Area Christians Together in Service
Prior Events and Sharers
ACTS Friday Breakfast
February 7, 2020 — No meeting
Our winter policy is to cancel our scheduled meetings if Elmira City schools are closed or delayed due to weather.
January 24, 2020 — Rev. Larry Johnson.
Larry D. Johnson was ordained in 2001, he attended Indian Wesleyan University where he received two degrees in Church Music and Christian Education in 1994. Later in 2007 he received his Master’s in Pastoral Leadership. And in 2013 Larry became a Life Coach through the Wesleyan Coaching Network.
Larry started his ministry in youth work in Puerto Rico in 1983, at the Wesleyan Community Church in Guaynabo, where many of the missionaries from the Wesleyan Academy attend. He met his wife, Circe I. Rosado there and they were married in July 1985.
They have three grown children, and three granddaughters with one more grandchild due to arrive the first week of July 2020. They have Ministered together in Puerto Rico, Indiana, Pennsylvania, the south part of New Jersey, UpState New York and now back to, Pennsylvania at the Millerton Wesleyan Church. They have Ministered together for over 35 yrs. in the areas of; Youth, Youth/Worship, Pastor of Worship, Lead Pastor in Gloversville, NY, and now Lead Pastor at Millerton Wesleyan.
The program during our Friday January 10, 2020 was Mike and Glenda Miller.
The Miller’s – Mike and Glenda Miller – Border Buddies Ministries Inc. (Newsletter reference)
“Michael and Glenda Miller, missionaries in Honduras for 16 years, and founders of Border Buddies Ministries Inc.
Our anticipated time in the field is lifetime.
We currently have two full-time missionaries. The two missionaries are from Honduras. We also have four full-time construction workers and three part-time workers for our Saturday youth group that are Honduran.
It is our desire to hire local Hondurans to work with the ministry so we can offer employment, development, and opportunity to spread the Gospel within their country.
Our ministry has been in existence for 16 years and is located in Tegucigalpa, Honduras in Central America.
Why: Honduras has become one of the poorest countries in all of Latin America, if not the poorest, with 67 percent of the population below the poverty line. Studies have shown as many as 50% of Hondurans are unemployed.
A staggering 77% of Honduran children live in households that are in poverty; one in five children suffer from chronic malnutrition and only 58% percent attend school, according to UNICEF. And the poverty is only getting worse each year.
What we Do: When we first started out in 2004, we targeted the areas of Gang Members in prison and Men and Women who are incarcerated. We found out that the major problem is the lack our resources, training, discipline in the families. Basically, the family structure was broken in Honduras. In 2004 of September we came up with the plan to help “Increase the possibilities to Decrease the population in the prison systems”.
We started out in 2005 in the poorest communities in Honduras by helping with School Sponsorships. We started out with five sponsored children in 2005 and we are currently sponsoring 315 children. During these years we have worked in 14 schools and have seen a decrease in dropout rates from 50% to 2%. Also, we have graduated 188 students from High School and four from Technology School. We have also graduated our first student from the University where she is a computer engineer. Our current needs are the continued growth of new sponsors to sponsor more children as we have an increasing waiting list of children in need to go to school with the proper supplies.
While working with sponsorships we noticed that the public schools were run down to the point of closing. So, in 2005 we started rehabilitating public schools. To date we have helped seven schools by adding a total of 23 classrooms, including a computer lab. These improvements have kept two of the schools from closing. In four of the schools we have built working kitchens, fully equipped with modern appliances, the first in Honduras public schools. These kitchens are feeding over 1,200 students per day.
During our time working with the schools and with our sponsorship program we started reaching out to the youth that were in streets. Those young people are looking for drugs, alcohol, sex and some form of escape from the life they live in their homes. This passion in looking for these things of the world leads children to gangs which then leads them to becoming prisoners. Currently we have four youth groups that range from 12 to 25 years in age. We have seen hundreds of salvations and baptisms as a result of solid spiritual growth. Our original members from back in 2005 are now currently leading two of our satellite youth groups. We plan on opening up a third satellite youth group where we will continue to use older youth as leaders. They have years of experience and instruction from us and can now lead other youth to become Christians, to be better sons and daughters to their family and to bring back restoration to their lives.
Our original boy’s youth group and girl’s youth group also have been giving back to their country by serving 500 squatter families who live in homes made out of garbage. They have organized six house churches, have handed out shoes, clothing, water filters and much more in conjunction with our construction teams from the States during the last three years. We also have a Saturday Youth Program that is formatted like Vacation Bible School and is hosted all year long on Saturdays from 1:30 pm to 6:00 pm. We typically have 120 children in attendance, and during the program the children play, receive bible classes, are taught craft projects, and receive a snack with juice. Our current struggle is the need of a Truck to transport our Teams for activities. Also, with the continued growth and outreach we currently have a budget of $1,400 per month for all these activities and are in need of support for our youth groups.
