Alliance Life: March/April 2024

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No. 02

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BUILDING THE BODY The five crucial functions of Church leadership pg. 4

HERITAGE ON A HILLSIDE Honoring Nyack College/Alliance University’s time-tested pledge to equip the called pg. 22

CULTIVATING A LEADERSHIP CULTURE How The Alliance develops leaders across the globe pg. 28

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Peter Burgo Editor-in-Chief of Alliance Life


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Founder A. B. Simpson Editor-in -Chief Peter Burgo Managing E ditor Hannah Packard Graphic Designer Caylie Smith Staff Writers/E ditors Julie Daubé Hannah Castro E ditorial A ssistant Mandy Gove Circulation Fulfillment Julie Connon Contact for address and subscription changes. Contact for questions, submissions, and advertising information. Cont ac t media@c malliance.or g for press inquiries.

© ALLIANCELIFE ALLIANCELIFE i s p ub li s h e d by T h e Christian and Missionary Alliance, One Alliance Place, Reynoldsburg, OH 43068. Member, Evangelical Press Association and Associated Church Press. Printed in the USA. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to ALLIANCELIFE, One Alliance Place, Reynoldsburg, OH 43068. When requesting a change of address, pleas e gi ve b ot h t he old and new addresses. Direct all correspondence and changes of address to ALLIANCELIFE, One Alliance Place, Reynoldsburg, OH 43068. Toll free: (877) 284-3262; email: Website:

The Alliance is commit ted to world missions, stressing the fullness of Christ in personal experience, building the Church, and preaching the gospel to the ends of the earth. ALLIANCELIFE carries on the tradition of more than 140 years of publishing stories of God at work through Alliance people in the United States and throughout the world.

Illustration by Rick Hemphill

I accepted the role of editor of this magazine in 2008 with great reluctance and trepidation. This was, after all, the Alliance magazine and at 126 years in circulation when I started, had been one of the longest-running magazines in U.S. history. Alliance founder A. B. Simpson was its first editor, and acclaimed author and preacher A. W. Tozer had its reins from 1950 until his passing in 1963. I immediately realized that stepping into shoes with such gargantuan footprints was never something I could (or should) aspire to pursue. Add to that the sudden, sharp decline in circulation among faithbased publications in the wake of the digital information age, when people seemed no longer interested in paying for periodical subscriptions. Many magazines folded during those days. But thankfully, no Alliance president wanted to see our cherished publication die under his watch— despite the fact that the circulation in 2008 had dwindled from its Tozer heyday of nearly 80,000 to a paltry 9,000. So why is this magazine still alive? Because of YOU. When I became editor, I made a bold proposal to the C&MA Board of Directors that rather than charge our readers for subscriptions, we should give the magazine to anyone who attends a U.S. Alliance church and wants to receive it. Why? Because as an Alliance Life reader, you are engaged. You long to experience the fullness of Christ’s presence and power in your life. You want to join Him in His work and discover and develop your vital role in it. You are committed to your local church family in providing a meaningful, impactful presence in your community. You are passionate about taking the gospel to the remaining hard places of our world. And as long as you are, this magazine will continue to find a home in your mailbox. With this issue, I depart my treasured role as editor to serve Orchard Alliance, our sister organization, and its mission to help people experience and embrace the true joy of biblical generosity and to see our Alliance work here in the States and throughout the world fully funded. I leave with enormous gratitude for the leaders who entrusted me with this role; for our frontline Alliance workers and their willingness to share the wondrous works God continues to do in their midst; for an editorial and design “A-team” who have treated their contribution to this magazine as a sacred labor of love for Jesus and those He cherishes; and most of all, for you—the magazine’s 57,000+ subscribers—and your unrelenting commitment to the things closest to God’s heart. As we turn these pages together, “may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen” (Heb. 13:21).

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cover: Illustration by Caylie Smith;

photograph by Andy, Alliance Video

MAR/APR2024 04 Christ-Centered BUILDING THE BODY The five crucial functions of Church leadership | by Brian Scott | pg. 4 DISCIPLES MADE READY How best to invest in emerging leaders by Joanna Gregg | pg. 8 FREE VERSE Quotes from the Kingdom | pg. 11 TOZER ANTHOLOGY compiled by Harry Verploegh | pg. 11

14 Acts 1:8 CALLED TO FELLOWSHIP U.S. and Thai students follow God’s call to love and serve Him by Emmy Duddles | pg. 14 YOUR GENEROSITY IN ACTION Mexico’s Remaining Hard Places | by Bob, Alliance international worker | pg. 18 HERITAGE ON A HILLSIDE Honoring Nyack College/Alliance University’s time-tested pledge to equip the called | by Peter Burgo | pg. 22 CULTIVATING A LEADERSHIP CULTURE How The Alliance develops leaders across the globe | by Hannah Castro | pg. 28

4 22 CONTENTS pg.

38 Family PRAYER IS PRIMARY Requests from Alliance workers | pg. 38 ALLIANCE FAMILY NEWS Personnel changes, obituaries, and classified ads | pg. 39


FOUNDATIONS A Senior’s Appreciation Adapted by Alliance Life staff | pg. 46





The five crucial functions of Church leadership



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There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called—one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. — EP HES IA NS 4:4–7

Illustration by Julissa Matias Flores


TRINITARIAN LEADERSHIP AS THE MODEL In many settings, these leadership functions have operated in conflict at worst and isolation at best. Could it be because our cultures or models for leadership do not align themselves with how God designed leadership to operate? The model for culture and relationship within leadership groups or teams should be patterned after the relationship within the Trinity. Yet how many of our leadership cultures are characterized by solo-heroic or unilateral leaders? This is nonsensical when considering that the three Persons of the Trinity birthed all that is in existence out of interdependence in their differing roles. If the gift of leadership operates in diversity and unity, as seen in the Trinity, each APEST voice has an equal value around a leadership table. This demands relational connectivity, vulnerability, sacrifice, and trust because each voice has been strategically placed by the Head of the Church to bring balance, edification, and most assuredly, agitation. No one voice should be seen to be greater than any other, regardless of title. Many authors have defined each function differently. Below is another view of APEST.

he typical, or maybe ideal, experience of a disciple of Jesus in a post-Christian culture is to be developed or equipped in some type of gathering or program within the ministries of a local church. My personal testimony includes a beautiful expression of being discipled in the context of a family of believers who loved me and desired to see me mature in the knowledge of Jesus and the life He desired within His Kingdom. The programs of this local church became the conduit for people to influence and invest their perspectives, gifts, passions, and leadership into the life of a young person who would not fully realize and appreciate their impact until much later. I can’t recall all the programs that I experienced during those formative years, but the memories are thick with the experiences I had with those ordinary people who were used by the extraordinary Spirit of God. The programs had some value, but it was the diversity of voices that made the lasting impact. In Ephesians 4, Paul described the One who saved us by descending to the depths to redeem captives (see Eph. 4:8–9). And like a good king, He blessed those He rescued by giving them gifts. One particular gift was leadership, given to the Church to equip and mature her into unity. This gift was given in plurality and diversity in order that the activity of equipping disciples would be more holistic and complete. If leaders equip disciples in a way that limits this diversity, there will be restrictions in their discipling strategies. Paul lists the diverse perspectives or functions of the gift of leadership as apostolic, prophetic, evangelistic, shepherding, and teaching—commonly known as “APEST.”

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APOSTLE For an apostolically functioning leader, their main role is to keep the group moving. To be at a place of stagnation causes great angst in the heart of someone who is always pointing the group beyond its present realities. Their unique vision gives them opportunities to speak possibilities into leadership groups that aren’t currently in existence. The effect of the gospel is too important



It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

to remain centralized or contained to a certain group of people. The apostolic leader is the main voice that decentralizes the Church. The apostolic leader also places a higher value on achieving victory at any expense with less attention to how the move affects people. Those who operate with apostolic imagination usually do not have the natural bent to come alongside those who are stragglers or late adopters. If need be, the apostolic leader will carry on the work alone, which is a shadow of the apostolic leader operating in immaturity. Whether mature or immature, the apostolically functioning leader can cause great irritation to the other functions. PROPHET Let’s be honest, we have all experienced a prophetic personality that has rubbed us the wrong way. At times, that has made it easier for us to dismiss or ostracize what the prophetic function brings to the leadership table. Yet, there is beauty and effectiveness in what this perspective adds to a team. For the prophetic leader, there’s an awareness of God’s desires and an ability to see direction with a level of clarity. There is an inner drive or call they feel to proclaim the very thoughts or words of God. When the prophetically functioning leader works in maturity, they become instrumental in championing people into greater purity and connection with God. Unfortunately, a prophetic function can be just as destructive in immaturity as they are effective in maturity at building up the believer. The prophetically functioning leader will be less people-oriented and interdependent with the other four functions if they are not connected to the Vine. This will cause them to care more about the message from God than they do about the person who receives the message. This abrasiveness can keep the hearer from receiving the essence of God’s intent for them.

—E PH E SIA N S 4:11– 1 3

EVANGELIST The evangelistically functioning leader will put a heavy emphasis on the gospel and the outcome of transformation when it reaches lost people. They will not stop telling their testimony of life with God and will spur disciples on to do the same. They are always looking for ways to connect with people who have not yet made a commitment; networking is natural for them. When equipping disciples,


evangelists will exhort people and find the beauty in everyone’s story of redemption. When an evangelist talks strategy, it will be on an individual or family basis and not a broader strategy that comes more naturally for the apostolic imagination. The wandering nature of the evangelistic leader can become their shadow. When they are a part of the believing community, they can lose interest and disengage from the gathering. In immaturity, they lose the opportunity to equip. In a general sense, the evangelistically functioning leader will always have a feeling that not everyone is at the table; people are missing, and we need to go out and find them!


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SHEPHERD The actual functioning of a shepherd, in context with the equipping of disciples, is to keep us caring and nurturing the community of believers. The shepherding leader brings an aspect of connection within the Body. This function demonstrates how to be accessible to people, especially when there is a need that arises in people’s lives. They will be seen coming alongside people in their experiences. Sympathy and empathy are characteristics of their interactions with people who are in places of difficulty. Shepherds place high priority on their availability to people; therefore, their calendars are full of personal connections. Shepherds can have a shadow in their desire to please people. They can also become overwhelmed by wanting to be aware of every situation or circumstance people in the church are facing and will want to have influence or voice into resolving any pain or difficulty. When a church has allowed the shepherd to take the only role of caring, nurturing, and protecting the Body, it takes a toll physically and emotionally.

Prophetic leaders can run into conflict with shepherding and evangelistic leaders because of their impersonal approach. The prophetic and teaching functions can slow down an apostle’s vision because of their bent toward the rightness of direction. The evangelistic function can sometimes use whatever means necessary to bring in a lost soul, which again can be an affront to the teacher’s or prophet’s perspective. Shepherds can become loose with the mission of the Church, which can get a visceral, emotional rise out of the apostolic, prophetic, or evangelistic roles on the team. These are just a small sampling of issues that can come to the surface on a leadership team when leaders operate in competition and isolation instead of unity and complement. If there is no interdependence, it is the Church, and the disciples in it, who suffer and lose the opportunity to be equipped for the work and life God has ordained for them. Leadership teams must walk a journey of relational trust, resisting the urge to spiritualize their function as the most essential. Leaders must be marked by humility and submission to fully understand God’s vision for His Church, and to equip His people in unity and diversity.

