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   Connecting People and Churches of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches Thursday, April 24 2014   
Liz Cutler Gates

Liz Cutler Gates

Liz Cutler GatesThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , an experienced journalist and communicator with deep roots in the Grace Brethren movement, was brought on board in January of 2007 as editorial director to edit FGBC World and other periodicals for BMH. 

In 2010, Gates assumed the role of executive director, while White began to serve in a part-time capacity as publisher of BMH Books.

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Thursday, 01 September 2005 00:00


Grace Brethren are Oldest Twins

Alice Garber Peer and Angie Garber (right)
Twins Days in Twinsburg, OH, is the world's largest annual gathering of twins. Every August since 1976, twins from around the world descend on this small town about 30 miles south of Cleveland for a weekend of socializing, celebration, and fun. Twins Days this year took place August 5, 6, and 7, with about 2,500 to 3,000 sets of twins participating.

This photo is of the youngest and oldest twins at the 30th festival this year. The oldest twins are Alice Garber Peer, wife of the late Grace Brethren pastor Earle Peer, and Angie Garber, Grace Brethren missionary to the Navajos for 47 years. They are 93 years old. (Mary Peer photo)

Enthusiastic Evangelists

Duke Heller and Zig Ziglar
BMH author Duke Heller and motivational expert Zig Ziglar played golf together recently in New Mexico. Both men are enthusiastic evangelists, seeking to lead to Christ anyone who is open to a hearing of the gospel. Ziglar's foreword to Heller's new book, How to Start a Kingdom Conversation, says "I believe there is a critical need for this book." Copies of Heller's book on personal witnessing may be obtained from or by calling 1-800-348-2756. Heller is dentist from the Grace Brethren Church of Columbus, OH. (photo courtesy Duke Heller)
Kriegbaum Returns to BMH, Winona
Arnold Kriegbaum (center) with his sons, Richard and Ward
Arnold Kriegbaum recently visited Winona Lake, Indiana, after a 20-year absence. Kriegbaum, 91, was editor and business manager of the Brethren Missionary Herald Company from September 1953 to August of 1961, when he left to become Dean of Students at Grace College and Seminary. The current Herald building, at 1104 Kings Highway in Winona Lake, was built under his direction in 1956 and it housed all the Grace Brethren national organizations for some years.

Kriegbaum and his wife, Laura, now live with their daughter, Karen, and her husband near Indianapolis, Indiana. Accompanying Kriegbaum were his two sons. Richard, at left, director of United Way in Fresno, California, and Ward, right, an administrator at Wheaton College in Illinois. Earlier in his career, Kriegbaum pastored the Grace Brethren Church of Waterloo, IA, and planted the Cedar Rapids church.

Women of Grace Produce Magazine
ImageWomen of Grace USA has just released the first 40-page issue of its new annual resource publication entitled Women's Spectrum. According to the group's president, Janet Minnix, the annual publication has a two-fold purpose. The first is to inform and challenge individual readers, and the second is to serve as a versatile tool and resource that can be used in any women's ministry in the local church. Linda Michael is editor of the publication, and Viki Rife is the managing editor. Contributing editors include Kathleen Hohl, Harriet Zook, and Ruth Poupart. Copies are available for $7.50 each. For more information e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or log onto the Women of Grace website at

With the Lord

Keith Altig
Keith Altig, retired Grace Brethren International Missions missionary to Brazil, died Wednesday, July 27, at the age of 94. Altig had pastored Grace Brethren churches prior to his 25 years of service in Brazil. At age 65 he completed work for his doctoral degree in missions at Grace Seminary West. He had traveled extensively, while continuing as Pastor Emeritus of the Grace Brethren Church of Whittier, CA, where he was a member. Memorial services were held in Santa Ana, CA. His wife Vivian preceded him in death. He is survived by two daughters and a son, his twin brother, Kenneth Altig, eight grandchildren, and nineteen great-grandchildren.

Dorothy Arenobine, 79, long-time member of the Valley Grace Brethren Church in Hagerstown, MD, and the mother of Fort Wayne (IN) Grace Brethren Church Pastor Bob Arenobine, went to be with the Lord Monday, July 18, 2005. She was preceded in death by her husband, Daniel Joseph Arenobine, in 1992. She is survived by two sons, the Rev. Robert D. Arenobine of Fort Wayne, IN, and Thomas J. Arenobine of Hagerstown; and two grandchildren, Jodi Arenobine of Fort Wayne and Jill Jennings of Auburn, IN.

