Marc Stephenson was appointed senior pastor of First UB church in New Castle, Pa., effective January 1, 2019. Since 2012 he had been senior pastor of Mt. Olivet UB (Chambersburg, Pa.), and was youth pastor of Cochranton Community UB (Cochranton, Pa.) 2005-2012. Marc was ordained in 2007.

Members of the South Africa team. Christia Whitacre is in the upper right.

In May 2018, Arthur Wilson, Dean of Spiritual Life and campus pastor at Huntington University, approached UB Global about the possibility of a trip to Africa with students. We thought of Impact Africa right away, which has a solid program for short-term teams. UB Global missionary Nichie Parish Stonall serves with Impact Africa in Johannesburg.

The group of 18 traveled during Huntington’s J-term. Christia Whitacre, whose husband Kevin is pastor of Anchor UB church (Fort Wayne, Ind.), came as one of two chaperones.

And, congratulations to Nichie and Chris Stonall, who were married in South Africa back in July and were able to celebrate with US family and friends in December!

The Thai Community Center under construction.

Through your generosity, we raised $63,451 in 2018 to cover the remaining expenses to complete the Thailand Community Center. Thank you!

The center is slated to be finished this summer. It is well positioned on a busy road in a middle-class ethnic Thai neighborhood. When the center opens, we will offer a variety of classes to bless the community and build relationships that will hopefully lead to new disciples.

The $3,450 raised beyond our goal of $60,000 will be the seed money to help with future necessary interior purchases such as furniture, paint, and equipment.

Help Wanted

UB Global is looking for a someone, or a family, to join the Thailand team as Short-Term Team Coordinator. Role: take care of the teams which come to Thailand during the year. Contact frank@ub.org if interested.

L-r: Grace, Jim, and Heidi Olinger.

Jim and Heidi Olinger have been accepted as the newest UB Global endorsed missionaries. The Olingers are members of the Hillsdale UB church in Hillsdale, Mich.

Jim recently became president of the Nicaragua Christian Education Foundation (NiCE), based in Highland, Ill. The foundation serves churches and Christian schools through student sponsorships, meal packing projects, and short-term mission teams. Their goal is to come alongside and equip local believers to reach their country for Christ.

Jim will oversee all operations of the foundation in the US and Nicaragua. He brings 22 years of pastoral experience and nine years of cooperation with the foundation.

Jim and Heidi have been married for 23 years, and will be experiencing an empty nest this fall as Grace enters her freshman year at Huntington University.

“Let’s Pray” is the theme for this summer’s US National Conference. Bishop Todd Fetters addresses the subject in the short video above.

An e-letter is being published every two weeks in the lead-up to the conference. The second edition will go out later this week. If you’d like to subscribe, or if you’d like to download the video above to show to the congregation, go here.

Registrations are coming in for the US National Conference, which will be held July 17-20 in Bowling Green, Ohio. Go here for info and to register.

Registration is open for the 2019 US National Conference, which will be held July 17-20 in Bowling Green, Ohio. You can register here.

We will basically be taking over the wonderful student union building at Bowling Green State University. The campus environment will be something new for our national conferences. Everything–services, workshops, women’s track, childcare–will be held in the student union. The dining hall is right next door.

There are three parts to the registration link:

  1. Registering for the conference itself.
  2. Reserving lodging, either on the campus or at local hotels.
  3. Purchasing meal tickets for the dining hall.

Registration costs:

  • Individual: $75 ($90 after June 1, 2019)
  • Family: $115 ($140 after June 1, 2019)
  • Individual Day Pass: $40

Steve and Amanda Henry and children.

Amanda Henry provided this update about her husband, Steve, who had heart surgery on Wednesday, February 27. Steve Henry is pastor of Victory Heights UB church in Franklin, Pa.

“Praise the Lord!!!! Steve is out of surgery! Everything went well. The surgeon decided to do a newer procedure to bypass Steve’s arch altogether. He made a couple of connections now, and in another month or so they will do a stint and finish the bypass then. That should be a small procedure. Right now we are waiting to see him. Thank you for all your prayers and support. This is still a long road to recovery after open heart.”

Says Bishop Todd Fetters, “Let’s keep on praying for Steve, Amanda, and the Henry family.”

Steve has suffered from Marfan Syndrome all his life, and has undergone five other major surgeries. He recently published a book, “Custom Scars,” which tells his story. It is available on Amazon. You can read more about the book, and his testimony, on this web page.

