Rev. Earl D. Peter (right), 95, a retired United Brethren minister, passed away February 18 in Fayetteville, Pa.

He grew up in Biglerville, Pa., and in 1947 served as a sergeant in the US Army Air Corps. He graduated in 1957 from Huntington University, and from the HU seminary in 1958. He was ordained in 1958.

Peters was a United Brethren pastor for 23 years, and served on many study committees for Pennsylvania Conference and at the denominational level. He was elected as a delegate to General Conference six times, and also served on the Church Ministries board. Within Pennsylvania Conference, he served on the Piney Mountain Home board for 23 years, and was chairman for 18 years.

His wife, Melva Peters, passed away in August 2020.

Funeral arrangements are being handled by Dugan Funeral Home in Shippensburg, Pa. Private services will be held at the discretion of the family.

Rev. Glenn Flint (right), a former United Brethren minister, passed away Thursday, February 18, 2021, after a long struggle with blood cancer (Multiple Myeloma). He was 59 years old. Glenn is survived by his wife, Jean, whom he married in 1982, and their two married daughters.

Glenn grew up in the Munson UB church of Waldron, Mich. He graduated from the Huntington University Graduate School of Christian Ministries in 1986 and was ordained that year as a UB minister. He served in ministry at two UB churches in the former Michindoh Conference before joining the staff of Emmanuel UB church (Fort Wayne, Ind.) in the early 1990s as the worship pastor. He served 2000-2002 as associate pastor of Anchor UB in Fort Wayne, and since 2002 has been Director of Music & Worship Ministries at Fairview Missionary Church in Angola, Ind.

Glenn’s brother, Steve, is Pastor of Worship and Care at King Street UB church in Chambersburg, Pa.

You’re welcome to sign up for the March 29 Idea to Action symposium. It will be held from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. This online-only event is free for everyone, but you must register.

The topic is “Erase the Stigma: Equipping the Church on Mental Health Issues.”

10:00 am
Dr. Mandy Kellums Baraka will address, “Who’s in Your Pew? History of Mental Health Care in the Church Congregations.”

Dr. Baraka is an assistant professor of counseling at Huntington University. She holds a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Wheaton College, and a doctorate in counselor education and supervision from Regent University. She has worked as a crisis therapist for Community Counseling Centers of Chicago.

11:00 am
Dr. Jerry Davis will lead a panel discussion on “Current Practices for Mental Health Care in the Church.” The panel participants:

  • Rachele Dixie, Director of Christian Education at New Covenant Worship Center, Fort Wayne, Ind.
  • Amanda Campati, Church administrator and coordinator of small group ministries at Broadway Christian Church, Fort Wayne, Ind.
  • Kathleen Schaffer, member of the parish health team at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, New Haven, Ind.

Dr. Jerry Davis first joined the Huntington University faculty in 1981, and now teaches in the graduate counseling program. His experience includes 37 years of experience in private practice counseling and 25 years of clinical supervision.

11:45 am: break

12:00 pm
Dr. Eric Williams will address, “Pastoring Post Pandemic: Resources and Reflections for the Days Ahead.”

Dr. Williams teaches in the clinical mental health counseling program at Huntington University. His time as a counselor has seen him in many places, counseling everywhere from military bases to grade schools. He is credentialed as a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor Supervisor and as a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of North Carolina.

The 2021 US National Conference will be held July 14-17 in Fort Wayne, Ind. We are returning to the downtown Grand Wayne Center, where the 2013 conference was held.

This will be a “hybrid” conference. You can attend in-person, or attend online. The registration cost is the same either way. Both options have their perks and advantages.

For complete information and to register, go to the conference website.


Schedule

The format will be similar to previous conferences–start on Wednesday night, business meeting on Thursday morning, workshops on Friday morning, keynote addresses each night, concluding service Saturday morning. We’ll spend Friday afternoon and evening at Huntington University, our college, where some exciting things are planned. There is a youth track, and childcare will be provided at specified times.

View the Schedule page.


