News of God’s work in the Charis Fellowship dominated the most accessed stories on graceconnect.us in 2018. From the opening of new ministries and changes in leadership, to requests for prayer, reports of meetings, and other activities, the site once again formed the centerpiece for news and information in the Charis Fellowship (formerly known as the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches).
More than 69,747 page views were recorded at the site during the year. Of those hits, there were 59,767 unique page views (the number of visits during which a specified page was viewed at least once).
Among the notable deaths in 2018 were: Aiden Katip, the nearly nine-year-old grandson of Grace College’s Dr. Bill and Debbie Katip who died February 21 as the result of a house fire in Pennsylvania; Ed Jackson, long-time Grace Brethren pastor and church planter, who died March 16; Matt Brown, the son of Pastor Jack and Christine Brown in Glouster, Mass. (June 25); Marlin Rose (August 4), whose wife, Judi, worked with Grace Brethren Investment Foundation for many years; Joe Tyson (August 19), who with his wife, Evelyn, was instrumental in the forming of the Urban Hope Training Center in Philadelphia 20 years ago; and Dr. Patrick Kavanaugh (April 2), founder and artistic director of the Masterworks Festival in Winona Lake, Ind.
There were two deaths related to the former Brethren Navajo Mission in northwest New Mexico. One of the first to come to faith in Christ at the mission was Mary Sala Butler, who died on July 25. She and her husband, Tully Butler, led Cedar Hill Church near Counselor, N.M. Dorothy Moore, who with her late husband, Roger, served at the mission during the 1980s, died on September 2.
Former missionaries who died included Eileen Miller, retired missionary to Brazil (March 20), Martin Garber, longtime missionary to the Central African Republic (August 1), and Don Hocking, who served in the Central African Republic and Cameroon (December 24).
Former Grace Brethren pastors who died were: Roy E. Glass, Jr. (March 8), Gene Klingler (February 7), Donald Ralph “Don” Taylor (April 27), Jim Poyner (July 9), Glenn Byers (August 11), Warren E. Tamkin (October 22), George R. Christie (October 7), and Jim McClellan (November 28).
Women who had served alongside their husbands in ministry and died in 2018 included ZoAnn Marie Hockley (April 30), Dawn Bull, Jaqulyn R. Flory (August 25), Vivian R. McClellan (who died December 1 within days of her husband, Jim); and Janis Ann Jenkins (May 31), whose late husband, Lee, had been a Grace Brethren Navy chaplain.
Several stories from previous years appeared in the list of stories most accessed. We are only including those stories that were posted in 2018, not including death notices:
- The Park at Grace (April 12, 2018)
- Huesmann Resigns at Long Beach, Calif., Church (February 5, 2018)
- Goshen Indoor Playground Set to Open (March 23, 2018)
- Goshen Church Provides Play Space for Families (February 1, 2018)
- Jeff Gill Resigns at Grace Seminary (May 31, 2018)
- Prayer Requested for Katip’s Grandson (February 20, 2018)
- Winona Lake Connection to Billy Graham Remembered (February 21, 2018)
- Roger Peugh, Beth Runnion Wed (July 5, 2018)
- Katip’s Grandson Succumbs to Injuries (February 21, 2018)
- Program, Registration Set for Sixth Brethren World Assembly (May 14, 2018)
- Grace College Students Intern for Congressman (October 8, 2018)
- AGBM Study Trip to Italy Concludes (February 16, 2018)
- Ted and Dawn Rondeau Involved in Motorcycle Accident (January 12, 2018)
- Three Churches Added to Fellowship at Access Conference (July 27, 2018)
- Sharmion Bowell Takes on New Role for Charis Fellowship (August 17, 2018)
- Dan Gulnac Named Pastor at Palmyra Grace (June 29, 2018)
- Grace Fellowship Church Begins in Brunswick, Md. (February 26, 2018)
- A Compassionate Experience (January 25, 2018)
- Jim Custer Recognized by National Religious Broadcasters (March 6, 2018)
- Tim Boal to be Installed as Pastor at Lititz Church (August 27, 2018)
Visitors to the site came from 153 countries around the world. The top 20 countries included United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia, India, Nigeria, Philippines, Brazil, South Africa, Kenya, Peru, Japan, Italy, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, China, and South Korea.