GCI Update

Bondservant Leadership


Dear GCI Family,

Greg and Susan Williams

We are entering our first round of Regional Conferences – renamed “Regional Celebrations.” So, what’s changing? The emphasis is different. Rather than a focus on training, we will emphasize worship, inspiration and relationship building. There will be activities for families, youth, and all ages. No doubt, this will be a GCI good time!

The celebration will begin on Friday evening in your region and will end with a worship service and communion on Sunday. In addition, we will offer specific training for pastors and ministry leaders on Friday. (Check with your Regional Director for details.) This training will follow the theme of Healthy Leaders for Healthy Churches. In preparation for this time we ask that you and your team review and discuss the video series REAL Teams. U.S. Superintendent Michael Rasmussen and I are excited to join with your regional director in this day of helpful, valuable training.

As we prepare to gather at the Regional Celebrations let’s ask ourselves, “What is the attitude of a healthy leader?” For the answer, let’s go straight to the leader of all leaders.

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although he existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:5-8 NASB)

Jesus took on the form of a “doulos,” a bondservant. A permanent role of service – in his case it was absolute subjugation to the will of the Father, fulfilling the divine purpose of humanity’s salvation and the ever-present vision of the kingdom of God.

Both Peter and Paul identify themselves as bondservants to Jesus; knowing that they were bought at the highest of all prices and that their position of servitude was permanent. They were totally comfortable with the title of bondservant of Jesus Christ.

Being a bondservant to Christ means that at some point in our spiritual development as we explore the magnitude of who Jesus is, and then who we are in him that we become sold out. It becomes our desire to serve him with all that we are. Our simple faith grows to a point we can truly trust and say, “I am his.” In other words, “I totally belong to Christ as his property, his doulos. Jesus Christ is Lord over all of me. He is my Lord and my Master, my Savior, my King, my Friend and there is no better place for me to be.”

This is the heart of a healthy leader – being sold out for Jesus. Of course, there is no way we would or could become bondservants to Jesus without him being the first and perfect bondservant. Join me in trying to wrap your mind around this – Jesus, God in the flesh, accepted the limitations of humanity, set aside his divine powers, and masked his glory in the role of a suffering servant. This is our King and Lord who lives and moves in us and beckons us to walk in his tracks.

No matter your title or position in GCI think deeply about your status in Jesus as a bondservant to him. This is where healthy leadership begins. I look forward to sharing more on this topic at the regional celebrations. See you there!

His bondservant,

Greg Williams

Devotional – On Things Above

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. (Colossians 2:2-4)

It wasn’t until 1969 that human beings had ever seen a picture of the earth from space. Once our astronauts captured the image, and we saw the sparkling jewel we call home against the blackness of night, the wars, problems, and struggles on earth were able to be reframed from a heavenly perspective.

Sometimes we can have our eyes so fixed on the personal problems and challenges in our day-to-day existence that we begin to get discouraged and lose hope. But Jesus tells us not to let our hearts be troubled by the cares of this life. Because he has reconciled all things to the Father in his body, we can “set our minds on things above,” and get a true picture of our lives and situations from a heavenly vantage point.

Father, open the eyes of our hearts to see our circumstances through the redemptive love of Jesus. May we embrace the beauty you have bestowed on us, and may we share the heavenly point of view with others.

Jeff Broadnax


By Jeff Broadnax – Columbus, Ohio

We Are GCI Series – Al Talison

The “We Are GCI Series” is a collection of videos where various GCI leaders and members are highlighted. In this episode, GCI Pastor, Al Talison, shares a little about himself like, why he likes to serve in GCI and in what ways he connects the most with God.

Prayer Request for Al Barr

UPDATE: It is with a heavy heart, we pass on to you the death of Al Barr. He died on Thursday evening, March 21. We will post a celebration of life article in the next issue, once more details come in. Please pray for peace and comfort for Edna and the Barr family.

Prayers are requested for retired Pastor and District Superintendent Al Barr. Al was intubated and placed in an induced unconscious state last Monday, March 11. This was a good thing to help him stabilize and for the doctors to figure out what is going on. They have diagnosed him with a fungal infection that is aggressively attacking his nervous system. It is reversable but the doctors must act soon. Please pray for complete healing for Al and for rest and peace for Edna.

Cards may be sent to:

Al & Edna Barr
782 Britt Road SW
Mableton, GA 30126

From the Treasurer

Mat Morgan, GCI Treasurer

As Treasurer, I have the blessing of observing what God does through generous hearts. What a privilege to be on this mission with all of you! I am excited to share some new options for giving that we are implementing this year. Instead of being limited to giving via envelope or by credit card online, you will now be able to give via text, either during the worship service or whenever you think about it.

You may be wondering why we are making these changes. It helps us serve you better! Electronic giving provides ease for our members and the Home Office staff. You can give easily at any time, and the system allows us to respond with a receipt more efficiently.

