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Showing posts from May, 2008

Fields of the Wood Service

On June 14, 2008 the Fields of the Wood will host its annual celebration service. The service will begin at 2:00 p.m.

This year, I have been asked to bring the keynote address. As always, I am thankful to have a part on the program and share the value of our heritage. While doing a little research, I ran across an interesting website from a totally-unconnected source to our church critiquing the Fields of the Wood. To see it follow this link

If you can join us on the 14th we would love to see you. God bless.

Change on General Assembly Committee Report

Greetings State/Regional Overseer,

Today the General Overseer’s Office was informed by the Secretary of the Finance and Stewardship Committee that the Committee “is withdrawing the Mission Fund section of their Report to the upcoming 95th International Assembly.”

To avoid confusion, we wish to inform you that this change will not be reflected in either the online version of the Report or the printed version already in the process of being mailed to the pastors and proxy representatives. A notice of this change will be posted to the website and included as part of the mailing materials.

Thank you for your attention to this message and for forwarding it to the ministry in your area.


Shaun McKinley | Administrative Liaison to the General Overseer

Randall E. Howard, General Overseer
P.O. Box 2910
Cleveland, TN 37320-2910

Receptionist: (423) 559-5100
Direct Phone: (423) 559-5103
Fax: (423) 559-5108
Web: http://www.c…

Youth Camps

Can you believe it? Memorial day is now over and the youth camping season begins! Starting this Friday night, we will enter our season of summer camps.

We are looking forward to what some call "the biggest revival of the year" at Camp Hickory Hills, in Dickson County, Tennessee.

We hope you will help us to pray for the kids and the staff, as we look forward to what God is going to do!

Happy Memorial Day

Each year, the United States celebrates Memorial Day to remember those who have served our nation in the military services. Throughout our churches in Tennessee and beyond, are men and women who chose an act of service that took them away from family and friends.

No war is ever popular, and indeed I don't believe it should be. However, the enemies of freedom and self-determination seem to arise in in every generation and must be dealt with by resolute people who are determined to live out their lives in peace, and if must be possessing that peace by strength.

I take this opportunity to thank all of our service men and women, and those who serve as first responders to the cry of liberty. We also remember those who gave their lives on the field of battle, some who never made it home, not just those who died in conflict, but those who are still Mission in Action. We must never forget! On this day we thank you, we celebrate you and we honor you.

Happy Memorial Day

Memorial Day Weekend

A few-weeks-ago, while returning home from a conference in Northern Indiana, Debra and I went a little bit out of the way and stopped in Evansville. I grew up in Evansville, joined the military and went oversees and then returned home. We were married in Evansville, I was converted there, and the Pastor, William Gaddis spent three years of his life training me in ministry. It's also the town where my parents are buried.

We stopped there so I could go to Oak Hill Cemetery and visit, clean and decorate the graves of my parents. I try to do this at least once each year, and my two sisters make the same effort.

This is always a special time for me, and even after almost 20 years, the tears still flow as my mind goes back to the first part of my life, the memories of the good, and even the bad times.

At every trip, I still notice the inscription on the headstone that my parents share. Below their names you will find, "Faithful Ministers of the Gospel" inscribed into the ma…

ICM Begins today

One of the premier events for training in the Church of God of Prophecy begins today at the Peerless Road Church in Cleveland, Tennessee.

Each year, this intensive brings together top experts in the field of Children's Ministries, along with Children's workers from across the United States, and often outside the country, for a time of fellowship, worship, networking and training.

This is money well-spent for those interested in building a children's ministries department in a church of any size.

For further information, you can call the International Children's Ministries Department at 423-559-5100

Further information on new work on Tominson College Campus

In the last couple of days, several have asked me about an earlier post, with a link to a small video. Please allow me to give a little bit of explanation.

For the last few years, the Peerless Road Church hosted a Bible Fellowship Group (similar to small group ministry) that was for the ministry to the Spanish-speaking people of their congregation. Under the able direction of Brother Cliff Anderson, this group has grown and the time has come for them to begin the transition to the organization of a local church.

