Notes and quotes

Ken Graham dies

NOBLESVILLE, Ind.--A longtime Church of God member and elder in the United Church of God, Ken Graham, died from complications after open-heart surgery Nov. 9.

Mississippi visit

TUPELO, Miss.--David Antion of Guardian Ministries, Pasadena, Calif., visited the independent Church of God Tupelo the Sabbath of Nov. 16 and spoke at Sabbath services.

"We loved the time with all the brethren there and were greeted and received very warmly and enthusiastically," said Mr. Antion. "We thank all the brethren in the area and especially [pastor] Terry and Sondra Beam for all the work and arrangements to have us there."

Church splits

MODESTO, Calif.--An apparent church split means longtime Church of God member Alton Billingsley of Valley Springs, Calif., is pastor of the new Church of God Faithful Flock (

Mr. Billingsley was a founder of the Church of God Established in Modesto ( Three COG-EIM elders, Dave O'Malley, Steve LeBlanc and Wayne Carlson, are no longer associated with Mr. Billingsley and apparently retain the COG-EIM name.

Mr. Billingsley's group, according to a Web site operated by Robert Thiel of Arroyo Grande, Calif., is affiliated with the Church of God in Wales.

Appealing member

COLCORD, Okla.--After a meeting with Dan Cafourek of Colcord, a former member and elder of the United Church of God, two members of the UCG's three-man member-appeal committee voted to uphold Mr. Cafourek's disfellowshipping.

Mr. Cafourek had lodged an appeal with the UCG after his defrocking and disfellowshipping last summer. His appeal, if successful, would have reinstated his membership but not his status as a UCG elder.

"I am now appealing this appeal decision and Richard Pinelli's original decision to the council of elders," Mr. Cafourek told The Journal.

Mr. Pinelli, who lives in the Cincinnati, Ohio, area, is the church's director of ministerial services. See also "Church Alleges 'Discord' When Disfellowshipping Elder," The Journal, June 30, 2002.

All the news that fits

GILLETTE, Wyo.--Richard Nickels of Gillette, a founder of the Giving & Sharing ministry and a member of the board of the Bible Sabbath Association, announces a free publication to begin in January.

Mr. Nickels, assisted by Steve Kieler of Fort Dodge, Iowa, will publish Church of God News 10 times a year on the Internet at To subscribe, E-mail , or write P.O. Box 100, Neck City, Mo. 64849, U.S.A.

News of the Church of God will include reports of congregation events, meetings, camps, Feast sites, seminars, booklets, weddings, births, baptisms, deaths and ordinations.

It "will not contain," Mr. Nickels emphasized, "paid advertisements, doctrinal arguments, personal attacks, negative articles attacking traditional Church of God doctrines."

UCG member, Feast stats

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.--The personal Web site of a member of the United Church of God's council of elders recently listed updated statistics concerning church membership and the number of congregations and Feast sites the church sponsors.

The site operated by Victor Kubik of Indianapolis ( reported that the number of U.S. congregations affiliated with the United Church of God, based in Milford, Ohio, stands at 228.

The highest monthly average attendance for 2002 was 10,718, which occurred last March. The lowest attendance was 9,678 in July.

Feast-day attendance (excluding the Feast of Tabernacles) was typically about 12,500.

Baptisms through November in the United States totaled 208, up from the 2001 total of 154.

Celebration of faith

ARLINGTON, Texas--The Church of God Proclaiming the Kingdom plans an event called Celebration of Faith for the Sabbath of Jan. 4 at Bob Duncan Community Center in Arlington.

"The event will be host to many Sabbath-keepers in the Dallas­Fort Worth area," said elder Rod Lewis.

Speakers will include Samuel L. Green (a Seventh-day Adventist), Clyde Thompson (a Church of God [Seventh Day] pastor), and Ray Wooten (president of United Christian Ministries, Birmingham, Ala.).

For information on the COG Proclaiming the Kingdom, write Mr. Lewis at .

Two years, five baptisms

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark.--The Russellville Church of God has had five baptisms in two years, announced pastor Eddie Staggs.

"Consider that just a little over two years ago our group was started by just four brethren," said Mr. Staggs, "so percentagewise this is phenomenal growth."

Mr. Staggs said two of the members were baptized by Dave Havir, pastor of the Church of God Big Sandy, at the Big Sandy congregation's Feast site in Destin, Fla., in September.

Write Mr. Staggs at .

This issue of The Journal includes many photos and several other graphics, besides the Connections advertising section. Don't forget to subscribe to the print version of The Journal to read all the news and features previewed here.

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