Page 1

Southwestern Union

May | June 2018


In Tune With God


Music and Radio: Inspiring the Airwaves


A Prayer That Is Always Answered


Why Do I Despair?


Appreciating Moms and Dads

The Impact of the Spirit Embracing and Trusting God’s Holy Spirit

Embracing and Trusting God’s Holy Spirit

May | June 2018 Vol. 117, No. 03

The Impact of the Spirit




Back Pages:

7 Inspiring the Airwaves 8 A Prayer Always Answered 12 Appreciating Moms and Dads

The Record is an official publication of the Southwestern Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

3 4 10 11 14

On the Record: The Impact of the Spirit Inspiring: In Tune With God Education: The Bible in the Classroom Wholeness: Why Do I Despair? Little Readers: Lenny’s Wild Ride


16 18 20 22 27 32 37 42

Southwestern Happenings Southwestern Union Southwestern Adventist University Arkansas-Louisiana Conference Oklahoma Conference Southwest Region Conference Texas Conference Texico Conference



Jessica L. Lozano,

47 Classified Ads 50 Milestones 50 Obituaries


Reggie Johnson, CIRCULATION

Tammy G. Prieto, Bradley Ecord, PROOFREADER

Caroline A. Fisher


ARKANSAS-LOUISIANA Sylvia Downs, OKLAHOMA Daniel Ortega, SOUTHWEST REGION Leslie Soupet, TEXAS Jason Busch,

Editor’s Note In this issue of the Record, we explore the impact of the Holy Spirit—in our own lives and in those whom we meet along our journeys. The Holy Spirit empowers us, gifts us, and keeps us humble. The behind-the-scenes nature of the Holy Spirit should be our guide as Christians. The work of the Holy Spirit is to always point to Jesus Christ rather than to self. When we are empowered with talents and gifts, when we are “in the right place at the right time,” when we listen to that “still small voice”—let us be humble and gratefully acknowledge that the Holy Spirit is using us to point to Him.

Jessica L. Lozano Jessica L. Lozano


Kristina Pascual,


Southwestern Union Conference 777 South Burleson Blvd. Burleson, Texas 76031 Mail: P.O. Box 4000 Burleson, TX, 76097 Phone: 817.295.0476 Email:

Our Mission: The Mission of the Southwestern Union is to Equip and Inspire the Southwestern Union Territory with the Distinctive Adventist Message of Hope and Wholeness.

On the Record

The Impact of the Spirit

Embracing and Trusting God’s Holy Spirit I’ll have to admit that here have been times I have worried over some person or situation that I have little-to-no control over.

It’s easy for me to slip into the worry pattern. I become aware of a situation and I begin thinking of possible ways to resolve the issues or possible outcomes if I do a certain thing or another. When I think of the time I have wasted or see a scenario play out, I always wish I would have just trusted God more. Have you ever felt that way? It’s always refreshing to know that we have a heavenly Father who loves us and cares for us and wants us to simply trust Him. I found myself at a big crisis moment in my ministry once. It was so serious, I even thought about dropping out. Yes, it was really bad. After I worried for a while, I could see that worry wasn’t helping the situation. So, I decided to let God take care of the details. You know what happened? He made everything plain and cleared up the situation without my help. I was shocked to see Him work. I learned a lot from that experience. Trust is better than worry. God’s promise in Isaiah 41:10 is to help us to fear not. He will strengthen and bless us. Let’s go to God first. Skip the worry. God has a better way.

Larry Moore | President

Prior to Christ’s sacrifice on Calvary, we were promised another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever.

The Holy Spirit is the Comforter promised in John 14:16 as the gift of the Father through the Son. His presence makes effectual in us what Jesus did for humanity. He (Spirit) became our connecting link to the Godhead when Christ went back to heaven. Christ said, “I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you for that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you,” (John 16:7). The presence of the Holy Spirit involves the presence of Jesus and the Father. Leroy Froom, in his book The Coming of the Comforter, states, “Thus the Holy Spirit is, as it were, Jesus’ other self.” The Holy Spirit in our lives is vital and undisputable for those desirous of being saved in God’s kingdom. Paul counsels us to “be filled with the Spirit,” (Ephesians 5:18). This is a command of God, and therefore as obligatory as any other. For God’s remnant people, this signals revival of soul and spirit. Weakness and fear are superseded by courage and power. The people of God who are Spirit-filled will give witness, by word and lifestyle, of the love of Christ and His desire to save all of mankind.

John Page | Treasurer

Buford Griffith, Jr. Executive Secretary

Moses had an audible, overwhelming, undeniable invitation to follow God. Most people don’t have that kind of experience where God calls them audibly or presents a burning bush to prove His presence. Recently, the Vice-President of the United States, Mike Pence, said that he talks to God and hears God talk to him. Some people ridiculed those statements. However, as Christians we know that God wants to communicate to His people and we need to have our heart ready to listen. When I was in college, I remember praying for God to lead me into the profession where He wanted me to go. He took me in a direction I was not expecting when I began to work for Chisholm Trail Academy. But He then led me to the Texas Conference and now the Southwestern Union, and through it all I have been very blessed by following God’s call. God may not call you audibly, but if you pray and spend time in the Bible, God will lead you in ways you can’t even imagine. There is no doubt that God chose Moses to lead His people. There is also no doubt that God wants to lead us today. We need to be like Moses and go when God calls us into new opportunities. It might be uncomfortable but we never grow if we stay in our comfort zone. Let the words of Isaiah 6:8 set the tone for a willing heart… “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’”

MAY | JUNE 2018 3

Inspiring | Inspirando

In Tune With God

En Comunión con Dios With the state of the world today, I can’t but fear what my children will live in when I am gone. Then, somehow, a calm comes over me as if my worry never existed. I know that calm comes from the Holy Spirit. Knowing that God will take care of my girls even when I am gone makes my fear vanish without another thought. You see, we teach our girls to put God first in all they do. But how can that happen when most of their day is spent outside of our home? Early on, my husband and I decided that Christian education was what our girls needed in their lives. We want the foundation that is taught at home to continue to grow in their lives during the hours they are away from home. How better to do this than by sending them to a school were these values are not only taught, but practiced. God is love, respect, dignity, honor, and all good comes from Him. These are the values we want our girls to have in their lives: sharing God along the way and showing people the love that only comes from Him.


En el mundo en que vivimos, no puedo pero temer al pensar en qué tipo de mundo crecerán mis hijas. Pero me entra una calma que sólo puede venir del Espíritu Santo. Saber que Dios cuidará de mis hijas aún cuando yo no esté, hace que ese miedo se desaparezca. Como padres, le hemos enseñado a nuestras hijas a poner a Dios en primer lugar en todo lo que hagan. Pero, ¿cómo mantenerlas en Dios si la mayor parte del tiempo están fuera de casa? Mi esposo y yo decidimos que la educación cristiana beneficiaría las vidas de nuestras hijas. Deseábamos que su enseñanza en casa continuara siendo cultivada durante las horas que estuvieran afuera. Por lo tanto, decidimos mandarlas a una escuela donde no sólo aprenderían de los valores enseñados en casa pero también podrían practicarlos. Dios es amor, respeto, dignidad, honor, y todo lo bueno viene de Él. Estos son los valores que queremos que nuestras hijas tengan: compartiendo de Dios en su vida y demostrando el amor que sólo viene de Él.

Inspiring | Inspirando

When my youngest daughter, Alexandra, was about six years old she told us that she wanted to read the Bible more often. She wanted to be able to share more of what she was learning at school. One day, I heard a knock at the door. The lady responsible for fixing our roof had come by to pick up her payment. My husband had the check and since he hadn’t arrived yet, I invited her to take a seat. I apologized and told her that I was in the middle of fixing dinner and excused myself. My little girl came out of her room with her Bible in her hand and asked the lady, “Do you mind if I read to you from my Bible?” The lady replied that she would enjoy it. Alexandra started reading the story of Noah and the Ark from the book of Genesis. After some time my husband arrived and Alexandra stopped reading, but stayed in the living room. Before the lady left she turned around and told our girl she was very grateful to her for reading such a beautiful story. She had never heard it before and it was nice to learn something new. In less than an hour our girl had witnessed to someone who had never read the story of Noah. God was there that afternoon and I couldn't have been more humbled. Alexandra had taken what had been taught at home and school and used it for God’s glory. I’m reminded of Luke 6:40, “The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is

Recuerdo una ocasión donde vi cómo Dios trabaja en la vida de nuestros hijos. Cuando mi hija menor, Alexandra, tenía seis años, quería leer la Biblia más a menudo para compartir en la escuela lo que había aprendido. Yo estaba en la cocina cuando escuche un toque en la puerta. Había llegado una señora a recoger su pago por arreglar el techo de la casa. Daba la casualidad que mi esposo, quien tenía el cheque, no había llegado a casa. La invité a pasar y tomar asiento, pero me disculpé y le dije que estaba en medio de preparar la cena. En ese momento Alexandra salió de su cuarto con su Biblia. Vio a la señora y le preguntó si le gustaría que ella le leyera de la Biblia. La señora con alegría y curiosidad le dijo que sí. Nuestra niña empezó a leer la historia del arca de Noé del libro de Génesis. Después de un tiempo mi esposo llegó a casa. Antes de que la señora fuese a irse se dirigió a Alexandra y le dijo, “que historia tan linda, gracias por habérmela leído, nunca había escuchado esa historia”. En menos de una hora mi hija había sido una evangelista sin darse cuenta. Yo sé que Dios estaba allí esa tarde. Sentía una humildad que no había sentido antes. Nuestra hija tomó lo que se le había enseñado y lo usó para la honra y gloria de Dios. Me recordó del versículo en Lucas 6:40, “El discípulo no es superior a su maestro; mas todo el que fuere perfeccionado, será como su maestro”. Enseñar y no practicar lo que ense-

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6

MAY | JUNE 2018 5

Inspiring | Inspirando

fully trained will be like their teacher.” But to teach and not practice what we teach is futile to the purpose bringing up our precious gifts, our children. Our children look at us to make sure we are good examples. Surrounding myself with parents who help me come closer to God is also a wonderful part of Christian education. To know that there are other people making the same sacrifice as you allows you to feel stronger in your faith and to know that Christian education is completely worth it. We have our girls in Christian schools because we believe that their spiritual growth depends on keeping them in communion with Christ during the day. We want them to learn in such a way that when they witness to others about the love of God, it comes naturally. We want them to be so in tune with God that when people see them, they see Jesus. Adyanez and Francisco Pollock live in Burleson, Texas, with their youngest daughter, Alexandra. Their oldest daughter, Leilani, is a freshman at Southern Adventist University in Collegedale, Tennessee.


ñamos es peligroso para el cuidado de los regalos que nos ha dado Dios, nuestros hijos. Nuestros hijos nos miran a nosotros como un buen ejemplo. Por eso, rodeándonos con padres que nos ayudan a acercarnos más a Dios, es otra parte linda de la educación cristiana. Saber que hay otras personas haciendo el mismo sacrificio que uno nos permite a ser más fuertes en la fe y confidente en la decisión por una educación cristiana. Nosotros tenemos a nuestras hijas en escuelas cristianas porque creemos que su crecimiento espiritual depende de su comunión constante con Dios durante el día. Queremos que ellas aprendan de tal manera que cuando le hablen a otros de Dios lo hagan naturalmente. Que la comunión que tengan con Dios sea tan grande, al punto de que cuando otros las vean puedan ver a Jesús en ellas.

Instruye al niño en su camino y aun cuando fuere viejo no se apartará de Él. Proverbios 22:6

Adyanez y Francisco Pollock viven en Burleson, Texas con su hija menor, Alexandra. Su hija mayor, Leilani, está en su primer año universitario en Southern Adventist University en Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The Impact of the Spirit

Inspiring the Airwaves Music and Radio Ministry Impacts Thousands

In a small town, a small university quietly hosts a huge ministry. Southwestern Adventist University in Keene, Texas, is well known for its nursing, education, and other excellent programs, as well as being home to hundreds of young people looking to find their place in the world. Amongst all of this commotion sits a quaint yellow building that is busy sharing the gospel of Christ over the airwaves every hour of the day. The building is home to radio station 88.3 The Journey. Mike Agee, Chair of the Communication Department at Southwestern, currently runs and maintains The Journey. Since taking the lead in 2010, Agee has been witness to numerous ways that the Holy Spirit has worked through radio. For him, The Journey was created to do exactly as its name suggests: to take its listeners on a journey with Christ and to walk with Him in their day-to-day lives. According to audience research, The Journey is able to reach 60-75,000 listeners every week. For Agee, it’s incredibly humbling to be able to impact such a large amount of listener’s lives for eternity. “Radio goes where other mediums can’t. It goes through walls,” he remarked. A veteran of the radio industry, Agee has witnessed many blessings. He has been at The Journey for nearly a decade and in radio broadcasting for 40 years. While attending Southwestern as a freshman, he first received his broadcasting license at the age of 18. “Radio is an interesting profession. Every day is different, and in Christian radio every day is filled with miracles,” Agee remarked. When Agee found himself back on the Southwestern campus, he was hired to make the radio station a critical part of the university’s ministry. New programming was brought to the station, as well as a switch to a more contemporary music style. A new tower was constructed in 2016, allowing it to reach more

listeners with uplifting music and positive influence. The growth of the station has continued year-to-year since Agee’s arrival. This ability of The Journey to reach the hearts of so many is not only due to the work done at the station, but also to countless others in the music industry who provide the content. “Radio ministry has a lifelong impact and these blessings are planned by God years in advance,” says Agee. A song that inspires and connects listeners to God starts as an inspiration in the mind of an artist, and before it can reach the airwaves it has to go through writing, recording, production, and licensing. The Journey is simply the final link in a chain of talented individuals. And when the music reaches the listener, incredible things can happen. Agee recollects one story that beautifully highlights the power of radio. One function of a radio station is to provide traffic reports for the local area, and often to pray for the victims of accidents on the road. During one normal day, the disk jockey received news about an accident and began to pray for the victims. Unbeknownst to the station staff, the driver who suffered the wreck had been listening to their broadcast. The uplifting words of the music gave the driver hope while pinned in the vehicle. When emergency workers arrived, they advised the driver to turn the radio off as they attempted to perform the rescue. The driver refused, as the disk jockey was praying for both them and the emergency workers. Pinned in their destroyed vehicle, they knew that they were the subject of prayers to heaven. Radio may not be the most flashy or popular medium for ministry, but its power to bring the gospel to many is used daily by the Holy Spirit. Andrew Austin graduated from Southwestern Adventist University in 2016 with a degree in Communication with Journalism emphasis. He tutors high school students in writing and English, and lives in Burleson, Texas.

