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 […]
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.
For more information on Women’s Ministries, please visit our Women’s Ministries Departmental Page.
For more information on Sabbath School, please visit our Sabbath School Page.
Ten years ago, I was blessed with the opportunity coach and mentor the young men at Ephesus SDA Church in Columbus, OH. Our basketball team, mostly high-school underclassmen, barely squeaked into the Allegheny West Conference playoffs after a pedestrian season filled with mediocrity. However, after two upset wins, we advanced as underdogs all the way to the League Championship Game. Sadly, the grandmother and guardian of one of our captains Terrell passed away suddenly. She was laid to rest on the same day of the Championship Game. Several team members accompanied me to the funeral and we embraced our brother paying respects. We proclaimed to him that the Ephesus Warriors would bring home a championship in his honor. Terrell then taught us a lesson about the definition of teamwork and said “Coach, I’m leaving with you because I am playing tonight.” He cried in the car as we made the 2 hour drive to the game, he cried in the locker room as he put on his jersey, and he didn’t score a single point in the game, but his presence and commitment galvanized our team and we went out and won the title.
Terrell was not a Seventh-day Adventist. He never attended an SDA school. He didn’t keep the Sabbath or understand the concepts of the Health Message. He would wear jewelry when I would bring him to church and had sleeve tattoos that intimidated both children and adults. But over a decade later he stays in touch with his former coach, teammates and friends from Ephesus SDA Church. He still occasionally stops by on a Sabbath morning to sit through a service sometimes bringing his mother and family members. The irrevocable bond that young […]
It was a cool but bright and sunny afternoon on Sunday, December 14, when a small group of members and friends of the Berean SDA Church, in Jackson, MS, met to prepare for their first Angel Tree Celebration. There were thirty (30) children, ages 1 – 17 and their care givers who were going to be presented with gifts and money.
Each Christmas prison chaplains, Prison Fellowship and Christian churches make available this program called “Angel Tree Christmas”, enabling prisoners to give gifts to their children. This is not a charity but is intended to reconnect the child with the incarcerated parent. Each gift had a personal message from the parent to the child. This gift was simply a tangible way to demonstrate the love of God and the incarcerated parent.
A multiracial group of more than eighty (80) young people and adults attended and enjoyed a program, activities and good food. This was truly an opportunity for our church to live out its mission – “Caring, Sharing and Preparing”.
Anne Gray, reporting
Pastor, James G. Owens
We live in an age where news headlines blare with warnings of viruses, epidemics, contaminants and the increase of disease. Health care costs are on the rise and health insurance coverage affordability and accessibility are major concerns for many. It is no wonder that health conscious Americans are taking intentional measures such as modifying diets , exercising regularly and adopting lifestyles to prevent illness and promote health.
Mary Averhart, Director of Health and the Temperance Department of the Bethany Seventh Day Adventist Church is excited and passionate about promoting healthy lifestyles among church members and the community at large. Recently, Averhart and her team hosted a special health emphasis , cultural awareness day which included members and community. Casio Jones, renown health evangelist served as guest presenter for this church and community celebration. Morning worship took place at the Bethany Church and afternoon activities were held at the Maggie Street Baptist Church Dream Center. The highlight of the afternoon activities was a feast of food entitled, “A Taste of Nations.” Cultures represented in beautiful displays and mouthwatering foods were from the United States, Mexico, China, Jamaica, Nigeria, the Philippines, Hawaii, Italy and Peru. A special element of the feast was the Food in any Language Table which included Bread Soups and Salads.
The Celebration of Health and Wellness concluded with a workshop and exercise session facilitated by Health Evangelist Jones. Bethany’s Pastor, Elder Jeffery L. Watson applauded the Health and Temperance Department for the success realized in the creative promotion of both spiritual and physical health. Averhart and her team look forward to future opportunities to share the ministry of Health and Temperance with the Montgomery community . If you desire information on cooking classes or other programs scheduled / available, please contact Mary Averhart at 334-241-8348 or visit the website at Bethanymontgomery.org
It is my privilege to announce the formation of the Office of Young Adult Ministries in the South Central Conference. The director of this new department is the cornerstone of our Young Adult Initiative, which the highest priority for the South Central Conference for the years 2015 and 2016.
The Young Adult Initiative, which I have shared with the Pastors of our conference and our Executive Committee, seeks to be intentional about fully involving young adults in spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ and in the operating of our conference and our local churches.
We shall fully share this initiative with our constituency immediately after the Christmas holidays, but its intent is to begin to change the culture of the South Central Conference.
Young adults are inevitably the future of our conference, but that is not enough-they must be a part of the present as well. We must both invite and challenge them to do more, to be the vital part of the mission of our church that the Lord intends for them to be. On a personal level, I consider leading out in getting that done as the most important thing left for me to do in the 19 months that remain for me in this office.
On this past Sunday, 12-14-14, the Executive Committee invited Pastor Lola Moore, to serve as Conference Young Adult Ministries Director, effective January 1, 2015. She currently serves as the Pastor of the Panama City/Greenwood, Florida district, Pastor Moore is a very gifted Pastor, whom the Lord has blessed both musically as well as in the declaration of the Word of God.
Pastor Moore will work with the conference young adults, and our churches to help them to maximize the gifts and talents. […]