Bill Hoffman, a member of the Grace College and Seminary board for 12 years, went to be with the Lord Friday, July 8, 2005. A CPA, he was a member and elder at the Ashland, OH, Grace Brethren Church (Dan Allan, pastor). In addition to his wife, Phyllis, he is survived by four children and six grandchildren.

Martha Brickel, 84, went to be with the Lord Sunday, August 7, 2005, in Richmond, IN, following a brief illness. A charter member of the Brookville, OH, Grace Brethren Church, she was preceded in death by her husband and former Brookville pastor, the Rev. Clair Brickel. Surviving children include Ann Davis, Tarpon Springs, FL; David and Janice Brickel of Lewisburg, OH; Barbara and Paul Klink of Greenfield, IN; Jon and Joyce Brickel of Brookville, OH; nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Services were held in Brookville, OH.

Pastoral Changes
Drew Waggoner
has left his young adults pastoral position at the Grace Brethren Church of Columbus, OH, to become the youth pastor at the Chico, CA, Grace Brethren Church (Rick Boswell, pastor).

Philip Bryant is leaving the Mississauga, Ontario, area to begin Grace Brethren church-planting on the west coast of Canada in Vancouver, B.C.

Ivanildo Trindade is moving to become Associate Pastor of Outreach Ministries at the Wooster, OH, Grace Brethren Church. Internationals USA, which Trindade formerly directed, will restructure to a closer alignment with Grace Brethren International Missions. GBIM’s Jay Bell will take a leadership role in reaching internationals.

Dale Harris, recent Grace Seminary grad, is the new pastor at Conococheague Grace Brethren Church in Greencastle, PA.

Paul Mutchler has accepted the pastorate of the Lanham, MD, Grace Brethren Church, beginning September 1.

Congratulations to Dan Pierce, pastor of the Greenville, OH, Grace Brethren Church, on his recent ordination.

Ross Dunk of Willow Valley Grace Brethren Church has accepted the offer of Community Cornerstone church in York, PA, to become their pastor, beginning in September.

Andy Royer left his position of Associate Pastor at Rittman, OH, Grace Brethren Church on July 31. He will be working with a church in Warsaw, IN, in preparation for ministry in Cambodia.

Scott Barger is the new pastor of New Horizon Community Church, Winona Lake, IN, as of the last Sunday in August. Originally from Altoona, PA, Barger has been pastoring an independent church in Churubusco, IN, while continuing studies at Grace Theological Seminary.

Scott Klausfelder has moved from New Life Community Grace Brethren Church in Souderton, PA, where he served as youth pastor, to begin the Immanuel Grace Brethren Church in Quakertown, PA.

GBNAM Initiates Quarterly Newsletter
Grace Brethren North American Missions is in the process of changing its newsletter from the bi-monthly Missions Today to a beautiful full-color version which will be printed quarterly. In place of the 2005 summer issue, churches are receiving copies of the GBNAM Annual Report, which features each of GBNAM’s church-planting ministries. The first issue of the new newsletter will be printed and distributed for the final quarter of 2005. Master copies of “Prayer & Praise” will be sent to churches monthly. The new GBNAM website is now online at

Holbrook Heads CMA
Mark Holbrook, a leading layman and adult Sunday School class teacher at the Grace Brethren Church in Orange, CA (Ed Trenner, pastor) was recently elected chairman of the board of directors of the Christian Management Association. Holbrook, who is president and CEO of the Evangelical Christian Credit Union in Brea, California, succeeds Jerry E. White, president of The Navigators, who recently completed his term as president of CMA. Holbrook was featured in the May/June, 2004 issue of FGBC World (see archived issues at Holbrook and his wife, Cindy, have been leaders at the Orange church for many years. The Christian Management Association, headquartered in San Clemente, CA, serves more than 3,500 leaders and managers from 1,500 Christian organizations and growing churches.

Thursday, 01 September 2005 00:00

Grace Brethren Almanac

Ten Years Ago – September, 1995
Among the new churches received into the Fellowship at the National Conference in San Diego were ValleyLife GBC, Peoria, Arizona (Ed Waken, pastor), Brethren Bible Church, Hemet, California (William Kitchell), and Iglesia Evangelica de los Hermanos, Yakima, Washington (Abner Solano).

