It is an unprecedented moment in our history when Dana Edmond, president SCC, meets via Videoconference with the administrators of the ten academies of South Central Conference. The goal of this meeting recaptures the personal relationships experienced for many years between the president and his administrators, prior to his new responsibilities on the Black Caucus Committee. It had been the practice of Edmond to meet with each administrator until the caucus meetings were scheduled simultaneously with principal in-services rendering him unable to attend. Now, thanks to virtual technology, he is able to bring the principals into his boardroom. Edmond begins the meeting with a warm welcome, shares his unique interest in education as a former teacher in the Virgin Islands, and acknowledges the service of his wife and daughter as teachers. He speaks words of wisdom concerning the important role principals play in the lives of the students and reminds them of their duty to ensure teacher and staff effectiveness through the evaluation process. During the meeting, he addresses concerns and answers questions that principals write into the interactive screen. It is a first for the president in interfacing with the education staff through technology, and it looks as if it won’t be the last as President Edmond continues his endeavor to revolutionize Christian Education.
Studies have concluded that young adults place a high value on authenticity and transparency. It is of such high priority for them that their trust is almost wholly dependent on how “real” a person or organization seems. A study by the Barna Group specifically targeting Adventist Young Adults found that scenarios where they were unable to detect such openness have contributed to their disinterest in the church and, in some cases, has prompted them to leave. Those who have chosen to stay within the denomination have felt they were exposed to transparent leadership and also felt their thought s and ideas were valued and accepted. In an effort to address this core value, especially from church leadership, Elder Dana Edmond made himself available for an all access conversation with the Young Adults of the South Central Conference. Moderated by Pastor Lola Moore, SCC Director for Young Adult Ministries, the conversation sought to address prominent subjects affecting Young Adults in the field. Foremost in the minds of many younger members was the sense of intolerance for diversity they gathered by the vote to withhold the right to ordain women from individual Divisions. Many young adults struggled to reconcile the decision over against their experiences with women working in the ministerial workforce. The conversation also addressed “Black Lives Matter” and the prevalent abuse of black youth and young adults by law enforcement. When speaking with young adults, relationships are always a hot topic. Elder Edmond addressed dating as a young Adventist and encouraged the listening audience to stay faithful to high personal and moral standards. He reminded those who tuned-in that trust in God was the number one component in making one’s self a suitable person for [...]
On Friday, October 2, 2015, the Alabama Social Work Society in Tuscaloosa, AL., honored retired Alabama A & M University Chair of the Social Work and Psychology Department, Edith Fraser Ph.D. Fraser holds an AB in Sociology from the University of Louisville, an MSSW from Boston University, a PhD in Clinical Social Work from Smith College, Northampton, MA. and a certificate in Management and Leadership from Harvard University. Fraser began her career serving as a social worker with the Brooklyn Family Courts. She later served as a field instructor at Barry University, and as Director of Field Education at Oakwood University. Her leadership skills lead to her appointment as Chair of the Department of Social Work at Oakwood University. In 2002, she served as a Professor, and was then appointed Director of Faculty Development and Research. She has also held positions at Smith College and Alabama A & M University, where she served as Chair of the Social Work and Psychology Department. In 2014, Fraser retired from Alabama A & M University, and continues service efforts as a Disaster Mental Health Relief Worker, Family Life Minister and Family Life Director at the New Life Seventh-day Adventist Church in Huntsville, Alabama.