We also host construction teams that help out in rehabilitating and building schools in Honduras. All our teams currently come from the Southern Tier area and it is building up awareness in what are needs are, what we are doing, and showing that we can work together as churches in Kingdom building. This awareness helps us with the growth of our sponsorship program. Because 50% or more of our team members come back to Honduras more than once, not only to help the ministry but to have interaction with their sponsored child/children. We currently have hosted 56 teams from the States, equaling well over 600 people and representing 11 different countries. We also host one medical team per year and these teams have helped over 8,400 patients in the last seven years. We are happy to say that this October (in 2020) we will be hosting our 8th Medical Team, plus we have already have three construction teams lined up. Our plan is to move into new churches that are outside of central New York State, so we can increase the awareness of the work the Jesus is doing in Honduras.
With this in mind we continue to do our work inside and outside the prisons of Honduras and have instituted our tattoo removal program. We currently have removed 390 plus tattoos from ex-gang members who have either changed their life for Jesus or have left their gang because they didn’t want to live the life of a gang member anymore. The tattoos are a brand that the gangs use to identify who, where, which gang, or what type of gang activities they part of. The tattoos make it easier for gang leaders to find and kill “offending” ex-members. Over 85% of men and women who leave the gang are dead within two weeks. The removal of tattoos is essential because it saves lives and is helping to reduce this sad statistic. However, we are in need of a new and much improved tattoo removal machine which can remove the tattoos in only two sessions versus the eighteen sessions required by the current machine. The reduced number of sessions also reduces the amount of infection and scarring done by the current machine. But the new machine costs in the range of $25,000, so that part of the ministry has been put on hold until it can be purchased. However, the seeds that have been planted in the past years have matured in many men and women which has brought forth a crop of leaders, who are ex-gang members, and who are now teaching in prisons and or in churches in Honduras.
We are blessed to be able to see all this work that God has and will continue to accomplish through the generous hands that come from our local area and abroad. We pray that the awareness through those who support us will continue to grow and motivate others to support the work we are doing in Honduras.”
The program during our Friday, December 6, 2019 breakfast meeting was Theresa Hornbeck.
Theresa shared a wonderful story of challenges and faith. She found God again and faith sustained her during her darkest days. “I moved to Elmira in 2000 and attended St Marys Church and was a lector for a while. I later became a chaplain for St joes hospital. God was always a big part of my life. I was not without struggles.”
The program during our Friday, November 22, 2019 breakfast meeting was Donald Orgill.
Don shared with us a talk recently shared at summer camp with a theme of “Growing up – not old.”
Don was raised by faithful Christian parents in Horseheads. He prayed to receive Jesus as Saviour as a youth around 7 or 8 years old during one of his family devotions held regularly each night before bedtime, and made a public profession of faith in Vacation Bible School.
Don has been active in many Christian ministries including Youth For Christ/Campus Life, ACTS, Gideons, MOPS, Child Character Education, and church. He has a degree in Ornamental Horticulture and operated a Greenhouse and landscape maintenance business for approximately 30 years.
He worked for Adjusters International as a Disaster Recovery Consultant for 10 years inspecting damaged buildings and infrastructure, writing and reviewing FEMA project worksheets, and advising clients from Schools, Fire Departments, Private Non-profits, Public Works Departments, Port Authorities, Sewerage and Water Treatment Facilities, Zoos, and Aquariums from New York to Mississippi, Louisiana to Alaska. Also worked on assignments on Native American Reservations in Florida, and with Native Alaskans. Don also has been a landlord for over 32 years. He also has many years experience in local restaurants and jewelry businesses.
The program during our Friday, November 8, 2019 breakfast meeting was Theresa Allsopp.
Theresa did a fantastic job sharing the difficult topic of abuse. It wasn’t until a friend brought her to a Bible teaching church where she learned about Christ’s love and escaped the cult beliefs others were teaching. This was replaced with Christian fellowship and acceptance so she was able to escape her abusive marriage.
The song “Freely” sung at the beginning of the breakfast fully expressed her joy of knowing Jesus. She attends the Horseheads Community Wesleyan church, where prayer during a Sunday School class allowed her to accept Jesus protection on her life. She is now a greeter in that church family, sharing hugs of Christ’s love, and is going to be starting a women’s class assisting others in overcoming the hurt.
The program during our Friday, October 18, 2019 breakfast meeting was our annual ACTS welcome, review, planning, and prayer workshop.
During our sharing time we welcomed new friends and provided an overview of ACTS: history, passion, vision, goals, and strategies.
After openning prayer, we shared opinions from attendees relating the following: What have we been doing right? What could we have done better? What opportunities are ahead of us? What future threats should we anticipate?
We concluded our time together with prays thanking God for amazing Grace and continuing to seek God’s guidance as area Christians together in service.
The sharer during our Friday, October 4, 2019 breakfast meeting was be Carole Passmore.
She shared a remarkable story, seeking Jesus’ unconditional love through it all; the mission field, of our own backyard & beyond thru our daily walk.
“Grew up in upstate New York, Governor, St. Lawrence Co. My father was a tenant farmer, Mom an alien, (yup had a green card). My Dad died in a farming accident before I turned 3. My Mom remarried, not a good one. My sister would visit and teach me Bible verses. Stepdad died when I was 15.
