Church of God in Michigan
January/February 2024
eAction Newsletter


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eAction Proverbs 16:3
Rev. Mark Richardson

Proverbs 16:3 (NIV)
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.

Amazingly, we have gone through the first month of 2024. It seems like we just put away the Christmas decorations, celebrated a Happy New Year, and established and already abandoned our New Year’s Resolutions (at least some of us). And February is already come. We will quickly frown at Punxsutawney Phil, some will celebrate Valentine’s Day, commemorate Ash Wednesday, and begin the Lenten Season. Before we know it, March and Spring will be here with Holy Week on the horizon. All of these cause many of us to look forward, and many of these events will be celebrated with excitement. Although that groundhog in Pennsylvania causes me to want to take up hunting!

As we enter in February, I am looking forward with excitement to the additions to the Church of God in Michigan Staff that can help us grow the ministry to better serve our congregations and leaders. If you attended our General Assembly Meeting in early November, you might remember that I proposed an Associate State Pastor and an additional part-time office staff person in 2024 and beyond. One focus of these additions is to provide key backups to the current staff in case of emergencies. Also, the plan is to better resource our 95 congregations and ministries, as well as better support our pastors and leaders throughout the state. In November and December I engaged in a search process for these two new positions. At the end of December, I contacted the two individuals that were selected to fill these positions. I am pleased to announce that in the beginning of March, Rev. Joshua Brandt will become our Associate State Pastor and Karen Gunter will join the staff as an additional part-time office staff support person. Their pictures and brief biographies are included below.

I am pleased, after a difficult selection process, to welcome Rev. Joshua Brandt aboard as your Associate State Pastor. He brings nearly 30 years of varied pastoral ministry, as well as regional and national ministry experience to the position. During his time in Michigan, he serves as the Senior Pastor of Pennway Church of God, the Chair of our State’s Credentials Committee, and the Chair of the National Committee on Credentials for Church of God Ministries. He has keen insight of ministry, a heart for congregations and ministers, and a passion to see the Gospel lived out in our communities. He will help us to reach out significantly more across this great state.

I am also pleased to welcome to the staff Karen Gunter, who brings significant experience in finances, staff and ministry team management, and a heart for the Lord’s church to the position. She will focus primarily on helping to develop the support systems for demographic studies and support for our congregations and pastors, as well as working with our congregations and Church of God Ministries to help our ministers and congregations stay registered and in good standing with Church of God Ministries. This is vital to our congregations and ministers being in good standing with the government. There will be other special ministry projects with which she will assist. She will also develop as an emergency backup for Goldie Kurtzhals with our Credentials and Leadership Focus processes, and Becky Adams with our finance and support systems. Having her on the staff will also allow us to fulfill the auditor’s recommendation for separation of duties in handling of our finances.

With these additions, we will continue to utilize the ministry support of our Regional Pastors and Rev. Jerry Lyon, our Church Health Pastor throughout 2024. We are thankful for the great team the Lord has blessed us to have, and we are excited for 2024 and beyond as we prepare for what the Lord wants to do through the Church of God in Michigan. I am looking forward with excitement. We covet your prayers, your support, and your encouragement. We want to be in full partnership with you in advancing the Kingdom of God in this great state. May the Lord richly bless us all as we endeavor to serve Him.

With love,
Rev. Mark K. Richardson, State Pastor

Joshua Brandt

Rev. Joshua Brandt
Joshua Brandt felt the call to ministry the summer after 9th grade while at summer camp. All the campers were spread over the campground in the hills of West Virginia for twenty minutes of silence. While watching some ants marching through the blades of grass, he heard Jesus say, “Will you serve me with all of your life?” With his “yes,” Joshua had no idea of the adventure and joy that was ahead.

Joshua met Laura in July of 1996 when he was the youth director at a Camp Meeting in Northeast Ohio. He fell for her smile and her nervous laughter. She fell for the way he wrote to her in letters that first summer. They were married in July of 1997 and have been falling for each other ever since. Joshua and Laura have three daughters. Sarah (25) is a 2020 graduate of Ball State University with a degree in Elementary Education. Her dream is to have a kindergarten class of her own. Olivia (23) is a senior nursing student at Ball State. She is a natural, compassionate leader who will change her part of the world. Sophia (19) is a senior journalism major at Michigan State University. She has a quick wit and a big heart.

