News you can use for July!!!
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Ohio Ministries at Work

July Newsletter
July greetings from State Pastor Dr. Esther Cottrell!

Winning and Being Fruitful

So let’s continue the talk …Winning and Being Fruitful! 

In my last articles, I focused on Adaptation in this last article let’s talk about Transformation using the same story from my original article as a back drop. 

There’s not a lot of good programs on TV now days and sometimes, even the good programs seemed to have been taken hostage by Hollywood’s agenda! But most recently, my favorite program had a scene in it that I found though provoking. Two of the main characters were having a conversation about how they were losing the battle and what did they need to do to turn the situation around. One of the characters mentioned, why don’t we just provide the tools needed to improve our chances of winning and the other one said in reply, the machine is far more intelligent than we are so why don’t we let the machine develop its own tools? To help their machine they created a simulation game between both machines to see if the machine could learn to win, but several scenes later, the machine in over a million simulated battle scenes was still losing, one million loses to the other machine’s zero loses!  

I thought about this particular episode and how it relates to the many battles Christians and Christian institutions are facing. It appears that we have and are losing many battles! When I was a child, I wondered how did those before me lose the battle of prayer in the classrooms? I fear now that those who will come after us, future believers, will wonder how did we, you and I lose the cultural wars confronting us today?

  Continue Reading>>>

Adult Retreat/Work Camp
September 25-28

This September, the Senior Adults are inviting adults of ALL ages to attend their retreat/work camp to help prepare Camp Marengo for the winter months.  If you are available and willing to serve the Lord and the camp in this way, please contact Jean Gilley or
Large 3C Gathering with Ben Hardman
Tuesday, August 23, 2016 from 10:00am to 3:00pm

REGISTER HERE For the Lima 3C Gathering!!!
Almost two years ago, the state ministries of Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana challenged 50+ churches to flip the question from ‘Should we multiply’ to ‘How will we multiply?’  It’s been exciting to see these Cultivating Congregations in the Midwest region wrestling deeply with the idea of multiplication.  
Annually in August, we bring these Cultivating Congregations together to inspire and resource them as they seek to multiply.  If you have yet to join the conversation, now is the perfect time to connect with this kingdom-impacting initiative. Read More and Register>>>
Looking for 3W-Ohio CHOG Partners 

The State of Ohio Mission Team is thrilled to announce our partnership with the Three Worlds (3W) Europe/Middle East team of Global Strategy of the Church of God, to invest in the Church of God in Arco, Italy! Would you join us in investing in the work that God is doing in the Arco congregation? We are looking for 27 giving units (churches, individuals or groups) who are ready to partner for the next two years to assist in the work of the Arco Church of God, by giving $100 per month.
This investment of $100 per month would cover adequate resources to pay the rent for the Arco pastors, Nicola and Berta Lovaglio, support the move toward the establishment of Trentino Alto Adige Ministry Center (a Christian community youth center), and would support the development of Arco as a hub of youth ministry training for the Church of God in the Europe and Middle East region.

Annual Ohio General Assembly
October 27, 2016

Mark your calendars for our annual Ohio General Assembly on October 27.  Our speaker for the day is Bishop Timothy J. Clarke, Columbus First Church of God.  He will be speaking on the topic of Leadership Development.
Ohio State Youth Convention
November 11-13, 2016

The Ohio State Youth Convention welcomes back the popular Eric Samuel Timm as our speaker and the exciting, break-through band, I Am They, for our 2016 gathering.  This year, in an effort to hold down costs while continuing to offer an unequaled experience of excellence and spiritual growth, we will hold the convention in Springfield at the Maiden Lane Church of God. 

For Church Boards

How Long Should Your Church Keep Payroll Tax Records? 

At least four years after the due date for employees to file their income tax returns for the particular year, IRS says.  Records to be retained include wages, payment dates, and employee data such as their names, dates of employment, Social Security numbers and addresses. Also, copies of all W-4 forms, payroll returns, and amounts and dates of tax deposits.
Copies of worker health coverage forms should be kept at least three years after the deadline for filing these documents.  These are the 1094 and 1095 forms that, starting this year, many employers must file to report employee insurance data. 
Parsonage Allowance Challenged

The income tax exclusion for parsonage allowances is called into question. An atheist group paid housing allowances to its officers, which they reported as taxable on their 1040s. They later filed amended returns, claimed the amounts were nontaxable and sought refunds which the IRS denied.  They are now suing the Revenue Service, arguing the exclusion that clergy receive for the housing allowance is discriminatory because the tax break is only for the clergy and doesn't extend to other individuals.

This is not the first time this break has been challenged.  The same nonprofit filed a similar lawsuit six years ago.  In that litigation, a federal district court ruled that the exclusion was unconstitutional, but an appeals court later tossed the case on procedural grounds.  The parties are back in court, and we'll follow this new case. 
Tax Exempt Groups
A conservative nonprofit wants the IRS to disclose its church audit procedures. In 2012, an atheist group sued the IRS for not enforcing the prohibition on  churches intervening in political campaigns.  The parties settled that case in 2014 after IRS adopted procedures to review church audits.  Later, another organization requested that IRS turn over records on its policies for initiating those inquiries.  Claiming that the agency isn't cooperating, that group is now asking a federal court to force IRS to identify each withheld document and the reason for keeping it secret.

