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National Association of the Church of God
Tuesday, November 15 2022

Shalom and Blessings NACOG 

The purpose of this article is to update you on our rebuilding efforts at our Camp Ground at West Middlesex, Pa., and to enlist your full support. While the fire of 2022 was somewhat discouraging to some degree, it has become a great opportunity for us to design and build new facilities with future generations in mind. We continue to celebrate God’s Amazing Mercy and Grace for His Divine Protection in allowing the fire to be contained to one structure, and for the fact that there was no loss of precious lives. We are also grateful to both our Chief Operating and Development Officer, (CODO), Rev. Dr. Arnetta Bailey, and our local fire departments, for their speedy response in ensuring the fire was extinguished without causing more extensive destruction.

Our insurance carrier has done an extensive investigation and has ruled the facility a total loss. While we were blessed to have had a good policy in place, it was determined that the replacement cost of the facility and its contents would substantially exceed our policy limits. This will necessitate our combined participation in the Capital Campaign that was launched prior to the 2022 Camp Meeting in order to make up for the shortfall. One of our options is to rebuild in phases allowing additional time to ensure the final structure or structures provide the functionality needed for decades to come. The immediate goal is to remove any usable equipment from the current building and erect a steel building in another location for equipment storage.

There is much work ahead of us including identifying the professionals needed to design and rebuild in accordance with required State Building Codes. To date, a significant group of persons have been asked to serve as members of a Rebuild Team. Together, we have developed an initial list of possible amenities we believe necessary to make the new facility most functionable. We have also compiled job description requirements for a construction manager, which will be made available to potential candidates. In addition, site visits are being scheduled to other campgrounds and similar structures to help us envision a master plan and identify potential Architects and Engineers. We hope to identify and enlist the services of an Architect before the end of 2022.

I ask that you be both prayerful and supportive as we move forward with the hopeful goal of new construction starting in the spring of 2023. We invite you to share with us your suggestions for the functionality you would like to see in the new construction, along with ideas for master planning the campground. Lastly, as part of our team efforts, we are blessed to have persons on the Rebuild Team who do love and are committed to the National Association and Zion’s Hill. They are each bringing significant experience, wisdom, knowledge, and strategic thinking to the work of the Rebuild Team.

Thank you for your continued participation in the work of the National Association and monthly financial contributions. My hope and prayer are that you continue to partner with us as we Dare to Dream beyond what presently exists and intentionally seek to Preserve the Promise and Protect the Legacy for the Glory of God, and for generations to come. This is of the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes! 

Let us Rebuild Together!

Presiding Elder – Rev. Clifton McDowell Sr.

Rebuild Team

Rev. Clifton McDowell, Sr.

Dr. Cheryl Sanders

Dr. Arnetta McNeese-Bailey

Rev. Lora Adams King

Aaron Bowen

Rev. Monte Dillard

Izetta Phillips

Dr. David Winslow

Resource Persons

Rev. James Brown

Angelique Crumbly

Linda Mitchell

Donna Ravenell

Posted by: Rev. Clifton McDowell AT 12:22 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Wednesday, September 14 2022

On Friday, August 5th, I began to relax and exhale. After months of preparation and workers assuring me that we would be ready, excitement replaced exhaustion. After being closed for two years, our grounds and buildings needed major repairs and renovations. We had experienced an uphill climb to be ready for Homecoming 2022 on Zion’s Hill. The final touch would be the installation of air conditioners to ensure our worship experiences would be comfortable. Little did I know in less than 24 hours, things were about to change drastically. So much of the work and preparation would never be seen or experienced by the Saints who were already traveling for our camp meeting. At first sight, what appeared to be heartbreak, we clearly see now that it is just the framework for a healthy transition into the future. 

The National Association has withstood the test of time for 106 years. We have seen years of growth and prosperity, protest and progress, resurgence and restructure. The fire that occurred on August 6, 2022, will be another defining moment in the life of this ministry. Through it all, the members of our beloved Association have been faithful and fearless. We do not minimize the sadness of the fire and the temporary loss of Terrell Dining Hall, Frisby Dormitory, and our Children’s Corner; it was devastating. But one thing is certain; it did not thwart the move of the Holy Spirit and the sweet fellowship of the Saints who still gathered for homecoming.