Another benefit of online or text giving is that it keeps your information safer and less vulnerable to theft or disruption than the envelope system. Online or text giving via credit card is probably the safest way to give, because your information is encrypted throughout the process making it difficult to disrupt or steal, and the information is permanently deleted after processing, – unless you set up a recurring donation. If you set up a recurring donation, which many people prefer, your credit card information is stored, but behind multiple layers of security. The security of the new options is the main reason we encourage credit card giving online or via text. However, we will continue to honor and appreciate the more traditional giving options.

The new giving options will be available on your congregation’s website, or you can find your congregation at gci.org by going to the home page, scrolling down to “Find a Church/Pastor,” entering the name of your church in the search box, and using the giving link provided. Text giving will be available after the Regional Celebration in your area. We will continue to communicate with local leaders and treasurers, as well as provide support as we roll out the new option.

Thank you again for your generous donations, which help us share the good news about Jesus! And thank you for considering something new. We think it will benefit you personally and help the Home Office and your local volunteers do their jobs more efficiently.

With appreciation,

Mat Morgan

Honoring Paul David Kurts

Paul David Kurts

With deep appreciation, we celebrate Paul David Kurts for his many years of service and love for the denomination and its members. In December, PD was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Air National Guard. This is an incredible honor and elevation in position, which will require a larger commitment of his time and energy. Consequently, PD is stepping down from his position as Regional Director in the US Southeast region. Paul David will continue to co-pastor our GCI congregation in Hickory, NC, along with his brother-in-law Anthony Mullins. Your prayers and support for PD and his wife Emma Lee, are greatly appreciated as they embark on this new adventure.

Emma Lee and PD Kurts

Paul David started working for the denomination in 1988 at Ambassador College in Big Sandy, TX in the Mail Receiving Department. He then spent time in the Landscape Department, as well as assisting the Dean of Students. Paul David is passionate about developing young people and has served in camp ministry in one capacity or another for more than two and a half decades. In 1996, Paul David was ordained an elder in GCI. He has since served in five congregations in four states. He also served as a District Pastor and most recently as a Regional Director, serving pastors and congregations in nine states.

Thank you Paul David and Emma Lee, for your leadership and love.


LiLY Women’s Conference

LiLY logoThe Women of Edgehill Community Church in Cleveland Heights, Ohio would like to invite you to their 16th Annual LiLY (Living Life for You) Conference “Joy Intact,” held April 26th-28th, 2019 at the Embassy Suites in Beachwood, Ohio.

This is a weekend filled with wonderful worship, inspired speakers, lots of laughs and simply enjoying the presence of the Lord.  The conference is attended by a diverse group of women and teens (Bonfire Sessions for ages 13-17) from every stage on their journey. We come from different churches and denominations.  We are about meeting at the feet of Jesus and making him known.

We keep the registration prices low ($70 early bird special), meals are included, and you can fill your suite with up to six women to cut the cost of the hotel.  This is a great opportunity for you, your family or group of friends to come together and share a weekend in Christ with no judgment or expectations.

Follow the link for more information. http://www.edgehillcc.org/lily

Tamar Gray, Assistant Pastor
Edgehill Community Church
Cleveland, Heights Ohio

Regional Celebration Registration

Making plans for summer? Don’t miss out on registration for the Central and Southeast Celebrations

In 2019, GCI will host Regional Celebrations in the USA:

  • June 7 – 9 Central – Dallas, TX
  • June 21 – 23 Southeast – Charlotte, NC
  • September 27 – 29 North Central – Noblesville, IN
  • October 25 – 27  East – Ocean City, MD

Click the image below to for more information and registration options.
Regional Celebrations 2019 Banner


ACCM Christian Leadership Course Offered at West USA Celebration

Click the image below to register online.
Venue: Portland Embassy Suites, Tigard, Oregon Dates and Times: Sunday, April 7 – Monday, April 8 Sunday: 2pm-5pm Monday: 9am-4pm Intensive Course: Christian Leadership $150 tuition plus $50 onsite (coffee breaks and lunch provided). Don’t let cost be an obstacle. Perhaps your congregation might consider sponsoring you. Registration: ambascol.org

Disaster in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi

This update is from Takalani Musekwa, GCI’s Regional Director for southern Africa. He requests prayer for those who have been affected by the devastation of Cyclone Idai.

The devastation has been very bad for Mozambique, followed by Zimbabwe and Malawi. Due to the destruction of communication infrastructure, we still don’t have reports from the areas where our churches are. We know that the provinces affected are where our churches are, but even the government is only doing assessments through international agencies which are able to fly in and assess the damage. They are conservatively estimating the death toll at 1,000.

Our National Ministry Leader in Mozambique is not able to reach most pastors. He was able to get in touch with the pastor in Chimoio, where two houses of members plus the church building have collapsed. There are no known fatalities as yet for church members. The areas most affected have no communication connection at the moment.

From public reports, the disaster for Mozambique is huge from initial assessments.

We will provide better information when we have better updates.

GCI Photo Contest Voting

Vote for your favorite submissions from the GCI Photo Contest!

The three photographers of the most-liked photos will receive monetary prizes in the form of Amazon gift cards. “Like” to vote! Voting ends Tuesday, March 26th at 5pm.

Click the photo below to view and vote on your favorite photos.