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Updates, Events, and Publications

Published Date: October 31, 2022


The Marston Book Prize is awarded annually by the Marston Memorial Historical Center and the Committee on Free Methodist History and Archives in honor of Free Methodist Historian and Bishop Leslie R. Marston.

This published book has been judged to be the most significant publication over the preceding 12 to 24 months in terms of the contribution it makes to understand Free Methodist origins, history, and mission.

We are pleased to announce Dr. Shivraj Mahendra as the second recipient of the Bishop Leslie R. Marston Book Prize for his book Lived Missiology, The Legacy of Ernest and Phebe Ward (Fishers for Christ, 2021).

Dr. Mahendra will receive an award of $500 and be invited to interview on a podcast for Light and Life Communications with Brett Heintzman the director of communications and publishing.

See HERE for a podcast about Dr. Mahendra’s awarding-winning book.


Since Asbury is globally-minded, we rejoice when our alumni desire to make their work accessible to people all over the world. Two or our alumni, Dr. Darío Peralta and Dr. Verónica Aguilar offer affordable rates for English-Spanish or English-Portuguese translation for books. See their pitch below:

Would you like your book to be also read in Spanish and Portuguese?

Two Asbury alumni are experienced professional translators that can help you to translate your book at affordable rates.

Contact in USA: Dr. Darío Peralta, 610-620-4604,

Contact in Brazil: Dr. Verónica Aguilar, +5513997472592 (Whatsapp),


ChoiceOne Bank is pleased to announce Tim Shangle has accepted the position of Vice Chair during the 2022-2023 term and Chair during the 2023-2024 term for the American Bankers Association (ABA) Emerging Leaders Council. The leadership positions for the Council were announced at the ABA Annual Convention held October 2-4, at the JW Marriott Austin in Austin, Texas.

“We are pleased to announce Tim’s appointment to the ABA Emerging Leaders Council,” said ChoiceOne Bank CEO Kelly Potes. “ChoiceOne Bank has a special culture, one that is driven by innovation, yet with a mission to provide superior service, quality advice and show our utmost respect to everyone we meet. Tim embodies our culture with his unique skillset and perspective when it comes to service and technology and how it can change the way we and our customers do business. He has a degree in both computer science and theology, making his leadership skills distinctive, which the leaders of the Council also recognized working with Tim.”

Shangle is Assistant Vice President of Innovation & Data Analytics, Head of the Innovation Department. He joined ChoiceOne Bank in 2013 in the Customer Service Center. Shangle was promoted to Assistant Vice President of Innovation & Data Analytics in 2020 and Head of the Innovation Department in February. As part of this role, Shangle leads the Bank’s development of digital channel products. Before joining ChoiceOne, Shangle was the IT Director for the Theological Book Network in Grand Rapids. Prior to this, he was Web Architect, Interactive Media Developer for Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky.

“I gladly accept the chance to serve alongside so many gifted leaders,” said Shangle. “The Emerging Leaders Council has continuously helped to form and shape not only my leadership skills but also broaden my point of view. Because of the diverse and talented group that represent all corners of our country, I’ve had the chance to listen and converse with individuals I would have never known. I look forward to leading and helping to foster the same growth I experienced in fellow Council members.”

Shangle has a Master of Arts, Specialization in Theological Studies from the Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky, and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids. He is also a graduate and class president of the Michigan Bankers Association Perry School of Banking.


First Fruits Press of Asbury Theological Seminary is proud to release DeShazer: Greatest Story from the Greatest Generation by Todd Cook. Dean Cook (M.Div. ’67, D.Min. ’90), Todd’s father, was instrumental in this story coming to light. This book recounts the amazing life of Jacob DeShazer, an alumni of Asbury Theological Seminary. As a young man, he was part of Doolittle’s Raiders, a group of brave Airforce men who launched an initial bombing raid on Japan shortly after the start of World War II. They were not given enough fuel to return, but hoped to make it to friendly territory in China. DeShazer, along with other airmen were captured by the Japanese and spent the remainder of the war as Prisoners of War. During this time, DeShazer found Christ and received a call to return to Japan after the war as a missionary! He was obedient and on his first furlough from Japan he attended Asbury Theological Seminary. He then returned to mission work in Japan, where he was able to convert Mitsuo Fuchida, the Japanese captain who led the attack on Pearl Harbor. This is a great book on redemption, and how God can use the difficult moments in our lives in powerful ways. See the press release below. Todd Cook: BooksIn the 2001 movie, Pearl Harbor, there is the famous scene where the Doolittle Raiders take off from the deck of the USS Hornet. As the last B-25 bomber lifts off, the troops remaining on board the Hornet flood the flight deck, breaking into loud cheers.