Twenty-five Years Ago – September, 1980
The Pleasant Grove GBC in North English, Iowa, celebrated its 100th anniversary; it is the oldest Brethren church in the state. From it came Miss Estella Myers, pioneer missionary to Africa; Don Miller, also a missionary to Africa; and his brother, J. Paul Miller, long time pastor in Modesto, California. All three are now with the Lord. At the C. E. Convention, the Lititz, Penna., church was named as having the “Sunday School of the Year.” Janice Thornton, Sunnyside, Wash., was honored as “Educator of the Year.”

At the national conference, C. E. National sponsored an Open House at their new facilities. A “meeting under the trees” in Winona Park was held to recognize the 80th anniversary of the founding of the Foreign Missionary Society (now GBIM). Home Missions announced that Larry Chamberlain had been named as administrative coordinator.

Gerald Polman assumed the pastorate of the GBC in Lansing, Michigan.

Fifty Years Ago – September, 1955
“Hundreds were on their knees until midnight in prayer and confession.” “The Holy Spirit gave us a refreshing not seen in any conference or fellowship meeting in the Brethren church within the last fifty years.” These were descriptions of the national conference of 1955 in Portland, Oregon. The foundation walls were poured and joists were ready to be laid at the new Brethren denominational building in Winona Lake (now the Brethren Missionary Herald building).

The Whittier Calif. First Brethren Church dedicated its new youth center.

Charles Ashman preached his last sermon at the Rittman, Ohio, FBC before moving to pastor the church in Phoenix, Arizona.

The Ashland, Ohio, FBC purchased four acres to establish a second church in the southern part of the city. Tom Julien, seminary middler, was called to serve as assistant to Pastor Mark Malles at the Ft. Wayne, Indiana, FBC.

Bill Byers, a Bob Jones University graduate, was called to be assistant pastor and director of music at the Kittanning, Pennsylvania, FBC.

Thursday, 01 September 2005 00:00

Ministers Honor Three

Ed Lewis

Ed Lewis, Howard Mayes, and Robert Wagner were honored by the Association of Grace Brethren Ministers (AGBM) at the recent Equip05 national conference for Excellence in Ministry (Lewis), Lifetime Achievement (Mayes), and Pastor of the Year (Wagner).

Pastor Bud Olszewski, a board member for CE National, presented the tribute for Lewis, who was unable to attend the meeting because of an allergic reaction. Lewis is the executive director of CE National, the Christian Education and church ministries office serving the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches.

Raised in a Grace Brethren pastor’s home, Lewis is a graduate of Grace College and Grace Theological Seminary, and was ordained to the ministry in 1971. He joined the staff of CE National in 1972, and became executive director in 1985.

Under Lewis’ leadership, a wide variety of ministries has developed, including Operation Barnabas, the National Institute of the Development of Ministries to Youth, Urban Hope Training Center, the 4:12 Commission, and a variety of cabinets which lead ministries to senior adults, youth, half-timers, children, and more. The Brethren National Youth Conference, held this year at Cedarville University in Ohio the week prior to Equip05, annually attracts more than 2,500 teens to a week of spiritual challenge and service.

In addition to his responsibilities at CE National, Lewis served four years as an associate pastor at Winona Lake Grace Brethren Church and served four years as director of candidate personnel with Grace Brethren International Missions. He was moderator of the FGBC in 1995, and was honored by Grace College as “Alumnus of the Year.”


Dr. Howard Mayes, pastor at Clinton, MD, responded to his Lifetime Achievement Award from AGBM by thanking his colleagues for their prayers during his recent life-threatening illness and recovery.

Dr. Howard Mayes, honored with AGBM’s Lifetime Achievement Award, has been pastor of the Grace Brethren Church of Clinton, MD, since 1992. Earlier this year he spent significant time in the hospital with a mysterious life-threatening illness, and in his response he thanked his colleagues for their care and prayers for him and his family during that time.


The presenter for Mayes’ award was Dave Knight, who is pastor of Christian Education and Children at the Clinton church. Raised in a pastor’s home as the son of Charles W. Mayes, Howard is a graduate of Brethren High School in Long Beach, CA; Grace College; Grace Theological Seminary; and his doctorate is from Western Graduate School of Theology.

Mayes’ previous pastorates include the Grace Brethren Churches of Yakima, WA; Norwalk, CA; and Ripon, CA. He served as CE National Director in Winona Lake in the early 1970s, and also served at Lakeland Christian Academy in Warsaw, IN; Black Hawk Baptist Church in Fort Wayne, IN; and Grace Community Church in Huber Heights, OH. He received the CE National Award in 2003.

