|Connecting People and Churches of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches||Sunday, May 19 2013|
Friday, 23 March 2012 14:59
VisionIndiana, a church-planting initiative in the Hoosier State which was birthed under the direction and guidance of VisionOhio personnel, had its initial formation meeting on Saturday, February 11, meeting in Winona Lake, Ind.
Some 12-15 pastors, church leaders, and current church planters met at The Hub, the community/youth facility of the Winona Lake Grace Brethren Church, to pray together, to discuss how God is moving in individuals to church-plant, and to formulate next steps to build fraternity and encourage church-planting in northern Indiana.
Relationships were formed and strengthened through bowling together as a first activity, followed by some inspirational and instructional sessions led by Tony Webb and Ron Boehm of VisionOhio. At the conclusion of the day, a number of action steps were solidified, including the creation of a VisionIndiana Facebook page, which is now operative under the direction of Aaron Scantlen of the Winona Lake church.
Participants in the day’s discussions came from South Bend, Leesburg, Columbia City, and Winona Lake.
Specific plans were formulated to visit, encourage, and pray for current church planting efforts in the South Bend, Fort Wayne, Howe, and Winona Lake areas, including visits to encourage and support those currently involved in gathering groups of believers in preparation for potential church plants. The next meeting of the group is scheduled for Saturday, April 28. Discussion also centered on how to incorporate the momentum and information from Go2’s current emphasis on “Circles of Grace,” as church-planting plans develop.
Friday, 23 March 2012 14:51
Encounter Church, a Grace Brethren congregation in Dublin, Ohio, has announced that the church is launching its first church plant.Sean Spoelstra, pastor of
“For more than three years I’ve said, ‘I don’t know who or where or when, but we are committed to planting a church and are putting five percent of our offerings aside to prepare for it,’” Spoelstra recalled on January 29 as he introduced Mark and Kristin Artrip as the couple who will be the first to lead a church plant out of Encounter Church.
The announcement came as Encounter celebrated its third anniversary of holding Sunday morning services and Spoelstra was teaching on the church’s core value “Multiply,” which has church planting as a major component.
The Artrips will move to Hilliard, Ohio, on the northwest side of metropolitan Columbus, to begin a new Grace Brethren work. Mark is currently the youth pastor at Grace Church in Powell, Ohio.
“Mark is committed to finishing well at Grace Church and plans to come over to Encounter at the end of this summer,” said Spoelstra. “He then will be a leadership resident with us for approximately six months, teaching, training, praying, dreaming, and preparing his ministry team to launch Movement Church in the Spring of 2013.”
Friday, 16 March 2012 14:53
The success of Grace Brethren Canada has been undeniable in seeing four Grace Brethren churches planted north of the 49th Parallel in the last 14 years. But the need for American congregations to partner with them has never been stronger.
Canada is home to 33 million people from around the world, but yet the numbers that would call themselves evangelical Christians are miniscule relative to the United States. Put simply, Canada needs Jesus.
Over the years Grace Brethren Canada has relied on the partnership of congregations in the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches to carry forward the mission. Short term teams have been integral to the launch of all four churches. The power of scores of hands reaching out and touching people’s lives in the name of Jesus speaks volumes to Canadians about the love of God for them. People see Christians from faraway places working with a shared passion for the lost and for Christ. This speaks louder than any soapbox preacher ever could.
This summer, two “Great Canadian Adventures” are scheduled. The earliest, July 8-13, will be in Medicine Hat, Alberta—home of Canada’s newest Grace Brethren church, Grasslands Church. It launched in September of 2011, and the congregation and its city could be eternally impacted by a dedicated group of people who partner with the church’s many new and growing Christians who need to learn how to serve with love.
Later this summer, August 5-10, the event returns to Surrey, British Columbia (in the Vancouver area), to join Community of Hope in breaking up the hardened earth in a diverse multiethnic community. People there are from some of the most unreached people groups in the world and need to see Christ’s love before they can be taught Christ’s love. The Adventure will be instrumental in helping Community of Hope increase its ability to impact and love their community.
