Category Archives: Peniel Bible Camp

2017 Pastors’ Conference

Biblical and historical context remain essential to maintain warm, fervent, and doctrinally correct pastoral ministry. The Pastors’ Conference this coming June will serve to solidify pastoral orientation to Scriptural standards of ministry while examining lives of men God used in past ages to honor His Name. Along with the chapels and sessions, there will be ample time for fellowship, enjoying the camp activities, or just resting! Check out the session themes below and our speaker, Dr. Gerald Priest. Follow this link to register!

Chapel Sessions: “Standing in the Gap”

Monday afternoon: “Be the Man: Stand in the Gap”—the lives of Ezekiel and Daniel

Monday evening 2nd chapel: “Luther’s Courageous Stand for the Truth”

Tuesday evening 2nd chapel: “Christ our Mediator”—Christ stands in the gap of human inability


Morning Workshop Sessions: “Your Ministry as a Protestant Pastor (Modeling the ministries of the great Reformers)”

Tuesday morning: Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli

Wednesday morning: John Calvin, and John Knox

Gerald (Jerry) Priest is formerly professor of historical theology at Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary. His Ph.D. in church history is from Bob Jones University. He has taught at Clearwater Christian College, Piedmont International University, and Bob Jones University. He has conducted classes for pastors in the U.S., the South Pacific, India, Tanzania, and Canada and has led church history tours and spoken at Bible conferences in both the United States and Europe. He served twenty-eight years as a chaplain in the United States Army National Guard, retiring as lieutenant-colonel. Dr. Priest has served as pastor and interim pastor of churches in North Carolina and Michigan. He has written articles for numerous publications and is author of The ABC Memory Verse Program and The Baptist Family Catechism. He has been happily married to Beverly for over fifty-one years. They have two children and six grandchildren, all actively involved in their local church.

Prayer Items from the Fall OBF Conference

The fall conference of the Ohio Bible Fellowship met October 10-11 at Calvary Baptist Church in Willard and Bucyrus Bible Church. Four members gave excellent expositions from Scripture, revolving around the theme of personal holiness.

During these quarterly conferences two sessions devoted to prayer. Praises and prayer requests are given. Here are some items for prayer so that you can continue to pray for the Lord’s work here in Ohio—

Greencastle Bible Church praises the Lord for a new associate pastor, Joel McAllister. He will be moving the rest of his family’s belongings from Greenville, SC this week. Pray for safety. The McAllister’s praise the Lord that they were able to buy a home. Pray for them as they enter this ministry.

Pastor Marvin Gassman (Morrow Bible Church) praises the Lord that his wife Bev did not need back surgery. Prayer is requested for this coming Sunday’s vote to call current assistant pastor Steven Howard to the senior pastor position.

Orwell Bible Church is working to have their land annexed into the Orwell village. Pray also for several unsaved individuals who are regularly coming to services and being ministered to.

Long time OBF member Graydon Cox has been diagnosed with terminal liver cancer. Pray for he and his wife Dorothy to rest in God’s sustaining grace. The Cox’s were involved in many church plants in Ohio, teaching at the Bible Institute of Ohio, and editing and writing in the Ohio Bible Fellowship Visitor.

Peniel Bible Camp is working to finish the program director’s house. Special needs are skilled laborers for finishing drywall and constructing the fireplace and chimney. $13,000 more is needed to complete the house. You can read specifics and see pictures here.

Pray for Bible Community Church of Mentor as missionary and OBF member Mike Goldfuss serves as interim pastor. Pray for wisdom and unity among the church during this time, and the Lord to provide a new pastor.

Nathaniel Pringle, pastor of Eastside Community Bible Church, praised the Lord for the start up of a new effort to make contacts in their area through Monday coffee breaks. This will run through the month of October.

New OBF member Andy Rupert (from Orwell Bible Church) is conducting a Sunday evening Bible study in his home for area children.

Pastor John Howard of Middlefield Bible Church praised the Lord for contacts as a result of their evangelistic efforts. Pray for the rapid spread of the Word and for spiritual growth among believers.

