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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 [...]

Funeral Notice for Sylvia Wilkerson-Bushner

What Can We Do – I?

I have not written in this space for several months now - which is not a good thing. I do want to squeeze in three articles before my time comes to an end. So, here goes the first one: I was sitting in a meeting yesterday and two things came up. First, the horrifying shootings of two black men by police last week-one in Louisiana; right down the street from a Seventh-day Adventist Church - and a second one in Minnesota. The Minnesota shooting seems particularly troubling: A black man, with no criminal record, who seemed to be complying with police directives - and yet, was shot to death, anyway - in front of his fiancée and her four-year-old daughter. That is an image that young lady and her child will carry with them for the rest of their lives. Now, if there is anything that I have learned in these past seven years it is this: Do not make up your mind until you hear both sides of the story. There is an investigation ongoing and maybe things will look differently after the investigation. Maybe the shooting will look differently when the investigation is completed then it does now-I do not know. But here is what I do know: (1)    There have been several high-profile killings of civilians by law enforcement officials in the past year or so. (2)    Each time, the victim was black, or a person of color. And here is the most disturbing thing of all for me: The next time, I see flashing lights in my rear-view mirror and I see that I am about to get pulled over by the police, I am going to be afraid - especially, [...]

From the Desk of the Conference President

Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus, I want to denounce in the strongest possible terms, the tragic and violent loss of lives that has occurred this week. Our prayers go out to the families of all of the victims. On several occasions, I have spoken out about the need of our church to have a major role in a dialog between the community and our police that will promote better understanding. I re-issue that call today. We have a forum for that in our Adventist Youth Society (AYS) meeting, where we can invite our police departments and say to them “There is a problem. How can we work together and resolve it?” I have a young adult son. He is a faithful member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. He is blessed to be a professional, with a graduate degree. Yet he has shared with me that when he was in high school and in college, on more than one occasion, he was stopped by the police-for no apparent reason. He shared with me that was also true of his friends. That is simply unacceptable; moreover, those kinds of things increase the chances of the kind of tragic events that we have witnessed this week. Those kinds of things-which I believe are perpetrated by a small minority of police-have to be addressed. And-they have to stop. However, our ability to address and stop those kinds of things is dramatically compromised by things such as the brutal and senseless slaying of the 5 policemen in Dallas. That horrific act must be equally denounced. Ultimately, as Seventh-day Adventists, though we accept our responsibility to do everything that we can to make our communities better, we know [...]

Funeral Notice of Elder Charles D. Brooks

Royal Oaks Community Block Party

Ephesus SDA Church Personal Ministries’ director, Tim McCullum, had a vision to do an outreach project which focused on one area for the entire year. The council met and the plan was set in motion. With much planning, prayer, and fasting, on May 15, 2016, we were able to hold a block party in the Royal Oaks apartment community. The complex is comprised of Hispanics, Caucasians, and African Americans. With that in mind, we were able to collaborate with our local Hispanic and Caucasian congregations to join us as we planned this project. Ephesus’ Community Service, Health Ministry, Prayer Ministry, Deacons, Men’s Ministry, and Youth/Children’s Ministry also were involved in the project. The day begin with an introduction, welcome, and activities for the day from Elder Dwayne Williams (Ephesus Hattiesburg). Pastor Shane Hochstetler (Hattiesburg SDA church) offered prayer and gave an overview and the procedures for the booths and the food give-a-way.  Ephesus’ Adult choir presented musical selections. As a result, a member from the community volunteered to sing a song and stated that she wanted to become a member of the choir.  Our youth department performed musical selections with puppets (Puppet Ministry). Also for the children, we had a bouncer, popcorn machine, and face painting. As the food (“FREE” barbeque chicken, beans, potato salad, bread, watermelon, and water) was being prepared everyone was encouraged to visit the various booths. The booths included: Blood pressure check / Diabetes – Nurses Connie Trotter and Marilyn Chambers (Ephesus Hattiesburg) Mental Health – Judy Harville, Psychologist (Ephesus Hattiesburg) Spiritual Health – Pastor Shane Hochstetler (Columbia, Hattiesburg and Laurel SDA churches) Healthy Eating – Jerlanda Reinshagen, Licensed Health Educator (Hattiesburg SDA Church) Tobacco – Ebony Core, Mississippi Tobacco Initiative [...]

Sabbath School June Article

Ephesus Academy Science Fair

The K5-4th grade students of Ephesus Academy participated in a spectacular science fair on April 6, 2016. Every mini scientist eagerly participated in experimental projects. There were numerous of winners who had to present to outside judges. God truly blessed their endeavors as they put their best efforts forward and were richly rewarded. Each student participant received certificates along with the top three winners receiving trophies and medallions! The runner ups  1st, 2nd, 3rd, and honorable mention received ribbons. This was a memorable event they will never forget.