Ministry on the Margins at Stevens COG

We began pastoring the Stevens Church of God in February of 1997. We have been blessed to serve this congregation for nearly 20 years. When I was given the opportunity to come and "try out" for the church (that's what we called it back then) I had not even heard of Wise Virginia.

Wise is part of the Appalachian coalfields region. The major industry in years past was coal mining. The population of the whole county is around 45,000. It has 6 small towns and only one city, Norton. The town in which we are located has a population of 3,000 and contains 11 churches. We average around 80 in worship attendance. Being in a small area does not limit our outreach or impact.

Stevens Church of God’s mission statement is “Loving God, Loving People.” We do that in what we call our Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and uttermost part of the world imperative.

Our Jerusalem is our church family. We worship together, pray together, and learn the Bible together. 

Our Judea is the community around us. This involves our food pantry, community events, like back to school supplies giveaway and community Thanksgiving service. The first two Wednesday night offerings go to support our food pantry. We also sponsor a yearly VBS for our community.

Our Samaria is the two prisons in which we minister. We go twice a month to Wise Correctional Center and once a month to Red Onion, Virginia's maximum security prison. At Red Onion, we partner with Kairos prison ministry.

Our uttermost part of the earth is the percent of tithe that is given to Church of God World Missions and the third and fourth Wednesday night offerings that support our missionaries. We currently support Danny and Cita Montes who are native missionaries to the Philippines. 

It is a joy to serve God at Stevens Church of God. I am thankful to be a part of this great movement called the Church of God. We are one church in many locations of all kinds and various sizes.

Pastor Cliff Bowman