First to Join Pioneers and Planters
White Wing Messenger|August 2021
Michael Edwards is pastor of Orange Grove Church in Charleston, South Carolina. A fourth-generation bishop, he is the grandson of former General Overseer M. A. Tomlinson and great grandson of A. J. Tomlinson. Bishop Edwards is a graduate of Tomlinson College (1979). He and his wife, Cindy, have been married more than 45 years.
MICHAEL EDWARDS

In every new church plant, there is a moment when someone is the first person to place their right hand on the Bible and take the Membership Covenant. In that moment, a mission (a church plant) is transformed into a new local church. None are more surprised than me that this is my membership story, who as a teenager in the early 1970s was one of those who was first to join the newly established church in Windsor, Canada.

The when, where, and why of this story goes back a generation to when my dad was a young Christian attending our Hazel Park Church in Detroit, Michigan. Years later, in remembering those days, he shared with me how he would look across the Detroit River at the Canadian city of Windsor and feel a calling to establish a Church of God (of Prophecy) in that city, which did not have one. It took over 30 years for him to see this “vision” fulfilled, a journey which included him accepting the position of National Overseer of Canada in 1969. Our family then immigrated to the city of Windsor, where Dad threw himself into traveling to our churches across the country, as well as being at conventions, camps, and emergency situations (often traveling on his own money). However, when not traveling, he made time to rent a room in the old downtown Windsor YMCA, where we would have worship services on Sundays. I doubt when moving his family to Canada that Dad imagined the night he organized the mission at the “Y” into a new local church it would be his son who joined first.

Yes, the YMCA was an old, old building with limited street parking and old wooden chairs that would snag your clothes, and since it was also a residential “Y,” some curious residents observed our church services with various reactions. Dad would preach when he was in town and recruited young ministers from the Detroit area churches to fill in when he was traveling. That rented room at the “Y” was where I held my first church position, as I was the set-up man (kid), setting up chairs before church began and putting them away after we were done. Little did I realize my first position in the church would be something I would continue doing all my years as a pastor.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM WHITE WING MESSENGERView All

NEW JERSEY FOR JESUS CHRIST

Jonathan Olavarria serves as pastor of The Hub Church in Jersey City, New Jersey, a ministry of the Church of God of Prophecy since 2016. Jonathan has served in various ministry roles including summer camps, youth, children, Christian education, pastoral care, and evangelism. Pastor Jonathan is also a vice principal with Newark Public Schools. He and his wife, Noemi, have been married since 2012 and have been blessed with two sons, Adrian and Benjamin.

4 mins read
White Wing Messenger
August 2021

First to Join Pioneers and Planters

Michael Edwards is pastor of Orange Grove Church in Charleston, South Carolina. A fourth-generation bishop, he is the grandson of former General Overseer M. A. Tomlinson and great grandson of A. J. Tomlinson. Bishop Edwards is a graduate of Tomlinson College (1979). He and his wife, Cindy, have been married more than 45 years.

6 mins read
White Wing Messenger
August 2021

Celebrating God's MIRACULOUS PROVISION

We are always excited to share the testimonies from the nations of the miraculous provisions of God. Rejoice with our family as they celebrate.

4 mins read
White Wing Messenger
August 2021

CARING FOR KIDS IN CRISIS Children and Depression

Depression is a common and serious medical illness. It is real, it happens, and it is treatable. Society has put a stigma on mental illness, and as the salt and light of the world we must put an end to that stigma.

4 mins read
White Wing Messenger
August 2021

The Significance of Planting Churches on New Ground

Bishop Chin Kang Mon is the national overseer of Myanmar. Bishop Chin has planted numerous churches throughout the country. One of our newer nations, Bishop Chin has 35 churches, 3 missions, and 1,550 members under his care as well as three orphanages. One of his greatest accomplishments is the establishment of South East Asia Mission College. Bishop Chin writes, The ultimate objective of this college is to prepare, equip, and train his people to be effective workers of God in Myanmar and beyond. Its vision is to adequately produce and multiply planters, evangelists, missionaries, and cell-leaders. SEAMC graduates and students are enthusiastic in different fields of ministry in Myanmar. There have been 425 graduates from SEAMC and 75 percent of graduates have been serving the Lord as missionaries, evangelists, pastors, and association/church key leaders in Myanmar. Fifty percent of the graduates have been serving the Lord in new mission fields among unreached people groups.

