Pastors Honored for Service
Three Grace Brethren pastors were recognized for their work during the annual meeting of the Association of Grace Brethren Ministers on July 22 in Winona Lake, Ind. Dr. David Plaster was presented the Excellence in Ministry award, Rick Nuzum was named Pastor of the Year, and Jack Churchill was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Gateway Grace Community Church Burns Mortgage
Less than five years after the Gateway Grace Community Church, the Grace Brethren church in Coatesville, Pa. purchased 34 acres of prime real estate in Chester County, they completely paid the balance due on their note. On June 10, 2007, they celebrated with a mortgage burning.
“The Lord gave us the land for half a million dollars,” notes Dan O’Deens, pastor. “We burned that mortgage! Up in flames it went!”
With the land paid for, the church is starting over. This fall, they break ground for their first building with assistance from the Grace Brethren Investment Foundation. (See related story here.)
In preparation for the mortgage burning at the Gateway Grace Community Church, a stone mason constructed an altar during a service. It will be installed in their new building to help them remember the event.
Norwalk Church Recognized
The Grace Brethren Church of Norwalk, Calif. was honored on July 29 as the “Church of the Week” by radio station KKLA. In the photo, Pastor Wayne Ayer (left) receives a plaque from KKLA’s Jon Robberson. Pastor Ayer was also interviewed on KKLA’s The Frank Pastore Show the next day.
Kip Cone is leaving his ministry at Grace Brethren International Missions to join the pastoral staff of the Winona Lake (Ind.) Grace Brethren Church, where Bruce Barlow is the lead pastor.
Roland Maust has been named as the pastor of the Grace Brethren church in Uniontown, Pa. He previously served at the Grace Brethren Church in Millersburg, Ohio.
Todd Scoles is an associate with the Marysville, Ohio, Grace Brethren Church, where Clancy Cruise is the pastor. He previously was the senior associate pastor at the Northwest Chapel Grace Brethren Church in Dublin, Ohio (Terry Hofecker, pastor).
Dr. Tom Prinsen and Gert Kumi have joined the faculty of Grace College, Winona Lake, Ind. In addition, Chad Briscoe and Michael Voss have joined the staff of the college’s athletic department.
Prinsen (right) comes from the University of South Dakota to chair the communications department at Grace. He has extensive teaching experience, including a stint at Houghton College.
Kumi (right), a world-class violinist, will lead the School of Music’s string department. An Albanian-born prodigy, he made his orchestral debut with the Tirana Philharmonic Orchestra at age 15, and has performed with many European orchestras. Discovered by Stephen Clapp, the dean of the prestigious Juilliard School, Kumi moved to New York in 2000, ultimately receiving both bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Juilliard.
In the athletic department, Briscoe (left) is the new athletic director. He comes from Geneva College where he served as physical education instructor, assistant athletic director, and head assistant men’s basketball. In addition, he brings with him professional baseball leadership experience having served as general manager of the rookie affiliate of the Texas Rangers Professional Baseball Club, as well as director of game day operations, director of marketing, and assistant director of marketing for the Anderson Lawmen, an independent minor league professional baseball club.
Voss is serving as the head women’s soccer coach and intramural director. He has experience as a high school administrator, a head women’s soccer coach at Mt. San Jacinto College, and his most recent work as a missionary/coach in Belize, Central America.
Social Work Department Reaffirmed
At Grace College, the Social Work Department has received reaffirmation of its Baccalaureate Social Work Program by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) for the full, eight-year cycle.
Dr. Carrie Yocum, department chair, says “CSWE is the professional body that accredits bachelor and master level social work programs. Social work accreditation is beneficial to students and the institution because it assures that programs have a level of performance, integrity, and quality that entitles them to the confidence of the educational community. It offers professional judgment about the quality of the program, encourages continual improvement of the program, and assures the competence of social work practitioners.”