News from OBF Churches, September 30, 2014

Here is a roundup of news from some Ohio Bible Fellowship churches for prayer and encouragement—

Bible Community Church, Mentor, OH

  • Pray for us as we seek to calm down some programs and just try to sit at Jesus’ feet together and listen.  Things are busy, but we need to soak where soaking is needed.
  • Pray for interim pastor Mike Goldfuss to have wisdom as to what to preach.
  • Pray for the pulpit committee to have wisdom in choosing the next pastor of BCC.
  • Pray for us to have a desire to learn Christ better and deeper.
  • In our SS hour, we are doing a study on the “50 fruits of pride.” We have seen 12 in 4 weeks.  From comments that I’ve heard, we are touching things where we need to recognize our pride, confess it, look to Christ for His strength, and practice humility.  Someone asked if they get an A if they find all 50 in their life.  🙂

Greencastle Bible Church, Pastors Charles Flesher, Paul Martin, and Joel McAllister

  • October 19 will be “Protect and Serve” Sunday
  • During the evening service of October 26 we will have a special service welcoming Joel McAllister and his family

Westerville Bible Church, Pastors Paul Hamilton and Mark Perry

  • Continuing praying for outreach efforts, including the mentoring ministry on Thursdays
  • We concluded our annual missions conference last week, with the Mike Goldfuss and Joe Nicholson families. Sermons are available here.

Ohio Bible FellowshipFall Conference at Calvary Baptist in Willard and Bucyrus Bible Church

  • Pray for those ministering and those hearing God’s Word
  • Pray for safety traveling
  • Pray this would be an instructive, challenging, and encouraging conference

Peniel Bible Camp

News from OBF Churches, August 27, 2014

Here is this week’s roundup of news from some Ohio Bible Fellowship churches for prayer and encouragement—

Bible Community Church, Mentor, OH

  • Pray for wisdom and direction as they seek a new pastor. Missionary Mike Goldfuss is serving as interim pastor.
  • Pray for Mentor Christian School, a ministry of BCC, as they begin a new school year

Orwell Bible Church, Pastor Dan Greenfield

Westerville Bible Church, Pastors Paul Hamilton and Mark Perry

  • Pray for outreach efforts, including their mentoring ministry on Thursdays
  • Annual missionary conference is September 24–28, with the Mike Goldfuss (Mexico) and Joe Nicholson (Wales) families ministering.

Peniel Bible Camp

  • Ladies’ Retreat, September 12–13
  • Men’s Retreat, September 19–20
  • Couples’ Retreat, October 3–4

2014 Ohio Bible Fellowship Pastors’ Conference

2013pastorsconfShepherding the flock of God (1 Pet 5:2) brings both tremendous blessings and deep sorrows. You can be troubled, perplexed, resisted, and misrepresented (2 Cor 4:8–9). You can be tempted by the latest ministry fads or give in to just plain laziness.

Each year at Peniel Bible Camp the Ohio Bible Fellowship sponsors a special conference for encouragement, sharpening, mutual fellowship, prayer, and instruction. This year’s conference is June 23–25 and Steve Thomas, pastor of Huron Baptist Church of Flat Rock, MI, will minister the Word to us around the theme of The Glory of the Ministry. Brother Thomas will develop that theme through three messages from 2 Corinthians 2:14–7:2. Additionally, he will present four workshops on the following topics:

  • A Glorious Ministry through Biblical Exposition
  • A Glorious Ministry through a Focused Mission (addressing the increasingly popular idea that social justice is an essential part of ministry, such as promoted by Tim Keller)
  • A Glorious Ministry through Ordered Worship
  • A Glorious Ministry through Discipline

Each workshop will have a set of extensive notes and provide time for discussion. In addition to these notes you will receive several books for your library.

You can access the brochure here for more information, as well as fill out and mail in the registration form. You can also register online here. Bring a pastor friend, another man from your church, or a student preparing for the ministry!

