One Accord | July/August 2024

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Feast of Tabernacles

7 Keys to Having the Best Feast Ever

Feast of Tabernacles

Second Tithe and the Feast

Foundation Institute Perspectives

FI Class of 2024 Graduation July/August

personal from the president Summer Camps

SSummer has truly arrived here in North Texas. Temperatures are in the 90s, and humidity is high, making the temperature feel as though it is over 100. Of course, it won’t be long before the actual temperature will be over 100. That is simply the way it works here in Texas, as well as in other parts of the country.

The coming of summer means the beginning of youth camps for the Church. These will be our primary activities between now and the Feast of Tabernacles. By the time we get to the winter camp in December, there will have been a total of 10 youth camps, involving approximately 1,000 members (campers and staff). This means one out of every five people attending services with COGWA will be involved with our youth camps this year.

Each year we receive a number of letters and emails from individuals telling us what a difference going to camp made in the life of their teens or preteens. While we can’t expect a week at camp to turn every youth away from following a destructive course of life, every year we hear of cases where this has indeed occurred. From our perspective, we are excited and very happy to be able to provide a camp experience for all our youth. This is why we hold camps—to impact the lives of our youth in a positive way.

Youth camps and the Church of God have a long history. It was in the 1960s that the Radio Church of God (which changed its name to Worldwide Church of God in 1968) established its first summer camp for youth. For approximately 30 years, the Worldwide Church of God held a summer camp in Orr, Minnesota, which was highly effective and highly organized. Hundreds of campers attended the camp in Orr each year.

In the mid-1990s, the Church made the decision to move away from using one central camp and instead use regional camps. This change was driven by a number of reasons, but the primary one was the loss of access to the one premier camp in Minnesota.

So, for almost 30 years (1995 to 2024), we have successfully managed and organized regional

camps. We have a number of men who put together the successful regional programs. In the early years, Larry Greider (now one of our retired ministers) and his wife, Bonnie, oversaw these camps. Under Mr. Greider’s guidance, the regional model proved highly effective.

In recent years, Ken Treybig and his wife, Kathy, have provided the guidance and oversight for the program. We have tweaked the regional model since we began, but it is still the basic framework for all our youth camps. We are truly indebted to the ministers, volunteers and parents who have given so much time each summer for the camp program.

Consider the words of the apostle Paul when it comes to our children: “For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband; otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy” (1 Corinthians 7:14, emphasis added).

Since our children are holy, it behooves us as a church to do everything we can to assist parents in their development. And COGWA Youth Camps form the primary program for that development.

Please pray for our camps this summer and especially for the safety of all those who will participate. We have been extremely blessed over the past 30 years when it comes to safety. Our camp directors are diligent to maintain a safe program for our young people, and we appreciate their efforts. Our youth are important, and as summer arrives, we will commit the resources to make it a wonderful experience for each and every young person in the Church.

OneAccord Contents

July/August 2024


© 2024 Church of God, a Worldwide Association, Inc.

All rights reserved.

Ministerial Board of Directors: David Baker, Arnold Hampton, Joel Meeker (chairman), Larry Salyer, Richard Thompson, Leon Walker and Lyle Welty

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Doctrinal reviewers: Neil Hart, Steve Moody, Frank Pierce

One Accord is published bimonthly online at members. by the Church of God, a Worldwide Association, Inc.

All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version (© 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.). Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Feast of Tabernacles 7 Keys to Having the Best Feast Ever Feast of Tabernacles Second Tithe and the Feast Foundation Institute Perspectives FI Class of 2024 Graduation

High School Graduates Class of 2024

College Graduates Class of 2024

Church Potluck Announcements

This year will be my 72nd Feast of Tabernacles. I have had a lot of fantastic Feasts, and I have had a few that weren’t so fantastic. What separates a good Feast from a “best Feast ever”?

Every year we hear people say, “This was the best Feast ever!” Have you ever stopped to ask yourself what constitutes a “best Feast”? What can you do to make this Feast truly your best Feast ever?

Several factors go into a “best Feast ever”—some that start even before the Feast begins. Let’s look at them.

1. Go for the right reason

An important key to having a “best Feast ever” starts before the Feast begins. It involves being sure we are going for the right reason.

For instance, some pick a Feast site based on what attractions it has and how it can contribute to their pleasure. While the site can contribute to our enjoyment, it plays a minor part in whether or not we have the best Feast ever.

Keys to Having the Best Feast Ever 7

We keep the Feast, first and foremost, because God commands it (Leviticus 23:39-43). It is a major part of learning about the plan of God. He wants us to learn about our future as sons and daughters of God for all eternity.

A second reason we keep the Feast of Tabernacles is to learn more deeply how to fear and to stand in awe of our great Eternal God (Deuteronomy 14:23). We spend time worshipping the great God with brethren from around the world.

A third reason we keep the Feast of Tabernacles is to learn how to properly rejoice before God (Deuteronomy 16:13-14). We do that by participating in every aspect of the Feast.

2. Plan to give a great Feast to others

The second key to having a “best Feast ever” is to plan, in advance, to give a great Feast to others. When we make the Feast special for others, we make it special for ourselves as well.

One way we can give a great Feast is by thinking of our own family. The Feast is about family—our individual families and the family of God. We should help our

family members learn why we keep it and how to rejoice. We can do this by planning activities with the whole family in mind. We can let our children choose what to do sometimes.

A second way to give a good Feast is by serving at the Feast. Every year we have more opportunities for service than we have volunteers. When we serve, we make the Feast run better and learn to serve our God and His family.

There are opportunities to serve for all ages and stages. By serving at the Feast, teens and children learn that it is not just their parents’ Feast, it is their Feast too, and they can have a part in making it great.

As I look back at past Feasts, I remember how I began serving. I helped in the kitchen, serving a pat of butter to each person. As I got older, I graduated to pouring coffee, chasing skunks out of the bathhouses, and then (as a high school senior) serving as telephone operator to provide after-hours information and registration. I felt that I was helping make the Feast better. Serving others made me feel like this was my Church, not merely my mom’s Church.

Encourage your children to get a head start and start serving at the Feast. Even small children can help—by picking up around their area after services, helping greet people at the door or bringing flowers to give to elderly ladies. The Feast pictures the Kingdom of God—a time we are going to be very busy serving. Let’s start serving now!

3. Faithfully save and budget second tithe God tells us to save our second tithe in order to rejoice before Him. To have a “best Feast ever,” we also need to budget our second tithe. Nothing can dampen a Feast like having “more Feast at the end of your money.”

Every year we have people who need assistance before the Feast ends. By carefully planning, you can prevent this from happening and even have enough funds to share a meal or snack with less fortunate members. And that will help you accomplish the next key to having a “best Feast ever.”

4. Make new friends

Aim to get acquainted with a new person or family each day. The Feast is a family reunion—the family reunion of God’s family. Too many times we go to the Feast and spend all our time with others from our own congregation. While it’s nice to spend some time with them, why not spread yourself around? Get to know and make friends with members of God’s family that you don’t know or don’t know well. Perhaps share a meal or an outing to some natural attraction in the area. You can stay connected by email or Facebook during the coming year.

While you are making new friends, don’t forget the fatherless and the widows. Many times they have few opportunities to participate in activities, share a meal with others, or just visit and get acquainted. Look for them and introduce yourself to them. Invite them to accompany your family to an activity or to lunch. Most of them will be grateful to be part of a family at the Feast. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Most Feast sites have free or almost free things to do. You might just make someone else’s “best Feast ever” by remembering and including them.

5. Stay healthy

Every Feast quite a few people get sick. Sometimes it is from loss of sleep; sometimes it is eating too much rich food; sometimes it is a lack of exercise; sometimes it is just a “bug” that is going around. Whatever the case, do your best to stay healthy at the Feast.

Be sure to get your rest. It can be tempting to stay up later than normal, but watch the clock in the evening and be sure to head home at a reasonable hour. This will help everyone in your party to get their rest.

If you do get sick, please stay home from services. (In most cases you can watch a Feast sermon on COGWA TV.) Be considerate of others. Don’t expose others to sickness.