Joshua began his journey in ministry as a youth pastor at a small church in Hartville, Ohio, in the summer of 1995. Since then, he has pastored in Northwest Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan. For the last 2.5 years, Joshua has been Lead Pastor at Pennway Church of God in Lansing, Michigan. During this time he prepared the church to launch a new lifecycle.

Joshua is passionate about helping a generation of leaders find and live out their destinies. He believes every leader and every church needs to be seen and known.

Joshua graduated from Malone College (98) with a degree in Biblical Literature and from Anderson University School of Theology (20) with a Masters in Theological Studies. He recently began his doctoral studies at United Theological Seminary with a focus on the work of the Holy Spirit.

Karen Gunter

Karen Gunter
Meet Karen Gunter, a Financial Administrator with a passion for numbers. She currently works for a machine shop doing the accounting as well as working in the shop. This gives her a variety which she loves and is able to interact with her co-workers. She has worked with non-profits in the accounting field for half of her accounting career. She was also the manager for several years of a non-profit to 177 employees throughout the state of Michigan.

When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She takes great pleasure in and receives such a blessing by cooking meals for a handful of her elderly neighbors on weekends. She has a strong faith in God and loves to spend time reading her Bible where she always learns something new. She enjoys participating in and contributing to her church functions. She is also an avid reader and can be seen sitting in her chair or on her balcony reading a good book.


Worship and Youth Leaders -   Charlevoix Family Camp


We are in need of names of any Worship and youth leaders who would like to be considered to lead worship and youth camp for future camp meetings. We are also looking for anyone that would be interested in doing the Saturday night concert. We are also in need of names of any Pastor that would like to be considered as evangelist for the week. We have two different camp meetings each year and you will only be called to serve in either the June or July camp. If you are interested please contact me as soon as possible.
Thank you

David L Mulherin


E2024 is a unique opportunity to connect with like-minded women clergy spanning many denominations. This is a place where you will be re-energized, reaffirmed, and re-ignited as you explore and live out our diverse callings.

In Dallas, you will experience:

• Powerful keynotes from gifted preachers and leaders, including our mainstage speakers:

◦ Rev. Romanita Hairston
◦ Rev. Tatum M. Osbourne
◦ Rev. Sandra Maria Van Opstal
◦ Captain Caroline Rowe
◦ Rev. Christine Youn Hung

• Practical workshops from experts in their field
• Spirit-filled worship that represents God’s global heart
• Spanish translation of keynotes and workshops
• Formative experiences like prayer spaces and interactive stations/workshops
• Networking opportunities for connecting with peers, affinity groups and creating life-long friendships

E2024 promises to be a life changing event for all who attend and we want you to be there!

We know attending a conference can feel like a risky investment of time, money, energy and expectations. With each new opportunity you probably ask yourself, “Will it be worth all the effort and financial investment?” Please know that our conference planning committee is working hard behind the scenes to make sure every attendee finds what they need most at this event.

Register now to take advantage of Super Early Bird pricing and save $115 off the regular registration cost. Discounts are also available for students and first time WHWC conference attendees.

Interested in bringing a group? Register a group of 10 or more and receive $10 off for each registration.

Click here to register for this value packed event designed by women in ministry for women in ministry.

We look forward to seeing you in Texas,

Rev. Soo Ji Alvarez WHWC Conference Director

Michigan Church of God women ministers will be reimbursed their registration cost for attending. - Rev. Mark Richardson
Saturday, May 11, 2024
Hope Crossing, Sterling Heights

We will continue our work on the newly constructed Silver Sands Church of God on the southern point of the island. Something for everyone to do regardless of age or skill level. SIGN UP TODAY!

DATES: January 4: Fly to Barbados and settle in our residence. January 14: Leave Barbados for home.

REGISTRATION FEE: $1,300 ($1,400 after August 15) + airfare. Registration fee covers all basic costs once you arrive in Barbados, including island travel, lodging, and meals (except for meals while at the resort hotel).