That spring my sister visited and took me to my first revival service in the Pilgrim Holiness Church in Harrisville, NY. I went to the alter and accepted Jesus. Because of certain circumstances the summer I was 16 I went to live with my sister and family in Bath, NY. Attended the Nazarene Church, graduated from Haverling High School. Took some Art courses and got a diploma that starts, Illustrator and related arts. Married, have 2 children. While my kids were growing up, I became the 2nd lady Cub Master for Pack 140. Big Hi Horse District. Did some Craft shows, sold Shaklee, and other products. Sang with my husband in church, divorced. Married again, not a good marriage. Started painting and did craft shows.
Unfortunately, my sister passed away in 2013; as she had been my rock, and she is the one that encouraged me to keep going. My husband died in 2015. I started to attend Church again, and have been active with both the Community Wesleyan Church and the Bridge Wesleyan Church. God never let me go, he was there when I was not aware of him, He kept His arms around me until I found him again. I am so pleased to say that He is my bread of life and He is my peace. I have a song that has touched me, a will try to sing it at the end of my talk about Japan.”
The sharer during our September 20, 2019 meeting was Hugh Smith.
Many of us remember Hugh as Pastor of Northside Community Church, or Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship, or when he was teaching, preaching, and directing at Elim Bible institute. He and his wife Donna are motor homing around the country, supporting Voice of the Martyrs. Hugh updated us and shares Gods direction on His life; his growing extended family; and the mission they’re living in Voice of the Martyrs: Providing practical relief and spiritual support to the families of Christian martyrs. To equip persecuted Christians to love and win to Christ those who are opposed to the gospel in their part of the world.
2019 ACTS HARVEST BREAKFAST
September 7, 2019
561 Maple St., Big Flats, NY 14814
Sharer: Pastor Jeremy Cranmer, The HUB
Topic: Faith At Work
Pastor Jeremy was born and raised in Elmira NY on the south side of town. He graduated from Davis College in Binghamton NY with a degree in Religious education where he also met wife, Tricia Cranmer. They have been happily married since 2004 and have two beautiful children, ages 10 and 7.
After college, he served as the part-time youth minister for Dryden Baptist church for 7 years before being called back to Elmira. Returning to Elmira, Pastor Jeremey then served as youth pastor for 5 years at Higher Hope Church. In October 2016 he accepted a full-time position with Higher Hope Church to be their associate pastor.
ACTS Friday Breakfast
The sharers during our August 23, 2019 meeting were Luke and Lauren Smallcomb.
The sharer during our August 9, 2019 meeting was Rev. David Cosgrove.
Our desire and calling is to care for and shepherd the hearts of missionaries in Thailand, and around the world. We strongly believe that if missionaries are given the best of soul-care and member-care, their families and ministries will in turn be fortified and the Kingdom of God will abound throughout the world.
We are living out this vision through Luke’s work as a clinical counselor, at The Well International, which is an international counseling center located in Chiang Mai Thailand. Lauren’s ministry is supporting missionaries physical health through providing customized nutritional therapy through one-on-one consultations, as well as health training seminars on a variety of applicable topics. .
Using our own unique gifts, together we aspire to support missionary families from a holistic model of wholeness and health, promoting healthy individuals, families and ministries!
The sharer during our August 9, 2019 meeting was Rev. David Cosgrove.
Rev. David and Elese Cosgrove are the founding directors of Cross Over Global Outreach, a mission organization helping fulfill God-given vision of nationals. They labor overseas in numerous fields, particularly Kenya and Bulgaria, as well as provide short term misson trips for those wanting an up close and personal experience. While stateside, they pastor Devotion House Ministries in Corning, NY, a Sunday gathering to host the presence of God while equipping the saints for their work of ministry. The Cosgrove’s have five grown children, all married and serving the Lord, and currently blessing them with an abundance of grandchildren. Dave and Elese’s passions are traveling both home and abroad teaching and connecting with individual to fill the gaps of God-given vision.
The sharer during our July 26, 2019 meeting was Pastor Micky Cavanaugh.
The following is from Pastor Micky Cavanaugh:
“I have pastored at the Gillett Baptist Church for the last 6 years. I have been involved in a variety of organized youth activities in and around the Gillett area for many years; through Little League, The Troy Area Christian Council, North Country Baptist Youth Ministries (NCBYM), and of course through the Gillett Baptist Church.
This is my 7th Summer of being involved in organizing and laboring as a counselor for Youth Camp at His Thousand Hills in Wellsboro. For two weeks each Summer NCBYM organizes two week-long camps for youth; the first camp is for teens, and the second for those who have completed 3rd grade through 6th grade.
What I want to share with you at the Friday morning breakfast is concerning the importance of pouring ourselves out into the next generation and living Coram Deo – (before the face of God). The theme verse for my sharing time is Proverbs 20:7
“The righteous who walks in his integrity— blessed are his children after him!”
Pastor Micky has been married for 18 years to his wife Jill and they have two boys, Caleb 17 and Camlan 11.”
The sharer during our July 12, 2019 meeting was Larry DeWitt.
Larry DeWitt has been an ACTS member for the past several years. He and his wife Robin have been married for 45 years and are originally from Louisville, Kentucky. They have lived in Horseheads for the past 32 years and are part of the body of Christ with specific fellowship at Maranatha Bible Chapel (CMA). They have 3 children and 5 grandchildren.
