Burdened for the Lord: Ad Council Debrief


This past Tuesday and Wednesday, on March 12th and 13th, the Administrative Council of the CGGC met for their first session of the year. The business of the denomination is conducted at these sessions through reports, votes, and thorough discussion. One never knows exactly what to expect from each session. Innocuous items might spark intense discussion, while large changes might pass with a full majority. Obviously, the opposite is also true, but the point is that every Ad Council session is interesting.

One of the most exciting parts of Ad Council sessions is the updates from our regional and local church leaders. It’s probably true that most of us don’t get to travel much, and we don’t receive travelers very often. That can make it hard to feel the truly global connection we have in the body of Christ. Despite the power of the internet to be like a window to the world, we are often still disconnected, uninformed, and out of touch with the goings-on. I think sometimes we understandably, but incorrectly, assume that God isn’t busy. The truth is, God is very busy and relentlessly active in the world. It just may not be happening directly in front of our faces. Hearing about the Lord’s work being done all over our country, and indeed, beyond, is a potent reminder, and a necessary humbling; both of which bolster our faith in the Lord.

Below I wanted to share some highlights that were especially encouraging to me, and hopefully to you. In no particular order:  

The Great Lakes Regional Conference Director Dr. David Odegard shared about Winebrenner Theological Seminary’s continued investment into Marion Correctional Institution which has produced another graduating class. Many of these graduates will be eagerly seeking ministerial license from the Great Lakes Regional Conference. While some of these students will likely not be leaving prison, that does not limit the impact God can and does have in their ministry context. Many are leaders in their own right, helping men come to know the Lord and finding hope.

Our California Eldership shared two powerful pieces of news. Pastor Victor Montalvo from San Diego Church of God (Palabra De Vida) told a story about how God placed a burden on his heart to support two churches in Mexico who were in the midst of a building project but all of the labor, even carrying the bricks, was being done by hand. Pastor Victor blessed those churches by providing two vehicles that were desperately needed and brought them to the churches. These vehicles will also be used for mission trips to Mexico for our ACTS teams (which are going in July!) or other future ministry teams, so this is an exciting and useful addition to our Mexico churches.

The city of Manteca, CA is also about to open the Thomas Toy Community Center. This is an initiative spearheaded by the Manteca Church of God and the California Eldership to see Manteca and the greater Stockton area help work through the homeless problem there, while also providing all kinds of meaningful services for the public. They provide classes for youth to build skills and mentorship, while also providing a café, and other activities to work with youth. We talked about this community center and Manteca’s efforts to uplift its community in an issue of The Global Advocate last year. You can read that article here: July/August 2023 The Global Advocate

Kendall Hughes, the Director of the Western Regional Conference and the Pastor of Leadwood Church of God shared a story about a church that sprung up quite unexpectedly in a bar! The bar owner wasn’t a believer but was so impressed by a pastor’s care for one of the bar’s patrons that he invited the pastor to preach on Sunday mornings when the bar is normally closed. We’ll be following this story with great interest, stay tuned!

Pastor Daren Dabrowski from Moore, Oklahoma talked about the way their church, Fire House Community Outreach has been serving the leaders of the state right in the state capital, Oklahoma City. The church started having a dinner and a time of prayer in the capital, serving and praying for politicians that work in the capital building. They’ve had as many as 120 people attend, most of which are political leaders and their families, and it’s been a powerful way to see God make peace between churches and civilian leaders. A Bible reading marathon was also held on the State Capitol building steps, and saw local Christians read from the Bible for 90 straight hours. God is doing something awesome in Oklahoma City!

Southeast Regional Co Director Victor Glover spoke excitedly announced the opening of a new church campus in Raleigh, North Carolina. The church, Last Days World Outreach Ministries, already has two campuses in Hilsborough and Warsaw, both in North Carolina. A third campus is a sign of positive growth and affirmation to the ministry.

Pastor Victor also announced a new cross-denominational initiative, the Orange County Together Clergy Association, which brings together 10 church leaders from across denominational lines to work together in a community. It’s this kind of kingdom thinking, pushing beyond borders and established norms, that we believe is necessary for the church to continue growing and having an impact in our communities.

The Eastern Regional Conference’s new Executive Director, Nate Buck, recounted the ERC’s recent discipleship training in February which resulted in 120+ people showing up (of which about 50 were initially expected). It was a blow-out success which leads naturally into their Discovery, Develop, and Deploy mission statement that the ERC has been working on for the past few years.

Allegheny Regional Director Phil Scott recounted how a crew of pastors took part in discipleship training at Rust City Church outside of Warren, Ohio. The region plans to continue digging into this kind of discipleship training to create strategic discipleship pathways in their churches.

We’re going to be following up on these stories, and more, in the coming weeks and months, so stay tuned to our eNews Blog and watch for our emails. On the other hand, if you’re interested to hear more from your regional leader directly, we encourage you can find updates and their contact information through our website.

CGGC eNews—Vol. 18, No.  11

CGGC eNews

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