Sparks is the new Director of Student Ministries (part-time) at Gethsemane UB (Jackson, Mich.).
  • Mrs. Ruth Barnhart, widow of one of former Mid-Atlantic Conference pastor Charles Barnhart, died November 17. She was 91.
  • Darren Duncan, our United Brethren representative to the US Air Force, was recently deployed to a classified location in Southwest Asia. He is ministering to the troops who are stationed there through worship, Bible study, counseling, and visitation. Please pray that God would use him and protect him while he is away from his family during the Holidays. Darren is a former pastor in Central Conference.
  • Rev. Everett Ray passed away on Monday, November 10. He was a retired ordained minister in Michigan Conference. His wife, Susie, is in a nursing home in Hastings, Mich.
  • John Carpenter is no longer Student Ministries Director at Lighthouse Church in Williamston, Mich. The position was cut for financial reasons, effective November 1. He is now pastoring in Florida with another denomination.
  • Tim Sovinec resigned as youth pastor at Fountain Hills UB (Fountain Hills, Ariz.) effective November 1. He will not be reassigned in the denomination.
  • Donald Skidmore is no longer the associate pastor at Living Water Church Plant in Clarksburg, W. Va.
  • Wes Burk has been serving as music minister at Fowlerville UB Church. He resigned that position as of November 30, and has not been assigned to another church at this time.
  • Ron Lambright, the former senior pastor at Neshannock Community Church (New Castle, Pa.), has resigned. The effective date is unknown at this time. Patrick Daugherty is serving as the supply pastor at Neshannock at this time.
  • Donald Palmer resigned as senior pastor at Pennfield Road Church (Battle Creek, Mich.), effective September 30. Mr. Tim Smothers will be supply pastor at Pennfield Road for the time being.
  • Penny Poorman is the new Early Childhood Coordinator at King Street UB (Chambersburg, Pa.) effective October 7.
  • Kevin Whitacre is the new Director of Youth and Young Adults at Good Shepherd UB (Huntington, Ind.), effective November 3.
  • Here is a new pastoral assignment for your records, effective 9/1/03.
  • Don Herb was named Pastoral Assistant at Bethany Evangelical Church (Carlisle, Pa.), and Amy Moreno was named Director of Christian Education. Both assignments took affect in September.
  • Rick Burton, formerly the senior pastor at Central UB Church in Montpelier, Ohio, resigned effective October 31. He will not be reassigned at this time. The church will be looking for a pastor.

  • Sunfield UB hired two persons to care for their youth ministry. Dennis Weber will work with junior high students, and Raquel Brace will work with senior high students. Also, Roy Atherton joined the staff as Assistant Pastor. He is from Portland, Mich.
  • Shannon Colwin, formerly the youth pastor at Good Shepherd Church in Huntington, has resigned that position as of July 13, 2003. He is serving in another denomination.
  • Jennifer Barlow resigned as Youth Pastor at First UB (Columbus, Ohio) as of July 31.
  • This month Rev. Bobby Blaine celebrates his 60th year of ministry. He took his first church the same week that he and Virginia were married…which means they are also celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary. Rev. Blaine is a retired minister in Central Conference, and the former longtime pastor of what is now Good Shepherd UB in Greenfield, Ohio.
  • Jim Sturgeon and his wife Joanne, having retired August 31 from the pastorate of Decatur UB (Decatur, Ind.), have moved to Rockford, Ohio.
  • It has been learned that William M. Wood, a retired minister in Central Conference, passed away in June.
  • Nathan Garret has been hired as youth pastor at New Horizons UB (Rockford, Ohio) effective October 10. He was most recently youth director at Shadyrest Bible Church in Chesterfield, N. J.
  • Ben and Lisa Geiser are the parents of a baby girl, Monica Ann. Ben is associate pastor at Christ Fellowship (Westerville, Ohio).

  • Don Palmer concluded his ministry as pastor of Pennfield UB (Battle Creek, Mich.) on September 30. A supply pastor is being secured.
  • Angela Burnside is the new Director of Children’s Ministries at Gaines UB (Caledonia, Mich.), as of September 3. She succeeds Kelly Dutcher, who concluded her tenure in that position on August 15.
  • Marion Hall, as of August 17, is the new pastor of Harrison UB (Harrison , Mich.).
  • Brian Biedenbach is the new Associate Pastor of Student Ministries at Emmanuel UB (Fort Wayne, Ind.), as of September 28. This is a fulltime position. He replaces Rudy Tamez, who accepted a position with a church in another denomination.

  • Paul Dunbar is no longer the interim pastor at Lurgan Church, as of September 30. He will be unassigned for now.
  • Richard Mose is the new interim pastor at Lurgan UB (Shippensburg, Pa.), effective October 1.
  • Rudy Tamez, associate pastor at Emmanuel Community Church, has resigned effective September 30. He will be serving in another denomination.
  • Barry McCune, senior pastor at First UB Church, Van Wert, has resigned his position. He will live in the parsonage for the rest of this year. He is not being reassigned at this time, and the church will be unassigned. This is effective October 1.
  • Kent Maxwell has retired as pastor of New Hope UB in Huntington, Ind., effective September 30. M. E. Burkett has been named senior pastor of New Hope.
  • Robert Reid is no longer pastor of Friendship UB (Vancouver, Wash.), effective August 31. He will not be reassigned.

  • Darren Duncan, formerly a pastor in Central Conference, holds the rank of Captain in the US Air Force. He began his active duty chaplaincy at McChord Air Force Base in Washington on May 30. He says he will be deploying to a classified location from November 4 to March 4.
  • Tanya Hardaway is the new Director of Children√ïs Ministries at Hillsdale UB (Hillsdale, Mich.), effective June 15. She is part-time and not licensed.
  • George Rhodifer has been named Interim Pastor of Hillsdale UB of St. Mary’s, Ohio, effective September 14. He was formerly the associate pastor at Park Layne UB in Dayton, Ohio.
  • Eric Ross is supply pastor of Eden UB (Reedsville, Ohio). Gary Reed, the lay leader at Eden, had been serving as supply pastor.
  • Angela Burnside is the new Director of Children’s Ministries at Gaines UB (Caledonia, Mich.), effective September 3. She replaces Kelly Dutcher, who resigned from that position as of August 15.
  • Doug Wendt, who had been music minister at Gaines UB (Caledonia, Mich.), resigned from that position in June.

Bishop Emeritus C. Ray Miller was trimming some trees on September 15, and was on the final one, when the ladder toppled. He sustained multiple fractures around his shoulder area, three or four other small fractures around his pelvic and lower back area, and also jammed his hip. A full recovery is expected. However, he faces 8-12 weeks of bed rest. Address for cards: Bishop C. Ray Miller, 2260 Dieringer Drive, Huntington, IN 46750.

Mark and Angela Vincenti, both of whom serve on staff at King Street UB in Chambersburg, Pa., are the parents of a baby girl. Kiana Kristy Vincenti was born early in the morning on September 23, weighing 7 lbs., 7 oz. Everyone’s doing fine.