The next time you view that scene, pay attention to the last plane soaring up off the flight deck. On board that plane (in real life) was Jake DeShazer – one-time resident of Wilmore, Kentucky. And while some would consider that to be the peak glory moment of DeShazer’s life and career, in truth, that was just the beginning of perhaps World War II’s most incredible story.

Last month, Asbury Theological Seminary honored the late Jacob “Jake” DeShazer during their Centennial Celebration (September 6 and 7). A wall display honoring DeShazer’s life was unveiled, in addition to marking his time as a student at the school (1955-1958).

Though Jake’s plane (ironically named The Bat Out of Hell) successfully completed its run over Japan, the entire five-man crew was forced to bail out of the aircraft when a landing strip could not be found as they flew over night-covered China.

Jake parachuted out and landed in a Chinese rice field. The next day, however, he was captured by Japanese troops (as were his fellow four crewmen). For the next four years Jake and a handful of other Doolittle Raiders languished in Japanese POW camps where they endured constant beatings and privations. While Jake and five other Raider prisoners were spared execution, three other Raider POWs were not so lucky. Jake came to hate his Japanese captors.

All this changed in 1944, however, when Jake was allowed a Bible in his cell. In the weeks that followed, Jake came to a personal salvation experience. The result: not only did his forgive his Japanese tormentors, but he vowed that (should he survive) he would return to Japan as a missionary!

Jake and four other Doolittle POW’s were rescued in 1945 by US troops. Upon returning to the states, Jake found himself a celebrity. Still, he was determined to keep his vow to pursue missionary work in Japan.

And he did. Jake and his family served as missionaries in Japan for the better part of 30 years. One gentleman who came to faith through Jake’s ministry – and who became a lifelong friend of Jake’s – was none other than the Japanese flight Captain who led the attack on Pearl Harbor!

The Global Alumni Center at Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore is now open for daily visitation. In addition, a book of Jake’s story, DeShazer: Greatest Story from the Greatest Generation is now available on Amazon and digitally from First Fruits Publications (


Reverend J.L. Penfold was born in 1945. He grew up in Fort Lupton, Colorado. He graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Entomology, University of Northern Colorado with a Masters of History and then attended Asbury Theological Seminary, graduating with a Masters of Divinity.

For over thirty years, he served multiple United Methodist churches in Colorado, Florida, and Illinois. J.L. was a servant of God. He loved serving others and God’s church and continued to be involved in ministry after retirement.

One of his few unfulfilled dreams was writing a book. During the 2020 lockdowns, one of his sons, James Penfold, began constructing a book with the articles J.L. wrote for Our Faith Today, a monthly United Methodist publication, during his ministry. To enjoy this work for yourself, see HERE for hard cover, paperback, and Kindle options.


Dr. Stephen Bailey joined Asbury’s faculty at the beginning of this academic year. He was recently cited in an article by Christine Lau about the missions work of Lottie Moon (as lectured on by Dr. Evan Liu). This excerpt presents an enlightening theory on mission:

According to the mission theory of Steven Bailey, professor of the Department of Mission at Asbury Theological Seminary in the United States, Dr. Liu classified churches into four categories, with the degree of unity as the horizontal axis and the degree of vision as the vertical axis. With great vision and high unity, some were kingdom-expanding churches, such as the churches of Smyrna and Philadelphia. With high unity and low vision, some churches have lived a comfortable life, including the churches of Pergamum, Thyatira, and Laodicea. Like the Church of Ephesus, ministry-oriented churches had great vision and low unity. Like the Church of Sardis, spiritually unhealthy churches had low vision and low unity. The first and third ones are mission-oriented churches.

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