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January 30th, 2015

Recently the Board of Missions at Corinth asked me to research some highlights of Corinth’s involvement in missions since its charter in 1869.  With the help of Amy Stickler, I created the document below and thought you might enjoy it as well!


Corinth Missions History

“Missions pay. No better evidence of this truth can be found in North Carolina than Corinth Church, Hickory.”

These were the words of J. C. Clapp, who published in 1908 a history of German Reformed churches in North Carolina. Corinth was founded May 22, 1869, as a mission church of the North Carolina Classis of the German Reformed Church.

Clapp’s use of the word “missions” was a little different than ours, but so was the era. Read more »

January 26th, 2015

You can’t find me someone whom Christ cannot rescue and transform.

Mark 5:1-20

January 25, 2014


Every salvation a miracle

This past week Linda and I had the chance to spend some time with her mother in Pennsylvania and with some of her extended family. I have often been filled with awe for the grace of God in their lives across the forty years I have known them. Now Linda’s Mom suffers from the beginning signs of dementia, and we want to be with her as often as we can.

Linda’s Dad passed away thirty years ago. Dad Rohrer carried a lot of scars in life because of his childhood and service in the war, and though he built a business that continues to sustain his widow and employs two of his sons three decades later, he also passed along some of his wounds to his family. But each of his children has in their own way allowed God’s grace in Christ to capture and change them.

Read more »

January 24th, 2015

It is often true when I preach a funeral that most of the people in the pew know the deceased better than I do as the preacher.  That’s not necessarily true for Mary Kahn.  Because she only lived in this area for the last two decades of her life, it might be helpful for many of you here to know a little more of her life story.

Mary was born in Norfolk, Virginia, and grew up a little north of there in a little town called Weems, Virginia, on the mainland side of the Chesapeake Bay.  Her family was poor, in part because when Mary was a child, her father deserted the family for the glitz and glory of Hollywood.  She only saw him once after that, when she was about 13 years old.

Mary’s mother married Chris Barrett, a Navy man who had been her father’s best friend. Chris raised Mary as his own, along with three other children.

As Mary grew up, she thought her small, southern, segregated town was too closed-minded.  In search of a better life, she went to New York and soon found herself an unwed mother living in the Presbyterian Women’s Shelter.  But she stayed to raise Claude and eventually brought the rest of her family to New York from Virginia.  When Claude was 11, Mary married Jean’s father, Howard Kahn, and the two of them worked in the restaurant business – Howard as a chef and bartender, and Mary as a waitress and hostess.  Read more »

January 21st, 2015

For most of its decade-long history, the Board of Directors of Faithful and Welcoming Churches (FWC) has held its annual board meeting at the UCC’s “church house,” the denominational headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio.  (2013 was an exception, when Corinth Reformed Church (UCC) hosted a “national gathering” for FWC in Hickory, North Carolina.)  FWC is a network of UCC members who consider ourselves ECOT (evangelical, conservative, orthodox, or traditional).

Last week we returned to Cleveland.  Read more »

January 12th, 2015

If you fixate on your need for a miracle, you may miss God when he shows up.

John 4:43-54

January 11, 2015


You would think if I began a three-month sermon series on the Miracles of Jesus, I would have wrestled through all my questions in advance and know exactly where I was going with the sermons.  I certainly have deep respect for pastors who do it that way, but for a number of reasons I like a different approach.  Among those reasons is that I love to dig into a particular story or text each week and be surprised by new insights.

So it is this week.  The second miracle in our series I titled “The Centurion’s Son” when I designed this sermon series, but now I realize that was a poor title for two reasons.  First, this story is not about the son; it’s about the Dad.  Second, I was committing a common error and confusing this story with a different one told in Matthew 8:5-13 and Luke 7:2-10 about a centurion whose servant was healed.  This desperate Dad is not a centurion.  This is a different story, even though it has similar elements.

It’s not just getting the title wrong that was my surprise this week, however. Read more »