Pastor Robert Wagner (center) of Calvert County, MD, received his Pastor of the Year plaque from AGBM president Tim Boal, left. At right is R. Greene, pastor at Frederick, MD, who read the citation for Wagner in the AGBM annual meeting Sunday of Equip05.

Robert W. Wagner, recognized as Pastor of the Year, has been pastor of the Grace Brethren Church of Calvert County, MD, since its inception in 1982. The presenter for Wagner was R. Greene, pastor of the Frederick, MD, Grace Brethren Church.

Wagner is a graduate of Gordon College in Massachusetts and attended Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Illinois. He taught junior high in southern Maryland for seven years, and served on the staff of the Grace Brethren Church of Temple Hills, MD, for eleven years prior to beginning the Calvert County church.

He was ordained in 1979 and began the Calvert County church as a Bible study under the direction and urging of the late Grace Brethren pastor and mentor James Dixon. Calvert County’s first worship services were in 1984 and its current worship center was dedicated in 1988.

The AGBM, which is currently restructuring for the future, held its annual business meeting the first day of conference. Pastor Tim Boal of Penn Valley Grace Brethren Church in Telford, PA, continues as president of the group, and Dr. Jerry Young continues his part-time employment with AGBM in research and development.

The Brethren Missionary Herald Co. is now assisting AGBM with its communication programs, including producing the newsletter Sharpening One Another and maintaining the AGBM website at Mail for AGBM should be sent to P.O. Box 694, Winona Lake, IN 46590.

Tuesday, 01 November 2005 00:00

8,000 Lights Tell of Christ

Rich and Kathy Barnhart of Winona Lake, Indiana, have found a way to combine an 8,000-light Christmas display in their yard, synchronized with FM radio transmission to car radios, with distributing a presentation of the gospel and and invitation to attend church. (photo courtesy Rich Barnhart)

By Ashley Woodworth
Presenting the gospel at Christmas has never been easier or more fun! Kathy and Richard Barnhart have done all the work; all you have to do is get there. Entertainment and refreshments are free, so get in your car, drive to 902 Wooster Road, Winona Lake, IN, sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!

For the past three Christmas seasons, the Barnharts have worked together to live out Christ’s command to “love one another, just as I have loved you” (John 15:12). Using Rich’s computer skills and Kathy’s baking talents, they continue to serve the Lord in a creative way.

From their teamwork has come The Musical Christmas Tree, a spectacular light-show program that runs from 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. during the month of December.

“It’s a place where Christians can bring a friend, and then the program will open doors to start a conversation about spiritual things,” says Kathy.

The program centers on a 20 ft. tall lighted, wooden tree. There are 16 sets of lights on the tree, about 8,000 lights total, in six different colors: red, white, yellow, pink, green, and blue. The colors work independently from one another to allow for a greater variety of light combinations.

The tree’s lights are programmed to work in sync with a selection of Christmas songs that the Barnharts transmit from their 1/10 watt radio. Viewers receive the music on their car radios.

The Barnhart’s real trees around the house are decorated with lights as well, and those lights are synchronized with the music too. This year, the Barnharts plan to add chase lights down the driveway with a silhouette of Bethlehem and a manger scene. With a smile, Kathy adds, “All we need now is a sign on the roof that says, ‘Aliens land here.’”

barnhartCookiesRich Barnhart (left) samples Christmas cookies being baked by his wife, Kathy, in preparation for this year’s Lighted Christmas Tree display. Kathy anticipates giving out as many at 170 dozen cookies.The Barnhart’s dedication to this ministry is evident by the time and effort they have put into the program. Each song takes 30 to 40 hours to program. Since Richard is a computer professor at Grace College, one might think he did all the programming. However, Kathy helps out too. “It’s something that women can do. Programming is not just a guy thing,” she points out.

The Barnharts’ goal through the project is to “emphasize Jesus and what we’re celebrating,” said Richard. To that end, the Barnharts would like to add “a quiet program” along with the normal musical program. A text would be read over the radio in time to the lights, possibly “This Tree, That Tree” or “One Solitary Life” in order to try to put in a gospel message.

Although there is a tree, Santa Claus is nowhere to be seen at the Barnharts. “That’s not part of what we do,” says Richard. The focus of the program is Christ. In order to share Christ with others, they have designed a handout bulletin that includes the gospel message and an invitation to Winona Lake Grace Brethren church, where they are members, sing in the choir, and participate in Real People ABF.

