Saturday, January 30, 2010

Micah Heckert Joins York Pastoral Staff

Pastor Dan White of the York, Penna., Grace Brethren Church, sends along this announcement:

"The York Grace Brethren Church is pleased to announce the addition of Mr. Micah Heckert to their pastoral staff. He will be working with Pastor Dan White to equip the saints to do the work of the ministry here in York-and beyond. His main area of emphasis will be as Associate Pastor of Student Ministries.

"Pastor Micah has a diploma pending from Grace College where he majored in Psychology and Biblical Studies, and minored in Youth Ministry. He is married to Sarah (nee Humberd).

"We look forward to what the Lord will do in and through us with the addition of Pastor Micah in our quest to be a church that thrives in helping people become what God desires-from out of the harvest and into the front lines for Him--until He comes again."

Friday, January 29, 2010

Clergy Tax Law Guide Released

2009 Tax Law Changes Pastors Need to Know

Church Tax Expert, Richard Hammar, Reviews Latest Developments

CAROL STREAM, Ill., Jan. 29 /Christian Newswire/ -- The 2010 Church & Clergy Tax Guide, written by nonprofit tax expert Richard Hammar, J.D., LL.M., CPA, releases today. Each year the Internal Revenue Service makes changes to tax law. In this fully updated annual guide, Richard Hammar reviews all of the key changes that are relevant to churches and clergy preparing to file their 2009 tax returns.

Key changes include:

More than three dozen tax benefits, affecting virtually every taxpayer, were adjusted for inflation for 2009.

Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to save and create jobs, get the economy moving again, and transform it for long-term growth and stability. The Act modifies more than 300 sections of the federal tax code.

The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 extends the Pension Protection Act of 2006 for 2008 & 2009 allowing tax-free "qualified charitable distributions" of up to $100,000 from an IRA to a church or other charity (several rules and conditions apply).

Final regulations addressing section 403(b) retirement plans were issued by the IRS in 2007. These regulations are a comprehensive update of the 403(b) regulations and are generally effective January 1, 2009. Under the 2007 regulations, sponsors of 403 (b) plans are required to maintain a written plan. However, the IRS announced in 2008 that it would not treat a 403(b) plan as failing to satisfy the requirements of 403(b) and the 2007 regulations during 2009 if certain conditions are met.

One condition is that by no later than December 31, 2009, the sponsor of the plan has adopted a written plan that is intended to satisfy the requirements of 403(b) (including the 2007 regulations) effective as of January 1, 2009.

To learn more about these changes and other pertinent tax information, see the 2010 Church & Clergy Tax Guide, by Richard Hammar.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Jerry Young Surgery Set for February 17

Pastor Scott Distler of Lititz, Pennsylvania, who succeeded Jerry Young as pastor of the Grace Brethren church there, has been keeping his congregation updated on Jerry Young's health situation. Here is his latest note:

Please continue to pray for Dr Young. As I mentioned last Sunday in church, Dr Young has an obstruction in his bile duct. They will be doing surgery on February 17th so please continue to pray for him. For those of you who may not know Dr Young, he is the former Sr Pastor of our church who led this ministry for 33 years.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Summit Mills Ordains Pastor Matt McCoy

Summit Mills Grace Brethren Church in Meyersdale, Penna., recently celebrated the ordination of Pastor Matthew McCoy. Pastor Matt has been senior pastor since 2008.

The ordination service was held Sunday, January 10. Dr. Gregory Howell from Community Grace Brethren Church, Goldendale, Wash., was present to offer the ordination message. Pastor Randy Haulk (Meyersdale GBC), Pastor Ron Rosner (Accident, MD), and Pastor Roland Maust (Uniontown) from Allegheny District were on hand for the laying on of hands.

In the photo (from left): Robert Grew, Pastor Ron Rosner, Pastor Roland Maust, Tim Yoder, John Imhoff, Dr. Gregory Howell, Perry Yoder (behind barely visible), and Pastor Randy Haulk. Kneeling - Pastor Matthew McCoy

Heartland District Examines, Recommends Three

Dr. Kenneth Bickel, chair of the Heartland District Examining Board, sends along the following news note:

The Heartland District Examining Board recently conducted licensure examinations for three district pastors and recommended that their churches license them for Christian ministry within the FGBC. They are: Greg Serafino and Brian Baughman of the Osceola GBC, Osceola, IN and Tom Abbitt of the Community GBC of Warsaw, IN.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Tom Avey Update on His Father

From Fellowship Coordinator Tom Avey:

My Father, Hal Avey had a positive report from hospital tests and is now home. I’ve had many notes of prayer and well wishes from our FGBC Family. Thanks so much!

Ralph C. Hall Obituary

Dr. Ralph Charles Hall, 84, of Winchester, Virginia, died Sunday, January 24, 2010, at The Willows of Meadow Branch in Winchester, Virginia. Hall was born June 9, 1925 in Lowell, Ohio, the son of Joseph Ralph and Florence Misel Hall.
He graduated from Macksburg High School in 1943. He then attended Ohio State University from 1944-1948 and received his Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Dr. Hall attended Grace Theological Seminary in Winona Lake, Ind., where he received his Master of Divinity. After graduating from Grace Seminary he was senior pastor from 1951- 1956 at Riverside Grace Brethren Church in Johnstown, Penna. He then pastored in Columbus, Ohio, until 1957 when he moved to Meyersdale, Penna. to pastor until 1960.