MAY | JUNE 2018 7

The Impact of the Spirit

A Prayer Always Answered By Chris Morris


My favorite Scripture that deals with last day events and prophecies is found in 1 Peter 4:7-8. First Peter is the apostle’s letter to the Christians scattered throughout Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey). He is writing this letter to them to strengthen their courage and faith as they endure suffering and persecution. In 1 Peter 4:7 (NLT), Peter announces, “The end of the world is coming soon.” Peter is letting the readers know that their plight is temporary, that the second coming of Jesus Christ is not far off. He then continues with admonition on what to do between now and the coming of their Savior. “Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers.” He continues in verse eight, “Above all, love each other deeply, for love covers a multitude of sins.” Peter’s advice can be summarized with two words: Pray. Love. When I first entered the ministry as an associate pastor five years ago, my senior pastor and I had decided to do a sermon series based on prayer. It was my week to prepare for the sermon for the upcoming Sabbath, and the Spirit led me to preach on Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3:14-21. As I was studying and preparing, I looked for a video clip on YouTube that would illustrate the importance of prayer. In my research, I stumbled across a video of an agnostic sharing his thoughts on prayer. In the video, the agnostic man has designed an “experiment” to disprove the necessity of prayer. He takes a quarter, and prays to the supposed God (in his mind), asking God to allow the quarter to land heads. After praying five times and after each prayer flipping the coin, the final outcome was three tails and two heads. He argued that he could have gotten the same three tails and two heads if he hadn’t prayed. His final conclusion was that not getting all five heads meant that prayer was useless, and ultimately God either didn’t exist or didn’t care about humanity. The question that came to my mind after watching the video was this: should we measure the effectiveness of our prayer by the answers we get or don’t get? Let me ask this. If you wanted to measure your height, would you grab a bathroom scale? Or, if you wanted to measure your weight, would you grab a tape measure? The obvious answer to both questions is no. Why not? Because you would be measuring a given quantity with the wrong units. You can’t measure weight in inches and you can’t measure height in pounds.

The Impact of the Spirit

Similarly, I don’t believe you measure the impact and effectiveness of prayer solely based on whether or not you get the answers you are praying for. In John 17:20-23, Jesus prays for His believers to be united, to be one. Do you believe that prayer has been answered today? Does that mean Jesus should have disregarded prayer since His people still behave in ways that depict disunity? Prayer goes beyond getting the answers and solutions we seek. This does not mean we should not pray to God for answers and solutions to our circumstances. Philippians 4:6 says, “Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” In Matthew 6:11, Jesus teaches his disciples to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” In Matthew 7:9-11, Jesus counsels the disciples, saying “Who among you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him.” What really strikes me is Luke’s account of Jesus’ counsel in Matthew 7:9-11. In Luke 11:11-13, we see almost

the same counsel from Jesus word-forword, with one major difference. He ends the counsel with “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” God can give us good things, but the best thing He can give us is Himself, via the Holy Spirit! Whether or not you get the job you’ve been praying for, or the pregnancy you’ve been praying for, you will always receive the Holy Spirit from the heavenly Father, if you ask. God wants you to have Him, to dwell with Him, to get to know Him, and it is through the Holy Spirit that we can do this. And as we ask for the Holy Spirit daily to fill our hearts and lead our lives, Romans 5:5 tells us that God’s love is “poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit.” What does this love look like? Galatians 5:22 tells us that the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The word “fruit” is singular, so the actual fruit of the spirit is love. The rest of the fruits are God’s love expressed in different ways. Donald Barnhouse is famously quoted capturing the essence of this truth:

Love is the key, Joy is love singing, Peace is love resting, Patience is love enduring, Kindness is love’s touch, Goodness is love’s character, Faithfulness is love’s habit, Gentleness is love’s self-forgetfulness, and Self-Control is love holding the reins. Paul and Silas were joyfully singing in prison, an environment that usually evoked despair. Jesus rested peacefully in a boat being rocked by a chaotic storm. Stephen showed the goodness of Christ that resided in him by asking for his attackers to be exonerated of their guilt. It is only through the Holy Spirit pouring God’s love in our heart that we too will be able to sing joyfully while suffering, rest peacefully amidst chaos, and exhibit goodness through mistreatment. This is why Peter reminds his audience that in treacherous times, just keep praying! Through earnest daily prayer they will be filled with the Spirit, who will fill them with God’s love to face the challenges before them, not just surviving, but thriving! This message is for us, too! Chris Morris is the Associate Pastor of the Burleson Seventh-day Adventist Church. He lives in Crowley, Texas with his wife, Cesiah, and two children, Miles and Carissa.

MAY | JUNE 2018 9


The Bible in the Classroom Adventist Education Introduces New Curriculum for 2018-2019 School Year By Carol Campbell, Ph.D., Southwestern Union Conference Vice President for Education

A new Bible program has been developed for elementary and secondary schools in the North American Division. The Adventist Encounter Curriculum is scheduled for full implementation for the 2018-19 school year. This curriculum differs in significant ways from past Bible programs. We wish to familiarize our readers with both the purpose and the features of the Adventist Encounter Curriculum as we look to the new school year. The primary purpose of the Adventist Encounter Curriculum is for all students to have a solid, deep, and personal knowledge of the truths of the Bible as


spelled out by the Seventh-day Adventist Fundamental Beliefs; to respond to Christ’s invitation to live in a lifelong, vibrant relationship with Him; and to be passionate about the salvation of others. Four distinctive features characterize the Adventist Encounter Curriculum: 1. Biblical Discipleship Focus. In response to the Great Commission, the program seeks to touch the heart as well as the mind. Not only will students learn about the truths of the Bible; they will be given the opportunity to develop a lifelong friendship with Jesus.

2. Topics. All content relates to the Personhood of God, for Scripture testifies of Him. The teaching units have a central biblical narrative focus and are thematically linked to help build students’ faith and reveal God’s character of love. 3. Higher Order Thinking. The curriculum rigorously pursues what Ellen White exhorted us to do in her book, Education: “To train thinkers and not mere reflectors of other men’s thoughts.” In this pursuit, there is a move away from a textbook orientation; the Bible is the main textbook students will use. Teaching units and resource materials provided for teachers outline a broad range of learning activities intended to encourage critical, reflective, and creative thinking in each student. Opportunities for adapting learning experiences to cater for varying students’ abilities are embedded in this interactive program. 4. Assessment. The aim of assessment tasks is for students to understand and grapple with the topics explored in class and to be able to apply, analyze, and create personal and practical applications as a result of their learning, with the goal of transformation foremost in mind. The goal of the Adventist Encounter Curriculum is to develop a classroom context where every student’s relationship with Christ is nurtured, based on developing a solid knowledge of scripture, so that they can be challenged to make an eternal difference in our world. Learn more about the curriculum and hear from students and teachers who have implemented the program at


Why Do I Despair? Taking a Serious and Honest Look at Mental Health By Kristina Pascual, Managing Editor, in collaboration with Mental Health America and A. Allan Martin, Ph.D., Teaching Pastor at Younger Generation Church, the vibrant young adult ministry of the Arlington Seventh-day Adventist Church If you’ve ever experienced depression, be assured that you are not alone. In fact, some might even say you are in good biblical company. Elijah reached a point of extreme discouragement and exhaustion as described in 1 Kings 19: 4 (NLT), “Then he went on alone into the wilderness, traveling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. ‘I have had enough, LORD,’ he said. ‘Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died.’” David spent years battling with despair. In Psalm 42:11 (The Voice) he frustratingly says, “Why am I so overwrought, why am I so disturbed? Why can’t I just hope in God?” Jesus knows our despair intimately. “He is despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him,” says Isaiah 53:3 (NKJV). Like many of the biblical heroes, depression can deepen our desperation for God. It often drives us to our knees in passionate prayer and allows our hearts to open as we pour into His Word for guidance and comfort. When we are at the end of our rope, God is especially close. Psalm 34:18 assures us that “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” This wonderful promise reminds us that we are not alone; we are never alone. However, Christians can be mistaken in assuming depression or mental health issues are only spiritual battles. We wouldn’t advise someone to pray away a broken bone, yet sometimes we limit healing to prayer when it concerns matters of the mind, rather than seek or discuss professional help. Mental health is essential to everyone’s overall health and well-being,

and mental illnesses are common and treatable. May is national Mental Health Month. Because much of what we do physically impacts us mentally, we wanted to join with Mental Health America to raise awareness about the connection between physical health and mental health. Mental Health America has chosen the theme Fitness #4Mind4Body. The campaign is meant to educate and inform individuals about how eating healthy foods, gut health, managing stress, exercising, and getting enough sleep can go a long way in improving overall health. A healthy lifestyle can help to prevent the onset or worsening of mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, as well as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and other chronic health problems. It can also play a role in helping people recover from these conditions. Mental illnesses are real, and recovery is always the goal. Living a healthy lifestyle may not be easy, but looking

at your overall physical and mental health every day can have long-lasting benefits. For more information about Fitness #4Mind4Body, visit God intended us to live healthy wholesome lives in perfect communion with others. While we may struggle with some of those elements on this earth, we know that His Holy Spirit is by our side helping us handle every problem that comes our way. Likewise, we have family, friends, and colleagues who are also on this life-journey with us. We help and encourage each other when we struggle, and rejoice and celebrate when we triumph. In this fellowship, may we also take a genuine and open approach to discussing matters of mental health, encourage with humble nonjudgmental tones, and seek professional help when needed. Let’s take a look at mental health seriously and honestly. If you need help or would like to talk to someone now, please call 1-800273-TALK (8255).

MAY | JUNE 2018 11

The Impact of the Spirit

Dear Mom, Dear Dad Thank You From the Bottom of My Heart!

“Gratitude can be both a vehicle and an earned reward for accepting and nurturing one another,” writes Ira Byock, M.D., in his book, The Four Things That Matter Most. Byock makes this statement in the context of challenges that exist within families, such as parents and children relating to each other, with the goal of having healthy familial relationships. “As individuals grow and develop over time, so, too, relationships naturally change. They must if they are to remain healthy—or become healthy,” Byock continues. The family takes on various constructs. Some families are composed of father, mother and children; others are single-parent homes, while others are blended families. Many families involve the grandparents becoming parents to their grandchildren, or because of circumstances children have had to take on the role of “parenting” their aged or sick parents. Although there are various family makeups, there is one thing that is indispensable to all family groups—the necessity of showing and expressing gratitude to the ones who have provided and cared for us. Each year the calendar provides a special day to express love and gratitude: Mother’s Day in May and Father’s Day in June. The recipients of flowers and cards and other expressions are designed for mothers and fathers but not limited to just biological parents. Whoever has had the greatest impact on a person’s life is often the recipient of love expressions on these two designated days, depending on the family makeup.


However, it shouldn’t take a calendar date to remind any of us that every day is an opportunity to express and practice gratitude to our mothers and fathers or any who have taken on that significant role in your life. Meister Eckhart, a fourteenth-century Christian theologian wrote, “If the only prayer you say in your whole life is ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.” When a simple “thank you” is expressed to someone you love for their love, care, and positive impact they have had or are having on your life, we begin to focus on our own good fortune rather than our problems. If we practice this consistently and diligently, feelings of gratitude can and will pervade our lives. And, just think of the joy you bring to the one who receives your expression of gratitude. I agree with Byock when he writes, “In the act of saying thank you we expand ourselves.”[3] Thanking our “moms” and “dads” in an explicit way is an act of generosity. By naming what we have been given, we remind ourselves of the abundance of our experiences, of how plentifully we have been blessed. We begin to recognize how much we have been given. People aren’t hardwired to be grateful. Like any skill worth having, gratitude requires practice and the benefits of practicing gratitude can be life changing. Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., suggests several things in his book, Thanks! How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier:

The Impact of the Spirit 1. Gratitude Puts Situations into Perspective.

In every relationship there are challenges. The closest relationship we encounter in life is the relationship with our parents or those who have been responsible for our care and well-being. Our human tendency is to take for granted the things we are associated with on a daily or regular basis. Demonstrating and expressing our gratitude to those who play a significant role in our lives is not always routine for most of us. Granted, not all in any relationship is good; that’s a fact of life. But not everything is bad. When we can see the good as well as the bad, it becomes more difficult to complain. Taking a moment to say, “Thank you, mom or dad, for all that you do,” does wonders for you and the person you have said it to. Everybody wants and needs to know that they are appreciated and valued. A “thank you” goes a long way.

2. Gratitude Helps Us Realize What We Have.

The awareness of what we’re grateful for can lessen our tendency to want more all the time. The blessing of family is the gift of belonging. God has made us a member of His family, first and foremost. We cannot see Him with our physical eyes, but we are assured of His presence and watch-care over us. Without a doubt, God is the ultimate mother and father. His love and care are indescribable. We have because He is. How often do we say “thank you” to Him? He places us in earthly families to experience love and belonging. We can see, touch, and feel our earthly moms and dads, or important caregivers. If nothing else, we are here today because God used them as channels to bring us into existence. That deserves a “thank you.”