Attendance has increased each year since the Barnharts started the program in 2001. They hope to have even more people come this year. “Non-Christians are so open at Christmas time,” Richard points out. So far, they have not heard of anyone being saved from their efforts, but they have planted seeds through their ministry.

Richard Barnhart estimates he and his wife distributed about 500 bulletins last year, and served 110 dozen cookies! This year Kathy is preparing about 170 dozen cookies.

Around 1,500 people saw the show last year, Richard estimates. For their efforts, the Barnharts have received numerous Christmas cards from viewers of the program.

The display has been featured in local newspapers, on the internet, and on television feature reports.

To view the show, drive to the lower Alpha Hall parking lot of Grace College. Tune your car radio to FM 89.9 and watch the lights dance to the music. Take a program, and sample Kathy’s cookies. “People really like the cookies,” Kathy says. Most importantly, bring your friends!

Ashley Woodworth, a 2005 Grace College journalism graduate, wrote this story as part of her spring, 2005 internship with the Brethren Missionary Herald Co.

Tuesday, 01 November 2005 00:00

FGBC Katrina/Rita Response

Goshen, Indiana, pastor Jim Brown (left) leads his blue-shirted chainsaw gang in helping Katrina victims clear their properties of trees and brush. This team assisted 145 homeowners on one trip. (photo courtesy Jim Brown)
The Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches, though it has fewer than 300 churches in the U.S. and almost none in the deep south, responded heroically during August and September, 2005, to the upheaval caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Grace Brethren people from Richmond, Virginia, to Ripon, California, gave money, sent relief supplies, and took time off work to live in tents, man chainsaws, and minister to the displaced and disoriented. And there were probably many more individual and church responses that have not come to our attention.

Dozens of detailed reports are available online in the August and September archives of the editor’s blog at They will not be detailed here.

The very first response was GBNAM’s Tim Boal announcing that funds for relief could be channeled through GBNAM, which would forward them to an approved agency for disposition.

Then the call came from Dan O’Deens to Dave Guiles at GBIM (see separate article) and the Fellowship really sprang into action. A First Responders Advance Team, led by Guiles, took off immediately for Shreveport, Louisiana, to meet with O’Deens and determine how to help. Immediately thereafter a team of 14 natorg and church leaders from a variety of sources—including heavy involvement by Grace College and Seminary—rushed to help O’Deens with his management needs.

Other stories started coming in. Jim Brown and several teams from the Goshen, Indiana, church took chainsaws and went south to Mobile. A couple from the Goldendale, Washington, church volunteered the use of a second home they were not occupying.

Wooster, Ohio, collected semi-rigs full of supplies and took them south to the Biloxi area. East Side Columbus teamed with a church in Houston to provide food for evacuees. Terry Hofecker, pastor of Northwest Chapel in Dublin, Ohio, went into the heart of New Orleans in his role as law enforcement chaplain, and his reports and photos were some of the most heart-rending to come back.

The Raleigh, North Carolina, church mobilized people to go south, as did Penn Valley in Telford, Pennsylvania. BMH sent bundles of its “Life’s Most Important Question” tract with those who might have opportunity to share the love of Christ. Grace College held a basketball benefit that raised $2,500 to help send students and staff south to help. GBNAM career missionary Chuck Davis spent three weeks managing two shelters in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Winona Lake Grace Brethren Church was the first—to our knowledge—to link with a sister congregation in Gulfport to provide long-term encouragement and help. Others are signing up through the SBC “Adopt-a-church” program. Peter Smith of Hope Valley Community Church in Red Hill, Pennsylvania, put together a multi-church group to clear debris and help clean up from the devastation.

GBNAM’s Ron Boehm became the central “prayer point,” posting prayer requests as reports and needs filtered in. Kathy Allison in the GBNAM Winona Lake office posted regular updates. Tom Avey’s Fellowship Coordinator’s office fed stories and eyewitness accounts to the BMH blog, and to websites at GBNAM, GBIM, and CE National.

Recognizing that the Fellowship’s response could have been even better coordinated with more advance planning, the First Responders Advance Team is holding meetings to establish protocols and accomplish some task force work to set up procedures to be followed when the next disaster strikes.

More than $75,000 has been given by Grace Brethren churches and people for the hurricane relief effort. Some of that funding is available to assist in future trips and relief efforts—contact Tom Avey at for details.