PARTICIPANTS: Minimum 15 -- Maximum 20 (children under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or supervising adult) LODGING: Our group will be staying at the Round Rock Apartments close to our work site. Our final three nights will be spent at the Divi Southwinds Beach Resort for some R & R before returning home (covered in registration fee).

MEALS: Meals will be provided by Vision Ministries. Participants will be responsible to pay for their own meals while at the Divi Southwinds.

REQUIREMENTS: Passport and current tetanus shot.

AIR TRAVEL TO / FROM BARBADOS: Participants will be responsible for securing and paying for their own air travel to and from Barbados. Vision Ministries will pick you up and return you to the Barbados airport. We will work with you in getting you the needed flight information. NOTE: Do not purchase your plane tickets until given clearance by Vision Ministries.

WORK PROJECTS: We will continue to do a lot of painting of the lower level rooms as well as other smaller projects.There will be something for everyone to do, regardless of your skill level. All you need is relatively good health, helping hands, and a loving heart. We will work Monday-Friday.

NOTE: Churches sending work camp participants are encouraged to donate some funds for the work camp construction materials.

Perhaps your congregation is in need of professional, Christian mediation concerning conflict. Perhaps your church could benefit from training in Crucial Conversations and how to share even difficult information with others without doing damage. We can help with that through Rev. Chris Cottrell, who is very well trained and experienced in helping churches through these difficult challenges. His information and contacts are included below. Another good thing to keep in mind is that Chris is a native Michigander, and he always loves to come back home.

Placeholder Image
Rev. Dr. Christopher Cottrell

Contact: Rev. Dr. Christopher Cottrell, (937) 621-2162

learn more
Alma, First Church of God
Barryton, Barryton Church of God
Lansing, Pennway Church of God
Saint Johns, First Church of God
Cassopolis, First Church of God (Bi-Vocational Pastor)
Detroit, Church of God of Detroit (youth pastor)

Interested? Contact - Rev. Mark K. Richardson, State Pastor


First Church of God | Saint Johns, Michigan
Currently seeking a full-time pastor

St. Johns is a small town in Michigan once known as the "hub" of Michigan for its location in the center of the lower peninsula. The city is also known as "Mint City USA" for the annual Mint Festival and parade held in August to celebrate its mint-farming legacy. Traditional mores and family solidarity are dominant in the community.


St. Johns Church of God

This congregation has been growing for over 100 years and is dedicated to consistent growth and open to change.
We have worshipped and served God at our current location since 1974.
Our present facilities were constructed mostly through the combined service and work of congregants.
The congregation is financially healthy.
The congregation is at its best when it is working together in God-focused unity.
The congregation enjoys gathering in various ways, including Sunday morning pre-service coffee hour, an annual July 4th fireworks viewing party for the community, and annual summer picnics and Christmas banquets.
The church organization is led by a Board of Directors with the pastor as executive.
The Board works in partnership with the pastoral staff to embody the character of Christ.
In February 2023 NXTStep Church Services completed a full church assessment. The Church Assessment Report is available on the church website at

Pastoral Call

We recognize a pastor as someone who feels and is actively pursuing a calling.
We believe God is preparing the person who will be our next pastor.Suspendisse pulvinar mi at hendrerit gravida
We are seeking God's leadership in guiding us to that person.
We are seeking a full-time pastor who:

- Willingly submits to spiritual guidance.
- Is credentialed, or is willing to enter the process of being credentialed, by the Church of God Credentials Committee.
- Has or is seeking appropriate education in the biblical, theological, and practical aspects of ministry.
- Understands the importance of technology to contemporary church worship and outreach.


Pastoral Character

We believe that the character of a pastor is vital and must reflect scriptural guidelines.
We are seeking a pastor who:

- Biblically teaches with the capacity to engage the hearts and minds of those seeking God, and to educate and challenge toward spiritual growt
- Is a Holy Spirit disciple of Jesus who emphasizes prayer and biblical soundness.
- Is a community-minded leader who actively engages in ministry inside and outside the church walls.
- Is a listener who is able to provide congregational care.
Is able to see and respond to people with compassion, care, and sound instruction.
- Is a good communicator.
- Has emotional intelligence and a commitment to on-going personal growth and maturity.
- Is genuine, nonjudgmental, and humble.
- Provides visionary leadership and is willing to take risks and go where God leads.