To learn more on how to participate in either of these affordable, but challenging, missionary opportunities, check out canadianadventure.org on the Web. Together Christ can do more in Canada than we could ask or imagine!
Friday, 16 March 2012 14:47
Vision2020 West, the annual conference of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches, will celebrate Grace Brethren works related to integrated ministries, church planting, and leadership development when it gathers this summer in Indian Wells, Calif. Organized around the Commitment to Common Mission, the week will focus on the topics of Church Planting, Leadership Development, and Integrated Ministry.
Friday, 16 March 2012 14:27
Barbara Moore wants to be sure the children of Rittman, Ohio, learn about Jesus. For that reason, she’s been involved in a released time Bible education program in the northeast Ohio city. RittmanCARES is designed for students in grades 1-5 and allows them, with parental permission, to be escorted to a nearby church for a Bible lesson taught by volunteers.
(There is a companion E.P.I.C. program for young people in grades 6 and 7, according to Pastor Bud Olszewski, pastor of the Rittman Grace Brethren Church, who has also chaired the Rittman Released Time Bible Committee),
“We have a lot of students who have never heard of the Bible, who don’t know what a Bible looks like, or who don’t know what ‘chapter and verse’ means,” she says.
A retired teacher and a member of the Rittman church, Barbara served as volunteer coordinator during the first three years of the program.
“This is huge in that she secured all the people who make it work,” says Pastor Bud. “Barb is so positive and persuasive and has really built the stability and the personality of the program.”
In fact, Barbara stressed that the travel time between the school and church was as important as the time in the classroom. She tells the volunteers that it most exciting “that you are going to give a child sole attention for five minutes during that walk time.
“A lot of our students in Rittman never have that time with an adult,” she acknowledges.
Each week, nearly 300 students make the trek across the street for the classes, according to Barbara. At the same time, the volunteers are becoming acquainted with the young people and learning how they can better pray for them.
“Our church has learned more and more about the children in Rittman,” she stresses, “because we’ll bring to them the concerns that we have as part of their prayer time. And they are very excited about being involved in the children.”
Barbara says the program is a success because of the support of district administration. When coupled with the involvement of area churches and volunteers, “these partners working together have meant so much to our children in Rittman,” she concludes.
More stories of people in Grace Brethren churches:
Heartbroken -- Chris Springer
Powerful Prayer -- Earl Goodman
Following The Call -- Shane and Cheryl Edwards
Following God's Leading -- Cami Berkey
Tool Time -- Butch Owens
Joining the Family Reunion -- Roger Fry
Language Lessons -- Vicki Johnson
A Tongue-and-Groove Match -- Laura and Einer Teng
Friday, 16 March 2012 13:45
Chasing After Faith, a new personal spiritual development and small-group study guide written by Pastor Mark. E. Lingenfelter of the Leamersville, Pa., Grace Brethren Church, has just been released by BMH Books of Winona Lake, Ind.
Subtitled “Capturing Hope Though a Daughter’s Special Needs,” the book chronicles the journey Lingenfelter and his wife, Angie, took through the discovery and adjustment to a number of birth and developmental problems with their daughter, Faith.
In the introduction, Lingenfelter stresses, “This book is NOT a record of woes and hardship, and it is not a pool of self-pity or sorrow.” Instead, he says, “This is a book about the JOY found growing in the soil of suffering. It is intended to challenge the reader to consider the value of chasing after a life of faith.”
The slim 71-page paperback contains eight chapters, each teaching a spiritual principle learned through the Lingenfelters’ experience, and each followed by several pages of discussion questions and exercises designed for individual study or small-group discussion.
Four pages of color photos highlight the growth and development of Lingenfelters’ daughter, who is now six years old.
“Shepherds lead best when God has deepened them through dark days. This is an excellent tool for pastors, fathers, or small group leaders to help people talk through vital faith issues,” adds Tom Avey, fellowship coordinator of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches.
Chasing After Faith is available through online booksellers, at Christian bookstores, or at bmhbooks.com. The retail price is $9.95 and the ISBN is 978-0-88469-280-5.