3. Gratitude Makes Us Happier.

When we look at the world around us through the lens of gratitude, we are amazed at all the goodness we take for granted. Our relationships will be strengthened, our overall health will improve, and our stress reduced. Proverbs 17:22 reminds us, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Mark Twain once said, “I can live two months on a good compliment.” That really is only half the story. While the person who receives the praise (saying “thank you” is a praise and a compliment) enjoys feeling noticed and valued (and is motivated to do more of the same), the giver can also bask in the connection. With every compliment, a bond is strengthened, trust is built, and conversation encouraged. Make it your purpose today, before it’s Mother’s or Father’s Day, to express a heartfelt “thank you” to your mom or dad for just being who they are. Be genuine in your expression. Be specific concerning what you are thankful for. Smile and let them know that your “thank you” to them is well deserved and sincere. Buford Griffith, Jr. has an M.A. in Biblical Counseling and is the Southwestern Union Conference Executive Secretary and Family Ministries Director. He lives with his wife, Carmen, in Mansfield, Texas.

MAY | JUNE 2018 13

Little Readers

Lenny’s Wild Ride


ave you have ever owned a pet? Maybe a dog, cat or even a pet snake? I grew up on a farm surrounded by many pets and animals, but when I was five years old I had a Shetland pony named Lenny. Shetland ponies are beautiful and they do not grow up to be very tall. Riding Lenny was my favorite thing to do. One sunny and peaceful day, Lenny and I were enjoying a ride in my backyard when suddenly a band of horses came running down a hill next to our house. Lenny saw the horses and decided he wanted to join them. Lenny started running out of the yard and after the horses until he joined the herd. I did not know what to do and was really scared. As I clung to Lenny’s mane and my saddle, I yelled for my dad as loud as I possibly could. Lenny and the horses kept running and then turned onto a nearby property whose hay had been recently cut and was nicely piled throughout. From a distance, my family heard me cry out and realized what was happening. My dad and several of my family members started running towards us hoping they could stop Lenny from running. To make things worse, they could see that Lenny and the horses were approaching a wooden bridge. Fortunately, Lenny slowed down and walked slowly across bridge.


However, once he got across the bridge, Lenny started running again as fast as he could to catch up to the horses. I tried as hard as I could to wrap my tiny hands around Lenny’s neck, but it was no use. As Lenny kept running, I could feel myself starting to slide. Then, with a loud thump, I fell off. When I opened my eyes, I realized I was laying on something soft. It was not dirt or rocks; I had fallen on a pile of freshly cut hay! My family quickly rushed over to me and checked my body for injuries. Thankfully I was not hurt. Some who hear this story could say I just got lucky and fell on hay, but I know better. God had protected me. Many scary things could have happened to me that day, but God’s protective hand was over me. Psalm 18:2 says, “My God is my protection, and with Him I am safe. He protects me like a shield; He defends me and keeps me safe,” (GNT). I am so very thankful that we can always count on God’s protection. So, the next time something scary happens to you, pray to God and remember that with He loves you, and in Him you are safe. By Lee-Roy Chacon, Texico Conference President

Little Readers

Baby Farm Animals Are the Cutest! Help the baby farm animals find their mama by following the lines from left to right.

Did you know?... The Lord is my protector; He is my strong fortress. My God is my protection, and with Him I am safe. He protects me like a shield; He defends me and keeps me safe.

The Shetland pony is a breed of pony originating in the Shetland Isles in Scotland. They are the smallest breed of horse. The average height is about 102 cm (40 inches).

Psalm 18:2

MAY | JUNE 2018 15

Southwestern Happenings

Camp Meeting & Summer Camp



May 29-June 2 | Ozark Family Camp Meeting, Gentry, Ark.

May 25-27 | Hispanic Camp Meeting, Lone Star Camp, Athens, Texas

June 8-9 | NWA Spanish Camp Meeting, Ozark Adventist Academy, Gentry, Ark. June 10- July 22 | Summer Camp, Camp Yorktown Bay Retreat Center, Mountain Pine, Ark. July 18-22 | Ark-La-Tex Camp Meeting, Jefferson Academy, Jefferson, Texas Sept. 28-30 | Bonnerdale Cowboy Camp Meeting, Bonnerdale, Ark. Oct. 4-6 | Springtown: Fall Round-up, Springtown, Ark.

OKLAHOMA CONFERENCE: June 1-3 | Spanish Camp Meeting, Wewoka Woods Adventist Center, Wewoka, Okla. June 3-July 8, 22-27 | Summer Camp, Wewoka Woods Adventist Center, Wewoka, Okla. June 8-10 | Zomi (Burmese) Camp Meeting, Wewoka Woods Adventist Center, Wewoka, Okla. July 13-21 | English Camp Meeting, Wewoka Woods Adventist Center, Wewoka, Okla.


June 6-9 | English Camp Meeting, Lone Star Camp, Athens, Texas June 17- July 1 | Summer Camp, Lone Star Camp, Athens, Texas

TEXAS CONFERENCE: May 30-June 2 | Keene Camp Meeting, Keene Seventh-day Adventist Church, Keene, Texas June 10-July 15 | Summer Camp, Lake Whitney Ranch, Clifton, Texas July 18-22 | East Texas Camp Meeting (Ark-La-Tex), Jefferson Seventh-day Adventist Church, Jefferson, Texas September 7-8 | Cowboy Camp Meeting, North Texas Jellystone Park, Burleson, Texas


June 7-9 | Texico Conference Camp Meeting, Bonita Park Camp, Capitan, N. Mex. June 3-7 | Summer Camp, Bonita Park Camp, Capitan, N. Mex.

Southwestern Happenings

June Events: Mother's Day is May 13

Southwestern Adventist University: Graduation Weekend, Keene, Texas

5 Texas Conference: Estate Planning Seminar, Houston Spanish Alief Seventh-day Adventist Church, Houston, Texas,

12 Texas Conference: Children’s Sabbath School Training, Arlington Seventh-day Adventist Church, Arlington, Texas,

18-20 Arkansas-Louisiana Conference: Spanish Lay Training, Camp Yorktown Bay, Mt. Pine, Ark.


Texas Conference: Elders’ Encounter Training, San Antonio Scenic Hills Seventh-day Adventist Church, San Antonio, Texas,

Southwest Region Conference: Constitution & Bylaws Town Hall, Little Rock, Ark., SBrooks@


May Events: 4-6


Texas Conference: Elders’ Encounter Training, Arlington Alpha International Seventh-day Adventist Church, Arlington, Texas,



Southwestern Union & Texas Conference: Youth Sports Tournament, Southwestern Adventist University, Keene, Texas

Texas Conference: Elders’ Encounter Training, Tyler Seventh-day Adventist Church, Tyler, Texas,



Texas Conference: Children’s Sabbath School Training, Tyler Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Church, Tyler, Texas,

Texas Conference: Estate Planning Seminar, Palestine Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Company, Palestine, Texas,

19 Texas Conference: Elders’ Encounter Training, Edinburg Seventh-day Adventist Church, Edinburg, Texas,

23 Texas Conference: Elders’ Encounter Training, Houston Central Seventh-day Adventist Church, Houston, Texas,

30 Texas Conference: Elders’ Encounter Training, Pflugerville Spanish First Seventh-day Adventist Church, Round Rock, Texas,

For more events and information, visit

Father's Day is June 17

27 Southwest Region Conference: Universidad de los Santos Lay Training School, Lone Star Camp, Athens, Texas,

MAY | JUNE 2018 17

Southwestern Union News

New President

Arkansas-Louisiana Elects Richard C. Dye, Sr. Shreveport, La. » On March 8, in a special constituency session, Richard “Rick” C. Dye, Sr., was elected president of the Arkansas-Louisiana Conference. Dye has spent the past 35 years in ministry. He has had the privilege of serving congregations in Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. For the nine months prior to his election, Dye served the conference as the Ministerial Director, Evangelism Coordinator, Sabbath School/Church Ministries Director, and interim Association Secretary.

He has also served as Executive Secretary, Director for Men’s Ministries, Planned Giving and Trust Services, Communications, Religious Liberty and Sabbath School/Church Ministries for the Oklahoma Conference. His past service includes Health Ministries and ASI Director for the Texico Conference. Dye’s passion in ministry is telling men and women about Jesus and welcoming men and women to the family of God. An equal passion is to train, equip, encourage, and empower men

and women who love the Lord to learn their passion, their gifts, and their style in ministering to people every day. Dye is a graduate of Union College and Andrews University. He and his wife, LaVonne, enjoy traveling and spending time with their adult sons and families. Left: Richard C. Dye., Sr., (seated, second from right) sits beside his wife, LaVonne, and is surrounded by the officers and staff of the Arkansas-Louisiana Conference and Southwestern Union after his election as president.

Bicek Retires

ITS Director Served Church More Than 40 Years Burleson, Texas » After more than 40 years serving the Texas Conference and Southwestern Union, Jerrilynn Bicek has retired from her position as Information Technology Services Director. Bicek began working for the Texas Conference as a nursing home administrator in 1976, and transitioned to the Southwestern Union as a secretary in 1978. She trained to become a computer operator for the Union, and took on that role beginning in 1984. She continued to train in computer services and computer data processing, and in 1986 she became the data processing manager. She became the ITS director in 2007.


In her role, Bicek would often assist with training conference and church employees to use technology. “One of the things that I enjoyed most about my job was being able to teach someone something that would help them serve more efficiently. Seeing the spark of comprehension and the excitement of understanding made the process so enjoyable.” Bicek also says she enjoyed working with her colleagues at the Southwestern Union, and loved knowing that all were working together for the same goal of sharing the gospel. Nathan Seery, Associate ITS Director, has worked with Bicek since 2010, and

says “Jerrilynn has been a great example of quiet, humble leadership. Her kindness was always apparent even as she pushed for excellence in the field of ITS. She was always focused on providing the Union with the best service possible and always with a smile. Her influence will always be felt and greatly appreciated. I’m proud to have worked with her.” In her retirement, Jerrilynn and her husband, Harlyn, will live in Burleson, Texas, and intend to spend time traveling and exploring the U.S. By Jessica Lozano Communication Director/Editor

Southwestern Union News

Upson Joins Union

ITS Department Gains New Director Burleson, Texas » Michael Upson has joined the Southwestern Union as Information Technology Services Director, following the retirement of former ITS Director Jerrilynn Bicek. In this role, Upson will work with the ITS team to manage, support, and ensure security for all Union and conference employees. Prior to his acceptance of the position, Upson was the business manager of the Texas Adventist Book Center in Keene, Texas. Upson also previously served the General Conference as the Associate

Director of Service and Senior Microcomputer Support Specialist, as well as Adventist Risk Management as a Network and Support Engineer, Systems Manager, Imagenow Administrator, and Re-insurance and Statistical Analyst. “Michael’s expertise and enthusiasm will serve the Union and conferences very well, and we are very pleased to have him join our staff,” says Southwestern Union Treasurer John Page. Upson lives in Cleburne, Texas, with his wife, Rebecca, and their two children.

ASI Updates

New Board Members Voted at Retreat Gentry, Ark. » The Southwest Chapter of ASI (Adventist-laymen’s Services and Industries) held its annual spring convention March 22-25 at the Gentry Seventh-day Adventist Church. The convention theme was Revival and Restoration, and guest presenters included pastor Rich Constantinescu and recently-retired Arkansas-Louisiana Conference president Steve Orian. At the chapter’s bi-annual business session, officers for the 2018-2020 term of service were elected. The following officers were voted by the membership:

President, Pat Humphrey; General Vice President for Programming, Floyd Courtney; General Vice President for Projects, Aric Glasser; Co-vice Presidents for Evangelism, Doug Mitchell and Mike Mitchell; Co-vice Presidents for Membership, Russ Lorenz and Henry Schellenberg; Vice President for Communication, Makala James; Vice President for Finance, Ruby Barnes; Members at Large, Chester Clark; Wes Stabel. Each year at its annual convention, the Southwest Chapter collects an offering to support its sponsored projects. This year’s

featured projects were the Wellness Secrets’ Worthy Guest Fund and ASI Southwest Medical and Evangelism Outreach, for which more than $5,000 was raised. ASI Southwest supports the global mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church as well as the Southwestern Union in its mission of reaching the union territory with the distinctive Adventist message of hope and wholeness. For more information about ASI, please visit or By Pat Humphrey ASI Southwest Chapter President

MAY | JUNE 2018 19

Southwestern Adventist University News

Mission to the Navajo Nation 15 Years of Service

Gallup, N. Mex. » During Southwestern Adventist University’s Spring Break, a 36-member mission team from SWAU, Chisholm Trail Academy, and the Keene, Texas, community, traveled to the Navajo Nation with the ambitious plans to complete three projects: build two greenhouses, do some building repairs at the Gallup All Nations Seventh-day Adventist Church, and give an interior facelift to and conduct an educational program at Rez Refuge, a non-profit youth center on the reservation. The university has been organizing mission trips to the Navajo Nation over the past 15 years under the leadership of Bill Kilgore, D.Min., SWAU religion professor, and Randy Butler, Ph.D., former SWAU faculty. “God has blessed this ministry over the years, and we have appreciated the opportunity to be of service to the Navajo people,” says Butler. Although 36 people went on the trip, the projects successfully completed represent the involvement and support of many other individuals and organizations. In 2015, the University’s Enactus team, directed by SWAU business professor Ana Patterson, sponsored the building of a greenhouse and garden at the Rez Refuge project in Fort Defiance, Arizona. Then in 2017, Enactus sponsored a similar project at the Gallup church. This year the annual trip took on an exciting new development when a request


came directly from the vice president’s office of the Navajo Nation for the mission team to build two greenhouses for the Office of Diné Youth, one in Fort Defiance, Arizona and the other in Crownpoint, New Mexico. The Navajo Nation is celebrating the 125th anniversary of the establishment of the Nation. The yearlong celebration includes youth programs and advocating for and teaching their Nation how to live a healthier lifestyle. The vice president of the Navajo Nation, Jonathan Nez, actually visited the team and ate supper with them. He thanked them for their service to the Navajo Nation. Following his visit, Nez posted on his Instagram with the caption “ … these volunteers graciously gave up their spring break for an opportunity to give back to rural communities. We thank them for their willingness to help and their hard work.” The building of the two greenhouses was led by Keene residents Ron, Dave, and Greg Patterson, and was sponsored by the University’s Enactus team and the Texico Conference. The work was completed in a record three days. The Texico Conference was particularly interested in sponsoring this project because they are establishing a new church in Crownpoint. “It was such a rewarding experience working on the greenhouses and knowing that the young community of the Navajo