TEACHER The teaching function is passionate about the exploration, process, and communication of truth. These leaders are rooted in truth themselves and passionately fight for every expression of the Church to be fully equipped to discern truth rightly. They tend to be creative in how truth is presented and can naturally find illustrations around them. Often, the teaching function brings a sense of stability because they tether discussions to Scripture. The gift of a teaching function on a leadership team purposed to equip disciples can be seen in the effectiveness of communication with the Body. When operating in immaturity, the teaching function is similar to the prophetic function; neither are centered on people, instead being more principally driven. The teaching function can get so passionate about truth that they miss the point of how truth transforms the life of the recipient. Teachers can also get enthralled with knowledge and lose wisdom in the process.

Brian Scott and his wife, Susan, live in Nicholasville, Kentucky. He currently serves in the office of the Ohio Valley District.

FOR THE SAKE OF THE BODY It’s easy to see how each function can agitate the other functions sitting around a leadership table, especially when interdependence is lacking. For instance, an apostolic leader can create chaos in the number of ministry opportunities they create, which causes conflict with the prophetic function who deals with correction and clarity of direction. The shepherd tends to be the function that is agitated most by the apostolic because the shepherd desires to protect the gathering and tries consistently to avoid the change and loss that movement brings.

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Illustration by Erin LIllie

hen asked about my favorite part of the work I do, I often say it is the discipleship and development of people, including both local people and those who come to serve alongside us. I believe developing and discipling people is crucial if we want to equip those who are called and send out truly healthy leaders. The discipleship and development of people looks different depending on how much time you have with someone. For example, when we have a group come out to serve with us for a week, the way we invest in them looks different from an intern who comes out for several months or a resident who comes out for two years. Whether a person is with us for a week, several months, or indefinitely, there are several practices in developing and discipling leaders I believe are important and that are also reflected in how Jesus did life with His disciples.

disciple someone, we are choosing to walk in their mess with them. When we are willing to do this, we will have opportunities to guide them and offer wisdom, advice, support, and encouragement. Walking with someone through their mess will give them opportunities to learn what it takes to be a good leader, even in the chaos and clutter of life. There is a quote I love by author John Ortberg, who says, “If we get too close to those who are suffering, we might get infected by their pain. It may not be convenient or comfortable. But only when you get close enough to catch their hurt will they be close enough to catch your love.” It is as we are doing life with someone and when we are willing to be touched by their hurt that we are then able to show them they are loved, even in the middle of their messiness. Not only that, but it’s in these moments that those we are developing and discipling will learn how to lead in love through difficult and painful times.

DOING LIFE TOGETHER No matter what length of time someone is with us, if we want to truly develop and disciple leaders, we must be willing to make sacrifices that allow us to spend quality time with them. Discipling people means engaging in relationships—relationships with people who have needs. This means making the effort and taking the initiative to make time for others, even when it is inconvenient or messy. It is so easy to get caught up in our worlds—our family, our work, our issues, and our schedules. Life is already full, and we do not always have time for one more commitment. However, to disciple someone well, we need to be willing to spend time with them. This is more than just a once-a-week sit-down to check in. Discipleship is the decision to truly do life with someone, to make the sacrifice of time and other important things to invest in their development. We see this in how Jesus walked daily with His disciples, using everyday events to teach and invest in them. It is when we spend time with people and invest in them that we begin to truly see who they are, including their strengths, their weaknesses, their struggles, and their hurts. It is as we are spending time with someone that we not only gain the right to speak into their life, but we also have the knowledge and wisdom for how to speak truth and encouragement to them.

ASKING HARD QUESTIONS It is great to have a good community and to walk with others in their mess, but it’s still possible to hide from others while doing life together. Some people can put on a good show even when things are not okay. They can act like life is going well or disguise their true feelings. If we want to disciple leaders well, we will need to learn how to ask the right questions and how to become good listeners. Think about how often Jesus asked good questions and really challenged His followers to think and process thoughts and ideas. This last year or so, I have been working on asking meaningful questions. I have learned that asking good questions often makes people evaluate things they otherwise would not think of. It makes them consider ideas, feelings, or thoughts that otherwise would have been left alone or not dealt with. It is also good to ask questions that foster honesty and vulnerability. However, if we are going to ask those questions, we also need to strive to be good listeners. For many of us, this is hard. We are distracted by a variety of things or think there are other questions we need to ask or other topics we need to discuss. We must be willing to put all other distractions aside so we can listen and understand what is being said. We don’t need to listen to respond, teach, or offer advice. We need to learn to listen with the goal of understanding.

IN THE MESS In Scripture, we also see how Jesus continued to walk with His disciples even when life became messy. We see this repeatedly, but I especially think of Peter and how Jesus continued to pursue him even after he denied Him. All people are broken, and when we choose to

OUT OF THE COMFORT ZONE If we are going to develop good leaders, we also need to be intentional in challenging them and pushing them out of their comfort zone. We see this often throughout Jesus’ ministry, but I specifically think of the end of His earthly ministry when He said, “Go therefore and make

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Joanna Gregg has been serving with Envision since January 2011, working as an intern before completing a residency and then being appointed for long-term service. She served in another country in West Africa for nine years before transitioning to Envision Guinea.

disciples of all nations . . . teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:19–20, ESV). This is quite the challenge, but Jesus finishes by promising to be with His disciples always. It should be the same for us as we are discipling leaders. We need to challenge and encourage them to practice what we have been preparing them for, while always being ready to help and encourage them when things don’t go as planned or when they mess up. We should also be ready to celebrate with them when they succeed. The people who have had the greatest influence on the development of who I am today are those who took time to do life with me. It is those who continually welcomed me into their homes to share meals, play games, or just spend time together. It is those who kept walking with me in the difficult times and when things got messy. It is those who took time to sit down and ask me questions and then listened to me and helped me process my thoughts and feelings. It is those who walked with me and pushed me into uncomfortable situations. They challenged me and encouraged me to try new things, take new roles, or step up and lead. They allowed me to make mistakes and learn from them. They were not quick to judge me, but would lovingly correct and guide me in the right way. I would not be the person I am today if people along the way had not taken the time and effort to do life with me, walk with me in my mess, ask the hard questions, and challenge me to get out of my comfort zone. And this is the same way I think true leaders are going to be developed, equipped, and made ready to be sent by the Church.

I would not be the person I am today if people along the way had not taken the time and effort to do life with me, walk with me in my mess, ask the hard questions, and challenge me to get out of my comfort zone.

John Stumbo

V IDE O B LO G Watch John tell a story, share a devotional, issue a challenge, or cast C&MA vision. Released on the 12th of each month

Recent Releases: Blog 125: The Culminating Birth Blog 126: Until Christ Is Formed in You ALLIANCELIFE


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“Fruit is always the miraculous, the created; it is never the result of willing, but always a growth. The fruit of the Spirit is a gift of God, and only He can produce it.”

compiled by Harry Verploegh

Either the Lord Jesus Christ came to bring an end of self and to reveal a new life in spiritual victory, or He came to patch and repair the old self—He certainly did not come to do both!


Our great need, then, is simply Jesus Christ. . . . He has what we need. He knows what we need to know. He has the ability to do in us what we cannot do—working in us that which is well-pleasing in God’s sight.

“Now may the God of peace— who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, and ratified an eternal covenant with his blood—may he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen.”

In that gracious day our rejoicing will not be in the personal knowledge that He saved us from hell, but in the joyful knowledge that He was able to renew us, bringing the old self to an end and creating within us the new man and the new self in which can be reproduced the beauty of the Son of God.

Think as little of yourself as you want to, but always remember that our Lord Jesus Christ thought very highly of you—enough to give Himself for you in death and sacrifice.

—HEBREWS 13:20–21, NLT

The Christian Church seems to have a variety of concerns, but in reality it has only one reason for being—and that is to show forth the life and mercy and grace of Jesus Christ.

“Christian discipleship is a decision to walk in His ways, steadily and firmly, and then finding that the way integrates all our interests, passions, and gifts, our human needs, and eternal aspirations. It is the way of life we were created for.”

When Jesus Christ by His Spirit meets with two of His believing people, you have a church. You have it without any upkeep and without any overhead and without any elections. But Jesus Christ must be central and His presence must be known among His people. —from Who Put Jesus on the Cross. Originally published in The Alliance Witness, October 8, 1986.




inFocus O Love Divine by A. B. Simpson O Love that gave itself for me, Help me to love and live like Thee; And kindle in this heart of mine The living fire of love divine. O Love divine, O Love divine Revive this longing heart of mine; And kindle in me from above, The living fire of heavenly love. Set all my ransomed powers on fire, Give me the love that naught can tire; And kindle in this heart of mine The living fire of zeal divine. O Holy Ghost, for Thee I cry; Baptize with power from on High; And kindle in this heart of mine The living fire of power divine. Help me to pray till all my soul Shall move and bend at Thy control; And kindle in this heart of mine The living fire of prayer divine. Photograph from Alliance Photo Archive

CALLED TO FELLOWSHIP U.S. and Thai students follow God’s call to love and serve Him by Emmy Duddles



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Photography by Olivia, Alliance Video

hen Lawan* was a young teen, she received a book in the mail about Jesus. Even in her urban neighborhood in Thailand, she had never heard the gospel or met anyone who followed Jesus. When the book asked her to pray to receive Christ, she immediately accepted Him as her Savior. She spent years trying to find a Christian who would give her a Bible so she could grow deeper in her faith, but there were none to be found. During her freshman year of college, Lawan attended an English conversation group that Envision Bangkok was holding in their coffee shop across the street from her university. When she met Tou Lee and Tang Thao, the Envision Bangkok site coordinators, they told her they were Christians. She immediately rejoiced, saying, “I know who God is! I received Him when I was a teenager. About two years ago, I was praying for a Bible, but I couldn’t find one. I thought God gave up on me.” At the time, Envision Bangkok was hosting a team of young college students who excitedly went out to find her a Bible. When they gave it to her, Lawan started crying and hugged it close to her chest, rejoicing in the fact that she could finally learn about this God she had already fallen in love with. It has been roughly 11 years since Lawan received her first Bible, and she has become an integral part of the team at Envision Bangkok. She continued to attend their events throughout her time at university, became an intern, and helped host short-term teams. Now, she continues to serve with Tou Lee and Tang on the leadership team for their church. “She’s just blossomed and grown into a woman of God who loves Him and serves Him well,” Tang says.

When Tanai expressed that he wanted to accept Christ, the intern texted Tou Lee saying, “What do we do? Can you come?” Tou Lee responded, “You know what to do. You can do it!” The intern and the church member led Tanai to Christ and had him pray the sinner’s prayer. When they were finished, Tou Lee told them, “Now it’s your time to disciple him.” They began a weekly Bible study on Romans with Tanai, and he was completely changed. Tanai is now going to seminary and wants to be in full-time ministry. “God has taken a hold of his life, and he’s so pastoral,” Tou Lee says. “It’s been fun to see him grow in his love for the church and start serving on my preaching team.” Teams and individuals at Envision Bangkok don’t always see someone surrender their lives to Christ or be baptized, but their impact is felt for years afterward. Many of the ministry activities that Tou Lee and Tang are able to host through their site were made possible by the work of teams and interns. “When we have interns, I want them to dream,” says Tou Lee. “We have been changed because of what God is doing.” Their children’s ministry, which just saw six children give their lives to Christ, was started because of one intern who spent much of her time playing with the neighborhood kids behind the coffee shop. A dodgeball tournament that another intern dreamt up was the catalyst for Envision Bangkok frequently inviting people to play basketball, soccer, flag football, and other sports as a way of building relationship. The church Envision Bangkok planted, which is reaching even more people with the gospel, was made possible because of the relationships these young people were able to build.

