Each year for the past five years, the office staff of the South Central Conference has gone to a small church and spent the Sabbath with them. The individuals in the office bring an entire Sabbath program to the membership of the designated small church on what is called “South Central Conference Small Church Day.”
The office staff is responsible for the Sabbath School program, the Divine Worship, the AYS; often, the office staff involves itself in some type of community service or witnessing program in the community. The office staff even provides the ushers for the day.
Past Small Church Days have been held in Atmore, Alabama (the venue for the very first Small Church Day), Harriman, Tennessee, Covington, Kentucky, Rolling Fork, Mississippi and last year, in Greenwood, Florida.
This year’s Small Church Day was held in Brent, Alabama. Brent is a part of the newly re-districted Bessemer/Eutaw/Brent, Alabama district, pastored by Elder W.C. Scales, Jr. Brent is approximately an hour west of Birmingham and 30 minutes from Tuscaloosa.
The first person from the conference office to arrive for Sabbath School was, appropriately enough, the Sabbath School and Spirit of Prophecy Director for the conference, Dr. Craig Newborn. He was followed by Elder and Mrs. Edmond and hard on their heels, were the Treasury team-Mrs. Merkita Mosley, Treasurer, Mrs. Jennifer Bennett, Under Treasurer, Mrs. Sonja Crayton, Assistant Treasurer, along with the Conference Information Technology Manager, Jermaine Alexander.
Sabbath School promptly at 9:00 a.m., with a lively song service, led by Mrs. Mosley. Mrs. Edmond reprised her role as the musician, when she would play for her husband, back in the days when they pastored small churches, like Brent, and served as the pianist for Sabbath School.
Mrs. Sonja Crayton served as the Sabbath School Superintendent for the day. The theme was the “Sabbath School Clinic.” People such as “ Mr. Friendless” (played by Dr. Newborn) and “Mr. Grumblestone”( played by Elder Edmond) and “Gloria Gossip” ( played by Mrs. Mosley) all came into the “Sabbath School Clinic” and were diagnosed by “Dr. Crayton” and “Nurse Bennett.” Various cures were prescribed and the patients were sent home “healed”-provided they received a final dose of medicine-an outstanding Sabbath School lesson study, by Dr. Newborn.
Elder Michael A. Harpe, the Stewardship Director for our conference, delivered a strong word from the Lord. His sermon was “ Just My Imagination.” He expounded on how King David’s “imagination” when he saw the bathing Bathsheba, led him to linger on inappropriate thoughts, which lead to inappropriate actions.
The office staff provided good music for Divine Worship-a solo by the Director of Human Resources, Mrs. Margaret Weathers and a musical group composed of the office staff-Jermaine Alexander, Mrs. Weathers, Mrs. Mosley, Mrs. Bennett and one of our office secretaries, Mrs. Toyin Mattison. All were blessed by their renditions.
After a meal provided by the Brent Church, the next activity was a lively AYS, led by the Associate Youth Director, Elder Wayne Hewlett, in which all attendees were thoroughly engaged.
The last activity of the day was a witnessing activity. Co-Community Service Director, Mrs. Barbara Barnes arranged for 100 copies of this year’s sharing book for the conference, Darkness Before Dawn. High heels were exchanged for comfortable walking shoes, suit jackets were doffed and after a prayer from Prayer/Men’s Ministry Coordinator, Elder I. Roy Rugless that the Lord would direct the books into the hands of those seeking truth, the office staff, their spouses and children, Community Service leaders from nearby churches and members from the Brent church hiked up the hill from the church to the neighborhood near the church. Soon all the books were given away, whereupon the office staff bid the Brent church farewell, got into the cars and headed home.
It was a full day of service to the believers at Brent by the South Central office staff, who desired their brethren to know that even though they are small, they matter to God and to the staff at the South Central Conference. It is a message that the office staff looks forward to taking to a small church in Tennessee in April of 2015, at our next Small Church Day.