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.

Kathy Bruce, chairperson of the Women's Ministry Leadership Team, addressing the conference.

The International Women’s Conference, July 25-27, brought about 140 United Brethren women to Huntington, Ind. They came from eight states: Indiana (40), Ohio (25), Michigan (29), Pennsylvania (16), plus others from Alabama, Illinois, Kansas, and Virginia. In addition, eight women came from Ontario.

The conference featured a variety of seminars and keynote addresses, complemented by drama by the group “All for One,” and music by the group “One Faith.”

The 2003 VBS on Taipa. Jennifer Blandin is seated on the front left.

Our director of the Macau English Language Program sent these notes on August 2.

“We gave an invitation to accept Jesus into their hearts to our children on Taipa during our last week of English classes and again this week at VBS. Six children responded. Praise the Lord for the work He’s doing in their hearts! Pray for wisdom as we think about how to follow-up on these children, since we don’t have Sunday school or a children’s fellowship here on Taipa yet.

“Jennifer Blandin and I really enjoyed our time in Hong Kong last weekend. The unity among the broader missionary community in Macau is an incredible blessing in our lives.

Dressed for the Taipa VBS.

“Last night Living Word Church had a BBQ at the reservoir. Several of the church members had invited family members or friends to come with them. Praise the Lord for the burden the church members are starting to feel for sharing the gospel.

“This Sunday night [August 3] is our closing VBS program on Taipa. Pray that many of the children and their parents will attend. We’ll be sharing the gospel there, as we want the parents to know what we’ve been teaching their children. These parents don’t send their children to our program because they want them to have Christian training, but because they want their children to practice English with foreigners. Pray that they’ll see the value of the Christian training, too!”

Presenting the van keys to Francisco Raudales, superintendent of Honduras Conference.

A group from King Street UB in Chambersburg, Pa., delivered a new van to Honduras. Ray Ankerbrand reports:

“We arrived late on Tuesday, July 15, a little late since we were held up at the Mexican border. The paperwork was not complete for permanent use, but the van can be used while it is being completed. The bus remains at the Guatemalan border pending completion of the paperwork, but it is just across the border in Honduras. We had a very good trip. One tire blowout on the bus.”

On Sunday, August 3, New Hope UB (Huntington, Ind.) dedicated a new church sign. After the morning service, everyone gathered around the sign, and Rev. M. E. Burkett conducted the dedication ceremony, assisted by Rev. Kent Maxwell and Rev. Ron Evans. To end the ceremony, all believers received communion.

  • 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.