Nation will learn more about their roots and how to have a healthier lifestyle,” reports freshman business major and Enactus member Veronica Carvajal. At the Rez Refuge project, the team painted the entire interior of the Rez Refuge facility, completed some exterior repairs, worked in their garden, and conducted a week-long education program each afternoon for 37 Navajo children. The Native Ministries Department of the North American Division (NAD) sponsored several SWAU students on the trip, as well as paint and repair supplies and furniture for the project. Generous donations from Sabbath schools at the Keene and Burleson Seventh-day Adventist Churches helped to sponsor nine University students and provide extra project money for the trip. Judy Cuevas, sophomore theology major, says “My life is sweeter thanks to the support of my church family.” In preparation for the trip, Keene Adventist Elementary School 8th grader LeeAnn Patterson coordinated a book drive which supplied 1,500 books to the Rez Refuge’s small library! The team restocked and catalogued the collection. “Working at the Rez Refuge was an incredible blessing. Getting to interact with the kids and staff showed me a clearer picture of Christ. The atmosphere surrounding that place is one where you know Christ abides, and it was humbling

Southwestern Adventist University News to experience that,” said Kayla Goodman, freshman theology major. During this week of service, the mission team was honored by several special visitors. Ken Denslow, representing the NAD Native Ministries Department, and two leaders of the Texico Conference, Lee-Roy Chacon, President, and Phil Robertson, Executive Secretary, toured each of the sites and visited with the team members, congratulating them on a job well done. “We

are incredibly grateful for the ministry spirit of the students that helped with this project. The impact of this trip over the years will be profound, and we want to foster continued involvement by Southwestern Adventist University students,” said Robertson. At the conclusion of the trip, the mission team conducted the Sabbath School program and provided special music and the children’s story for the church service at the Gallup church.

“Our students combine their knowledge and faith experiences and have put them into practice by serving the people of the Navajo Nation in meeting their needs. I cannot be more proud of them,” says SWAU President Ken Shaw. Southwestern Adventist University is committed to return next year to continue being God’s hands to His people and exemplifying the University goal to build knowledge, grow faith, and inspire service. By Susan Grady, Assistant to the President

Recent Happenings News from Across the University New Fundraising Record

With the premiere of Kim André Arnesen's choral composition Sing the Earth, 15 scholarship finalists from the Southwestern Union and around the United States, and a new fundraising record of more than $56,000 raised, the 2018 A Night at the Meyerson concert was a success. Southwestern is grateful to the student participants, teachers, parents, and sponsors who make the event a night to celebrate. View photos on Southwestern’s Flickr account at

Students Update University App

Two Southwestern Adventist University students have transformed the university’s app, now called IAMSWAU. The two computer science majors, Corey Hansen, a junior, and Elizabeth Nieves, a senior, collaborated together with their supervisor, David Mendoza, senior software developer for the ITS department. The two students built the app during an internship. “The app was designed to allow the students to have more important information at their fingertips,” Nieves says. “Instead of

logging onto a website for information or one’s cafeteria balance, they can now find it under their profile in the app. It’s easier and more useful that way.” The app is built for both Android and Apple users and was made available to the public in February.

Kilgore Receives Community Award

Congratulations to Bill Kilgore, D.Min., on his recent community award. The East Cleburne Community Center (ECCC) recognized Kilgore, a religion professor at Southwestern at their recent annual Barrett Awards Banquet with a Lifetime Service Award. Kilgore also received a community award for this project in 2012. The project entails international university students visiting children at the ECCC every week to talk to the children about their culture. The students share a 15-minute presentation about what it’s like to live in their country and what their homes and daily lives look like. They often wear traditional clothes and bring things from their country. Afterwards, the 25-50 children have the opportunity to ask questions.

Alumni’s Foundation Updates Bainum Field

Southwestern Adventist University welcomed Tim Bainum, on behalf of the Irvin and Evea Bainum (Class of 1941) Foundation, to campus to officially open the new concession and restroom facilities at the Bainum Field. University students, faculty, and Board of Trustee members were on hand to celebrate the completion of the project. The Foundation has gifted more than $200,000 to the project so far. The gift has been used to build a field house on the baseball field with restrooms, a concession stand, and equipment storage. New signage and score boards have also been added to the ball fields. “My father was a plumber by trade so when I recently walked around the ball field the first thing I noticed was that the field house was missing some necessary plumbing,” Bainum explained. “I don’t want the students walking back across the street to campus for restrooms and concession facilities. I’m just thrilled we can make this available to our students.” Read more at

MAY | JUNE 2018 21

Arkansas-Louisiana Conference News

Speak, Lord

Hearing and Obeying His Call


ne of the sweetest memories I look back on is the experience I had as a young man in my freshman year of college. I grew up in a pastor’s family and often lived life under the microscope. I remember as a graduating senior from academy that I most decidedly wanted to serve the Lord, but not as a pastor. The Lord had blessed me with gifts and skills in music, and I loved to use them for the service of the Lord. And yet, I had felt the Holy Spirit’s tug on my heart, to do something more than just a music ministry for Jesus. I felt the nudge toward gospel ministry, but I resisted. I entered college in the fall with great excitement and enthusiasm. I carefully scouted out what classes to take and what professors I felt were best. Each day I would dutifully go about the routine of class lectures, study, work, and practice of voice and various musical instruments. I did this for several weeks. But deep down, I was wrestling with God. He knew it. I knew it. Those were difficult days. I remember heading to chapel at the college church on a Tuesday morning. We were lifted heavenward with great, inspiring music. I remember the vivid colors of the stained-glass windows in the sanctuary as the bright sunshine radiated through each pane. I remember the minister rose up to speak to all who were assembled. His voice was strong and resolute as he began to share the Scriptures. And somewhere, in the midst of that incredible worship experience, I heard the distinct voice of the Holy Spirit speak to me. It was a very clear, soft voice telling me that God wanted me to stand where our chapel minister was speaking that morning. He wanted me to make a course correction, to leave what I was doing, and follow Him! I can tell you I was moved by that voice, and I remember saying in my heart that I would follow. No loud, boisterous, over-stimulating experience. Just a still small voice, ever patient and ever persistent in calling me to gospel ministry. When I visited the chairman of the Religion Department later that day, I shared with him my experience that morning. He was a kind, thoughtful man I had known for many years. He was a great man of God. And with a smile on his face, he simply responded with a confirming statement that still amazes me to this day. He said, “I wondered how long it would be before you acted on God’s call. Several of us have seen what God wanted to do in your life and through you for a long time now. I’m glad you finally answered the call and obeyed His voice.” Confirmation––wow! O what joy there is when we hear His voice and follow in His footsteps. I pray you will be of the same mind: “Speak Lord, for Thy servant heareth.” By Richard C. Dye, Sr., President


Arkansas-Louisiana Conference News

Orian Retires

Arkansas-Louisiana President Served Church 46 Years Shreveport, La. » Stephen Orian graduated from Southwestern Adventist College in 1972 and was sponsored to the Seminary by the Texas Conference. In 1974 he began pastoring in the Texas Conference where he worked for 13 years. In the summer of 1987, Orian began a seven-year stint to pastor for the Arkansas-Louisiana Conference. He was then asked by the Arkansas-Louisiana Conference Constituency to become the Conference Executive Secretary. After serving as secretary, he was invited to be President of the Dakota Conference, where he served until 2001, when he returned to the Arkansas-Louisiana Conference as President.

During the nearly-17 years of being President for Arkansas-Louisiana Conference, Orian has shown invaluable leadership with conference policy, conference building projects, and with conference evangelism. Some of the completed building projects consist of 20 new cabins and a remodeling of the cafeteria, the lodge, the motel, and Town Hall at Camp Yorktown Bay. A Convention Center was built in Hammond, Louisiana that was first used as a warehouse during the Katrina Hurricane cleanup. Since then it has served as a Camp Meeting site for Southern Louisiana and a retreat for churches and youth rallies. The budget

for evangelism has more than tripled in the last few years and membership has surpassed 13,000. Orian has been a kind, considerate, and friendly person, who has been approachable and open to work with. He has become a lifelong friend to many of the pastors that have worked under his leadership and will be missed. He and his wife, Micki, are currently planning to stay in Shreveport, La., and look forward to enjoying retirement and visiting with their grandchildren. By Sylvia Downs Communication Secretary

Bible Marking Class Studying the Scriptures in Shreveport Shreveport, La. » Last fall the Shreveport First Seventh-day Adventist Church began a Bible Marking class under the direction of Bonnie Hernandez. Approximately 25 people joined the class and are faithfully working their way through the 29 Fundamental Beliefs. In the back of the Bible, attendants make a list of study topics, beginning with the first verse that begins the study. Each topic is coded with a letter or two and verses are colored in different

colors. By each verse the next text in the study is written. You can be prepared at a moment’s notice to give anyone a great Bible study. Along with marking the texts, members are memorizing the books of the Bible and getting familiar with where things are. There are several newly baptized members along with others who have attended evangelism meetings who want to learn more. Several members have brought other friends from other

churches who are also interested in studying the Bible. Hernandez is enjoying teaching the class and her husband, Ronnie, has helped in getting a PowerPoint presentation set up for her. It helps to be able to see what you are doing and how it should work when finished. “I think we all need to be in our Bibles more,” Bonnie said. “That’s how God talks to us.” By Sylvia Downs Communication Secretary

MAY | JUNE 2018 23

Arkansas-Louisiana Conference News

Serving East Baton Rouge 1,300 Volunteer for Free Clinic Baton Rouge, La. » Numerous organizations were engaged in the Baton Rouge Free Clinic that took place in East Baton Rouge January 19-21. Sponsors included Adventist Medical Evangelism Network (AMEN); the Arkansas-Louisiana and Southwest Region Conferences; Louisiana Mission of Mercy (LaMOM), Louisiana Healthcare Connections; Amerihealth Caritas; Louisiana Dental Association; several area hospitals, along with tremendous support from the city and community of East Baton Rouge. All of this came about from the vision of Fred Cornforth, a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and CEO of Community Development, Inc., based in Boise, Idaho. Over the three-day period, some 1,300 volunteers participated in providing free dental, vision, or medical


service, in addition to all the other support service areas including patient and volunteer registration, patient escort, crowd management, pharmacy service, chaplain care, and food service. A total of 1,404 people were served, some receiving more than one service. Free dental care was provided to 955 patients; 436 patients received medical care; and over 300 patients saw an eye doctor and received prescription glasses at no cost to them! It was thrilling to hear the expressions of appreciation made by so many of the patients. One woman whose two top center teeth were missing was fitted with a bridge. When she looked in a mirror she could hardly contain herself as she squealed with joy and shouted, “Thank you, thank you,” again and again! Patients left with a new smile who once

were afraid to smile, while others left with a new pair of glasses, and others left with a free filled prescription written by a volunteer physician. Many were grateful to have a prayer offered up for them by one of the pastors or conference personnel of the Arkansas-Louisiana or Southwest Region Conference. It is community impact events such as this that helps to connect people with the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Prejudices are broken down, confidence is established, and friendships are made that make it much easier to invite people to a Bible study, a home study group, or a special event or evangelistic meeting at the church. Volunteers were highly blessed with the privilege of serving and seeing the needs of others met in such a wonderful way. To God be the glory! By Stephen Orian

Arkansas-Louisiana Conference News

Love Heals Clinic

Baton Rouge Jones Creek Church Volunteers Baton Rouge, La. » It was 5:00 a.m. on January 19, one of the coldest days of winter, when a team of volunteers from the Baton Rouge Jones Creek Seventh-day Adventist Church arrived at the designated center near the Baton Rouge Airport where hundreds of medical personnel and volunteers had set up shop for a “Love Heals” Free Health Clinic. Despite the early hour and the freezing temperatures, a line of people waiting to enter the clinic was already down the block and around the corner. The people were waiting in hope of receiving medical assistance for a variety of problems, including much-needed dental work, eye exams, or a pair of eyeglasses. Those who waited to be served were of all ages and needs. The services provided included many kinds of medical, dental, and vision services by volunteer medical

professionals and physicians from across the spectrum of medical expertise, and all services were provided at no cost to the participants. The materials and supplies were also donated. Although the city roads and highways were freezing in the cold weather and access was limited, many people had stayed in their cars overnight to see a physician and receive medical help. None of the volunteers could have imagined what God was going to do over the next few days, but we had faith that He was going to show Himself mighty if we were willing to be used by Him to minister to anyone needing medical, dental and vision assistance. The appreciation from the community was overwhelming, and the testimonies and stories shared throughout this event were priceless.

Verses from 1 John came to mind as we worked together to serve: “Jesus Christ laid down His life for us and we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth” (1 John 3:16-18). The unity of all the volunteers working together as God called each of us displayed the body of Christ in love for our fellow brothers and sisters. By Monica McQueen The Baton Rouge Jones Creek Seventh-day Adventist Church were part of the 1,300 volunteers that served over 1,400 people at the Love Heals Free Health Clinic in Baton Rouge in January.