Business Meeting

Business is being kept to a minimum this year, but delegates will still need to elect a bishop and four members of the Executive Leadership Team. Mostly, we’ll focus on reports and vision.

View the Business page.


Lodging

Choose from three hotels, ranging from $115-$130 per night. The Hilton is integrated into the Grand Wayne Center, and the Courtyard and Hampton Inn are located across the street. All very convenient.

View the Lodging page.


Keynote Speakers

For the keynote evening messages, we are using three of our denominational directors: Mike Dittman (National Ministries), Frank Yang (UB Global), and Sherilyn Emberton (Higher Education). All will address aspects of the theme, “Make Disciples.” The bishop-elect will speak on Saturday morning.

Read more about the keynote speakers.


Registration

Registration is now open. Go here to register.

In-person: Individual: $75
In-person: Family: $115
Online: Attendee (maximum 1 vote per link): $75
Online: Attendee & Spouse (maximum 2 votes per link): $115


Go to the conference website for more information about Schedule, Lodging, Business, Youth and Childcare, Speakers, and more.

Blue Rock United Brethren Church (Waynesboro, Pa.) is looking for a person that God is calling to fill an extremely important role with the children/youth of our community. We are a rural church located 2 miles outside of the town of Waynesboro, and we have a very good relationship with Mowery Elementary School and our Waynesboro Area School district.

This person will be expected to oversee the children’s ministry and direct the youth group. Our director will work in close partnership with a variety of children’s ministry volunteers and a youth Sunday school teacher. This position includes a part-time salary. Download the complete job description.

If you enjoy serving God by ministering to children and youth, then please contact us with a resume. A defined ministry description is available upon request. Those interested, should contact Pastor Greg Helman at bluerockchurchpg@gmail.com.

Gaines Church of Caledonia, in western Michigan, is prayerfully seeking a Worship Director who will work closely with our pastor in cultivating worship services and worship teams that help lead our congregation into the worship of God. Fostering dynamic congregational worship is a key priority for our church. We are seeking an individual who is called and gifted by God for this position.

Job Responsibilities

  • Plans weekly services, both traditional and contemporary, that engage the congregation and support the reading and preaching of God’s Word.
  • Modeling and leading worship that encourages active participation in worship.
  • Recruiting, auditioning, teaching, and training musicians in the church to serve the congregation as a team.
  • Leading weekly rehearsals that serve a dual purpose: preparation for Sunday services, and cultivation of a Christ-centered community.
  • Leads the Worship Leadership team to develop a vision for where God might be calling our congregation and musicians to grow in worship.
  • Serve as a member of the ministry staff at Gaines Church, demonstrating a commitment to this congregation and its mission, with humility, patience, and kindness.

Hours
10-15 hours/week

Pay
Commensurate with experience

For more information and a detailed job description, please email office@gaineschurch.org

Rev. Russ and Nellie Birdsall

Rev. Russell Birdsall, 93, passed away Wednesday, February 3, 2021, at his home in Huntington, Ind. He was a United Brethren missionary in Sierra Leone, Dean of Students at Huntington University, a UB pastor in Huntington, fulltime superintendent of Central Conference, short-term UB missionary in Macau for a number of terms…and beloved by everyone who knew him.

A funeral service will be at 11 am Saturday, February 13, at College Park UB church in Huntington, Ind. Dr. Ray Seilhamer will officiate. Visitation will be available 3-7pm on Friday, February 12, at the Bailey-Love Mortuary in Huntington (35 West Park Drive).

Russ grew up in a United Brethren preacher’s home, a son of Rev. Stanley Birdsall. He and Nellie, his wife of nearly 70 years, met at Huntington University and were married in 1951. He graduated from HU in 1953, and was ordained in 1957 after graduating from the HU seminary.

On September 4, 1957, Russ, Nellie, and their young daughter, Sharon, boarded a ship for Sierra Leone, where they served as UB missionaries for the next 11 years.

In July 1968, the family returned to Huntington at the request of Dr. DeWitt Baker, another former Sierra Leone missionary, so Russ could become dean of students. He did that until 1976, followed by two years as director of church relations for the college.

