News you can use for March!
View this email in your browser

Ohio Messenger

Ohio Ministries monthly newsletter

~ Coming this Saturday ~

It's FREE but you must register!
see below
CARE Seminar
It’s not easy to talk about pastoral compensation when you are the pastor. It’s not easy to talk about pastoral compensation when you are a church board member. 
You are invited to talk about pastor compensation at this CARE Seminar that is in your region: 
This Saturday, March 18, 2017
Arlington Church of God Akron, OH 
10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
No charge 
Four presentations with talk back sessions offer compensation guidelines and best practices for Church of God pastors and congregations. Healthy pastors raise up healthy congregations. Financial stress is shown to be the most common deterrent to pastors’ health. Learn how pastors and boards can thrive together by exploring commonly asked questions related to pastoral compensation. 
Click HERE to register
Please direct any questions regarding this seminar to Joe Cookston at 
Greetings from Esther Cottrell, State Pastor and Director of Ohio Ministries
YouTube video here
Senior Adults Spring Fling
Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Where: Der Dutchman ~ Plain City
(445 S Jefferson Rt, 42, Plain City OH  43064)
(614) 873-3414
When: Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Cost: $20 per person
Doors open at 11:30 am ~ Meal begins at noon.
Please register with your church
so they can send in one check

and number attending for each church.
Thank you!
Complete details
June 9-10, 2017 at Camp Marengo
If you are a pastor, a board member, or you work with people in another capacity, then you find yourself in conversations and meetings where the stakes are high, the opinions vary, and the emotions run strong.  If you are feeling stuck in these conversations, then there is probably a conversation you are not having, or are not engaging in effective and healthy dialogue.  If you are like most people, you struggle to manage these situations well.
Help is available.  On June 9-10 Ohio Ministries is sponsoring a Crucial Conversations ® workshop with Dr. Chris Cottrell.  Chris is a Certified Trainer, International Mediator and Executive and Team Conflict Coach. 
This workshop will provide skills for fostering open dialogue around high-stakes, emotional, or risky topics.  You will learn how to:
  • Discover your motive,
  • Master your story,
  • State your path,
  • Build acceptance with others in stating their path,
  • How to keep conversations safe,
  • Resolve individual and group disagreements before they escalate.
 Registration is $250 per person which includes materials and meals. Lodging is available at the camp, or at hotels within reasonable distance.
Any questions, contact Dr. Chris Cottrell 937-621-2162 or

~ The Life and Legacy
Of The Chapel in the Woods

by Esther Cottrell
State Pastor and Director of Ohio Ministries of the Church of God

Like the Tabernacle in the Old Testament stood as a symbol of a place to meet with God, for nearly 50 years the Chapel in the Woods stood as a symbol of the mission and purpose of Camp Marengo: to evangelize and disciple Ohio Church of God youth. It was a place to meet God.  In this article, I invite you to read the following stories of how this place was made holy by the prayers of God’s people and the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Perhaps you gave time and energy to helping build, or re-build the chapel. If so, the reflections of beloved pastor, Ron Fowler, may resonate with you:
"I had newly assumed the Senior Pastor role at what was then the Roberts St. Church of God (now Arlington) in Akron when the chapel at Camp Marengo was being built. I have many fond memories of the chapel in the woods and helping to be a part of its construction. There were many people involved in that project. It was a labor of love, given freely to develop the camp for both evangelism and discipleship of our young people.
I remember George Reed, pastor at Fairborn, was the construction manager. He directed the volunteer work crews. James Hall, pastor at Barberton, and I would frequently ride down together for those volunteer work days at the camp. Jim Hall and I dug the footers for the chapel. As we worked together and, at times, stayed overnight in the cabins, we delighted in times of rich fellowship and often imagined how the Lord might use this structure to develop future leaders in our churches." 
Rev. Dr. Ron Fowler,
Pastor Emeritus, Arlington Church of God (Akron, OH) 
Perhaps you were one of the thousands of campers who met Christ, felt a call to ministry or even got married in the chapel. If so, the testimony of Rev. Steve Chiles, may resonate with you:
"I attended Camp Marengo for the first time in the summer of 1970. I had just finished 9th grade.  At that week of camp, at the end of one of the evening services in the chapel, I knelt at that old wooden bench altar and committed my life to Christ. It was during that week I also met Wanda Kujawski who would later become my wife.  In the summer of 1971 I prayed in that same chapel as I answered God's call to become a pastor.  

