Monday, February 14, 2011

Cards, Candy and Cash

Oh WoW! I am so blessed to have the love of the ideal woman as my valentine. She has faithfully followed me thousands of miles, worked to help make enough money for us to survive, taught our children to love their Daddy and taught them about God's love, filled in as surrogate Daddy while I was traveling, and in every way has been faithful. This morning she came in with a Valentine Card for me, containing cash, a dish-ful of Hershey's Kisses with almonds, and CASH - that item that mankind loves so much because it can be turned into whatever the heart desires! ☺ And then a kiss (or two...or maybe three) and a back massage. ☺ What a wonderful way to start another day with the woman who has been my lover and friend for almost 54 years. Ahhhhh! ☻

On the front the card reads, "This is all that I know of love... That it begins and ends with you!" Inside it reads, "For every way you are my partner, for every day you fill with love...Happy Valentine's Day." I think I'm in love!!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Missions Memories and Missions Resources

Most of my readers already know that I spent 20 years working in Africa as a missionary for the church organization known as Church of God, Cleveland, TN. My personal friend, Dr. Grant McClung, who has taught in our Church's Seminary, in Schools and Colleges around the world, who was a personal guest in Africa and who was Field Director of Europe and the Middle East has released his book (GlobalBeliever.Com) which you may read on-line at no charge to you. I'll copy and paste his note here for your benefit. Grant and his wife Janice are quality people who walk the talk. I hope you enjoy the free E-books.

But First - some of my missions memories.

Water baptism was a practice that we urged all new converts to participate in as a public testimony of their personal commitment to follow Jesus Christ as Lord of their lives. First we had to find water deep enough. Then we needed safety. Most of our ministers would pray over the water first, rebuking the power of any snakes, crocodiles, and/or harmful bacteria which may be found in the water. Baptism in Africa is a powerful statement of the new convert's faith.

One of the joys of our work was the joy on the faces of our constituents. Here, one of our ladies is cooking a meal on a stove made of clay for one of our orphanages. Do you see the black area that charcoal fire has left on the home-made brick wall? Don't you love that smile?

I had many opportunities to speak to the people in the 32 countries which I was assigned to. Here I am in Uganda, introducing a guest (Roland S.) from North Carolina to a group of young people graduating from our local Bible School. He was moved to tears often as he observed the conditions our people live in.

I took this picture of our "National Overseer" (Makanudo R. B.) opening the first worship service of an Easter Convention in Gaberonne, Botswana. The entire meeting was under an old canvas tent. Cooking was done on open charcoal fires outside. Wonderful food! Wonderful fellowship!

Press Release:
Missions Resources Now in “Ebook” English/Spanish Formats
Dr. Grant McClung, President of Missions Resource Group, has produced his world missions training text, Connecting To God’s Work in Your World, as a free online resource, both in English and Spanish language versions. In the original print format, the books have been used widely by pastors, local church missions classes and prayer groups, and as a basic Biblical introduction to world missions in seminaries, universities, and Bible colleges. The Spanish-language version, “,” is widely distributed throughout Latin America.
“The best way to both versions – English and Spanish,” McClung noted, “is to visit the site, go to ‘’ button and click on ‘Read the Book’ in English or Spanish.” McClung also noted that a weblink is available for those who begin their search as Spanish readers. “At the site (with the same name as the book title),” he said, “there are links to “Lea el libro” (“Read the book” in Spanish). Information at both sites also leads to ordering information for McClung’s classic review of Pentecostal missions, Azusa Street and Beyond: One Hundred Years of Commentary on the Global Pentecostal/Charismatic Movement (Bridge-Logos Publishing 2006). (You do not have to order them in order to be allowed to read GlobalBeliever.Com.)
“Through our training programs on five continents in 2010,” McClung noted, “we mobilized pastors, missionaries, missions leaders, and marketplace laity through printed books and curriculum materials. But we saw, especially in poorer contexts, how traditional print resources are not affordable for many. Now, the entire text is available as a free online world missions reader for anyone at,, or” In addition, at the “Resources” link there are a number of lectures, sermons, articles, and background documents presented by McClung in a variety of global leadership training venues.
The availability of McClung’s “ebook” converges with an international, denomination-wide “Great Commission/Church Planting Mandate” throughout the Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee USA). Dr. Raymond F. Culpepper, Church of God General Overseer, has urged the Pentecostal denomination to remain focused and active in “the missional mandate” and the planting of new congregations worldwide. “This is why I welcome Grant McClung’s significant book,” he stated, “and commend it to you as an insightful and practical ministry resource. It arrives at a time when the international events and global developments of our time need the perspectives and prescriptions of a rich and deep Biblical view of global engagement. This book adds value to pastors and local church leaders as they seek to motivate, train, and deploy their congregations in evangelism, church planting, and world missions. It is full of practical helps for preaching and teaching, including outlines, stories and illustrations, statistics, maps, charts, and global missions trends.”
McClung is one of the chapter contributors to a church-wide missional resource, The Great Commission Connection, Raymond F. Culpepper, Executive Editor (Pathway Press 2011) and is an editorial committee and research contributor to Until All Have Heard: The Centennial History of Church of God World Missions, Bill George (Church of God World Missions 2010)
McClung, a former member of the denomination’s International Executive Council, serves as Missiological Advisor to the World Missions Commission of the Pentecostal World Fellowship and is a member of the U.S.A Lausanne Committee. “Making ‘’ available online – in both language versions,” he said, “will now broaden our vision for a more rapid and effective mobilization of the global Great Commission community for missional resourcing in these challenging times. We hope it will also speak to a younger generation who are increasingly active in global awareness and social activism through online connections.”
Email contact for further information:


About Me

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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.

TheCabin on Day One

TheCabin on Day One
Fred Alton