Remembering Pastor William E. Ashbrook

Today marks the birthday of one of the founders of the Ohio Bible Fellowship, William E. Ashbrook. The following article was published in the OBF Visitor shortly after his death, to which I have added some pictures. Also, see this article for additional information on Ashbrook’s ministry. It is important to know, appreciate, and learn from those who have gone before us!

A PDF of this article is available here.

Farewell, Good Brother!
Remembering Pastor William E. Ashbrook
March 19th, 1896—April 5th, 1977

On Tuesday morning, April 5th, 1977, one of the charter members of our Ohio Bible Fellowship was prompted to glory. Our brother, William E. Ashbrook, dressed for breakfast, ate a light meal and retired to his easy chair to take advantage of the oxygen which had been provided to aid his breathing. A few minutes later he was gone. Only a body was left—peacefully seated in the chair.


William Ashbrook was born in Washington, Pennsylvania, March 19th, 1896. His father was a local hardware merchant. During his teenage years the family moved to a farm several miles out of town. That farm always stuck to him. He maintained a lifelong interest in dairy cattle, horses and gardening.

WEA collegeGertrude Ashbrook collegeMr. Ashbrook was reared in the pre-merger United Presbyterian Church. This was the old Scotch branch of the church which sang Psalms and said, “Sabbath” instead of Sunday. He graduated from one of the denominational schools, Westminster College, New Wilmington, Pennsylvania, having majored in Greek. His extra-curricular interests were debate and tennis. He graduated from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Shortly thereafter he married a college classmate, Gertrude Shane, of McDonald, Pennsylvania.

A short time before his marriage Mr. Ashbrook’s only brother, John, died at the age of 18 of typhoid fever. He was to have been best man at his brother’s wedding. William Ashbrook always felt that his younger brother was the most spiritual one of the two and often remarked to members of his family that he was fulfilling the ministry his brother might have had.


WEA hunter

Although Mr. Ashbrook was born again prior to his seminary experience, the teaching at Pittsburgh Seminary did little to satisfy his heart. Theological orthodoxy was not combined with much evangelical zeal. In somewhat of a quandary about his future ministry he and his bride honeymooned in England and Scotland while he took further work at Cambridge University and New College, Edinburgh. This education broadened his mind, but did little for his heart. However, a landlady in London suggested to the Ashbrooks that they should hear the English Methodist Pastor, Dinsdale T. Young. They accepted the advice, and Young’s ministry warmed their hearts and confirmed Mr. Ashbrook’s call to the ministry.


United Presbyterian Cover1Mr. Ashbrook’s first pastorate was at the Liberty United Presbyterian Church, Hubbard, Ohio. The old frame church in a country cemetery was refurbished, a basement added, a parsonage built and the Gospel given. The church was in an area surrounded by the homes of Youngstown’s steel millionaires. Mr. Ashbrook determined to reach the rich with the Gospel, as well as the average people in the community. He gave a witness for Christ in their drawing rooms and made many friends among the well-known men of that area.

He came to Columbus in 1928 to take the pastorate of the Neil Avenue United Presbyterian Church, just off the Ohio State University campus. Several years later he took the pastorate of the Glen Echo United Presbyterian Church in the north end of Columbus. During this ministry the United Presbyterian Church joined the Federal Council of Churches [now called the National Council of Churches] and our brother began to protest vehemently the liberalism and near communism of this body. There was an additional aggravation in the trend of the United Presbyterian Missions. The Gospel had gone out of them, leaving them educational institutions instead of soul-winning labors. He began to introduce his people to independent missions. In the United Presbyterian Church this was considered disloyalty.


As a result of these convictions, Mr. Ashbrook addressed a letter to the Presbytery of Xenia, April 16th, 1940, tendering his resignation as Pastor of the Glen Echo United Presbyterian Church and severing his relationship to the denomination.