6. Go to services

But if we aren’t sick, we should resolve to do our best to attend every service. It is hard for me to understand, but some people go to the Feast site and then stay in their room or condo and listen to messages from various sites— and think they are obeying God’s command.

But hearing services is only one part of keeping the Feast of Tabernacles. Sitting in an audience with others helps us to stay focused and show God honor and respect (reverence). Follow the scriptures in your Bible and write down the important points. If your kids see you paying attention, they will be more likely to pay attention as well. After services, talk about the messages and what you learned.

7. Make the Feast a turning point

The final key to making this a “best Feast ever” is to resolve to make the Feast of Tabernacles 2024 a changing point in your life. Try to keep the excitement and anticipation alive in your life for the coming year.

The Feast of Tabernacles is a highlight of the year for God’s people. Endeavor to use the Feast and the messages as a kick start, propelling you forward toward the Kingdom of God. Use this Feast to refresh your focus and reignite your enthusiasm for God’s Kingdom.

As the Feast of Tabernacles approaches, let’s all resolve to make this Feast our best Feast ever! OA

Second Tithe and the Feast

Those of us who have been in the Church for many years understand the importance of tithing. We know that first tithe is to be used to do God’s work in the Church.

But second tithe, as we know, is something different. It is an additional tithe saved for use in observing God’s holy days. It is also called the Festival tithe and is talked about in Deuteronomy 14:22-26:

“You shall truly tithe all the increase of your grain that the field produces year by year. And you shall eat before the Lord your God, in the place where He chooses to make His name abide, the tithe of your grain and your new wine and your oil, of the firstborn of your herds and your flocks, that you may learn to fear the Lord your God always . . . And you shall spend that money for whatever your heart desires . and you shall rejoice, you and your household” (emphasis added).

Wow! I can use it for “whatever my heart desires.” There are a lot of things that I want that I normally can’t get throughout the year, so this is great!

But wait a minute. Is that really what God is talking about? Is that the proper use for second tithe?

Second tithe is for expenses related to observing the festivals, especially the Feast of Tabernacles. It is how we pay for our travel, lodging and food expenses for the

Feast. It’s important that we budget our tithe to be able to take care of these needs.

Help others rejoice

But many of us will have more than is needed for the essentials. So would God be pleased with us if we spent all of our remaining second tithe on ourselves— spending money on things that really aren’t connected with the Feast?

How should we use second tithe to ensure that we please and honor God? God wants us to enjoy the physical abundance He provides at the Feast as we worship Him and learn to reverence and fear Him. Yes, He wants us to rejoice, but He also wants us to help others rejoice.

Look for ways to contribute to someone else’s Feast— especially those who don’t have a lot of second tithe. Some ideas: Take them out to lunch or dinner. Buy quiet toys for children. Give someone a new notebook or Bible. Buying gifts for family or friends who may be struggling can be a big help and greatly appreciated.

Excess 2T and “tithe of the tithe”

If you know you will have extra Festival tithe, you can also contribute to the Church’s Festival assistance fund. In addition, a practice was established long ago of giving a tenth of our second tithe—a “tithe of the tithe”— to the Church to pay for expenses incurred in hosting the Feast, such as paying for the hall, audio and video equipment, decorations, activities, etc.

(You may include excess 2T and the tithe of the tithe with your regular tithes and offerings if you wish—just be sure to indicate how much you are designating for these funds.)

God wants His people to enjoy the physical abundance He provides at the Feast as we worship Him and learn to fear and reverence Him. May you all have a wonderful Feast of Tabernacles this year. OA

Finding Your Festival Funds

Every year millions of people charge Christmas gifts to their credit cards and end up paying the balance over many months. This is not what we should face after celebrating God’s Feast days. God has instructed us to keep a Festival tithe to take care of expenses associated with the Feast.

However, sometimes we can’t meet our Feast expenses due to a job loss, sickness, retirement or many other situations. Thanks to the generous contributions of many members, the Church is able to provide modest financial aid to those who have faithfully saved their Festival tithe but still do not have enough funds.

If we anticipate difficulty in making ends meet—or simply want to have some extra funds to make it less tight—there are things we can do. We can enjoy a wonderful Feast if we carefully budget our funds, use the time before the Feast to “find” some extra money, and (most importantly) ask God for His guidance and blessing on our efforts.

Here are a few ideas for different people:

Retired members

• Part-time, temp or remote work in your field of expertise.

• Household chores like gardening, cooking or babysitting.

• Tutoring.

• Selling handmade items (knitting, woodworking or other craft).

Teens or young adults

• Pet sitting or dog walking.

• Lawn care.

• Freelancing in graphic design, writing, coding, etc.

• Part-time retail or food service jobs.

• Tutoring peers or younger students.

• Babysitting.

• Reselling products online.

• Tech assistance.


• Lemonade stands or bake sales.

• Pet sitting or dog walking.

• Yard work.

• Selling crafts.

These are just a few suggestions for how we can increase the funds we have available for God’s Feast. Of course, above all else, remember Philippians 4:6: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”



FI Class of 2024 Graduation

On May 19, the Foundation Institute class of 2024 officially graduated! It was a jam-packed weekend filled with fun and fellowship for the graduates and their families.

The weekend began Friday evening with an ice cream social at the Church’s headquarters office. The next day special Sabbath services were held in Dallas, and one of this year’s graduates, Jordan Iacobucci, gave the sermonette. That evening, many of the graduates and their family members enjoyed a wonderful graduation dinner hosted by Matthew and Dora Jennings.

Sunday morning, all of the graduates and their families gathered at the Sheraton Hotel for brunch and the graduation ceremony, with a special commencement address by Dave Myers. After the ceremony, the graduates received their class annual—a small yearbook put together by a group of the students—as well as Foundation Institute lapel pins and handcrafted pens made from the wood of olive trees.

It was a bittersweet weekend for the students as they reflected on all the amazing memories that they had made together as a class. Foundation Institute truly offered so many benefits to the students, both academically and socially. The wide array of classes not only helped the students form a strong biblical foundation, but also brought the Scripture to life in a way that made learning a fun and engaging experience. The program also provided the students with many social opportunities, as well as several educational projects that are unique to FI, such as the Bible research project, the FI-produced In Accord and the FI annual.

Attending Foundation Institute also provided the students with friendships that will last a lifetime. The group spent hours together every day learning about the Bible, and this created a bond unlike any other. The graduates will treasure the nine months they spent together at FI. It has truly been a life-changing experience.

One of this year’s graduates, Makenzie Kapales, said it best in a thank-you speech addressed to the instructors on behalf of the class.

“We want to thank the two instructors who dedicate every day to us students and make this wonderful program possible: Mr. [David] Johnson and Dr. [Ralph] Levy. We feel so blessed to have had you as our teachers, not only for your wealth of knowledge, but also because of how much you care. Your zeal for the Scriptures brought them to life in your classes, and the love you have for us turned this group into a family. We will all miss you deeply. Thank you for dedicating so much of your life to the most important job—teaching others. We will strive to put what you taught us to good use and make you proud.”

While this year’s class is sad that their time in the program has come to an end, they are also very excited to welcome next year’s class. They have no doubt that the class of 2025 will make their own fun and amazing memories together and are excited for them to receive the same amazing education and biblical foundation that will benefit them for the rest of their lives! OA

2024 High School Graduates Class of


Parents’ names:

Steve and Lori Anderson

Congregation: Phoenix, Arizona

School accomplishments:

Jake graduated from Horizon Honors High School. He fulfilled the school’s requirement for community service by working with youth crosscountry, serving on staff at preteen summer camp and manning the sound and webcast equipment for his local congregation every week. He also enjoyed taking part in his school’s theatrical productions of Bye Bye Birdie and Beauty and the Beast.


Jake is a valuable member of the local congregation and has helped with annual fundraising efforts and senior citizens’ banquet. Jake loves COGWA Youth Camps and feels as if he has grown up at summer camp. He has attended camps since he was 4 years old and attended as a mini camper/snake poker! He enjoys drawing, cooking, metal forging, Renaissance festivals and Top Gear.