Dr. Hall served 1960 – 1984 as a church architect for Grace Brethren Home Missions in Winona Lake, Ind. In 1996 he received his Doctorate of Theology from Christian Bible College & Seminary.

He retired from the Brethren Home Missions Council as an Architect and Engineer, where he specialized in the building of churches. He had designed and engineered more than 300 churches in 22 states. He retired to Bradenton, Fla., where he continued to work as an architect & engineer in church building.

Hall was an ordained minister with the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches and a member of Apple Valley Community Church near Winchester, Virginia.

He married Elizabeth Ruth Lenox Hall on June 28, 1947 in Caldwell, Ohio. Mrs. Hall died May 15, 2006.

Surviving are a daughter, Nancy E. Bell, of Winchester, VA; a son, Stephen M. Hall of West Palm Beach, FL; a sister, Helen Bunnell of Stowe, OH; and three grandchildren, Deborah & David Bell of Winchester, VA and Kala Hall of West Palm Beach, FL.

A graveside service will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, January 27, 2010. at the Good Hope Cemetery in Lowell, OH. Arrangements are being conducted by the Enders & Shirley Funeral Home in Berryville, VA.

For those wishing to send condolences or messages to the family, an online guestbook is available through the funeral home by clicking here.

Ralph Hall With the Lord

Word has reached Winona Lake of the death Sunday afternoon of Ralph Hall, former Grace Brethren pastor and longtime architect with the Brethren Architectural Service.

Further details and obituary will be posted as they become available.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Dick McCarthy Obituary

Richard Dean McCarthy, 81, went to be with his Lord on Friday, January 22, 2010 at the Hospice of Dayton (OH) following a brief illness.

He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Beverly (Saufley) McCarthy; children Cindee (Tim) Huwe, Melissa (Mike) Taylor, Mark (Kathy) McCarthy and Kent (Kelly) McCarthy; grandchildren Michael Huwe, Nicholas Huwe, Kylie McCarthy and Keegan McCarthy.

Born and raised in Altoona, PA, he was the son of Owen and Hope (Cashman) McCarthy. After graduating from Altoona HS in 1946, he served two years in the Marine Corps. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1952 with a degree in Pharmacy. In 1954 he married Beverly Lee Saufley of Hershey, PA.

He graduated from Grace Theological Seminary in 1964. Mr. McCarthy served as a pastor for several Grace Brethren churches, including: Allentown, PA; New Holland, PA; Altoona (Juniata), PA; Grafton, WV and Johnstown (Pike), PA. He maintained his pharmacy license throughout his career as a pastor and he worked for 10 years in pharmacy after retiring from the pastorate.

Mr. McCarthy enjoyed tennis, fishing, spending time with family and friends and travel. He was known for his quick, dry sense of humor.

A memorial service is being planned for the week of January 24th at the Grace Brethren Church of Columbus, OH.

Friday, January 22, 2010

MLK Jr. Celebration at Grace College, January 18

M. L. K. Luncheon Grace College - The most amazing videos are a click away

Dick McCarthy With the Lord

Word has been received of the homegoing Friday afternoon of former Grace Brethren pastor Dick McCarthy.

McCarthy, who had been ill for some time, was living at the Grace Brethren retirement home in Englewood, Ohio, with his wife. Further details will be posted as they become available.

Tom Avey's Father Hospitalized

Hal Avey is being moved to a larger hospital in Orlando, Florida, and will undergo a catheterization tomorrow. He is comfortable and hoping for a good report. Sandi Avey is in Orlanda to help Carol Avey. Hal and Carol Avey are parents of Tom Avey, FGBC Coordinator.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

You're Invited to a Conversation With the Counselor

You’re Invited to a Free

Brownbag Lunch Conversation With the Counselor

Wednesday, February 3 – 12 noon

Conference Room – BMH Books – 1104A Kings Highway, Winona Lake (north end of same building as Tree of Life Bookstore)

Bring your own lunch or buy soup/sandwich at Tree of Life and join us

Resource person will be Dr. Robert Kellemen, Ph.D.

Kellemen served for more than a decade as the founding chairman of the Master of Arts in Christian Counseling and Discipleship (MACCD) department at Capital Bible Seminary near Washington, DC. He is now professor-at-large in that department. He is also the founder of RPM Ministries (

Kellemen has authored four books for BMH books, as well as others. He will begin the February 3 session discussing his forthcoming book God’s Healing for Life’s Losses: How to Find Hope When You’re Hurting which is endorsed by the GriefShare organization. Then he will be available for questions and general conversation in the area of Christian counseling.

His other BMH books include Sacred Friendships: Celebrating the Legacy of Women Heroes of the Faith; Soul Physicians; and Spiritual Friends.