Contact Us


Pastor John Davey (Interim Pastor), (989) 763-0399 or Sarah Young


First Church of God | Cassopolis, Michigan
Bi-Vocational Pastor - Job Description


The Big Picture -
The Cassopolis church is a small fellowship of dedicated believers seeking a lead pastor that is energetic, has a passion for and will help and guide its people in reaching the lost in the
community we serve. His or her focus will center on preaching, leadership, pastoral care and
personal witness.


The Church -
The Cass church is a welcoming one - that seeks to glorify God and live out the love of Christ
through worship, fellowship, discipleship and sharing the good news. Our church is proud of its many years of history and undeniable desire to serve those in need in the community. The
people of this church are aware of the challenges of a bi-vocational pastor and understand that a person has limitations. The lead pastor and leadership team will work together to set
priorities, assignments, boundaries and team support.


The Community -
Cassopolis is located along the Michigan state line 20 miles north of South Bend, Indiana. In recent years the downtown community and Stone Lake area has been revitalized by The Imagine Cass Project which sought to transform the entire community. While serving as the county seat, this quaint village has a historic atmosphere and is a great place to establish strong family values. In addition, a major new industrial park is currently in process just outside of town. The village, farm country and large Diamond Lake offers some unique opportunities and challenges.


Requirements/Qualifications -

Personal call to pastoral ministry
Qualified to minister in the church as required in 1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-9
Committed to living and serving consistent with scripture and the Church of God
Licensed and ordained in the Church of God, Anderson, Indiana or be in the process of licensing and ordination.
The ability to communicate through the preaching ministry and lead people to life changing experiences.
Possess strong leadership and communication skills, necessary to identify, seek out and build relationships in the community, as needed, to enhance outreach efforts, partnerships and ministries.

Duties and Responsibilities -

To proclaim the gospel of Christ and to teach the Bible in a way that communicates well.
To provide leadership and cast vision joining together with the people of the church to develop plans and programs for forward growth.
Work and serve with the Leadership team in future endeavors and choosing of additional members of Adult/Youth Ministries.
To facilitate regular contact/visitation of church families.
To officiate at weddings, funerals, and any other significant church events as well as serving as a representative of the church at significant community events.

Position Summary -
We seek an energetic and enthusiastic lead pastor who feels a divine call to pastoral ministry
upon his or her life. The lead pastor needs to have a heart for serving and a passion to share
the good news of the gospel in order to see lives transformed. We expect that the person
accepting this position would feel God's call to our congregation.


The Compensation -
This is a part-time position. Salary and benefits will be determined based on experience and
education of the successful candidate and in line with the current recommendations contained in the budget.


Please send resume to Dennis Wooden,, and Mike Grice,

For any questions or more information please contact Dennis Wooden at 517-937-5568


Church of God of Detroit | Detroit, Michigan
New Position - Emerging Generation Pastor

Position Overview the Emerging Generation Pastor will be a champion for children, youth, young adults, and their families as a part of the larger community and ministry of the Church of God of Detroit. It is this pastor's responsibility to direct, encourage, and oversee the various ministries connected to her/his position.

Align Ministries Develop Leaders Give oversight to the formation of leaders in the emerging generation ministries

Working Relationships
The Emerging Generation Pastor is directly accountable to the Senior Pastor. The Emerging Generation Pastor is a member of the ministry staff/team.

Personal Attributes
Follower of Jesus - Evidence of a personal relationship and commitment to Christ. Teacher - Able to communicate effectively one on one, as well as in small and large group settings.

Accreditation by, Ordination or willingness to enter the process of being ordained accredited by, the Church of God Anderson Board of Ministerial Standards and Education.  Ability to think strategically and creatively.  Administrative and organizational skills. Be a part of the Emerging Generation.

$15.000 to $18.000. This is a part-time position. Salary and benefits will be determined based on the experience and education of the successful candidate and in line with current recommendations contained in the by-laws.

For more detailed information, please contact