He also likes playing basketball with his camp dorm buddies and playing pickleball with his dad.

Plans after graduation: After graduation, Jake plans to attend Mesa Community College, where he will learn automotive repair and design. Later, he hopes to attend Foundation Institute.


Parents’ names:

Brendan and Sharon Babcock

Congregation: Nashville, Tennessee

School accomplishments:

David graduated from Agathos Classical School with a genuine love for learning about God and all He created. He played varsity soccer and basketball throughout high school and served as captain during his junior and senior years. He also was captain of the house of Mattaeus, a group of 7th- to 12thgrade students, and won the Warrior Cup, which recognized the strongest house based on service

projects and a wide range of competitions throughout the year.


David enjoys playing basketball, drawing, reading, hiking, kayaking and eating large servings of Mexican food. He works at a boat rental service and creates commissioned art. He has attended church camps every summer since he was 5. He looks forward to serving on staff at Camp Harmony this summer and camping at Camp Long. Playing basketball at the Winter Family Weekend has been one of his annual highlights for years.

Plans after graduation:

David is excited about attending Lee University this fall as a member of the Kairos Scholars Honors Program. He plans to pursue a five-year MBA program.


Parents’ names: Joshua and Jamie Baker

Congregation: Morgantown, West Virginia

School accomplishments: Rylan has been homeschooled since

kindergarten and has worked hard to maintain an A average. During high school, he also obtained his driver’s license and has been working 35+ hours a week at a local grocery store.

Activities/hobbies/interests: Rylan has been part of the Morgantown congregation since he was 3 and loves serving in any capacity needed. He has been part of the COGWA Youth Camps program for many years, both as a camper and as a teen staff member. Rylan has participated in the regional teen speech club for the past six years. He has served as sergeant at arms and this year served as president. Rylan’s hobbies and interests include fishing, hunting and other outdoor activities. He has been an avid reader since he was little and especially enjoys reading about the World Wars and other historical events. Rylan loves spending time with friends whenever possible.

Plans after graduation: Rylan plans to work full time while completing the certifications necessary for a career in computer science.

He is currently most interested in web design. Rylan hopes to attend Foundation Institute in a couple of years.


Parents’ names:

John and Kristine Bennett

Congregation: Gainesville, Georgia

School accomplishments: Kara graduated in May 2024.

Activities/hobbies/interests: Kara has always had a strong love for animals. Even as a little girl, she never considered any animal too big. Kara was ready to take on horses at an early age and volunteered at a mini farm to help with all the animals, big or small. Kara has been attending preteen and teen camps since she was 6. Over the years, she has had many opportunities to travel around the world.

Plans after graduation: After graduation, Kara plans to pursue the entrepreneurial side of the business world, which will probably take her down the road of caring for animals.


Parent’s name:

Melissa Hamilton

Congregation: Akron-Canton, Ohio

School accomplishments:

Agnes has been a part of several different homeschool co-ops and went on many field trips to historical museums, nature hikes, and numerous other activities. She has taken piano lessons for six years and has completed the American Heritage Girls Scouting Program, achieving the Stars & Stripes Award (highest level).


For six years, Agnes has participated in the Pittsburgh teen speech club, Camp Heritage and adult choir. Her other interests are music, traveling and spending time with friends and family.

Plans after graduation: Agnes plans on continuing her education at Lakeland Community College with the goal of being a physical therapy assistant.


Parents’ names: Eric and Cammy Brown

Congregation: Columbus-Cambridge, Ohio

School accomplishments: Elizabeth graduated from high school, under a homeschool curriculum. She also participated in the Ohio dual enrollment program and graduated with an associate’s degree in equine health and complementary therapies from Hocking College. She

has also already completed and received a certification in the Stride-Right Headfirst approach.

Activities/hobbies/interests: Elizabeth has spent lots of hours working at Diamond Lake Horse Farm. She enjoys art, reading, helping with local FOI Hilltop projects and collecting farm animals to care for— including dogs, goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits and peacocks.

Plans after graduation: After graduation, Elizabeth plans to start her own equine therapy business.


Parents’ names: Bernardo Jr. and Jennifer Castillon

Congregation: Bacolod City, Philippines

School accomplishments: Alec worked hard and graduated from high school with honors.

Activities/hobbies/interests: Alec attended summer camp in 2017, 2019 and 2023. He also assists with the sound system during Sabbath services. Alec’s hobbies include biking, swimming, video games and cars.

Plans after graduation: After graduation, Alec plans to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering.

Parents’ names: Tracy and Valerie Davidson

Congregation: Birmingham, Alabama

School accomplishments: Sarah played on the varsity volleyball team for three years, and the varsity bowling team for one year. She graduated in the top 25 of her class and was a member of the National Honor Society and the Math Honor Society. She graduated with an advanced credit diploma.

Activities/hobbies/interests: Sarah loves to bake treats to share with her congregation each week and sings in her congregation’s vocal ensemble. She also enjoys going to camp each year, as camper and staff. She loves to run and play any kind of sport (especially volleyball). She also enjoys baking and reading in her free time. She is interested in trying new things and traveling to new places.

Plans after graduation: Sarah will be attending the University of Montevallo (Alabama) in the fall, pursuing a degree in secondary English education. She hopes to become a high school English teacher and make an impact on the next generation.


Parents’ names: Paul and Amy Dutsch


New Orleans, Louisiana

School accomplishments: From being a Hurricane Katrina baby to navigating high school during a pandemic, Harrison has had quite a ride. His education included homeschooling, virtual schooling and public schooling. Harrison chose to graduate in the tech pathway that his district offers and completed an IBC.

Activities/hobbies/interests: Harrison enjoys coin collecting and can tell you in seconds if any of the change in your pocket is valuable!

Plans after graduation: Harrison plans to pursue a career in the construction trades.


Parents’ names:

Manuel and Cecilia Iturra

Congregation: Dallas, Texas

School accomplishments: Carolina has been a diligent student and dedicated worker since her youth. Moving from Chile to Texas at the age of 8, she attended schools in Allen, Texas, excelling in academics while actively participating in the swim team and maintaining a part-time job since her freshman year. Despite the

challenges of completing her senior year online, she pursued early graduation.


An active member of her congregation, Carolina enjoys attending church camps and fosters a love for arts, particularly painting and music. Her interests extend to fashion, makeup and string instruments, like the viola and cello. A nature enthusiast, she dreams of exploring the world’s beauty while caring for her beloved and pampered cat, Mimi.

Plans after graduation:

With a passion for helping others, Carolina has been working since she was 15, gaining experience in customer service roles. Her experiences have fueled her desire to pursue a career in mental health. She aspires to become a psychiatrist specializing in children with severe issues. She plans to begin her journey at Collin College, studying psychology and biology while minoring in human resources. With determination and compassion, she looks forward to making a difference in the lives of many.

School accomplishments: Rylan was recognized with the Academic Achievement Award for his GPA standing. He earned dual credit thanks to being enrolled in Advanced Placement (AP) classes. He was on his high school track and basketball teams.


From an early age, Rylan was always interested in taking apart and building computers, coding, robotics, and anything to do with building structures. He has found a new personal interest in car mechanics and enjoys taking care of its maintenance himself. He also enjoys lake activities, including fishing and wake surfing. While attending the Houston North congregation, he has played basketball and volleyball, volunteered with the teen program, worked at Camp Lone Star (serving preteens) and attended teen camps.

Plans after graduation: Rylan will attend Texas A&M Galveston Engineering School in the fall. His goal is to transfer to Texas A&M at College Station in order to further his studies in electrical engineering.


School accomplishments: The youngest of the four Gomez siblings, Mark graduated simultaneously from Moisés E. Molina High School in Dallas and from Dallas College (Mountain View campus) with his associate’s degree. His academic accomplishments include being vice president of his high school’s Ambassadors Program and participating in the district’s mariachi program.

