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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 […]
SAVE THE DATE! – Saturday evening, January 24, 2015
First-ever Northeastern Conference/Camp Victory Lake Reunion Reception
Northeastern Conference President Dr. Daniel Honore invites all NEC/Victory Lake “alumni” and friends to the first-ever NEC/CVL Reunion Reception on Saturday, January 24, 6-7:30 p.m., Wade Hall, Oakwood University.
This event will launch officially the $40M Camp Victory Lake capital campaign.
Stay tuned for more information, . . .
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 […]
In our staff meeting just before Thanksgiving, I promised that there would be a response from my office on the Michael Brown case. That promise came as a result of a question from some of the young adults on our staff. They believe, as I do, that the Seventh-day Adventist Church has a responsibility to get involved not only in preparing men and women for a better life in heaven, but also to do as much as we can to make life the lives of individuals better on earth now. My wife’s illness and the Thanksgiving holidays delayed my response.
Subsequent to that time, a grand jury declined in New York to indict the police officer whose chokehold ended the life of Eric Garner. My colleague, Dr. Daniel Honore, President, Northeastern Conference, wrote a powerful letter to his constituents, asking for the responsible involvement of his Pastors and constituents in addressing what certainly appears at first glance to be an injustice. I affirm his leadership in this area on this issue.
I am not an expert on any of the cases that arrested the attention of our nation of late. One of the things that I have learned in this responsibility is that it is all too easy to judge something or someone from afar, without having all the facts-I have had that happen to me and I know I have been guilty of doing that to others in my life as well.
But there are at least three common and dismaying things that are true of the cases Eric Garner, Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin:
All the victims were black
All of victims died at the hands of authority figures who were not black
Each of those responsible for the […]
The first of its kind!
The Family Life Department of the North American Division of the Seventh-day Adventist church has developed a Certification Training Program for the Men’s Ministries leaders in the local church. The South Central Conference Men’s Ministries department facilitated the first Certification Training for its leaders, May 30 – June 1, 2014, at Oakwood University in Huntsville, Alabama. Pastor Melvin Preston, Family Life Director for the South Atlantic Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, conducted the training. Pastor Benjamin Jones, Ministerial Director for the South Central Conference and Dr. Trevor Fraser of Oakwood University, assisted him.
The attendees had to complete 10 modules of instruction that dealt with different areas of Men’s Ministries. It was an intensive curriculum, which started Friday evening and ended Sunday morning. In addition to the weekend instruction, each attendee has to participate in an independent learning track of 2 ½ hours, which entails reading books and DVD/Video viewing. After they have completed all of the requirements they will receive the Basic Adventist Men’s Certification. They will be equipped to do an advanced work within their churches. In addition, some of the graduates will be utilized as Conference trainers for other leaders in the different geographical areas of this Conference.
We are excited about the future of Men’s Ministries in South Central. We are now getting ready to go to the next level of preparing our men for Kingdom building.
It is God himself who has made us what we are and given us new lives from Christ Jesus; and long ages ago he planned that we should spend these lives in helping others. – Ephesians 2:10 Living Bible (TLB)
We never really understand the beauty of a desert, the pain of poverty or the joy of service until we’ve made the journey to see, smell and experience them.
Now we have.
We, the South Central Conference Mission Team, spent three and one half days at the Holbrook Indian School in Holbrook, Arizona.
Our team – comprised of 23 eighth grade students and 14 adults from 7 of the 10 schools in the South Central Conference – prepared a garden area for planting, dug trenches for drain pipes, cleared wind strewn debris, assisted in cafeteria duty, engaged in rigorous games of basketball with the athletic Native American boys, enjoyed a tea party with beautiful Native American girls, and made memories that will last a lifetime.
This is our team’s second mission experience at Holbrook Indian School and the previous trip inspired our students to be more conscious of the advantages they are blessed with, including caring families. Their interaction with the Navaho students caused them to have a deeper respect for those of different cultures. They visited the classrooms and noted that Indian students learn the same way American students do. They study from the same textbooks and write the same prompts.
This year our students have enjoyed the new found friendships, the chance to be in nature, and the benefits of manual labor.
The provocative presentations each evening during the “Jesus Loves Pajamas” meetings have given the students a deeper sense of God’s love for them and the need to let others […]
A. Accepting Retirement Via Accelerated Retirement:
Elder R.P. Broussard
Elder A. Maycock
Elder R.L. Patterson
Elder S. Simms
Dr. Craig Newborn
B. Pastoral Reassignments:
Elder Darron George, Vicksburg/Port Gibson, MS to Birmingham Hillsview
Elder Roscoe Shields, Jr., Columbus/W Point, MS to Vicksburg/Port Gibson
Elder Marshall Johnson, Jackson Berean, to Columbus/West Point
Elder James Owens, Memphis Longview, to Jackson Berean
Elder Alex Horton, Birmingham Ephesus, to Memphis Longview
Elder Benjamin Jones, Ministerial, to Birmingham Ephesus (as Interim Pastor)
Moves Affecting Part-time/ District Lay Associate Pastors (DLAP’s):
Elder Melvin Warfield to Gallatin (he was formerly the Interim Pastor)
Pastor Edward Williams to North Cheatham County
Pastor Thiea Brown to work with Selma/Thomasville, Alabama
Moves Effective January 1, 2015
The resignation of Elder Chester Readus, Moss Point/Beaumont, MS
Elder Alexander Lampkin, Knoxville College Hill, to Florence/Courtland, AL
Elder Cleveland Hobdy, Assoc Chattanooga Orchard Park, to Knoxville College Hill