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Oakwood Church Holds Ground Breaking Ceremony for New Family Life Center

Oakwood University Church Holds Ground Breaking Ceremony for New Family Life Center “A Beacon of Light for Families” “Turn to your neighbor and say, ‘It’s going to happen.’”  With these words, Carlton P. Byrd, D.Min., Senior Pastor of the Oakwood University Church (OUC), welcomed OUC members, South Central Conference administrators, and Huntsville, AL city leaders and residents to the Ground Breaking Ceremony for OUC’s new Family Life Center on September 4, 2016. After more than 30 years of hopes and dreams discussed, then deferred, construction for OUC’s Family Life Center is now underway.  “You’ve needed this facility for more than a decade,” acknowledged Benjamin Jones, South Central Conference President. “But you, on purpose, made a decision that before you built a family life center for yourself, you’d build a school for your children.  I thank you all for that sacrifice.” For the families that make up the community and the church, the 22,000 square foot center will include a gymnasium and walking track; classrooms for seminars and workshops; specified space for the church’s Pathfinder Club; and designated rooms for the church’s Adventist Community Service ministry including a food pantry and clothing distribution area. The enormous impact this new facility will have on families was a constant theme throughout the ceremony.  “Having this facility to specifically minister to the diverse families that make up our church and community is just exciting,” stated Belvia Matthews, Ph.D., co-director of Family Life ministries at the OUC.  Huntsville Mayor, Tommy Battle, added, “When you build families, you build communities; and when you build communities, you build better cities.” The family life center is slated to be completed by September, 2017, which is 40 years to the month and year when [...]

NEWS from SU: Southern Union Reelects President, All Officers, and Directors

The Southern Union constituency reelected Dr. Ron C. Smith, D.Min., Ph.D., as president at its Quinquennial Constituency Session on Sunday, August 18, 2016. Smith came to the Southern Union in 2007 as executive secretary and was elected president in September of 2011. In response to his reelection Dr. Smith said, "I'm feeling most honored to have received your affirmation through your reelection of me as your president for a new term. Thank you for your partnership during this past quinquennium in reaching new benchmarks in ministry to our territory. With God's help, we will drill deeper and reach higher in our quest to introduce more and more people to Jesus. We will purpose to reach popular culture through hope and wholeness." The Session, chaired by Elder Daniel R. Jackson, NAD President, also reelected Jim Davidson as executive secretary; Randy Robinson, treasurer; Carlos Salazar, association treasurer; and Dennis Millburn, undertreasurer. Because Millburn plans to retire, Dave Colburn was made undertreasurer-elect, a designation he will hold until Millburn retires. All departmental directors were returned to their positions. You may view the brief 11-minute President’s Report at: The entire quinquennial report is in the September Southern Tidings, and may be downloaded at

Recent Executive Committee Personnel Actions

Greetings, Voted Actions: Sunday, August 28, 2016 Assistant to the President - Auldwin Humphrey Departmental Children's Ministries - Trina Ware Associate Education Director - Queen Robinson Family Life - Renee Mobley Ministerial - Joe Grider, pastor, Maranatha, Tuscaloosa, AL Associate Ministerial - Kennedy Luckett, pastor, Magazine Street, Louisville, KY Prayer Coordinator - Shirley Scott Trust Services - Sonja Crayton Pastoral Gethsemane, Daphne, AL - DLAP Yvens Melidor New Beginnings, Mobile, AL - DLAP Levester Williams New Covenant, Memphis, TN - Eric Ampadu Greenville/Hollandale, MS District - Shawn Moss Shelbyville/Gallatin, TN District - Interim, Vandeon Griffin, Director, Sabbath School/Personal Ministries Pulaski, TN - Interim, Michael Harpe, Director, Stewardship Ministries Education Mary Greene, Business, Manager, Oakwood Adventist Academy, Farewell to those Seeking New Endeavors Jonathan Fields, former pastor, Cleveland/Indianola, MS District Marvin Allison, former Communication Director, and pastor, Mobile/Daphne, AL District Amanda Harris, former Business Manager, Oakwood Adventist Academy Chanel Malcolm-Fubler, former Secretary, K-8, Oakwood Adventist Academy

Prayer Requests

Please pray for Elder Harold Goodloe's family as you know just last week his wife Debrah's mother passed and yesterday his son-in-law was found dead in Chicago. Please lift him up so that the Lord can comfort him and his family during these difficult and trying times. Please pray for Ollie Lester whose husband Elder James Lester a long time bible worker in the Mobile AL area was killed in an automobile accident while attending a family reunion in Savannah GA. Please continue to pray for the Lester family.

South Central Conferences 25th Regular Session Press Release

July, 24, 2016 The constituents of South Central Conference voted the following names to serve for this quinquennial. ADMINISTRATION: Elder Benjamin Jones, President Dr. John Nixon Sr., Executive Secretary Mrs. Merkita Mosley, Treasurer DIRECTORS Adventist Community Services – Barbara Barnes & Lilliie Buckingham (co-directors) ASI – Elder Michael Harpe* Communications – Elder Marvin L. Allison Sr. Disabilities Ministries – Nettie Henderson Education Superintendent – Johnny Holliday Health Ministries – Curtis and Paula Eakins Men’s Ministry – Dr. Rupert Bushner Ministerial – Dr. Jesse Wilson Associate Ministerial – Dr. Joe Grider Associate Ministerial – Elder Dorian Melo Multicultural Ministries – Elder Dorian Melo NSO – Elder Lorenzo Shepherd Publishing & FHES – Elder Java Mattison Personal Ministries – Elder Vandeon Griffin Religious Liberty - Elder Martin Lister Sabbath School – Elder Vandeon Griffin Stewardship – Elder Michael Harpe Associate Stewardship – Elder James Lewis Young Adult Ministries – Elder Lola Moore Youth – Elder Lorenzo Shepherd Women’s Ministry – Sonia Paul DEPARTMENTS FOR EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE REFERRAL Prayer Ministry Associate Youth Director Associate Education Children's Ministry Family Life   * This position may be referred to the Executive Committee

What Can Be Done? Part II

What Can Be Done? Part II Last week, we began our discussion on the horrific spate of violence that had occurred between police and citizens in Louisiana, Minnesota and Texas. The shootings in Louisiana and Minnesota by police were of individuals who did not seem to be acting in ways that required use of deadly force. People protested-which is acceptable; even admirable-and it was even more admirable that the protest were peaceful. But then the unacceptable and the horrific occurred-a man in Dallas shot and killed five police officers. That was followed by another shooting of policemen; this time, in Louisiana. Both shooters were black men-apparently targeting white policeman (even though one of the policemen who died was also black. These events demonstrate how insane the world has become. First, how does killing police address the problems of things such as racial profiling and the “crime” of “driving while black” that any number of people of color have experienced                   (including me)? All those kinds of things do is take the focus away from those kinds of issues, while taking innocent lives away at the same time. Violence only begets more violence. Law enforcement kills some black men; in response, two black men killed law enforcement officers-one would suppose, to avenge the ones killed by the police. But suppose someone decides to avenge the policemen’s deaths? Would anyone like to guess the color of the people most likely to die if someone decides that the policemen’s deaths must be avenged? Even though as Adventists, we already know that all of these things are signs of the end and that things are only going to get worse until Jesus comes and eliminates sin and sinners forever, we [...]