BUILDING RELATIONSHIP Tou Lee and Tang have been reaching university students, like Lawan, through the Envision Bangkok site for over a decade, largely by facilitating short-term trips and internships with U.S. Alliance college students. Whether it’s one week or one year, U.S. college students are building deep relationships with their Thai peers through simple, everyday activities—inviting them to dinner, baking cookies, playing dodgeball or laser tag, or going to the movies. These small gestures allow U.S. and Thai students to have deep conversations about life and give many opportunities to talk about faith. Tanai* came to a game night at the coffee shop to improve his English, and quickly, members of Envision Bangkok’s church invited him to life group where he heard the gospel for the first time. He had been attending events for months when one of the Envision interns locked himself out of his apartment. Tanai went over to hang out with the intern while he waited for a spare key. They spent the evening together, along with one of the church members, talking about life and Jesus.

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PROCLAIMING FAITH When Oma* started coming to the church, she knew all the right things to say and had clearly spent a lot of time with Christians, but she was deeply resistant to the gospel. Envision interns and residents spent a lot of time with her, sharing their lives and welcoming her in. At a church retreat, Tou Lee led communion, saying, “If you believe in Jesus, we invite you to be a part of this.” All of a sudden, Oma got up and took communion. “We were all in shock,” says Tou Lee. “We shared the gospel with her again, and she said, ‘I’ve been believing this for a while. I just didn’t want to proclaim it.’” After she had been coming to church for some time, Envision Bangkok needed a local staff member to help run their teams. They hired Oma, though they were unsure of where she was in her faith journey. “But once she understood the vision and how to walk alongside people well, she’s been amazing,” Tou Lee says. Oma now serves in a multitude of ways with Envision Bangkok, leading small groups, discipling new



believers, facilitating short-term teams, and serving with the church’s kids ministry. She not only pours out her heart to the kids, but also visits their parents, sitting with them in their homes for hours and listening to their struggles. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Tou Lee and Tang had to return home, so Oma ran their whole site and the church. “She is everything we want to see happen for Thai Christians, but also for our site,” says Tou Lee. “She’s doing a lot of work, but she’s also creating a lot of space for herself and God. That brings us a lot of joy.” SLOWING DOWN WITH JESUS Not only have Thai locals surrendered their lives to Christ, but the faith of these

U.S. students has also been deepened in their time with Envision Bangkok. During any trip or internship, Tou Lee and Tang place a great emphasis on the discipleship of these college students. As well as other discipleship activities, like one-on-one mentoring with both Tou Lee and Tang, interns and teams are expected to have “Jesus time.” Every week, they go off on their own to spend three hours minimum with Jesus—to journal, read Scripture, and unpack their lives with God. “When they come back, the fruit that comes out of it is nothing we could ever create,” Tou Lee says. Many have been completely changed because they were finally able to slow down from their



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“The end goal is Jesus—we just want to be like Him.”


regular busy lives and listen to what God wanted to heal or redeem in their hearts. One intern, Jason,* was the son of an Alliance pastor and planned to come out for a year to serve with Envision Bangkok. Jason’s father started writing Tou Lee lots of emails. Tou Lee was confused because they don’t normally interact with the parents of their interns much at all, but he soon found out that Jason had struggled in high school with alcohol and drugs. “I was kind of nervous,” Tou Lee says. “I wondered, What kind of kid am I getting? But we just gave him space to be himself and called out the things we saw in him. He’s an incredible person. The whole site, our community, loved him. The things he told me he struggled with months before weren’t even an issue here,” says Tou Lee. “As part of the Body, we get to see the good things in people and call them out of each other. It just took believing in him, and he soared.” Because of his time in Bangkok, Jason grew his confidence in who God says he is, and he decided to attend Crown College in St. Bonifacius, Minnesota, so he can pursue long-term missions. He didn’t plan on going to a Christian college or being in full-time ministry, but toward the end of his internship with Envision Bangkok, he said, “I just want to be doing this for the rest of my life.” “Our whole philosophy is to do whatever it takes to move people closer to Jesus,” Tou Lee says. “We’re a family on mission to grow deeper in love with Jesus and to go wide, sharing Him with the world. As we’re all pursuing this journey together, we’re asking ourselves and challenging our students, both U.S. and Thai, to be intentional in their relationship with Him. The end goal is Jesus—we just want to be like Him.” *Name changed

Emmy Duddles is a freelance editor and writer. She and her husband, Lucas, live in Columbus, Ohio.

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y name is Mira.* I grew up in a conservative home that served our nation’s majority religion. From an early age, I was taught to cover my head, say my prayers, and read our holy book. For years now, I have worked with Rachael. She is so different from me. She married by choice, and her husband respects her and cares for her and their son with kindness. Rachael loves her Bible and prays for me often.

When I worried I would never marry, she prayed I would know God’s will for my life. When I didn’t get pregnant quickly, she prayed over me for peace and health. When I was pregnant for the third time in four years and scared to have another baby, she hugged me tight and prayed for God to give me wisdom. Her prayers are so different from how I was taught, but I never refuse her offers. Today, I am seeking Rachael’s advice again. Over tea, I share that I am preparing to leave with my husband and children for a country I have never been to. I watched Rachael move across the world, leaving her home, culture, and comforts to live here among my people. While I am still not sure about her God, her Bible, or her prayers, I always feel safe, loved, and seen in her presence, craving the hope and security she finds in her God. *Name changed



MEXICO’S REMAINING HARD PLACES by Bob, an Alliance worker serving in Mexico



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Photo courtesy of author

in action


God revealed His power to our little congregation.

Photography by Olivia, Alliance Video

n one region of central Mexico, less than 2.5 percent of the 26 million inhabitants know the gospel. This area is about the size of Pennsylvania and is made up of six states that share a border. In Guadalajara, the region’s largest city, it is still impossible to have a Christian radio station. Evangelical churches are few, and those that teach the gospel are even fewer. Because the influence of the gospel has largely been silent in this part of the country, it has been identified by missiologists as the “Circle of Silence.” It is also known as the “dark heart of Mexico.” We call it home. Today, thanks to you and many others who have prayed for and supported our church-planting work in Mexico, there are five Alliance churches in the Circle of Silence. On a typical Sunday, these churches have a combined attendance of 250 people, and we have performed over 115 baptisms since 2016. Your generosity and prayers have also resulted in two mission projects that are building relationships with indigenous communities long resistant to the gospel in some of the remaining hard places in Mexico.

gelistic events and liked what he heard, so he offered to help. With extension cords and other makeshift resources from our neighbors, we managed to open within four days for our inaugural service. EXPANDING GOSPEL PRESENCE Since that first service, hundreds have said yes to Jesus and 28 have been discipled into lay leaders at our five campuses. One of these leaders is a well-known guitarist who gave his life to Christ in a hotel room after a rock concert. When we met him, he and his wife lived four blocks from our new rental house and had been praying five years for a church to attend in their area. Today, he shares his testimony boldly at concerts, in television interviews, and on the radio. Another of our lay leaders is an indigenous woman who lives four hours south in the mountains. When she turned from black magic to follow Jesus, her testimony sent ripples through her small town. There are five indigenous groups in remote areas of the Circle of Silence who have staunchly resisted Christianity for generations. Among some of these groups, it is illegal to have a Bible, and anyone professing faith in Christ may be forcibly exiled from territorial lands (and thus separated from family and children), hanged, or even doused with gasoline and set on fire. Because of your generosity and prayers, our church family makes four trips a year into these remote areas to support emerging church plants in the indigenous languages. As we seek to expand gospel presence throughout the Circle of Silence, we are always conscious of the impact we can have on the five indigenous people groups in the region who are

EARLY OPPOSITION We could not always see the evidence of God’s work in the Circle of Silence. Just five days before the grand opening of our first church in 2015, I was working on the final touches to a new cement floor when a stranger approached me and asked if I was the pastor. He then gave me one hour to vacate the premises. I protested that we had a contract and were opening on Sunday, but my words were to no avail. This man, I discovered, was a cartel manager and had taken over our rented building for his money laundering purposes. After two days of fighting, I reluctantly agreed to vacate. I thought I had made a colossal mistake. Had I been naïve enough to think we could just waltz into the dark heart of Mexico and start planting churches? I was crushed and bewildered. “God, how could I have been so wrong?” I asked. As I wrestled with doubt and a growing awareness of my powerlessness, God revealed His power to our little congregation. In just four days, we found a new place—an unfinished building with no power or water but with enough room for 100 people. The contractor had attended one of our early evan-

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less than 1 percent Christian and have no sustainable church.

BUILD GOSPEL PRESENCE IN THE CIRCLE OF SILENCE You are needed to furnish one congregation in central Mexico with steel, cement, and other supplies to build a two-story church that will include classrooms, offices, and a sanctuary for 500 congregants. It will also serve as the operational base for future churchplanting efforts in the region. To establish a permanent gospel presence in the Circle of Silence, visit; select “a project you love/Find a project”; and type in “South Pointe Church Construction.” Learn more about Alliance strategic projects throughout the world in need of your prayers and financial support by accessing the 2023–24 Strategic Giving Opportunities Gift Catalog at or by calling toll free (866) 443-8262.

LOOKING AHEAD Our priority is starting new churches, but we also need a permanent church building that can serve as a nerve center for all our ministries. We have begun construction on a sanctuary with seating for 500 and room for community development ministries. This church building will be the first owned by The Alliance in Guadalajara and will serve as a reminder of God’s faithfulness to our movement. The foundation, earthmoving, and steel superstructure are complete. This was 60 percent of the total cost. As we raise the remaining funds for things like windows, doors, cement, and electrical wiring, we remain hopeful that we will inaugurate the new building before 2025. But this cannot happen without the ongoing support and engagement of people who share our passion for spreading God’s love and establishing permanent gospel presence in this hard place. We believe the best way to evangelize in the Circle of Silence is by planting churches that multiply churches. For this reason, we are asking God to provide us with the resources to complete our construction project in Guadalajara even as we seek to open five more church campuses in the region. Although sometimes we feel as though we are asking God to do the impossible, we believe Jesus is the Head of the Church and will not be thwarted by anyone. We also believe He accomplishes His purposes through people like you. Together, we are expanding God’s Kingdom in central Mexico—from the city streets to remote mountain villages. Because of the faithful ministry partners God has brought us—both within and beyond Mexico—I’m confident we will see many more churches planted, many more discipled into leadership, and many more come to faith in Jesus in the Circle of Silence.