The church around the globe has joined our efforts and is living out Galatians 6:2 “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.”  From the moment the news broke, many of our sister agencies and friends responded in tangible ways. Because we lost the use of our main dormitory, Church of God Ministries provided aid to assist with housing those displaced to local hotels. Christian Women Connection brought their donation to use wherever there was a need. Several of our Regional Pastors came to worship with us and donated generously. The love and support of the Church of God Colorado Conference, North Carolina General Assembly, Ohio Ministries, and Western Pennsylvania of the Church of God will forever be etched in our hearts. Because we are the Body of Christ, we witnessed the strong presence of our ecumenical friends. The Wesleyan Investment Foundation and the West Middlesex Presbyterian Church blessed us by their in-person representation and significant contributions. Calls and donations continue to come in from our sisters and brothers in Africa and the Caribbean Islands. We will be remiss if we fail to say thank you to the many churches and individuals who have given sacrificially. Some have increased their monthly giving, and many have now signed on for the first time to provide ongoing support. No gift has been too small; all are appreciated and make up the whole. 

This journey has just begun as we continue to work through the process. There are still expenses and losses yet pending. We are recovering, but we have not recovered. In 2020 our theme was taken from Isaiah 43:19 “Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming, do you not see it?” On behalf of the Board of Directors of the National Association, thank you for your continued support as we build back better! Can you not see it? 

Thank you,
Rev. Dr. Arnetta McNeese Bailey
Chief Operating and Development Officer, NACOG

Posted by: Rev. Dr. Arnetta McNeese-Bailey AT 04:26 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, July 07 2022

Dear Friends,

Oh my, it has been nine months since I began serving as your Chief Operating and Development Officer. I am humbled by the call and honored to be used in this capacity. Many thanks for the confidence of the Presiding Elder, Rev. Clifton McDowell, the Board of Directors, and the National Association of the Church of God General Assembly for trusting me with this assignment. Growing up, my family often had sing-a-longs in our kitchen. One of our favorites was, I’ll follow, I’ll follow, I’ll follow Jesus all the way. This song has once again held significance in my life. I planned to move west; never did I imagine going east. Yet, here I am, learning new things, being stretched, challenged, and changed, and loving every moment. I’ll follow Jesus here I’ll never never fear!

I must acknowledge Dr. Charles (Chuck) Myricks for his continued support and encouragement. We appreciate his many years of service and his ongoing availability at a moment’s notice. He served well and faithfully!

Our theme for this campmeeting is Homecoming on the Hill. I have spent many years attending campmeeting on Zion’s Hill. I was grateful to be able to carve out time to come to this place of refuge and to refresh. Over the years, I have been blessed to be used at different times to serve; however, there was always more I wanted to do. I didn’t understand then, but as I look back, I see the hand of God planting this seed in my spirit. Often, I would say to the leadership, “I want to help in any way you can use me.”  I never imagined employment or this role, and my finite thinking was that of a volunteer. When I drove on these hills in November, snow covering the grounds, no one in sight but the deer grazing on the horizon, I knew I was home. 

I was blessed to serve for nineteen years in my past assignment. God allowed me to acquire skills, become a strategic thinker, dare to dream beyond boundaries set, and build relationships. Yet, I always knew my roots were on Zion’s Hill. The saints on the hill in West Middlesex, PA, loved me and launched me. I have now come full circle. I have completed the task and am now blessed to return to my beginnings. I have been allowed to finish where I began; our God is awesome!

Since my arrival, I have been privileged to have one-on-one conversations with many of you. One prevailing thought from those conversations is the desire to see the grounds become a state-of-the-art facility with the ability to house hotels, athletic events, and a community development complex. All these things are within our reach if this is our desire. I believe the Joshua Generation and those coming behind will achieve those goals and more. Nehemiah understood his assignment, and he did not deviate. Nehemiah said to the king in Chapter 2, “If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my ancestors are buried so that I can rebuild it.” Nehemiah also understood he could not do it alone; he enlisted the help of others. I must know my assignment, and I must realize my calling. I am called for this season to work alongside the leadership to return the grounds to a place of readiness, shore up our infrastructure and help expand our ministry capabilities.

While my assignment may not carry us into the future, I am grateful for the opportunity to do my part with you to prepare us for the future. I await with great anticipation, standing on tippy toes to see what I know is coming. The future of The National Association is pregnant with possibilities. She has withstood the test of time and is poised to influence and impact in and beyond the Shenango Valley to this nation. We are better together as the body of Christ, not working independently of one another. I firmly believe that God is setting his members each in place according to His will. 