Friday, 16 March 2012 13:32
It was a struggle to find the right cover photo for this issue. Ideally, it should be an image that relates to a story inside, but that didn’t happen this time. I looked through multiple stock photo collections. Nothing to illustrate fraternity, brotherhood, and honoring one another—the proposed theme. That was the original plan, at least. But as the final pieces of the magazine came together, it became apparent that God had orchestrated the focus to be church planting.
When I saw the image of the climber extending a helping hand to his companion, I knew that was the one. It spoke about the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches (FGBC), particularly as we grow through the development of new congregations.
In recent discussions people have talked about the FGBC as “family” and said that the relationships developed within a district, at a conference, or even in college or seminary, are the glue that keeps us together.
But I also like to think about our network of congregations as a giant partnership. We lend a hand to each other when necessary, we encourage one another — in good times and bad — and help our sister congregations be successful in reaching their communities for Christ. We partner on projects that could not have been accomplished otherwise. How else would we have seen the development of an international mission agency that has witnessed exponential church planting outside of North America, a premier youth conference that has been ministering to teens for more than 50 years, or a college and seminary that have remained true to an original mission since 1939?
So as I begin putting this issue “to bed,” I’m watching God’s hand at work across North America in the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches. A new wind is blowing as one hand after another stretches out to pull up a brother or sister in Christ. A call to prayer has been issued to remember our land “from sea to shining sea” or a mari usque ad mare (from sea to sea) for our Canadian neighbors. The need for Bible-teaching churches in North America—Grace Brethren churches—has never been greater!
Sit back and enjoy this issue of the magazine. In it, you’ll read about how one church planting agency intentionally creates a bond among its staff, you’ll discover that one of the newest Grace Brethren congregations is planned in Central Ohio, and you’ll learn about six new congregations scheduled to be considered as new members of the Fellowship at conference this summer (with more expected to make application) in Indian Wells, Calif.
And while you are doing that, pray for each of the people and ministries represented in the magazine. It’s one way to lend a hand
Thursday, 15 March 2012 21:44
Lois was born on September 11, 1915, in Johnstown, Pa., and was a graduate of Johnstown High School. For more than 50 years, she ministered alongside her husband, Richard, in the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches in Indiana, Iowa, California and Ohio. She has left a legacy of faithful prayer for her family.
Lois is survived by her son, Larry (Vicki) DeArmey of Columbus, Ohio; daughter, Kathy (Jack) Hiler of Elkhart; son, R. Neal DeArmey of South Bend; daughter, Lynne Dickey of Brookville, Ohio; grandchildren, Ginette (John) Bryan of Columbus, Ohio; Marc (Abeba) DeArmey of Oakland, Calif.; Eric (Debbie) Hiler of Elkhart, Ind.; Luc DeArmey of Oakland, Calif.; Bryan Hiler of Wakarusa, Ind.; David DeArmey of Lyon, France; Jaime (Paul) Surber of Brookville, Ohio; Jeremy (Katie) Hiler of Elkhart, Ind.; Mathieu (Lis) DeArmey of Lyon, France; Michael (Cala) Dickey of Brookville, Ohio; Jacquelyn Dickey of Brookville, Ohio; 17 great-grandchildren; and her sister-in-law, Norma McAchren of Warrenton, Va.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Richard P. DeArmey; parents, Leo and Matilde (Sann) McAchren; brothers, Lawrence, Trevor, Omas, Ned, Marlin and Ralph McAchren; sister, Joanna Wingard and son-in-law, Don Dickey.
Funeral services were held on December 28, 2011, at Chapel Hill Funeral Home, Ind. Burial was in Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens.
Jim Jackson, former Grace Brethren pastor and son of church planters Ed and Polly Jackson, died December 12, 2011, of congestive heart failure according to his father, Ed Jackson. The younger Jacksons were living near Jackson Hole, Wyo., where Jim had been serving as interim pastor at a small church. At first thought to have food poisoning, Jim was airlifted to Pocatello, Idaho, where he died.
