97th General Assembly Church of God in Michigan

November 10-11, 2017

Crowne Plaza Lansing West, Lansing, Michigan

Our Speakers: Dr. E. L. Branch and Rev. David Colp

General Assembly

The 97th General Assembly of the Church of God in Michigan is Friday, November 10 and Saturday, November 11, 2017. Please note the date change. We will again be at the Crowne Plaza Lansing West. Our theme is “One Accord” emphasizing the importance on the local, state, and national level that we work together, because “we do better together.” The Crowne Plaza is a beautiful venue with state of the art exercise room, pool, game room, and indoor basketball court. We believe your time at the General Assembly will be reviving and refreshing. Once again this year we are handling both the hotel accommodations and General Assembly registration, underwriting the additional costs and eliminating your sales tax. Be sure to register for your hotel room(s) through our office. If you register with the hotel you will not get the room discounts. We have negotiated a great price for the hotel, so take advantage of these four-star accommodations. Even though we have a large number of rooms reserved, we expect them to be taken quickly. Please register and get your room(s) reserved before October 14. Your registration fee includes your room accommodations, a continental breakfast upon arrival, lunch on Friday, and continental breakfast on Saturday. There are significant discounts if you register early. You may register Online (skip this Online form if use are using PayPal) or download the registration form. Registration via credit card is available only Online using PayPal.

This year’s speakers are Rev. Dr. Edward L. Branch and Rev David Colp. Dr. Branch is Senior Pastor of Third New Hope Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan, where he has been pastor for 40 years! We bring Rev. Dr. Branch to give us a perspective from outside our movement, which we try to do every several years. Rev. Dr. Branch, beside being one of the most respected preachers in our country, also has served Detroit as a Sheriff’s Department Chaplain, a member of the Detroit Compact, Detroit Black Family Development, Detroit Youth Foundation, United Way of Southeast Michigan, and the Arts League of Michigan. Rev. Dr. Branch founded the Heritage Center for Religious Studies. His ministry has touched more than 20 Countries on five continents. He has finished 14 half-marathons in the past six years and holds a brown belt in Isshinryu Karate. He stated his personal mission “is one of justice and liberation for all people.” Pastor Branch is committed to making the wounded whole. He has been married to his wife Lanell for more than 42 years.

Rev. David Colp is no stranger to us in Michigan. He is nationally known for pastoring First Church in St. Joseph, Michigan, one of our largest congregations in the country and a leader in multisite development. Dave recently was elected to the Ministries Council for Church of God Ministries. His wife, Crystal also serves on staff at First Church and is the keynote speaker for the Michigan Ministry Wives retreat this year. Dave is a visionary who is committed to making his church, community, and the world a better place by keeping Christ in the forefront of everything he does.

Our worship this year is being led by Alanna Story from Anderson, Indiana. They are experts at making hymnody new. This year they have led worship at our State Youth Convention and done a concert to open the 125th anniversary of Warner Camp. Not strangers to Michigan, their music inspires and uplifts the heart.

We have designed conferences this year to directly apply to the ministries represented at our GA. We will have a conference for the lay leader, conferences for Pastors and Associate Pastors. There will be something for everyone! This year our Pastoral Health Ministry has chosen Rev. Dr. Gerald Nevitt and Rev. Bettie Holcomb to receive our Life-time Achievement Awards, and this year we are honoring First Church in St. Joseph and its two satellite congregations First Church Benton Heights and First Church Stevensville for outstanding Ministry.

If you have new resolutions or business for the Assembly please contact our Business Committee Chair, Harold Lockley, (313) 835-5814, or email: hklockley2@aol.com.

We are a delegated Assembly, below are prescriptions for who may represent your congregation. It is vital for all of our churches to be fully represented.

One layperson chosen as an official representative by each Michigan Church of God congregation with an average weekly attendance to 100; two laypersons from each congregation with an average weekly attendance of 101–500; three laypersons from each congregation with an average weekly attendance of 501–1000; and four laypersons from each congregation with an average weekly attendance of 1,001 and above.

I look forward to a great celebration of ministry as we meet together.

Your servant,
Dr. William H. Jones, State Pastor
General Assembly of the Church of God in Michigan

Dr. E. L. Branch

Edward Branch

Edward L. Branch is a native of Chicago IL, having served as Minister of Music for the New Mt. Sinai Baptist Church through his teen years. He relocated to Detroit in 1975 and served the New Jerusalem Baptist Church as assistant pastor to Rev. Lawrence J. London, then became associate minister of the New Bethel Baptist Church in 1976 under the late Rev. C.L. Franklin. In 1977 he was called as pastor of the Third New Hope Baptist Church where he has now served for forty years.

EDUCATION: Pastor Branch holds a Master of Arts degree and a Master of Divinity degree from the Ashland Theological Seminary. In 2012 Ashland Seminary bestowed an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree upon Pastor Branch in acknowledgement of his years of service as Adjunct Professor and Advisory Board Member.

DENOMINATION SERVICE: Pastor Branch served as president of the Baptist, Missionary and Educational Convention of Michigan (1996-2004), the Council of Baptist Pastors of Detroit and Vicinity (1999-2001) and the Kingdom Building Pastors and People International (2002-2005). He served as a member of the board of directors of the Sunday School Publishing Board of the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. (2009-2014).