Friends, I spent October, November, and December asking questions and surveying the grounds. We launched the campground campaign, Preserve the Promise – Protect the Legacy, not a “wish list” but a “must-do list.” Our campground felt the global impact of the pandemic. Many of our public facilities were in ruins, and they were uninhabitable. During this time, buildings were inspected to see if we were adhering to fire and safety regulations. Unfortunately, in many areas, we were not compliant. Thousands of dollars have been spent, and more are needed to complete this task. Without attention to the areas cited, the campground could not be opened. God has been faithful to us and shown us favor. Many of our suppliers and contractors have become ministry supporters in this undertaking. 

The good news – we have made progress. We are planning our first in-person campmeeting since 2019  which will be August 7-14, 2022. We are on target to reopen because of the generous donations and the many hands from local congregations who have come from near and far. We are still asking you to consider joining us in this campaign; it is not too late. I ask for your patience and understanding if everything is not as you had hoped. 

Our Praise Report

  • Fire and safety requirements will be complete by campmeeting
  • Restroom renovations throughout the campground
  • Handicap accessible restrooms
  • Renovated Administration Building
  • New temporary Housing for Medical Center and Homeowners
  • The partial pavement of the roads 
  • Painting and refreshing our public facilities 
  • Unsafe houses have been torn down

Currently, we are without a Grounds Manager; this position will be posted soon. As your CODO, I ask for your prayers. I am presently functioning in both roles with the aid of committed men of God. I am forever grateful for the many hours given to NACOG by Bro Charles Mitchell, Mr. Bernard King, Bro Jeff Barnes, and Bro Bennie Gibbs. They have been faithful servants. Pastor Reginald Alford and Bro Allen Stevens have traveled on numerous occasions with others to assist wherever there was a need. “My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4: 7


We are blessed to have staff additions to the team and wholeheartedly celebrate the many years of service given to NACOG by those who have taken on new assignments. Rev. Rhema Irvine has been a welcomed addition as Office Administrator, Lady Precious Earley serves as our Marketing and Newsletter Coordinator, and Rev Tatum Osbourne continues in her role as Communications Coordinator. These women are my “dream team.” Stop where you are and take a moment to give thanks for their service. 


While we continue to make plans to return to this in-person gathering, varying levels of comfort are important to each delegate. It is significant to note that there will also be several different experiences from what folks are used to. Please be patient with us as we design safety measures and protocols that are important for everyone’s safety. We strive to adhere to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.


We will observe COVID protocols for our in-person meetings:

  • Limit attendance in the tabernacle to 500 persons
  • Social distance recommended
  • Wash hands frequently
  • Masks must be worn in the tabernacle – please comply 
  • Sanitizing stations at every entrance 
  • Tabernacle sanitation measures taken after each worship service
  • Individual microphone covers for program participants
  • Restrooms refreshed every hour
  • If you are not well, consider others, stay home

Terrell Dining Hall Protocols

  • Hand sanitizers, gloves, and masks available at cashier’s desk upon entry
  • Mask must be worn at buffet stations
  • No talking recommended while standing in buffet lines
  • Gloves must be worn while handling utensils
  • A clean plate must be used upon each serving

See you on Zion’s Hill; I look forward to greeting each one of you and welcoming you home!

Serving with JOY,

Rev. Arnetta

Posted by: Rev. Dr. Arnetta McNeese-Bailey AT 05:30 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, July 07 2022

“This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 2 “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” 3 So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. 4 But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.5 Then the word of the LORD came to me. 6 He said, “Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?” declares the LORD. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel.” Jeremiah 18:1-6


Lessons and Thoughts to Ponder and Remember


In the above scripture, the Potter refers to our Wonderful God, but who is the clay? In that day it was Israel, today it is You and I, it’s the Church, but you could just as well say it’s our congregation or our Christian families. Remember WHO you are!


• Stay on the Wheel. There are times we want to jump off the potter’s wheel because we get tired of being in the process; we want to be the finished vessel without going through the pain and discomfort.  Sometimes we want to be where we see others are or think they are not knowing how they got there. They might not even be where they appear to be.  We see what appears to be glory without knowing the story. Remember WHERE you are!


