News from Local Congregations
This column includes information sent to us from a variety of groups. Servants News does not necessarily agree with the teachings or practices of these groups. Please ask about them before attending their functions.
This section is for short articles or letters about activities of local congregations. We will mention local congregations as they form or as we learn of significant news. Groups listed in this section may have some doctrines or policies which we cannot justify from the scriptures, but we believe most of them are a reasonable place for fellowship with the brethren. We believe the holy spirit will guide you in your fellowship decisions if you will study and ask.
We are a small group of about 13 in and around the small towns of Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas. We are former members of the WCG. Although we are a remnant of a scattered few, we hold to the teachings of Jesus Christ.
We would be interested in knowing if there are small groups, or individuals in the areas of Houston, Beaumont, Tyler, or Shreveport. If there are, we would love to welcome them to meet with us, even if it is just once in a while. Please contact Leo Holley at the above address or phone.
Unity Christian Fellowship is a ministry to the glory of Jesus Christ, a ministry to the sheep of our Savior, and a “harvest” ministry. We accept and believe the scripture which teaches that all members of the Body of Christ are spiritually united in Him. Therefore, we welcome with open arms into fellowship all those who are seeking the testimony of Christ, and to new and better understanding of God’s Word. But all doctrine must agree with the plain Word of God. UCF accepts on face value 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” America is not without hope.
The Leadership of the UCF is Congregational style, according to the first-century apostolic model, not hierarchical or authoritarian. The local work is autonomous and independent. The ministry is not, nor does it stand in place of, the government of God; rather, the government of God exists only between God and the individual believer. We find no authority in scripture for the establishment of councils of ministers or ministerial hierarchies to rule over local congregations.
The UCF observes the Seventh-day Sabbath and Biblical Holy Days. A free quarterly letter, The Fellowship Commentator is produced along with other literature. A television program, A Table in the Wilderness is also produced and aired on a local cable TV station.
We provide counseling services at all levels of Church life. Special attention is given to those who are interested in starting a new congregation. We provide Bible information as to how to achieve stability in a congregation and how to expose pastoral abuse.
Church Counsel offers annual seminars and two quarterly publications: Original Languaged Text Studies and A Living Relationship. Inquiries are encouraged.
Church Counsel was started by God’s Church in the Appleton-Green Bay Area (Wisconsin), a congregation seeking to live in obedience to God’s laws and principles. We teach the same things that Yeshua (Jesus) taught as recorded in the original language inspired texts. He set us an example in the first century by sending out two-man teams. Sabbath meetings are in obedience with his commands (1Cor 14:26-40). Holydays are kept in accordance with the calendar published by Herb Solinsky. We publish “The Living Relationship”.
Big Sandy has always been a unique area in the United States. While most Sabbath-keepers must drive miles to visit the nearest people from their congregation, in Big Sandy, there are probably several that live on your block! The festival site, inexpensive housing, Ambassador University, employment in church-member owned businesses, and a friendly environment all helped to attract people to this area.
This is not to say that the area was without its problems. There has always been a certain polarization between the Sabbath-keeping and non-Sabbath-keeping people. Schools that scheduled events on Sabbaths or Holy days would find them poorly attended. Employers always seemed to be short-handed. Since Ambassador is one of the largest employers in the area, the local economy has gone up and down with each closing and opening of the college, and people’s hearts have gone up and down with the far more frequent rumors of closings and openings.
The Worldwide Church of God has been the largest organization of Sabbath-keepers in the area, but there have always been many other groups. The Church of God International has been headquarted in nearby Tyler since 1978, the Global Church of God has a growing congregation, the United Church of God now has nearly 500 attendees, and there are numerous smaller groups. Since the Worldwide Church of God began firing all employees that attend a service of another Sabbath-keeping group, it appears that several hundred people are simply staying home for the Sabbath. If present trends continue for a few more months, the Worldwide Church of God will no longer contain the majority of Sabbath-keepers.
Speculation that the college may be closed again has a sound basis in fact: Over 20% of Ambassador University employees have been terminated or resigned in 1995. The subsidy sent from the Worldwide Church of God has been decreased by about 25% and is now set according to the WCG income (if the WCG income falls by 10%, the subsidy sent to AU will be decreased by 10%). Five people of the eight-member AU board have left over doctrinal issues this year.