COMMUNITY SERVICE: Pastor Branch's community service began with the Detroit Compact, a collection of community leaders working with the Detroit School Board. He joined the board of Black Family Development in 1980; serving also on the board of Detroit Youth Foundation, United Way of Southeastern Michigan, the Arts League of Michigan, and Crime Stoppers of Michigan.

Pastor Branch serves as a chaplain with the Wayne County Sheriff's Office since 2013. While functioning as an adjunct professor for Ashland Theological Seminary, Pastor Branch gave leadership to the ATS-D Board of Advisors. He went on to become an Advisory Member of the ATS Board of Trustees.

ADDITIONAL HIGHLIGHTS: Pastor Branch founded the Heritage Center for Religious Studies in 1988 on the main campus of Third New Hope Baptist Church. Pastor Branch's ministry has reached more than twenty countries on five continents. He boldly embraces Luke 4:18 as his personal mission statement: "The Spirit of The Lord is upon me for he has anointed me to preach the gospel..." His ministry is one of justice and liberation for all people. Pastor Branch is committed to making the wounded whole.

Pastor Branch and Sister Lanell are celebrating more than forty-two years of marriage. They have one daughter, Nikkiya, who is an attorney.

DID YOU KNOW? Pastor Branch is a Finisher in 14 Half-Marathons over the past six years and wears a Brown Belt in Isshinryu Karate. He plays Piano, Organ and Guitar. Pastor Branch is also an avid Golfer.

Reverend David Colp

David Colp

Pastor David Colp currently serves as Lead Pastor at First Church of God, St. Joseph, Michigan and was officially installed on Sunday, September 16, 2007.

Pastor Colp was born and raised in Marion, IL and was a member of the Marion First Church of God. He went on to graduate summa cum laude from Mid-America Christian University in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with a BA in pastoral ministry. He has served in pastoral positions in Oklahoma (1989-91), Illinois (1991-96) and Ohio. Previous to his current pastoral position at First Church in St. Joseph, he led the Breiel Boulevard First Church of God in Middletown, Ohio (1996-2007).

St. Joseph First Church is a multi-site church with a history of community outreach. As a result, David serves with several Para-church and community organizations including Kinexus, Mid-America Christian University, Mosaic Christian Community Development Association, and others. He along with First Church staff founded the New Heights Christian Community Development Association and serves as its Chairman.

David currently serves as a member of the ministries council of the Church of God and the Church Health board for the State organization of the Church of God in Michigan.

He has been married to his wife, Crystal for 26 years. They have two boys, Caleb and Jacob. Caleb is a senior in college at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Jacob will be a sophomore in college at Mid-America Christian University in the Fall of 2017.

Alanna Story

Alanna Story

Born into a family with a deep faith and musical heritage, Anna Hodge and Ally West had a passion for music from a young age. As the sisters grew in their walks with God, they found music to not only be their response to the things they experienced - both painful and beautiful things - but also a means of connecting to the heart of God and help others do so as well. In addition to being original artists, the sisters also have a strong calling to lead worship. Over the years doors opened for Ally and Anna to share and lead together and in 2008 Alanna Story officially began. The band was divinely (and literally) formed into a family, comprised of Ally’s husband, Stephen (electric guitar/mandolin), Anna’s husband, Ben (drums), and Joel Burkhead (bass), whom the girls consider a brother. Uniting incredible talent and more importantly sincere hearts for worship, the band creates a powerful, energetic atmosphere for others to encounter the presence of God. They have released four recording projects, Keep Breathing (2009) Flickering Spark (2011), Just Offshore (2013), Ancient Gates (2014) and We Hymn (2016) and have traveled both nationally and internationally sharing the stage with many national recording artists and speakers. As their territory expands, Alanna Story’s main pursuit remains to exalt Jesus and lead others into His presence.

James Sparks

Rev. James Sparks, Church Health Minister

Conference speaker on Church Leadership for Churches up to 200

Chris Spitters

Rev. Chris Spitters, Campus Pastor at First Church Stevensville

Conference speaker for Associate Pastors

Daniel Whiting

Rev. Daniel Whiting, Executive Pastor at Clarkston Community Church

Conference speaker on Church Leadership for Churches more than 201

John and Agnes Clark

Mr. and Mrs. John and Agnes Clark

Conference speaker on Leadership for Laity

Robert Dulin

Rev. Dr. Robert O. Dulin, Jr., Southeastern Regional Pastor

Conference speaker for Retired Ministers

Children's Ministry Task Force

Children's Ministry Task Force leading a Conference on Children's Ministry

“One Accord For Our Kids”

Join us as we discuss the importance of working together...for the kids, for the families, for the kingdom. Reggie Joiner, founder and CEO of Orange, stated "When two influences - church and families - work together, they are greater than two influences working alone." For the kids in our churches and community, together is better!

Child Care

Provided at no cost during all meetings and worship sessions of the General Assembly. Please let the Service Center (1-800-369-5890) know of your child care needs prior to your arrival at the General Assembly.


Both the Crowne Plaza Lansing West and Quality Suites are full.

Crowne Plaza Lansing West

925 South Creyts Road, Lansing, Michigan 48917

Quality Suites

901 Delta Commerce Drive, Lansing, Michigan 48917


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Accommodations and Room Preference

If you need an accessible room, near the elevator, or any other special need, email these to the Service Center or call (800) 369-5890. Thank you.

Both the Crowne Plaza Lansing West and Quality Suites are full.