MAY | JUNE 2018 25

Arkansas-Louisiana Conference News

Hot Springs Baptisms Happy Endings, New Beginnings Hot Springs, Ark. » The Hot Springs Seventh-day Adventist Church closed 2017 and began the New Year with reasons to rejoice. Pastor Ron Ray concluded the Prophecy Countdown Series in November, five people were baptised including Theresa Lewis, Craig Malcom, Roger Miller, Donnie Watts, and

Joshua Jarvey, and Bill and Edra Bryan joined the fellowship through transfer of membership. 2018 is well underway and the Hot Springs church has many interesting events planned. A Health Expo is planned to be conducted in the Hot Springs Mall, Pastor Ian and Irma Hart-

ley will share a week of spiritual revival, and evangelist Ryan Day is scheduled to conduct an evangelistic series. With these events, Hot Springs Adventist Church anticipates another special season of spiritual blessings and renewal. By Juanita Bissell

Watching God’s Power Miracles Unfold at Pine Bluff Church Pine Bluff, Ark. » Pine Bluff Seventh-day Adventist Church had the privilege of holding an evangelistic series from December 2-15, 2017, beginning at the Crenshaw Springs Community Center in White Hall, Ark. and finishing in the Pine Bluff Adventist Church. Based on historical data from past Prophecy Services held in our area, we planned for approximately 30-40 people, so we were excited when the first night we had 93 souls present! Not only did we underestimate what God had planned for the people of Pine Bluff and the surrounding area, we enjoyed the privilege of watching God’s power and miracles unfold. One of the miracles we witnessed happened on the third night of the seminar. We served homemade carrot spice muffins for dessert during refreshment time.


Due to an oven mishap, there were only 63 muffins. We had 65 people attending that night and we wondered if we should purchase something else in case we ran out of muffins. Instead, we prayed that God would bless the service, the people, and the food! During refreshment time I was curious how God would handle the situation. As I watched, the first man in line put three muffins on his plate. My heart sank initially, but then exploded with joy and excitement thinking about how God would make this work. As I continued to watch, several people took more than one muffin until the basket was about half empty, with many people still in line. My attention was diverted away as I spoke with many of the guests and for a moment, I forgot about the muffins. Then I looked back at the end

of the line. There were about six people and there were six muffins still in the basket! Several of the children had come through the line multiple times getting muffins and still there were enough to meet the needs and all were filled, not only spiritually but also physically, through His power! At the end of the seminar, we offered a Monday-night Bible study comparing the books of Daniel and Revelation. Many people said they were interested in attending. We started the Bible study classes the following Monday, and have consistently had 30-35 people in attendance. God is still the same God who holds the wealth of the world in His hands and we are the recipients of His blessings! By Donna Edwards

Oklahoma Conference News

Recognizing God’s Call Lessons in Praying and Saying “Yes”


have noticed a pattern in many of God’s calls to me for ministry. I don’t always recognize it at first, and often say “no” in the beginning. I was in my 20s when I was baptized and became active in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. My pastor suggested studying for ministry. My first thought was, “I don’t see myself as a pastor” so I answered “No.” The next year I got even more involved in different ministries and the pastor again recommended studying for ministry. After my negative first impression, a thought came to me: “Give it some time. Pray about it.” As I considered going back to school, I remembered that I had education benefits from my military service. I recalled that I had wanted to get more training for ministry and reasoned that I didn’t have to become a pastor; I could just use the training for ministry in whatever job I had. Today, after 32 years of pastoral ministry, I have learned the truth of Proverbs 16:9: “In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.” I was planning, but the Lord was directing. I also have learned to take time to think and pray about everything and ask God for His leading, for His plan, for His will. The Holy Spirit was calling me through my pastor, but I didn’t recognize it. It was similar to Samuel’s call as a young boy, when he didn’t recognize the call of God at first. I hadn’t learned to hear the call of God yet. It would take awhile with many starts and stops. With this experience behind me, it would seem that I would not repeat the same mistake. Not so! Later in my ministry, I was asked by a conference president to consider relocating to a different district. My response was negative. I didn’t say that I would pray about it, or consider it was the call of the Holy Spirit. I simply said “No.” A month later I was asked to reconsider changing districts. And much like my experience with my first pastor, a voice seemed to say, “Slow down, think and pray.” I went home and mentioned it to my wife on a Friday. We prayed about it over the weekend and talked together Sunday night. As we walked and talked about our impressions after praying, we both felt impressed to consider being open. Eventually we moved. Surely, now we had figured this “call of God” out. Last spring, the Oklahoma Conference was electing a new president. The president was retiring and names were being considered. I was asked by the nominating committee if I was willing to be on the list of candidates. I immediately answered “No.” I felt unqualified as I didn’t have leadership experience at that level. I didn’t remember my previous experiences and I didn’t say “I’ll pray about it, just give me some time to think and pray.” I didn’t say, “Maybe God is calling.” Long story short, after a process, I was asked to serve as president last May. This time, I did think and pray and heard the voice of the Holy Spirit. My counsel to one and all is to be careful and cautious about saying no to calls for service and ministry. God is calling us all and using many ways and people to give His call. Take plenty of time to think and pray before you say “No.” I’ll be praying for you. By James Shires, President

MAY | JUNE 2018 27

Oklahoma Conference News

Free Vision Clinic

Parkview Adventist Academy Opens Up to Serve Oklahoma City, Okla. » Luke 24:31 declares, “Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Jesus.” In America, the richest country on earth, about sixty-one million adults are at high risk of serious vision loss due to diabetes, advanced age, or diagnosed eye problems, yet half do not receive recommended annual dilated eye exams, and one in 12 cannot even afford eyeglasses, according to a recent study in Archives of Ophthalmology. One of the greatest gifts is eyesight, being able to see our loved ones, and see the beauty that God created. On

December 15, Parkview Adventist Academy hosted the first ever Seventh-day Adventist-sponsored free Vision Clinic in Oklahoma. Students and volunteers provided eye exams and glasses to 191 community people. Several pastors and Parkview Adventist Academy alumni were also on hand to share free literature, visit, and pray with patients after their eye exams were finished. The clinic opened at 8:00 a.m. and the first person had been waiting since 4:00 a.m. for the doors to open. Having

the opportunity to meet someone’s needs so explicitly and significantly, giving them a chance to see clearly, was an experience that few who participated will forget. It is truly an honor to serve as the hands of God to our community and to help them see Jesus. By Sarah Shepherd Nearly 200 people received free eye exams and glasses at Parkview Adventist Academy. Photos by James Bokovoy

Celebrating God’s Leading Garnett Spanish Group Becomes Company Tulsa, Okla. » The Oklahoma Conference Officers, President James Shires, Secretary Apple Park, and Treasurer Roger Driver, officiated Sabbath, February 24, 2018 at the Garnett Seventh-day Adventist Spanish Group in Tulsa, Okla., as they officially became a Company. Pastor Ciro Castillo translated as Shires, preached a wonderful sermon to the church members and their invited guests. The new church company provided a wonderful potluck filled with a wide variety of Spanish dishes. Park noted that


the church membership had multiplied since he had visited them when they first worshiped in their present rented church facility. The group started with 14 members two and a half years ago and today they have 57 members in the books. They are an active group involved in community outreach, and led by their pastor, Max Elvira, and his wife, Evelyn. By Susan Castillo Hispanic Ministries Administrative Assistant

Oklahoma Conference News

Fanning the Flame

Summit Ridge Retirement Village Gives Back Harrah, Okla.  Summit Ridge Retirement Village residents, located in Harrah, Okla., believe prayer and helping their local community is a vital part of their daily lives. Recently they found out from the local fire chief, Neil Young, that the firemen at the Harrah Fire Department were raising funds to purchase a needed piece of equipment for search and rescue. The residents at Summit Ridge got down to business to raise money for this much- needed equipment. On Valentine’s Day, 2017, the retirement

village presented Fire Chief Young with a check for $1,400, along with 12 cases of bottled water and a good-sized bin of snacks at the firehouse. Everyone was blessed by this united effort and the Summit Ridge Retirement Village was happy to give back to their community. By Charlene Van Vliet Retirement Village resident, Dode Gepford, presented the $1,400 check to Harrah Fire Department Fire Chief, Neil Young.

Tulsa Community Service Center Better Vision Clinic Meets the Needs of Many Tulsa, Okla. Âť Vision is precious, yet most of us take it for granted. Millions of people cannot afford proper eye care and exams, lenses, and frames are often too expensive for families to afford. Students are unable to see the board or read a textbook. Fathers lose their jobs due to the inability to see what they're doing. Mothers are unable to get their driver's licenses because they cannot pass the vision test. If you can give someone their vision, you give them their life back. The Tulsa Community Service Center (TCSC) teamed up with Better Vision,

Better Hope to provide a free vision clinic. TCSC opened its doors on Sunday, March 4, to give free eye exams and glasses to the first 100 people. The doors officially opened at 9:00 a.m., but there was a line of about 40 people before 7:00 a.m. The 100 slots had been filled before 8:30 a.m. Patients were welcomed with water and fruit as they filled out paperwork. After the initial intake, they received a full eye exam with state-of-the-art equipment and were able to choose the frames they wanted. Translators and volunteers

worked until the last patient was served. A few days later, the patients returned to pick up their brand new glasses. Evangelism comes in all different shapes and sizes. It's not just a seminar. It's having compassion for those in your community and wanting to do something to change their lives. Meet people where they are. Love them unconditionally and don't expect anything in return (including joining your church), and do it all over again. Why? Because Jesus tells us to. By Stephen Carlile, Evangelism Marketing

MAY | JUNE 2018 29

Oklahoma Conference News

Festival of Lights

Claremore Celebrates with Chorus of Musical Praise Claremore, Okla. » The Claremore Seventh-day Adventist Church’s annual Festival of Lights celebrated 15 years in December 2017. Harvey Gil was pastoring the rural church when he began the musical celebration of Christmas and in the last 15 years, it has grown to standing room only. Each year, featured musical artists permeate the high-ceilinged sanctuary with deep voices, or sparkling instrumentals, depending on their forte. Some years, they are joined by other vocalists or the community orchestra which often includes students from Tulsa and Ozark

Adventist Academies, and the Claremore High School Jazz Chorus. There is always a choir made up of youngsters and the mature singing together; there is always an orchestra, featuring the best beginners, the best of the best, and many in between; and there is always a devotional smack-dab in the middle, sharing Jesus with folks who may or may not know that Jesus is the reason for the season. Gil began this growing outreach in 2002, eager to find a way to meld community members and church members in a night of sharing holiday joy and Jesus. He studied music in college and

revels in this opportunity to direct an orchestra and lead the choir! Church members go all out to decorate the fellowship hall and provide finger foods for the performers and attendees. It is a beautiful reminder each December that warm hearts and hands can reach the community, evangelize, and share Jesus’ love. Gil now pastors the Norman Seventh-day Adventist Church, but still travels the two hours to Claremore for one week of the year in preparation for his favorite event of the year. By Caroline A. Fisher

9th Annual Chili Cook-off Over $800 Raised for Pathfinder Club Broken Arrow, Okla. » The chilly weather did not keep the loyal supporters of Broken Arrow Seventh-day Adventist Church Pathfinder Club from their ninth annual Chili Cook-off this past winter. The evening of fun is intended to benefit the Pathfinder Club’s activities. With eight crock-pots full of vegetarian chili to be tasted, the light-hearted contest began. The winners were Elena Vera, Richard Wagner, and Barbara Calvert. After consuming their favorite chili, the attendees treated their taste buds


to scrumptious banana splits. After the contest and the dessert, numerous items were auctioned off to benefit the Pathfinder Club. Later, cakes were awarded to winners of the “cake walk game.” It was a fun night for everyone. In addition to the fellowship and camaraderie, $818 was raised for the Broken Arrow Pathfinder Club activities! We look forward to the next annual chili cook-off! By Judy Marquette

Oklahoma Conference News

MAY | JUNE 2018 31

Southwest Region Conference News

The Spirit of God An Invitation to Move Boldly


ommunitized” refers to the transfer of responsibility (for something) to the community, based on common objectives and shared interest with the intent to pool resources for the common good. When engaged in the work of Kingdom building, we have a covenant promise of God communitizing work we do for His glory. A divine agreement exists as we partner with God to give us full access to all of Heaven’s resources for the good of all. The agreement is surety the Holy Spirit will be with us as we engage in God’s work. Every day, what we do and how we do it gets noticed. John tells us that there are three that bear witness, and they are all one in agreement (1 John 1:7, 8). The Holy Spirit is said to witness in both heaven and earth. He who witnesses our work on earth stands ready to support us in community engagement. This witness invites us to be active participants to affect change in our environment. This ever-present Spirit of God in our ministry is an invitation to partner with Heaven’s communitizing initiative and to recognize positive outcomes in our local and global community as a collective effort. As a staff chaplain at a faith-based hospital, I accept this invitation by engaging in health care ministry that impacts my community. Our hospital’s mission presents an opendoor invitation to our community to be the hospital of choice for health care regardless of race, religion, economic status or other social identifiers. What keeps me engaged in our mission is that I want to impact these diverse communities facing disparities of healthcare by providing spiritual care to patients, family, and staff. My journey from ministry and academic preparation to actual “boots on the ground” ministry in the community owes to heeding the Spirit’s call to follow in the footsteps of Christ. It was in the marketplace of common people who needed both physical and spiritual healing that Christ made Himself available to be reached by broken humanity. I want to make myself available, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to impact my community based on common objectives and shared interest. My spiritual connections draw upon the Holy Spirit for strength and wisdom as we participate in our Community Impact Leadership Council helping local communities develop programs, and investing in community health improvement through meaningful partnerships. God moves in different ways to encourage us in the work of impacting our communities by providing resources for the common good. Our takeaway is to move boldly in God’s promise that God’s Spirit is with us, and He bears witness and supports our ministry. By Ronnie Joseph Hobson, Sr., Staff Chaplain at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas and All Nations Faith Temple Seventh-day Adventist Church Pastor in Arlington, Texas.


