The Jackson Mississippi Seventh-day Adventist churches, Berean, Pastor James Owens, New Heights, Pastor John Parker, South Jackson, Pastor Philip Johny, and College Drive, Pastor Richie Halverson, were recently favored to participate and host the “Generosity Symposium 2015” which included an ASI (Adventist-laymen’s Services & Industries) recruiting luncheon for which several attendees applied for membership. Representatives of South Central (SC), James Lewis, associate SC stewardship ministries director, Ted Brown, PhD, Oakwood University professor, SC pastor & stewardship specialist, Larry Bailey, SC pastor & stewardship specialist, and Sonja Crayton SC assistant treasurer; Gulf States, Brian Danese, treasurer and former stewardship ministries director; South Atlantic, Stephen P. Ruff, executive secretary and former SC stewardship director; Southern Union, David Long, stewardship ministries director; and the North American Division, John Matthews, PhD, stewardship ministries director; shared their God given gifts and talents throughout the ministry event. Rather than the focus being on exacting funds from members, presenters bestowed rich gifts on attendees; thereby, demonstrating the Spirit of Generosity. Among the gifts awarded were three $500 educational scholarships, two Galaxy Tabs, and numerous other spiritual books and materials. Most attendees of this five day Symposium, themed, “Extravagant Generosity,” October 17-21, 2015, left with a tangible gift. One recipient of the educational scholarship wept as she shared how God answered her prayer through this award. Presentation styles ranged from sermons, panel discussions, Q&A, one-on-one counseling and Will preparations. Unlike the traditional stewardship focus, presenters addressed pertinent topics such as investments, preparing for retirement strategies, money allocation to adult children, getting out of debt, and the principles of equal sacrifice versus equal giving; plus a special activity for the youth, “Access 2 Success,” just to name a few. In essence, we learned that [...]
In this final blog for 2015, I would like to thank God and the workers and constituents of the South Central Conference for all of the good things that have happened this past year. We just had our final Executive Committee meeting for the year a few days ago. The Treasurer reported to us things that indicated that the Lord has blessed us. Through the first 10 months, we have a 6% tithe gain, an operating gain and we were able to grow our reserves by about $300,000 so far this year. We were blessed to vote a preliminary budget for 2016 (the final budget gets approved in March, after all of the 2015 figures are in) that allows us to all of the things that we felt we needed to do. We are hoping to hit 1,000 plus baptisms again and while our church school enrollment is a little down this year, it is significantly up for the past 5 years-which runs counter to the trend in the North American Division. It would be very misleading of me to say that there are no challenges; the truth is, I have not slept particularly well the past two nights thinking about some of our challenges. But the Lord is good and greatly to be praised. As the calendar turns towards 2016, I would like to share with you one of the challenges we are asking the Lord to help us to focus our energies for the upcoming year-ministering to children, youth and young adults. I was privileged to come to the conference office 25 years ago to serve as the Youth Director. We had not yet moved into the office that we now occupy. I [...]
Click Here To Register Date line ---On January 30 to February 7, 2016, the South Central Conference will conduct its first Virtual Church Officers’ meeting, via the Internet. The week-long event will begin with a church officers’ rally that will transpire Sabbath January 30, 2016 at 4:30 p.m. It will be streamed live from the First SDA church of Huntsville, AL. South Central Conference church officers who reside in the Huntsville area will be invited to attend the live taping. This historical event will begin with a pre-recorded introduction presented by the Conference President, Elder Dana Edmond and the staff of South Central conference office workers. It will be highlighted by showing the conference’s newly converted video studio, located in the South Central Conference office chapel, in Nashville, TN. The week’s activities will include 30 pre-recorded workshops and seminars, presented by the department directors of the conference. In addition to the department directors’ presentations, there will be special features such as: intermittent health spots by Curtis and Paula Eakins; an Evangelism workshop presented by Dr. Carlton Byrd. Pastor Edward Harden will present a workshop on, Church –to-Church Teleconferencing, and Dr. Craig Newborn will present a seminar on “Understanding The Spirit of Prophecy.” Each presentation will be pre-recorded and will run for 45 minutes, with an additional 15 minutes of live questions and answers —questions may be texted, emailed or posted on Go-to-Meeting.com. A Virtual Viewing Guide may be accessed online at vcom.scc-adventist.org The Virtual Church Officers’ Meeting (V-COM), was envisioned by Elder Dana Edmond, the South Central Conference President. The idea was both cost saving and would provide continuity of training, as the presentations could be archived and used again and again throughout the year. [...]
On September 13th, the Berean Sda Church in Jackson Mississippi, launched a Community Revelation series which lasted for five weeks (3 nights a week). The Lord blessed with over 80 visitors during those five weeks and resulted in more interest besides 7 souls taking their official stand! One lady came back after 9 years and said she was waiting for something to happen that would give her an opportunity to come back! Another lady who was 90 years old was baptized after decades of being away. One man left the church over thirty years ago but came back by profession of faith! The Church has been blessed with several baptisms this year. Pastor James G. Owens (Pastor of the Church) conducted this series. In April Evangelist William Pergerson just months before being killed in a plane accident, conducted a powerful Christ uplifting three week series resulting in 11 baptisms. Several were baptized in between these meetings! Berean also participated in a city wide meeting of the Jackson Churches led by Evangelist Roger Hernandez of the Southern Union Conference in which souls came to Christ!! The Lord has been good and our goal is to go forward in Christ! Pastor James G. Owens. Berean. Jackson Ms.
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 [...]