Larry is a graduate of Centre College in Danville, Kentucky with a degree in Environmental Science and Physics. He was employed by Corning Incorporated for 36 years in Glass Production and Worldwide Safety Management. He retired 4 years ago and remains active with bible study groups, tennis, softball, shuffleboard and church buildings and grounds responsibilities.
Larry’s testimony will tell of the calling of God on his life from the early 1970’s to present day. It has been an exciting journey clearly marked with God’s guidance, intervention, blessing and grace as only God can do.
The sharer during our June 28, 2019 meeting was Brian Henry
Saving Grace Ministries of Elmira, Inc. (Grace House) is a faith-based transitional residence program located in Elmira, New York. Their mission is to provide a smooth transition to community life for men recently released from a correctional facility, by providing a highly-structured program based on Christian principles. Their target population is homeless adult males who are under supervision by the NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (Parole).
Brian Henry has been serving as the Executive Director of Grace House since June, 2016. Prior to Saving Grace Ministries, Brian has worked in public accounting and in a variety of finance roles for a number of manufacturing companies including Apple, Inc., Synthes USA, and DePuy Synthes, a division of Johnson & Johnson, Inc. As Controller for Synthes USA, he assisted with the plant startup in 2001 when the company moved into the Elmira area and played a key role in its success until the acquisition by Johnson & Johnson in 2012. He served as Global Cost Manager for DePuy Synthes until 2016.
In 2016, Brian and his wife, Donna, felt a calling to serve the local community in ministry. They formed a non-profit, Kamie’s Hope Ministries, serving young women and Brian became associated with Saving Grace, as well. Brian and Donna have been married for 38 years, have two daughters, and four grandchildren. They worship at Higher Hope Church in Big Flats and assisted in the church plant in 2006. They currently live in Elmira.
Saving Grace Ministries – Website
Saving Grace Ministries of Elmira – Webpage
The sharer during our June 14, 2019 meeting was Gail Williams
About half the population will experience a traumatic event in at some point in their lives; some will develop PTSD as a result, most won’t. But for those who do, life is different. Trauma hides or changes the original self, and their behaviors or issues come to define who they are. And for those who grow up in traumatic homes, it is almost impossible to differentiate between the trauma and the true self. Life is very, very hard.
Growing up in a domestically violent home changed Gail William’s original self. Gail believed the bad behaviors and negative attitudes she presented for all of her adult life was who she was, who God meant her to be. In February 2018, Gail began working with a therapist doing a technique called EMDR, that is successfully “unpacking” the trauma, and she has and continues to experience life altering results. She now knows the behaviors and attitudes were the trauma, not who she really is.
Gail is 54 and has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. She has worked for Chemung County for almost 15 years, spending 9 years in Child Protective Services, and the last 6 as a Case Manager for the Department of Aging. She is committed to educating people about trauma and bringing awareness to PTSD and how it controls a person, but most importantly, to spreading a message of hope that healing is possible.
The sharers during our May 31, 2019 meeting were David and Cynthia Pearson
David and Cynthia grew up in Central America as missionary kids. Their experiences as third culture children gave them a heart for the nations. Together they cofounded I Thirst International in 2009, a non-profit committed to providing clean water and small business training in developing nations. They have traveled extensively in 10 countries leading short term teams and doing clean water projects and business training.
David owned and operated Pearson Seamless Gutters for 27 years which he turned over to his son, Joseph, in 2018 because God was calling them to have a deeper, long term impact in missions. Now they live in Nepal where they are doing business as mission setting up a small business training center and incubator called NuVenture Nepal.
The sharer during our Friday, May 17, 2019 was Clayton Templar with Gideons
We are active members and Friends of the Cross Church. We are active with CEF Ministries children’s Evangelical Fellowship as a board member. I recently accepted the president’s position for the area Gideons in Chemung County.
The sharer during our Friday, May 3, 2019 was David Stalbird with Child Evangelism Fellowship
Child Evangelism Fellowship (CFF) is a worldwide organization of born again believers with the purpose of evangelizing children with the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and planting them in a church for Christian living. We accomplish this mission with the following ministries:
- Good News Clubs consists of dynamic Bible lesson, songs, games and a memory verse.
- Christian Youth in Action is a program where we train teenagers and young adults to reach children with the gospel in the summer.
- Vacation Bible Schools and 5 Day Clubs consists of a Bible lesson, songs, games, and a memory verse.
- CEF also shares the gospel at major outreach events such as the Chemung County Fair, Cabin Fever Fun Day, Hope of Christmas in Elmira and Sparkle of Christmas in Corning.
Child Evangelism Fellowship
ACTS Good Friday Celebration
ACTS Friday Breakfast
The sharer during our Friday, April 5, 2019 was Deborah Kuehner
The Potter’s Hands Foundation is a faith-based, non-profit 501c3 organization committed to serving survivors of sexual exploitation and sex trafficking as they work through the process of restoration and healing.
Guided by the gospel of Jesus Christ and empowered by the Word of God, The Potter’s Hands Foundation, Inc. is dedicated to providing a safe, secure environment in which girls will receive mental health counseling, be nurtured in physical, emotional, and spiritual healing, and be equipped with the skills necessary for self-reliance and reintegration to society through building a support network of healthy relationships with family, friends, church, and community.
