Monday, August 30, 2010

Continue Praying for the Abbitt Family

Tom Abbitt, executive pastor at the Warsaw (IN) Community Grace Brethren Church, would appreciate continued prayers for his wife, Cathy, who is fighting advanced cancer.

Cathy returned home from the Goshen hospital recently and is under hospice care. They were able to move up the date for the wedding of their oldest son Nate (another ceremony was to be held this past Sunday in Chicago).

The Abbitts' daughter, Amy, is taking time off from her job at Lincoln Elementary School in Warsaw, Indiana, to help with her mom's care. Their youngest son, Matt, is a senior at Warsaw High School this year and is in the midst of football season.

Tom's parents have arrived in Winona Lake as well to help. Please pray for Cathy's pain to be under control and for peace and strength for the entire family during this difficult time.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Former Grace Brethren Pastor Clyde Balyo With the Lord

Former Grace Brethren pastor Clyde Groce Balyo, age 96, of Dayton, Ohio, passed away on June 29, 2010.

He was born on November 23, 1913 in Greenville, South Carolina. He attended the University of North Carolina and graduated from Grace Theological Seminary in 1946 with a Bachelor of Theology degree.

He pastored at the North Riverdale (OH) Brethren from 1946 to 1953 and served with the Greater Dayton Association of Southern Baptists as supply and interim pastor for 22 years.

In 1958 he accepted a position at Elano Corp. as production control manager, later becoming personnel manager. He returned to Elano Corp. as Vice President, retiring in 1985.

In 1989, at the age of 76, Clyde began his hobby of embroidery. He became a member of the Dayton Chapter of the Embroidery Guild of America. He later developed a special interest in Japanese Embroidery and excelled in this special art.

He was preceded in death by his parents, John G. and Etta C. Balyo; wife Mary Frederick Balyo; a son, John Edwin Balyo; two sisters, Lucille B. Reed and Clare Martin; two brothers, William H. Balyo and Dr. John G. Balyo. He is survived by his wife, Elsie Grubbs Balyo; two daughters, Brenda L. Sperry and husband David of Naples, Florida and Aileen Lehman and husband Roy of Medina, Ohio; a daughter-in-law, Darlene B. Scott of Springboro, Ohio; a stepson James H. Frederick and wife Doris of Springfield, Ohio.

He also leaves his granddaughters: Debbie Cooper (Mike) of Connersville, Indiana, Amy Sohrenssen (Mike) of Lancaster, Ohio, Jenny Healy (Steve) of Hamden, CT, Susan Miller (Scott) of Columbus, Ohio, Kristen Nelles (Daniel) of Galloway, Ohio; grandsons: Brad Balyo (Lori) of Springboro, Ohio; Robert Sperry (Talli) of Media, PA; Andrew Sperry (Marianne) of Franklin, TN; Brian Lehman (Joy) of Upper Arlington, Ohio; Andrew Lehman (Cara) of Cincinnati, Ohio; 16 great grandchildren and 1 great-great grandchild.

Funeral services were held on Friday, July 2 at the Centerville Grace Brethren Church with Pastor Dave Holmes officiating. Interment is at Lower Miami Cemetery. The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Dayton Christian School.

Clyde's confident belief in the atoning death of the Lord Jesus Christ and His resurrection as a guarantee of the believer's resurrection is expressed in these words of the Apostle Paul. "I am not ashamed because I know whom I have believed and I am persuaded that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him for that day."

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mike Jentes' Mother With the Lord

Mike Jentes, of the pastoral staff of the Los Altos Grace Brethren Church in Long Beach, California, sent the following note to the FGBC office:

I found out my mom went to be with Jesus this morning. I'm headed back to Ohio tomorrow and the kids & Mindi on Friday for the weekend. We would appreciate your prayers.