Using the "mothering-church" concept, the Peerless Road Pastor, Bishop Tim Coalter and I have agreed too partner in this effort. Interestingly enough, the concept was introduced to Tennessee in the late 80's under the leadership of former overseer, Bishop Eugene Weakley. At that time, I was able to participate in mothering one of the Tennessee churches.

On Sunday, we had this first special service, with almost 100 in attendance, with an anointing, prayer and pla…

Lura Cathey Funeral Services

Today Debra and I attended the funeral of Sister Lura Cathey at the White Bluff church. The services were opened with a congregational song, and followed by the ministers and special singers.

Everything was beautiful and as I sat in the congregation I realized once again the professional, spiritual presence of our pastors and ministers in our church.

Participating in the serves were:

Pastor Gary Riley
Bishop Sam Clements
Pastor Gary Clements
Pastor Mike Jennette

Thank you for praying for the family, and please help me as we continue to remember them in the next few days as we pray.

Jackson Church

I am sharing an email I received from our District Presbyter, Bishop Robbie Wier. Let's rejoice!

Bro. Joe Watson called me just a few minutes ago. He and Barbara are elated. Today they had the third Sunday singing and eating on the grounds. Over 75 people stopped by. A good many of the people were from the community. Joe and Barbara sounded tired but very happy. I just thought some good news is worth reporting.I pray that all is well with your family. God bless you in this season/time of your life.Sincerely,Robbie Wier

New Bilingual church plant

This morning, Debra and I joined Pastor Tim and Kelly Coalter, District Overseer, Bishop A.J. & Norma Coalter at the former Tomlinson College Campus to launch a new initiative to plant a bi-lingual church in Cleveland, Tennessee.
For the last three years, a bible fellowship group began offering Spanish language classes, which mushroomed into a large group under the direction of Brother and Sister Cliff Anderson. The time has come to begin the process of organizing this new work, so we are using the following model:
Peerless Road Church will mother the new congregation, and they will work under the direction of my office, with plans to organize this as a brand new local church within two years.

After I preached in the morning worship service, our General Overseer, Bishop Randall Howard prayed the dedication prayer. If you will click the following link you will see a promotional video cut this morning:

Death notice - Lura Cathey

I just learned a few-minutes-ago of the passing of Sister Lura Cathey, the mother of Linda Clements (wife of our North American General Presbyter), and grandmother of our Columbia pastor, Gary Clements. She passed last night around 10:00 p.m.

Visitation will be:

Saturday, May 17th, from 7pm-9pm
Sunday from 10am-9pm

Visitation on Saturday and Sunday at:

Taylor Funeral Home
214 N Main St
Dickson, TN 37055
(615) 446-2808

Funeral services:

Monday at 2:p.m. at the Crossroads Church

Please join me in prayer for the family.

Youth Camp Workers Needed

Have you been looking for an opportunity to serve the younger generation in a way that will make a difference in their lives? Well, here is a golden opportunity.

As we approach the camping season, we still need cabin leaders and other positions filled. If you are interested in a week set aside for worship, fun and ministry to our next generation of leaders, please contact Mike and Kathy Burton by CLICKING HERE

Revival in Fairview/Primm Springs Area

Bro. McKinley, I wanted to send you guys a special invitation to join us for revival at Strongtower Worship Center COGOP in Fairview/Primm Springs area, Bro. Don Lovvorn pastor.

Services begin Friday, June 6 @ 7 PM thru Sunday night. "By His Grace" Ministries will be the featured evangelist,

Join us in prayer for a mighty move of the Holy Ghost in the Fairview area. Bro. Rye served as pastor there for several years.

God bless you and looking forward to a great and mighty move of God!

If you need any further information please contact me at 615-313-0612 or 931-553-8301. "By His Grace" Ministries, Gary L. Baker

The week ends better than it started....

I know you've had those days that seem to last for a week, or the week seems like a month. Well, this one has been a day that seemed to go on forever.

As you've seen from the blog, there has been a lot of activity this week with Assembly Task Force meetings and all of the sickness surrounding us.

Today, Lindsey had the final packing removed by the doctor, and she seems to be doing much better. Debra's mother came off the ventilator today and is alert and talking, and after being up for the last two nights, Debra returned home this morning from Kentucky.