Jesus is the Head of the Church and will not be thwarted by anyone. ALLIANCELIFE


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W H E R E faith

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8595 Explorer Dr, Colorado Springs, CO 80920 / Toll Free 866.824.4172 / Charitable Gift Annuities (CGAs) are issued by Orchard Alliance (Orchard) or as agent for The Christian and Missionary Alliance (the C&MA). Orchard or the C&MA, respectively, is responsible for and liable for the CGAs that are issued in their individual names. The Christian and Missionary Alliance issues annuities in the states of NY, NJ and CA. 21 ALLIANCELIFE MAR/APR 2024

HERITAGE ON A HILLSIDE Honoring Nyack College/Alliance University’s time-tested pledge to equip the called

by Peter Burgo


ver 140 years ago, God ignited an overwhelming love for people of every race and tongue in the heart of Alliance founder A. B. Simpson, who pastored a large, affluent church in Manhattan. In response, Simpson urged his congregants to welcome the immigrants pouring into the city. Many in the church rejected his vision. One Sunday in 1881, Simpson declared from the pulpit, “I am not interested in being a respectable Christian.” He resigned from the pastorate and in 1882 began informal training classes



to equip like-minded believers to take the whole gospel to the whole world. In realizing the magnitude of the task God had called him into, Simpson posed a question that would set a trajectory for equipping those who would hear and heed the call: “Is there not room for a missionary training college in every great church in this land, where young men may prepare at home for foreign work, and study the history of missions, the methods of mission work, and the languages in which they expect to preach the

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its Lower Manhattan roots, became Alliance University in 2022. A DIVERSE, UNYIELDING LEGACY Throughout its relocations and name changes, the institution remained faithful to its founder’s vision and will forever be remembered as having repainted the spiritual landscape in many of the world’s hardest places. In its 14-decade heritage, it has equipped 35,000 graduates who have faithfully served Christ in 90 countries—a legacy that will continue to broaden His Kingdom until His return. But the school’s influence and impact were not limited solely to its ends-of-the-earth mission. In her dissertation, The Ties That Bind—An Historical Study of the Relationship of The Colleges of the C&MA to the Parent Denomination, Diane Zimmerman writes: There can be no doubt that Simpson’s primary educational purpose was to train and send missionaries; that was, after all, the very reason for offering the first classes and founding a Missionary Training Institute. But the Institute was founded for at least two other purposes, namely, to prepare workers for home service as lay workers to serve as Sunday school teachers and pastoral assistants, and to provide spiritual enrichment for students who had no intention of entering a full-time Christian vocation. Nor was the founding of the Institute the extent of Simpson’s educational vision. He also founded on Nyack’s campus a liberal arts junior college, which he planned to expand into a four-year program, as an outgrowth of a secondary school; and he planned a three-year seminary program.

gospel?” He later refined his intent for “the opening of a Missionary Training School for Christian evangelists, where godly and consecrated young men and women can be prepared to go forth as laborers into the neglected fields.” The Missionary Training Institute formally organized and officially launched in the heart of Times Square in 1883 as the first Bible college in North America. Fifteen years later, it moved its campus 30 miles up the Hudson River to South Nyack, New York. The institute was later renamed Nyack Missionary College (1956), then Nyack College (1972), and, after having returned to

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Zimmerman later cites George Pardington, the Alliance missionary statesman for whom Nyack College’s Pardington Hall was named, as stating in the 1900–1901 C&MA Annual Report that while the Missionary Training Institute was preeminently a missionary training school, there was room for any “who desired simply a better knowledge of the Bible and a more intimate understanding of the needs of the various mission fields. . . . It was not expected by the school that all its students would go either to the foreign field or enter Christian work at home.”


The 1905–1906 C&MA Manual further stated that the ultimate purpose of all students, regardless of vocational intent, was to gain a “deeper spiritual life, a more thorough knowledge of the Scriptures, and a better acquaintance with the condition and needs of mission lands.” Although the institution remained devoted to equipping workers for vocational ministry domestically and abroad, preparation of committed believers for the marketplace left an indelible influence on the social and spiritual landscapes of diverse workforce environments—and will continue to do so for generations to come. Affirming the school’s commitment to diversity within its student body and among those it would ultimately serve, U.S. News & World Report in 2016 ranked Nyack

College as “one of the 10 most diverse colleges in the northern region of the United States.” A few years later, in its assessment of The 50 Top Ethnically Diverse Colleges in America, Best College Reviews wrote, Nyack College sees it as their mission to be “intentionally diverse” and have the desire to bring people from all ethnicities together to study, learn, and make the world a better place. The belief in intercultural education has led Nyack to become the most ethnically diverse Christian College in the history of American higher education. Celebrating this feat as an important part of their effectiveness and identity, Nyack remains committed to the task of enhancing this diversity in every decision, from curriculum, to hiring, to pricing. This noble mission is being fulfilled on a daily basis throughout Nyack’s flourishing student body.

1897 RELOCAT I NG TO SOUT H NYAC K The Missionary Training Institute purchases 28 acres on a picturesque hillside in the village of South Nyack, New York. The school moves its campus 30 miles outside of NYC to Rockland County and establishes its new home in the Hudson Valley.

1882 T HE STO RY B E GIN S A. B. Simpson, recognized as one of the foremost figures in the American missionary movement, establishes a training school for missionaries in New York City, later formalized and called the Missionary Training Institute—the first Bible college in North America.



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A HEART-WRENCHING DECISION Over the past decade, Nyack College/Alliance University, like dozens of other private Christian universities, had suffered a series of financial setbacks and economic complications—including the 2017 decision by the City University of New York (CUNY) and State University of New York (SUNY) to offer free tuition to New York state residents, as well as those widely felt issues brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Consequently, in June 2023, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, Alliance University’s accrediting body, determined that the university could no longer sustain ongoing compliance with the commission’s financial health requirement. Alliance University’s Board of Trustees was forced to make the difficult decision to cease all academic offerings effective September 1, 2023.

founding vision but also invested deeply in the spiritual pathways of those who graced its campuses. As an alumnus myself, I credit Nyack College with my spiritual formation at a critical crossroads of my life journey in the mid-1980s. Having been a helpless, hopeless drug addict less than a year earlier, I was introduced to the delivering, transforming power of Jesus by a pastor in my western Pennsylvania hometown. Realizing my dire need for a fresh start, this pastor invited me to join his family in their move to Nyack, where he had accepted a faculty role at Alliance Theological Seminary. I reluctantly (but by no means regretfully) accepted the invitation.

AN OUTPOURING OF TRIBUTE When the decision was announced on June 30, social media sites lit up with expressions of grief, recollections of fond memories, and words of tribute to an institution that not only remained true to its

1960 A G ROWI NG SC HOOL The Jaffray School of Missions is established as a graduate program of Nyack Missionary College, offering interdisciplinary studies in theology and the social sciences.





A charter is granted by the New York State Board of Regents to offer bachelor’s degrees in theology, religious education, and sacred music. In 1956, the Missionary Training Institute becomes Nyack Missionary College—an identity that stands firm for the following 16 years. ALLIANCELIFE

Following the Middle States accreditation as a liberal arts college and graduate school, the school is renamed Nyack College. A name proudly represented by students, alumni, faculty, and donors for the following 50 years. 25

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When we arrived in Nyack, we were greeted by Gene and Cleo Evans, veteran Alliance missionaries to Vietnam, who invited us to stay with them until we secured our housing. Over the next several days, we sat mesmerized as they conveyed story after story of God’s miraculous protection and provision. It was this experience—and many similar stories from dear Alliance servants and saints; chapel speakers in Pardington Hall; professors committed to academic excellence, personal integrity, and spiritual growth; and students from all over the world with amazing accounts of how God brought them to the Hillside—that solidified my faith and charted my spiritual trajectory. Over the next several years, I continued my studies, became involved in an Alliance church plant, and got a summer job driving around in an old, beat-up, green pickup truck with a guy named Tom, maintaining the various properties owned by the C&MA National Office (then referred to as “Headquarters”). I was eventually offered a mailroom clerk position inside the Headquarters building and, in 1989, relocated to Colorado

Springs, Colorado, where the C&MA established its new National Office. I eventually earned a degree in communications from the University of Colorado and somehow ended up, by God’s clear penchant for against-all-odds scenarios, as the editor of this beloved magazine—a role I have cherished since 2007 and now tearfully release as God has invited me into a new position within the Alliance family. Yet I will forever boast the most unlikely role of “first formerly cocaine-addicted editor of the Alliance magazine” (well . . . at least to my knowledge). For this I owe a great debt to the Nyack Hillside and its longstanding legacy of equipping the called—and to my dear friend, Terry Wardle, the Western PA pastor who practically dragged me there, kicking and screaming. Terry’s perseverance through that tug-of-war was a true trajectory changer. AN EMERGING PARTNERSHIP Intrinsically linked to Nyack/Alliance University’s educational legacy was the C&MA seminary. Originally launched in 1960 as the Jaffray School of Missions, a

1974-1979 A L L I AN CE THE O LO GICAL SEM I NARY In 1974, the Jaffray program is redesigned to include the preparation of students for North American and international ministries. The name of the school is subsequently changed to the Alliance School of Theology and Missions. In September of 1979, the Alliance School of Theology and Missions becomes Alliance Theological Seminary (ATS). Expanded course offerings and additional faculty soon enhance the seminary’s commitment to the worldwide evangelistic task of the Church.

1995-1997 ESTABLI SHI NG A SAT ELLI T E CAM PUS Returning to its roots, in 1995, a satellite program is established in Lower Manhattan. By 1997, Alliance Theological Seminary classes are offered in the city as well. The New York City campus makes studies accessible to those who work in the city and provides a thoroughly urban context for theological education. ALLIANCELIFE


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graduate program of Nyack Missionary College, the school offered interdisciplinary studies in theology and the social sciences. In 1974, the program was redesigned to prepare students for North American and international ministries. The school’s name was subsequently changed to the Alliance School of Theology and Missions, and later, in 1979, to Alliance Theological Seminary. When Alliance University and Alliance Theological Seminary announced the decision to close their campus doors, Alliance leadership renewed its commitment to preserve and advance Alliance seminary education and, ideally, maintain its ministry training presence in New York City. To that end, the C&MA Board Executive Committee formed a transition team to explore options for a future C&MA seminary model. After prayerful consideration, the team narrowed its focus to a potential partnership with Asbury Theological Seminary. The C&MA and Asbury have a long-standing, fruitful relationship and share many essential theological beliefs. Even Nyack/Alliance University’s school motto, The Whole Bible to the Whole World, is remarkably aligned

with Asbury’s vision of The Whole Bible for the Whole World. Asbury also has a passion to extend seminary education to NYC, where The Alliance has deep roots and enduring relationships. In recent months, Asbury signed contracts with three former Alliance Theological Seminary professors with the intent of launching a joint effort to establish and maintain a vibrant seminary presence in the heart of a city often described as “a melting pot of culture, diversity, and opportunity.” Please pray with us for the necessary state approvals that will allow for the opportunity of a fruitful partnership to preserve and propel our Alliance theological and spiritual distinctives toward the fulfillment of our All of Jesus for All the World vision.


2001 CHA MP IO N IN G PR ISO N E DUCAT I ON In 2001, the first cohort of 17 men complete the adult degree program at Sing Sing Correctional Facility in Ossining, NY. Nyack/Alliance University's prison education program held a remarkable distinction. While New York State has a 43 percent recidivism rate, Alliance University had 0 percent. None of their released graduates have returned to prison.