Ohio Missions Team

Click here for more information on how you can be a part of a mission strip to Italy.
3W Missions Immersion Trip
In June, a small team from Ohio spent 12 days with our Church of God 3W missionaries in Germany, the Netherlands, and Italy. The purpose of the trip was to get first-hand experience of ministry in post-Christian cultures, to encourage our missionaries, and to explore ways Ohio could further partner with the 3W mission team. In a land that was once the center of the Christian faith, the statistics now say that less than 4% of the population throughout Europe have a personal relationship with Jesus. In the following video, hear Regional Coordinator Patrick Nachtigall explain the 3W ministry to State Pastor Esther Cottrell.  Read More, view video and pictures>>>

News from Around Ohio

Men's Ox Roast
September 9 & 10, 1016

The Church of God Men's Ox Roast is a two day event, in which Christian men, ages 12 and up, can gather in fellowship with one another. The Ox Roast has many different activities that both younger and older men can enjoy, such as golfing and cornhole. Meals are provided all weekend, including an entertaining pancake breakfast on day two, in addition to the ox roast itself. You will get to hear a great speaker, different every year, speak about life as a Christian man in today's society. Find Out More>>>
Camp Meetings

Click HERE to view a few pictures from the Warsaw and Lebanon Camp Meetings
Camp Meeting Dates

July 24 - 31 Northeast Ohio District Camp Meeting - Berlin, OH

July 23 - 29 Payne Camp Meeting - Paulding, OH

August 7 - 14 Central Ohio District Camp Meeting - Springfield, OH
Payne Camp Meeting

The Payne Camp Meeting will be held at the Paulding County Fairgrounds in Paulding, OH this year! The dates for the camp meeting are July 23-29.

Open Churches

For a list of open churches, please click HERE, or go to our website: and click on For Pastors>Resources For Pastors and then scroll down to the "Open Church List.


Do you have news you would like to share with the state?

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Ohio Ministries
PO Box 276
Marengo, OH 43334

North American Church of God


We (CHOG) are a movement.  Our mission statement states that we are in the reclamation business—changing the world by taking back what Hell has stolen.  How does registration change the world and what exactly is it that we are trying to take back, through registration, that hell has stolen?
This sparks a thought in my mind… Registration, how does it affect/benefit the Kingdom?  Why are we spending so much time and energy on this task?
Registration is a form of identity… when you register your church or your pastor, you are affirming your connection with Church of God Ministries.  You are publicly acknowledging your connection to an organization that seeks to fulfill God’s mission in the make disciples of all nations (Matt 28:18-20).  When you choose to register your church and your pastor, you are joining a body of believers together, in Unity, and boldly proclaiming that you will work together, with us, to fulfill this mission, this call to action. 
It would be easy to stand on the sidelines and set yourself apart.  However, let me caution you that when we stand alone, we stand without guard.  We open ourselves up to the possibility of attack that the enemy can come in like a flood and steal our very identity.  
When you make the choice to register, you gain benefits not only for your local church, but you are also investing in the Kingdom by keeping this movement strong and helping us to offer assistance to those that may be struggling.  You may not stand in need today of Handel coming in and doing a reactivation boot camp today, but your brother or sister down the road may be on the verge of extinction if they don’t get help.  Together, we make a difference when we combine resources and forces!

Please check out this spreadsheet and see if your name or church appears on the list.  There are two tabs, one for churches and one for pastors. If your name or church name appears on the list, then you haven't registered for the year book for the last two years!!

For anyone interested in making sure that their information appears in the next yearbook, they would need to make sure that their registration isACTIVE during the months of October and November.  As sometime during that 60 day period, the final export will be ran for the publisher.  
Also, please know that I am more than willing to assist you in any way that I can.  Please do not hesitate to call me directly for any concerns or issues you may have.  If I do not know the answer, I assure you that I will track down an answer.
I look forward to working with each of you as we strive to move towards 80% of our ministers and churches showing active registrations before October 1, 2016.

In His Grace, 
Tamera R. Wilkinson
Executive Assistant to Handel Smith
IYC 2016

Words fail to adequately describe the total impact of the fiftieth International Youth Convention of the Church of God on students and leaders alike. Four consecutive days at the beginning of July 2016 proved to be transformational for untold numbers gathered in the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in downtown San Antonio,Texas. Read More>>
HGC Family -
If you're on the Exponential Mailing list, you've been getting notifications that some of their best pricing ends this week. And if you're like me you have been planning to attend this powerful conference next April 24-27 in Orlando. I am writing you today to remind you to please don't register just yet

As you may know, HGC is moving our Leadership Network Gathering to the Exponential East Conference. We'll still get together in Orlando annually, but in addition to the networking with other HGC leaders, we get the added content of some of the best teachers, leaders and visionaries in the Christian leadership space. I can't wait for next April!

And best of all, HGC has secured a group rate of $99/registrant and $29/spouse to the Exponential Conference! Cindy and the team are working on registration and it will be open soon. This rate is for the conference itself, even if you can't join us for our pre conference. $99 pricing will extend past the deadlines on the Exponential website. In fact, we will offer it until our tickets are sold out! (If you've already registered, email Cindy. She will have you transferred to our group and do her best to get you a refund for any fees above the $99 HGC price.)

So please do sign up, just not quite yet. I can't wait for next April!

 Your Brother,


Upcoming Events

Leadership News

Men's Ox Roast   September 9-10
Adult Retreat/Work Camp   September 25-28
Senior Adult Fall Feast - Walnut Creek  

October 6, 2016

Senior Adult Fall Feast - Plain City   October 20, 2016
Ohio General Assembly   October 27, 2016
Ohio State Youth Convention
Springfield, OH
  November 11-13, 2016
Church of God Women's Convention
Daytona Beach, FL
  October 26-29, 2017

  Growth Points
July 2016
June 2016
  Parish Paper
July 2016

Ohio Ministries 

Ohio Ministries is the centralized coordinating ministry serving Church of God congregations throughout Ohio. Together with local pastors and laypersons, we provide services and expertise to help our churches thrive. 
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