Tomorrow we head out for Cleveland where I will be preaching at the organization of a new field work on Sunday morning. We are excited about what God is doing and thankful for His presence in this last week.

I want to thank each of you who prayed for us, I value your love and kindness more than you will ever know. May God bless you!

A post from retired minister Ruth Lawson

Fund Raiser

For Renita Henry Rose - Cancer Patient
Daughter of Bobbie Henry and the Late Marson Henry

Renita is scheduled for surgery on 7/17/08 for Pseudomyxoma Peritonic (PMP)

She will need heated chemotherapy in the operating room to kill cancer cells in teh abdominal cavity. Five days of intraperitoneal chemotherapy. Surgery and two hours of chemotherapy wash will be 9 hours.

Renita suffers from a very rare cancer and very few surgeons use the warm chemo wash. The surgery will be done at Washington hospital in Washington, D.C. by surgeon, Paul Sugarbaker. For further information you can access:

The surgeon requires a $25,000 fee up fron and Renita will be out of work for 10 weeks. Any contributions may be mailed to the following addresses:

Cumberland County Bank
Renita Rose FUnd
225 West Ave
Crossville, TN 38555


Ruth Lawson
Fund Raising Chairperson
664 Lawson Rd
Crossville, TN 38571

Prayer Updates

As you can see from the time stamp, it is almost 10:30 p.m. as I am posting. Debra's mother underwent bypass surgery today, and after the surgery was completed (while she was in recovery) she suffered another heart attack. The doctors had to go back in to do more work.

I spoke with Debra just a few-minutes-ago and she said that her mother is still in the critical care unit, and is still on the ventilator. Debra will be traveling home early in the morning to be with our daughter Lindsey as she returns to her doctor to have packing removed from her surgery last week.

As you can see this intersection of several events has made it necessary for me to be out of the office for several days. I am checking messages and trying to do what I can from home.

Will you please continue to pray for my mother-in-law, for my daughter Lindsey, and for Debra as she drives home from Kentucky? God bless you.


Today I was in Cleveland for our Assembly Task Force meeting, and left just as soon as the meeting ended so that Debra could travel to Kentucky. I will be with our daughter Lindsey who is still recovering from surgery, while Debra is with her mother.

Debra's mother, Margie will have heart-bypass surgery tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. I am asking that you would please help us pray for her. Debra's parents serve our Central City, Kentucky church.

Special Prayer Request - Holt Family

This afternoon, my Dad was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). With no treatment, he has one to two weeks to live. He could go to Vanderbilt for an extensive five week treatment, but the doctor said he could die during the treatment. His last option is chemo in Crossville which could give him as much as one to two years. He plans to take the chemo and treatment will start on Monday.

They have not looked any further at the liver. We do not know how this will factor into the situation. Again, his greatest need is to give his heart to Christ. Thank you for your prayers.

S. Paul Holt

Please pray for Debra's mother

We heard news from Kentucky today that my mother-in-law, Margie Lindsey will be undergoing open-heart surgery on Thursday. There are three major blockages, but as of now, we don't know the extent of the surgery.

Lindsey is still recovering so I will be staying at home with her while Debra travels to be with the rest of her family in Owensboro.

Will you please join me in prayer for Margie? God bless.

Prayer Request

Would you please join me in prayer for Danny Neal, the middle son of our pastor at Erin, Pastor Richard Neal. Danny will be going through some medical treatments, and Brother Neal has asked that you help us pray for him.

I spoke with Brother Neal just a few-minutes-ago, and he stated that Danny will be going to the doctor this Wednesday morning.

As many of you know, Brother Neal has been dealing with medical difficulties with his parents and your prayers for the whole family will be greatly appreciated.

Myanmar (Formerly known as Burma)

Happy Mother's Day

Today was a special day throughout the churches across America, but especially in Tennessee. It is on this day that we celebrate our mothers and their influence in our lives.

Almost two-weeks-ago when we were returning form the Michiana Ladies Retreat, Debra and I drove a little out of the way to visit the graves of my parents and my brother. As always, this was a very emotional time for me personally, and the tears seem to flow just as readily now as they did when we buried them.

