Friday, August 24, 2007

Everett Community Grace Seeks Children's Pastor


Community Grace Brethren Church of Everett, PA, is seeking a pastor to oversee a children's ministry.

This full-time position, added to existing staff of Senior Pastor and full-time Pastor of Youth and Parents, will involve teaching children, as well as assisting in the training of others to be involved with all children's emphasis programs, including VBS.

This pastor will assist the Senior Pastor with administrative duties and Small Group involvement. A board of elders provides leadership for this growing church of approximately 240 in attendance.

For more information, please email Dr. Bob Lazer at

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Bowling Green, OH, Seeks Youth Minister

Bowling Green Grace Brethren Church in Bowling Green, Ohio, is seeking a Youth Minister.

BGGBC is an established church in a college town. The building is within two blocks of the Bowling Green State University campus with 20,000+ students.

The church is desirous of male candidates who have a seminary degree in Youth Ministry. The successful candidate will have energy for youth ages 12- 18 with some college ministry if the Lord leads in that direction. The starting salary will depend upon experience and qualifications but will begin in the $32,000 range.

If you are interested please contact:

Curtis C. Miller--Pastor
Bowling Green Grace Brethren Church
121 South Enterprise
Bowling Green, Ohio 43402

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Update on Richard Bell

Here is the latest news from Nancy Bell, wife of Pastor Richard Bell of the Apple Valley Community Church in Winchester, Virginia.

Thank you for your prayers! Richard came through the heavy dose of chemo with minimal side effects. Now the next 2 weeks are the critical ones because his white cell count has bottomed out at 50 and he has no immunity to infection at all. He is feeling OK just very tired. The staff here at the Johns Hopkins cancer patient house put a recliner in our room and it is a real blessing to help him rest. Please pray that the Lord will protect Richard from infections. The Lord has been so good to us thus far and we praise Him!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

NCO to Examine Five

Dr. Todd Scoles has announced that the next examining date for the North Central Ohio district will be September 6, East Side Grace Brethren Church.

Scoles said, "We should praise God for the constant flow of quality men whom we can examine on behalf of our churches. The exams will begin at 9:30 sharp so plan to arrive by 9:15 for instructions.

"We have four licensure exams (Eric Crawford, Mark Artrip, Jonathan Wiley, Jeff Mason) and one ordination exam (John Harmony). The ideal is to have at least five ordained men at each exam complemented by licensed men."

Monday, August 20, 2007

Ron, Thelma Thompson Receive Good News

Longtime Grace Brethren pastor and evangelist Ron Thompson and his wife Thelma, shown here on their 50th wedding anniversary, recently received the following good news:

Thelma was diagnosed earlier this year with a meningioma (benign brain tumor) by a neurologist in Augusta, GA.

She has weathered two such tumors in her lifetime, her most recent one was in 1998 when we ministered in Mesa, AZ. These tumors tend to reoccur so it was not a total surprise that an MRI revealed a third meningioma, about the size of a dime on the right side of her brain.

We consulted with the head neurosurgeon at the Medical College of Georgia and he ordered another MRI. In July we had an appointment with the neurosurgeon to review the results.

He happily informed us that Thelma does not have a tumor! We were beside ourselves with joy and thanksgiving at this good news. It is our conviction that the Lord removed this tumor from her without surgery!!!

We want to thank all of our dear friends across the fellowship for their prayers in her behalf.

Ron E. Thompson,
Aiken, SC

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Elizabeth Pierce Update (Good News!)

Back in April, we were posting regular prayer requests for Elizabeth Pierce, the daughter-in-law of Pastor Daniel Pierce from the Greenville, Ohio, Grace Brethren Church, because she had been diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor.

As treatments have progressed and you have prayed, her progress has been noted on a blog, which can be read at Here is the good-news posting from yesterday:

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Elizabeth and Dan met with the doctors at Duke today. The doctors examined the MRI that was taken last week. In the words of the doctor "there is no sign of the tumor."

We are still trying to comprehend the good news but needless to say there has been great joy and excitement over what God has done!