The sharer during our Friday, March 22, 2019 was Bishop Joseph Mutua
Bro. Joseph is the founding General Overseer to Cornerstone Christian Church, a network of 90+ churches in Kenya, Tanzania, and Congo. He is an excellent teacher and father in the faith whose motto is: To Reach, To Teach, To Send. He also does missionary work throughout Africa, Eastern Europe, and the US. Before beginning the Cornerstone denomination, Joseph served with the “Deliverance” denomination of Kenya for over 30 years and was the #3 man from the top over 2000 churches. He also ministered alongside Paul Yongi Cho from South Korea, who has one of the largest churches in the world. This was at a crusade held in Kenya years back where there were thousands attending it in the Nairobi soccer stadium.
The sharer during our Friday, March 8, 2019 was Deacon Paul Sartori
Paul Sartori is the Directing Attorney for Sullivan Trail Legal Society, Inc. which acts as the Attorney for the child in Family Court and Supreme Court matters. He has held that role since 1997. Prior to that, he was engaged in the general practice of law focusing on civil and criminal litigation.
Attorney Sartori was ordained a deacon for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester in 2010 and was assigned to St. Mary’s Parish on Elmira’s southside. In 2018, St. Mary’s consolidated with two other parishes to form the parish of the Most Holy Name of Jesus. Paul continues his work as a deacon with that parish.
Paul sees a connection between his work as an attorney for children and his ministry as a deacon. “A deacon’s role is primarily to bring the presence of Christ to others through humble and faithful service.” Recognizing that we are all imperfect vessels of Christ’s love, Paul strives to live his diaconal call in all aspects of his life.
Paul grew up in Elmira and attended Elmira schools through his graduation in 1976. He went on to Hamilton College, graduating in 1980 with an AB in Philosophy and English. In 1985, Paul graduated from Boston University School of Law and was admitted to practice in Massachusetts and New York in 1986. He received a masters in pastoral studies from St. Bernard’s Institute in 2010. Paul enjoys spending his spare time traveling, reading and spending time with his nieces and nephews.
The sharer during our Friday, February 22, 2019 was Sylvie E. Farr
Sylvie is the Executive Director of Chemung County Habitat for Humanity.
Chemung County Habitat for Humanity is an affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, a global, nonprofit housing organization working in nearly 1,400 communities across the United States and in approximately 70 countries around the world. We build strength, stability and self-reliance in partnership with people and families in need of a decent and affordable home.
Our mission: Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope.
Our vision: A world where everyone has a decent place to live.
The principles that we follow:
- Demonstrate the love of Jesus Christ.
- Focus on shelter.
- Advocate for affordable housing.
- Promote dignity and hope.
- Support sustainable and transformational development.
What we do:
In Chemung County, a lack of safe, affordable housing options and an aging housing infrastructure are both a cause and an effect of poverty. We revitalize communities by rehabilitating existing homes and selling them to low-income families. We partner with first-time homebuyers in our community to help them improve a place they can call home.
Habitat partner families invest “Sweat Equity” hours by working alongside our volunteers to renovate their own home or the homes of other Habitat families. In addition to construction, Habitat partner families earn Sweat Equity by volunteering at events, assisting with administrative tasks, and taking financial and homeownership training classes.
Upon completion of construction, the homes are sold to Habitat homeowners at no profit and financed with affordable loans. The proceeds from the sale of the homes are used to fund renovation of more Habitat homes. With community support, Habitat homeowners achieve the strength, stability and independence they need to build a better life for themselves and for their families.
Their website is: www.chemungcountyhabitat.org
The sharer during our Friday, February 8, 2019 was Rev. David Daniels
Rev. David Daniels:
Personal: Raised in a Christian family in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan. Made a commitment to Jesus at age 7, baptized at 12. Married to Charlene Emily Adams, December 16, 1972. We have 3 incredible kids — Angela, 40, married to Mike, with 2 girls, 2 boys; Sarah, married to Steven, with 2 boys, 2 girls; Ian, married to Rachel, with 3 boys. That’s 11 grandchildren. 1 teenager, 10 between 2 and 9. We are the first, on either side of our families, to have all of their children with college degrees.
Education & Employment: Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan B.A., English Literature, 1970. (Oakland is now a separate university, but at that time it was a branch of Michigan State.) M. Div., 1974, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, S. Hamilton, MA. Worked in Christian bookstores for about 20 years — Cambridge, MA; Lansing, MI; Ann Arbor, MI; Ithaca, NY; Elmira, NY. Retail buyer, Cornell Campus Store, Ithaca, NY, 1990-2003. Retired from Cornell, 2003.
Ministry: Ordained, American Baptist Churches, USA, January, 2000. Interim Pastor, First Baptist, Moravia, NY, 1998-99. Interim Pastor, South Side Baptist, Elmira, NY, 1999-2000. Interim Pastor, Memorial Baptist, Cortland, NY, 2000. Pastor, South Side Baptist, May, 2003. Things get fuzzy after that… 2003-2008, full-time position, South Side Baptist. 2008-2011, part-time position at South Side. Part-time Pastor, Reading Community Church, Reading, NY 2008- current. Interim Pastor, First Baptist, Elmira, NY, 2009-2011. Full-time at United Baptist (merger of South Side & First Baptist), 2011-2012. Part-time Pastor, Second Milo Baptist, Penn Yan, NY 2013- current.