Southwest Region Conference News

First Contact

God’s Doorkeepers’ Uplift Members and Guests Baton Rouge, La. » They have the distinction of being the members and guests’ first point of contact upon entering the Baton Rouge Berean Seventh-day Adventist Church. With identical attire and badges conspicuously placed on their left shoulders, there is no ignoring them. We often quote the Psalmist David, “I would rather be a doorkeeper … than dwell in the tents of wickedness,” but there is also Exodus 28:28 where Moses is instructed to make holy garments for glory and for beauty for his brother Aaron: “And they shall bind the breastplate … with a lace of blue, that it may be above the … ephod.” This premise prompted usher coordinator, Ivy Jones, to meet with her team to arrive at a definitive uniform for its ministry. The unanimous choice was a colorful but dignified blazer to be

worn with a solid dress, either black or sangria. Upon learning of the ministry’s decision, T. Ron Weegar, pastor, was excited and quick to add that “Ushers who exhibit a spirit of hospitality have the unique gift of uplifting or deflating a worshiper’s experience. As well, their dress can detract from or add to that same spirit.” With that admonition in mind, on the first Sabbath of the new year, 10 of Berean church’s proudest, clad in their new multi-colored blazers, entered a three-aisle processional where they converged facing the altar and Weegar to have their new uniforms consecrated to service for our Lord. After complimenting Jones for her leadership and her team’s spirit of commitment, Weegar offered the prayer of consecration for both the garment and for the ushers. He then reminded

them that every church ministry has evangelistic overtures; every event and every experience of the ministry should have some evangelistic thrust. Elders laid hands and prayed for the ushers. Our lone male, John Parker, was out of town for the ceremony but was recognized upon his return. The Berean church ushers are grateful for their role in the church’s worship service as each anxiously awaits their turn to serve. By Evelyn M. Edwards Pastor T. Ron Weegar prays for usher coordinator, Ivy Jones, and the team of ushers in a special usher consecration service.

MAY | JUNE 2018 33

Southwest Region Conference News

The Greatest Commandment Thou Shalt Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself Garland, Texas » On February 17, 2018, the Casalita Drive Seventh-day Adventist Church held its annual First Responder’s Hero Appreciation Breakfast. The Casalita church’s desire was to demonstrate the Greatest Commandment, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” The purpose of the breakfast was to show God’s love to church, community, police officers, military, and firefighters. The Casalita church family was of one accord this day having one mission in mind “to love.” In the front of the church was a tulip plant with an unbelievable fragrance that filled the sanctuary with a sweet aroma. Many members who experienced this believe it was a spiritual meaning of God being pleased because everyone was of one accord. The month of February was also the


month of National Heart Awareness and National Children’s Dental Health. Casalita church sponsors supported this ministry program by providing a delicious vegan breakfast that included pancakes, hash browns, tofu, a variety of fruits and nuts, orange juice, water, and teas. God blessed with such an abundance that everyone was able to eat and carry out. With the support of the community and God’s help, we were able to do His work with a spirit of love and excellency by giving out food, gifts, roses, a plaque to the community officer for over 20 years of service, literature, dentistry gift bags, and quality information on health. God also allowed a nutritionist and medical doctor specializing in diagnostic and interventional cardiology to speak at this ministry event. A red rose

was given to the medical doctor and, upon receiving it, he had a great smile on his face. When asked if everything was all right, he answered that he had never been given a rose and thanked the Casalita church. The community officer also stated that he would remember the church members’ kindness. The first responders were overtaken by our generosity. To God be the glory! The Church and the community were able to be blessed and be a blessing. All this was the result of God's love and prayers that started three months prior to the event. God still answers prayers and the Casalita church is a result of God’s grace. Charles Sanders is the pastor of the Casalita church. By Hiwatha Eversley

Southwest Region Conference News

Honoring Our Brothers

Annual Men’s Day Celebration at Texarkana Bethel Church Texarkana, Texas » We are reminded in 1 Peter 2: 9 that we “are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.” Bethel Seventh-day Adventist Church recently held its annual Men’s Day Celebration during the Sabbath morning worship service in honor of this royal priesthood. The service featured the music ministry of the Bethel Men’s Day Choir. Eagerly, the men led worship service with a joyful noise and inspired us about Jesus’ love and salvation. This event was well attended as members, family, and friends filled the pews during the service. Ray McCullough, a hospice chaplain, delivered a timely message taken from Romans 5:1: “Therefore, since

we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” The message, entitled “Righteousness by Faith” was centered on all of us having a faithbased relationship with Christ. He used Romans 5:1 as a themed text to show us that our salvation is grounded on Christ’s righteousness only. Also, he described what it takes to be men and women of God exemplifying His love to others. In his uniquely inspirational style, he stated, “There should be so much love by the church to the community that there would be less crimes in the community. Because God freely forgives us, we should share the good news with others.” His mission on this day was to encourage and challenge the congregation to cultivate the Christian life through a

relationship with Christ and service of love to the community. By the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, he lit a fire in our hearts. Our souls were satisfied, and we magnified His holy name. After the benediction, the women served the men a delicious meal in the fellowship hall. The tables and chairs were beautifully decorated. From a very relaxed atmosphere, we left feeling God’s love and blessings by honoring our brothers in Christ. Kenneth Edwards is the pastor of Bethel church. By Nesie Mack

RETURNING Old Paths to the

June 6-9, 2018 Lone Star Camp, Athens, Texas

Begins at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, June 6 and continues every morning and evening through Sabbath, June 9. More information online at:

Guest Speaker Dr. Daniel Honore, President Northeastern Conference

MAY | JUNE 2018 35

Southwest Region Conference News

Register at


Texas Conference News

Children of God

When We Are Led By The Spirit


ne of my very favorite passages in the entire Bible is found in Romans 8:14-15: “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’” Those verses mean a lot to me for two reasons. One, I am an adopted child, and two, my experience has taught me that when I have allowed the Spirit of God to lead in my life, I have been blessed beyond measure. In truth, God never leaves us nor forsakes us. I remember as a young pastor in the Southern California Conference many, many moons ago, I had just been reassigned from associate evangelist to associate pastor of the 1,500-member Central Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Church near downtown Los Angeles. The church building where the congregation met had at one time been occupied by the infamous Jim Jones of the Guyana massacre. The congregation went through a period of profound spiritual warfare and I can recall instances where a young disturbed woman interrupted the Sabbath morning services on several occasions with loud, violent outbursts. During that same period of time, a string of independent and spurious preachers paraded through the area. These individuals and others confused church members and led countless others astray. It was indeed a most trying time. One night I awoke from my slumber in a cold sweat, trembling. In my dream, I had seen Satan hovering over the parking lot of the church with the most sinister of expressions on his countenance. In spite of the spiritual warfare, through much prayer and commitment on a substantial part of that congregation, God brought the church through those challenging moments as He always does. Despite Satan’s gallant efforts, four churches were planted around the greater Los Angeles area that today are thriving and contributing to the preaching of the Gospel. It never ceases to amaze me how the Lord deploys His Holy Spirit and His mighty angels to assist those who humbly implore His presence and His salvation in moments of dire distress. Let us, as God’s remnant people, be attentive to the Savior’s biddings and adhere to His counsel through His Holy Spirit. By Carlos Craig, President

MAY | JUNE 2018 37

Texas Conference News

Delving Into the Word

Making Bible Reading A Priority For Our Young People Alvarado Âť The main priority of the Texas Conference Youth and Young Adult Department is to have a strong focus on the Bible. It is our wish that every young person pray and read the Bible every day. Through our programs, young people will not only know about Jesus, but get to know Him as their friend and savior. To start the year off right, we implemented a Bible Challenge encouraging young people to commit to read one chapter of the Bible in the morning and one at night for 30 days. As a follow up, it is our hope that churches will encourage small group Bible study through Engage Groups. These groups would study Bible topics that are relevant to everyday life providing both fellowship and engagement with each other and with God. May 18-20, 2018, we will premiere our first sports tournament at Southwestern


Adventist University. A great way for team bonding, each church can sponsor a team for basketball, soccer or volleyball. Keynote speakers for the event are Sandy Smith, former NBA player and Michael Charles, former NFL player, who are both now Seventh-day Adventists. World Changers is another program we started to provide opportunities for our young people to be missionaries. Our mission trip for 2018 will be to Thailand. We currently have three young adults serving as one-year missionaries in the countries of South Korea, Kazakhstan, and Peru. It is time for our summer camp program! For the first time, we have a young adult summer camp week option available. Be sure to check out all of the options on our website. Sometimes finances prohibit young

people from attending summer camp. If you have young people in your church, encourage them to attend summer camp and assist them financially, if possible. Summer camp provides incredible experiences through outdoor activities and Bible-based programming. We have a wonderful staff in the youth department. Pictured top left in the staff photo below is David Craig, Associate Director; Deborah Gendke (second right) and Iris Escobar (far right), Administrative Assistants and Christian Aparicio (bottom left), Designer. In addition, we have incredible volunteer teams in our Club Ministries and Area Coordinators. Visit our website at TXyouth. com for more information. Please keep us in your prayers as we work to impact Texas and our world. By Paulo Tenorio, Youth Director

Texas Conference News

Camp Award Winners

Lake Whitney Ranch Wins the Award of Excellence Clifton » Lake Whitney Ranch received the Norm Middag Award of Excellence for 2017 during the Association of Adventist Camp Professionals (AACP) meeting at Pine Springs Ranch held November 28 to December 3, 2017. "It is an exciting honor to receive this award," said Ken Reiber, Lake Whitney Ranch Director. Seventh-day Adventist Camps can apply every year, but only a few receive the coveted award which reflects excellence in all areas of the camp. Only seven other camps received this award for 2017. "It is affirmation that we are on the right

track with our summer camp programming," Paulo Tenorio, Youth Director, stated. "We made Jesus the central focus for our summer camp mission and He has blessed our efforts." In January, a Lake Whitney Ranch Operating Committee was formed that meets monthly to assist with camp operations and development. The members are looking at ways for Lake Whitney Ranch to grow in serving the Texas Conference constituency. By Tamara Michalenko Terry Associate Communication Director

Trusting In Him

San Antonio Immanuel Has A New Church Home San Antonio » San Antonio Immanuel Seventh-day Adventist Church was planted as a company with 38 members on August 9, 2003. The following January, it was organized as a church with 55 members. Four years later, 3.65 acres of land was purchased to build a church, but unfortunately, that did not happen. However, the Lord blessed, and the land sold nine years later for more than three times its original purchase price. This past December, property was purchased that included a church building, a pavilion and four acres of land.

"The church came with an organ, piano, pews and 50 sanctuary chairs," Paogoui (George) Faaiu, lay pastor, shared. “It also had two classrooms furnished with children’s tables and chairs, a furnished fellowship room, a good-sized kitchen stocked with dishes, a fairly new refrigerator, a freezer, two stoves and two counter-top ovens. We are very blessed with the new location." Work began as soon as the purchase was complete. Carpenters, electricians, and painters remodeled the church while members cleaned. It was hard

work, but the time was very rewarding. After eight years of renting, many years of prayer, and weeks of planning, the Immanuel Adventist Church members moved into the new church building. On January 6, 2018, the church was inaugurated and blessed. Faaiu performed the dedication while Paul LeBlanc, pastor, offered the prayer of dedication and Tikeli Faaiu gave the benediction. What a way to start the new year. God is good, all the time. By Ramonita Casanova

MAY | JUNE 2018 39

Texas Conference News

Heaven Is Rejoicing

DeSoto Church Welcomes New Youth Members DeSoto » Eight young people were baptized at the end of 2017 at the DeSoto Seventh-day Adventist Church. The baptisms were a culmination of work completed by the Holy Spirit, the youth, their parents, and Leslie Soupet, Southwestern Adventist University student pastor. “When I drew pictures on a board depicting Biblical scenes from Eden to Heaven,” Soupet said, “I wanted them to see what God intended for us. I showed them that in the middle of the picture board is where we are and where we missed the target. However, I

reminded them that also in the middle of the picture is the cross which gives us new life. With Christ’s help, we can make the target again.” In addition to her studies, Soupet is the administrative assistant to the president and Diversity Ministries Women's Ministries leader at the Southwest Region Conference. Without pushing them, she said she encouraged them to get to know Christ. When Jeremy Mosweta was asked why he wanted to be baptized he said, “I have chosen Jesus as my Friend and I know He has forgiv-

Helping Others

en my sins.” Victoria Anoruigwe added, “I really want to be in the Lord’s family and live eternally in heaven.” By Donald R. Moy Left: Baptism participants Natalie and Victoria Anoruigwe. Photo by Donald Moy Right: Pastor Dan Gleason, Azina Makori, Jeremy Mosweta, Chinedu McCarthy, Nathan and Reed Eastman, Leslie Soupet, and Danielle Erin Quietson. Photo by Linda Eastman

Fil-Am International Knows The Meaning Of Service San Antonio » The San Antonio Fil-Am International Seventh-day Adventist Church young people lead the way in community services volunteer hours. For three years, young people have helped with Exodus Mission Story Time, preparing lunches to feed the homeless, making gifts/care packages for seniors, visiting nursing homes, BYKOTA (Be Ye Kind One To Another), and more! They also help "Give-a-way" food, clothing, shoes, school supplies, linens, and other items as well as sharing literature. Every November and December,


they wrap more than 1,000 books to give to their teachers, bus drivers, custodians, cafeteria workers, and people in their neighborhood. During 2017, Fil-Am International Adventist Church served 255 people, gave away 1,450 pieces of clothing, 4,500 lbs of food, and distributed 2,485 pieces of literature. There were 40 volunteers who served 1,637 hours in community services. Twelve youth and one senior served 1,330 of those hours, stating that they feel good when they help others. By Diane Watts

Texas Conference News

Highest Honor

Denton First Members Become Master Guides Denton » Denton First Seventh-day Adventist Church members celebrated as eight candidates took part in the Master Guide Investiture Service held on November 11, 2017. Joining Jeimy Randle and Pastor Derek Lazarus, Denton Adventist Church now has 10 Master Guides. Randle stated, “Taking a call to serve your church comes with its challenges. When you commit to work with the children and teens, the challenges can be even greater. As Master Guides, we live to serve God, our church, and our community.”

