hope for churches in stress
Warren Hoffman grew up in the Church and accepted Christ at age 10. At 25, his heart caught fire. Since that time, he has nurtured an intimate walk with Jesus. He firmly believes that a primary aim in building the Church must be bringing people to saving faith in Christ; everything builds on changed hearts and transformed lives.
Warren’s ministry experience has been extensive and varied. While attending seminary, he spent three years as a youth pastor. He then led a team of young adults for four years,
assisting a small church in an low-income community near Salem, Oregon. For another four years, he worked with Navajos at a remote mission near Bloomfield (NM). For ten years he led a church planting endeavor in Oklahoma City. For the next 24 years, he served in leadership roles with the Brethren in Christ Church, a faith community at the time of about 35,000 believers in 300 churches across the United States and Canada.
Warren graduated from Messiah College (Grantham, Pa.) in 1968 with a bachelor’s degree in biology. In 1972 he received his Doctor of Ministry degree from the American Baptist Seminary of the West (Covina, Calif.) He is the author of The Secret of the Harvest (Evangel Press, 1988).
Through 45 years of service in the Church, Warren wondered whether he fit easily into the usual ministry roles, e.g. pastor, associate, missionary, etc. He is an encourager, like Barnabas. Following the clear leading of the Holy Spirit, he has founded Barnabas Initiatives. Through this ministry, he hopes to strengthen the life and mission of the Christian faith community.
Warren lives in Elizabethtown, Pa., with his wife, Connie. They have four adult daughters and 14 grandchildren. Although Warren claims he has no hobbies, he and Connie greatly enjoy camping, gardening, reading, and music. True to his Lancaster County and nearby Hershey (Pa.) roots, Warren is a pretzel and chocolate enthusiast.
Melanee Hamilton is a seminary student at Boston University School of Theology. Currently, she is preparing to enter into the third and final year of her Master of Divinity degree program and Religion and Conflict Transformation program. Melanee grew up in the Church of the Brethren (CoB) as a pastor's daughter, and continues to have a deep appreciation for the CoB denomination.
Melanee completed her undergraduate degree in Zoo and Wildlife Biology from Malone University, and then moved to Massachusetts where she worked for three years at an animal hospital. She spent much of this time away from school discerning the next step in her life, and soon felt a turn in direction in her career. After spending time tutoring inner city students, volunteering as a youth leader, and serving overseas, Melanee felt her gifts were best used in service and solidarity with others. She believes that if Christians want to help people in their communities and across the globe, then they must try to improve the health and well-being of their local church communities. This conviction brought her to the seminary at Boston University.
While in school, Melanee interned with On Earth Peace, a CoB affiliated non-profit organization, where she was tasked with revising the Matthew 18 Workshop on congregational conflict and reconciliation. Along with this internship, she spent a semester abroad living in Bethlehem, West Bank, where she completed her field placement at the conflict transformation center, Wi'am. After graduation, one of Melanee's desires is to work closely with the Church of the Brethren and help congregations that are experiencing stress and crisis.