Volunteer Work: Food Panty of Schuyler County; Chemung County Habitat for Humanity.
Our sharers for Friday, January 25, 2019
was John Erway with ABWE Ghana
As a team, ABWE Ghana has developed a four-part guiding document that we call our “sandbox”:
- Mission: We exist to glorify God by multiplying healthy churches.
- Central Ministry Focus: To develop and empower leaders and passionate Christ followers
- Guiding Principles: We are committed to being Biblically-based, mentoring, equipping nationals without creating dependency, providing and receiving accountability, learning through ongoing training, empowering teammates and nationals, and utilizing available resources.
Additonal information for this ministry may be found on their website: http://www.jterway.com
Our first sharers for the new year on Friday, January 11, 2019 were
Mike and Glenda Miller from Border Buddies Ministries.
The purpose of the Border Buddies mission is to improve the outlook and strength of families and keep youth from entering the gangs in Tegucigalpa by offering:
- Christ-centered youth groups
- Sponsorships for children to attend school
- Improved and expanded schools
- Sponsored small business start-ups
- Tailoring classes
- Prison ministry
- Short-term construction teams
- Short-term medical teams
Link to additional information: Border Buddies Ministries, Inc.
Our Sharer for Friday, November 30, 2018 was:
Dirk Olds, Financial Advisor
Dirk was born and raised in the Southern Tier. He earned a four-year degree from West Virginia University in Education. After 10 year in the service industry, Dirk felt a calling to helping others and worked to become a financial services representative in 1993. His successful career began as an advisor with two major insurance companies. Following a promotion to manager, he started his own firm. Dirk joined the Ambassador Advisors team in 2014. He is current working with Border Buddies Ministries and the Potter’s Hands Foundation.
Dirk sharee his story and personal thoughts relating to stewardship. At 9:00 am, after our regular ACTS meeting, Ambassador Advisors will presented a free financial seminar for the benefit of Border Buddies Ministries and the Potter’s Hands Foundation. The title of the presentation was: Planned Giving and the Pathway to a Lasting Legacy.
Our Sharer for Friday, November 2, 2018 was:
Rev. William Reynolds
Spiritual Care Counselor at Carefirst
Bill Reynolds is an ACPE Certified Educator and ordained and endorsed for institutional chaplaincy by the American Baptist Churches, USA. Bill was born in Weirsdale, Florida and is the son of now retired Southern Baptist missionaries in Germany and Belgium. Bill was a philosophy major at Furman University and received his M.Div. at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. His first unit of CPE was at Wake Medical Center in Raleigh, NC in 1986, where he later completed a residency year.
After serving with his wife, Rev. Debbie Bennett Reynolds, as Co-Ministers for Education, Mission and Youth at Oakhurst Baptist Church in Decatur, he resumed his clinical and Certified Educator training in 1993 at Egleston Children’s Hospital (now Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta) through the Emory Center for Pastoral Services. He was Associate Director of Chaplaincy Services at the University of Rochester Medical Center from 2004 – 2017.
He joined the CareFirst Hospice team as a Spiritual Care Counselor (part-time) in November, 2017 and became full-time in March, 2018. Bill became an ACPE Certified Educator in 2000. His clinical interests are palliative care and hospice, pastoral care with children and adolescents, staff support and bioethics. His wife is Pastor at First Baptist Church in Ithaca. They have two young adult children, Anna and Luke. He enjoys winter sports, cycling, hiking and camping.
Our Sharer for Friday, October 19, 2018 was:
Dr. Cary Shaw
Dr. Shaw has been the Head of School at Twin Tiers Christian Academy in Horseheads, NY since 1996 and on staff at the Academy since 1990. It was an interest in mathematics coupled with a burden to minister to young people that initially led him to pursue a degree in mathematics and secondary education at Cedarville University after securing a master’s degree from Elmira College and his teacher certification through New York State.
Dr. Shaw started teaching college courses at the Academy as an adjunct professor for Corning Community College. In 2015, he received his doctorate from Binghamton University after completing a national study on the history of Christian education in the United States. Through the years, Dr. Shaw’s greatest joy comes from seeing the transformative effect of a biblical worldview education in the lives of his students.
In addition to his work at the Academy, Dr. Shaw’s interests include coaching as well as officiating basketball, long distance running, and spending time with his wife, Kathy, and their four children.
Our Sharer for Friday, October 5, 2018
Gayle is a lifelong believer in our Lord Jesus Christ, having trusted Him as her Savior when she was 12 years old. She spent 42 years in the therapy profession, first in the VA system, and then 28 years as the Senior Physical Therapist at St Joseph’s Hospital Inpatient Rehab Unit. She was a licensed local pastor from 1996 through 2000 and is currently at Penn Ave United Methodist Church as the maintenance manager and previously as the Worship Producer. The title she has choosen for her presentation is:
Stand Up, Living a Life of Integrity
A real passion for her is Border Buddies Ministries, having done 10 mission trips to Honduras with Mike and Glenda Miller. She is retired and lives at home with her 2 kitty cats.
