Thursday, October 26, 2006

Warren Tamkin: Brethren History Materials Available

Retired pastor Warren Tamkin, now living in Dillsburg, PA, is one of our “senior saint” pastors with a grand history of serving the Lord and serving the Fellowship. He has some Brethren history materials he would like to see put in the hands of someone who would appreciate and use them. Here is a part of his message—contact him at

Well, I will be 81 years old in a week or two (just nine months older than Homer Kent and Bill Smith and we were all raised together in the Washington, D.C. church together).

I have always had a love for history and majored in it in high school, it was my major at American University in Washington, and my Th.M was in church history. So I have a library of history books.

I have always been interested in our Brethren history and have a library of that history with about 30 volumes and pamphlets, and that is separate from a library of GBC materials from 1927 on.

I want to dispose of the Brethren history books and am wondering if you can think of a way of contact with interested men. I am making up a complete list of the books which will be available, and probably would ask for an offer for the lot.

Also, we have several kids at Grace and I may be able through their parents to see them delivered at Winona. I would appreciate any help you might give me in this matter.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Ray Davis Leaving Hospital

This update came Wednesday noon from Pastor Dan Pritchett in Hagerstown, MD:

Just talked to Jay Fretz -- he is supposed to be picking up Ray this afternoon from the hospital, then Ray is to spend a couple of days in the motel before driving home. I am sure that continued prayers for him and for Hebe would be appreciated!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Jonathan Wiley, Columbus Young Adults Pastor, to Wed

Pastor Galen Wiley (Lancaster, PA, Grace Brethren Church) and his wife, Elsie, send along the following happy announcement:

Rejoice with us as God has once again shown His faithfulness to the Wiley family in providing a “Rebecca” for our “Isaac” – a precious Kim Korodi for our Jonathan!!

Pray for them as they are united in marriage at Columbus Grace Brethren Church where Kim is from and where Jonathan is pastor of young adult ministries – on Sunday afternoon, November 5. They will reside at 1617 England Dr; Columbus, OH 43240; 614-374-8552; Thanks for praying.

Thank You, God. And thank you, friends, for your love and prayer support.

We just wanted to share our excitement with you.

Rejoicing in Jesus,

Elsie for Galen and Elsie

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Updated Request for Richard Bell

Please ask everyone keep Richard in prayer as today they begin the most intensive continuous three days of IV chemo.

It is the kind that will destroy his white blood cells and will make him weak and cause him to lose his hair and be vulnerable to infections. Thank you.


Church Giving Report Released

A report released by empty tomb, inc. on Oct. 13 examined the giving trends of church members in the United States in 2004 and determined that financial contributions to churches were down as a percent of income for a second consecutive year when compared with previous years. Church members gave 2.56 percent of their income, down from 3.11 percent in 1968.

The Illinois-based Christian research organization found that giving to benevolent causes -- activities focused outside the congregation -- as a portion of income increased slightly in 2004 from the 2003 level. The levels for 2003 and 2004 both rounded to 0.38 percent, the lowest in the 37-year period empty tomb has tracked such numbers.

Empty tomb reported the rate of giving to congregational finances -- the funding of internal operations of the congregation -- began to recover in 1993 but was down in 2003 and 2004. The portion of income given to congregational finances declined more than activities focused on benevolences, the study found.

For each dollar donated to a congregation, denominations spent 2 cents on overseas missions in 2004, down from 7 cents in the 1920s. The study's authors, John and Sylvia Ronsvalle, said evangelical Christians could complete the task of global evangelization for 7 cents per member per day.

"Had giving been at an average of 10 percent in 2004 rather than 2.56 percent, there would have been at least an additional $164 billion available for the overseas and domestic mission work of churches," the authors noted.

Additional data is available through the empty tomb website,, and the entire report is available in a book called "The State of Church Giving through 2004."

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Ray Davis Hospitalized in Maryland

Please pray for the health needs of Pastor Ray Davis of Trinity Grace Brethren Church in Northwood, Ohio (Toledo area). Pastor Dan Pritchett of the Valley Grace Brethren Church in Hagerstown, Maryland, sent along the following information:

Just read the AGBM blog, and noticed the individuals who were sick and in need of special prayer. You may want to add Ray Davis to that list. He came here to Hagerstown on vacation and has ended up in the hospital, and has been there at least a week. Some of us have been in to see him. No diagnosis has been made yet.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Ralph Hall Reports on Richard Bell

This evening Ralph Hall, father-in-law of Pastor Richard Bell of Winchester, Virginia, sent this report (see earlier blog entry on Bell):

I visited Richard in the hospital this evening and he is better. They are giving him an injection of a chemical for his illness for three hours each day, then will repeat it for a total of five days, then a week without an injection, then repeat the same thing the following week and keep this going for about six months.

He already is some better, [and has] no choking so he can now breathe better and swallow. His lymph nodes are starting to become smaller and he is encouraged.

Waynesboro Calls Weber as Pastor

At a congregational meeting on October 8, 2006, the Waynesboro (PA) Grace Brethren Church extended a call to Lawrence (Larry) M. Weber to serve as pastor. Larry had been the interim pastor since July, 2006.

Larry and Nancy Weber have been married since January 19, 2003, after their marriages of 42 and 25 years respectively ended with the death of their spouse. The Webers reside near Hagerstown, just across the Mason-Dixon Line in Maryland.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Prayer Requested For Pastor Richard Bell

Please pray for Richard Bell, pastor of Apple Valley Community Church in Winchester, Virginia.

He has just been diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma and will require very aggressive chemo that can only be done in the hospital. Pastor Bell checks in on Monday morning and will probably be there for five days and then out for 21 days, with the cycle repeated for six to eight times if all goes well.

