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Have you ever had so much prepared food, pans of rice, pans of vegetables, and pans of vegetarian meats that you did not know what to do with it? That was a situation our church faced two and a half years after a big Sabbath lunch. One of the young ladies who was helping to serve suggested that we take the food to the homeless living under I-565 at Tent-City. So with trays of warm food, plates, knives, forks and napkins we made our first delivery to the homeless individuals who were living under the bridge. This was also the beginning of the Mt. Calvary Seventh-day Adventist Church’s Feeding Program.
For the first year and a half the homeless population was concentrated under an overpass of Interstate 565 in an area officially referred to as ‘Tent City’. In January 2014 the homeless group told us that they were to be relocated from under the bridge by the Alabama Department of Transportation. It was rumored that the lighting of fires by the homeless, especially during the cold season posed a threat to the infrastructure of the overpass. In June 2014 the homeless was finally removed from under the I-565 and the church’s members followed them where they resettled.
Currently, the church is serving five different encampments and the number of homeless persons we serve can range from 30 to 35 on any given Monday. The months of January and February 2015 have been very difficult since the weather has been very cold. However, we were still able to deliver the meals to the homeless in the various encampments. We took them hot soups and hot chocolate which they greatly appreciated.
This feeding program is being supported through the generosity […]
On the weekend of March 7-8, 2015, five churches of the Jackson, Mississippi, area came together in a spirit of brotherhood to be of service to their community in an outreach project called Season of Service. The churches of Berean, College Drive, Latino, New Heights and South Jackson lived out the scripture of Matthew 25:35, “For I was hungered, and ye gave me meat….”verse 40”…Verily I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto ME.” The example of Jesus was followed as He first mingled with the people, met their needs and then shared the good news of the gospel with them.
The initial outreach was “Sharing a Meal in Poindexter Park” in which members spent the morning and part of the afternoon of Sabbath, March 7, sharing physical and spiritual food with people in the park, many of whom were homeless. In addition to songs, prayers, and sermonettes, members met, talked, shared and prayed one-on-one with individuals.
Sabbath afternoon saw member volunteers gathering at an inner city apartment complex to serve the families of the complex. Leaders in the service project, Leah Crosby and Anne Gray, had met previously with apartment management, developed a rapport and established a date and time for the outreach project, “Christmas In March.” Invitations had been given to each of the 100 apartments in the complex inviting children ages 5 – 10. Colorful T-shirts, bearing the logo “Season of Service” were available for the approximately 30 volunteers. At the appointed time, children began to arrive in eager anticipation of what was to come. A fun and spirit-filled program had been planned with songs, activities, Bible and […]
On Friday, February 27, 2015, in Birmingham, AL, Ephesus Academy celebrated Black History Month. Students gave an outstanding performance as they reflected on Blacks struggles and accomplishments under the direction of devoted teachers. They revealed how God has led African Americans through the years. They shared with pride and appreciation many inventions and scientific contributions made by African Americans.
Dr. William Lusain, principal of Ephesus Academy, led his students in a remarkable expression of gratitude for a living legend, a nonagenarium. He delivered a passionate tribute to Mattie Swanson. The crowd gave a standing ovation at the mentioning of her name. Dr. Lusain had his students to stand with him as he shared the many things she has done at Ephesus Academy to educate students in social etiquettes. He enumerated many of her other accomplishments. Mrs. Swanson is in her nineties. She has lived a life of service to God, to her church, to young people, and to her community.
She was honored with a beautiful plaque from Dr. Lusain presented on behalf of the faculty, students, and volunteers of Ephesus Academy. Elder Compton Ross, Pastor of Ephesus SDA Church and Ephesus Academy supported the award.
Mrs. Swanson expressed appreciation with humility.
Since 1990, the Department of Women’s Ministries at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists has promoted a special day when women around the world have the opportunity to strengthen their spiritual bonds as they pray for and with each other. The International Women’s Day of Prayer is the first Sabbath of each March. In past years this special day has been celebrated in a variety of ways: prayer breakfasts, fasting and prayer, consecration services, and women preaching the sermon for church services and other special programs.
Women throughout the South Central Conference had the opportunity to celebrate this day as well. At the Maranatha SDA Church in Panama City, FL, the Women’s Ministries department used it as an opportunity to involve the entire church in corporate prayer during Divine Worship. According to Elder Marilyn Wallace, they were few in number, but the Holy Spirit was present with them. Their theme was “Something Happens When God’s People Pray.” The theme Scripture was Acts 12:1-24.
Using the story in Acts 12:1-24, the women believed that the same special dynamics that came into prayer when God’s children came together, united in faith and purpose, to seek the face of the Lord in prayer would be present. If the power of corporate prayer freed Peter from prison when the church prayed with one accord (Acts 1:14), surely God would answer their prayer. If it worked for the church then, it will work for Maranatha.
So, after the Sabbath message, the members formed groups and prayed for: 1) the out pouring of the Holy Spirit on their church and in them; 2) God to revive them and the church; and 3) God to provide funds to move a building they were acquiring for the young children […]
The Other Side of the Cheese: My Response to Dr. Dwight Nelson’s Sermon on Ending “Ethnically Separate Conferences”
This article was supposed to be about the other side of the Young Adult Ministries Initiative. Part One dealt with our responsibility to our young adults-those things we want to put in place to bring our young adults into full partnership with those of us who are older, as we all seek to fulfill the gospel commission. Part Two was to be about those things that we shall ask from our young adults. This Young Adult Initiative cannot be one-sided. It cannot just be about what the church can do for young adults. But it must also be about what the Lord asks young adults-and everyone else-to do for His church.
To finish the work that God has given to us will take all of us and we shall need our young adults to be a part of that in ways that we have not invited them to be involved in the past.
I shall get back to that soon. But today I want to respond to a very important issue that has been raised of late. It began with a sermon a few weeks ago by Dr. Dwight Nelson, the long-time Senior Pastor of he Pioneer Memorial SDA Church on the campus of Andrews University. He preached a sermon on ending what he called “ethnically separate conferences.” Whether he intended it to be taken that way or not, it was interpreted as being a call to end regional conferences-a stance that Dr. Nelson (and others, such as Dr. Jan Paulsen, when he was President of the General Conference) has taken previously.
That was followed by a forum on the campus of Andrews University that addressed the issue of our current structure, where we have what are called […]
Below you will find the most recent Kingdom Builders issue, and 2015 International Day of Prayer Packet. The 2015 International Day of Prayer will be on March 7th. Click on the images below to access the documents.
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