Dirk Small, pastor of the Idaville UB church (Idaville, Pa.), is still having serious difficulties with injuries sustained over five weeks ago in a motorcycle accident. He has a serious infection in the 14-inch incision from the surgery. He is in a lot of pain and would appreciate our prayers.

Jim Ellifritt, the Northwest Conference superintendent, is a major in the National Guard. He reports that beginning in mid-October, he will be ordered to active duty for language training in Dari, the majority language for Afghanistan. He writes:

“Our unit will be officially activated on November 30 and sent to Fort Bragg, N. C., and certified for deployment. We will arrive in Afghanistan around the first week of January. I will be in a town called Bagram. The deployment is schedule for 12 months beginning November 30. Prayerfully it will only be 12 months in country.”

Jim says he’s grateful that his children are older–Kori is 15, Stacy 18, and Jim 23. “I am cautiously excited about opportunities of ministry to soldiers and civilians. All of this, like everything else with the military, is subject to change. It will be more real to me when I finally step onto the tarmac in Bagram.”

Joshua Kesler is the new senior pastor of Bethel UB in Elmore, Ohio, effective September 1.

Marion Hall is the new senior pastor of Harrison UB (Harrison, Mich.) effective August 17.

Dirk Small, pastor of the Idaville UB church (Idaville, Pa.), and his wife Julie were in an accident August 13. Dirk wrote on August 19, “I am now home, but incapacitated. Julie is fully recovered, praise the Lord! On Wednesday, August 13, Julie and I were relaxing on our bike before prayer meeting, and I lost control on a newly paved road. We were traveling around 35 miles per hour and had no impact on anything.

“The slide did major damage to my body. I was taken to Hershey via Life Lion and there my spleen was removed. I have several broken ribs also. I’m on a heavy regiment of percacet, but the pain is still hard to manage. My incision, which runs from my chest to the groin, is healing nicely. I expect to be laid up for a couple of weeks yet. God does some wonderful things in your spirit when you become completely vulnerable to Him.”

  • Calhoun Hodgson has been assigned to plant a church in Dansville, Mich., effective August 1. The church is called Heritage UB Church.
  • Al Carter began his tenure as pastor of West Pleasant Hill UB (Rockbridge, Ohio) on August 3. He concluded his ministry as senior pastor of Hillsdale UB (St. Mary’s, Ohio) on July 31. The Hillsdale church will be unassigned for now.
  • Dennis Rowe began serving as senior pastor of Living Word UB (Columbus, Ohio) on August 3.
  • Todd Yoder announced his resignation as youth pastor at Monroe UB (Monroe, Ind.) to accept a similar position at Jerusalem Chapel UB (Churchville, Va., Mid-Atlantic Conference). That resignation is effective August 31.

Ken Smith (right) and Titus Boggs.

Ken Smith, pastor of the Cedar Chapel UB church in Big Laurel, Kent., was involved in a serious car accident over a year ago. But after 17 surgeries (with more on the way), Ken has recently been released to drive. Due to his need for a wheelchair, he asked the Lord for a van with sliding doors on both sides. Titus Boggs, director of the Laurel Mission, took this request to the July meeting of Central Annual Conference.

The Monticello UB church, near Spencerville, Ohio, worked with Tom Ahl of Lima, Ohio, on purchasing a van that would allow Ken to pull his wheelchair into the van through the sliding door. Several other UB churches in the area played a part.

On July 26, Monticello group delivered a 1996 Dodge Grand Caravan to Laurel Mission. They had the privilege of seeing Ken drive to church on his own for the first time in over a year.

  • In May, David Leraaen became part-time associate pastor of HomeFront UB in Grandville, Mich.
  • Rick Fischl will assume the role of Superintendent of Pastoral Development for Mid-Atlantic Conference as of July 1. He is replacing John Shubert.
  • John Lang has been named the Appointed Leader of Rock River Church Extension District, effective immediately. He is taking over for Ralph Faber.
  • Brian Allbright is the new senior pastor of Freeport UB (Freeport, Mich.) effective July 6. He will continue pastoring the Woodbury UB church in Lake Odessa, Mich.
  • Paul Dunbar is serving as interim pastor of Lurgan UB (Shippensburg, Pa.) as of July 1.
  • Edsel Calhoun, Jr. is the new senior pastor of Crellin UB (Crellin, Md.) as of July 1. David Shisler had been serving as interim pastor at Crellin.
  • Harold Fry is retiring as of July 1 and will no longer be employed as visitation pastor at Jerusalem Chapel (Churchville, Va.).
  • As of June 28, Kent Haines is Pastor of Assimilation and Evangelism at Cochranton Community UB (Cochranton, Pa.).

  • Dennis Rowe is senior pastor of Living Word UB in Columbus, Ohio, effective August 3. He had been pastoring a UB church in Florida.
  • Jeff Dice is fulltime Discipleship Pastor of Brown Corners UB (Clare, Mich.) effective July 1.
  • Gary Gates is the new senior pastor of South Scipio UB, Harlan, Ind.

Brian Magnus sent this update on his father, Martin Magnus, who underwent major surgery in May to remove a brain tumor. On June 25, they learned that test results on the tumor show that it was benign. “His head is healing up nicely and he doesn’t need to return to see the doctor for a full year. On the cautious side, the doctor said that the base of the tumor was pretty big, so there’s a chance it could grow back. They also need to keep a close watch on his blood clot medication. He has his blood tested every three days to check that medication level.”