Revived basketball league pursues a saintly mission

St. James United Methodist Church re-established its basketball league this month, an effort to give youth the opportunity to compete in their neighborhoods and bring the community together.

Dormant for about 10 years, the league was most recently led by James Otis Powell, the late husband of former pastor Margaret Marie Powell. The re-launch is a move by pastor John T. Brice Sr. to holistically address the needs of the community.

“We run the league; we pay for the league; we pay for the refs,” said Brice. “No child had to come out of pocket for anything. That’s from tithe and offerings. That’s what it’s supposed to be for.” Read the story…

The Rev. Albert Schell, Jr.

The Rev. Albert Schell, Jr., retired local pastor, passed away on August 20, 2018. Prior to his retirement in 2016, he served the following Eastern PA Conference Churches: Shamokin: Emmanuel …

Pastor hosts new, faith-based radio podcast program

The Rev. Mark Salvación, pastor of Historic St. George’s UMC Philadelphia, interviews faith leaders weekly on a new, hourlong, talk-radio podcast program on WWDB 860 AM.

“Faith to Faith with Pastor Mark,” produced by the Beasley Media Group, airs Sundays, from 3 to 4 PM. Salvación hosts weekly live interviews with diverse guests from various faith traditions. Recently he interviewed the Rev. William Brawner, Eastern PA Conference Coordinator of Urban Ministries and pastor of Haven-Peniel UMC Philadelphia.

Listen to that interview at

The interview is preceded by a 60-second ad for our conference’s Helping Puerto Rico Rise Again Special Love Offering in September. Communications director John Coleman, who wrote and recorded the ad, encourages all Eastern PA Conference churches to receive the offering and invites other churches and faith groups to join us in this fundraising effort.

Thousands get backpacks and more from Bethlehem church

Volunteers at Wesley UMC in Bethlehem handed out new backpacks, school supplies, clothing, hot dogs and more—including free haircuts—to elementary school children.

Thousands of families attended the annual “We Got Your Back” charity event that gets bigger, more generous and more successful each year.