CC BY 2.0 DEED, ajay_suresh on Flickr. Photo cropped

Peter Burgo has served at the Alliance National Office for 37 years, most recently as the editor of Alliance Life magazine and director for media relations. In January, he accepted the position of vice president for Communications at Orchard Alliance. Peter and Pam, his beloved wife of 30 years, recently relocated from Reynoldsburg, Ohio, to Colorado Springs, Colorado, where they will enjoy being closer to their four adult children and their families.

BECOM I NG ALLI ANC E UNI VERSI TY In August 2022, the 140-year institution becomes Alliance University. Recognized for its dedication to Christian higher education and commitment to global service, the school embraces a new identity in the city where it first began.

2019 T HE PI LGRI M AGE HO ME Nyack College consolidates its two New York campuses to one location—returning to the city where Dr. A. B. Simpson was inspired to establish a school dedicated to serving others.

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by Hannah Castro

Illustration by Caylie Smith; photography by Andy, Alliance Video

How The Alliance develops leaders across the globe

s a whole, leadership is a significant, multifaceted word. Perhaps you think of positionally “high” people of influence when you consider the term. When contemplating leadership, do you remember times you’ve been led well? Do you have bad memories associated with instances in which you have been led in a manner that wasn’t fruitful? I’m sure both might be true for a lot of us, but it’s important to acknowledge that biblical leadership is of a different fold. Biblical leadership doesn’t just involve leading a group of people or an organization—it’s influencing and serving others in order to encourage people in their pursuit of the Lord so that they may be better positioned to accomplish His purposes in and through them. You don’t need a fancy title to lead— think of Isaiah, who was called servant (Isa. 20:3); Daniel, whose leadership was defined by his unwavering faith in God; and Rahab, who didn’t allow her position to stifle her ability to be obediently hospitable (Josh. 2). It’s not title that’s important—it’s how a person utilizes their gifting and position to serve for Kingdom impact. In order to live out our full giftings and abilities as biblical leaders, we need to be developed—we cannot do it alone— and development takes time, effort, and resources. The Alliance, out of a desire to reach the least-reached, beautifully raises up leaders to fulfill the Great Commission through programs and opportunities to create greater accessibility for leadership development and to encourage gospel service.

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ALLIANCE PARTNERSHIPS AND PROGRAMS The Alliance Center for Leadership Development (ACLD) is a program that exists to equip the called and serves as a hub for leadership development and ministry preparation for those interested in serving with the C&MA. They provide digital trainings on biblical and theological studies along with practical direction meant to prepare each individual for leadership in local churches and the global mission field. They offer various opportunities such as: the School of Ministry (SOM), a 30-credit equivalency program designed to prepare men and women for ministry leadership within the local church, offered in English, Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese, Spanish, and Japanese; courses for licensing, ordination, consecration, and ministry certifications; and Project 2819, a video-driven, subscription-based discipleship and lay-leader development platform designed to provide the local church with tools to build a discipleship strategy. ACLD’s vision is “to ensure that every Alliance church and mission field has ready access to Spiritdependent, well-trained men and women who are competent to serve in leadership roles and whose mission is to reach the lost, equip disciples, and multiply churches both locally and globally.” Leadership isn’t an independent notion—leaning into training and opportunities is crucial for development. Visit to learn more about The Alliance Center for Leadership Development and to explore their trainings. Another incredibly well-versed program within The Alliance is the LEAD Program, a two-and-a-half-year development journey that equips men and women for ministry leadership. They utilize online content, ministry, practicum, cohort meetings, and coaching strategies to focus attention and growth in four areas: intimacy with God, missional living, disciplemaking, and Kingdom leadership. LEAD is leaning into fully equipping ministry leaders, and they have courses in four languages—English, Spanish, French, and American Sign Language. The program helps leaders answer the call that they are leaning into and establishes connection and courses of deeper intimacy with the Lord. LEAD utilizes video-driven online material so that leaders can view the content and respond to discussion questions on their own time, monthly cohort meetings that encourage personal and collective learning with practical application, mission trips in which students experience their leadership training first-hand, and oneon-one coaching with a cohort director. Leaning into intimacy with God and missional living is a core focus of the LEAD Program so that everyone involved is able to intentionally pour their life into another through disci-



pleship. Visit to learn more about the LEAD Program and what it means to be equipped as a ministry leader. Similarly encouraging deeper, personal relationships with the Lord, EMPOWER is a developmental ministry certificate program specifically for women. Out of a deep desire to encourage spiritual formation and meet the needs of spiritually hungry women, EMPOWER provides training to help women discover who they are and their roles in God’s mission. EMPOWER’s fully virtual program offers three courses, each of which encourages women to discern the voice of God and become lifelong learners of biblical truth. Through six once-a-month meetings and a weekend retreat, women are equipped to process hard realities, engage in biblical accountability, support, and encouragement, and lean into their identities in Christ. Through the EMPOWER programs, women are prepared for ministry and developed in a manner that trains, equips, and releases them with Kingdom leadership potential. Visit to get involved with EMPOWER’s programs and courses. Envision is one of the four specializations of Alliance Missions focused on identifying and developing missional leaders through short-term missions opportunities and innovative ministry strategies. They offer short-term trips, internships, and residencies in various domestic and international locatwions. Envision’s heartbeat is to see deeply formed leaders mobilized into their roles in God’s mission and communities impacted across the globe through short- and long-term missions efforts. Their latest initiative has been the redevelopment of their residency program to become a robust pathway geared towards equipping international worker (IW) candidates and preparing them for long-term service with Alliance Missions. This two-year, cohortbased program combines formal learning through Crown College and ACLD, experiential learning by serving alongside IWs on the ground, and relational learning through mentorship and life together, collectively leading residents toward readiness for service. Visit to learn more about opportunities to serve. It would be nearly impossible to mention every Alliance ministry involved in equipping and developing leaders by name—there are far too many. What a blessing! But we celebrate with all the incredible programs that are forming leaders unto the fulfillment of the Great Commission.

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Photography courtesy of respective colleges

NEXT GENERATION DEVELOPMENT Such formation occurs at many different times of one’s life. Perhaps during one of the most transformational seasons, the college experience is greatly influential within personal and spiritual development. The Alliance is blessed with three Christ-centered colleges that exist to invest in the next generation and shape the character of men and women within education: Crown College in St. Bonifacius, Minnesota; Simpson University in Redding, California; and Toccoa Falls College (TFC) in Toccoa Falls, Georgia. Crown College was founded in 1916 as a Bible school in St. Paul, Minnesota. Their mission is “to provide a biblically based education for Christian leadership in The Christian and Missionary Alliance, the church-at-large, and the world.” For over 100 years, they have been preparing students and leaders to live out their faith in all contexts.

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Simpson University was founded in 1921 as Simpson Bible Institute. Their mission is to be “a Christ-centered learning community committed to developing each student in mind, faith, and character for a lifetime of meaningful work and service in a constantly changing world.” Founded in 1907 as a one-building Bible school, the mission of Toccoa Falls College is “to cultivate a uniquely Christian learning community that integrates the pursuit of truth with godly character to produce graduates prepared both personally and professionally for service.” I recently sat down with the presidents of each of the colleges and asked them a few questions about their respective areas of ministry and the schools in which they serve.



What are some unique areas of study/ministry that your school has to offer prospective students? Dr. Andrew Denton, Crown College President: We have programs for students seeking to serve God in almost any vocation. These programs include everything from church and next generation ministry to education, nursing, business, and media arts. We also have a significant number of programs for students to study online in various bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Our focus is between both our on-campus and our online programs—we have a passion for both. Both are very important to us in fulfilling our mission. Over the last decade, we’ve really been intentional in partnering with different Alliance organizations and churches around the country to form some unique academic partnerships. Dr. Norman Hall, Simpson University President: We take really seriously this notion of being present to the people and resources at our back door. Simpson offers majors in ministry, education, digital media, engineering, business, and many more. Christian universities need to think about preparing students



to occupy places of influence. People say that a student will leave a university, but they won’t leave a relationship. So, we’re putting significant emphasis and grant dollars in place to focus on getting students plugged into internships in our community going forward so that they will be formed not only by us but the industry that they hope to join. We’re preparing students for majors that allow for what I refer to as “bi-vocational ministry.” I’m confident that the future of ministry is bi-vocational. We’re very deliberate in thinking about providing majors that allow students to grow in their faith, to generate core critical competence, and to live out courageous leadership. I like to say to our students, “If you get pushed out of a plane anywhere in the world, it’s my hope that wherever you land—and you would have a parachute, of course—that wherever you land will be a better place because you’ve prepared to be an influencer at Simpson.” Dr. Robert Myers, Toccoa Falls College President: The college offers 37 undergraduate majors and 40 minors. We also deliver four master’s degree programs as well as online and dual enrollment education. One of

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our unique majors is in sustainable community development. Students select a people group to study while also learning how to grow food and take care of small animals. Their study takes place on a small farm located on the TFC campus. We have graduates of this program working throughout the country. Sustainable community development is one major that is preparing people for knowing Jesus in all the world. The second major we started to reach people for Christ is our nursing major. That has become one of our most popular majors on campus. We have nursing graduates serving throughout the world.

ious churches, organizations, and businesses for these opportunities, and faculty are really intentional to bring in guest lecturers who are currently serving in roles that students one day want to be in, whether that’s in the church or in business or in health care, et cetera. On campus, all of our students have an opportunity to serve in various leadership roles—we have campus chaplains, students lead groups together, they lead Destination Serve trips, and they could help with chapel services—there are many opportunities. Dr. Hall: The Great Commission becomes very real in the collegiate space. Billy Graham said that the next great revival will happen in the workplace. So, what does that mean? That means that we have this duty, on the front edge of the Great Commission, to prepare young people to be effusive in their faith, critically competent, and courageous in their leadership. And that’s why we exist. We want people to be super competent and go out and be the desired person to be hired in their areas of expertise. So, when we’re putting students into internships, we hope they carry a clear sense of how their Christian worldview, catalyzed by their faith, can bring light and life to dark places.