Adrian Tun delivered a sermon based on Isaiah 58:6-7. He reminded those attending that we have a mission to keep our minds and hearts open to the leading of the Holy Spirit in order to find ways to join God in the work He has prepared for us. Denton First Master Guides are Phillip Easterling, Georgia Goulbourne, Steven Morgan (pictured), Buremo Mukama, Montrell Randle, Tricia Rawlins, Sanique South and Suzan South. By Patti Gobeli Photo by Leila Smith

Speed Reading

Jefferson Christian Academy Offers Reading Incentive Jefferson » The average reading speed in the US is 250 words per minute (wpm) with 60% comprehension. The average reading speed for CEOs and doctors is 1,000 or better. At Jefferson Christian Academy, we feel that a student who can read better than the national average has a greater chance in life. All freshmen are required to take a reading class, but it is open for any other student to join. For the past three years, our academy principal has added an incentive. The student whose reading speed is the highest (above 1,000 wpm) receives $200

cash and a $1,000-dollar scholarship. The highest score between 500 and 999 wpm receives $100 cash and a $500 scholarship. The student who increases the most from their beginning speed receives $100 cash and a $500 scholarship. The prize-winning students' names, date of success and speed is put on a brass plaque in the registrar’s office. In April 2017, the competition really heated up. Kade Jenkins (left) won the competition at 2,686 wpm with 80% comprehension. Abbi Minett (middle) had the greatest increase at 2,529 words

per minute. She started the year at 137 wpm. Thomas Gale (right) received the award for the highest score between 500 and 999 wpm. “Our reading program has done wonders for me,” Abbi commented. “I not only increased my speed, but also my accuracy. At the beginning of the year, reading for my various classes was a trial. I would always have to reread things over and over again… I am so glad that [a] student pushed me to do better because I improved so much as a result.” By Ellen Klinke

MAY | JUNE 2018 41

Texico Conference News

Fishermen Who Fish

Working Together to Minister to Our Communities


esus said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven,” (Matthew 5:16). This wonderful verse highlights our great responsibility as Christ’s followers to positively influence those in our community. But perhaps the best part of this verse is that it is open for us to determine how we want to achieve that responsibility. I love Jesus’ example because He spent the majority of His time in the community healing and helping others. Jesus took His ministry to the people and met their needs and consequently they followed Him. When the church is involved in the community, individuals are more receptive to receive spiritual truths. They are also more open to embracing our mission and joining us in the mission field. More importantly, the goal of community impact should not be church growth. Church growth is normally a natural result of giving of ourselves and serving the community. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Satan loves it when churches become extremely comfortable and focused on themselves because they do not present a threat. However, when churches start to make strides in serving their communities, the enemy notices and begins to cause problems within the church. It still amazes me to see how much turmoil can arise when a church is attempting to do good and work in favor of the community. In his book In the Eye of the Storm, Max Lucado says, “When those who are called to fish don’t fish, they fight. When energy intended to be used outside is used inside, the result is explosive. Instead of casting nets, we cast stones. Instead of extending helping hands, we point accusing fingers. Instead of being fishers of the lost, we become critics of the saved. Rather than helping the hurting, we hurt the helpers.” Sadly, the result is devastating. Lucado continues, “ … when this happens we ultimately become church scrooges [with] beady eyes searching for warts on others while ignoring the warts on the nose below. Crooked fingers that bypass strengths and point out weaknesses. Split churches. Poor testimonies. Broken hearts. Legalistic wars. And, sadly, poor go unfed, confused go uncounseled, and lost go unreached. When those who are called to fish don’t fish, they fight.” I am privileged to serve a conference where many churches take the counsel of Matthew 5:16 seriously and have put the words into practice by actively getting involved in their communities. From food banks, feeding the homeless, providing services to homeless veterans, to 5K runs and health fairs that are open to the public, our churches have shown there are limitless and creative ways to serve our communities. There is much to be done and there are many people to reach with the gospel. However, it is wonderful that we can all be engaged and do our part. By working together, we all have something we can contribute. In her book Testimonies, Ellen White reminds us that “there is a great work to be done, and every effort possible must be made to reveal Christ; and the Lord will give us favor before the world until our work is done.” By Lee-Roy Chacon, President


Texico Conference News

Breaking Barriers

God is Working in Crownpoint, New Mexico Crownpoint, N. Mex.  In May of 2016, I received the call to work as a pastor and serve in the community of Crownpoint, New Mexico on the Navajo Reservation. With a population of more than 300,000 people spread across the states of Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado, the Navajo culture is rich and complex. I have seen God’s mighty hand at work in Crownpoint and He has given me amazing opportunities to connect with this lovely community. I have witnessed many miracles including recently having our first Communion service as a group. The members were happy and the Holy Spirit was felt in our midst. Our tithing has increased since studying the Sabbath School lessons this quarter. These experiences and others are

invaluable and are the best reward that we, as ministers of the Gospel, can have. However, these blessings have not come without challenges. Unfortunately, the Navajo community faces widespread difficulties. I have witnessed firsthand how devastating problems like alcohol and drug addictions combined with diseases such as diabetes, can end lives and destroy families. I recently helped lay to rest the daughter of one of my members. She was a young woman and the fourth member of her immediate family to die from alcohol-related problems. Despite these trials, God continues to open doors for ministry and I am reminded that nothing is impossible for Him. Pray for the Crownpoint community and for the continued mission work being done here.

The Adventist work began in Crownpoint in 1986 when several Navajo brothers met to study at the home of Raven and Jeannie Preston. After several years, the group stopped meeting. The work resumed there in 2013 with the help of "La Vida Mission� which donated a trailer for church meetings. In April 2017, the first Seventh-day Adventist congregation in Crownpoint officially celebrated the grand opening of a facility that will better meet their needs. During the ceremony, Raven gave his testimony and with tears in his eyes, he thanked God for answering his prayers. After 30 years, there was finally an Adventist church in his hometown. By Yepsica Moreno

MAY | JUNE 2018 43

Texico Conference News

Health and Wellness Month Addressing Mental Health Albuquerque, N. Mex. » Every year, the Albuquerque North Valley Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Church designates the month of February as Health Awareness Month. This year, the North Valley’s Health Ministries Department decided to focus on an issue that is not frequently discussed in churches–mental health. ­ “There are so many people that deal with mental illnesses, such as depression, who slip through the cracks because we don’t talk about it, and there is still a stigma attached to it,” said Gloria Lira, Director of Health Ministries at North Valley. “It is also a topic that is not normally addressed in the Latino community. Most people are comfortable talking about other types of illnesses, like diabetes, but someone experiencing severe depression often won’t talk about


it publicly for fear of being judged.” The North Valley church held several activities related to the topic throughout the month. The kids were shown several animated videos during story time that revealed how keeping your body healthy helps keep your mind healthy. Fabian Juarez, a Clinical Chaplain in Albuquerque, was also invited to speak on depression and anxiety for Wednesday-night prayer meetings. The activities concluded with a special Health and Wellness Day on Saturday, February 24, 2018. The day featured a sermon from Albuquerque Heart Specialist, David Pinnock, M.D., who spoke on the correlation between nutrition and mental health and ended with a health fair that was open to the community. Medical providers were present to provide health screening checks, and

Alhelí Baca, a licensed clinical counselor, gave a special presentation on mental health awareness. “The world of mental health covers a broad spectrum and can be a tough issue to discuss,” said Lira. “But I think our health ministry team did a nice job in organizing different activities throughout the month to provide opportunities for our members to talk about mental illness and better support those who may be experiencing challenges.” By Debbie Marquez Communication Director Alhelí Baca (top right), a local Albuquerque licensed clinical counselor from Formation Counseling Services, presenting on mental health and depression. David Pinnock, M.D., (bottom left) speaking about mental health in his sermon.

Texico Conference News

A Miraculous “Journey” Surrendering a Life to God’s Hands Albuquerque, N. Mex. » Our family experienced the full depth of God’s power and mercy this year. My husband and I are blessed with three wonderful adult daughters and 11 precious grandchildren. However, our 12th grandchild, whom we are expecting from my daughter, Aubrey, almost did not make it past his first trimester of life. During Aubrey’s second month of pregnancy, she had an ultrasound with high hopes of finding out her baby’s gender. She was hoping for a boy and it was to be a joyous and happy time with Matt, her loving partner in life and the father of her baby. Unfortunately, their hopes were crushed when her long-time doctor with tears in his eyes told them that the ultrasound revealed that Aubrey had a very rare and life-threatening condition called partial molar pregnancy. He explained that with a full molar pregnancy there would be no baby, only cancerous molar cells. But hers was partial, meaning she had one normal growing fetus and one “twin” that had become a mass of fast growing, fast dividing cancerous cells. She was told that it was most likely the normal developing baby would not survive because the abnormal cells would grow too quickly and eventually suffocate the baby. He advised there was no way to remove or treat the cancer and

have the baby survive; however, if the baby somehow survived birth, he would most likely die within minutes or hours. If by some miracle he lived, there was an overwhelming chance he would be severely impaired. Alarmingly, if Aubrey chose to keep the baby, the cancer would most likely spread and take her life. Her doctor was a caring person and a man of faith and he let Aubrey know that the usual prescribed route is to have an abortion and start chemotherapy right away to prevent the cancer from spreading to the brain and other vital organs. He shared another option of waiting and monitoring her. He had hope, but let her know her prognosis was not good. Devastated, Aubrey broke down and cried. She had always held an inner belief that all life came from God. The news was shattering but after talking it over with Matt she told her doctor and staff, “I’m not going to kill my baby. His life is not mine to take. If God wants to take my life or my baby’s life then He will, but I can’t do it. I’ve had dreams of having this baby and really believe he will be born.” Her supportive doctor and staff honored her wishes and came up with a plan to closely monitor the cancer. They planned an emergency C section at 24 weeks and Aubrey underwent weekly assessments. Although it was tough,

she was optimistic because her doctor helped foster hope and faith. He went above and beyond in caring for her and the baby. He sent her results to clinics around the world to India and Asia to get input and gather stories of success from other physicians. Meanwhile Aubrey, Matt, her daughters, family and friends all prayed for her. Time progressed, and with each clinic and lab visit, something interesting began to happen. The cancer began to shrink, and the baby began to grow. The hormone levels that indicate cancer began to normalize. Her medical team was baffled. They told her this was the first time they had ever witnessed such a transformation with this type of diagnosis. Aubrey went from weekly clinical visits, to having one every two weeks, to once a month, then every six weeks. At this point, the baby is in the 50th percentile of growth and Aubrey plans to call him “Journey.” Like his name indicates, this has truly been a journey of trust and redemption, of power and love, and of the majesty of our Lord. God truly works in miraculous ways. He is so faithful and mighty that even cancer cells obey Him! By Janet Van Why

MAY | JUNE 2018 45

Texico Conference News


Classified Ads 47 | Milestones 50 | Obituaries 50

Back Pages

Classified Ads EMPLOYMENT Pacific Press Publishing in Nampa, Idaho is seeking an Associate

Editor to join our Product Development team. Successful candidates will be creative, detail-oriented, and self-directed with the ability to work independently and exercise excellent judgment. Educational requirements are a graduate degree in Religion or Theology. Course work in Communication, English, or Journalism preferred. To submit an application or for more information contact Michelle Sinigaglio,

Human Resources Director at 208.465.2568 or

Southern Adventist University

seeks professor for History/ Political Studies teaching American History. Must be able to teach Atlantic history, African history/AfricanAmerican /Latin American. Ph.D. in History preferred. Two openings available (one part-time and one full-time). When applying, please indicate preference. Contact Dr. Mark Peach, and Dr. Robert Young,

Southwestern Adventist University's Nursing Department seeks a

full-time nurse educator. Doctorate desired; MSN considered. Experience in medical/surgical or criticalcare nursing required. Must enjoy working with young people who are excited about service. Must have, or be able to obtain, an unencumbered Texas nursing license. Send CV and cover letter to Dr. Amy Rosenthal,

Union College seeks an Adventist OTA Academic Fieldwork Coordinator. This

faculty position is responsible for developing, implementing,

and maintaining students' fieldwork education, and includes teaching responsibilities. An OTA degree with a minimum of three years of clinical experience required. Send CV and references to Cami Hollins, Further information,

OB-GYN, Pediatrician, Psychiatrist, and Psychologist needed for Adventist

owned/operated Rural Health Clinic on the campus of Weimar Institute at Weimar, California. Competitive pay. Call Dr. Randall Steffens at 615.604.0142.

MAY | JUNE 2018 47

Back Pages Andrews University Seeks Curriculum and Learning Design Specialist. This full-time

staff position has half-time teaching responsibilities in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum. The Curriculum and Instructional Design Specialist for the Department of Digital Learning and Instructional Technology (DLiT) provides highly-skilled professional service to meet the instructional design needs of online faculty by providing a) online teaching training and support; b) instructional and curriculum design for online and blended courses; c) oversight of the learning design process. The Curriculum and Instructional Design Specialist will report to the online Course Manager in DLiT and to the Chair in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Curriculum.

Adventist University of Health Sciences in Orlando, Florida, seeks candidates for a Department Chair, beginning summer of 2018. Applicant must possess an academic doctoral degree (Ph.D., Ed.D., or equivalent). Candidates need leadership, teaching, and research experience in higher education with six years’ full-time higher education experience, three years in a physical therapy program, and eligibility for licensure as a physical therapist in Florida. Send CV to

Nurse Anesthesia Faculty: Adventist University of Health Sciences seeks Faculty for the Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Program, to be responsible for classroom, simulation, and clinical instruction


of students. Qualified candidates must be CRNAs with an appropriate Doctoral degree and have three years of recent clinical practice as a CRNA with current NBCRNA Recertification and eligibility to obtain Florida ARNP licensure. The ideal candidate would also have experience in nurse anesthesia education. Please send resumes to

Andrews University Seeks Underwriting Director for WAUS.