Activities/hobbies/interests: Outside of school, Mark enjoys playing pickleball and video games, loving his cat Pumpkin and singing. On Sundays, he works at his dad’s restaurant, either in the kitchen or entertaining the patrons. Mark has loved attending many preteen and teen camps and looks forward to working as camp staff in the future.

Plans after graduation: In the fall, he plans on attending the University of Texas at Arlington to study for a career in business management.

Parents’ names: Andrew and Heather Gwin

Congregation: Williamsburg, Virginia

Parents’ names:

Steve and Beth Ferguson

Congregation: Houston North, Texas

Parents’ names: Lazaro and Sandra Gomez

Congregation: Dallas, Texas

School accomplishments: Emma was manager of the varsity lacrosse team during her 11th and 12th grade years. She is

Jacob Grey Anderson
David Babcock
Rylan Joshua Baker
Agnes Luella Bradley
Kara Elizabeth Bennett
Elizabeth Brown Alec Zachary A. Castillon
Harrison Paul Dutsch
Emma G. Gwin
Gabriel Ibarra
Sarah Davidson
Carolina Iturra Espinoza
Reese C. Gwin
Ryan Kardell
Rylan Ferguson
Ella Denise Harris
Jesse Kifer
Mark Andrew Gomez
Amy Hawk
Jaycob McDaniel
Jazlyn McGlaughn Tristin Ryan McIntyre
Kaleigh Miller
Jesse Poyner
Sarah Sanders
Joshua Tannert
Abigail Linda Morgan
Donovan Prunty
Shemuel Simpson
Annelise Mia Tunales
Ian Joseph Quintana
Coleman Walker Solum Ezekiel Rye We
Adam Jacob Robles
Shelby Stanley
Mary-Ella Wegman Maddox West

an FCCLA Virginia State gold winner for career investigation and is a recipient of the Virginia Future Teacher Award.

Activities/hobbies/interests: Emma enjoys helping out with Hilltop projects and serving her local congregation. She also enjoys participating in the local church teen club.

Plans after graduation: Emma will attend Virginia Wesleyan University to pursue a degree in elementary education.


Parents’ names:

Andrew and Heather Gwin

Congregation: Williamsburg, Virginia

School accomplishments:

Reese participated in varsity indoor track from 10th to 12th grade, varsity outdoor track in 10th grade, and varsity soccer from 11th to 12th grade. Reese was a DECA member from 11th to 12th grade, and she is a recipient of the Virginia Future Teacher Award.

Activities/hobbies/interests: Reese enjoys serving her local congregation through various projects and participating in the church teen club. She also enjoys helping out with Hilltop projects.

Plans after graduation: Reese will be attending Longwood University

to pursue a degree in elementary education.


Parents’ names:

Troy and Cindy Harris

Congregation: Wichita, Kansas

School accomplishments:

Ella was a teachernominated Gold Card Member, a Quill and Scroll member for leadership, and a yearbook photo editor. Ella graduated early with a 3.5 GPA.


Ella obtained lifeguarding, CPR, AED and first aid certifications and has used them at church camps. She’s served as a staff member since she was 13. Ella also runs the Wichita congregation’s audio/video system for Sabbath services. Ella loves building her own gaming computers, and she is an exceptional artist.

Plans after graduation:

Ella plans to begin as a pharmacy technician after graduation.


Parents’ names:

Jim and Linda Hawk

Congregation: Akron-Canton, Ohio

School accomplishments: Amy is graduating from the Hawk Family

Homeschool. At the age of 16, she was offered a job as a lifeguard and swim instructor with the local YMCA. She has been doing that now for three years.

Activities/hobbies/interests: Amy has enjoyed her many years in the camp program. She has served one year on archery staff and three years on the aquatics staff at Camp Arrowhead. She has been a camper at Camp Heritage for all her teen years, and for the last few years she has helped out at the waterfront when needed. She also enjoys making various types of jewelry for her friends.

Plans after graduation: Amy plans on continuing her job at the local YMCA. She also plans on serving on the waterfront staff at Camp Heritage. She plans on pursuing certification to become a home inspector and possibly a building inspector at some time in the future.


Parents’ names: Alejandro and Zulena Ibarra

Congregation: Houston South, Texas

School accomplishments: Gabriel is a graduate of George Ranch High School in Richmond, Texas. During his time in high school, he obtained his service cord, giving over 100 service hours

to the community. Additionally, he was a part of the Longhorn chamber orchestra, the Spanish Honor Society and the National Honor Society.

Activities/hobbies/interests: Outside of school, Gabriel loves hanging out with friends and playing and watching sports.

Plans after graduation: Gabriel will attend University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) for one year and then automatically transfer to UT Austin to study business.

Parents’ names: Tony and Kari Kardell

Congregation: Twin Cities, Minnesota

School accomplishments: Ryan graduated from Kennedy High School in Bloomington, Minnesota, with an athletic letter award. Ryan has been the captain of the high school golf team for the past two years and set scoring records at his high school. Ryan has been all-conference in golf for the past three years and rated in the top 100 golfers in the state of Minnesota. He has received offers to play golf on an athletic scholarship from over 50 colleges, including Division 1, 2 and 3 schools.

Activities/hobbies/interests: Ryan loves the outdoors, playing games with his


friends, listening to music and playing golf. Ryan also enjoys playing in the ensemble for church services.

Plans after graduation: Ryan signed with Crown College (a Division 3 college) so that he can continue his passion for golf while maintaining his commitment to God and keeping the Sabbath. He is pursuing a dual degree in business and marketing.


Parents’ names: Amy and Brian Kifer

Congregation: Wheeling, West Virginia

School accomplishments: Jesse graduated from a homeschool course.

Activities/hobbies/interests: At church services, Jesse runs the sound system. During the week, Jesse likes reading, drawing and playing video games with friends.

Plans after graduation: Jesse plans to go either into an apprenticeship or to trade school for cabinetry.


Parents’ names: Jayson and Terri McDaniel

Congregation: Stockton, California

School accomplishments: It is a pleasure to witness how God has molded Jaycob into the young man he has become, even beyond his academic achievements. Jaycob has been consistent with his grades throughout his school career and continually obtained honor from his instructors and schools.

Activities/hobbies/interests: Jaycob is an aspiring digital artist and comic book illustrator. He has had two years under his art instructor’s wing, and his talents have been amplified. Jaycob would like to be an illustrator for comic books, movies or video games. Jaycob also serves on the audiovisual team for the Stockton congregation. He specializes in operating the audio mixer equipment and webcasting live services on the Sabbath.

Plans after graduation: Jaycob plans to begin higher learning at a nearby community college and then further his education at an art academy or similar educational institution.


Parent’s name: Amie Moody

Congregation: Van Buren, Arkansas

School accomplishments: “I graduated!”

Activities/hobbies/interests: Jazlyn enjoys spending time with the brethren, especially at camp and social activities like the Branson Presidents’ Day Family Weekend, church dances and church picnics. Jazlyn also loves to play guitar and draw.

Plans after graduation: Jazlyn wants to go to cosmetology school and then attend Foundation Institute.


Parents’ names: Travis and Kelly McIntyre

Congregation: Columbus-Cambridge, Ohio

School accomplishments: Tristin attended the career technical school associated with the Northridge school district in Johnstown, Ohio. Tristin was a member of National Honor Society and was top of his welding class, earning all available certifications.

Activities/hobbies/interests: Tristin is a loyal, sweet, quiet, funny, caring, respectful and honest kid who likes to smile. He enjoys various sports, such as golf, basketball, pickleball and riding dirt bikes. His summers include attending COGWA camps and working with his father and grandfather to learn various trade skills, such as plumbing, welding and fabricating. Tristin has participated in the

regional teen speech club since he was an early teen. He has enjoyed being able to unite with friends at camp (preteen and teen), the Feast and the Winter Family Weekend.

Plans after graduation: Tristin plans to go to Columbus State Community College. He would also like to get a job and gain some realworld experience, possibly by working in pipeline welding.