Jackson, 57, had pastored Grace Brethren churches in Lakeland, Fla.; Homer, Alaska; and had pastored the Echo Valley, Pa., Grace Brethren church, north of Harrisburg, for 13 years. Jim’s son-in-law, Rick Wulf, who is married to Jim’s daughter, Jill, continues at the Echo Valley church as youth and children’s pastor.
At Jim’s request, he is being cremated. At a later time, a memorial service will be conducted at the Grace Brethren Church in Powell, Ohio, with Pastor Rick Nuzum officiating. Jim’s father, Ed Jackson, has served the Powell church along with his wife, Polly, for a number of years in the areas of missions and prayer.
Sylvia F. Jentes was born September 1, 1943, in Long Beach, Calif., and died at Hemet Valley (Calif.) Medical Center on January 18, 2012. She lived in Hemet for 30 years. She was a LVN Nurse at Hemet Valley Medical Center for 19 years. She was a member of the First Baptist Church of Hemet and sang in the choir.
She is survived by her husband, Donald; her daughter Sharon of San Dimas, Calif.; son Daniel of Hemet; sisters Elizabeth Leaman of Munich, Germany; Nancy Windhauser of Orange, Calif.; Martha Vandeventer of Yorba Linda, Calif.; her brother, Richard of Myrtle Point, Ore.; and three grandchildren. A memorial service was held on January 28, 2012, at First Baptist Church, 26087 Girard St. Hemet.
She was born in Altoona, Pa., on September 29, 1933, to Orville Claire Grabill and Emma Mae (Tilson) Grabill. She was married on June 29, 1957, at the Altoona Bible Church, to Lee LeMoyne Kantenwein, who survives.
Phyllis graduated in 1951 from Altoona High School in Pennsylvania. She was part of the musical productions for the annual shows as a soloist. She had been a resident of Kosciusko County, Ind., for the past 46 years where she was a homemaker, a devoted pastor’s wife, a piano teacher, and the playground supervisor at Lincoln School in Warsaw.
She retired from Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana, in 2001 as the switchboard operator after 25 years. She was a gifted musician starting at a very young age -- a pianist, organist, and contralto soloist. In 2002 she released a CD titled “Songs from the Heart.” Phyllis was a speaker and presenter of musical programs with her daughters for mother-daughter banquets and elsewhere. She was also a longtime member of Pleasant View Bible Church in Warsaw, where she was also the organist.
She will be lovingly remembered by her husband: Lee L. Kantenwein (Warsaw, Indiana); two sons: Murry L. Kantenwein (Warsaw, Indiana); Scott A. (wife Carol) Kantenwein (Wooster, Ohio); two daughters: Cynthia J. (husband Larry) Buckholz (Warsaw, Indiana); and Sheryl L. (husband Gene) Gephart (Bourbon, Indiana). Also surviving are twelve grandchildren, three great-grandchildren; and her brother: Gerald L. (wife Theresa) Grabill (Polk City, Florida). She was preceded in death by her parents, and two brothers.
Funeral service were conducted December 20, 2011, at Pleasant View Bible Church, 2782 W. 200 N., Warsaw, Ind., and officiated by Pastor Michael Hontz. Burial followed at Pleasant View Cemetery of Warsaw. Memorial donations may be directed to Pleasant View Bible Church, 2782 W. 200 N., Warsaw, Indiana 46580; or to Lakeland Child Evangelism Ministries, P.O. Box 612, Winona Lake, Indiana 46590 and would be appreciated by her family.
He was born on February 22, 1922, in Los Angeles, Calif., to Leo Polman and Leila Christine (Neher) Polman. Gerald was married in Dayton, Ohio, on August 22, 1944, to Phyllis Jeanette (Kinsey) Polman, who died on January 27, 2008.
Gerald was a graduate of South Side High School in Fort Wayne, Ind. He continued his education and graduated from Bob Jones University in 1943. He received his Master of Divinity in 1946 from Grace College and Seminary in Winona Lake, Ind. He served as a student pastor at two churches, Danville, Ohio, and Fort Wayne, Ind.
During his 43-year pastoral ministry, Polman served Grace Brethren churches in Meyersdale, Pa.; York, Pa.; Glendale, Calif.; Rialto, Calif.; Englewood, Ohio; and Lansing, Michigan. He retired in 1986, although he continued to travel with his motor home to help churches as an interim pastor.
