• 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.).

Marshalee Brown reports that she has been granted a work permit, and is headed back to Ethiopia, where she is a missionary with SIM International. She originally went to Ethiopia in January, but had to leave for England a few weeks ago because the government delayed granting a new work permit.

Paul Coy, former missionary in Macau, sent this report from the Philippines, where he has been attending theological seminar. “After my first year of seminary, I went back to American April-June for my summer break. I did an internship at my home church in Huntington, Ind. It was wonderful being back home and serving at my home church. I came back to the Philippines on June 25.

“In July, I started my second year of seminary. The subjects I am taking this semester are: Christian Preaching, Biblical Hermeneutics, Luke-Acts, College Teaching, and Applied Linguistics (TESL). I am excited about this semester. It has been great getting to know the 20 new students studying this semester. We have a couple from India, and several new students from Korea. Jacob Park, a Nazarene pastor in Korea, is staying in my dorm. I have enjoyed the opportunity to get to know him better and help him adjut to life on campus.

“This year I am on the Student Body Organization as Spiritual Enrichment Committee Chairperson. This means I am responsible for the prayer meetings, helping with chapels, and other areas that focus on Spiritual Development. It is a big responsibility that I take with much humility, but I know God is going to do some great things.

“I plan to complete my studies by the end of October 2004. Please continue to pray for my future. I am open to wherever and whatever God wants me to go and do.”
July 15, 2003

The Santa Clarita Hispanic congregation (Canyon Country, Calif.) has been one of the fast-growing churches in the denomination for the past several years, now running around 400 people (and they have also helped started several other churches). They have been meeting at a Lutheran church. However, they were recently notified that they will no longer have the use of the facilities, at least not to the extend that they need. They are simply growing too fast, using too much space…and they are not Lutherans.

Starting in August, they will be using the building only on Sundays, and one or two other times, for a total of only 29 hours per month. They will be paying 100 dollars per hour, or $2900. The church has already started saving money to buy property and build their own facility. Edwin Recinos is the pastor.

The Burbank Hispanic church, under the leadership of Pastor Luis Benitez, is also experiencing fast growth and has outgrown the UB church in Burbank. They need a larger facility.

  • 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.

The United Brethren Historical Society sponsored a Celebration of the Wright Family Heritage on Friday, July 18, 2003, in the vicinity of Dayton, Ohio. UB people from at least five states began to gather at the Holiday Inn in Springfield, Ohio, on Thursday evening and joined together for an informal conversation about the Wright family.

On Friday, approximately 55 people went on a day-long historical tour of West Dayton, where the Milton Wright family lived; Woodland Cemetery, where members of the Wright family are buried; the Wright Brothers Memorial; and the area in and around Germantown, where the first United Brethren meeting house west of the Allegheny Mountains was built.

On Friday evening, the group shared a buffet meal at the Holiday Inn and then enjoyed Daryl Elliott’s talk on “Milton Wright, the Wright Brothers, and the Religious Foundations of American Aviation.” He described Milton Wright’s spiritual life and his commitment to all kinds of learning and to the advancement of science within the context of the Christian faith. He also examined the historical evidence for the Christian commitment of the Wright brothers.

At its annual business meeting, the Historical Society elected Howard Cherry as its president, Tom Brodbeck as Vice President, and Chaney Bergdall as Recording Secretary.

While they were in the area, several persons took advantage of the opportunity to visit the Air Force Museum and enjoy the Air Show at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

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.”

On May 24, Mt. Olivet UB (Mt. Solon, Va.) sponsored a work team to Honduras consisting of one UB and three Russian Baptists. Kevin Lam, the UB, was joined by Konstantin Sarandi, Pavel Sarandi, and Denis Verkhovtsev. Kevin writes:

“We built a house for the Timoteo Gomez family at the Monte Hebron project in El Pino. Timoteo was a valuable help to us along with 7 other local people, most of whom are now living in the Colonia Monte Hebron. We also had the great honor of attending Sunday morning worship service with the brand new congregation of about 80 now meeting at the site of the new houses. Timoteo Gomez and two others led us in singing and worship.

Our team was asked to participate (the melting together of three cultures.) So we shared some scripture and words of encouragement in Spanish, a hymn in English, and Pavel sang a solo in Russian. Then Pastor Ovidio Sanchez preached. This group meets four times a week in the street–Sunday mornings in the hot sun and three nights under a streetlight. When it rains there is no service. They are praying for shelter to come soon, but braving the elements hasn’t dimmed their joy.

Marshalee Brown, a UB from Jamaica, went to Ethiopia in January as a missionary with SIM International. Recently, the government didn’t renew her visa, so she had to leave the country. On June 25 she wrote:

“I have been in England for two and a half weeks…still wondering what I’m doing here. I have been able to visit with family and friends and God has been providing for and taking care of me in every way, but I have not been able to do what so many have suggested, that is, to relax and enjoy it all. I accept the fact that God allowed me to come to England right now, but….

“The latest from Ethiopia is that my work permit situation with the Ministry of Justice should be sorted out soon and I should be back in Ethiopia sometime next month.

“I am able to stay with family and friends while here. I am now visiting with the Indian family I stayed with in Bangalore (India) last year. They have now moved to Cambridge. The program I worked with in Bangalore with girls from slum areas is still going on and two of the girls got baptized.”

Retired minister Martin Magnus underwent major surgery in May to remove a brain tumor. He was doing well, but had a set-back over the weekend. Martin’s son, Brian, sent this note Monday morning:

“He had been steadily improving after the removal of his brain tumor one month ago, and had even travelled to Port Elgin, Ontario, for our United Brethren National Conference this weekend. But before he and Mom could return home to Kitchener, he began experiencing chest pains, shortness of breath, and heartbeat irregularity. He was rushed by ambulance to the Owen Sound hospital and from there to St. Mary’s hospital in Kitchener, Ontario.

“They discovered that he has blood clots in both lungs and one leg and immediately put him on blood thinners. Unless things change he’s predicted to be in St. Mary’s hospital (7th floor) for about 10 days.”