The following news briefs are from July and August issues of The Brethren Missionary Herald magazine and FGBC World newspaper.
Five Years Ago – 2004
The annual conference of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches was held in Kingsport, Tenn., led by moderator John Teevan, pastor of the Winona Lake, Ind., Grace Brethren Church.
A band of ten African Pygmy believers and a lone American missionary, Barb Wooler, made a 185-mile trek through the forests of Central African Republic and Northern Congo to bring the gospel to relatives of Pygmy Christians and to begin planting 50 Grace Brethren churches among the Bayaka people.
Fifteen Years Ago – 1994
The Grace Brethren Church, Sebring, Fla. (Glenn Rininger, pastor), celebrated paying off their loan from the Brethren Investment Foundation by hosting a dinner in honor of the church pioneers. Skits, puppets, and an indoor cook-out were part of the evening, but the highlight was when they shredded copies of the mortgage and burned the papers in a grill outside.
Jason and Marcie Haymaker will be the new youth pastor at the Rittman, Ohio, Grace Brethren Church (Buddy Olszewski, pastor).
Twenty Years Ago – 1989
Long-time Grace Brethren minister Charles Ashman has retired. He served nearly 27 years as pastor of the Winona Lake, Ind., Grace Brethren Church. He and his wife, Frances, began their pastoral ministry at the Grace Brethren Church in Rittman, Ohio, in 1950 and also served at the Grace Brethren Church in Phoenix, Ariz.
Daniel Thornton is the pastor of the Peninsula Grace Brethren Church, Soldotna, Alaska.
John J. Davis, Th.D., is the moderator of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches and will preside at its national conference in Winona Lake, Ind., July 30 to August 3.
Twenty-Five Years Ago – 1984
Joseph Ndomale, the second African pastor to attend Grace Theological Seminary, was graduated. He and his wife, Georgine, and their four children returned to the Central African Republic, where he was to assume the position of president of the union of Grace Brethren churches there.
The Kenai, Alaska, Grace Brethren Church surprised William H. Schaffer with a party on his 80th birthday. The pastor told him, “God gave Moses his greatest work after he was 80, and we are expecting great things from you.”
Pastor Charles Thornton of the Grace Brethren Church, Dallas Center, Iowa, reported an attendance of 175 at the closing program of their daily vacation Bible school.
Thirty Years Ago – 1979
Robert G. Clouse, pastor of the First Brethren Church of Clay City, Ind., recently completed 15 years of ministry there.
A gazebo has been constructed west of Beta Hall on the Grace College campus (Winona Lake, Ind.) as a gift from the class of 1979. Class president Brent Ropp, of Marietta, Ga., said the gift is being dedicated to Arnold Kriegbaum, who is retiring in August after serving as dean of students for the past 18 years.
The Grace Brethren Church of Alta Loma, Calif., broke ground for a new facility. It represents the congregation’s commitment in establishing a permanent gospel witness in their community.
Thirty-Five Years Ago – 1974
Gary and Jean Austin are headed to the Central African Republic to teach missionary children.
The new sanctuary at the Simi Valley, Calif., Grace Brethren Church (John Gillis, pastor) was dedicated. But with a record Easter Sunday attendance of 353 people, it is already packed!
Ron Guiles, pastor of the Lehigh Valley Grace Brethren Church in Allentown, Pa., was ordained to the Christian ministry.
It was announced that the Foreign Missionary Society of the Brethren Church would place a team of missionaries in the southern part of Brazil. The city selected for this new missionary venture is Uberlandia in the state of Minas Gerais.
The Grace Brethren Church in Huber Heights, Ohio (Jim Poyner, pastor), celebrated becoming a self-supporting congregation.
Forty Years Ago – 1969
Roger D. Peugh was ordained to the ministry at the Grace Brethren Church of Elkhart, Ind. (Gordon W. Bracker, pastor) on May 25. Eighteen ordained elders participated in the service, with Dr. Paul R. Fink of Grace Seminary as the main speaker.