How do you equip your graduates for success in ministry and in the marketplace, and what does that have to do with encouraging leadership? Dr. Denton: Crown really emphasizes hands-on experiences, and those hands-on experiences are built into almost all of our programs through internship opportunities that allow students to gain real-life experiences and put theory into practice. One of the advantages we have is that we’re so close to the Twin Cities that students are able to draw from a wide network of var-

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Dr. Myers: Everything we do related to student success and leadership goes back to our motto, which has not changed since 1907: Developing Godly Character with Intellect. When we say we are all about developing godly character, we mean it. We understand the importance of solid academics. After all, students attend college to learn something, so we make certain that students learn their discipline. However, there is another component of student development that goes beyond just learning your discipline. That component is the development of godly character. When we assist students in developing godly character combined with the knowledge of their discipline, remarkable things take place in the lives of our students. We always spend our time developing godly character with a student’s selected major. We use chapel, classroom activities, Barnabas Groups (specialized spiritual formation groups), special speakers, and a host of other methods to help students explore godly character. In terms of equipping our students, it always circles back to mission. How do you feel like the school engages The Alliance’s All of Jesus for All the World vision? Dr. Denton: Crown plays a significant part in furthering the Kingdom of God by preparing what we call “boldly Christian leaders” for full-time vocational ministry and the marketplace. We believe the students in all of our programs have a call of God on their lives to fulfill the Great Commission, both at home and overseas. We just started a new class called the Great Commission Class, and it’s offered midway through our students’ academic pursuits as they are entering in their major courses and beginning to make plans for internships, graduate school, and their careers. So, we’ve intentionally developed this Great Commission class for that purpose. We believe that the preparation they’re getting helps The Alliance fulfill that vision of All of Jesus for All the World.

four years. Simpson remains committed to serving as the gateway to world service. Dr. Myers: When we say “All of Jesus for All the World,” we are finding that the world is not as open to the message of Jesus as it once was. It’s difficult for missionaries to get into some places. We know, however, that if we can offer assistance and build relationships with people, we have greater opportunities to spread the message of Christ. If you can spend time teaching folks to grow food or provide health care, suddenly people and communities begin to open up to you because they know you care about them. At Toccoa Falls College, we prepare our students to thoroughly understand their discipline while showing the world how much they care about those in need. TO LOOK MORE LIKE JESUS Along with our stateside schools, The Alliance has over 180 theological schools worldwide, hosting almost 19,000 students, in partnership with the Alliance World Fellowship (AWF). Please visit to read more about what God is doing around the globe through AWF. Leadership is not just positional. Truthfully, it has much less to do with hierarchy or power and more to do with heart posture. As believers, the Lord has called each and every one of us to be leaders. If you don’t feel you have influence or that you’re not in a position of agency, may I gently suggest you reassess that notion. Sit before the King of Kings and boldly ask for Him to reshape your view of personal leadership and your spheres of impact. Leadership development is not to be done alone. The partnerships between our programs, schools, and churches are incredible gospel pictures of development, and out of such, we are able to look far more like Jesus. Hannah Castro is a content writer for the Alliance National Office. She has her master of theological studies from Asbury Theological Seminary, and she is passionate about cultivating stories in order to glorify the Lord.

Dr. Hall: Everything we do at Simpson aims to deliver the message of Christ to the world. We are unapologetically evangelical on the field, on the court, in the classroom, and in our dynamic and growing mission trip opportunities. When a student arrives at Simpson University, they will immediately experience a brand of transformational, Christ-centered education focused on growing their faith, mind, and soul. Simpson University’s call to ministry manifests in two distinct ways. The first is to evangelize those who do not yet know Jesus, and the second is to prepare students to go out into ministry and mission. Ideally, the two cross over where someone comes to know Christ at Simpson University and devotes their life to ministry in that same



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CONTINUE LEARNING AT TOCCOA FALLS COLLEGE Pursuing a graduate degree is an investment in your future. Scan the QR code and apply today for one of our five graduate degree programs: • Marriage & Family Therapy • Christian Ministry • Organizational Leadership • Counseling Ministries • Graduate Certificate in Trauma Therapy



MAR/APR 2024

inFocus "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you." —Isaiah 43:1–2

Photograph by Olivia, Alliance Video



Praise the Lord for a new interest in evangelism among local believers. One man works for a food distributer and travels for his job. Every shopkeeper on his route gets to hear about Jesus. In another city, a young believer borrowed the church’s portable sound system and hit the streets with the gospel message. Pray for protection for these dear brothers as our country is not very open to street evangelism. Pray, too, for open hearts to the truth and wisdom for local pastors as they learn how to shepherd these men who are literally the answers to their prayers. —Alliance international workers serving with aXcess

CREATIVE-ACCESS LOCATION In partnership with our church colleagues, our team ministers to young boys who spend much of their day on the streets, where they must beg for food and money. Their families sent them to live with a religious teacher to learn their traditional holy book. Often as young as five, up to 50+ boys live in these schools in crowded conditions. Our congregation finds local teachers who allow the boys from their school to attend our center three times a week; about 55 kids currently come to have breakfast, shower, receive medical care, and play sports—things that normal kids take for granted. We also tell them Bible stories and serve them a hot lunch.

A youth camp last fall drew nearly 570 kids, 85 percent of them first-time campers with some as young as eight. The theme, Rise Up and Walk, encouraged attendees to break off obstacles that were holding them back in life. One young woman testified about her struggles with poverty and growing up as an orphan. Despite many challenges that could have prevented her from pursuing her dreams, Kimbuy refused to allow circumstances to dictate her future. Another girl shared how she wanted to attend the camp since 2018 but couldn’t afford to. She started saving for the next one, but it was canceled due to COVID-19. “I was heartbroken. Now, after four years of waiting, I am finally here!” On the last evening, the students heard a message about hidden sins that can hold people back in life. They were asked to write down any that might be preventing them from moving forward. At the end of the service, about 150 people came forward to drop their notes into a bonfire and ask God to help them “rise up and walk” from their old way of life. We are grateful to the many people who prayed and donated funds so this camp could take place. Pray that participants will continue to move forward into their God-given destinies. —Soeuth and Syna, Alliance international workers serving with aXcess

One way we helped these boys was by giving them new shoes. The day we distributed them, at least half the kids had walked barefooted to our center, and there was much excitement when they learned they would be receiving shoes. As they wander the streets daily, you can imagine the many cuts and wounds that need to be treated, especially on their feet. Pray that these boys will experience Christ’s love through us and that our ministry to them will have lasting impact. —an Alliance international worker serving with aXcess


In Cambodia, nearly 570 children attended the Rise Up and Walk youth camp.


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ALLIANCE FAMILY NEWS From around the block to the ends of the earth TO THE FIELD AFRICA REGIONAL OFFICE Stan D. and Jayne R. Walker and family, in August. The Walkers serve with aXcess and are involved in administration. CÔTE D'IVOIRE Joel T. and Elin M. Bubna, in August. The Bubnas serve with aXcess and are involved with theological education. CONGO SOUTH TEAM John L. and Charlene A. Stirzaker III, in October. The Stirzakers serve with aXcess in media and English-teaching ministries. EL SALVADOR Robert and Shaina Higgins and family, in November. The Higginses are in language study in preparation for serving with CAMA in El Salvador. GABON Christopher L. and Amanda J. Edman and family, in October. The Edmans serve with aXcess and are involved in administration at Bongolo Hospital. GUINEA Joel D. and Barbara A. Griffin and family, in October. The Griffins serve on the Envision Guinea Conakry Team.

Timothy G. Agnello, district missions mobilizer, South Pacific Alliance, Temecula, Calif.

Brian J. Condello, associate pastor of student ministries, Salem (Ore.) Alliance Church

Charles O. Amoh, Alliance Youth special assignment, Ohio Valley District

Robert Batista Cruz, church planter, Gracepoint Comunidad Cristiana, Yonkers, N.Y.

Michael J. Baggett, family pastor, Mosaic Church, Henderson, Nev.

Charles A. Davis III, transitional lead pastor, Ridgeway Alliance Church, White Plains, N.Y.

Donna A. Baptiste, associate pastor, Alliance Tabernacle, Brooklyn, N.Y. Maj. Michael C. Beck, military chaplain, C&MA National Office, Reynoldsburg, Ohio

Lisa A. DeMarco, pastor of worship and outreach, Kairos Church, Kendall Park, N.J. Dominick DiMiele, senior pastor, Glendora (Calif.) Alliance Church

Abigail J. Bergen, director of local engagement, Christ Community Church C&MA, Omaha, Neb.

Loring F. Drouillard, interim pastor, New Day Church, Daly City, Calif.

Eric L. Byers, special assignment: PEAK coach, Alliance Northwest District

Tyler Ellis, special assignment, Alliance Northwest District

Meica B. Campbell, director of multiplication and development, Ohio Valley District Barry N. Card, associate pastor, Redemption Point Alliance Church, McKinney, Tex. Jason K. Cardenosa, pastor, Alive Again Alliance Church of the C&MA, Crosswicks, N.J. Alexander J. Chang, lead pastor, Princeton Alliance Church, Plainsboro, N.J. Rev. Hao-Chun Chang, Chinese ministry pastor, Queens Herald Church C&MA, Fresh Meadows, N.Y. Stephen E. Chapple, associate pastor, City Alliance Church, Williamsport, Pa.


Seong H. Cho, military chaplain– U.S. Air Force Reserves, first lieutenant

Aaron R. Andrews, campus pastor, Riverside Church, Sauk Rapids, Minn.

Patrick C. Chow, pastor, nonAlliance ministry, Central Pacific District

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Jeru C. Francia, part-time institutional chaplain, Alliance South Central Joseph M. Gerhart, pastor, Karthaus (Pa.), Community C&MA Church Dannah Gresh, special assignment, Eastern Pennsylvania District Calvin A. Guillory Jr., pastor, Agape of the Valley Ministries of the C&MA, Bakersfield, Calif. Boyd A. Hannold, special assignment, Metropolitan District Darea N. Hastie, pastor of family ministries, Long Hill Chapel C&MA, Chatham, N.J. Kevin A. Hercula, interim pastor, North Central District Nathan G. Hill, associate pastor of discipleship/ congregational care, Lockport (N.Y.) Alliance Church

ministry, First Alliance Church, Lexington, Ky. Goitom G. Mezghebo, special assignment, Mid-Atlantic District William G. Miller, special assignment, Eastern Pennsylvania District Emily A. Mitchell, other ministry, Alliance South Central


Daniel R. Mitchell, other ministry, Alliance South Central


Paul T. Moffett, special assignment, Link NW, Alliance Northwest District Alicia J. Moroney, assistant pastor, Cranford (N.J.) Alliance Church


Col. Kurt A. Mueller, military chaplain, Army National Guard John H. Nguyen, local church ministry, Living Word Community Church, San Jose, Calif. Chad L. Oberholtzer, interim pastor, Pine Glen C&MA Church, Lewistown, Pa.

Monserrate Pabon, pastor, Iglesia ACyM, Aibonito, P.R. Keone W. Pang, senior pastor, Los Angeles Chinese Alliance, Alhambra, Calif. Isaac A. Howe, associate pastor, Beartown Road Alliance Church, Painted Post, N.Y. Adam G. Just, executive pastor of ministry, Westgate Chapel, Toledo, Ohio Todd A. King, pastor, Swiftwater Church, Cle Elum, Wash. Dawie J. Koekemoer, pastor of community groups, Princeton Alliance Church, Plainsboro, N.J.

Feng Li, non-Alliance assignment, Metropolitan District Kalle P. Limit, pastor, New Life Church, Woodland Hills, Calif. Kyungmook Lim, pastor, Korean District Peter Lung, lead pastor of English congregation, Long Island Alliance Church, Dix Hills, N.Y. Rick W. Maddox, associate pastor, Galion (Ohio) Alliance Church

Kevin R. Kutcel, outreach and missions coordinator, Hope Church of the C&MA, Brunswick, Ohio

Franklin G. Mariscal, pastor, Iglesia ACM de Nutley (N.J.)

Joseph W. LaGrou, pastor, Naukati Bay Alliance Church, Prince of Wales Island, Alaska

Aimee McGrath, pastor of special needs, Salem (Ore.) Alliance Church

Richard W. Larson, associate pastor, ABC Waco (Tex.)