Rev. Ralph Faber

Ralph Faber, 83, passed away February 9, 2019, in Princeton, Ill. He graduated from Huntington College in 1968 with a degree in Bible and Religion, and in 1992 earned a Master of Christian Ministry from the HC School of Christian Ministry.

Ralph pastored non-UB churches 1965-1970, and then spent the next 35 years, 1970-2005, pastoring United Brethren churches in Illinois and Kansas. They included the Illilnois churches in Manlius, Quincy, Rockford, Leaf River, and Claytonville; and the UB church in Abiliene, Kansas.

He is survived by his wife, Ruth, with whom he shared 64 years of marriage; and three sons.

Visitation: 5-7 pm February 15, 2019.
Visitation location: Grant-Johnson Funeral Home, Princeton, Ill.
Funeral: 10 am Saturday, February 16, 2019.
Funeral location: First United Methodist Church, Princeton, Ill. Rev. Steven Barber, an ordained United Brethren minister, will officiate.

Salem UB church (Chambersburg, Pa.) is searching for a Director of Worship. This is a part-time salaried position requiring 20-25 hours per week, and the church anticipates that it will transition into a fulltime position.

Salem re-evaluated the needs of their worship ministry in light of their plan to relocate in about a year to the NorthPointe Business Center, about 1.5 miles from the current location. The position will include these tasks:

  • Single-handedly lead contemporary worship on lead instrument and with vocals when other musicians are not available
  • Work closely with the pastor to develop the vision of Salem’s worship ministry
  • With pastoral collaboration, plan weekly traditional and contemporary worship experiences using creative elements and spoken bridges to draw congregational worship into a time of purposeful attention toward God
  • Work with Salem’s musicians where they are at and coach them both in skill improvement and the ability to worship God while singing or playing their instrument
  • Recruit musicians for worship team from within the church and, if necessary, work with worship directors from area churches to identify under-utilized talent and use them at Salem to supplement the team of Salem’s musicians
  • Develop worship team musicians into competent worship leaders (when possible) through skill coaching and personal example
  • Select worship songs for the weekly contemporary service and provide the music to worship team musicians
  • Conduct weekly worship team rehearsals
  • Create slides of song lyrics for both worship services each week
  • Collaborate with the pastor to plan special worship services for holidays
  • Evaluate musicians and select appropriate ones to provide special music pieces for use in worship
  • Work with the director of Salem’s Audio/Visual ministry to provide appropriate audio-visual support for worship services
  • Pursue opportunities for personal and professional growth via training workshops, seminars, etc. Costs will be covered by the church upon prior approval of the event or program
  • Work with Salem’s finance director to set and stay within the yearly worship ministry budget
  • If available and willing, may also assist with establishing a team of teen musicians to lead worship in youth group settings

Download this PDF for the complete job description, including qualifications.

Persons interested in this position should email a cover letter and resume (PDF format preferred) to Senior Pastor Jason Bakker at jason@salemub.org by March 15, 2019.

(Posted February 14, 2019)

Jeff Bleijerveld, Director of UB Global

Here are two “Top Ten” lists regarding giving to UB Global during 2018. The first list shows the Top Ten UB churches in terms of giving per attendee. The second shows the Top Ten in total giving, regardless of size.

Top Ten Per Capita Giving (Amount Given Per Attendee)
$207: Bethany House of the Lord (Cumberland, Md.)
$173: Kilburn Avenue (Rockford, Ill.)
$146: Mount Carmel (Fulk’s Run, Va.)
$137: The Village Church (Stevensville, Ontario)
$122: Liberty (Stockport, Ohio)
$120: Countryside (Breckenridge, Mich.)
$115: New Hope Community (Toronto, Ontario)
$109: Pleasant Valley (Lake Odessa, Mich.)
$100: Crellin (Crellin, Md.)
$99: Grace (Sherkston, Ontario)

Top Ten Giving (Total Given from the Church)
$88,394: Emmanuel Community Church (Fort Wayne, Ind.)
$38,671: King Street (Chambersburg, Pa.)
$24,268: College Park (Huntington, Ind.)
$19,476: Salem (Chambersburg, Pa.)
$17,364: Mount Pleasant (Chambersburg, Pa.)
$17,309: Parkwood Gardens (Guelph, Ontario)
$13,258: Prince Street (Shippensburg, Pa.)
$12,731: Mount Carmel (Fulk’s Run, Va.)
$11,967: Otterbein (Greencastle, Pa.)
$11,420: Heart O’ the Lakes (Brooklyn, Mich.)