No RSVP needed – just come Wednesday, February 3 at noon.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Two Items from Ron Boehm

Ron Boehm of VisionOhio sends two requests:

A mobile modular unit for children's classrooms for Darby Grace in Plain City, OH. This would be for temporary use in 2010.

The church plant in Brownsburg, IN closed. The church planter is a good man with exemplary character. He has ministry experience in large and small churches as well as strong business experience. He has a heart for lost people and for spiritual development in disciples. A Moody grad with radio experience, he is willing to relocate.

If you would like to talk about either of these needs, contact Ron at

Tony Webb Transitioning to Full-Time Church Planting

Tony Webb, who for many years has been at Southwest Grace Brethren Church in Grove City, Ohio, has also been leading a church-planting initiative and now has sent the following letter to his fellow pastors:

A Letter from Tony Webb

I hope you are enjoying your ministry in the Lord Jesus in this New Year! I am writing to inform all of my dear brothers in ministry of a transition in which I believe the Lord has directed Cathy and me. I am in the process of moving my role as director of VisionOhio to a full time status. I am finishing my ministry as Sr. Pastor of Southwest Grace effective January 31, 2010.

I believe the need for new Grace Brethren churches planted is of utmost importance. In light of our day’s need to get the gospel to so many lost people, I believe church planting is the most effective way to get this accomplished.

My full time role as director of VisionOhio does have a unique bend in it. In addition to regular oversight of VisionOhio and the new churches with whom we are connected, it is my goal for Cathy and I to plant churches in the Greater Columbus area ourselves. I am working to establish 3 Gatherer/Shepherd/Pastor (GSP) type church plants here in our area.

We already have one underway in the Polaris area; while I am working at cultivating another GSP in the greater Lancaster area (we will see what God wants here with this one). I believe I have capacity for one more of these and hope to have it nailed downed by the end of the summer or early fall, if not sooner.

Thanks so much brothers,

Tony and Cathy Webb

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Richard McCarthy Health Update

The following information is edited from several e-mails from Lee McCarthy, whose husband, Dick, is a former Grace Brethren pastor. The first posting is from August.

Dick and I have moved to the Grace Brethren Village in Englewood, OH. Dick is in a wheelchair. Last year he had his aortic valve replaced and in June he had a stroke that affected mostly his right leg. Now this year in June he had two stents put in his older heart grafts. Praise the Lord he's here in our cottage, and we like the nice atmosphere. There is a nursing home available
here, too.

The Lord sold our house for us, the closing is Monday. The first contract failed because the buyer lost his job, but the second one has sailed through. Our address is 1010 Taywood Rd., Cottage 404, Englewood, OH 45322.

This posting is new: Dick's been in the hospice one week now. The family's all here. The two grandsons from Colorado must go back tomorrow morning for work and college. Cindee and Tim from Germany got here real quickly. The Red Cross helped the military (Tim's a civilian with the army.) Dick is still talking or whispering with us and is in good spirits.

Thanks for your prayers.


Pray for Jerry Young

The following was sent out Sunday, January 17, by Scott Distler, the pastor of the Grace Brethren church in Lititz, Pennsylvania, which Jerry Young pastored for many years prior to his retirement:

Special Prayer Request

January 17, 2010

Please be praying today and this week for Dr. Jerry Young. For those who are new to our church family over the past 5 years, Dr Young was the Senior Pastor here at Grace Church for 33 years before he retired in 2004. He now lives in Arizona with his precious wife, Loreen. Dr Young poured himself into this ministry giving us a very strong foundation to continue to build upon today. I very much appreciate his faithful service in the past and his encouraging support still today.

Dr. Young was taken to the emergency room in Arizona on Saturday evening with severe abdominal pain. At this point they believe he has a "blocked bile duct". They will be doing more tests later today (Sunday) and even more tests on Tuesday with the very real possibility of surgery taking place later this week. Thank you for your prayers for Dr Young and Loreen (and their children and grandchildren). The family is keeping me updated and I will be sure to pass on those updates to you as well.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

SoCal Pastors Study Footwashing

Pastor Roy Halberg of the Alta Loma (CA) Grace Brethren church reports on a southern California ministerium meeting this week in which one of the pastors at the Seal Beach Grace Brethren Church, Bob Wriedt, presented a paper on footwashing. Here are Roy's comments and a link to Bob's blog and paper:

"Today's ministerium was great!! Much thanks to Bob Wriedt for his presentation.

"Several have asked for a copy of Bob's paper on footwashing that was shared in today's meeting. You'll find a link to his blog below where he has posted the content of his paper. If you missed his presentation today you also missed the "after conversation" where several shared their journey with footwashing and their church's current practice of our three-fold service of communion. I wish that we'd had another hour for that conversation . . . it was great too.

"Here's a link to the text to Bob's paper."

Kegarise Newest Pastor at Lititz

Doug Kegarise was approved Sunday, January 10 by the congregation of the Grace Brethren church in Lititz, Pennsylvania (Scott Distler, pastor) as the newest pastor/elder of Grace Church. Kegarise will be giving pastoral oversight to Grace's entire children and youth ministries. Pastor Distler said, "Please be praying for Doug."