Saturday morning I was up early, had my light breakfast, and drove off to Franklin, Indiana to do a missions service for Bishop Robert and wife Brandi Sluder. They put me up in Lee's Inn of Greenwood. Pastor Sluder and Pastor Samuel Mwangi met me that evening at 6:30 in Greenwood and took me out to dinner. It turns out Pastor Mwangi is from Kenya and wanted to meet me because he learned I had lived in and ministered in Kenya for 9 years and now supervise our churches in 32 other countries of Africa.
The Church in Franklin is a mission church -- or the beginning of a new church whose leader feels strongly that for his church to grow he should involve his people in foreign missions. It was amazing to walk into this new mission and find them fellowshipping with a minster from Kenya, Samuel Mwangi and his wife Margaret. Also, it was fun for me to stand and greet them from the podium with "Hamjambo watoto wa Mungu!" or in English, "Goodmorning Children of God!" After the service they had a fellowship meal and there was plenty of Kenyan food as well as American food. What a great time we had together. I do not know if these groups will merge into one church because we have two men who are definitely called of God and have a burden for the lost in all cultures - so naturally both would have the tendency to want to be "in charge." However, if they could see it, there is so much more they could do together. Pastor Sluder wants a merger to take place. I'm not sure about Pastor Mwangi. Playing "second fiddle" is somehow not as attractive as being the leader of the band.
Pastor Sluder is calling his new church the "Place of Grace" Church of God. I believe it will become a great church whether the other people join together with him or not. It's obvious that God is at work in this effort and I perceived an above average commitment and passion here. What greater labor than winning souls to Christ and the Kingdom of God?
When the service was over I had a phone call from Frances and my first cousin Terry J. Jones and his new bride of about two years were here in Cleveland to visit with me. Therefore, I drove straight home after lunch, arriving about 8:30p Sunday night. They had arrived on Saturday evening from Indianapolis - so we probably passed each other somewhere on I-65. By the time I got home I found that Frances had invited Terry (I call him Junius; he calls me Alton) and Tricia (Junius' wife) to stay with us. So yesterday, we took them to the cabin. A great time was had by all! I Wish you could have been with us.
- ► 2012 (17)
- ► 2011 (33)
- ► 2010 (46)
- ► 2008 (29)
- Fred Alton
- Cleveland, TN, United States
- I am Fred Alton Brannen, the son of Louis A. Brannen (deceased) and Bonnie Jones Brannen, Louis was an Ordained Bishop with the Church of God. Bonnie is an Ordained Licensed Minister and at 89 years of age is still actively engaged in speaking and singing engagements. I am married to the former Frances Hildreth. We celebrated 53 years of marriage this past June and we are the parents of 3, grand-parents of 10, and great-grandparents of 10. I pastored in Tennessee for 24 years and served the Church in some capacity in missions for over 23 years. I retired from full-time ministry in August of 2008 but remain active, speaking and singing and teaching whenever opportunity affords itself. In January of 2010 I received a letter of commendation for having been credentialed as a minister in the Church of God for 50 years! My family is very important to me. Our get togethers are always noisy affairs and most times will include family sing-alongs. The children love their Mom's cooking so we have the privilege of seeing them regularly! WE LOVE having them over.