Friday at the annual conference of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches

The annual Conference of the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches began Friday, July 16, 2010 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Sharonville (Cincinnati), Ohio. The Conference held its first celebration-style meeting on Friday evening. Saturday was dedicated to the service project “We Care Miami Valley,” with various scheduled activities in Dayton and Xenia, Ohio. Later that evening there was a combined

Momentum/Conference meeting at Cedarville University, Cedarville, Ohio. Momentum is the annual Grace Brethren youth conference that annually attracts about 2,000 middle and high school students. This is the first time the two conferences held a joint Celebration meeting. Sunday saw two more Conference meetings featuring the current Fellowship Moderator Tom Hocking of Bellflower Grace Brethren Church, Bellflower, California, and the future Moderator Jeff Bogue, senior pastor of Grace Church of Greater Akron, Ohio. 

Bogue’s Sunday evening message was especially noteworthy. Using nails, concrete blocks, and a sledgehammer to illustrate his points, Bogue delivered a strong challenge to the delegates and especially the pastors. He described a powerless American church that is concerned mostly with its “survival” and little else. Bogue used Judges 6 to compare the powerless Gideon and the ineffective American church, of which the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches is a part. Of course, there are some effective churches in the United States, Bogue added. But he also stated that the vast majority of American churches are ineffective, stagnant, or declining. He aimed his sharpest points directly at Grace Brethren pastors, of whom he is one of the most prominent. The Grace Brethren pastors received Bogue’s message with great enthusiasm.

Hocking and Bogue will hold a “town hall meeting” on Tuesday morning, July 19th to further discuss strategies for church growth and renewal. This reporter will file one more dispatch with the Shaper Iron either late Monday or early Tuesday.

Jim Franklin
Flora, Indiana


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There are 4 Comments

Joel Tetreau's picture

I have come to love these kinds of Brethren churches both here and abroad. Often Independent Baptists are under the impression that they alone are "Faithful," "Biblical," etc.....I've had the thrill of enjoying fellowship and even some co-ministry with a few of these churches both here and abroad. In many places oversees the most Biblical church in town would be a Brethren Church. Thanks to Jim and SI for the report.

Straight Ahead!
Phil 3:12-14


Dr. Joel Tetreau serves as Senior Pastor, Southeast Valley Bible Church (; Regional Coordinator for IBL West (, Board Member & friend for several different ministries;

Ed Vasicek's picture

Thanks for the report, Jim, Keep up the good work! You are the man on the scene.

As far as Joel's comment that many independent Baptists distrust anyone that is not an independent Baptist -- this is a real image that exists. Nobody knows how many non-independent Baptist fundamentalists have avoided them because of this stigma. It works both ways. As a result, both segments tend to marginalize one another. That's why SI is a good site, adding a more holistic picture of the fundamental world. Still, the suspicious will still watch from a distance or write off such an approach.

"The Midrash Detective"

jimfrank's picture

DVD's and Audio CD's of the Conference messages are available from . Someone may upload the messages onto YouTube in the near future.