FGBC World will continue to report stories as activity now shifts from crisis-response to long-term assistance.

Tuesday, 01 November 2005 00:00

‘Born Again II’ is Shiny, Metal Witness

DeWitt and Caroline Powell, of Hagerstown, Maryland, use their unique car, 'Born Again II,' as a means of sharing the gospel with car-lovers at shows and cruise-ins.

DeWitt Powell, of the Hagerstown, Maryland, Maranatha Brethren Church (Jay Fretz, pastor), has found a perfect way to combine his love of cars and body work with a way to share Christ with others.

Powell and his wife, Caroline, have a heavy schedule of touring car shows and “Cruise-ins” with their unique “witnessing vehicle,” a polyglot car named “Born Again II.”

“Born Again II,” is so named because it is comprised of parts from more than seven different vehicles. The motor is from a 74 Chevy Malibu, and it has a 74 Chevy Nova subframe, a grille from a 54 Pontiac, half-a-hood from a 57 Chevy, two tops from 67 Fords, Chrysler fins, taillights from a 56 Chevy, a trunk from a 75 Lincoln Continental, and additional parts from Buicks and more.

ImagePowell says cars have been his hobby for years, and he’s been building and re-building them for more than 20 years. It took about four years to complete “Born Again II.” Intricate and artistic paintings display Scripture verses and a representation of “The Passion of the Christ” on the trunk.

Powell always distributes gospel tracts when he displays the car, including one entitled “Born Again II,” which was written with the help of Maranatha pastor Jay Fretz. “It says that if your life is all mixed up—like this car,” Powell points out, “and if you want to be put back together again, the answer is in Jesus Christ.”

Powell, who lives just several blocks from the Maranatha building, is a Hagerstown native and has been part of the church “since it opened.” He was not a believer then, but came to know the Lord “about 35 years ago” as a result of the ministry of Maranatha’s founding pastor, Jack Peters.

Powell believes he has distributed about 125,000 tracts as part of the car’s ministry thus far. He attends car shows “as far north as Lafayette, Indiana, and as far south as Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.” The car has been displayed at Myrtle Beach, SC and at the Meadowlands in New Jersey. It’s been part of the James Dean Run in Fairmont, Indiana, five different years, where the Powells distribute about 5,000-6,000 tracts every time.

ImageAt the York, Pennsylvania, National Street Rodders gathering they distributed 3,000 tracts in one day. Recently the Maranatha church had a free car wash as a neighborhood outreach, and Born Again II was on display in the church parking lot. Everyone attending received a tract.

Pastor Jay Fretz says, “This is a terrific way to be involved in something you love to do, and to share the Lord with other people” In recognition of their efforts, the Powells were awarded the “2004 Outreach of the Year Award” by CE National.

Powell is occasionally asked to speak, and his eyes light up when he tells of recently speaking at the Hagerstown Rescue Mission and seeing a young man give his heart to the Lord there.

He says he really enjoys putting the tract in the hands of wide-eyed children who view the car, and he always tells them, “Have your daddy read this to you tonight.”

“It’s a grand tool for witnessing, and we have a lot of fun doing it,” he says. Powell is currently working on restoring a 1958 Studebaker.

Tuesday, 01 November 2005 00:00

Authors Urge Counselors to Pray

Roger Peugh (left) and Tammy Schultz (right), both faculty members at Grace College and Seminary, have authored a significant new book on the need for prayer in counseling.
By Theresa Clark
When Dr. Tammy Schultz asked Roger Peugh—both faculty members at Grace College and Seminary--to speak to her graduate students about the importance of prayer in counseling, Peugh was shocked by what he did not find as he prepared to speak.

“I didn’t find a book on the subject of prayer and counseling,” Peugh says.

From that disappointing revelation grew a vision for a book that would help fill the gap in the counseling community regarding prayer.

“One of us said, ‘Let’s write it,’ and one of us said, ‘Let’s do it,’” explained Peugh.

That was three years ago.

Today, Peugh and Schultz’s vision has become reality. Their recently-released book, Transformed in His Presence: The Need for Prayer in Counseling, emphasizes the necessity of prayer among those who counsel and help others.

ImageIn a world where prayer is overlooked, Peugh and Schultz believe there is nothing more vital that a counselor can do than to seek God in prayer, both for and with clients.

“Counselors are not praying with them or for them,” says Schultz. “How is it that in the most difficult situations of life, counselors are not praying, and those in their deepest crisis points are not praying?”

