A date has been set for the next UB History Course:
Date: September 28-29, 2020 (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.
Dr. Daniel Paternoster’s life will be celebrated on July 25th. There will be a 1:00 pm outdoor visitation, and a 2:00 pm indoor service at Fowlerville UB Church (Fowlerville, Mich.). There are capacity limits, so people need to pre-register. You can read all the details here.
Gail D. Miller (right), 89, passed away July 1, 2020, in Montpelier, Ohio. She and her husband, Rev. Robert Miller, served in the United Brethren pastorate for over 40 years. She was actively involved in children’s ministry in the church and summer camp.
Visitation: 10am on Friday, July 3, 2020.
Funeral: 11:30 am immediately following the visitation.
Location: Stryker United Brethren Church, Stryker, Ohio. Rev. Nick Woodall will officiate.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions be made to the Stryker United Brethren Church. Online condolences may be offered to the family at the Grisier Funeral Home website.
Dan Paternoster, a longtime member of Fowlerville UB church (Fowlerville, Mich.), passed away around 6:30 Wednesday morning, July 1, 2020. He was a member of the denominational Executive Leadership Team for 14 years, from 2001-2015. Dan worked as a veterinarian. He has regularly attended the US National Conference meetings every two years, and will be missed.
For the 2013 US National Conference in Fort Wayne, Ind., a video was done about Dan and a terrible accident he was in while bike riding. It’s an inspiring story. You can watch it here.
Rev. Tom Datema (left) has been assigned as senior pastor of Gaines UB church (Caledonia, Mich.). He and his wife, Kim, moved to Caledonia on June 21. Tom had been senior pastor since 1998 of Zanesville UB church (Zanesville, Ind.), and was ordained in 1999.
Dr. Ray Seilhamer (right) has been named senior pastor of Zanesville UB church (Zanesville, Ind.) effective July 1, 2020. He has been a United Brethren minister since 1961, and served as bishop 1993-2001. His most recent pastorate was at Mt. Pleasant UB church in Chambersburg, Pa.
Rev. George Speas, 88, passed away on June 18, 2020. Over his ministry he pastored six different United Brethren churches in Michigan, including 31 years at Kilpatrick UB church in Woodland up through 2002. He was also a hospice chaplain for ten years.
George graduated from high school in 1949 in Lake Odessa, Mich., and then spent four years in the US Navy during the Korean War, being stationed in Japan. After completing his military service, he married Nadine Louise Cook in 1955. She passed away on April 26 of this year.
There will be a private graveside service. At a later date, a large celebration of life will be held for both George and Nadine.
Memorial contributions can be sent to Kilpatrick UB church, 10005 E Barnum Rd, Woodland MI 48897.
Former UB missionary June Brown passed away on June 4, 2020.
I didn’t meet June Brown until 1957, the year Jerry and I began our work in Sierra Leone. She lived in Mattru and we lived in Bumpe, and in those days missionaries didn’t travel much. Later, she moved to Bumpe to teach in Bumpe High School, where I got to know her better.
When I think of June, I’m reminded of Paul’s letter to the church at Thessalonica, where he said in verse 1:3, “We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Faith. She had faith in God, which resulted in obedience to his call to serve in Sierra Leone. She had faith he would empower her to do that work and that he would be with her in every situation.
Love. Her labor was prompted by love—for Jesus, for her fellow missionaries, and for her African students and friends. It was a love that mentored, taught, and gave of her time and gifts to fill needs. It was a love that caused her to patiently pull stingers out of the students’ heads when the bee honey melted and made them mad.
Hope. Her endurance and faithfulness was inspired by hope in the Lord. Hope that her students would find Jesus as Savior. Hope that they would follow their dreams and reach their goals—and pass their exams! Hope that her life and words would show Christ’s love, care, and joy to others.
1 Corinthians 13:13 tells us that these three great virtues remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love…and June Brown certainly loved the Sierra Leoneans!
Charles Edward Snider passed away June 12, 2020, in Toronto, Ontario. He was 100 years old. He is somewhat of a legendary figure among United Brethren in Canada, particularly in the area of missions.
Charlie, as he was known to everyone, served in the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War 2, working as groundcrew in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. In 1972, he started “Maintenance for Missions,” and traveled around the world to build and fix things for various mission organizations. He initiated and supervised numerous work teams through the United Brethren Church to build churches, schools, and small water projects. He fixed lawn mowers, generators, and hospital equipment. He installed water systems in Sierra Leone, installed and fixed hospital equipment in Angola and Kenya, drilled wells to provide clean water in Ethiopia, rebuilt/installed hydro-electric generators in Ecuador and Kenya…and much more.
Charlie’s wife, Rev. Ruth Snider, an ordained United Brethren minister, spent many years pastoring UB churches in Ontario. She also served as president of the Women’s Missionary Association and as a member of the denominational Board of Missions. She also worked as director of Food for the Hungry Canada. Their son Stan and his wife, Vicki, were missionaries at Mattru Hospital in Sierra Leone until the civil war started.
Because of Covid-19 restrictions, only immediate family will gather for a graveside service. You can read Charlie’s full obituary here.
Donna Hollopeter (right) retired in 2016 after 22 years as associate director of UB Global.
In 1992, right after June Brown returned from Sierra Leone when the war broke out, I was asked to accompany her on a speaking tour in the Midwest. I had been in the UB Missions department for about a year and I thought it would be a great opportunity. It was not only a great opportunity, but one of my most memorable experiences.
We had a number of churches booked, so we were on the road for quite a while—ten days, as I remember. While we were traveling, the Oklahoma bombing of the Federal Building took place. Timothy McVeigh was captured in a small town close to where we were staying one evening. We returned to our hotel room to find TV trucks and FBI personnel everywhere. We found out that McVeigh
was being held in the town jail until he could be moved the next day, and the FBI had commandeered all of the available rooms at our motel that evening while waiting to escort him to another location. I remember June saying to me that night, as we turned out the lights to go to sleep, “Well, we should sleep really well tonight with all this protection!”
On this same trip, we were visiting another church, and both June and I were engaged in meeting and greeting the people. I noticed that one particular gentleman kept returning to talk to June. After the service, he escorted us to our car and said to June, “You know, I always thought it would be a wonderful thing to be married to a missionary. Do you think you would like to live in the Midwest?”
June didn’t skip a beat and replied, “No, I’d rather live in Africa.”
She told me later she was hoping he didn’t tell her he would like to live there too. We laughed many times about her “marriage proposal.”
I will always remember the time Global Ministries Director Gary Dilley, his wife Rhonda, my husband Jason, and I traveled to Sierra Leone with June and Ruth Benner. We had the opportunity to listen to June and Ruth talk about all of their experiences, and we laughed so hard at some of their stories. On this trip, wherever we went, people in the villages would become so excited because Miss Brown and Miss Benner were there. It was evident June and Ruth were beloved.
I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to know June and travel with her. What a woman of God and a dear friend!