Elizabeth must still complete another round of chemo which is part of the original treatment plan. Chemo should not have the devastating effects that she experienced during radiation.

Please pray:

1) for relief from the headaches that still appear on occasion

2) for no side effects from the chemo

3) that the tumor will not return. Tumors can return within the first two years after successful treatment

4) give thanks to God for His faithfulness and answering the prayers of many people

Monday, August 13, 2007

Richard Bell Chemo Begins Tuesday

This is the latest update from Nancy Bell, wife of Pastor Richard Bell of the Apple Valley Community Church in Winchester, Virginia.

Tuesday morning Richard begins the serious chemo. He will be at the IPOP (in-patient out-patient area) at the cancer center for 12 hours each day Tuesday through Friday.

They will give two hours of hydration then two hours of chemo and then six hours of hydration. We had to fill five prescriptions for him to take after the chemo to try to protect against infections which is a serious side effect. He will have to wear a mask when he is not in our room to add further protection.

So please pray for protection from infections and also for protection from other serious side effects. Thanks so much!


Dave Nicodemus New Youth Pastor at Columbus

David Nicodemus, shown here with his wife, Carly, and son, Jack, is the new youth pastor at the Grace Brethren Church in Worthington (Columbus), Ohio.

Nicodemus is originally from Martinsburg, PA. He graduated from Grace Theological Seminary in 2003 and served as Student Ministries Director at Gateway Church in Parkesburg, Pa. for the last three years.

He and wife his wife, Carly, have one son Jack, who just celebrated his first birthday. They arrived at the Columbus church mid-July and immediately went with the church’s senior high students to Momentum (BNYC).

They are now settling into their new home and new responsibilities at Columbus Grace.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Lee Burris Obituary

U.S. Army Chaplain and former Grace Brethren pastor Lee Burris went to live with his Lord and Savior, Jesus, on August 4, 2007, passing peacefully in sleep in the Sacramento, California, area.

Burris was born January 22, 1925, in Indianola, Oklahoma, the son of a migrant farm worker. A veteran of 20 years, he served in Navy in WWII and in the Army as a Chaplain, including two tours in Viet Nam, retiring as Lieutenant Colonel. After his service in the military he served as a pastor of several churches, including Fremont (Ohio) Grace Brethren Chapel, where he pastored from 1976-1979.

Lee Burris graduated from Biola University in 1952 and Talbot Seminary in 1955 with a Bachelor of Divinity and in 1969 with a Master of Divinity. He was ordained as a minister in the Grace Brethren Church in the Northwest District in 1957.

He was married to Lois Paxton on June 10, 1950, and they had four children, Margaret, David, Robert, and Jonathan.

Burris leaves behind his wife of 57 years, four children, ten grandchildren, his brother Jack, and countless friends. He served the Lord preaching God’s Word and ministering daily to family, friends, and all those he met. He loved playing games, telling jokes, and visiting with family and friends. A memorial service was held at the Antelope Springs Community Church in Roseville, California.

He served as an enlistee in the U.S. Navy during WWII from 1943-1946, serving in the South Pacific and Australia. He served in the U.S. Army as a Grace Brethren Chaplain from 1958 to 1976, retiring as Lieutenant Colonel, followed by pastorates in Ohio and California.

He served two tours in Vietnam from 1966-1967 (Cam Ranh Bay) and 1969-1970 (Phu Bai). He received the Army Commendation Medal, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, and the Vietnam Service Medal with four campaign stars.

Upon his retirement from the Army chaplaincy in 1976, Lee wrote these comments . . . "I entered the Army chaplaincy in 1958. During this 17-year period I have pastored 12 Army chapels which included assignments in infantry divisions, troops in basic training and two tours to Vietnam.

“Opportunities to hold services and to witness were unlimited in this combat zone. The Army has really been a challenging ministry, which included holding chapel services on Sunday, showing of religious films, weekly Bible studies, prayer groups, and Christian Marriage Enrichment Seminars. Much of my time was spent in home visitations, marriage counseling, and talking with troops in the field. My wife and I thank the Lord for a rewarding ministry in the Army."