Parents’ names: Daniel and Christa Miller

Congregation: Wheeling, West Virginia

School accomplishments: Kaleigh graduated summa cum laude with a 4.6 GPA and 32 college credit hours. She was the vice president of National Honor Society and a four-year orchestra member. Kaleigh was a REAP counselor, Queen of Queens participant, Key Club member, American Cancer Society member and freshman mentor. Kaleigh is a recipient of the PROMISE Scholarship, WVU Climb Higher Scholarship, Patrick Latos Scholarship, Warwood Fine Arts Scholarship and Clayton Homes Retail Scholarship. Kaleigh was accepted into West Virginia University’s Physical Therapy Early Assurance Program.


Kaleigh has enjoyed serving the Church by performing special music, serving on counseling and activity staff at camp and helping with Sabbath school. Kaleigh also looks forward to serving on the FOI English Education Project in Zimbabwe this summer. Kaleigh’s interests include volleyball, music, playing the violin, running, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.

Plans after graduation: Kaleigh is going to attend West Virginia University and major in exercise physiology with the goal of being a physical therapist.


Parents’ names: Brian and Suzanne Morgan

Congregation: Homer, Alaska

School accomplishments: Abigail graduated high school as a member of National Honor Society.

Activities/hobbies/interests: Abigail serves the local congregation by helping with kids and Sabbath school. Abigail also enjoys playing basketball and volleyball and running track.

Plans after graduation: Abigail plans to attend a trade school for welding and construction.


Parents’ names: David and Rebekah Poyner

Congregation: Little Rock, Arkansas

School accomplishments: Jesse graduated high school with a 3.9 GPA. He has also played basketball for many years and has earned several all-tournament medals from state, regionals and nationals.


Jesse is an outdoor enthusiast and loves hiking, camping, fishing, hunting and working on a farm. He has driven a tractor since he was old enough to reach the pedals. He also enjoys travel, playing guitar and piano, and reading history books. Jesse has been attending church camps since he was 8 years old and really enjoys working at preteen camp. He also enjoys leading songs in his congregation.

Plans after graduation: Jesse is currently working full-time with a handyman franchise. He is considering continuing his education—perhaps obtaining a construction management degree or possibly attending a welding academy.


Parents’ names: Candice Bacchus and Kelly Prunty

Congregation: Twin Cities, Minnesota

School accomplishments: Donovan played varsity football and varsity track and field. He was also in concert band and graduated as an honor student.

Activities/hobbies/interests: Donovan is a member of the local ensemble for Sabbath services and volunteers as a staff member for preteen camps. Donovan enjoys playing volleyball, football and basketball and is interested in programming and cybersecurity.

Plans after graduation: Donovan plans to attend the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. He wants to major in computer science with an emphasis in cybersecurity.


Parents’ names: Mark and Rebecca Quintana

Congregation: Gainesville, Georgia

School accomplishments: Ian will be completing his home study program and receiving his diploma with honors this summer.

Activities/hobbies/interests: From early childhood, Ian possessed a natural ability to make others smile with his quick wit and humor. Ian’s most enjoyed and treasured times involve

meeting and connecting with others at COGWA camps, the Feast, the Winter Family Weekend and activities with his local congregation. He has also enjoyed participating in various extracurricular activities, including guitar, art and mixed martial arts. He earned his first-degree black belt in tae kwon do in 2022.

Plans after graduation: Ian plans to work for a year, saving up to attend Foundation Institute in August of 2025. After he completes his studies at FI, Ian plans to pursue a career in mechanical engineering.


Parents’ names: JR and Lisa Robles

Congregation: Dallas, Texas

School accomplishments: Jacob graduated from Wylie High School in May. While in school, Jacob achieved the A Honor Roll, played football for two years and was a Dallas Mavericks Ballkid for three years.

Activities/hobbies/interests: Jacob attended CYC camps in Texas and California and participated in the regional teen volleyball and basketball programs.

Plans after graduation: This summer Jacob will be a basketball coach at the Dallas Mavericks youth

camps. He plans to pursue a sports management degree at the University of North Texas this fall.


Parents’ names: Adam and Keri Sanders

Congregation: Columbus-Cambridge, Ohio

School accomplishments: Sarah graduated from high school with a 4.3 GPA and as a member of the National Honor Society. She participated in a dual enrollment program for most of her high school years, enabling her to also graduate from college with highest honors, receiving an associate’s of business administration and a total of 90 credits to transfer toward a bachelor’s in aviation management.

Activities/hobbies/interests: Sarah served as vice president and treasurer of the regional teen speech club. She has performed in piano competitions since the age of 12, earning a superior rating. She also served as the captain of her volleyball team for two years. Sarah loves reading, playing piano, archery, singing, hiking, playing volleyball and sleeping. She regularly sings in her church choir and is working on learning to play hymns for her congregation. She is also part of a teen service group that finds ways to serve

both the congregation and the community.

Plans after graduation: Sarah has been accepted to Liberty University and will start flight training this summer as a first step toward a professional pilot career. She plans to attend FI next year.


Parents’ names: Don and Verlene Simpson


St. Kitts and Nevis

School accomplishments: Shemuel graduated from the Immaculate Conception Catholic School, which he attended for the last five years.


At church services, Shemuel assists the audiovisual crew and submits the weekly attendance. His other interests are weight lifting, listening to music, shopping and spending time with his friends.

Plans after graduation: Shemuel plans to attend the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College to study electrical engineering. He will also be working part-time in the family businesses.


Parents’ names: Wayne and Lela Solum

Congregation: Austin, Texas

School accomplishments: Coleman was homeschooled. He maintained a 3.5 GPA while pursuing his interests in music and forging knives.

Activities/hobbies/interests: Coleman loved attending preteen and teen camps and served on staff at Camp Lone Star this summer. He has interests in volleyball, biking, piano, guitar, banjo, cooking and forging knives.

Plans after graduation: Coleman plans to attend both Sequoia and Athens teen camps. In addition, he’ll spend a week with his father in Alaska and a month with his brother exploring France and studying French. Upon his return to the States, Coleman will continue working and pursue certification in computeraided design (CAD).


Parents’ names: Bryan and Becky Stanley

Congregation: Phoenix, Arizona

School accomplishments: Shelby lettered in academics for two years and was a member of art club and construction club. In addition to basic high school requirements, Shelby took ceramics classes

for three years and also took classes in sports medicine, culinary arts, construction, art and calculus.

Activities/hobbies/interests: Shelby helps with her congregation’s senior luncheons, specifically by planning and designing the menus. She regularly serves in the kitchen and enjoys using her culinary skills for bake sales and potlucks. Shelby loves to use her creativity in crocheting, ceramics and even building items in her construction classes.

Plans after graduation: Shelby plans to attend Glendale Community College in the fall and then continue her education at a university to get her bachelor’s degree. She has a goal of becoming a dietician.


Parents’ names: Kurt and Sherrill Tannert

Congregation: Tucson, Arizona

School accomplishments: Joshua graduated in May of 2024.

Activities/hobbies/interests: Joshua looks forward to serving at preteen and teen Camp Sequoia every summer and leads songs during weekly Sabbath services. He is developing woodcraft skills and enjoys a wide variety of computer games.

Plans after graduation: Joshua is planning to continue with general studies and is considering attending Foundation Institute in a couple of years.


Parent’s name: Angela Tunales-Savala

Congregation: Dallas, Texas

School accomplishments: Annelise participated in a dual-enrollment program, so she graduated with her high school diploma and a college associate’s degree. While taking college courses, she also worked at Levines store from 10th grade to the present.


Annelise has participated in the teen Bible study program since she graduated from Sabbath school. She’s attended preteen and teen church camps in various locations, such as Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Wisconsin. After services, she enjoys fellowshipping with her peers over snacks. She relishes spending time with her niece, Caroline; her cats, Ash and Lucki; and her many cousins. She is also looking forward to her first European Feast in Italy this fall. She is interested in all aspects of beautification— hair, makeup, nails and interior decorating. She collects succulents and blooming plants and enjoys floral bouquets.