Polman served on the board of the Brethren Missionary Herald Company from 1964 to 1993 and was secretary from 1972 to 1991 and assistant secretary from 1966-1971 and 1992-1993. His father, Leo Polman, led BMH as “secretary of publications” from October 1941 to December 1944.
Rev. Polman was a member of Winona Lake Grace Brethren Church, an active stamp collector at Grace Village Retirement Community, as well as belonging to the National Philatelic Society.
He will be lovingly remembered by his son: Roy Lee (wife Judy) Polman of Cherry Valley, Calif.; two daughters: Ann (husband Dave) Grant of Gainsville, Fla.); Kay (husband Jeff) Bowling of Cumming, Ga.); and eight grandchildren, and thirteen great-grandchildren. He also leaves behind two sisters: Joyce (husband Robert) Griffith and Elaine Brenneman (both of Winona Lake, Ind.). He was preceded in death by his parents and his wife.
A funeral service was held February 10, 2012 at Redpath-Fruth Funeral Home, 225 Argonne Road, Warsaw, Indiana. His service was officiated by Pastor Bruce Barlow, and Chaplain Bryan Benjamin. Entombment took place at Royal Oak Memorial Gardens in Brookville, Ohio.
Memorial donations in Gerald’s name may be directed to Grace Village Retirement Community, P.O. Box 337, Winona Lake, Indiana 46590.
R. Paul Miller died December 17, 2011 in Florida. He graduated from Grace Theological Seminary in 1953 and served Grace Brethren churches in Garwin, Iowa; Uniontown, Pa.; Mansfield, Ohio; Maitland, Florida; Myerstown, Pa.; and he assisted at Ocala, Fla., in his retirement. During his ministry at the Marion Avenue church in Mansfield, he was instrumental in the founding of Mansfield Christian School.
He is survived by his wife, Esther, and five children and 13 grandchildren. Services were held December 28, 2011, with a private interment at the Florida National Veterans Cemetery near Bushnell, Fla. A public memorial service was held at 2:30 p.m. that day at Springlake Village Community Center near Silver Springs, Fla.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Norman and Esther Miller, brothers, Elmer, Stuart, and Jerry Miller, and sister Norma Truax.
Pastor Miller served churches in Ohio, Iowa, West Virginia, and Virginia. His last pastorate was at Boones Mill Grace Brethren Church. He was a veteran of the U S Army.
Surviving are his wife of 46 years, Nancy Schrock Miller; daughters, Lori Miller, of Roanoke, Va.; Janice Via, of Graham, N.C.; grandchildren, Nicole Hall, Danny Via, Brett Miller, Bryanna Brown, and Brendan Martin; six great grandchildren; sisters, Lanny Miller and Esther Ou, both of Mountain Top, Pa.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that memorials be made to Patterson Memorial Grace Brethren Church, 5512 Hollins Road, Roanoke, Va. 24019. Funeral services were held December 1, 2011 at Simpson Funeral Home, 5160 Peters Creek Road, by Pastor Don Eshelman. Interment was in the Virginia Veterans Cemetery, Dublin, Va.
She was born on December 17, 1940, in Chicago, Illinois, to Francis James Stech and Pearl Eldonna (Swaffar) Stech-Lofton.
Norma received a bachelor’s degree in 1966 from Grace College in Winona Lake, Ind.; then continued her education, receiving her Master’s degree at St. Francis University. She also received her endorsement in learning disabilities from Ball State University. She was an elementary school teacher for 44 years at Warsaw Christian School in Warsaw, Ind., retiring in 2011. She was a member of Community Grace Brethren Church of Warsaw, Ind.
She is survived by three brothers (all of Illinois): Richard, Wayne, and Gary Lofton; and two sisters: Linda D’Amoto (Illinois); Sandra Lofton (Australia). She was preceded in death by her parents.