Dr. Larry Chamberlain, representing the Eagle Commission, said, “On behalf of the Active Duty, Reserve, and Retired Chaplains and the members of the Eagle Commission, we extend our sympathies to the family and commend Lee Burris CH (LTC), USA, Ret. for his courageous and distinguished service for God and Country.”

Grace Brethren chaplain’s endorsing agent John Schumacher recalled, “In 1970, Lee, Charles Bearinger, and I were all in Viet Nam at the same time. We met in Saigon and conducted a retreat for Charles’ soldiers. I knew Lee well.”

Burris’ sons, Bob, Jonathan and David are setting up a memorial for Lee D. Burris at Talbot Seminary, 13800 Biola Ave., La Mirada, CA 90639, for the "Talbot Student Scholarship Fund."

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

So You're Preaching Sunday

Columnist/pastor Ray Pritchard has ten suggestions for the pastor who has to get "up" for preaching every Sunday. Here is an excerpt from today's entry on his Crosswalk blog. To see the entire piece, click on

So You’re Preaching This Sunday

Let’s suppose you’re a pastor and you’re preaching this Sunday. That’s six days away. To the man or woman in the pew, that seems like a long time, but it’s not. Perhaps you’ve heard of the Preacher’s Calendar. It goes like this . . .


That’s the way it feels to those who preach every week. You routinely come to Saturday wondering what happened to the last five days. And where is that sermon you have to preach tomorrow morning?

Speaking as one who spent 27 years getting ready to preach every Sunday, I know that feeling of utter end-of-the-week desperation, and I’ve done my share of late-Saturday night sermonizing. Someone told me that sermon illustration websites have their highest visitor rates very early on Sunday morning. Been there, done that, too.

But today is Monday. Yesterday is gone forever. If you preached well, you’re probably feeling good today. If you struggled, you’re probably still trying to shake it off.

Doesn’t matter. Either way you’ve got to get up and do it again in just six days. That’s both the joy and the burden of local church ministry. The Sundays keep rolling around whether you’re ready or not.

So what should you do today to get ready for next Sunday? I have a very good friend in Chicago who writes his next sermon on Monday. He generally doesn’t stop until he has the big idea and the main points on paper.

Strength to that man. I was never very good at sermonizing on Monday. But still you need to do something on Monday because Sunday comes in just two days (remember the Preacher’s Calendar). You lose three days every week taking care of church affairs and Saturday blends into Sunday so they really become one long day.

If you are preaching this Sunday, take 30 minutes and do this today:

1) Read your text out loud.
2) Stand up and walk around while reading your text out loud.
3) Read your text in at least five different translations.
4) Take three minutes and jot down five questions about your text.
5) Pick a hymn or a chorus that reminds you of your text and sing it out loud.
6) Think of three preachers you admire and ask yourself, “How would they preach this text?”
7) Find a sermon on the Internet on your text and read it.
8) Give yourself ten minutes (but no more than that) to write a sermon skeleton.
9) Listen to the first five minutes of any sermon by a preacher you admire.
10) Pray that God would open the eyes of your heart (Ephesians 1:18).

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Lee Burris With the Lord

The following is excerpted from a note from Bernie Simmons, who is currently in Colorado attending a reunion for his wife's family. Further details and obituary will be posted as they become available:

In previous years, Lee and Lois Burris (FGBC Army Chaplain and Grace Brethren pastor) had been here since Lois is sister to Beth Horney. A few minutes ago we got a phone call from his son, that he died this morning in his sleep.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Pray for Don Shoemaker

FRIDAY MORNING CORRECTION: It appears that first information was incorrect -- Don had a shoulder dislocation rather than a head injury. Updates as they are available.

Prayer is requested for Don Shoemaker, pastor of the Grace Community Church of Seal Beach, California.

Shoemaker, who is attending the Equip07 conference in Winona Lake, Indiana, had a fall in his hotel room early today and injured his head. After being treated in the emergency room of the local hospital he was released and is currently being looked after at his hotel room. His wife, Mary, will be returning from Michigan, where she has been tending to the health needs of a relative.