Plans after graduation: Annelise’s immediate plans are, first and foremost, to obtain her driver’s license. Second, she plans to secure more lucrative employment over the summer so she can save for college. She wants to continue her education either at UNT Dallas or (hopefully) at UT Arlington. She intends to seek a bachelor’s degree in business administration and management.


Parents’ names: Edson and Rachelle We

Congregation: Manila, Philippines

School accomplishments: Ezekiel finished senior high school at Wellspring Christian Family School.

Activities/hobbies/interests: Ezekiel was part of his previous school’s soccer varsity and also participated in the MTAP program during his early years. Later, he took and passed his AP calculus and physics classes. Ezekiel is starting to develop a liking for the outdoors with a particular interest in hiking. He enjoys spending much time with the close friends he made during church events. He will also be attending this year’s church youth camp.

Plans after graduation: Ezekiel is taking a gap year to pursue nonacademic

interests in order to learn more about himself. He will take this as an opportunity to explore many different things that could help him decide on his career. He is also considering taking an internship related to his interests.


Parents’ names: Lesa and Ken Zenauskas

Congregation: Columbia, South Carolina

School accomplishments: Mary-Ella graduated with honors from Acellus Science Academy in May with a 4.0 GPA.


Mary-Ella has attended many camps for 12 years and served as an assistant counselor for four years. She enjoys time with her family and friends, traveling, hiking, kayaking, rock climbing and gaming with friends. She has always had an adventurous spirit.

Plans after graduation: Mary-Ella will be attending Foundation Institute for the 2024-2025 year and then will be pursuing a career in dentistry.


Parents’ names: Aaron and Lizzie West

Congregation: Houston South, Texas

School accomplishments: Maddox graduated with high honors from Cinco Ranch High School in Katy, Texas. There, he earned awards for high academic achievement and was a member of National Honor Society.

Activities/hobbies/interests: Maddox played multiple positions in football from seventh through 11th grade. He loves all sports, including regional basketball and volleyball in COGWA, and has also played baseball in various leagues. Maddox has attended and worked at Camp Lone Star, Camp Agape, Camp Athens and Winter Camp. He is active in the teen speech club and teen sports, and he plays trumpet for hymns at church.

Plans after graduation: Maddox plans to attend Houston Community College to complete his associate’s degree and then transfer to the University of Houston.

2024 college graduates


Kayle Chloe San Buenaventura, known in the church as “Gwen,” is a passionate and organized student set to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in English language studies. Throughout her college journey, Gwen has distinguished herself as a student who is hungry for knowledge about other cultures.

Born and raised in Naga City, Gwen has had a fascination with both her mother tongue, Bikol-Naga, and the Philippines’ lingua franca, Filipino. This fueled her ambition to pursue a course of language. In her four years at the Ateneo de Naga University, she learned that the English language is only the tip of the iceberg. Her English language studies program did not focus just on the language itself; it also introduced a lot of scholars, theories, linguists, foreign languages, cultures and people.

Outside the classroom, Gwen is a member of the Ateneo Junior Eagles, which focuses on leadership and volunteering activities outside of the university. These experiences not only honed her social skills but also served as a breather.

As graduation is coming, Gwen is also preparing to go out and see what life after college is like. She looks forward to the real hustle and bustle of the world.


Raegan Diaz graduated from Stephen F. Austin University summa

cum laude and with University Scholar distinction, one of only three students from the College of Education to do so. She fulfilled all requirements of the School of Honors program, including writing additional research papers. One of her papers, “The Reporter Who Lost the War: An In-Depth Look at Walter Cronkite’s Report on the Tet Offensive and Its LongTerm Effects,” received the “Best Freshman Paper” award at the 2022 Undergraduate Research Conference. Raegan also served an annual term as the president of the Society for Collegiate Leadership and Achievement (SCLA).

Raegan did all of this while also working full-time; being a teaching assistant, soccer coach and baker; and even getting married! Her bachelor’s degree is in communication sciences and disorders. She will attend the University of Texas Dallas this fall to complete her master’s degree in speech language pathology and work as a speech language pathologist assistant in a clinical setting.

Raegan is cheered on by her family, including parents, Craig and Rashele Hoyer; grandparents, Gerald and Kathy Hoyer and Randal and Kathy Rapp; husband, Bryan Diaz; and best dog ever, Ruger.


On Friday, May 17, 2024, Victoria Ellis graduated with her associate’s degree in respiratory therapy from

Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C). As part of the Respiratory Therapy Program, Victoria participated in over 1,000 clinical hours at seven different hospitals. In addition, she worked as an equipment tech and later on as a student respiratory therapist at the Cleveland Clinic’s Medina and Marymount campuses. Victoria served as the class president for the Respiratory Therapy Program and mentored first-year respiratory therapy students at Tri-C.

Victoria was the recipient of the National Board of Respiratory Care Scholarship and Medical Mutual Scholarship. She was also one of two students to be awarded the Cleveland Clinic Respiratory Institution Scholarship for exemplary academic performance. The Cleveland Clinic scholarship is unique, as it secures Victoria a full-time job after graduation and the completion of the boards. She has since accepted a full-time job offer from Cleveland Clinic to work in the pulmonary function testing lab.


Steven T. Howell graduated from Ivy Tech Community College on May 2, 2024. He was supported by his parents, Steve D. Howell and Jada Schwindt, as well as his sister, Lynda A. Howell, and his friends in the church. Steven currently attends the Indianapolis, Indiana, congregation, which is pastored by Ron Kelley.

Steven’s college accomplishments include graduating with a degree in supply chain management and logistics, as well as completing certifications like the CLA, CLT and Six Sigma Yellow Belt. He maintained a consistent GPA of 3.9, which allowed him to earn entry into the NSLS honor society.

Steven’s plans after graduation include continuing and advancing his career in supply chain management and logistics, potentially publishing books based on ideas he has had, and continuing to live as a Christian example to those around him.


Bradley Hudson, son of John and Rochelle Hudson of the Dallas, Texas, congregation, graduated and received his doctorate in physical therapy from Duke University on the evening of May 11, 2024.

He became board-certified in May and began a sports physical therapy residency at the University of Utah in June. In the future, Brad hopes to open up his own performance and physical therapy clinic.


Marcus Johnson has been attending the Orlando, Florida, congregation for the last several years while going to school to get his law degree. Marcus graduated from Barry University School of Law in Orlando on May 17, 2024.

Prior to this, and prior to being baptized into the Body of Jesus Christ, Marcus was a law enforcement officer in Tallahassee, Florida. During his 10-year tenure, he served as a member of his department’s Violent Crimes Response Team, as a detective and as a member of the SWAT team.

Marcus now plans to take the skills he developed from enforcing laws “on the street” as a police officer in

to enforcing laws “in the courts” as a prosecutor. Marcus looks forward to getting married this fall and moving to Tampa, Florida, to become an assistant state attorney.


On May 3, 2024 Miriam Sinon, an attendee of the Orlando, Florida, congregation, graduated from the University of Central Florida. She received a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies with concentrations in computational sciences and communications and minors in history and mass media.

After graduation, Miriam plans to stay in Orlando and pursue a career in computer science. She and her family eagerly look forward to what the future holds for her.


In April of 2023, Breana successfully defended her master’s thesis, titled “Tuning the Activation of Synthetic Notch Receptors in Vivo.” She graduated in May with her master of science in biomolecular sciences from Augusta University. During her time there, she presented her research at a conference and tied for first place for best oral presentation.

Over the summer Breana plans to work as a research associate in the lab where she conducted her thesis research. Come August, she will join the faculty at her alma mater, where she will teach the introductory biology lecture and lab courses and continue research as time permits.

Breana attends the Augusta, Georgia, congregation with her parents, Ken and Jeanne Walton.


Gabriella Ware, wife of Ian Ware and daughter of Al and Sheri Kroska,

graduated from Western Carolina University on May 10, 2024, with her doctor of physical therapy (DPT) degree. During her time at Western, Gabriella served as a graduate assistant and as the Honduras liaison for the MAPHealth Pro Bono clinic. She was selected by her peers and faculty for the Leadership Award at the DPT ceremony.