Through Transformed, Peugh and Schultz hope many counselors will be reawakened to the importance of prayer in their field of ministry. Using a unique approach, the authors illustrate their main points by combining scriptural guidance and encouragement with their personal stories.

The book also has a reflective, mentoring tone. Both Peugh and Schultz attribute much of who they have become in life to their own mentors. They hope through their book to mentor readers, directing them toward prayer and the Lord.

Peugh and Schultz have one concern about Transformed. They do not want it to be viewed as just another book that makes prayer out to be another draining responsibility, another “should.”

Peugh says, “We didn’t want people to see it as another ought, another burden. Our repeated desire is not to present a formula, not to give trite clichés. [We just want] to try to point them to God.”

Peugh and Schultz are aware that many counselors working in secular environments have to walk a thin line when it comes to prayer and God. But that does not mean counselors cannot approach God’s throne for their clients. As Schultz points out, “It may be quietly praying.”

Yet no matter what environment counselors are working in, Peugh and Schultz advocate the creation of a support system, a prayer team. By having a group of people regularly encouraging and praying for them, counselors will feel uplifted and supported as they help others deal with challenging situations in life.

Though the main focus of their book is directed at counselors, the co-authors desire that people outside the clinical counseling community—pastors, social workers, parents, friends of hurting people—will also find support and scriptural guidance through the book.

In fact, Peugh explains, this book is for “anyone who is trying to influence someone to make good life changes.”

What’s the bottom line?

“Pray,” said both Peugh and Schultz.

For them, the success of the book is not based on the amount of publicity or the number of sales. Instead, the value lies in the book’s ability to bring the focus of others back to the throne of God.

Peugh sums it up, “One of our favorite people on the planet that is now living with the Lord is Corrie ten Boom. She said, ‘I just want to be the donkey who brings Jesus to the people.’ We want the book to be that kind of instrument to bring Jesus and the people together—not that they see us, but that it draws them to Jesus.”

Roger Peugh, M. Div., is the Associate Professor of World Missions at Grace Theological Seminary. He served as chaplain at Grace College and Seminary and was a church planting missionary to Germany for more than twenty years.

Tammy Schultz, Ph.D., is the Department Chair of the Graduate School in Counseling and Interpersonal Relations at Grace College. She has taught and had counseling ministries in the United States and Canada.

Transformed in His Presence: The Need for Prayer in Counseling is published by BMH Books of Winona Lake, Indiana. It has received numerous endorsements, including one by Gary D. Chapman, Ph.D., author of The Five Love Languages. The book's ISBN number is 0884693007 and the 136-page paperback retails for $10.99. To order or to obtain more information, visit or call (toll free) 1-800-348-2756.

Theresa Clark, a Grace College journalism major from Delaware, Ohio, is an editorial intern with FGBC World the fall semester, 2005.

Tuesday, 01 November 2005 00:00

Warning: Budget Buster Ahead!

By Ron Dorner
This winter will be difficult.Your heating bills may increase by 75 percent. Now is the time to address the issue. Act now to avoid busting your budget.

The dynamics of heating a home require a look at the amount of space heated, insulation factors, temperature maintained, and the heat source.

Analyze your home. Can you reduce the space you heat during the winter? If you have electric heat, be sure to optimize the room thermostats. No matter what your heat source, dropping the temperature just a few degrees can save significantly on heating costs.

The return on investment for increased insulation has never been better. Add insulation, close air gaps with weather stripping around doors, and get someone to evaluate your windows.

The lower you can keep your thermostat, the lower your heating bills. Keep humidity in the mid-ranges to make the house feel warmer. Dress warmer while inside and remember that heat rises. Any method of forcing heat down, such as ceiling fans, will allow you to lower thermostat settings.

Most of us can adjust to lower temperatures. To find the minimum temperature that is comfortable try lowering the temperature one degree every third day until you feel too cool.

Install a digital thermostat and program it to cooler temperatures during sleeping hours. Try lowering it to at least 60 degrees to sleep and set it to warm the house about 30 minutes before rising.

Evaluate your main heat source. Newer furnaces have higher efficiencies. Electric heat is becoming more reasonable when compared to gas and fuel oil.

You might want to augment your present heating system. Heating bills can be cut drastically by burning wood or corn using a fireplace insert or stand-alone stove. Wood is messy, but often is almost free if you cut and stack it yourself. Corn, when readily available can be a nice alternative.