My last year as a camper was in 1973, but I would return three years later as Wanda and I were married in that chapel on June 12, 1976. To
say that chapel was a holy place for me is not an understatement. God met me there for the most significant moments of my life."
Rev. Steve Chiles
Pastor, Shartel Church of God (Oklahoma City, OK)

1973 Wedding
of Wanda and Steve Chiles
Although the chapel has been a centerpiece of worship through the years, it has had structural problems. The original chapel had to undergo major repair in the 80’s due to water damage. Rev. Dan Betts remembers being in the chapel to rehearse with the camp choir when the roof collapsed.
"I remember the first time the chapel at Camp Marengo began to collapse.  I think it was 1986.  I was on staff as the Music Director that summer.  It was 9th-10th Grade camp and we were having choir practice during the morning Instructional time.  We had a soundtrack playing through my sound system as we were practicing either “How Majestic Is Your Name” or “Great Is The Lord”.  As the music played I heard a loud cracking sound.  As I looked up I noticed the Ceiling moving.  Panicking, I quickly ran out from under the roof behind where the stage was.  When I turned around I saw that the campers were still standing inside wondering what was going on.  I immediately began jumping up and down and screaming, “RUN, RUN, RUN!”.   The campers quickly vacated the building.  Because of water damage at the foundations, two of the three legs of the building cracked right at the base and broke off falling down only a couple feet to the concrete floor.  The roof was still intact but choir practice was over for the day."
Dan Betts
Youth Pastor, Wintergreen Ledges Church of God (Akron, OH)
 Like the Tabernacle of the Old Testament, the camp chapel was also a temporary structure that served the Church for a grand season. Due, however, to severe structural issues, resulting from water damage, the chapel was deconstructed in late February of this year.
The Decision to Remove the Chapel
In late summer of 2015 the Chapel was inspected by Todd Gindelberger, an architect, member of the Camp Committee and lay leader at First Church of God, Huber Heights. Noting that some of the beams that supported the roof were exhibiting severe wood rot, extending as much as twelve inches into the sixteen-inch beam, Todd consulted with a structural engineer and an expert glue-lam. Their conclusions were that the building was deemed unstable and unusable. The Governing Board took those recommendations to heart and for the safety of all camp guests, discontinued use of the building.
In the ensuing months, the Board commissioned a study to determine costs to repair and even the viability of repair. When the study revealed that the estimated costs approximated replacement (exceeding our current ability to finance) and that there was serious question to the long-term safety of the structural design, the Governing Board made the painful decision in January 2017 to approve a plan to demolish.
On February 23-25, 2017, Rev. Marvin Schooler (chair of the Disaster Relief Team) and Rev. Vernon Maddox (Special Projects Coordinator) assembled a team of volunteers to remove the building. Vern noted that he was part of the volunteer work force that helped to build the chapel in the 1960’s so it seemed appropriate that he was there to help in its removal. The work was overseen by Jeremy Tillotson, a licensed contractor who stepped up and volunteered himself and a couple of his crew to work with members of the Disaster Relief Team to raze the building. We are grateful for these volunteers who worked hard on this project.
Special Thanks to the Disaster Relief Team
  • Vernon Maddox
  • Jeremy Tillotson and work crew
  • Marvin Schooler and his lay leader, Fred
  • Pete Eyer, Meadow Park Powell
  • Dave and Patty Woodward
Next Steps
In the coming months the Camp Master Planning Team will be working with the staff to redevelop the chapel area to be usable for summer youth camp activities. This could include fire ring area/prayer walk/outdoor worship center.
Develop the building, currently called the pavilion, as a new worship center and multi-activity area. This area has been the primary worship area for summer youth camps and big events such as the annual Men’s Ox Roast for a few years. The plan is to cultivate this existing space to become the central focus of the camp.
How Can You Help?
Across the state I am often asked how someone or a church group can help undergird the camp ministry. Certainly, special, beyond budget giving to state ministries, financial giving will always make a difference. We have several projects ranging in cost from a couple of hundred dollars to several thousands. As you and/or your group can invest in the camp I would be delighted to talk with you. Contact me at or 740-747-2916.
Additionally, Facilities Manager, Dave Woodward has scheduled the following days as weekend work days for volunteers:
April 21-22
April 28-29
May 19-20
Some things to know about the Work Days
  • Volunteers of all skill levels are needed.
  • Camp Marengo will house and feed the volunteers
  • Bring your own bedding, linens, and toiletries.
  • Basic tools are always a needed item so bring (and label) what you like to work with
  • As a volunteer we understand that your time is valuable and that calendars can be complex. Honoring your gifts of time, the work weekends will begin at 10 am on Friday and conclude at 3 pm on Saturday. If you need to work a different schedule please let Dave Woodward know so that appropriate meal and work planning can be made.
  • Although the work weekends are free, we do ask that you register with Dave Woodward. Either call him at 740-513-6829, or email
Here’s a sample of work that is being planned to make this year’s summer youth camp the best yet:
Landscape around the new worship center; tree and stump removal; spring cleaning of cabins and other buildings; indoor and outdoor painting projects; re-establish electrical and water supply to construction site; open up pool and shower houses.
Let’s work together to create a place where our youth can meet God and be forever changed!
Work Staging Areas Needed!

Want to become more involved in your community?

Looking for ways to help your people find meaningful service outside the four walls of the church?
As part of our preparedness your O.M. Disaster Relief Team wants to partner with you in serving your community (if) when a natural disaster hits your part of the state. In addition to the possibility of using the CHoG camp grounds, there is need for 15-20 local congregational D.R. Team Work Staging Areas across Ohio.
Interested in knowing more? Checkout the "Memo of Understanding" attachment in the O.M. Website (under Disaster Relief).  
by Vernon Maddox

Healthy Growing Churches present: Exponential East

April 24-27, 2017 in Orlando, FL
Click HERE for more details
Good News! Healthy Growing Churches has secured a group rate to the conference. Register

Discovery Days
March 23, 2017

Sponsored by
Ohio Ministries, Indiana Ministries and Church of God in Michigan
for the mid-west multiplication initiative.