Gabriella attends in Asheville, North Carolina, and plans to spend the summer attending camps and working at Movement for Life Physical Therapy in Hendersonville, North Carolina, before moving to Tennessee to pursue an orthopedic physical therapy residency at East Tennessee State University (ETSU) and the James H. Quillen VA Medical Center in Johnson City, Tennessee.


Jackson Witcher of the Roanoke, Virginia, congregation, will graduate on Aug. 16, 2024, from Liberty University School of Aeronautics with a certification in aviation and power plant maintenance.

Jackson was awarded a full scholarship to attend Liberty. While enrolled, he found time to volunteer as a firefighter at the local station. Jackson has obtained a full-time position in Roanoke and will begin immediately following graduation. He will continue to serve in his local church area and has dedicated time to volunteer at the local fire station as well.


Madison Yost graduated from Kennesaw State University summa cum laude with honors on Dec. 14, 2023. She earned her bachelor of science in nursing. Madison was involved in her school’s Student Nurses’ Association and worked as a patient care tech at Wellstar

Kennestone’s emergency room in Marietta, Georgia. She took a gap year in 2019 to attend Foundation Institute. After passing her nursing boards in January 2024, Madison transitioned

to her new role as a nurse and enjoys the hustle and bustle and drama of the ER.

Madison attends the Atlanta, Georgia, congregation.

Victoria Ellis Raegan Diaz
Kayle San Buenaventura
Marcus Johnson
Breana Walton
Miriam Sinon
Bradley Hudson
Steven T. Howell
Madison Yost
Gabriella Ware Jackson Witcher

Church Potluck

What’s cooking in your congregation?

FOI Scholarship Recipient Seth Sam

The FOI Scholarship Program benefits around 80 secondary and postsecondary students across seven African nations.

Seth Sam from Ghana is one recipient, beginning his postsecondary education in January 2023 and expecting to finish in May 2027. Seth grew up in the Church and attends the Winneba congregation with his parents and siblings. Below he expresses his education goals and gratitude.

“I am 22 years of age and I am [pursuing] a bachelor’s in diagnostic medical sonography at the Klintaps College of Health and Allied Sciences.

“It has always been my dream to work as a health care provider in order to render competent and holistic health care to health-seeking individuals in our world [regardless] of their race, religion or ethnicity.

“With your unwavering support, I can boldly say I am just a few years away from living that dream. I am confident that with your continued assistance, I can achieve academic excellence, and further, set up my own facility as I have always planned to after a successful completion.

“Thank you, FOI and the Church of God, for your benevolent gesture towards your members.”

Atlanta Holds International Food and Bunco Night

After settling into our new location for Sabbath services, the Atlanta, Georgia, congregation held our first activity for the year on Feb. 10. The brethren enjoyed a taste of a variety of foods from different parts of the world. India, China, Nigeria, Tonga, Italy and Jamaica were among the areas represented.

After the meal, young and old enjoyed an evening of bunco. After two full rounds, the winners with the highest score, most buncos and most wins took home prizes. It was an evening of fun, fellowship and laughter.

Steve and Vivian Moody

On the Sabbath of Oct. 21, 2023, the San Antonio, Texas, congregation celebrated Steve and Vivian Moody’s 50 years of service in the ministry. After services, local elder Jim Chapman thanked the Moodys on behalf of the congregation, and a special spread of food was enjoyed by all.

Mr. Moody was ordained an elder on Oct. 18, 1973, which was the Last Great Day at the Feast in Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri. His first congregation to pastor was Bowling Green, Kentucky.

Other areas the Moodys have served include Mobile, Alabama; Biloxi, Mississippi; Wilmington and Seaford, Delaware; Little Rock and Sedgwick, Arkansas; and Memphis and Jackson, Tennessee. They now serve the Corpus Christi, San Antonio and Victoria, Texas, congregations.

During Mr. Moody’s years as an elder he also served as the Feast coordinator for Biloxi from 1981-1987. He and his wife also served as staff members at Camp Pinecrest. The Church appreciates their longtime dedication.

Tacloban Congregation Year-End Outing

The Tacloban, Philippines, brethren didn’t let the gloomy skies and chilly breeze stop them from going to the beach early in the morning on Dec. 25, 2023, for their annual church outing.

This year’s potluck was particularly interesting as the brethren attempted to recreate the famous chicken inasal (grilled) that they had enjoyed so much during the Feast in Bacolod City, Philippines. The ladies giggled as they prepared the marinade and wondered if the taste would turn out like the original recipe. While waiting for the meat to absorb the marinade, the brethren queued up their favorite songs on the karaoke machine.

Since the makeshift stove wasn’t yet busy with the main dish, the teens happily bonded by frying cheese sticks and French fries. Meanwhile, the ladies almost lost track of time singing for an hour, while the chicken was getting ready to be grilled over a charcoal fire.

The aroma of the roasting chicken brought back happy Feast memories. Alternating between eating and grilling the chicken, the brethren laughed because they realized it was faster to eat than roast them.

As the gentle drizzles and a peek of sunset enveloped the seashore, the brethren began packing up to go home, bringing with them a feeling of Psalm 133:1.

Louisville Enjoys Variety Show

On the evening of Feb. 17, the Louisville, Kentucky, congregation enjoyed a pizza dinner followed by a variety show. The acts presented by members of the congregation included guitar and piano solos, a vocal duet, comedy skits, mimes, poem recitations and more. There was much laughter and applause throughout the evening, and we all went home talking about the fun we had shared.

Catherine C. Moreno

Cincinnati-Dayton Gives to Children in Foster Care

The Cincinnati-Dayton, Ohio, congregation worked together to complete a Hilltop Outreach project for Warm Welcomes Foster Care Outreach. Warm Welcomes provides backpacks full of needed items to children of all ages who enter foster care.

Over the course of several months, the congregation collected more than 250 personal care items, craft supplies, toys and books. Local knitters (and one who is long-distance), crocheters and sewers created 37 handmade animals to be added to the backpacks. Additionally, teens prepared fleece for 56 blankets.

The project concluded on Feb. 24 with a “volcano” potluck, where members had the opportunity to build their own edible volcano with a base of rice and creamed chicken. After sunset everyone took seats around long tables to tie the fleece blankets while chatting and listening to an energetic playlist.

Although no religious messages are to be included with donations, each handmade animal and fleece blanket included a tag with the Life, Hope & Truth logo on one side and the Hilltop Outreach Program logo on the other.

A couple of weeks later, the teens were dropped off at Warm Welcomes to spend some time stuffing

Bentonville Holds Annual Bunco Night

On the evening of Feb. 10, following a satisfying potluck, the Bentonville, Arkansas, congregation enjoyed an evening of exciting bunco. The “bunco beaver” was vigorously tossed around the room for every bunco!

Prizes were awarded for most buncos, most wins and least wins.

Win or lose, all ages had a fantastic, fun-filled evening.

backpacks with the donated items. This project is a great opportunity for the congregation to work together to connect to the community and help provide something special for children going into foster care.

Gainesville Hosts Potluck and Minute to Win It Games

On Saturday evening, Feb. 10, members of the Gainesville, Georgia, congregation hosted a potluck of delicious food followed by a night of Minute to Win It games. The games allowed members of all ages to participate and take part in being on a team.

The highlight of the night was the cotton candy machine that made an appearance—much to the children’s delight. It was truly a night of fellowship and fun!

Cleveland Completes Hilltop Outreach Project

The Cleveland, Ohio, congregation came together in a spirit of fellowship and goodwill on Feb. 24, to complete a Hilltop Outreach Project.

Using a grant provided by Hilltop, as well as local member contributions, the group gathered donations to help meet the needs of displaced teenagers who are temporarily housed at the Jane Edna Hunter Building (a division of Children and Family Services), located in downtown Cleveland. These teens are often difficult to place as they await being reunited with family or placement into foster care.

Following a potluck meal (and shortly after the Sabbath ended), the Cleveland congregation organized and filled backpacks with winter clothing, games, activity books, colored pencils, bus passes, McDonalds’ gift cards and information on community teen programs.