Funeral service was conducted on Thursday, January 12, 2012, at 2:00 p.m. at Redpath-Fruth Funeral Home, 225 Argonne Road, Warsaw, Ind., officiated by Pastor Howard Immel. Memorial donations in Norma Stech’s name may be directed to Warsaw Christian School, 909 S. Buffalo Street, Warsaw, Indiana 46580.
Thursday, 15 March 2012 21:37
Fraternity – honoring each other. The Scriptures are full of texts that talk about how we are to relate to each other. There are scores of “one another” passages; passages that focus on our love for each other; passages that express how we are to relate to one another when we are not getting along very well.
Fraternity is a very important concept as I work to engage the formation of new Grace Brethren churches. Ministry can be toxic. It can be very damaging and hurtful. It was to Jesus and His disciples. The Gospels are full of examples in which Jesus was in difficult situations ultimately leading to His death (and resurrection). We have a High Priest who can sympathize with our difficult situations. Many situations we face are replete with hurt and pain; we also have many situations in which we enjoy great pleasure and kindness.
Thursday, 15 March 2012 21:26
Bob Fetterhoff, pastor of the Wooster, Ohio, Grace Brethren Church, was recognized by The Pregnancy Care Center of Wayne County, Ohio, for his work as a founding member of the organization and for his work in protecting the unborn. Fetterhoff, who is also the current moderator of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches, was given the award at the organization’s 21st annual “Friends for Life” banquet held in October 2011.
Mark G. Holbrook, a leader and Sunday school teacher in Grace Church of Orange, a Grace Brethren church in Orange, Calif. (Mike Sciarra, pastor), has been recognized by the California Credit Union League for his long-time dedication and commitment to his credit union, its members, and the industry, with the 2011 Unsung Hero Award. The award honors deserving individuals within the credit union industry with at least 20 years of service who also have made significant contributions in the community. Mark is the CEO of the Evangelical Christian Credit Union in Orange.
Jim Kessler, long-time basketball coach at Grace College, Winona Lake, Ind., saw his 650th career win as a coach when the Grace Lancers scored a 75-66 victory over Spring Arbor University on January 31.
On Wednesday, November 30, Grace College President Dr. Ron Manahan testified before the Congressional Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training in Washington, D.C. Invited to join a small panel of pioneering educators, Dr. Manahan advised the subcommittee on Grace’s innovative campaign to make college affordable during a hearing entitled Keeping College within Reach: Discussing Ways Institutions Can Streamline Costs and Reduce Tuition.
On the Move
Jay Fretz is the pastor of Calvary Grace Brethren Church, Hagerstown, Md., effective February 2012. He previously pastored the Grace Brethren Church, Brookville, Ohio; Maranatha Brethren Church in Hagerstown; and the Grace Brethren Church in Sebring, Fla.
On Sunday, January 8, Donald Shoemaker preached his final sermon as senior pastor for Grace Community Church, a Grace Brethren congregation in Seal Beach, Calif. He has held the position since 1984. He now holds the position of pastor emeritus.
Steve Williams has been named senior pastor of Grace Community Church, Seal Beach, Calif.
Jim Jackson, 57, former Grace Brethren pastor and son of church planters Ed and Polly Jackson, died December 12, 2011.
Sylvia F. Jentes, 68, Hemet, Calif., died January 18, 2012. She was the wife of former Grace Brethren pastor, Don Jentes.
Phyllis Marie Kantenwein, 78, Warsaw, Ind., died December 16, 2011. She was the switchboard operator at Grace College for 25 years and the wife of retired Grace Seminary professor, Lee L. Kantenwein.
Gerald B. Polman, 89, Winona Lake, Ind., died February 8, 2012. He was a former Grace Brethren pastor and served on the board of the Brethren Missionary Herald Company from 1964 to 1993.
R. Paul Miller, retired Grace Brethren pastor, died December 17, 2011, in Florida.
Ralph F. Miller, 78, of Roanoke, Va., died November 27, 2011. He was a retired Grace Brethren pastor.
Norma Jeanne Stech, 71, Winona Lake, Ind., died January 9, 2012. She taught at Warsaw (Ind.) Christian School for 44 years and was a member of Community Grace Brethren Church, Warsaw.
See complete obituaries.