A home heated with propane this winter may burn $2 worth of fuel to produce 100,000 BTUs of heat. Corn costing 51 cents will produce the same 100,000 BTUs. If a fireplace insert burning corn can produce three-fourths of the heat needed during a typical winter, your total heating bill could be lowered from $2,000 to $875. The investment would pay for itself in two years.

“Spot” heating can also help keep the thermostat lower. Consider a portable oil or silicone-filled electric heater to raise the temperature efficiently in small areas.

We have no control over gas and heating oil prices. But we can control many factors that affect our comfort this coming winter. You really need to answer the question, “Do you want to save money?”

Ron Dorner has worked in Grace Brethren financial and estate planning for more than 17 years. For more information, or to schedule a Financial Planning Seminar in your church, e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Tuesday, 01 November 2005 00:00

Reading Someone Else's Mail

The final chapter of the new BMH Book Childlike Faith by Dr. Keith Shearer is entitled “Reading Someone Else’s Mail.” Shearer points out that the Bible is primarily the message from God to those who have trusted exclusively in His Son, Jesus Christ.

Anyone else who tries to understand the Bible is, essentially, “reading someone else’s mail” because the reader must first be tuned in to God’s spiritual frequency in order to fully understand the message of the Bible.

If this describes you, Shearer pleads with you to “call out to God” (page 108). He assures us that the Bible says, in Hebrews 11:6, “he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”

Next, to come to God you must confess your sin. And third, because you cannot free yourself from your sin-condition (Romans 3:23), you must accept God’s remedy—the free gift of eternal life (Romans 6:23).

Shearer says (page 111), “In the very instant that you place your trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior, He makes you alive with Him, forgives you from all sin…cancels out all condemnation against you…He gives you the free gift of eternal life.”

If you have not done so, please begin your relationship with God by praying a prayer like this one Shearer suggests:

“Lord Jesus, you are perfect and sinless, but I have been sinful. Thank You for dying in my place, for suffering and bleeding for my sins. Thank you for rising from the dead and being here right now to save me. I trust you, Jesus. I trust in You alone, not in myself or my works but in You and You alone. You are my Savior. I love You.”

If you have prayed this prayer, please contact either the publishers of this paper or the church or person from whom you received it—we’ll give you assistance in further understanding salvation and how you can grow in Christ.

Tuesday, 01 November 2005 00:00

2005-2006 Calendar of Grace Brethren Events

Events of general interest among Grace Brethren Churches. Details and registration information are available from sponsoring organizations or through
Nov. 4-6 – Grace College & Seminary Homecoming
Nov. 4-6 – Women of Grace Leadership Summit, Berlin, OH
Nov. 10 – Micropolitan Church-Planting Summit, Columbus, OH, SW
Nov. 16 – Operation Barnabas 2006 & OBI application deadline (CEN)
Dec. 17-Jan. 8 – Christmas Break, Grace College & Seminary
Jan. 4-9 – National Institute Module (Church and Campus Youth) (CEN)
Jan. 29 – So. Cal. CE National Celebration, Bellflower, CA (CEN)
Jan. 30-Feb. 2 – SW Focus Retreat, San Juan Capistrano, CA (FGBC)
Feb. 27-March 1 – South Focus Retreat, Haines City, FL (FGBC)
March 4-12 – Spring Break, Grace College & Seminary
March 17-19 – ReMix. LaPalma, CA (CEN)
April 20 – Day Away, North of 55, Mid-Atlantic District (CEN)
April 21 – Day Away, North of 55, Wooster, OH (CEN)
April 28 – Day Away, North of 55, Lancaster, PA (CEN)
May 6 – Grace College & Seminary Commencement
June 12-16 – ACTS Training for Church Planters (GBIM)
June 22-25 – DRIVEN06, Gambier, OH (CEN)
June 25-July 1 – Great Canadian Adventure Teen Week, Toronto (GBNAM)
July 2-8 – Great Canadian Adventure Teen Week, Vancouver, BC (GBNAM)
July 22-28 – BNYC, Biola University (CEN)
July 29 – August 3 – Celebrate06 National Conference, Indian Wells, CA (FGBC)
August 21-September 1 – 4:12 Commission Orientation, Winona Lake, IN (CEN)

GBNAM = Grace Brethren North American Missions
GBIM = Grace Brethren International Missions
CEN = CE National
FGBC = Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches

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