Notes and quotes

Dean Blackwell dies

LONGVIEW, Texas--Longtime Worldwide Church of God member and evangelist Dean Blackwell, 72, died April 14 after suffering several strokes.

A memorial service for Mr. Blackwell was scheduled for May 4 at New Beginning Fellowship Church (a WCG congregation) in Big Sandy.

Mr. Blackwell was preceded in death by his wife, Maxine, on Dec. 13.

Feast announcement

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.--You're invited to a Feast of Tabernacles observance this fall at Grand Junction, announced Mark Dalgart. For more information visit, or write P.O. Box 2111, Grand Junction, Colo. 81502, U.S.A.

New broadcast

ECCLESTON, England--John Jewell, until recently the CEO of the United Church of God British Isles, announced in April a new radio broadcast going out over Manx Radio and the Internet.

The 15-minute program is called What Next, with David McDermott of Southport, England, as its voice. Radio Manx (based on the Isle of Man) first aired the program April 13.

The program--designed to bring "a message of hope to a world without hope"--is available as streaming audio at

Write What Next at or BCM What Next, London WC1N 3XX, England.

See also "UCG-BI Claims Ownership of The World Tomorrow," page 1.

Branson and Maui for singles

MILFORD, Ohio--The United Church of God has designated two U.S. Feast locations as sites for "singles" in 2003.

Branson, Mo., and Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii, will cater to unmarried Feastgoers, and all U.S. Feast sites will feature a "singles' hospitality room," the UCG recently announced.

For more information see

1,000th question

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich.--Alan Ruth's Web site has reached another milestone in its efforts to preach the gospel to the world.

The 1,000th biblical question from visitors was submitted to the site less than 225 days after the site began fielding visitors' queries about Scripture.

People ask questions; Mr. Ruth passes them on to Church of God folks for answers, which he then posts on the site.

The answerers ("E-mail evangelists," Mr. Ruth calls them) include Rick and Eileen Beltz, Adriano Borean, Ken Browder, Pam Dewey, Tarcila Fox, Charlotte Grantham, Jack Lane, Calvin Lashway, Dave and Trish Manning, Art Mokarow, June Narber, Richard Nickels, Ed Oettel, Don Smith, Eric Snow, Wayne Stenhouse, Mike Summers, Allen Turner, Les Turvey, Tommy West and Clay Willis.

Texarkana has first Sunday service

TEXARKANA, Ark.--The Worldwide News, published by the Worldwide Church of God, reported in its April issue that the congregation that meets in Texarkana, Ark., had its first Sunday service March 2.

Pastor Sonny Parsons of Big Sandy, Texas, pastor at Texarkana and Big Sandy, said the service was "awesome."

He reported that 49 people attended, whereas the usual attendance for the Saturday service is "about 35."

The WCG in Big Sandy also meets on Saturdays and Sundays.

CGCA ordains elder

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.--The Church of God of Central Arkansas ordained Tim Hall of Jonesboro, Ark., as an "elder" April 26 in a ceremony in Hope, Ark.

"Not only did Herb Morrow [of Prescott, Ark.], Jim Ussery [Big Sandy], Fred Porter [Hot Springs, Ark.] and Ian Hufton [Hawkins, Texas] lay hands on me and say the prayers, but anyone from the congregation there wanting to join in the laying-on-of-hands process was invited to do so," said Mr. Hall.

Mr. Hall said the Hope congregation named him "copastor," along with Mr. Morrow.

Write Mr. Hall at or 276 Southwest Dr., Box 176, Jonesboro, Ark. 72401, U.S.A.

Sound bites

TYLER, Texas--The Garner Ted Armstrong Evangelistic Association announces GTA "sound bites" on its Web site for people who don't have time to listen to a full 30-minute Web broadcast. Listen in at

Old facility, new use

MOUNT POCONO, Pa.--The facility at Mount Pocono, Pa., that was once a Feast of Tabernacles site sponsored by the Worldwide Church of God has a new use.

The property is now site of Mountain Healthcare Center, a collaborative effort of Pocono Health System (PHS), PHS physicians, Spread Eagle Development Corp., Monroe County Industrial Development authority, Coolbaugh Township supervisors and Aventis Pasteur.

The project was helped by a donation of $375,000 from Mr. Pasteur.

* * * * *

The events reported in the following news item occurred after the deadline for the April 30 issue. The item appears here but not in the print version of The Journal.

Offer rescinded

BIG SANDY, Texas--The trustees of the Church of God Big Sandy voted during their regular monthly meeting May 5 to, in effect, overrule the church pastor's invitation to another pastor to conduct three days of seminars in the building owned by the Big Sandy group.

The board, all made up of residents of the Big Sandy area, voted 4-3 to ask Ken Westby of Federal Way, Wash., to, in the words of an official synopsis of the meeting, "withdraw his request for the use of the building."

However, the original offer came from Mr. Havir, not Mr. Westby, director of the Association for Christian Development. Mr. Havir had invited Mr. Westby to conduct the 2002 installment of his One God Seminars in the Big Sandy building, although Mr. Westby decided instead to hold them in the Seattle area in April of that year.

This year Mr. Westby asked Mr. Havir if the offer was still on the table. Mr. Havir told him that, yes, it was.

The Big Sandy board members who voted to ask Mr. Westby not to use the building for this year's seminars said they feared some people would be offended because of the subject matter of the seminars.

Mr. Havir told The Journal that the COG Big Sandy was not a sponsor of the seminars, and he did not plan to publicize them locally or even announce them to his congregation. The Big Sandy pastor said he has a long history of inviting outside groups and organizations to use the building when it is not in use by members of the congregation.

As a result of the board's action, Mr. Westby has relocated the seminars and now plans them for nearby Tyler, Texas.

They are now scheduled for the Ramada Inn, 3310 Troup Highway, in Tyler. The dates have not changed: Friday through Sunday, July 25-27.

Mr. Westby reports his Association for Christian Development has secured an agreement with the hotel for a special per-room rate of $58 per night for the three nights beginning July 24. Up to four people may stay in one room. Call the hotel for reservations at (866) 381-3600 or (903) 593-3600 and mention the ACD seminars.

Write Mr. Westby at or P.O. Box 4748, Federal Way, Wash. 98063, U.S.A. See his Web site at

The purpose of the seminars, said Mr. Westby, is to argue for a "strict monotheistic" nature of God; that is, that God is not a Trinity or binity but a unity. Most Christians are Trinitarians. Most Christians in groups derived from the old Worldwide Church of God are binitarians.

Presenters at the One God Seminars, besides Mr. Westby, will include Anthony Buzzard of Atlanta, Ga., Gary Fakhoury of Exmore, Va., Paul Haney of Watertown, Conn., and Charles Hunting of Sarasota, Fla.

See the next issue of The Journal for more details about the board vote and Mr. Westby's plans.

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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