Update from the Rittman Church:

Upon the sudden passing of Pat Jentes our thoughts and prayers are extended to Carl and the family. The service plans are as follows:

Friends and family may call at Roberts Funeral Home on SR3 north of Wooster on Friday evening from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Funeral services will also be at Roberts Funeral Home on Saturday morning at 10 a.m. Following the graveside ceremony there will be a meal at the Rittman Grace Brethren Church.

Please contact the church office if you have any questions. Cards may be sent to Carl Jentes and family at 33 Lane Street, Rittman.

Update on Seth Wirt Recovery

Andy Wirt, church planter in New Albany, Ohio, has posted this photo and update on his son, Seth, who is recovering from an accident in which a couch fell on his face.

Thanks so much for all that have prayed and continue to do so for Seth and our family.

As you can see from the attached picture, God's healing power has been evident in Seth. Trish took him to our family's ENT yesterday and, after looking at the hospital CAT scans, Dr. Speis again shared how "lucky" Seth was not to be more seriously injured.

Apparently he is healing well internally and, as you can see from the photo, he is healing really well externally. Seth will have scarring issues, but nothing like we expected (and he continues to improve daily). The doctor seemed to think things are going well internally also--he just underscored with us that we have to watch colds (so as to not let them turn into sinus infections and we'll have to monitor the development of sinus cavities in Seth's forehead as he grows up).

We have so much to be thankful for and are just very grateful to all of you who have prayed for and shown such amazing love to Seth and our family. We are truly blessed to live in the community we do, have a fantastic church family in ClearView, and have such a broad and deep support network via our biological and spiritual families around the world. Praise God! :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

North Central Ohio to Examine Two

Dr. Todd Scoles, coordinator for the North Central Ohio district, sent out information to pastors in his district about this upcoming examination. Pray for these men--Todd gives a good reminder of the importance and mindset of the examination process.

Our fall ministerial exam date is set for Wednesday, September 15, 9:30 AM at Grace Polaris. We have two men sitting for ordination exams - John Shirley and Jonathon Wiley.

The ordination exam consists of a man's reflection on his ministry, a brief report on books he read on pastoral leadership, his interaction with counseling case studies, and the feedback he received from those in his ministry. Make it a priority to be at these exams for these two men.

You might think, "With only two men for exams my presence is not necessary or critical." But it is. We all benefit from these exams - our questions and discussions with these men AND among ourselves as examiners is part of the "iron sharpens iron" aspect of ministry.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Former Sunnyside Elder to Spokane

Steve Richardson, formerly of Sunnyside, Washington, will be installed as Executive Pastor at the Fourth Memorial Church in Spokane, Wash., in an installation service to be held at the church on Sunday, August 29 at 10:30 A.M. A reception will follow at 12:15 P.M. The church is located at 2000 North Standard, Spokane.

During his time in Sunnyside Richardson served in several capacities at the Grace Brethren Church, including serving on the Elder Board and pulpit supply. He previously had served in the pastorate in Cave Junction, Oregon.

His wife Miriam is the daughter of Marjorie Ruppert of Sunnyside. The Richardsons are the parents of three children.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

AGBM President Richards Receives Diagnosis

The following report, shared with his permission, is from AGBM president Joel Richards, who is pastor of the LaLoma Grace Brethren Church in Modesto, California. Joel has been struggling with throat and voice issues for several years. Your prayers for Joel's treatment and recovery and for his wife, Jane, and family would be appreciated.

Well I had my surgery. Unfortunately, the pathology report following my surgery revealed that I have cancer in one of my vocal cords. Somewhere in the last year there was a dramatic change in the nature of the plaque that was in my throat. The doctor was unable to remove it all because some of it is now attached to the vocal cord. That is the part that now needs to be dealt with.

Thankfully, the prognosis for eliminating this cancer is good. This cancer is in a very early stage and radiation is normally very successful. I will be seeing an oncologist and I have been told that they want to start treatments as soon as possible.