His wife, Nancy, says, “Richard is only 59 years old and is in good health otherwise, so we are hoping and praying he will be able to tolerate the chemo and that the Lord will heal him. We will need a lot of prayer in the coming days. Thank you.”

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Pray for Tony Webb and Family

The following note came from Todd Scoles, coordinator of the North Central Ohio district:

Please pray for Tony and Cathy Webb (Southwest GBC, Grove City, Ohio) and their family.

Tony and Cathy received word last week that their nephew, Justin, was killed in a vehicle accident in Iraq. Justin was a believer with a strong testimony among his unit.

Tony says the transport of the body and the funeral were beautiful lessons in community as the Marines and others honored Justin and his family. Pray for their comfort.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Your Invitation to Attend ETS in November

Dr. Brent Sandy of the Grace College and Seminary faculty sends the following "alert" regarding the upcoming ETS meeting in Washington, DC. If you come, stop by--BMH Books will be one of those "publishers hawking the latest books."

In case you might be interested in attending some sessions of the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society next month, I wanted to make sure you had the details. Last year it met in Valley Forge.

This year it’s in Washington, DC, Nov 15 – 17, at the Washington Hilton Hotel. The theme is “Christians in the Public Square.” I meet many pastors in attendance at ETS meetings, including some from the FGBC. It’s a wonderful opportunity to hear the latest on biblical and theological topics of all sorts. The book room with hundreds of publishers hawking the latest books at deep discounts is “to-die-for.”

If you are not a member of ETS, you may want to join. It’s $30 per year, which includes four issues of the journal. Non-member registration for the annual meeting is much higher.

Several of us from Grace will be present, including being on the program. It would be good to see you

For more information, go to You will find the full program on line.

SOA(jr) Now in In-Boxes

The latest edition of AGBM president Joel Richards' electronic newletter, SOA(jr) is now hitting the in-boxes. Here is his president's message. To see the entire letter, contact Joel to put you on the mailing list--his address is

I am heartbroken for the families in Pennsylvania and horrified by the actions of a truly sick man. If I am not mistaken this was the third school incident in less than a week where someone died or was left for dead. We may be having to change the idiom from he went “postal” to he went “educational.” I am not making light of this but it is a mystery to me why things seem to come in groups that have similar overtones.

Ironically, I am preaching a series on prayer. My text on Sunday was Luke 18:1-8. The context that precedes this text is a reminder of what it is going to be like prior to the coming of the Lord. As in the days of Noah, and Lot, so shall it be on the day that the Son of Man is revealed. Relax, I am not about to set a date! However, it is not very difficult to feel like we are in days similar to those of Noah and Lot, and that the Lord could return anytime. When things like this happen it makes me wish the Lord would come even more quickly!

Something else happens, though, in my heart and mind. I am reminded again of the fall of man. Behavior like this baffles the social pundits who believe that man is basically good. They think this is an aberration of the real deal. Wrong. We all know that the doctrine of depravity doesn’t mean we will be as bad as we can, but it does mean we are all capable of some pretty horrible behavior.

As I read my first internet exposure to this tragedy it included a side box that a congressional hearing would take place to ensure this kind of thing would be avoided in the future. If there are lapses in safety, surely fix them. But I really don’t think we need any more policies that are well meaning, but in all reality, won’t get to the core of the issue. So I have another reminder. Preach the Word. Spread the Gospel. Pray for the safety and well being of our communities. Open your heart and your church and show the love of Christ. If Jesus is going to delay His Coming, we are to continue to labor in His name!

And lastly. I sat in a seminar two weeks ago and listened to a top California state police chaplain praising the work of the church in New Orleans. She was deployed to help out and said the churches were phenomenal. So don’t pull in your horns. Keep going to all the world in every way you can.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Pray for Mrs. John Mayes

Pastor Charles Ashman sends along the following news and prayer request:

Marjorie Mayes, wife of retired Pastor John Mayes of Longview, Texas, has been very sick and is facing a very serious surgery. She has been diagnosed as having serious problems with her pancreas and in need of a “Whipple” surgery.

This is a very complicated seven- to eight-hour procedure where they remove the gall bladder, the duodenum and part of the pancreas and maybe some of the stomach. The surgery is presently scheduled for Saturday or Sunday the 14th or 15th of this month.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Prayer Update on Mick Rockafellow

Please continue in fervent prayer for the health needs of Pastor Mick Rockafellow of the Lansing, Michigan, Grace Brethren Church.

Today's information is that Mick has a very serious disease, called "non-alcoholic fatty liver disease." He is going to the doctor on Wednesday, October 11, to get a thorough evaluation of all the test results and likely to schedule a liver biopsy.

As the disease can be fatal, please pray that the doctors will be able to poinpoint the cause and to be able to treat it. Pray, as well, for Mick's wife, Bonnie, and for the family and the Lansing church during this trying time.

Eagle River Gets a Pastor

Grady Pennell is the new pastor of Eagle River Grace Brethren Church in Eagle River, Alaska. Pennell is currently a navy chaplain stationed in Okinawa.

A communication from the church says, “He should be here by February, maybe sooner. Grady is a graduate from Dallas Theological Seminary and has a doctorate from Fuller. We are very excited.”

Monday, October 02, 2006

Shimer Darr Hospitalized

Bill and Joan Darr have left Winona Lake, Indiana, and are currently in Pennsylvania where Bill’s father, longtime Grace Brethren pastor Shimer Darr, was airlifted from Meyersdale to a hospital in Johnstown. He was to have undergone a heart catheterization for a heart attack.

Bill Darr is Director of Library Services at Grace College and Seminary and Joan Darr is Chief Operating Officer of Kosciusko County Hospital in Warsaw, Indiana.