5 mins read
White Wing Messenger
August 2021

HOW PENTECOST CAME TO ANEGADA

Bishop Adrian L. Varlack, Sr. became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 14 in an island-wide revival in his native Anegada, British Virgin Islands. He has been an ordained bishop since 1972 and has spent 48 years in international missions promotions, church administration, preaching, teaching, and writing for the Church of God of Prophecy, including three years as overseer of Canada, where he supervised 40 pastors. He has traveled and ministered in over 90 nations and territories. September 1999, Varlack joined International Leadership Development and Discipleship Ministries as a member of the faculty of the Center for Biblical Leadership and served as an instructor for 19 years. At the 2006 International Assembly, he was also appointed church historian, and in September 2018, consultant to the general overseer. He lives in Cleveland, Tennessee, with his wife of 54 years, Janice Smith Varlack, also of the British Virgin Islands. They have seven children, 25 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

5 mins read
White Wing Messenger
August 2021

FACING FORWARD

Pioneers and Planters in Central and South America

2 mins read
White Wing Messenger
August 2021

Our Leaders on Mission

Marsha Robinson is the Communications department publications coordinator for the Church of God of Prophecy International Offices. She is the managing editor of the White Wing Messenger, Mensajero Ala Blanca, and Le Messager a L'Aile Blanche. She is an ordained Church of God of Prophecy minister and actively works as a community chaplain.

5 mins read
White Wing Messenger
August 2021

The Will to Serve

Wilson J. Rodríguez is from Nicaragua. He is a 22-year-old member of the COGOP in Nueva Guinea, a city in southeast Nicaragua. Under the leadership of his national supervisor, Bishop Jorge Marrero, and his local pastor, Uriel Mejia, Brother Wilson serves the church in youth, children's, and discipleship ministries as secretary and assistant treasurer. He also has his own ministry collecting food to distribute to those in need.

2 mins read
White Wing Messenger
August 2021

Time in the Bank

You might think that money is the most valuable currency in the world. All of society seems to run by cash or card. However, it’s not the change in your pocket that’s your most valuable possession. It’s something even more sacred— and I guarantee you, you’re rich in it!

2 mins read
White Wing Messenger
August 2021
RELATED STORIES

High Tide

Riding the tidal wave of Canada’s cannabis success

2 mins read
Newsweek US
January 27, 2023

Canada- A global nation backed by a resilient economy

Canada ranks 13th in the world and 3rd in to the government organization Invest in Canada. In 2021, despite the global pandemic, annual average for the decade to reach CAD 74.8B – the highest recorded since 2007.

1 min read
Newsweek US
January 27, 2023

How to Butcher a Goose

You've gone out and gotten yourself a Canada goose. Congratulations! You've plucked it, gutted it, and now you're looking at a nice whole goose.

8 mins read
Harvesting Nature Magazine
Fall - Winter 2022 - Issue 03

Critter Q&A

Wondering about the wild and wonderful animal kingdom? you've come to the right place!

2 mins read
Animal Tales
November 2022

ENVIRONMENT, TEAMWORK, AND LEADERSHIP

ANANYA PATEL talks about the evolution of the Gigatonne Challenge, a grass roots environmental movement. She also explores leadership, why teams should sometimes take a pause to connect, and how a sense of responsibility toward the people involved helps her stay focused on the challenges at hand. This is part 2 of her interview with ELIZABETH DENLEY.

4 mins read
Heartfulness eMagazine
September 2022

Manage the Risks of Software Reuse

Whether or not your organization develops software, it's likely exposed to the risks of vulnerabilities buried deep within code.

6 mins read
MIT Sloan Management Review
Summer 2022

Will & Kate Moving to Windsor

From Kensington Pallace to Windsor Castle! Prince William and Kate Middleton are moving to the English countryside to be closer to Queen Elizabeth II amid her ongoing health struggles, a source tells Life & Style.

1 min read
Life & Style US
July 04, 2022

THE CAMBRIDGE FAMILY Our FRESH START

THE COUPLE ARE LEAVING LONDON TO FORGE A NEW LIFE WITH THEIR CHILDREN IN THE COUNTRY

2 mins read
Closer US
July 11, 2022

CANADA'S NATIONAL FIREARMS ASSOCIATION

The NFA is Leading the Way to Fight for Gun Rights in Canuck Country

9 mins read
Recoil
July - August 2022

CANADA BANS CHINA'S HUAWEI TECHNOLOGIES FROM 5G NETWORKS

Wireless carriers in Canada won’t be allowed to install Huawei equipment in their high-speed 5G networks, the Canadian government said, joining allies in banning the giant Chinese technology company.

3 mins read
Techlife News
May 28, 2022