It goes without saying that I wasn’t expecting this. There may be an upside. My surgeon said that the likelihood of the other stuff returning is minimal. I told him that would be an answer to my prayers that I wouldn’t have to have any more of these surgeries. I wasn’t expecting that the answer might come in the form of cancer!

I would appreciate your prayers.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Basore Road Seeks Senior Pastor

Senior Pastor

Basore Road Grace Brethren Church, Dayton, Ohio, is looking for a quality candidate to serve as a full-time Senior Pastor. His primary responsibilities are to provide expository communication of the Word, shepherd and train the congregation, the church staff, the leadership and ministry teams.

Along with the board, the Senior Pastor will develop a vision for the future of the church that helps equip the congregation for the work of the ministry. Furthermore, the Senior Pastor shall be faithful in the exposition of Scripture so that the congregation may grow in their understanding and application of the Word of God. (Ephesians 4:11-14; Acts 20:28)


1.Exhibits the godly character and qualities outlined in 1Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9; and 1 Peter 5:1-4.
2.Demonstrates the exegetical and homiletic skills necessary to study and effectively communicate the Word of God.
3.Demonstrates strong interpersonal and relational skills and has a passion for pastoral care.
4.Commits to personal regular accountability with other godly men and demonstrates the ability to maintain such relationships.
5.Exhibits a heart for evangelism and a deep desire to reach the lost for Christ.
6.Demonstrates effectiveness in discipleship and shows the ability to inspire and equip members of the congregation to reach out to the community addressing both spiritual and social needs.
7.Shepherds the staff by providing professional development, personal growth, encouragement and feedback, and sets goals for growth in their respective ministries.
8.Demonstrates an attitude and approach of being faithful, available and teachable.
9.Agrees ᅠfully with the Statement of Faith of the Fellowship Of Grace Brethren Churches.
10.Holds a license or ordination, or willing to obtain such.
11.Has several years of experience as senior or associate pastor in leading a multi-staff church including preaching to the congregation on a regular basis

Please visit our website at to get a better view of who we are and what we are all about. Please email your resume and references to or by USPS to: Mark R. Mohler Pastoral Search Committee Chairman 506 W Washington St New Carlisle, Oh 45344


Steve Mitchell Health Update

The following note is from Dave Mitchell, father of Steve Mitchell, who is pastor of the Garden City Grace Brethren Church in Roanoke, Virginia. Earlier the family had requested prayer when Steve was diagnosed with a form of leukemia, and this is an update.

I am sending this to those who have asked how my son Steve is doing with his leukemia.

Up until this blood test today we thought things were doing pretty well, but the test today revealed that his white cell blood count had gone from 66,000+ to over 91,000+. He goes back to the cancer doctors Sept. 10 and if the count is still up, then the next step will be a round of fairly hard chemo and if that doesn't put it in remission then a bone marrow transplant will be the possible consideration. The count could drop back into the 60's, but there is no way to tell until the test is given again.

How to pray? Well of course we'd like to see God heal Steve of this disease, but if it comes to taking chemo pray that Steve will be able to physically endure the effects and that it might work and put this in remission.

If the count goes down then it will give him some time before he eventually has to take treatments. Both he and Supriya are really trusting the Lord and it doesn't seem to affect them as much as it does his mom and me, but we are all trusting God's will and that all that happens will bring glory to God.

We, the Mitchell family, want to thank all of you who let us know that you are praying for Steve and his family. We truly love you and are thankful for all of us being a part of God's family.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Pray for Elizabeth Pierce

Zach Doppelt, pastor of the Ghent Grace Brethren Church in Roanoke, Virginia, passes along the following prayer request:

Please pray for Elizabeth Pierce, cancer survivor and daughter-in-law of Greensboro, NC, church planters Daniel and Teressa Pierce. She has been diagnosed with melanoma, and is currently having these spots removed. This is the most serious type of skin cancer, and she needs our prayers.