Bits n’ Pieces

Jul 1, 2006 | Eagle Commission, News

With the Lord
Homer Miller, 76, passed away May 11, 2006, in Ashland, Ohio, after a struggle with cancer. A graduate of Morrison Cove (PA) High School, Grace College , and Grace Theological Seminary, he pastored Grace Brethren Churches at Lake Odessa, Michigan, and in Ankenytown and Fredericktown, Ohio.

In 1962, he became sales manager for the Ashland Tire Corporation from which he retired in 1990. Following his retirement he and his wife went to Central African Republic to teach with Grace Brethren International missions. They were quick to learn the Sango language and they became lifelong friends of the African people.

He is survived by his wife Donna, to whom he’d been married fifty-four years, one daughter, two sons, and two grandsons. He is also survived by one sister and three brothers, one of whom is Tom Miller, seniors pastor at Winona Lake (IN) Grace Brethren Church. A memorial celebration was held May 16, 2006 at the Ashland, Ohio, Grace Brethren Church with Pastor Norman Johnson officiating.


Roy Lowrie

Dr. Roy Leon Lowrie, 47, went home to be with His Lord in Xenia, Ohio, May 12, 2006, after a three-year battle with leukemia and after faithfully completing his life goal, “to raise my family for the glory of God and serve well in Christian education.”

He is survived by his wife of 23 years, Dr. Ruth Lowrie (daughter of Dr. William Male, former Grace College academic dean), and his four children, whom he dearly loved, Anne (19), a student at Grace College in Winona Lake, IN, and Grace (17), Roy, Jr. (14), and Karis (12), all students at Xenia Christian School.

Dr. Lowrie served as the assistant superintendent of Dayton Christian Schools, Inc. 2002-2003 and as superintendent from July 1, 2003, until December 21, 2004, when his disability prevented him from continuing.

Dr. Lowrie was known throughout the United States for his leadership in Christian education, ministering at different times as a teacher and superintendent, as well as a visiting professor at Grace Theological Seminary in Indiana and a professor of graduate studies at Columbia International University in South Carolina.

Betty Hall, 82, wife of long-time Grace Brethren architect Ralph Hall died May 15 in Winchester, Virginia. She attended Philadelphia Bible College for two years before her marriage to Ralph C. Hall on June 28, 1947. They lived in Winona Lake, Indiana, while Ralph attended Grace Seminary, from which he graduated in 1951.

Then she was a pastor’s wife and homemaker in Johnstown, Pa; Columbus, Ohio; and Meyersdale, Pa. They moved back to Winona Lake where Ralph served as a national church architect and she was a homemaker and caregiver for their parents.

In 1983 the Halls moved to Bradenton, Florida, where Betty assisted her husband with office work for his private architectural service. In recent years they had moved back to northern Virginia. During her life Betty was a children’s Sunday School teacher, local church Women’s Missionary Council president, a national officer of the National Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches’ Women’s Missionary Council and SMM Girl’s clubs. She served as President of Christian Women’s Club in Bradenton, Florida.

She is survived by her husband, Ralph; daughter, Nancy Bell of Winchester, VA; and son, Steve Hall of West Palm Beach, FL; and three grandchildren.

Nancy Louise Eshleman, 64, of Hagerstown, Maryland, died Tuesday, May 9, 2006. She was preceded in death by her husband and longtime Grace Brethren pastor, the Rev. Daniel S. Eshleman, on March 22, 2004. They were married June 20, 1959. In the 44 years they were married, they ministered in seven different Grace Brethren churches.

Nancy was actively involved with Women of Grace (formerly Women’s Missionary Council). She served as a member and officer at the local, district and national levels. She was a member of the task force for National WMC when it was updated to Women of Grace. In addition to teaching Sunday School, Bible School, Children’s Church and ladies’ Bible studies, Nancy enjoyed serving as a leader for SMM, a ministry to girls.