F.H. Jenkins Preparatory School, formerly F. H. Jenkins Elementary School, has experienced quite a bit of change since the close of last school year. Through divine providence, Ms. Eula Washington was led to take the helm at F. H. Jenkins as interim principal, during the 2014-2015 school year while the school board conducted a search for principal. After interviewing multiple principal candidates, Dr. Summer Wood was selected to be the new leader of F. H. Jenkins. She is a recent doctoral graduate from Vanderbilt University and has a passion for equitable learning for all children. Upon her arrival, the school board began conscientiously working to set vision and mission for the school. One of the first recommendations made was that there be an edit to the name of the school. This was done to combat the community perception that students at F. H. Jenkins only matriculate to fourth grade. In the city of Nashville, elementary school signifies K-4. As a strategic move, the school board recommended to the constituent body that the name be edited from “elementary” to “preparatory.” This recommendation was unanimously received. This edited name also communicates the schools ultimate goal of preparing students for this world, but most importantly for the Heavenly kingdom. Furthermore, Dr. Wood was impassioned about the fact that the Christian community should adopt the principles of the early Christian church and collectively pool resources to support students attending church school. In response, the school board launched the 300 in 30 campaign. The objective of this campaign was to have 300 individuals donate $50 in 30 days to eliminate registration costs ($300) for enrolling students. The constituent churches responded and donated $10, 131.30 to the student registration campaign. Blessings [...]
The Situation: Throughout this nation, there has been a tremendous surge over the years of individuals incorporating more of the natural, less harmful methods in healing sickness, alleviating pain, and, enhancing their overall well-being. In fact, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) states that “Combining [non-drug] approaches to mainstream treatment plans has grown within care settings across the nation including hospitals, hospices, and military health facilities.” Why? Numerous people have told us that they simply don’t want to rely on medication(s) the healthcare provider has prescribed for their condition. And, in its place they would rather make some positive adjustments to their lifestyle which would bypass a host of baleful side effects that drugs has to offer. Succinctly put, the Servant of the Lord says, “Thousands need and would gladly receive instruction concerning the simple methods of treating the sick – methods that are taking the place of the use of poisonous drugs.” MM p525. The Solution: Introducing the HEALERS – seven powerful no-nonsense practical ways of preventing and healing over 18 acute and chronic health conditions while dramatically improving ones overall well-being without drugs! Each letter of this unique acronym expounds on a powerful healer! H for the potency of Herbal Medicine, including essential oils. E for Eating, letting food be thy medicine. A for Adoration, exploring worship via the efficacy of prayer, and, praise thru music. L for Liquids, including the effectiveness of using water internally and externally, and, the strength of juicing. E for the value of Exercise. R for the critical need for Rest. And, S for the unprecedented power of Sunlight, and, the Son of God! The Midland Heights Seventh-day Adventist church in Bermuda requested our presence [...]
The Women’s Ministries Departments of South Central and KY-TN Conferences for the second year, partnered to sponsor the Latino Women's Retreat. The Retreat was held at Indian Creek, October 16-18. The theme, "I Know Jesus Loves Me" formed the backdrop for the weekend ministry to 160 beautiful women of God. Special thanks to Gail Mckenzie and the KY-TN women who eagerly embraced their South Central Conference sisters. In the early part of the year, I had a meeting with our women’s ministries director and told her of my passion to see more women attend the retreat. She encouraged me to visit the churches and encourage the women. So after much prayer, I tackled the feat of getting one hundred of our women to this affair. It was a challenge to bring together so many women to participate in this journey for the first time. There are many of our Latino churches without women’s ministries leaders. However, just a visit to some of these churches was enough to encourage them to participate in this wonderful opportunity. Churches such as Hispanic Lima Drive in Lexington KY, Breath of Life in Memphis TN; Ephesus in Birmingham, Al; Agape in Crossville, AL; Ebenezer in Gasden, AL; Luz y Esperanza in Boaz. AL; Oakwood Spanish in Huntsville, AL; Ola in Huntsville, Al; and Jerusalem in Muscle Shoals, Alabama; participated in this marvelous event. We would like to congratulate the leaders of these churches for the tremendous work done, especially Sister Fidelia, Women’s Ministries leader of Hispanic Lima Drive Church in Lexington, KY. Before we visited this church, there were only four women signed up to attend this retreat. During her visit, Dayami encouraged the sisters to pray to ask God [...]
