GraceConnect eNews, No. 143, Week of March 14, 2016


The eNewsletter for the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
Morgan and Joel Trainer are joining Movement Church in Hilliard, Ohio for one year as church planting residents.

Moving on Up

Movement Church, Hilliard, Ohio (Mark Artrip, pastor), is moving forward with its plans for a new church plant in the greater Columbus area. Still a young congregation itself, Movement Church is looking to keep the momentum going by growing church after church—in buildings and in souls—throughout the communities of Ohio.
With that in mind, Joel and Morgan Trainer will join the church for one-year as Church Planting Residents.
For the past three years, the couple has worked with Kanakuk Kamps, a large Christian sports camp in Branson, Mo. However, they are not strangers to Ohio or to Movement Church. Morgan and Joel met in Beulah Beach Camp in Vermillion after Joel graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University, where Morgan was still a student. They dated, and later married, with a common question driving them: What is going to be our mission? What are we doing with our lives?
Joel and Morgan found they each had the same answer—to make disciples.
Joel grew up with missionary parents in the jungles of Gabon, Africa, and traveled to Brazil with his college soccer team to share the gospel. While there, he witnessed 30 Brazilians instantly giving their hearts to the Lord, and it’s where he felt God speaking toward his own heart.
Morgan, likewise, has felt the fire of leading people to Jesus. A native of Columbus Ohio, she grew up in
Grace Polaris Church, a Grace Brethren congregation on the north side (Mike Yoder, lead pastor), and she describes their time in the Ozark Mountains as a ‘wild adventure.’
The Trainers moved to Missouri in the late summer of 2013, joining a staff of 2,000 to help mentor and disciple the 20,000 kids who annually come through the camp.
“I love teaching the Bible,” Joel expresses. “And I love leading people towards Jesus because I know how much He has changed my life!”
The desire for church planting didn’t fully hit Joel until 2014. Morgan, on the other hand, has always had an interest. The opportunity to work with Mark and his wife, Kristin, with whom they have been long-time friends, made the connection seem obvious.
“The vision of this residency is to provide experience in church planting, portable church, local church ministry, teaching, administration, leading teams, casting vision, and fund-raising,” says Mark, who planted Movement Church in partnership with
Encounter Church, Dublin, Ohio (Sean Spoelstra, pastor), in 2012. “These are some of the many things that pastor/church planter will need to be efficient in. No program can perfectly equip and prepare an individual for planting a church but our desire is to impart to them everything we have and know.”
This residency includes maintaining weekly office hours and a role on the Movement Church staff. Joel and Morgan will be given platform responsibilities, will lead a small group. They will have time to study demographics, assemble a ministry plan, and develop a timetable for a church plant. In addition, Joel will pursue licensure in the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches, and be sharpened through coaching and attending relevant gatherings and conferences.
“The goal of this residency is that we [in partnership with Encounter Church] will be able to confidently commission The Trainers and a launch team (with members from our congregations) on a three-year plan to plant a church in the greater Columbus area,” Mark adds. It is a similar timetable to the one that was followed by Encounter from 2008-2011 and by Movement from 2012-2015. “We have seen it work to stair step a church toward being self-leading and self-supporting,” Mark said.
“People have asked us if we’re nervous to take this leap of faith,” Joel says for both Morgan and himself. “There are certainly are moments of uncertainty, but ultimately, we are so at peace with God’s calling in our lives. We feel confident because God always provides for what God plans.”
As they prepare to move, they are also excited about the arrival of their first child. A daughter, to be named Cooper Meyers Trainer, is expected in June of 2016. – by Haley Bradfield

Click here to read more of their story.  Send the Trainers a letter of encouragement at


[Your Turn]


Grace Church, Bath Campus in Akron, Ohio (Jeff Bogue, lead pastor), hosts a blog that encourages readers to "Give it Away:"

"Giving It Away means doing good, it means action, it means proactively taking steps to help other people at their point of need. It means doing hard things and going hard places. It also means sharing Jesus. It means sharing all of the incredible things that Jesus has done in and around our lives, and spreading that incredible story with others. Giving It Away uniquely combines our actions with our words, our faith with our life.

"Our goal here at Grace is to empower people to give away the story of Jesus to those around them in response to their own relationship with God."

Click here to read the rest of the post and peruse the blog posts here.


On March 3, two key leaders with Encompass World Partners did a webinar on the Refugee Crisis — a candid conversation on the refugee situation and what you can do about it. The session was recorded and is now available as a great resource on the refugee crisis. The presenters were Alan Weisenberger and Bar Wooler.

Click here to read more about the webinar and here to listen.


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Events in the FGBC

April 8-9, 2016  WLS: Spiritual Formation, Winona Lake, Ind. (WGUSA)
April 21, 2016   Day Away: North of 55, Hagerstown, Md. (CEN)
April 22, 2016   Day Away: North of 55, East Earl, Pa. (CEN)
May 20-21, 2016   WLS: Women and Scripture, Ashland, OH (WGUSA)
June 13-17, 2016   Encounter SoCal (EWP)
June 19-25, 2016  The Great Canadian Adventure, Toronto, Canada (GBC)
June 22-28, 2016  Mission Trip to Haiti (WGUSA) 
June 27-July, 2016  Encounter Atlanta  Atlanta, Ga. (EWP)
July 4-10, 2016  StreetWise (formerly Crosswalk, Philadelphia, Pa. (CEN)
July 22-25, 2016  Margins Conference  Toronto, Canada (FGBC)
July 26-31, 2016  Momentum Youth Conference  Cedarville, Ohio (CEN)
October 16, 2016   Day Away: North of 55, Dublin, Ohio (WGUSA)
November 20, 2016   Day Away: North of 55, Duncansville, Pa. (CEN)
CEN – CE National
EWP – Encompass World Partners
FGBC – Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
GBC – Grace Brethren Canada
WGUSA – Women of Grace USA

Send events for the calendar to
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