September 21, 2018
Our own member, Brad Lytle, updated us on the progress of Luke & Lauren Smallcomb and family in their mission in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Brad is Lauren’s father. Luke and Lauren have been in country for a year and a half. They have experienced many challenges and have seen God working in wonderful ways. Brad presented a Power Point Presentation, prepared by Luke and Lauren, detailing how the Lord called them to their mission, what has happened to them since they answered the call, what they have seen and done and how they are coping with the many challenges.
As has been explained previously to ACTS, Luke, a graduate of Columbia International University, with a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Counseling and Lauren is a Registered Nurse and a Certified Nutritional Therapist. The primary mission Luke is involved in is through “The Well” as a counselor to other missionaries who are having family or marital problems. Until recently, these missionaries have had no one to turn to for assistance. Lauren is involved with many missionary families and Thai people, helping them with matters of physical, as well as spiritual health. The kids, well…they are kids!
Additional information can be found on their website: Filled2Bless and on actstt.org/shepherds-staff-mission-facilitators
Date: Saturday – September 8, 2018
Time: 8:00 am
Location: Community Wesleyan Church, 2095 Grand Central Ave, Horseheads, NY 14845
NO CHARGE FOR BREAKFAST. 100% of a free will offering collected during this event will be added to our MISSIONS fund for distribution prior to the end of each year.
We look forward to the sharing of Mary Ann Bernard
I have known God all my life, loved Jesus since a child. I was called by God to ministry; Studied Psychology/Religious Studies at the University of North Dakota graduating in 1978, Graduated From Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary with a M.Div. in 1982; was ordained in the United Methodist Church in 1980.
My ministry has been in traditional church settings in North Dakota, Iowa and New York; and also in non-church settings like working at the YWCA with homeless women in Maine, and with Healthy Start program in Hawaii and the Head Start program in Schuyler County. God has called me both in and out of the church to serve God’s people.
My focus will be to share about that call, the rhythm of moving in and out of the church, and to challenge us all to let our faith not be kept separate from our daily lives, but truly live a “faith at work.” I’m in my 12th year of working at Bethany Village as Director of Pastoral Care. When not there, I read, write, care for angora goats, spin and weave their fiber, and generally celebrate God’s presence.
Rev. Mary Ann Bernard
Director of Pastoral Care – Bethany Village
ACTS Friday Breakfast
August 24, 2018
Rick Snavely is the CEO/General Manager for Family Life. Their multiple state ministry is greatly appreciated by ACTS members. Additional information relating to this ministry can be found on their website: www.fln.org . Rick’s topic was “God’s Assignments”. He shared personal thoughts relating to: the Lord’s leading, some Biblical insights on how the Lord uses us to do His work, and the Family Life new building project.
Rick’s bio is included on their website: Rick Snavely
August 10, 2018
Walter Whitson was born and raised in Elmira and continued this tradition with his own family. Walt earned his degree in liberal arts, mathematics and physics at Elmira College while providing for/raising a family and holding down 2 jobs. He was an engineer at Westinghouse for 44 years.
Walt learned about the Lord at a young age through his mother and Nellie Biedelman. He came to accept the Lord through the birth of his first born, Bonnie, who had severe physical and mental disabilities. He has blossomed as a servant of Christ’s and hasn’t stopped growing daily in the Lord.
His passion is sharing the word of Christ’s salvation to those who have not accepted and/or grown with the Lord’s gift, thus leading him to the prison ministry. Walt started out in the prison ministry in 1990 at the Elmira Reformatory facility. In 1992, while he and his wife, Virginia, where living in Florida during the winter with their daughter, Debbie, he met Charlie Rozzelle, leader of the prison ministry for Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church. Charlie introduced Walt to the prison spiritual cell at the Conte facility and Walt has been preaching the Lord’s word there since.
July 27, 2018
Father Lew Brown
Father Brown was born and raised in Elmira. Educated at Elmira Catholic Schools. Seminary education at St. Bernard’s in Rochester. Ordained in 1967 by Bishop Fulton Sheen for the Diocese of Rochester. Served at various parishes in the Diocese for 18 years.
Commissioned a US Navy Chaplain in 1985. Over the course of 22 years assigned to Marines in Okinawa, Japan, shipboard on USS Nimitz (CVN-68), with the submariners in Washington State, with the Destroyer & Frigate squadrons in Norfolk, VA, with the Navy aviators in Virginia Beach, VA, at the Washington Navy Yard with duties at Arlington National Cemetery, finally at Naval Training Command, Great Lakes, IL.
Returning to the Diocese of Rochester in 2008, he was assigned to All Saints Parish in Coming. He retired from parish administration in 2012 and continues to help in area Catholic churches.
July 13, 2018
Leanne is with the Discipling The Nations minisitry. Intro thoughts from her include:
I have been in Austria for 34 years. I tell my Austrian friends that I was born in Canada but made for Austria. It’s home!
My sons are Jonathan 20 who is in college in Austria to become a kindergarten teacher and David 15 who will be in tenth grade in Vienna come fall.
My main focus is discipleship. In my local Austrian church I am deaconess for women’s ministries. My goal is to teach women how to teach women and to live as the daughter of the King in every day life.
