Let’s Start Here

DonaldTo begin this New Year, I have been reading through the apostle Paul’s letters to the churches under his care and concern. You know, Galatians, Philippians, Colossians, etc. I am curious as to what was in Paul’s heart for these churches and what are some common themes that can inform my heart for the churches in Arizona that are under my care and concern.

While he is quite specific in his writings to each church, there is at least one common phrase that arrests my attention. Each letter opens with some variation of this greeting – “grace and peace to you.”

Now it could be this is just a common manner of addressing a group of people. Kind of like “Happy New Year!” or “Have a nice day!” or “I just want to say hello in a way that sounds spiritual!”

But as I let this sink in, I realize it is a great phrase that encapsulates a wonderful wish, prayer, or blessing for each of the churches. Grace and peace to you! Anybody need a little more peace as the New Year unfolds? Any big decisions to make? Any anxieties and worries creeping in? Any storms brewing on the horizon? “May the peace that passes understanding rule and reign in your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil.4: 7).

Anybody need a strong dose of grace for the upcoming months? How about a cleansing from the old year and a fresh start for the new? How about a big gift from our Heavenly Father that you do not deserve? Maybe a refilling of your “grace tank” so you can better dispense grace to those who may not merit such a gift? “From the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another” (John1: 16). May you know the fullness of His grace.

It is as if Paul is saying, before anything else, let’s start here – grace and peace to you. So, from my heart to yours, let’s start here…

Grace and Peace to you,



Lead Pastor Roundtable 

A roundtable was hosted for Lead Pastors and spouses on January 14. It was a day of learning and fellowship, lead by Dr. Claud Thomas from Dallas, Texas. The subject matter was on “Creating a Healthy Culture in our Churches.


AYC Winter Camp

Mark your calendars for 2016 Arizona Youth Camp (formerly Winter Blast) at Lost Canyon Camp in Williams, AZ. Students in grades 6-12 are invited to join in this life-changing weekend, filled with fun, worship, and challenging messages!

AYC will be February 12-15, 2016 and Zane Black will be our speaker.
This weekend costs $179  which includes lodging for three nights and seven meals.
If you would like to receive information about registering your group, please contact Kayla Harden.

Below are photos from last year’s camp!




Arcadia City Church

The newest church in our association is starting up! February marks the beginning ofArcadia City Church lead by Pastor Michael and Christy Fay. They will be meeting on Sunday afternoons, 5pm at Valley Community Church of God. Pray and lift up the launch group as they reach out to Arcadia and beyond with the good news of Jesus.

Christy Fay has recently released her very first six-week Bible study curriculum entitled, “Reclaimed: Uncovering Your Worth.” The Bible study workbook is accompanied by a DVD teaching series and centers on the lives of the five women in the lineage of Jesus. It is an excellent resource targeted specifically for women but would be beneficial for any small groups or study classes. For further information you may contact Christy at: or go to her website

Rev. James (Jim) Earl Geahlen was born on November 16, 1925, in Toledo, OH. He passed away on Friday, December 18, 2015, at the age of 90. Jim and Mary celebrated 70 years of marriage this past August.

Many of us remember Jim as the first full-time State Pastor here in Arizona. Before that he served as the beloved pastor of Missouri Park Church of God in Phoenix. What you may not know or remember is that he served numerous churches as pastor, ranging from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, New Mexico, and Arkansas. In the middle of all that, he was a director for Youth For Christ in the state of Florida.

Jim was known for his servant heart and love for the work of God’s kingdom. He leaves a legacy of a wonderful family that include not only four children, but nine grand children, fifteen great grand children, and even one great-great grandchild. He also leaves a spiritual legacy throughout the country of those who have been blessed by his long-term ministry.

Blessings and condolences to Mary and the rest of the family during this time of loss.  The church in Arizona is thankful for the life and ministry of Jim Geahlen. Enjoy your reward, good and faithful servant.

How to Contact Don

If you wish to contact Don by email you may do so at
Or you may call him at <480-387-7787<.

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