Dr. Donald Ward, formerly the college president was replaced June 16th. He is now attending the United Church of God—giving a sermon in the local congregation on July 22nd. We, at Friends of the Brethren, would like to commend Dr. Ward for standing for the truth in spite of twice being thawrted in his efforts to help build a college for Sabbath-keeping young people. Dr. Ward was appointed President of Ambassador College in 1978, shortly before it was cancelled by circumstances beyond his control. He was again appointed president of Ambassador University and saw it through the difficult accreditation process. He attempted to hold AU to sound doctrine, even though it eventually cost his job.
Several In Transition writers live in the Big Sandy area. For more information about Big Sandy and other “church of God” events send $10 for 6 issues to In Transition, PO Box 450, Monroe, IN 46772.
A number of organizations are planning festival sites that will accept people without regard to their corporate affiliation. The festival dates are October 9-16 unless listed otherwise. (Some organizations calculate the calendar from their own understanding of the Scriptures rather than using the traditional Hebrew calendar which uses a set of rules not derived directly from the Bible.)
Only the initials of the organization are specified for sites run by organizations listed at right.
Australia, Qld., Noosa. UCG.
Australia, Wollongong. GCG
Belgium, Hengelhoef. GCG
Canada, B.C., Whistler (90 minutes from Vancouver). CGI.
Canada, B.C., Whistler. UCG.
Canada, Ontario, Collingwood. CGI.
Canada, Ontario, Hull. UCG
Canada, Ontario, Niagra Falls. GCG.
England, Berwick-on-Tweed. UCG.
Guyana, Georgetown. GCG
South Africa. GCG.
Arizona, Tucson. UCG.
California, Kings Beach (near Lake Tahoe). CGI.
California, Del Mar (San Diego). GCG.
California, Morro Bay. Talents Ministries. 707-864-2250.
California, Redding. UCG.
Colorado, Colorado Springs. Oct 11-18. Church-Light Publications, 719-637-1140.
Colorado, Colorado Springs. GCG.
Colorado, Glenwood Springs (90 miles East of Grand Junction). CBCG.
Colorado, Keystone. UCG.
Florida, Destin (East of Pensacola). Computer conference is at this site! See June issue, page 4. CP.
Florida, Orlando. GCG.
Florida, Orlando. UCG.
Florida, Panama City Beach. CGI.
Florida, Pensacola. CBCG
Florida, St. Petersburg. Ministries of Yahweh. 705-696-3111.
Georgia, Jekyll Island. UCG
Kentucky, Lexington. UCG
Kentucky, Land-Between-the-Lakes. (near Paducah) CGI.
Massachusetts, Lowell. UCG.
Minnesota, Minneapolis. UCG.
Missouri, Lake of the Ozarks. GCG.
Missouri, Schell City (SE of Kansas City) Oct 8-15. Church of Israel, 417-432-3119.
Oklahoma, Wagoner. (near Muskogee) CGI.
South Carolina, Myrtle Beach. CGSD.
Texas, Corpus Christi. UCG.
Texas, Tyler. CGI.
Virginia, Virginia Beach. GCG.
Washington, Spokane. GCG
This list contains a number of organizations with many Sabbath-keeping congregations and/or regular sermon-tape mailings. There is a diversity of doctrinal teachings so we encourage everyone to study the scriptures and prove doctrines for themselves. Most of these organizations welcome visitors, though individual congregations greatly vary. We encourage the people of the Eternal to fellowship and serve each Sabbath if practical.
Christian Biblical Church of God (CBCG). PO Box 1442, Hollister, CA 95024. 408-637-1875.
Church of God, 7th Day [Salem WV]. PO Box 328, Salem, WV 26426. 304-782-1411.
Church of God, International (CGI). P.O. Box 2530, Tyler TX 75710. 903-825-2525
Church of the Great God (CGG). PO Box 471846. Charlotte, NC 28247. 800-878-8220 or 704-544-2100
Congregation of God Seventh Day (CGSD). PO Box 2345, Kennesaw, GA 30144.
Cornerstone Publications (CP). 3802 Olive Street, Texarkana, TX 75503. 903-792-1352
General Conference of the Church of God 7th Day. PO Box 33677, Denver, CO 80233. 303-452-7973.
General Council of the Church of God (7th day). 1827 W. 3rd St. Meredian, ID 83642. 208-888-3380.
Global Church of God (GCG). PO Box 501111, San Diego CA 92150. 619-675-2222.
United Church of God (UCG). PO Box 661780, Arcadia CA 91066- 1780. 818-294-0800.