Each year, the second Saturday of August, South Central Conference celebrates Multicultural Day where all officers have the responsibility to visit a Spanish, Korean or French speaking church within our conference. Multicultural day this year was held on August 8. It was an extraordinary day. Departmental directors of our conference moved to different Hispanic churches to share a special message. Some churches such as Ebenezer Hispanic church in Gadsden, AL; and IASD Aliento de Vida in Memphis, TN, had a great impact to the community on this day. Pastor Auldwin Humphrey, Secretary of SCC, visited Ebenezer Spanish Church sharing the bread of life that morning and afternoon, where 4 souls sealed their life with Jesus and were baptized in the nearby river. Our President, Dana C. Edmond was the speaker at the Aliento de Vida’s Church in Memphis, along with Barbara Barnes and Lillie Buckingham, who made a tremendous impact in the Hispanic community by sharing more than 300 school supplies, this was sponsored by the Community Services Department of SCC. As a result, 500 evangelistic contacts were made for the next crusade that will be held in Memphis in 2016 that is planned by the Union. Our Ministerial Director, Benjamin Jones, was the featured speaker at the IASD Agape church in Crossville, AL. The Holy Spirit, through him, impacted the lives of those who present, with a powerful message. Pastor Melo, Director of the Multicultural Department was also present in some of the churches as well as other conference directors making this day a day like never before. Once again, South Central Conference demonstrated its firm commitment to be united in diversity, and that we are one people although we speak different languages.
Emmanuel Seventh-day Adventist Church, Mobile, Alabama, celebrated its Disabilities Awareness Weekend, on October 16-18, 2015 under the pastorate of Elder Harold Goodloe. The Disabilities Ministries‘ Coordinators for the church are Patricia Davis, Brian Johnson and Dr. Sylvester Hackworth. They were well supported by the leaders of the church as well as the members. Others, worthy of mention, were Elder Herman Taylor, Iris Taylor, Henry Gaines, Alma Hayworth, and Willie Erwin. A team of church members skilled in concrete masonry work constructed several ramps at the church to make access accommodations for those using wheelchairs and scooters. These men will be honored for their contribution to Disabilities Ministries at Oakwood University during camp meeting in June 2016. Emmanuel SDA Church is a disabilities friendly church with people working together on one accord for inclusion of all God’s children because they are family. The youth supported the program well. The youth choir sang and youth deacons in training did an excellent job lifting the tithes and offering. The theme for the weekend was “We Are Family”. The speaker for divine worship was Nettie Henderson, Director of Disabilities Ministries for South Central Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Other speakers were individuals with expertise in their areas of responsibilities to people with special needs. The program described disability “as a condition, such as an illness or injury, that damages or limits a person’s physical or mental ability. There are many forms of disabilities, some visible and some not visible”. Program participants wore pink and black colors in recognition of Breast Cancer Month. Nettie Henderson
“Best conference ever! Learned a lot and will make lifestyle changes. Thank you, thank you” said an attendee concerning the October 2-4, 2015 “Million Hearts” Health Retreat experience. Now for details. The Objective: The “Million Hearts” is a national initiative launched by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to reduce the amount of heart attacks and strokes by one million in seven years. Since the South lies within the heart of the stroke belt, and, has the highest rates of heart attacks in this nation, South Central Conference Health Ministries Department is now a national partner and hosting the “Million Hearts” Health Retreat is one small way of assisting in this endeavor. The Overview: Reta Chandler, a nationally certified addiction and activity therapy counselor set the stage for the weekend on Friday dealing with overcoming food addictions entitled: “Breaking up with your BFF”. On the next two mornings after attendees enjoyed their breakfast, campers were invigorated by participating in fun fitness routines led out by certified fitness instructor Ife Rosser. Then, Elder Fred Batten, senior pastor of Word of Life SDA church in Memphis delivered inspiring devotionals and a captivating Sabbath sermon. “Knowing Your Numbers” (concerning cardiovascular health) was the title of this much needed seminar presented by nursing chair Veronica Leftridge. Furthermore, “Different Strokes for Different folks” was an eye-opening presentation about the unique differences of women and heart disease delivered by Paula Eakins. Curtis & Paula Eakins both shared a effective natural approaches in preventing and/or reducing high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart attacks and atria fibrillation. All the workshops were accented with an invaluable workbook, coupled with wonderful music, food and fellowship. As one attendee stated: “[I enjoyed the] information, [...]