Ohio District Conference Updates

The Ohio Conference of The Brethren Church met Saturday, April 16, in Dayton, Ohio, for its annual conference. The gathering was hosted by Transformed Life Center, a new Brethren ministry on the east side of Dayton led by Pastor Reggie and Julie Harvey. David Creekmore, pastor of the Williamstown, Ohio, congregation, served as moderator.
The conference took several significant actions. Perhaps most significant was approval of full implementation of regional reorganization as adopted by the 2015 General Conference of The Brethren Church. The Ohio Conference authorized its board of directors to take the necessary actions to implement the decision with the goal of formation of the region and dissolution of the Ohio Conference by July 31, 2017, or as soon thereafter as possible. Ohio thus becomes the first district to give full approval to implementing regionalization.
In related action, the conference authorized the incorporation of Camp Bethany as a not-for-profit corporation in the State of Ohio. The congregations of the Ohio Conference will be the members of this new corporation.
In other actions, the Ohio Conference:
  • Granted $20,000 from the sale of the Newark, Ohio, Brethren Church building to the Ohio Board of Christian Education as a challenge grant for capital improvements to Camp Bethany. The challenge grant will provide a one-to-one matching gift for funds raised for a three-phase project to expand and improve Cedar Lodge.
  • Authorized its board of directors and board of oversight to work with Garber Brethren Church through a process for withdrawal and disposition of the church’s assets in a way that honors Christ and follows the constitution and bylaws of the district. Garber church has been sharing their building with a Converge (formerly Baptist General Conference) congregation since November 2014 and is seeking to merge with them.
  • Recognized Dr. John Shultz for his many years of service as president and professor at Ashland Theological Seminary.
  • Approved its 2016 budget.
  • Set its next meeting for Saturday, April 1, 2017, at Smoky Row Brethren Church in Columbus.
A total of 73 delegates were seated including 30 ministerial delegates present, 17 ministerial delegates in absentia, and 26 lay delegates.

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