Today, as I was thinking of my mother, I remembered an example she left for me. I was only about twelve or thirteen-years-old when my mom introduced me to Mrs. Black. This woman was the spouse of one of the men who worked for my father at the Vendome Hotel in Evansville, Indiana, and she was suffering from terminal cancer.

Like us, the Black family didn't have much, and they lived on the other side of town from us. They had a daughter who was mentally disabled who was about 16-years-old at the time, an…

Casting down imaginations...


“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds. Casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)

Today during my personal devotional time I returned to a Scripture that was the text for one of the first sermons I preached almost 30-years-ago. I thought it especially relevant in light of some of my recent discoveries/experiences in my walk of faith. I thought it would be particularly apropos to share it with you today.

The Apostle Paul was writing to a church that had known something about division and carnality in their local church. In this second letter, he delved much deeper to the young Christians instructing them to develop a mature walk in Christ. After sharing that Christ is our pattern (2 Co. 8:8-15) he s…

Debra's Mother - Prayer Request

This morning at 6:00 a.m., I received a call from Debra's father, Charles A. Lindsey who is the pastor of the Central City, KY Church of God of Prophecy. Debra's mother, Margie suffered a heart-attack at 11:30 p.m.

She was taken to their local hospital where she was stabilized, and then was immediately sent to the Daviess County Hospital in Owensboro, KY where she remains today.

Debra's mother has suffered a lot of health issues for some-time-now, and we would appreciate your prayers. Because of Lindsey's recovery, we cannot travel to Owensboro (which is what we would normally do) but we are trying to stay in touch by phone.

Would you please join me in prayer for her today? Thanks and God bless.

Update on Lindsey McKinley

Thank you for your prayers for our daughter Lindsey. She came home from surgery yesterday and has been in bed since. It appears that her recovery time is going to be about one-two weeks, however, she is off work most of next week to recover.

Her mom and I are staying around home today and tomorrow to be with her, as she is still sleeping a bit from the anesthesia, and the subsequent pain medication.

We appreciate your prayers, calls and flowers so much. God bless you!

Prayer request from Texas

The grandson of James Sykes, pastor of our Harleton, Texas church, was run over by a car. He is in critical condition and needs God to intervene for him. He is only three years old. Please pray for his parents and other family members as well. Please send this out for people to pray. ThanksDr. Hector Ortiz

Special thanks...

Special thanks to those of you who prayed for our daughter Lindsey today. Her surgery went well, and she is now resting at home. The doctor said she will be pretty much homebound for the next week. Also thanks to her pastor, Shannon Bowdoin who stayed with us during the surgery.

Murfreesboro Ladies Day

Church of God of Prophecy Ladies Ministry Of Murfreesboro, Tennessee (675 DeJarnette Lane) Presents Our 2nd Area-wide Ladies Day Saturday, May 31, 2008 9:30 AM to 1:00 PM
Theme: AWAKEN(Isaiah 50:4)
Guest Speakers:Londa Richardson and Julie Ludwig
Jean Thornton Women’s Ministry Director invites you to Join us for Worship, Fellowship, the Word, Special Prayer Time and Fun.
Lunch will be served
Please reply by May 17, 2008 / 615.893.1819 /

Does this matter to you?

A few-days-ago, I found myself reading through a message board that is viewed by a great number of members of our church. Usually I don't make a daily (or even weekly) trek to the site, but most often someone will call me, or send an email saying that my name has been mentioned either directly or indirectly. At that point, I will usually navigate my way there to make sure that what has been posted is an accurate portrayal of my thoughts or actions as an overseer. Most things I read are usually laughable and I move on, however, when something is clearly being presented in a false way, I will make a post, address the issue and go back to my other work. This approach has worked well for me.

On this particular day I saw a post that disturbed me more than anything I had ever seen there before. By way of explanation, the author was making light of the history, people and practices of the Church of God of Prophecy over that last century. I think what struck me the most was the fact …

Prayer request for my daughter...

Tomorrow, our daughter Lindsey will be undergoing outpatient surgery in Hendersonville. She will have a recovery time of several days.

I am asking you to join me in prayer for her that the surgery goes well and that her recovery is swift.