Kendall T. McKee, pastor of college & emerging leaders

Peter Mayhew, associate pastor, Gateway Church, Elk River, Minn.



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J. T. Perkins Jr., acting lead pastor, Sojourn Community Church of the C&MA, Egg Harbor City, N.J. Sarah E. Polera, minister for administration and community relations, Bedford Community Church, Bedford Hills, N.Y. Douglas C. Reis, non-Alliance assignment pastor, Metropolitan District Capt. Scott E. Riggenbach, military chaplain, Civil Air Patrol, Midwest District Milton J. Ruiz, local church ministry, Iglesia Alianza El Shaddai, New Britain, Conn. Philip S. San, assistant pastor, Norwalk (Calif.) Cambodian Evangelical Church Kendra L. Sankovich, executive pastor, LEAD Community Church, Toledo, Ohio

Southwest Florida Retirement Living Resort Amenities | State-of-the-art Health Care Joseph J. Saxton, associate pastor, Lighthouse Alliance Church of C&MA, Little Egg Harbor, N.J. John R. Schluchter, executive pastor, Relevant Community Church, Elkhorn, Neb. Reatha M. Searing, other ministry, Alliance South Central Heather E. Smith, pastor of communications and connections, First Alliance Church, Lexington, Ky. James A. Souza, youth pastor, Stow (Ohio) Alliance Fellowship Landon A. Stuart, pastor, Calvary Alliance Church, Cincinnati, Ohio Peter P. Teng, special assignment, Metropolitan District David J. Trainer, special assignment, Ohio Valley District Ashley A. Tringale, executive pastor, Risen King Alliance Church, New City, N.Y. Kimberly A. Valenzuela, district personnel, Metropolitan District Sharon VanVlymen, pastor, Fairhaven Church, Dayton, Ohio Wanda F. Walborn, special assignment, Metropolitan District Larry L. Walker, chaplain, Grace Without Borders Ministries, North Central District Craig B. Walter, executive director of ministry support, Christ Community Church C&MA, Omaha, Neb.

Vibrant Faithful Joyful Living Fulfilled Artful Healthy Join the C&MA Family for Your Retirement At Shell Point,® you’ll enjoy a fulfilling lifestyle where you can explore, worship, learn, grow and even continue to serve. And with new additions to our campus, like Tribby Arts Center, a sparkling centerpiece for the arts, and the state-of-the-art Larsen Health Center, you can rest on a firm foundation, knowing that your needs will be taken care of – both now and in the future. VISIT US ONLINE AT WWW.SHELLPOINT.ORG

Michael D. Wedman, special assignment, pastor at New Community Church, Alliance Northwest District Jessica R. Wolske, associate pastor of discipleship, Trinity Alliance Church, Redding, Calif.

MAR/APR 2024




Unparalleled setting. Unparalleled lifestyle.™ Shell Point is located in Fort Myers, Florida, just minutes from the islands of Sanibel and Captiva.

Shell Point is a nonprofit ministry of The Christian and Missionary Alliance Foundation, Inc. ©2021 Shell Point. All rights reserved. SLS-4424-21

Julia G. Ri Wong, executive minister, Queens Christian Alliance Church, Flushing, N.Y. Kwang Su Won, senior pastor, Charleston Truth Alliance Church, Ladson, S.C. Keng Yang, assistant pastor, First Hmong Alliance, Olathe, Kans. Lisa S. Yeung, associate pastor of Chinese ministry, Grace Chinese Alliance Church, Brooklyn, N.Y.

NEW CHURCHES Honolulu, Hawaii, Honolulu Harvest Chinese Christian Alliance Church, 2313 Nuuanu Ave., 96817 Elizabeth, N.J., Awaken Community Church, PO Box 937, 07208 Elk River, Minn., MorningStar Family, 12890 Orono Rd., 55330 La Mesa, Calif., Garden City Church, 5045 Memorial Dr., 91942 Stratford, N.J., Christ the King Fellowship, 206 Wykagyl Rd., 08084

NEW WORKERS Samantha L. Aupperlee, ministry associate, Living Christ Church C&MA, Nyack, N.Y. Jeffrey Bower, worship and groups pastor, Life Community Church, Paso Robles, Calif. Thomas R. Brink, pastor, Mahaffey (Pa.) C&MA Church Roy L. Calvin III, church planter, Alliance South Central Bokkun Chang, associate pastor, The Little Flock Church of New York, Woodside, N.Y. Jin Yeon Choi, pastor, Mizpah Church, Lakewood, Wash. Amy R. Cox, connections pastor, That Neighborhood Church, Toledo, Ohio William Darder Figueroa, assistant pastor, ACM Villa Carolina (P.R.) Grace E. Deas, cross-cultural outreach resident, Great

Commission Community Church, Arlington, Va. Daniel P. Deas II, cross-cultural outreach resident, Great Commission Community Church, Arlington, Va.

Agapito Orozco-Moreyra, pastor, Iglesia Alianza Cristo Viene, Murray, Utah Angelo Palma, youth pastor, Living Springs Christian Fellowship of the C&MA, Freehold, N.J.

Jason D. Folkerts, associate pastor, Parkside Church of the C&MA, Waconia, Minn.

Colten R. Pausch, youth ministry director, River Rock Church of the C&MA, Belle Plaine, Minn.

Samuel Fuentes Torres, assistant pastor, ACM Villa Carolina (P.R.)

Nathan Pharr, missions candidate in residence, Renovation Church, Bartlett, Ill.

Audrey Gilmore, middle school director, Eagle Church, Whitestown, Ind. Seth J. Grunder, student ministries pastor, Movement Church, Port Charlotte, Fla. Robert S. Guidry, assistant pastor, Perrysburg (Ohio) Alliance Church Matthew C. Hall, pastor, Community Alliance Church, Richmond, Calif. Ryan G. Heinsch, college personnel, Crown College, St. Bonifacius, Minn. Jennifer L. Hietbrink, city group and outreach director, Citylight South Lincoln (Neb.) Church Kyle R. Jones, associate pastor, Bethel Community Church, Hamilton, Ohio Eun Jung, associate pastor, Manhattan Mission Church, New York, N.Y.

Jana J. Pharr, missions candidate in residence, Renovation Church, Bartlett, Ill. Sean Platt, discipleship pastor, Glenview C&MA Church, Glen Rock, Pa. Julie Ratiani, associate pastor, Shiloh Neighborhood Church, Santa Rosa, Calif. Gaddiel Rivera Agosto, pastor, Casa de Esperanza ACM, Ponce, P.R. Frederick A. Rivera Galindo, administrative pastor, ACM Villa Carolina (P.R.) Jose L. Rodriguez, assistant pastor, Nueva Vida of The Christian and Missionary Alliance, San Jose, Calif. Keith Sietstra, pastor, Hood River (Ore.) Alliance Church Siyi Song, pastor, Olive Tree Campus Church, Ann Arbor, Mich.

Sin Kiu Lam, outreach pastor, Living Grace Alliance Church of the C&MA, West Covina, Calif.

Maria Sonntag, director of counseling, Lighthouse Church, Courthouse, N.J.

Lindsay Lambert, early childhood director, The Grove Community Church, Riverside, Calif.

Hailee M. Swanson, student ministries director, Word of Life Alliance Church, Coon Rapids, Minn.

Jerry Lao, pastor, Risen Hope, Elk Grove, Calif.

James Thornton, special assignment, Great Lakes District

Jason Lee, associate pastor, Kairos Church, Kendall Park, N.J.

Trinh Q. Van, pastor/church planter, Garden Grove Church Plant, Santa Ana, Calif.

Pui Sze Lee, associate pastor, San Francisco (Calif.) Chinese Alliance Church Michelle Makela-Belo, adult discipleship director, All Souls Community Church, Suffern, N.Y.



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Dan Wheelon, worship director, Lighthouse Christian Center, Puyallup, Wash. Robert C. Yang, assistant pastor, Risen Hope, Elk Grove, Calif.


choral groups. Later in life, she sang with the Jubilate Chorale near her community in Mansfield, Mass.

Kalen Forrest Thrane, November 7, 2023, North Central District, St. Bonifacius, Minn. Kalen is an international worker serving with aXcess who is currently on home assignment. He is scheduled to return to the field in July 2024 and will serve on the Senegal Dakar church-planting team.

Carolyn was profoundly changed by the birth of her second daughter, Cindy, who was severely challenged both mentally and physically. Carolyn carried the pain of her heartbreak over Cindy in her mother’s heart all throughout her life. Despite this adversity, Carolyn greatly impacted many lives through her joyful, loving nature. She died at the age of 82 and is now free of a body broken by Parkinson’s disease.

Zachary “Zach” Reed Kenyon, December 17, 2023, Real Life Church, Bigfork Mont. Zach is the lead pastor.

Carolyn was predeceased by her husband; she is survived by children Candy, Cindy, Karen, and Richard Dean; 12 grandchildren; and 3 great-grandchildren.

RETIRED Clifford V. Bowman, South Pacific Alliance Joy E. Corby, Eastern Pennsylvania District

Richard William Colenso October 7, 1930–September 24, 2023

Janet L. Dale, Metropolitan District Steven P. Dangaran, Alliance Northwest District

Richard was born in in Saint Paul, Minn. On May 19, 1950, he married Louise, with whom he enjoyed 70 years of marriage. Richard received his BA in Bible/theology from Crown College in St. Bonifacius, Minn., and his MA in church administration from California Graduate School of Ministry. Richard also studied at Fuller Theological Seminary in Calif. (1974– 1975), the University of Wisconsin (1967–1968), and Bemidji (Minn.) State University (1960–1963).

Phyllis J. Fitzwater, The Alliance Southeast Thomas Franklin, North Central District Alan B. Hennis, The Alliance Midwest District Jamey B. Liston, The Alliance South Nhiako K. Lor, Hmong District Michael D. Megary, Mid-Atlantic District Terry L. Morrow, South Pacific Alliance Jeffery A. Norris, Central District

During his 40 years of C&MA ministry, Richard worked in a variety of roles. For 13 years, he served in four pastorates. He and Louise were also missionaries among Native Americans (1958–1965). Richard worked for seven years at the National Office in Nyack, N.Y., before serving on special assignment at nonprofit organizations in the Pacific Northwest. He then served for four years as district superintendent in the Alliance Northwest District. After retirement, he continued to serve as an interim pastor.

Glen M. Shellrude, Metropolitan District Kheang Svay, Alliance New England Michael E. Wood, North Central District

WITH THE LORD Carolyn Josephine (Weiss) Bush July 13, 1941−September 15, 2023

Richard was predeceased by his wife; he is survived by son David; 11 grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren.

Born in Kansas City, Mo., Carolyn met her husband, Richard Bush, on a blind date during high school. They married on June 13, 1961, and served together with the C&MA for 58 years. Carolyn supported their ministry through her gift of hospitality. She was also involved in children’s ministries and mentoring young mothers. Among Carolyn’s many talents was the crafting of words. This included writing articles for Alliance Life, working as a correspondence editor at Focus on the Family, and assisting in writing and editing the C&MA’s history. In addition, she edited and ghost-wrote a variety of written works with ministry colleagues.