Additional information is included on her outreach ministry page:
June 22, 2018
Mark Erway has been a supporter of Michael and Glenda Miller since before they began Border Buddies Ministries back in 2004 and he has served as Vice President of the corporation for 14 years, He and Dale Cleveland traveled to Honduras for two weeks in 2004 to assist Mike and Glenda in their prison ministry effort, and they were on the very first shorter-term construction team in 2005. Since then Mark has been on 11 construction teams and a medical team, having just served on Team #50 that returned on June 5h. The Border Buddies motto is “Bringing the Heart of Christ to the Heart of Honduras”,and Mark’s passion is helping to recruit team members and showing them how they can be a short-term missionary, too. It is a life-changing experience to step out in faith and serve others in the name of Jesus, not only for team members but for the youth and adults with whom we interact in Honduras.
We (Border Buddies) have repaired four schools already and are in our third year of renovations at the 21st of October Institute, and Junior/Senior High School, where we will have added 11 classrooms and a computer lab when all is said and done. 20 of our teams have worked there investing many hundreds of hours of labor and well over $100,000 in materials. A huge impact is being made on all of the students and their families resulting in increased enrollment, higher grades and more graduates. The schools’ Principal visited our area last January to sing the praises and promote support for the work going on. The parents and guardians are in full support of Michael holding Bible study classes for the youth there during the day as well as having youth group meetings in the evenings. We have installed a complete surveillance system to help the staff with discipline. Additionally, through our “One Child Sponsorship” program, we now have just over 300 students whose education, tuition, uniform and books are being supported by folks from our area.
Retired from the Hilliard Corporation and retired from the United Methodist Church as a Local Pastor, he stays involved in disciplining through active involvement in the technologies group of Pennsylvania Avenue United Methodist Church at their Pine City, Arnot Mall and Watkins Glen locations. Mark and Anne will celebrate their 48th anniversary on June 27th. We are blessed to have our son Benjamin, his wife Gabrielle and their daughter Emily living close by, and by John and Tamara who are missionaries to Ho, Ghana with ABWE.
June 8, 2018
Greatly appreciate the inspiring and educational message from Dale Cleveland during our meeting on Friday, June 8, 2018. Dale asks all to consider the following support opportunity:
“In 2016 Victory Highway church began sponsoring the construction of a school library in Gales Point Manatee, Belize. This June a team will be going down to complete the construction and hopefully stock the shelves with good quality books. We will be purchasing a large number of the books in Belize because of the high cost of shipping. With your donation we will be able to purchase the necessary books to make this a valuable and viable library for the school and even the community. Thank you for considering partnering with us. Clink on the link (or copy and paste) below to donate.”
The Great Commission tells us In Matthew 28:19-20 to “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Dale Cleveland likes to think of himself as an enabler, which is not always a bad thing. Dale’s passion since retirement has been to participate in and lead Short Term Mission trips wherever God would direct. God has allowed him to go to Zambia, Africa, Honduras 11 times, Haiti 7 times, and his latest call has been to partner with a local pastor in Belize, Central America. He believes he is enabling missionaries, pastors and ministries to strengthen their ability to reach people with the life changing power of Jesus Christ, by serving them in many different ways.
Dale will be sharing some of his Short Term Mission experiences that God has allowed him to be blessed with through photos, and stories.
May 25, 2018
Chemung County Jail
Golden Key Prison Misistry
In 1985, David Knuppenburg, was on track for becoming a church pastor. But, as God often does, his life was directed onto an unexpected pathway. Shortly after returning from a Bill Gothard’s Pastor’s Conference, David was watching a local news report on television at his girlfriend’s (now wife) apartment. He watched the usual “perp walk” as the handcuffed young man is led into custody. But this time was different because David recognized this man as a friend from high school. He recalled the recent in-depth teaching he had received at the Pastor’s Conference on the work of ministry from Matthew 25:31-46.
The verse that particularly struck him was where Jesus had said, “…I was in prison and you came unto me.” (verse 36). That one phrase changed the course of David’s life. He went to visit his friend in the Chemung County Jail and shared with him the booklet, “Steps to Peace in Christ”. His friend asked Dave to see a friend that he met in jail and that friend had a friend and soon Dave was making weekly jail visits and on the path to prison ministry. He began preaching on Sundays at the jail and met George Keith and Ed Coby who were working with Pastor Doug Smith of Golden Key Prison Ministry.
“Chaplain Dave”, as he has been known for 25 years now, feels that the work of the chaplain is “to be available as a role model of Christ, to help escort people on their spiritual journeys.” He also actively recruits and trains volunteers to fulfill the roles that God has called them to so he has a large group of active volunteers at Chemung County.
Additional information relating to this ministry may be found on their website: http://www.goldenkeyprisonministry.org
The following is the completed “fill in the blank” form shared by David during our meeting.
Hang Tough Together – Philippians 3:12-16
- The Plan is Progress not Perfection (v 12a & v 13a)
- The Past is over Forget it. (v 13b)
- The Future holds our Hope (v 13c)
- The secret is a determined Attitude (v 15a)
- The need is keeping a High Standard Together (v 16)