Each year, the United Brethren Year in Review is published during January. It takes a look at everything that happened during the previous year in the United Brethren world–in missions, in local churches, at Huntington University, at denominational events, etc. This 8-page publication is mailed around the end of January for distribution in UB churches.

You are invited to submit information about something your church did during 2018, for possible inclusion in the Year in Review and/or on UBCentral.org. Information can be sent to Steve Dennie at steve@ub.org, or send by postal mail to:

Steve Dennie
302 Lake Street
Huntington, Ind.

Or, you can use the form below. If you have photos, that would be great.

Fill out my online form.

The Pastoral Ministry Licensing Team (PMLT) has been busy this year approving and granting ministerial licenses to United Brethren people. Here are 17 new licensees from 2018.


L-r: Brad North, Philip Kandeh, Jerald Jones, Dan Reed, Curtis Carnes, Matt McKeown, and Josh McKeown.


National Conference Licenses

  • Brad North, appointed in April 2018 as senior pastor of South Scipio UB church (Harlan, Ind.).
  • Philip Kandeh, from Mt. Zion United African Church (Philadelphia, Pa.).
  • Jerald Jones, appointed in March 2018 as senior pastor of McCallum UB church (Delton, Mich.).
  • Dan Reed, Family Pastor since August 2016 at Bethel UB church (Elmore, Ohio).
  • Curtis Carnes, Pastor of Missional Discipleship at Renew Communities (Berea, Ohio).
  • Matt McKeown, associate pastor of First UB (Holly Hill, Fla.).
  • Josh McKeown, appointed in August 2017 as senior pastor of Faith UB (Port Orange, Fla.).

L-r: Don Swartz, Nik Walborn, and Brandon Groff.

Specialized Ministry licenses

  • Don Swartz, Executive Pastor at Dillman UB church (Warren, Ind.).
  • Nik Walborn, Student Ministries pastor at New Hope Community Church (Bryan, Ohio).
  • Brandon Groff, Student Ministry Pastor at Fowlerville UB church (Fowlerville, Mich.).

L-r: Nicholas Balsiger, Andrew Franks, Eric Griffon, Adam Keath, Lissa Litka, Julie Llewellyn, and Jason Peterson.

Provisional Licenses

  • Nickolas Balsiger, Associate Pastor of Discipleship & Student Ministries /Youth at The Well (Huntington, Ind.).
  • Andrew Franks, Youth Pastor at New Hope UB church (Huntington, Ind.).
  • Eric Griffon, Worship Pastor at Fowlerville UB church (Fowlerville, Mich.).
  • Adam Keath, Director of Restoration and Recovery at King Street UB church (Chambersburg, Pa.).
  • Lissa Litka, Spiritual Journey Director at Morning Star Church (Kokomo, Ind.).
  • Julie Llewellyn, Pastor of Early Childhood Ministries at Emmanuel Community Church (Fort Wayne, Ind.).
  • Jason Peterson, Children/Youth Pastor at Atlantic Avenue UB church (Franklin, Pa.).

UB Connected Projects from UB Global on Vimeo.

An event called “UB Connected” will be held November 4-5, 2018, at Rhodes Grove Camp in Chambersburg, Pa. It is sponsored by the United Brethren Association.

Jeff Bleijerveld, executive director of UB Global, will be among the speakers. The above video describes some of the activities of UB Connected churches in regards to United Brethren mission work.

Here is the schedule for UB Connected:

Sunday, November 4
3:00 PM: Missions Conference
5:00 PM: Supper, $17 per person ($10 per person for retired Pastors & wives)
6:00 PM: Business Meeting, Association Members
6:30 PM: Worship, Bishop Todd Fetters and Communion

Monday, November 5
9:00 PM: Worship & Teaching
12:00 PM: Lunch, $12 per person

Online registration is available here.


We now have a United Brethren presence in France.

Numbers vary, but most agree that there are approximately 58,000 Haitians and French of Haitian descent living in France today. The vast majority of these reside in the Greater Paris area.

Pastor Oliam Richard, our current national leader in Haiti, immigrated to France with his family in 1983. He planted the L’Eglise de Dieu Primitive in Alfortville (20 km south of Paris). The church meets in a rented location that seats about 200 people. Nearly 50% of attendees are children or young adults.

For some time, there has been discussion regarding the possibility of receiving this congregation into the fellowship of the United Brethren in Christ. So on the occasion of the church’s 35th anniversary, Jeff Bleijerveld, UB Global Executive Director, joined by Pastor Richard, met with the leadership and congregation to officially welcome them into the United Brethren in Christ.

Over the weekend, the church baptized six young adults (4 men, 2 women), and multiple gatherings took place. During the official anniversary celebration, over 200 people crowded into the building, with another 100 listening from the street outside. Jeff had the opportunity to share with them our UB priorities, namely, Gospel, Unity and Mission.

He was pleased to be introduced to another independent Haitian church in a neighboring town which is also interested in becoming United Brethren. Both churches are looking for ways to engage immigrants, whether Haitian or not, as well as the French citizenry, which consists increasingly of Agnostics or Muslims. They believe there is opportunity to multiply disciples and churches in France.

At this time, France is a mission district of UB Global, with strong relational ties to their sister churches in Haiti.

An event called “UB Connected” will be held November 4-5, 2018, at Rhodes Grove Camp in Chambersburg, Pa. It is sponsored by the United Brethren Association.

The event begins at 3 p.m. on Sunday, November 4, with a missions presentation by UB Global Director Jeff Bleijerveld, Sierra Leone Bishop John Pessima, and Liberia Bishop Moses Somah. Dinner will begin at 5:00 p.m., followed by a message from Bishop Todd Fetters at 6:30 p.m.