Douglas “Doug” L. Grogan May 21, 1949–October 11, 2023 Doug was born in Denver, Colo., and served in the U.S. Air Force (1969–1972). On March 20, 1970, he married Peggy Graham. Doug graduated from Simpson College (now Simpson University, Redding, Calif.) with a BA in biblical studies. He earned his MA and PhD in communications from the University of Hawaii. During 49 years of C&MA ministry, Doug served in a variety of roles. In addition to being the founding pastor of Kailua (Hawaii) Community Church, he pastored churches in Lafayette, Calif. (1974–1975); Price, Utah (1984-1993); Anchorage, Alaska

Prior to meeting Richard, Carolyn expressed her love of music through her violin playing and singing in the “Back to the Bible Broadcast” trio and youth choir. She also participated in many church choirs and community

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(1993–1994); Ottumwa, Iowa (2003–2008); and Gypsum, Colo. (2008–2010). Doug was also a police chaplain in Honolulu, Hawaii (1978–1984); and Price, Utah (1985–1993). He later served as the churchplanting director in the MidAmerica District (1994– 1998) and was also the district superintendent (1998–2002, 2009–2010, and 2012–2015). While a member of the C&MA Board of Directors, Doug served for four years as the vice chairman.

During 36 years of C&MA ministry, Florine served with Paul as an international worker in Guinea, West Africa. She also taught Bible, literacy, English, and music. Florine was an accomplished seamstress, baker, and pianist and was fluent in three languages. She managed a guesthouse and entertained many visitors over the years.

Doug is survived by his wife; daughters Melissa and Michelle; and 4 grandchildren.

Florine is survived by her husband; children Keith, Sandie, and Karyn; 13 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren. John Schultz July 3, 1930–November 6, 2023

Lynne (Graham, Shane) Adams July 7, 1925–October 27, 2023

John was born in Holland and grew up under Nazi occupation. He lived an adventurous life that included watching his family hide Jews who were fleeing from the Nazis. Once, John’s father, who helped Corrie Ten Boom’s family smuggle ration cards to Jews, knocked on Corrie’s door to see a Nazi’s rifle pointed at him. He survived unscathed by faking a coughing fit that allowed him to flush the incriminating evidence he carried down the toilet.

Born in Okeene, Okla., Lynne was the daughter of Lynn England, a C&MA pastor. She attended St. Paul Bible College (now Crown College, St. Bonifacius, Minn.) and served in C&MA ministry for 38 years. On June 3, 1943, Lynne married Robert “Bob” Graham, who was a pastor in El Cajon, Calif. While there, she took up women’s volley tennis at the local gym and led several of her team members to Christ. Bob and Lynne ministered together throughout California until Bob’s untimely death in 1988.

John attended the Brussels Bible Institute in Belgium, where he met Janine—the only girl in the school. They married on September 7, 1958. Three months later, they embarked on a cargo ship to Irian Jaya (now Papua, Indonesia), where they served as C&MA international workers for 38 years. While on the mission field, John and Janine started two Bible schools and provided medical care to locals. They also endured some harrowing times. When Indonesian soldiers raided their village, the Schultzes’ home was seized. When they were allowed to return, few of the couple’s belongings were left. That evening, the family gathered there to pray. The moment the prayers finished, there was a knock at the door; a man stood outside with most of their belongings.

On May 7, 1989, Lynne married Robert “Bob” Shane, who died in March 2002. After suffering this loss, Lynne moved to Florida, where she caught the eye of Bob Adams, a retired widower and former C&MA missionary to Africa. He had been lonely after his wife’s passing and believed the Lord wanted him to remarry. With the blessing of both their families, Lynne and Bob married on November 4, 2003. They lived happily in Winter Garden, Fla., and eventually moved to Auburndale. Not long after their move, Bob’s health declined, and he died in February 2015. Despite enduring great loss throughout her adult life, Lynne faced these adversities with a strength that inspired all who knew her. A true prayer warrior, she was always willing to pray for anyone in need.

During retirement, John wrote Bible commentaries, mentored college students and youth pastors, and cared for his family. You can visit to read John’s work.

In addition to her three husbands, Lynne was predeceased by her son, Robert, who was a pastor; she is survived by daughters Peggy and Joy; 3 grandchildren; and 6 great-grandchildren.

John is survived by his wife; children Ruth Anne, Jean Paul, Michel Andre, and Viviane; 17 grandchildren; 37 great-grandchildren; and 1 great-great-grandchild.

Florine Audrey Donelson Ellenberger November 6, 1925–November 6, 2023

Bernice Hazel (Dale) Swain December 15, 1927–November 7, 2023

Florine was born in Frewsburg, N.Y. She received a bachelor in music education from Houghton (N.Y.) College. There she met her husband, Paul Richard Ellenberger. They married on August 26, 1950, and enjoyed 73 years together. The couple also pursued advanced studies at Nyack (N.Y.) College and in Switzerland.

Bernice was born in Whiteside County, Ill. On November 10, 1948, she married Kenneth A. Swain Jr. in East Grove, Ill. Bernice attended Crown College in St. Bonifacius, Minn. (1945–1946), and Grace College of the Bible in Omaha, Neb. (now Grace University).


For 18 years, Bernice and Kenneth were international workers in Vietnam. They later served pastorates in


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Thomas “Tom” Richard Rowett March 19, 1932−November 23, 2023

Princeton, Neb.; Colorado Springs, Colo; and Bellevue, Neb. For 12 years, the couple ministered to Dega refugees from Vietnam in North Carolina.

Born in Nanticoke, Pa., Tom committed his life to Jesus at a church-operated summer camp near Mill City, Pa. He graduated from Nyack (N.Y.) College, where he met his wife, Laura Jeanette Moler.

Bernice was predeceased by her husband; she is survived by children Kanbi, Kenneth, and Kevin; and 10 grandchildren.

During 48+ years of C&MA ministry, Tom pastored churches in Kitanning (1957–1961), Connellsville (1961–1964), Sterrettania (1964–1969), Erie (1967–1969) and Meridian, Pa. (1969–1973); Charlottesville, Va. (1973–1977); and Greensboro, N.C. (1977–1982), where he oversaw the construction of a new church building and the relocation of his congregation from their former downtown campus. There, he succeeded in having Guilford County rename the road on which the new campus was located to Alliance Church Road. Tom then pastored in Aliquippa (1982–1989) and Sharon, Pa. (1989–1997), and served as chaplain at Chapel Pointe retirement community in Carlisle, Pa. (1997–2005). Following retirement from full-time ministry, he occasionally preached at area churches whose pastors were absent.

Donna Colleen Clason January 1, 1933–November 17, 2023 Born in Chehalis, Wash., Donna committed her life to Christ at Canby Grove Camp (Canby, Ore.). She attended Simpson Bible Institute (now Simpson University, Redding, Calif.) and graduated from Missouri Southern University in Joplin with a bachelor of science in elementary education. On August 25, 1951, she married Ron Clason. The couple’s love story spanned 72 years. During 43+ years of C&MA ministry, Donna served alongside her husband in pastorates in Bloomfield, Mont. (1955–1956); Granite Falls, Wash. (1957–1961); Roseburg, Ore. (1961–1966); Cody and Greybull, Wyo. (1966–1968); Joplin, Mo. (1968–1973); Hibbing (1973– 1980) and Northfield, Minn. (1980–1990); and OwenWithee, Wis. (1990–1999). In her role as a pastor’s wife, she embraced being a homemaker, was a Sunday school teacher, and served in women’s ministries. Donna was also an administrator and teacher at Alliance Christian School in Owen-Withee (1991–1999). After 20 years of shaping young minds, she retired in 1999.

Tom is survived by his wife; children Dale Thomas and Cynthia; and his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Raymond Benjamin “Ben” Karcesky June 23, 1929–November 28, 2023 Born in Fayette City, Pa., Ben came to Christ at the age of 20 and attended the Missionary Training Institute in Nyack, N.Y. (1951–1954). In June 1954, he married Ruth Shirley Goldie.

Donna is survived by her husband; children Gordon, Philip Alan, Carolyn, and Stephen; 7 grandchildren; and 16 great-grandchildren.

During 62 years of C&MA ministry, Ben was a pastor in Kingfisher, Okla. (1954–1956), and a missionary to Irian Jaya, (now Papua, Indonesia), where he and Ruth served for 39 years among a previously unknown tribe in the interior of Papua. Whether planting churches, building homes, providing dental care, or teaching literacy, Ben was known for his faithfulness in living out his love for Christ. After he and Ruth retired from the mission field in 1995, Ben served as an interim pastor and then as a senior pastor in Waxhaw, N.C. (1995–2012).

Clela Annetta Ballard September 6, 1942–November 22, 2023 Born in Lycoming County, Pa., Clela was the daughter of Franklin Madison and Lura Evelyn McGarvey Ballard. She attended Nyack (N.Y.) College (1960−1962) and received a BS in nursing from Fort Wayne (Ind.) Bible College. During 18 years of C&MA ministry, Clela was a missionary nurse in West Africa. She later served as a nurse for Milliken in Martin, Ga. Clela passed away at the age of 81 at Pruitt Health in Toccoa, Ga.

Ben was predeceased by his wife; he is survived by children Lydia, Naomi, Benjamin, and Nathan; 9 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.

Clela is survived by her niece, Ginny; nephews Steven, Wayne, Kenny, Jerry, and Allan; and her sister-in-law, Carolyn.


MAR/APR 2024

The obituary for Logan “Rick” Richter, which was published in the January/February 2024 issue, contains an error. The congregation he pastored in Virginia was in Richmond, not Glen Allen. We apologize for the error.



A SENIOR’S APPRECIATION by Samuel L. Warren Adapted from an article originally published in The Nyack Echo written by a senior of the class of 1930.


he dear old Hillside shall always hold happy memories for me. Three years ago, at this time, I did not fully realize just how one would feel when he was about to leave this hallowed place, where so many spiritual battles have been fought and victories won, although I heard one say, as we listened to the “kitchen crew” sing heartily before eating their lunch, “We shall never know how much we appreciate Nyack until we leave it.” Places are always marked as sacred if God has been met there. Here we have met the Savior face-to-face, seen Him transfigured on this beautiful mountainside. And, of course, we would build tabernacles here. Coming out of every rank and file of life, raw recruits some of us, soon we were taught the meaning of the chorus, which is sung when there is a lack of originality in the dining room, “Trust and obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” Nyack is unique in that growth in grace, scholarship, missionary aspirations, and means of expressing the heart’s desire in service can be so greatly realized. One could not write an appreciation of the Missionary Training Institute without mentioning the exalted position that each of our teachers holds in our heart. They



have been the means in the Master’s hand to mold us and direct us into channels of usefulness. We shall always cherish the highest regard for their counsel and help. The friendships which have been made are sweet and lasting because the precious Holy Spirit has knit our hearts in His own peculiar way. The recreations, fellowship suppers, social gatherings, and the times of glorious victory, and blessings as we have met together around the Throne of Grace shall never be forgotten. The following words were written by a classmate in my album: “Blessed be the tie that binds Our hearts in Christian love; The fellowship of kindred minds Is like to that above. Before our Father’s Throne, We pour our ardent prayers Our fears, our hopes, our aims are one, Our comforts, and our cares. When we asunder part, It gives us inward pain, But we shall still be joined in heart And hope to meet again.”

MAR/APR 2024


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