A Visitor from Russia
February 25, 2019

In February 2019, we had a guest from Moscow, Russia, in our home. He is Sergey Chervonenko, graduate of Asbury Theological Seminary of Wilmore, KY, and President of Moscow Evangelical Christian Seminary in Moscow.

Above is a photo of Sergy and his wife Yulia.

I am grateful that both Sergey and I are alumni of Asbury.

Sergey is in US on a friendship tour, telling people about the ministry of Moscow Evangelical Christian Seminary. We hosted him at three different meal events to meet Brethren in Christ church leaders and other friends.

Here are a few things we learned about Sergey.
* An ethnic Russian, he grew up in Uzbekistan.
* As a teenager, he was curious about Christians and told his mother he would like to visit a church. She was an atheist but did not object to his going to church.
* He became a believer, the first Christian in his family. His mother and some other family members also became believers.
* For four years, he served as the director of youth programs for a union of Protestant churches.
* He served in a staff position at Moscow Seminary, then earned his D. Min degree from Asbury Seminary in 2017, and became President of Moscow Seminary that same year.
* He and Yulia and their two teenagers live north of Moscow and participate in Tushino Evangelical Church in Moscow.

And here are a few things we learned about Moscow Seminary and religion in Russia.
* Churches and seminaries must register with the government. After accreditation is granted, the Seminary is free to teach the Bible and Christian theology without government interference.
* Moscow Seminary was founded in 1993 through assistance from OMS, a missions organization in the holiness tradition. At first, the initials OMS first meant Oriental Missionary Society, but now it stands for One Mission Society.
* The Seminary still has a close connection with One Missions Society.
* The Seminary is committed to training ministers for Russia in Russia.
* The Seminary has grown significantly in the past three years and now has 700 students. Many of them are already pastors of churches.
* The students come from Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Moldova, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Russia.
* Several Protestant denominations in Russia have named Moscow Seminary as the official institution for training their ministers.
* Some Orthodox priests are evangelical believers. Occasionally, the Seminary has one of these priests teach a class.

You may learn more about this remarkable Seminary online at: http://www.moscowseminary.ru.

We will always be grateful for having met our new friend Sergey Chervonenko.

Here in Kentucky
February 23, 2014

We came to Wilmore, Kentucky, on February 19, 2014, to attend a renewal conference – more about that later – and to visit some students and a friend from years ago. We lived in Wilmore from 1965-1968 while I was a student at Asbury Theological Seminary.

Wilmore is in central Kentucky, south of Lexington, and the area is full of horse farms.

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I was unable to get any good photos of horses. But we saw a lot of stone walls or fences in various stages of maintenance or disrepair. Here are two scenes of good repair – walls with no mortar at all.

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Here are some  scenes of Asbury Theological Seminary, including a statue of John Wesley.

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And inside the Beeson International Center forBiblical Preaching and Church Leadership you find this art piece of Francis Asbury, circuit riding preacher and one of the first two bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States.

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At the seminary we met with the two Brethren in Christ persons who are students here: Luke Embree from Chambersburg, PA: and Megan Byers from Mechanicsburg, PA.

And in order to explore possible connections between Brethren in Christ World Missions and the Seminary, I met with Dr. Gregg Okesson, Dean of the E.  Stanley Jones Center for  World Mission and Evangelism; and with Dr. Thomas Tumblin, Dean of the Beeson Center, which serves as a link between the Seminary and the global church.

Now, for the renewal conference that brought us to Wilmore at this time. This conference was sponsored by the Francis Asbury Society (FAS), an organization founded by Dennis Kinlaw and dedicated to proclaiming the message of biblical  holiness through evangelistic meetings, conferences, retreats and publishing. You may learn more about the Society by visiting its web site.

Here are some views of the building that serves as the center for the Society. The society’s emphasis on the Holy Trinity is shown in a window and the unusual table in the board room.

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Speakers for the conference included Jerry  Coleman, Director of International Ministries for FAS; Stan Key,
Director of Operation for FAS; and guest, Sam Kamaleson, seen in this photo.

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Kamaleson, originally from India, studied at Asbury Seminary. He has founded and directed two foundations in India, published books and spoken around the world in pastors conferences for World Vision.

This renewal conference was held from Friday evening through Sunday noon, February 21-23. The theme was “Living Lavishly,” taken from Ephesians 7:1-8: “…according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished on us…”

Through times of worship, prayer and teaching we drew near to God and pondered the mystery, beauty and power of the fact that God wants not only to be with us, but in us. JoLene and I had the privilege of meeting many church leaders and missionaries who have served in many nations of the world.

We plan to return home on Monday, February 24.

Francis Asbury and His Influence
January 22, 2012

“My desire is to live more to God today than yesterday, and to be more holy in this hour that the last.” This was one of the statements of Francis Asbury.
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Goodby, Florida
February 6, 2011

We are not the only people from Manor Church who go south for some sunshine. Walt and Ann Schlemmer have a love condo unit on Treasure Island. They took us out to dinner at Leverocks, a really good seafood place. And they arranged that Hen and Marsha Barley, Jim and Francine Kauffman and Glenn and Joyce Rohrer joined us at the restaurant. What a party we had!

On Saturday, February 5, we drove to Orlando to visit Matt and Kori Blowers and their children. Matt is pastor of The Harbour Brethren in Christ Church, which is in creative partnership with Vista Community Church. For my missions work I wanted to talk with Matt about the missions awareness and involvement of his church. And, personally, we were glad to be with them since Matt is my nephew.

Today, February 6, we went with them to church. On the way, we stopped by the Florida campus of Asbury Theological Seminary, where Matt is a student.

The campus consists of this one building you see above. I was a student at Asbury’s main campus in Wilmore, KY, from 1965-1968 and was graduated in 1968.

Then Matt and his family took us out to eat at Bubbalou’s Bodacious Bar-B-Que. What a name! The brisket is delicious or bodacious or some other creative adjective.

So ends our working vacation. Every day I did some office work on my laptop. Every day we did something fun.

So Florida, goodby for now. Hope to see you again.

Trip to Kentucky
October 28, 2009

I attended a Camp Meeting Leaders Conference held in Wilmore, KY, on October 7-9. I went because of my role as Director of Roxbury Holiness Camp here in PA.
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