Keith Elliott, senior pastor of Criders UB Church, and Marc Stephenson, senior pastor of Mt. Olivet UB church, both located in Chambersburg, Pa., will speak on Monday morning. The event concludes with a noon meal.

There is no cost to attend sessions. However, there are fees for meals and lodging.

You can register online here.

Help spread the word at your church by printing the 2018 UB Connected Brochure and the 2018 UB Connected bulletin insert.

Bishop Todd Fetters leading the ELT meeting.

The Executive Leadership Team met October 15-16 at the United Brethren National Office in Huntington, Ind. The ELT consists of the bishop, six ministers, and six laypersons. They include three persons from each of the four geographic regions.

The ELT meets twice a year, in the spring and fall. At this fall meeting, the ELT discussed new initiatives for church planting and pastoral coaching, connections between churches, and a strategic vision for moving the denomination forward. The ELT also took care of several financial matters, including approving the 2019 suggested pastoral salary, and the 2019 denominational budget.

You can download the 2019 pastoral compensation formula here.

L-r: Dennis Wood, Linton Thomas, Gary Small, Marvin Schwartz.

Rev. Dennis Wood was appointed senior pastor of Park UB church (Bluffton, Ind.) effective July 29, 2018. The previous pastor, John Cole, had served there since 2010.

Gary Small is serving September and October as supply pastor of First UB (New Castle, Pa.). David Bell, who had been senior pastor there since 1990, passed away September 8 as a result of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). First UB is Gary’s home church, and where he began his ministry in 1985 with six years as youth pastor. He served at nearby Atlantic Avenue UB (Franklin, Pa.) 1991-2016.

Rev. Linton Thomas resigned as pastor of First Church Bronx (Bronx, NY) effective August 31, 2018. He had been the senior pastor for 20 years, 1998-2018.

Marvin Schwartz will retire effective November 11, 2018. He has been serving as pastor of Mt. Victory UB church (Decatur, Ind.) since June 2015. The church is waiting on an assignment.

New Beginnings UB church (Montpelier, Ohio) closed as of August 26, 2018. They will auction their buildings and property, with the proceeds going toward UB church multiplication. This church was founded in 1869. Richard Thorp had been the supply pastor since 2010.

Crosslife UB church (Columbia City, Ind.) closed September 28, 2018. This church began in 1997 as a church planting project of the Center for Church Planting in Northeast Indiana, a cooperative venture of Central and Michindoh conferences. The church used the name Eagle Quest until 2017, when they undertook a relaunch and rebranding under the leadership of Rev. Teddy Fairchild.

Maranatha UB church (Perrinton, Mich.) closed as of September 30, 2018. They are selling their property and donating the proceeds to a 501(c)3 of their choosing. This church was founded in 1878. Larry Mepham had been the pastor since 2011.

Fresh Spring (formerly Living Word UB of Columbus, Ohio) voted unanimously on October 7, 2018, to withdraw from the denomination. They had been meeting at a new location where they decided to join with another group. This church began in 1968 when the congregation, formerly part of the Evangelical United Brethren Church, affiliated with us rather than join the merger into the United Methodist Church. Back then, the church’s name was Redeemer United Brethren Church.

Jeff Bleijerveld, Director of UB Global

Hundreds of people have been killed in Nicaragua since April 18 in what has become a popular uprising against the Central American country’s president, Daniel Ortega, and his government.

We invite all our churches to join us in prayer for Nicaragua this coming Sunday, October 14. You can use this Powerpoint slide (1920x1080px).

Below is an update we received at the UB Global office this morning (October 10) from our national leader, Bishop Armando Lopez.

“The situation is still very difficult, as there is no security for anyone, even foreigners. Everything has been deeply politicized, and there is a profound economic crisis at present. The cost of living has increased 70 percent, and fuel by 20 percent. Unemployment shot up to almost 300,000 unemployed. The crisis has driven away tourism, which was one of the major economic drivers. Restaurants and hotels have had to close their doors and lay off employees. Add to this tropical depression Michael that flooded farm fields and neighborhoods. Thousands of victims are in shelters, such as churches or houses, having lost almost everything.

“As a result of these pressures, the crisis is hitting everyone, not simply the poorest, who already live with very little. In addition, there are serious threats from the United States of sanctions against Nicaragua to force the government to negotiate with its citizens. These sanctions would be the withdrawal of international loans that would hit Nicaragua very hard. Pray concerning the lack of food to feed the hungry, and the treatment of the sick. We are concerned for those in Niquinohomo who have been particularly hard hit with health concerns.

“Political persecution remains strong, resulting in thousands of young people migrating to Costa Rica. More than 500 people are being held as political prisoners, accused of terrorism, and tortured by the police and paramilitary forces. Even though the new stories no longer appear in your newspapers or news broadcasts, the protests in the street continue, although not so many people, due to the risk of arrest, torture, and death.

“We as a church remain neutral, praying and counseling our brothers and helping the needy with what we can. We ask that you not give up praying. Nicaragua is not another Cuba, or another Venezuela, and we appreciate all the spiritual help that God provides as a result of your prayers. We will remain in touch. May God bless and keep you.”


Julie Hui (left) and Lai Au Yeung.

Julie Hui and Lai Au Yeung, from United Brethren churches in Hong Kong, have been part of our international team in Thailand since October 2016. Both have now completed their two-year commitments and have returned to Hong Kong.

Julie and Lai were a crucial part of beginning the friendships and ministries around the UB community center in Chiang Rai, and modeling Christ’s love to those around them.

Lai returned to Hong Kong in early June to continue her teaching role in a kindergarden. Julie, who graduated from Huntington University in May 2016, left Thailand in September. However, she will remain involved by overseeing the Thailand ministry for Hong Kong Conference.