Nancy is survived by three daughters, LouAnn Myers and husband, the Rev. Roger K. Myers, of Waynesboro, Pa., Carol Marie Barger and husband, Eric, of Hagerstown, and Christy Sue Spicer and husband, Jim, of Hagerstown; one son and wife, one granddaughter and two grandsons.

Services were at Hagerstown’s Calvary Grace Brethren Church with the Rev. Douglas A. Courter and the Rev. Roger K. Myers officiating.

David Andrew Warner Sr., 60, passed away suddenly while cutting wood in East Charleston, Vermont, on May 31, 2006. A native of Lowell, Vermont, Warner graduated from Newport Center High School and then earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Biblical Studies from Liberty University in Virginia and his Master’s Degree in Church Ministries from Grace Theological Seminary.

Warner was a member and elder of the Grace Brethren Church in Island Pond, Vermont, and a leader at the Word of Life Club at the church. He and his wife had moved to Vermont last year to assist with church planting after having served on the staff of the Warsaw (IN) Community Grace Brethren Church and also having been part of the Winona Lake (IN) Grace Brethren Church.

He is survived by his wife, Greta, two sons, a daughter, and grandchildren. Services were held June 5 at the Grace Brethren Church in Island Pond with Pastor Jake Kocis officiating.

Pastoral Changes
Jonathan Wiley is the new young adults pastor at the Worthington, Ohio, Grace Brethren Church. Jonathan is son of Pastor Galen and Elsie Wiley who minister in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and the grandson of Ralph Wiley who has served the Grace Brethren Fellowship faithfully for many years.


Mike Sciarra

Mike Sciarrawas called to be the next senior pastor of Grace Church of Orange, CA, on May 7. Sciarra, his wife, Angela, and their five children will begin at Orange on Sunday morning, August 6, after having attended Celebrate06.

Sciarra, 43, has served as Associate Pastor at Voyager’s Church in Irvine, CA, for 14 years. He completed his M.Div and PhD at Talbot Seminary, where he teaches a class in Family Ministries.

Sciarra will serve as senior pastor and former pastor Ed Trenner will serve as associate shepherding pastor for the first year. Trenner said, “I could not be more pleased with the selection of Mike Sciarra. He’s perfect for Grace.”

Matt McCoy has joined the staff of the Community Grace Brethren Church of Goldendale, Washington (Greg Howell, pastor) as associate pastor. McCoy will be spending about 50 percent of his time in family support ministries and will be working with Christian Education, outreach, and several other areas. A graduate of Christian Heritage College and Golden Gate Seminary, McCoy is also praying with the Goldendale church about the possibility of a future church-plant in the Dallesport area, including a prayerwalk there which was scheduled for June 10.

Happy Ship Can Make Your Happy Shirt!
Need speciality T-Shirts for your youth group, a kid’s club, camp, or VBS? Consider ordering them from The Happy Ship ‘N More in Jackson, KY. The Happy Ship is a store begun by The Happy Church (Mike Tabor, pastor), in an effort to bring economic development to the area. The T-shirt business is one of four enterprises being run in The Happy Ship; a coffee shop, a FedEx Depot, eBay sales, and the T-Shirt business. For more information, or to order, contact: The Happy Ship and More; 606-693-0868 or email

Larry Chamberlain Earns Doctorate


Larry Chamberlain

Larry Chamberlain, president and CEO of the Grace Brethren Investment Foundation, Inc. in Winona Lake, Indiana, received the Doctor of Strategic Leadership from Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA, on May 6 at graduation ceremonies in Virginia Beach.

Chamberlain’s wife, Sherlene, attended the ceremonies and the Chamberlains visited with Chaplain Mark Penfold and wife, Robin, as well as Chaplain Jack Galle and wife, Judy, while in the area. Part of Chamberlain’s responsibility is to oversee The Eagle Commission, which helps place and support Grace Brethren chaplains in the military.

Chamberlain’s dissertation (final project) was entitled, “Trust: The Foundation for Effective Christian Leadership.” Chamberlain presented his research at the Midwest Scholars Conference in Indianapolis on February 24, 2006.

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