Sensing a call to be a church multiplier?
Come to D
iscovery Days and explore your potential next path in ministry.

For persons interested in exploring church multiplication ministry
contact Esther Cottrell at

Are you wanting to explore a call to ministry? Do you need ministerial credentials to fully engage in ministry in the Church of God? Is there a sense in your spirit that God is calling you to deeper adventures, then you may be ready to begin a ministerial credentialing journey with the Church of God. Check out the LEADERSHIP FOCUS information to learn more about this powerful journey." 
Managing your finances to honor God
OHCHOG members are eligible to work with Everence Financial. Everence offers a variety of financial services and member benefits to help you connect your finances with your faith values.
From banking products that give back to the faith community to investment options to help meet your financial goals while promoting your faith values, Everence offers services to help you manage money in ways that honor God.
Everence offers banking, investing, financial and retirement planning, insurance and charitable giving services along with member and church benefits. For more information about Everence, or to find a local representative, visit Website or download this informational flyer.
Everence offers credit union services that are federally insured by NCUA. Investments and other products are not NCUA or otherwise federally insured, may involve loss of principal and have no credit union guarantee. All products are not available in all states.
Spring Refresher in REVIEW

An eventful day for Pastors

See video of the day

Got to our website for more photos

~ News From Camp Marengo ~

Camp Marengo is excited to continue hosting retreats and getaways for your congregation or just for your family. Rental requests can be made online to get an immediate estimate of costs for the retreat. Church of God pastors can also come and utilize the pastor’s quarters for a personal getaway at no cost! All requests can be made online at

Camp Marengo 2017 prep has begun! We’ve already begun the hiring process and are finishing interviews now. The theme this summer is home. We are exploring how the early church supported each other and how those various attributes of the early church can help shape our relationships today. 
We are also excited to offer a new internship opportunity for high school students 16+. Students will come and camp for 1 week, counsel for 3 weeks, and have a summer staff experience for 2 weeks. During the internship, students will gain counseling skills through workshops, meet with college admissions counselors from some Christian colleges, and upon completion of the summer internship, will receive a letter of recommendation from both the Camp Director and State Pastor! 
Camp registration is also now open! This year we opened up registration earlier than normal to allow a discounted early bird price for those who register before March 29! Registration can be completed entirely online HERE (
We are praying for you and your students and hope to see you this summer! 
       Your Camp Directors, 
       Alan and Jess Smith

~ News from around Ohio ~

Congrats to Great Lakes Church. They are moving. They purchased the former Lorain Party Center.
After convening for eight years in a Amherst’s old schoolhouses, they will make their home on Lorain’s west side.

See complete article and photos HERE

Sharing Your Story for God’s Glory

In 2017 we are encouraging you to share your congregation’s story of Redemption and Victory in the areas of Church Transformation, Multiplication and Leadership Development. We will use your story to encourage and empower other leaders and congregations. Please submit your story to

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.
We are here to help you!
See below updated and new forms and information.
Financial forms and information
Just added to website: See our website for more Resources For Churches

Global Church of God

Church of God National Convention

WICHITA, KANSAS • JUNE 20–23, 2017

Register HERE

Upcoming Events


CARE Seminar, Akron OH   March 18
Senior Adults Spring Fling
Der Dutchman, Plain City
  April 18
Orlando FL
April 24-27
Discovery Days, Indiana   May 23
South West Ohio District
Camp Meeting-Lebanon, OH
  June 4-9
Crucial Conversations
Camp Marengo-Marengo OH
  June 9-10
National, Witchita, KS   June 20-23
South East Ohio District
Camp Meeting-Warsaw, OH
  July 7-15
North East Ohio District
Camp Meeting-Berlin, OH
  July 23-30
Payne Camp Meeting Payne, OH   July 22-28
Central Ohio District
Camp Meeting-Springfield, OH
  July 30-Aug. 6
National Association of the COG
Camp Meeting - West Middlesex, PA
  Aug. 5-13
Men’s Ox-Roast
Camp Marengo
  Sept. 8-9
Senior Adults Fall Feast – Walnut Creek, Der Dutchman   Oct. 5
Senior Adults Fall Feast – Plain City, Der Dutchman   Oct. 19
Ohio Church of God General Assembly and Ordination Service  
  Oct. 26
Church of God Women's Convention
Daytona Beach, FL
  Oct. 26-29, 2017
OSYC-Ohio State Youth Convention  
  Nov. 10-12
Regional Exponential - Chicago   Nov. 7-8
  Growth Points
March 2017
  Parish Paper
March 2017
Healthy Growing Churches

  Church of God Ministries, Anderson IN

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. 
Stay Connected
Copyright © 2017 Ohio Ministries of the Church of God, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp