General Assembly
of the Church of God
in Michigan

"equipping local congregations
to extend the Kingdom of God"

Precious Cargo

Mark Richardson

Rev. Mark K. Richardson

As Sharon and I recently moved to the Lansing area, we relived an experience that we have several times, that of packing and unpacking. The packing effort always stirs memories of events, times, relationships, and precious things which challenge us to decide what to take with us to our new home. By the way, Sharon deserves most of the credit for packing and unpacking, as I have been pretty busy in transition.

As we made decisions of what to keep, what to give away, what to donate, and what to discard, we had to decide what are the things that we would consider Precious Cargo that we keep no matter what. An example of this for me is my Mom’s collection of cast iron skillets. This collection includes my own (nicknamed Betsy), which has been honed and seasoned through many a meal prepared and cooked as she showed me years ago. In this collection are Mom’s various-sized skillets used to prepare our family meals over many years, and so long ago, since she passed away in 2002. A most prized part of her collection is a cast iron skillet owned and given to her by her Grandmother (Josephine, for whom she was named) which is over 125 years old. It is incredibly well seasoned and shows its age on the outside, but still cooks a mean pan of scratch-made cornbread among other things (By the way, it’s nicknamed Beulah)!

The reality for me is that no matter where we go, our cherished cast iron skillets will go with us. When we pass away, my children will inherit them, with strict instructions to guard them as Precious Cargo which must stay in the family, be used, and passed along to the next generations. This is a family connection which needs to be maintained. You might ask, “Why the diatribe on cast iron skillets?” I’m glad you asked! It is to help us focus on the concept of “Precious Cargo” as it relates to the church. Everywhere I turn I am hearing and reading about how change must come to the church as the culture is changing so rapidly. Discipleship is first and foremost, rightly so, with many if not most of the leading edge ministry groups in the Christian church world. I keep hearing how the future structure of the church will be radically different from what it looks like now, with a thrust towards house churches and other non-traditional churches and ministers who lead them. I certainly understand this and don’t disagree with the trends and discipleship efforts being touted. Yet, my heart and mind keep harkening back to my moving experiences, and the mandate of “Precious Cargo.”

I want to encourage us that no matter what the changes are that come to the church, whether that is in our structure or function, that we always take with us the precious cargo of the pure, unadulterated, and Holy Word of God. The methods of what we do must and will change, but we must never let the message change, regardless of the pull and pressure of the darkening culture around us. The Gospel of Jesus Christ, as an old Gospel song reminds us is still the same, “Living He loved me, dying He saved me, buried He carried my sins far away. Rising He justified me, freeing me forever, and one day He’s coming back... glorious day!” The Gospel, and the inerrancy of His Holy Word, is the content from which we must never deviate, the message that has stood and will stand forever the test of time.

The containers will change with time, as they always have in the history of this great church. Just as coffee is the same whether it is in a teacup, a mug, a thermal container, or a Styrofoam cup from your favorite coffee watering hole, the containers of the Gospel will change. Let’s not get too stressed over the differing church containers as long as they are not un-Biblical, illegal, unethical, or immoral. But let us remain ever vigilant to carry the Precious Cargo of the true Word of God with us. Let us always remember that Jesus Christ, the Word of God, is the same yesterday, today, and forevermore. If we lift Him up as the Precious Cargo, He will draw all people to Himself. I pray for the Lord’s continuing guidance, direction, and blessings upon us, with exciting, new, and life-changing ways to present our Precious Cargo. As long as we honor Jesus, He will empower us to impact the culture for Him.

With love,

Pastor Mark K. Richardson, State Pastor Elect

Ordination Services

Dwight Fontenot- November 10, 2019; 3:00 p.m.

Community Church of God, Ypsilanti, Michigan

Christopher Britton- November 10, 2019; 4:30 p.m.

First Church of God, Saint Joseph, Michigan

April Crump- November 17, 2019; 3:00 p.m.

Millington Church of God, Millington, Michigan

Mark Robb- November 24, 2019; 3:00 p.m.

Hillcrest Community Church, Cedar Springs, Michigan

Tia Hirakis- December 29, 2019; 4:00 p.m.

North Avenue Church of God, Battle Creek, Michigan

Installation Service

Josh Webb- December 1, 2019; 4:00 p.m.

Sears Church of God, Sears, Michigan

Retirement of Pastors Leo and Janell Robinson

November 10, 2019 | Holbrook Avenue Church of God

leo and janell robinson

Reverends Janell and Leo Robinson

Oh, Give Thanks Unto the Lord for He is good and His mercy endures forever!

We are pleased to announce the retirement of Pastors Leo & Janell Robinson from The Holbrook Avenue Church of God. They have served God’s people faithfully for 32 years and it’s time for them to begin a new journey of adventures.

The theme is entitled, “The Adventures Begins.” Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalms 119:105

The celebration will take place on Nov. 10, 2019, in our 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. services.

Pastor Bernard Winchester of Fairmont Heights, MD will be the guest speaker for both services.

Please join us as we honor and celebrate the ministry of this couple.

Sincerely, Retirement Committee

Ministering to the Seriously Ill Conference

November 19, 2019 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

This conference is for pastors, church leaders and those involved in care ministries. Content is designed to help equip the church to answer the call to care. The keynote speaker is Pastor Michael Balboni of Park Street Church and Longwood Christian Community, who is also on faculty at Harvard.

Sponsored by the Henry Ford Health System Spiritual Care Departments.

Keynote: Reverend, Dr. Michael Balboni

Plenary Sessions: “The Face of Serious Illness” – Grace Pagaduan, DO

Conference Breakouts:

  • “Faith Driven Medical Decision Making” – Rev. Jim Kraft, MTh.
  • "Palliative Care: Improving quality of life for patients with serious illness" – Natalie Dumais, NP
  • Discussion Group – “Hope, Healing and God’s Sovereignty” (Praying with People) – Rev. Mark Coffman, MTh.
  • “Ministering to the Physically Broken in Your Community”- Pastor Kent Clark, Grace Centers of Hope
  • “Creating a Holistic Health Ministry in Your Church” – Rev. Ameldia Brown, RN
  • View the Full Agenda

    Contact: Jim Kraft, 248-325-0175

    Wow! Free Pastoral Care Conference!
    Use this code and receive free! Code: LIFE
    God's blessings to everyone!
    Rev. Chaplain/Spiritual Care Advisor
    Mark Coffman, M.Th, GC-C

    For scholarship information, contact Jim Kraft,

    Location: MSU Education Center, 811 W. Square Lake Road Troy, Michigan 48098


Youth Winter Retreat
"Fully Known"

January 10-12, 2020

Timber Wolf Lake, Lake City, Michigan

adam rentas

Adam Rentas, Speaker

Student Ministries Pastor at First Church of God in St. Joeseph, Michigan

Vision Ministries


January 11-21, 2020 | Silver Sands Church of God

Silver Sands

Cost: $1,100 plus airfare

This BMWC will include:

  • Life together with the Bajan people
  • Work on the new Silver Sands Church
  • Worship and fellowship with the church people
  • Lodging at the Round Rock Apartments by the Sea
  • Final three nights at the Divi Southwinds Beach Resort
  • Three days of free time on the island
  • Basking in the warm, breezy, tropical Barbados climate
  • Life-changing experiences

---Limited to 20 people---

**Register early and reserve your spot**

Mission trip to Guatemala- January 24-February 1, 2020

Mission Trip to Belize- February 22-29, 2020

The cost for each trip is $1500 per person and this will include airfare and all expenses once there including food, lodging and transportation . You will need money for souvenirs and offerings at church services. A Passport is required.

Both trips will most likely involve some Church construction and working with children so there should be something for everyone.

The Belize trip will be less "Rustic" as far as accommodation and food.

If you would like more information or if you would like to serve with us please contact me as soon as possible.

Floyd Tuttle, Greenville First Church of God, Greenville, Michigan

(616) 581-8594,

An Internship Opportunity Through Global Strategy And Spread The Word!

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8

This two-week discipleship training is designed to connect students with cross-cultural learning and ministry engagement.

A.One.8 Training Highlights:

  • Cross-cultural ministry
  • Life in community
  • The Global Church
  • Hands on learning

Ages: Juniors in high school (at least 16 years of age) or older

Cost: $2,000 (estimated)

Registration Deadline: January 25, 2020

Event Date: July 6-20, 2020

NEW SCHEDULING! A.One.8 will now be held as a post-IYC mission experience for students with a passion for missions! Participants will leave directly from IYC in Orlando to go to training at Lake Wales, followed by an international experience in Costa Rica (location to be confirmed). This is a competitive program, with chosen applicants participating in an interview process.

Space is limited. Contact us at for more information.

Exponential 2020

HGC Pre-Conference + Exponential 2020

Registration is Open!

March 2nd-5th, 2020, join us in Orlando, Florida for Exponential Conference. Exponential tickets are already on sale for this life-changing event, and we want to remind you that we have pre-purchased a block of tickets for YOU. These tickets will cover our Pre-Conference and the Main Conference with all of the workshops together. Start planning your trip to Orlando, Florida today!

Exponential East Registration ($99) + HGC Pre-Conference ($59) $158.00
Spouse Exponential East Registration ($59) + HGC Pre-Conference ($59) $118.00

360 Ministry Leadership Conference

March 14, 2020

South Church, Lansing, Michigan

Installation of Rev. Emily Clark

emily clark

Rev. Bill Ferguson, Rev. Clark, and Rev. Diane Tultz

A large crowd including many Ministerial colleagues attended the Service of Installation of Rev. Emily Clark, Sunday afternoon October 6th. The message was brought by Dr. Kimberly Majeski from Anderson University. Dr. Jones led charges to the Congregation and Rev. Clark. The photo above is of Rev. Bill Ferguson, Rev. Clark, and Rev. Diane Tultz from Emily’s home congregation, Grace Harbor in Kalamazoo. - Rev. Dr. William Jones, State Pastor

Our Michigan Churches seeking Pastors:

  • Beaverton, Beaverton Church of God –
  • Three Rivers, First Church of God –

Interested? Contact Dr. Jones, State Pastor. (800) 369-5890