Thanks so much for being the prayer warriors that you are!

God bless.

Prayer Requests - Update

Today I was in Knoxville to visit with Sister Francis Hale, the wife of our Crossville Pastor, Bishop Thomas Hale. She is recovering from a quadruple heart bypass, and while she was still in critical care, she was alert and we had a good visit. After praying with her, I was able to visit with brother Hale and some of his family for a good while. Please continue to pray for Sister Hale.

Pastor Terry Swaw underwent a procedure today at Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville, and he seems to be feeling some better. He is to be released and by the time of this writing, he should be on his way home. Thanks for the prayers, both the Hale and Swaw families were quite appreciative.

Update on Francis Hale

I talked with Bishop Thomas Hale shortly after posting earlier today, and learned that his wife, Francis underwent open-heart surgery (4 bypass) and is still in the critical care recovery room. They will be visiting with her again at 8:30 p.m. tonight and hopefully she will be roused enough to speak with them.

Will you please join me in prayer for them? I will post more after I've had the opportunity to personally visit with Brother and Sister Hale.

Two urgent prayer requests

Dear friends,

I posted yesterday (from the road) about Pastor Terry Swaw being taken to the emergency room. I visited him this morning, and due to the lack of beds, he is still in the ER, and if he does not get relief, the doctors will be doing a procedure tomorrow at Vanderbilt. Please help me intensify prayers for Brother Swaw.

Secondly, I also learned this morning that Francis Hale, the wife of our pastor of Crossville, Bishop Thomas Hale has been hospitalized due to a heart attack and has undergone surgery. As of this writing, I have not been able to get in direct contact with Brother Hale, but I am continuing my efforts. Please help me pray for these precious saints. God bless.

Urgent Prayer Request

As I write, Debra and I are on our way home from the Michiana Ladies Retreat. The retreat was in northern Indiana, just east of Chicago. A few-minutes-ago, I received a call from Heather Swaw. She and her husband Terry pastor our Joelton congregation (Nashville area).

Heather shared with me that Terry has been struggling with a kidney stone since last Wednesday, but the pain has become so unbearable that she has taken him to the emergency room at Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville. As she described it, they are trying to treat him with medication, but the medication will prevent him from working.

Heather has asked that all of you who read this blog to join her in a prayer right now for healing in his body. We all know that God is able to move on the scene, and just one touch from his hand can bring the healing that Pastor Terry Swaw so desperately needs right now. Will you join me in prayer?

"Father, in Jesus Name, I ask you to move right now and touch Brother Terry. Bring heal…

Final Day Michiana Ladies Retreat

For two weekends, I've been blessed to attend Ladies Conferences...the first in Tennessee last week and then this retreat at the Farmstead Conference Center in Shipshewana, Indiana. This was a wonderful weekend with the ladies of Indiana and Michigan.

The highlight has been to be with my two sisters who both live in Northern Indiana and my nieces. We will now make the drive back and be in Tennessee to continue with ministry there.

Thank God for what He is doing among His people across North American and indeed to the world.

Michiana Ladies Retreat Day Two

Today is the second day of the Michiana regional Ladies retreat in Shipshewana, Indiana. This morning Debra ministered to the ladies and the Lord was present in a special way. After last night's message by Tammy Lowe, there is a consistency running throughout the retreat.

As I write, Lagonda Nichols from the Highland Park church in Louisville is leading the worship, and Debra will be bringing the evening message.

Shipshewana is a beautiful place, east of Chicago located in the heart of Amish country, just a few short miles form the home of Notre Dame University. We are thankful the Lord has allowed us to participate.

Please continue to pray for us as we minister here and then for the trip back to Tennessee.

Michiana Ladies Retreat

Today, Debra and I find ourselves in Shipshewana, Indiana at the Ladies Retreat for the Michigan/Indiana Ladies Retreat. Debra is scheduled to minister twice and we are blessed to be with my two sisters and nieces.

Tammy Lowe, the Regional director has done a great job with her staff to put on a great retreat.

In the middle of Amish country, we are taking in the sights and sounds around us, and we are enjoying the hospitality. Please help me pray for the Lord's anointing on the conference.