An Interview with Pastor Furman Fordham
by Shirley Scott
Director Sabbath School and Women’s Ministry
When Oakwood was considering going from a college to a university, there were a lot of things that had to be considered. One was the fact that they would have to offer more degree programs, having more professors with PhDs, etc. It took a lot of work and everyone needed to be on board. There were meetings to establish where the school was, what were its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, what was working and what was not? Did the institution have a mission and if so, did the mission drive the decisions? I learned a lot about strategic planning and the importance of setting goals that accomplish your mission. It was only natural that upon becoming the Interim Director of Sabbath School, I wanted to do an assessment of where South Central was in respect to Sabbath School. There was a lot of talk about the decline in attendance for various reasons and this made it incumbent upon me to evaluate the health of our Sabbath School in South Central.
The Center for Creative Ministries reported that Adventist churches are nearly twice as likely as other faiths in America to have a regular Sabbath School or similar religious education programs for children and adults. Report states that more than 99% of Adventist local churches have Sabbath School each week, while only 53% of the local congregations of all religions have Sunday School or a similar program each week. This is a major strength of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America.
Their research also shows that the better the attendance at the religious education program, the more likely a congregation is to grow. This, […]