(L-R) Maryse Hilaire, William Drake, Renata Drake, Nesline Damas, Martha Chapple, Lucious Brown, Albert Blake, Mandy Andrews, Dr. Lydia Andrews (Class of 2015), Bill Daniels, Louise Daniels, Oakwood SDA Church Senior Pastor, Dr. Carlton Byrd, Mabel Hoyte, Cheryl Jones, Edwina Lee, Carrie Logan, Audrey McGriff, Dr. Princess Humphrey, MD, Lydia Simmons, Celeste Walker.
The Graduation of the Gospel Medical Missionary Movement
Training Class of 2017
The Seventh-day Adventist Gospel Medical Missionary Movement of the Tennessee Valley (GMMMTV) has been active since 2005. It began in 2003 when Wildwood Health Evangelism School graduate Jim Ayodo, accompanied by Wildwood MD’s. Ervin Davis and Scott Grivas, started training classes at the New Life SDA Church in Huntsville when Harold Goodloe was the pastor. Graduates of that class coalesced to form the nucleus of what is now the SDA Gospel Medical Missionary Movement of Greater Huntsville. GMMMTV consists of health ministry leaders, health professionals, lay pastors, ordained elders, and others who desire to see the Lord’s closing work done and to hasten His return.
The group’s main goal is to advance the cause of gospel medical missionary work in cooperation with duly ordained gospel ministers, in accordance with the prophetic writings of Ellen White (see, for example, Counsels on Health, pp. 557,558). In this spirit of cooperation, the GMMMTV has, in cooperation with Oakwood, Southern, and Andrews Universities, co-sponsored medical missionary conventions at each of these schools. In the same spirit of cooperation, we want to revive this important and oft-neglected work. We would like to see the youth, the older members, the ministers, in fact every member to embrace this work, according to the Spirit of Prophecy (Testimonies, Volume 7, p. 62).
GMMMTV has trained gospel medical missionaries in America and Africa. In 2012, we conducted a training course at the Mt. Calvary SDA Church in Huntsville under the leadership of Pastor Marcel Wip and Health Ministries Leader Joy Cavins.
To advance our educational mandate, we have trained interested students in gospel medical missionary work, what the North American Division Health Ministries now calls Comprehensive Health Ministry. We want students to be able to go back to their churches and to be out in the community doing health evangelism. In 2015 and 2016, the Mt. Calvary SDA Church, under the very supportive leadership of Senior Pastor Dr. Rupert Bushner, hosted our training classes. This year, the venue for the training was the Oakwood University SDA Church, under the visionary leadership of Senior Pastor Dr. Carlton Byrd. We had a teaching faculty of 16 teachers and a balanced 12-week 72 hour curriculum, culminating in a certificate ceremony on July 1, 2017 at the Oakwood University SDA Church.
We want to recognize Dr. Lydia Andrews, a graduate of the class of 2015, who, like Lydia in the Book of Acts and Andrew, Jesus’ disciple, is an inspired facilitator. She
- Arranged for us to be at Oakwood Church on a Sabbath afternoon panel on heart health last year
- Arranged for us to speak to the Tuesday Prayer Band at Oakwood in January this year. Several members decided to take the 2017 Training Class.
- Mentioned the 2017 Class having to meet in Gurley to Pastor Byrd, who immediately offered Oakwood as a more convenient venue
- Regularly facilitated the setup of our classroom at Oakwood Sunday by Sunday
- Was part of our faculty for 2017
We want to commend both the faculty and students of the Class of 2017 for their commitment to excellence in Health Evangelism. The certificates they earned are not the end but the beginning of a new adventure in the Gospel of Grace.
We offered those who would like to be part of the Gospel Medical Missionary Movement the opportunity to take our 18-hour Hydrotherapy Workshop as well as our standard 72-hour general training course.
And now we present for service to the world the Gospel Medical Missionary Training Class of 2017.
Graduates not pictured: Angella Blake, Natarcia Chisholm, Marjorie Cooper (a nonagenarian whose birthday was that day and who was honered later that morning by Pastor Byrd and the Oakwood church family), Rosselda Dixon, Esther Mackey, and Deborah Starks-Ragler, Catherine Hicks.
by Bill Daniels, coordinator