In 1979, Russ began ten years as pastor of New Hope UB church in Huntington, Ind., followed by three years, 1990-1993, as fulltime superintendent of Central Conference.

Between 1994 and 2006, Russ and Nellie served seven times in Macau as short-term missionaries, always going at their own expense. They taught in the English Language Program, conducted Bible studies, and provided pastoral care for the other missionaries.

Funeral arrangements are being handled by Bailey-Love Mortuary in Huntington.

Steve Fish (right) has joined the UB Global staff as an associate director, as of February 1, 2021. He has served in United Brethren ministry since 1989, and for the past five years has been Teaching Pastor and Director of Missions at Emmanuel Community Church in Fort Wayne, Ind.

Steve is at least a third-generation UB; he recalls hearing that his grandparents were strong supporters of UB missions. He grew up in Temperance, Mich., a few miles from the Ohio line, but the family drove into Ohio to attend the former Emmanuel UB church in the Toledo area.

Steve entered Huntington University in 1985, and as a sophomore chose Bible & Religion as his major. When he attended Challenge ’88, the UB denominational convention in Knoxville, Tenn., he sensed a definite calling to the ministry.

At Huntington, he met Kim Maxwell, daughter of Dr. Kent and Carol Maxwell, who had served several decades in United Brethren ministry. Steve and Kim were married in 1989. That year, Steve joined the staff of Morning Star UB church in Kokomo, Ind., where he worked under the leadership of senior pastor Greg Reed. Over the next 12 years he served in various roles, including singles minister, adult education, missions, and preaching.

In 2001, Steve and Kim relocated to Wilmore, Kent., where he entered Asbury Theological Seminary. He graduated in 2005 with a Master of Divinity degree, was ordained that year by Bishop Paul Hirschy, and in November became senior pastor of Oak Harbor UB church (now Shoreline) in Oak Harbor, Ohio.

In 2010, Steve decided to step away from the ministry for a while. He and Kim moved back to Indiana, where Steve worked in secular employment for four years. In 2012, Kim joined the staff of Emmanuel UB church as a counselor and as Director of Women’s Ministries, and served five years in that role. In 2015, Pastor Dennis Miller invited Steve to also join the staff.

Growing up in the United Brethren church, Steve heard presentations from UB missionaries who were home on furlough or preparing for overseas service. His first overseas trip was to Honduras, while serving at Morning Star. He has now visited Honduras five times. Other overseas missions experience includes visits to Jamaica, Nicaragua, Columbia, Poland, and a preaching tour with Bishop Denis Casco to UB churches in Mexico. Emmanuel Community Church has been active in UB missions, with members Jenaya Bonner serving in Macau and the Glunt family in Thailand.

For the past several years, Steve has been a member of the UB Global board, and has joined members of the UB Global staff in attending the big Missio-Nexus missions conference for three of the past four years.

In February 2020, Steve joined Frank Yang, now the UB Global executive director, in a visit to Thailand to spend time with the Glunt family and see the new Good Soil Community Center. They left just as the country went into lockdown.

Steve and Kim Fish have two children, Alyssa and Johonna. Kim works in private practice with Clarity Counseling LLC, based in Fort Wayne, Ind.

A date has been set for the next UB History Course:

Date: March 15-16, 2021 (Monday and Tuesday).
Time: 9 am to 4 pm both days.
Instructor: Rev. Bob Bruce.

The course will be held online via Zoom.

About the Course

The UB History Course is held periodically, either online or in regional locations. This course is a requirement for ministerial licensing in the United Brethren denomination, and qualifies for 12 credit hours.

However, people who just want to learn more about United Brethren history are welcome to take the course. Laypersons, especially local church leaders (board chairpersons and members, lay delegates, etc.), are encouraged to attend. It’s valuable to have an understanding about United Brethren history.

The cost is $200, if you are seeking a ministerial license. There is a $50 discount if you pay fully in advance of the class, making your cost just $150. Three books are also required.

For everyone else, the cost is $100.

For full information, go here.

To register, go here.