A dream to develop Grace Brethren churches in Alaska took root as Herman H. Hein Jr. and his family headed for Alaska. They focused on Kenai, a growing city on the Kenai Peninsula in the south central part of Alaska.
Meetings with Allen Herr at the Seal Beach, Calif., Grace Brethren Church (Thomas D. McClellan, pastor) June 1-8 resulted in one decision for salvation and 20 rededications. Mr. and Mrs. Rush Quesinberry, faithful members, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary by attending “Brethren Night” at Dodger Stadium with other members of the church.
Forty-Five Years Ago – 1964
Bill Smith was the speaker for the all-city banquet sponsored by the Christ for Waterloo committee. Mr. Smith was in Waterloo, Iowa, for campaign meetings at the Grace Brethren Church May 24 to 31.
Sam I. Horney, pastor of the Canon Brethren Church in Taos, N.M., spoke the first words on a new radio station in the community three years ago. Now, two programs, “Chapeltime” and “Morning Devotions” are aired daily to an estimated listening audience of 40,000 people.
The 54th annual conference of the Southern California-Arizona District was held at the North Long Beach (Calif.) Brethren Church. Dr. Howard Hendricks, of Dallas Seminary, spoke on the theme, “Work for the Night is Coming.”
Fifty Years Ago – 1959
Miss Mary Alice Bennet was crowned Bandage Queen of the First Brethren Church, Kittanning, Pa. The honor was in recognition of having rolled 261 bandages, seven feet long and two inches wide, for Brethren missions throughout the world. Second and third place honors went to Misses Barbara Fiscus and Pamela Barker.
The First Brethren Church, Barberton, Ohio, has been organized and incorporated. The attendance has been running from 40 to 50 in the Sunday School and morning worship. Robert Burns is the pastor.
Five of the teenage Bible quizzers of the First Brethren Church, Uniontown, Pa. (R. Paul Miller, Jr., pastor), took part in the Youth for Christ Eastern Regional Conference at Ocean City, N.J., June 19-26.
Fifty-Five Years Ago – 1954
The Bill Burk family hopes to sail for Brazil before August 1.
The Portis, Kan., SMM (Sisterhood of Mary and Martha) group presented a Sunday evening program in their church. They used the proceeds from the offering to send a Navajo girl to Midwest District camp.
Ward Tressler, pastor of the Grace Brethren Church, Altoona (Juniata), Pa., will be the guest speaker at the Meyersdale, Pa., Brethren Church on August 15. Leslie Moore is the pastor.
The Sunday morning of July 4, 1954, was an important event in the life of the Grace Brethren Church of York, Pa. The cornerstone was laid during special ceremonies. Pastor Gerald Polman and U.L. Gingerich, along with building superintendent Tom Bailey, placed the stone.
Sixty Years Ago – 1949
Four teams of Brethren young people are busy this summer helping Brethren churches with daily vacation Bible school and conducting church services and evangelist meetings. One team is comprised of three Bob Jones University students – Dean Fetterhoff, of Flora, Ind., Lucinda Rogers, of Leamersville, Pa., and Doris and Everett Duncan, of Covington, Va.
A new building was dedicated by the Grace Brethren Church of Juniata (Altoona), Pa. The previous building was seriously damaged by fire, forcing the ministry to be relocated. Phillip Simmons was the pastor.
Ground was broken for the new seminary building in Winona Lake, Ind.
The 1949 annual conference of the National Fellowship of Brethren Churches was held in Winona Lake, Ind. It is the 60th time the Brethren have gathered at Winona Lake.
Sixty-Five Years Ago – 1944
Marvin L. Goodman Sr., of Modesto, Calif., was appointed “secretary of publications” by the board of directors of the Brethren Missionary Herald Company.
The Third Brethren Church, Philadelphia, Pa. (W.A. Steffler, pastor), burned the mortgage on their building, meaning the church is completely debt free.
On July 2, the LaLoma Grace Brethren Bible school, Modesto, Calif., had its first Rally and Promotion Day. A new attendance record of 108 was set. It was the largest Bible school attendance, 102, since the dedication of the new building. Peter Bury was introduced as the new pastor.