One again, the “family news” aspect was represented in the themes of the articles that were most accessed on graceconnect.us in 2017. After all, the website is the center of news and information in the Charis Fellowship (formerly known as the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches), a family of congregations in North America.
More than 70,086 hits were recorded at the site during the year (as of Friday, December 29). This was down from more than 77,000 hits in 2016. Of the 70,086 hits, there were 60,255 unique page views (the number of visits during which a specified page was viewed at least once), also down from 2016, when 65,768 unique page views were noted.
The top stories was the report of the announcement of a new “doing business as” name for the network of congregations, which was made during a live stream from Akron, Ohio, on November 7. There were also news of individual and church honors, prayer requests, death notices, and stories of what God is doing in this group of churches.
Among the notable deaths in 2017 were: Kathy Allison, former staff member at Grace Brethren North American Missions and professor at Grace College; Larry Orme, much-loved pastor of Penn Valley Church, Telford, Pa.; Lynn Hoyt, former missionary to Argentina; Meghan Strine, staff member at Grace Church, Ashland, Ohio; Julia Coburn, widow of the late pastor, Ralph Coburn; Robert Cover, former missionary and pastor; Dr. Richard Jeffreys, long-time faculty member at Grace College; Lillian Teeter, widow of the late pastor, Gerald Teeter; Dr. Pierre Yougouda, influential pastor and educator in Central Africa; Lila Mae Sheely, former missionary to Africa; and former pastors Dean Risser, Mick Rockafellow, Bob Griffith, Bob Holmes, Dean Risser, Dan Thompson, Marvin Meeker, Wayne Flory, and Mason Cooper. Click here to see a complete list of obituaries.
Several stories from previous years appeared in the list of stories most accessed. We are only including those stories that were posted in 2017.
The top 20 articles (not including death notices) for 2017 included:
- Charis Fellowship is New “Doing Business As” Name for FGBC (November 7, 2017)
- From Pastor to Chaplain: Ministry in the Military (July 6, 2017)
- Pray for Larry Orme (January 24, 2017)
- Prayer Requested for Charlotte Poyner (September 6, 2017)
- Prayer Requested for Chaplain Stone and Family (June 6, 2017)
- CE National Honors Larry Smithwick (May 17, 2017)
- Ginny Plaster Recognized for Work in Reaching Neglected People (November 10, 2017)
- Prayer Requested for Rod Finster (December 4, 2017)
- Prayer Requested for John Rowe (April 16, 2017)
- The Hand of God (August 21, 2017)
- MudLOVE Named to Forbes List (April 23, 2017)
- Winchester, Va., Congregation Named Church of Year (July 11, 2017)
- New Church Plant in Gahanna, Ohio, Announced (January 23, 2017)
- Ed Lewis’ Assistant, Lois Maxson, Retires After 21 Years (October 20, 2017)
- Faith, Fiber, and the Future (January 11, 2017)
- Connect with the Land of the Bible with GraceConnect (June 23, 2017)
- To Celebrate or Not? Memory, Oppression, and Luther’s Reformation (October 29, 2017)
- Go2 Ministries Ceases Operations (April 8, 2017)
- Grace Brethren Ministry Leaders Meet in Columbus (January 9, 2017)
- Grammy Winners Have FGBC Connection (February 14, 2017)
Readers came from 138 countries throughout the world, up from 134 in 2016. The top three on the list were the United States, Canada, and Germany, a change from last year when the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom topped the list. The United Kingdom and the Philippines rounded out the list of the top five in 2017.
The top 20 countries represented include:
- United States
- United Kingdom
- South Korea
- South Africa