I was saved, sanctified, baptized, and filled with the Holy Spirit during my childhood in the Spanish-speaking Church of God of Prophecy in Hoboken, New Jersey. My spiritual and ministerial formation took place in the same local church under the leadership of Bishop Mario Bonilla. From my adolescence, I have sensed a call upon my life to the pastoral ministry. This was also fueled by a passion to serve within my local church as Sunday school teacher, youth pastor, in pastoral care, evangelism, and outreach. While I served in the Hoboken local church, many of our youth and families who attended there traveled from Jersey City. There was such a harvest in this nearby city.
Jersey City is the second-most populous city in the state of New Jersey with approximately 250,000 in population. This city is one of the most racially diverse cities in the world. Not only is it diversified in its culture, but also in its citizens’ economic backgrounds. Approximately 62 percent claim religious affiliation, with 48 percent of those Catholic. After my wife, pastor, and regional overseer privately prayed, we decided to recruit a few launch team members for corporate prayer and Bible study in our Jersey City apartment. We identified a focus neighborhood (McGinley Square), which would serve as a hub of ministry for the numerous neighborhoods and groups of people that exist in Jersey City. God was confirming our work and location even before launching.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Pioneers and Planters in Central and South America
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.
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.
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!