Approximately 115 members of the 200 member Glen Echo Church desired to follow in founding an independent church. On May 1, 1940, the Calvary Bible Church of Columbus CBC constructionwas founded, with its first services held in the basement of the Medary Avenue School. The passage which was his great support through this period was II Corinthians 6:17–18: “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing: and I will receive you, and will be a father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” He viewed the growth and blessing which the church enjoyed as being the direct result of God’s fatherly provision for those who would separate from apostasy. Calvary Bible Church was the great ministry of our brother’s life. He served as Pastor of the Congregation from its inception until after his first stroke in 1971—more than 30 years.

After Pastor Ashbrook’s break with the United Presbyterian Church he found his fellowship in the Independent Fundamental Churches of America. He served a number of terms on the Executive Committee and valued the fellowship of other men who had paid the price of withdrawing from apostasy. However, he was one of the first to observe the trend of the times when new men, without separatist convictions, began to rise to places of authority in the group. In the years immediate prior to the beginning of the Ohio Bible Fellowship, when a number of the younger in Ohio were fighting the battle to recall the IFCA to its former convictions, he refused to attend the annual conventions, maintaining that the battle was already lost. He insisted that separation was the only course. Time demonstrated the truth of his conviction.


Mr. Ashbrook was one of the founders of the Ohio Bible Mission and served on its Board until the time of his home going. He was also instrumental in the purchase of Peniel Bible Camp. He opposed the purchase of a number of camp properties; but, when the present property became available, he was convinced it was the will of the Lord and worked fervently for its purchase. Had it not been for his prayers, negotiations, and confident leadership, it is doubtful that the Ohio Bible Mission would own this property today.


New Neutralism CoverHaving watched his former denomination move into apostasy, Mr. Ashbrook hated modernism, ecumenism, and new evangelicalism with a passion. He was noted for his letters to the editor of the Columbus papers exposing the liberalism and near communism of the Ohio Council of Churches. One of the great works of his life was his booklet of information on new evangelicalism, Evangelicalism: The New Neutralism. It was first published as a small tract in 1958. Eight different editions were printed, usually with more information added. After his first stroke in 1971, he asked the Lord to let him complete a final edition of his book before taking him home. Despite trouble with his eyes, he laboriously typed and edited this edition with the help of Mrs. Ashbrook and his son, John. This was completed in 1975—the original eight pages having grown to 129.


Mr. Ashbrook was always known for his stand. However, his enemies usually ignored the fact that he was a great expository Bible preacher. His messages were straight from the text, but with clear points to nail the Bible truth to hearts. He always preached with his Bible in his hand. He was a great illustrator.

His was not a ministry which brought people down the aisles. He gave invitations, but they were completely void of emotional pressure. Most of his converts were won to the Lord in their homes as he took them through the Scriptures with his Bible. He was an insatiable caller. Any evening he did not have a meeting he was busy calling.


WEA 50th wedding anniversary

His ministry was always marked with the bearing of a Christian gentleman. Whether he preached, gave the announcements, or merely pronounced the benediction, his participation always lent dignity to the occasion. His dignity led many people to call him “Doctor” Ashbrook, but he had no such degree. He disdained the prospect of several D.D.’s [honorary doctor of divinity] always using the occasion to remark that “a D.D. is like the curl in the pig’s tail; a little bit prettier, but no more pig.”


Mr. Ashbrook delighted in the friendship of the younger men in the Ohio Bible Fellowship and was always ready to give encouragement, advice and financial help. He maintained his interest in every part of the Lord’s work to the end. One of the projects of his last year was the completion of two tennis courts at Peniel Bible Camp. At the time of his death he and Mrs. Ashbrook were involved in donating to Northside Christian School the property for a new building at Westerville.

The Ohio Bible Fellowship has lost a beloved Pastor. The Ohio Bible Mission has lost a discerning Board member. Peniel Bible Camp has lost a booster. Fundamentalism has lost a great warrior. He towered above us, but he stood shoulder to shoulder with us. Farewell, good brother! May the fond memory of your gray head give us courage to stand! We look forward to renewing our fellowship on that other shore!