Additional items, including monetary donations, were generously given to the service center directly. It was especially encouraging to see local COGWA teens pitching in to help teens in need.

The following week, three local members delivered these items to the Children and Family Services donations coordinator. She expressed sincere gratitude for the efforts of our group.

The Cleveland congregation is grateful to have helped serve the community in this way. Many thanks to all the local volunteers and the Hilltop Outreach Program for its funding, helpful website, and its call to service and good works.

Columbus-Cambridge Enjoys Chili Cook-off and Dessert Bake-off

The Columbus-Cambridge, Ohio, congregation enjoyed their second annual Chili Cook-off and Dessert Bake-off the evening of Feb. 24. The event was organized by Patrick and Breanna Bruske.

Twelve men provided a wide variety of chili options, including chicken, bison, filet and even Guinness. The ladies made delicious desserts that included special cheesecakes, cookies and a tropical pudding.

The hunting man’s backstrap chili came in first, made by Vincent Bruske. Champion filet mignon chili, made by Patrick Bruske, placed second, and third place went to smoky white chicken chili made by Midian Ramsey. For the desserts, first place was caramel-apple cheesecake bars, made by Chloe Bruske. Second place was a chocolate-mint cheesecake, made by Tiffany Shirk, and third place was hintof-lime cheesecake, made by Jennifer and Anna Messerly.

Denise Hadley

Dallas and Sherman Volunteers Pack Food for Children in Haiti

Brethren from the Dallas and Sherman, Texas, congregations came together on Feb. 24 , to pack food for impoverished children in Haiti at the local nonprofit Feed My Starving Children. This organization provides nutrient-rich, dry food packs to schools, orphanages and clinics around the world to deliver hope and break the cycle of poverty. Our group packed 100 boxes of food over the course of an hour and a half. The group’s effort will provide a year’s worth of meals to 59 children.

We encourage members to send announcements to be featured in One Accord. We feature events in members’ lives, including baptisms, births, engagements, weddings, significant anniversaries (25, 40, 50, 60, etc.), and obituaries. Typically they run between 50 and 100 words; however, we ask that all submissions stay under 250 words. Please submit a high-resolution color photo along with the written copy to your congregation’s reporter.


After services on April 20, 2024, the Louisville, Kentucky, congregation hosted a reception to honor the 50th wedding anniversary of Chuck and Debbie Crane.

Cake and refreshments were enjoyed by all as we perused the photos on display. Chuck and Debbie are longtime members, and the pictures were filled with not only their family but many other longtime Church members as well.

It was a lovely way to end the Sabbath with congratulations

on their anniversary and their faithfulness to God’s way.

Carolyn Winner

On the Sabbath of April 23, 2024, the congregation in Greensboro, North Carolina, celebrated the 60th anniversary of Roger and Linda Williams. The congregation hosted a special fellowship meal, which included a beautiful and delicious anniversary cake prepared by Daphne Schultz. Everyone toasted the Williams and enjoyed hearing more about them.

The Williams met when they were in school. Roger was on the basketball team, and when he met Linda, she caught his eye. They developed a friendship and realized they had a lot in common. The rest is history.

The couple began their walk together in 1964, which was also the year they began their walk with God. They studied the Bible Correspondence Course and were both baptized later that year.

Since that time, Mr. and Mrs. Williams have grown in their love for God and one another. They are loved by their family and their local church family, where they have served for many years.

When asked the secret to their 60 years of marriage, Mrs. Williams responded, “Never give up.” Mr. and Mrs. Williams set an example of commitment and steadfastness in their relationship with God and with each other.

Jessica Schultz


Emily Bowman of the Toronto, Ontario, Canada, congregation was baptized on March 23, 2024. She was baptized in a pool of a hotel with friends and family present as well as a few family members on a video call. It was a very special moment to be there and welcome her into the Body of Jesus Christ.

Chad Messerly

Aaron Ash, son of Chris and Debbie Ash of the Houston North, Texas, congregation, was baptized on the morning of Feb. 24, 2024, by pastor Gary Black.

Aaron’s baptism was held at a fellow Church member’s home. He was surrounded by family and friends. Afterward, everyone enjoyed a refreshing brunch.

Debbie Ash

Aaron Ash
Emily Bowman
Chuck and Debbie Crane
Linda and Roger Williams

Beverly Ogle, a retired midwife from Durban, South Africa, who now lives in New Zealand’s South Island, was baptized on Sept. 9, 2023. New Zealand pastor André van Belkum baptized her during his Sept. 9-11 trip to visit scattered Church members in the South Island.

Beverly’s spiritual journey began after a disappointing encounter with a Catholic priest. Through a sympathetic Church member, Linda Hopkinson, Beverly found solace in the resurrections. She began studying the Church’s literature and embraced God’s plan of salvation. Beverly’s baptism was a joyous occasion, celebrated by her friends and fellow believers, echoing Luke 15:10.

Isaac Khalil

The Williamsburg, Virginia, congregation is very happy to announce that we have a new brother in God’s spiritual family. On Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024, during our annual Virginia Beach Weekend,

members of the Williamsburg congregation and visitors all gathered at an indoor swimming pool where William Bruton was baptized by his pastor Larry Lambert. Dempsey Bruton, an elder in the congregation (and William’s father), assisted with the baptism. Then the pastors and elders in attendance assisted Mr. Lambert with the laying on of hands.

Afterward we all joined together for a very special Sabbath dinner that evening. Pictured in photo (from left) are Larry Lambert, Susan Bruton, Dempsey Bruton Jr. (grandfather), William Bruton and Dempsey Bruton III (father).

Larry Lambert


Claude Colman Meadows, 74, died peacefully at his residence, surrounded by family, on Thursday, April 25, 2024. Baptized Feb. 17, 1976, Claude was a longtime member of God’s Church.

Claude had a strong love of playing the piano, and he accompanied hymns for many years. All who were privileged to listen to Claude play knew that his style was unique and his talent was incredible.

Claude loved God’s way of life and loved to talk about it with others.

Larry Lambert

J. Elaine Griffith, 89, of New Vienna, Ohio, passed away Feb. 7, 2024, at her residence. She is survived by three daughters and one granddaughter.

Elaine was the youngest of nine children and was preceded in death by her parents, all eight of her siblings and her husband of 57 years, Robert Griffith.

Elaine was born in 1935 to Samuel and Dovie Mae Fraser in North Carolina. She grew up in a sharecropping family raising cotton. In 1952, after moving to Atlanta, she married Robert Griffith. In 1966 they moved to Ohio, where they spent the rest of their lives.

In the mid-1950s, Bob and Elaine were introduced to the Church’s magazines by a neighbor living at the end of their block in Aiken, South Carolina. They became interested and started listening to the Radio Church of God broadcast and took the Bible Correspondence Course.

Soon they asked for a visit and baptism, and headquarters included them in a baptizing tour. After they were baptized in July 1962, they started attending services in Atlanta, the closest congregation.

Over the years, Elaine’s most enjoyable hobby was sewing for her family. She became an excellent seamstress, like her own mother. Elaine always read the newspaper and liked to read books when she had time. The Church and her family were her passion.


Beverly Ogle
Claude Meadows
Elaine Griffith
William Bruton

What When Where Who Why

A weekend of fun and engagement with other young people who share your beliefs and can relate to your challenges. You will be challenged to sharpen your ability to understand, talk about and live by God’s Word.

Friday afternoon, Aug. 30, to Monday, Sept. 2, 2024 (Labor Day weekend)

Camp Copass in Denton, Texas. Cost is $200 per person and includes lodging, all meals, snacks, sessions and all activities.

Young adults between the ages of 18 and 40, we want you! Whether you’re single, married, starting college, starting your career or caring for a family, you have a special place in the Church and have an amazing capacity to make a difference.

We are each facing a wilderness of our own. We all have times when we feel a lack of direction or purpose—times of testing. This event can help us hone our skills, draw closer to God and grow as leaders.

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