The Wheel is Symbolic of the circumstances and situations that life brings our way.


Life can often seem like a large circle, one trial after another. Sometimes like the clay we don’t like the shaping process and may fight back a bit, resisting and wobbling in what we know to be true (scripture) But we must remember that the Potter controls the speed of the wheel and it only rotates according to His will (like the old fashion sewing machines). Never forget that God is still in control, regardless of what we face and He knows how much we can bear.


• Remember You Are Still In His Hands: While the clay spins around on the wheels, it is never out of contact with the Potter’s hands. He is in constant control, molding and shaping the clay through his skill and guidance. If he removed His hand, the clay would spin right off the wheel and would be lost. Remember WHOSE you are.


• The Potter Controls The Oven: The temperature of the potter’s oven must be hot enough to burn the impurities out of the clay and creates a new bonded substance. Too much heat too fast and it cracks and falls apart. Sometimes the clay thinks it cannot take any more heat but the Potter knows how high and how long the clay must be in the oven to accomplish the finished design.


Let me conclude with the Story of the Vase


A grandfather and a grandmother were in a gift shop looking for something to give their granddaughter for her birthday. Suddenly the grandmother spots a beautiful vase, “Look at this lovely piece of work”, she says to her husband. He picks it up and says you are right; this is one of the loveliest vases I have ever seen.


At that point, something remarkable happened. Something that could only happen in a children’s book. The vase says to the grandparents. “Thank you for the compliment, but I wasn’t always beautiful.” Instead of being surprised that the vase can talk, the grandfather asks it, what do you mean when you say you weren’t always beautiful? Well, says the vase, “once I was just an ugly soggy lump of clay. But one day some man with dirty wet hands threw me on a wheel.


Then he started turning me around and around until I got so dizzy I couldn’t see straight. Stop..Stop I cried. But the man with the wet hands said, Not Yet! Then he started to poke me and punch me until I hurt all over, Stop..Stop I cried, but the man said “Not Yet”. Each time I thought he was through, he would crumble and roll me up and begin to poke and punch me again. Finally, he did stop. But then he did something much worse, he put me into a furnace. It got hotter and hotter until I couldn’t stand it. Stop..Stop.. I cried. But the man said, “Not Yet”.


Finally, when I thought I was going to burn up, the man took me out of the furnace. Then some short lady began to paint me, and the fumes got so bad that they made me feel sick. “Stop…Stop..” I cried. “Not Yet” said the lady. Finally, she did stop, but then she gave me back to the man and he put me back into that awful furnace. This time it was hotter than before. “Stop…Stop” I cried, but the man said “Not Yet”.


Finally, he took me out of the furnace and let me cool. When I was completely cool, a pretty lady put me on this shelf, next to this mirror. When I looked at myself in the mirror, I was amazed; I could not believe what I saw. I was no longer ugly, soggy, and dirty; I was beautiful, firm, and clean. I cried for joy. It was then I realized that all the pain was worthwhile. Without it I would still be an ugly, soggy lump of wet clay. It was then that all the pain took on new meaning for me. It had passed, but the beauty it brought has remained.


What a tremendous and encouraging illustration, which I hope will help guide and guard us under the pressures and challenges which come into all of our lives from within and outside the Church.


Remember the Potter has a purpose in mind, and He has the skill and ability to fulfill it, no matter what obstacles or challenges come our way. We are living in very challenging times of pandemics, mass shootings, resurgence of blatant acts of racism, and deeply rooted polarization. NACOG, we must always remember that our first allegiance is to the will and ways of our Lord. So, in each season of our lives as individuals, families, congregations, and as part of the Church of God Movement; 


Let us yield to the Lord’s wise Will and Ways

Let us stand up for biblical righteousness, holiness, and unity

Let us rest in the Lord as He shapes and reshapes us to align us according to His Word

Let us resist leaning to our own understanding and preferences

Let us in all our ways acknowledge the sovereign will of the Lord over us

Let us remember we are the Lord’s Servants Under Construction

Let us be thankful the Potter is able to repurpose and reshape marred clay

Let us Trust Him, Obey Him and Watch Him Work out all things to our good and His glory

Shalom and Blessings

Presiding Elder, Rev. Clifton McDowell

Posted by: Pastor Clifton McDowell AT 05:24 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

PO Box 357, West Middlesex, PA 16159
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