The Underwriting Director is responsible for soliciting corporate support for WAUS. Responsibilities include cultivating relationships, maintaining accounts and following up with billing and renewals, writing copy, and scheduling spots to air. Compensation consists of a base salary plus commissions. staff_salary#job9

Southern Adventist University

seeks School of Visual Art and Design Productions/ Equipment and Facilities Manager. Full-time position combines two operational roles that impact the use/ scheduling of production equipment. Prefer two years experience or college degree in video, film, audio, lighting, and maintenance. To apply and see full description visit:

REAL ESTATE/HOUSING Summit Ridge Retirement Village

is an Adventist community in a rural setting that offers affordable homes or apartments and caring neighbors, with a fellowship you'll enjoy. On-site church,

planned activities and transportation, as needed. Also, Wolfe Living Center offering independent living and nursing home. Website: or Bill Norman 405.208.1289.

1BR Condo in Honolulu, Hawaii, in

Nu'uanu. Relaxing and affordable. Minutes to beaches, Chinatown, and hiking! Clean, comfortable, like-new. Sleeps 6 comfortably. Furnished kitchen, washer/dryer and more. Free parking. Visit or call 808.524.1352.

MISCELLANEOUS Wellness Secrets' 5-day health retreat could be the most

Adventist books visit AUTHORS: If you're interested in having your book published, call 800.367.1844 for a free evaluation.

Move with an award-winning agency. Apex Moving &

Storage partners with the General Conference to provide quality moves at a discounted rate. Call us for all your relocation needs! Adventist beliefs uncompromised. Contact Marcy Danté at 800.766.1902 for a free estimate. Visit us at

The Clergy Move Center™ at Stevens Worldwide Van Lines is The

affordable beneficial and spiritual vacation you ever experience! Get help for hypertension, high cholesterol, arthritis, cancer, obesity, depression, stress, smoking, and other ailments in beautiful NW AR. Visit us at or call 479.752.8555.

Way To Move™ from state to state! Through our national contract with the General Conference, we extend our moving services to all Adventist families. Contact our dedicated Move Counselors for a no-cost/ no-obligation estimate at 800.248.8313. Learn more at

The Wildwood Lifestyle Center can

Gold Investor. I have a small

help you naturally treat and reverse diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, obesity, arthritis, osteoporosis, fibromyalgia, lupus, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue, cancer, substance abuse, stress, anxiety, depression and many more. Invest in your health and call 800.634.9355 for more information or visit


for NEW Adventist titles to encourage and grow your daily walk? Visit us at For USED

placer gold machine that can produce about 15 oz. a day. I need infrastructure to put into a larger machine, water, and equipment. I would like for you to come and check it out and make your own decision. Contact me at or call 682.367.2584.

Join us for worship at Yellowstone National Park every Sabbath

from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Services are led by the Rocky Mountain Conference pastors at 10 a.m. in the Old Faithful Lodge.

Back Pages

2018 PSI Conference on Philanthropy June 26-29, Fort Lauderdale FL CHART YOUR COURSE TO SUCCESSFUL FUNDRAISING

This NAD sponsored conference offers a unique opportunity for development officers, leaders, administrators and pastors who are actively engaged in seeking financial support through fundraising. Topics for workshops, sessions, and forums include: Fundamentals of Fundraising • Digital Fundraising • Board & CEO Giving Free One-to-One Consultation with Experts • Networking • Strategic Donor Retention Generational Giving • and more.

Register Today to secure the lowest rate at Group Discounts can save up to 25% and the Learn Now-Pay Later Program defers payment for registration AND lodging until Dec. 31, 2019.

MAY | JUNE 2018 49

Back Pages $5000


❖ Feed the World, With a Degree in Agribusiness ❖ Change the World With a Degree in International Agriculture Development ❖ Beautify the World With a Degree in Landscape Design For more information: 269-471-6006

40th Weimar Institute Anniversary:

We're celebrating 40 years of God's blessings at Weimar Institute this year! If you attended academy or pursued higher education here, join us November 2-4, 2018 and reconnect with friends. More information:

WEB DESIGN! Skyrocket your business with an exceptional modern website. Our Adventist, Oregonbased agency specializes in giving you instant credibility using our strong internet/ marketing background, conversion-friendly design skills. View our work at Serving clients worldwide. Call Kama directly at 541.903.1180.

Milestones 50th Wedding Anniversary: Stan and

Anna Swingle will celebrate the 50th anniversary of their wedding on June 2, 1968 in Albuquerque, N. Mex. They will renew their vows with Pastor Bobby Harris at the Amarillo Seventh-day Adventist Church in Amarillo, Texas on June 3, 2018.

Birth: James and Kimberly

Creswell welcomed their first child, Hazel Elaine, on Friday, January 5, 2018. She


weighed 8 lbs, 4 oz., and measured 19 inches. James and Kimberly are members of the Tyler Seventh-day Adventist Church,Tyler, Texas.

Obituaries Bruce, Roy; born Oct. 18,

1939, Alvarado, Texas; died Dec. 23, 2017, Fort Worth, Texas. Church membership: Alvarado Seventh-day Adventist Church. He was a founding member. Survivors: wife, Oma Jean Bruce, of Keene; daughters, Mary Pierce, of Katy, Texas, and Lisa Pillow, of Keene; son, Scott Bruce, of Dallas, Texas; sisters, Jane Maberry and Margie Moore, of Cleburne, Texas, and Bersha McIntyre, of Dripping Springs, Texas; brother, Richard Bruce, of Cleburne; 12 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren.

Dougherty, Virginia Rose Lee; born

March 5, 1933, Endee, N. Mex.; died February 3, 2018, Abbott, Texas. Church membership: Hillsboro Seventh-day Adventist Church. Survivors: daughter, Donna Dougherty Schmidt (Robert), Albuquerque, N. Mex.; daughter, Elath Dalene Dougherty, Abbott, Texas; one grandson and one great-grandson.

Flowers, Johnny Leroy; born January 21, 1925; died January 21, 2018. Church membership: Tyler Seventh-day Adventist Church, Tyler, Texas.

Giddings, John David; born Feb.

11, 1948, Cassville, Mo.; died Jan. 8, 2018, Cleburne, Texas. Church membership:

Keene Seventh-day Adventist Church. Survivors: wife, Anne Giddings; son, Lucas Giddings; son, Philip Giddings (Storie); four grandchildren; siblings, Bert Giddings, Jim Giddings, Jane Brown, and Mary Johnson.

Lawry, Patricia Louise; born

January 10, 1934, Palo Alto, Calif.; died February 7, 2018, Hot Springs, Ark. Church membership: Mena Seventh-day Adventist Church. She was preceded in death by her parents, Phillip and Laura Morris, and daughter, Renny Lawry. Survivors: husband, Robert Lawry, of Mena; son, Richard Lawry (Regina), of Mena; daughter Jennie Amos (Dewey), of Ashland, Mo.; daughter, Carolyn Burnside, of Silvan Springs,

Ark.; sister, Dorothy Reese, of St. Petersburg, Fla.; seven grandchildren; seven greatgrandchildren.

Platt, George William, Jr.; born

November 22, 1943, New Orleans, La.; died January 24, 2018, Slidell, La. Church membership: Slidell Seventhday Adventist Church. Survivors: wife, Mansie Platt, of Slidell; brother, Ronald Platt, of Lafayette, La.; two nieces; 21 step-grandchildren and seven step-greatgrandchildren.

Plested, Joanne Irene; born July

15, 1934, Ewing, Neb.; died January 8, 2018, Thayer, Mo. Church membership: Mammoth Spring Seventhday Adventist Church. She was a teacher within the Adventist school system for 18 years. She was preceded

Back Pages in death by her parents, Eugene Pierson and Hazel Mott. Survivors: husband, Earl Plested, of Thayer; brother, Richard (Muffin) Pierson; sister, Ruth Chase; one niece.

Ryder, John Thomas; born June

26, 1933, Towanda, Penn.; died January 2, 2018, Keene, Texas. Church membership: Keene Seventh-day Adventist Church. He was preceded in death by his wife, Patty Bowman Ryder. Survivors: daughter, Elizabeth Cheever (Ed); daughter, Carolyn Parrish (Bernie); five grandchildren.

Shepperd, E. Wayne; born June

20, 1935, Los Angeles, Calif.; died Feb. 6, 2018, Austin, Texas. Shepperd served as a teacher, principal, pastor, youth and education director,

and vice president in the Southwestern Union and was a Vice President for the Pacific Union during his more than 40 years of service to the Adventist Church. Survivors: wife, Joyce; sons, Tony, Eric, and Wayne Shepperd.

Smith, Carolyn Sue; born June

4, 1953, Tulsa, Okla.; died January 6, 2018, Tulsa, Okla. Church membership: Adventist Fellowship Seventh-day Adventist Church, Tulsa, Okla. Survivors: daughter, Nicole Cole; mother, Helen Miller.

Smith, Harold Melvin, (Smitty) Sr.;

parents, Harold and Vesta Smith; stepmother, Pearl Smith; sister, Mildred Jensen; brother, Ernest Smith; son, Mark Smith; daughter, Vesta Christine Smith; and son, Timothy Smith. Survivors: wife, Gladys Vera Cruz Smith; brother, Wilford "Tex�; son, Harold Smith (Debby), of Burleson, Texas; daughter, Cheryl Gale, of East Texas; daughter, Tina Smith, of Austin, Texas; son, Nathan Smith (Joy), of Elgin; daughter, Leilani Stowell (Richard), of Cleburne, Texas; 13 grandchildren and 12 greatgrandchildren.

Submissions Back Pages: To submit family milestones, obituaries, announcements, or address changes, visit www., or call 817.295.0476. The Record also accepts expanded obituaries. For submission and cost information, contact record@swuc. org, or call 817.295.0476. News and Articles: Send your local church news and high-resolution photographs to your local conference communication representative listed on page 2. If you are interested in writing for the Record, view our writer’s guide at www., or email

born Dec. 4, 1928, Loma Linda, Calif.; died Dec. 25, 2017, Elgin, Texas. Church membership: Elgin Seventhday Adventist Church. He was preceded in death by his

Advertising: Contact Bradley Ecord, becord@, 817.295.0476

Sabbath Sunset Calendar May-June 2018

All 2018 Sunset Calendars are available at

5/4 8:22 AbileneAbilene Albuquerque 7:54 Albuquerque AmarilloAmarillo 8:35 Brownsville 8:02 Brownsville 8:10 Dallas Dallas 7:47 El PasoEl Paso Fort Worth 8:13 Fort Worth Gallup 8:03 Gallup 8:07 Gentry Gentry HoustonHouston 8:00 Little Rock 7:56 Little Rock Muskogee 8:10 Muskogee New Orleans 7:39 New Orleans Oklahoma Oklahoma City City8:18 RoswellRoswell 7:42 San Antonio 8:12 San Antonio Shreveport 7:58 Shreveport 8:35 Tulsa Tulsa

1/5 5/11 7:18 8:27 6:44 8:00 7:25 8:40 7:12 8:06 7:06 8:15 6:45 7:52 7:08 8:18 6:53 8:09 6:55 8:13 7:02 8:04 6:47 8:02 6:59 8:16 6:41 7:43 7:08 8:24 6:37 7:48 7:14 8:16 6:54 8:03 7:01 8:39

1/12 5/18 7:09 8:32 6:35 8:05 7:16 8:46 7:05 8:10 6:57 8:21 6:37 7:57 7:00 8:23 6:43 8:14 6:45 8:19 6:54 8:09 6:38 8:07 6:49 8:21 6:32 7:48 6:58 8:29 6:28 7:53 7:07 8:21 6:45 8:08 6:51 8:42

1/19 5/25 7:01 8:36 6:26 8:10 7:07 8:51 6:58 8:14 6:49 8:25 6:29 8:02 6:51 8:27 6:34 8:20 6:36 8:25 6:46 8:13 6:29 8:12 6:40 8:27 6:25 7:52 6:49 8:35 6:19 7:58 6:59 8:25 6:37 8:13 6:42 8:44

1/26 6/1 6:54 8:41 6:18 8:15 6:59 8:56 6:52 8:17 6:41 8:30 6:21 8:06 6:44 8:32 6:26 8:24 6:28 8:29 6:40 8:17 6:21 8:17 6:32 8:31 6:18 7:56 6:41 8:39 6:12 8:02 6:52 8:29 6:30 8:17 6:34 8:45

2/2 6/8 6:47 8:44 6:11 8:19 6:51 9:00 6:47 8:20 6:35 8:33 6:15 8:10 6:37 8:36 6:19 8:28 6:20 8:34 6:34 8:20 6:14 8:21 6:25 8:36 6:12 8:00 6:34 8:43 6:05 8:06 6:47 8:32 6:23 8:21 6:26 8:44

2/9 6/15 5:42 8:47 5:05 8:22 5:45 9:03 5:43 8:23 5:29 8:36 5:10 8:13 5:32 8:39 5:12 8:32 5:14 8:37 5:29 8:23 5:08 8:24 5:18 8:39 5:07 8:02 5:28 8:47 4:59 8:09 5:42 8:35 5:18 8:24 5:20 8:42

2/16 6/22 5:38 8:49 5:00 8:24 5:40 9:05 5:40 8:25 5:25 8:38 5:06 8:15 5:27 8:41 5:07 8:34 5:09 8:39 5:25 8:25 5:04 8:26 5:13 8:41 5:04 8:04 5:23 8:49 4:55 8:11 5:38 8:37 5:14 8:26 5:15 8:39

2/23 6/29 5:35 8:50 4:56 8:25 5:37 9:06 5:39 8:26 5:22 8:39 5:03 8:15 5:25 8:41 5:04 8:34 5:05 8:40 5:23 8:26 5:00 8:27 5:10 8:42 5:01 8:05 5:19 8:49 4:52 8:12 5:36 8:38 5:11 8:26 5:11 8:34

MAY | JUNE 2018 51

Non-Profit Org US POSTAGE


Permit No. 1255 Liberty, MO

Southwestern Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

PO Box 4000, Burleson, TX 76097


I came so that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance.

Abundant Life Adventist Health System takes a Christ-centered, whole-person approach to healthcare, serving more than 4.7 million patients each year. To do this, we look to the principles of Creation as the blueprint for helping others live an abundant life. Explore these eight principles of CREATION Health at

900 Hope Way, Altamonte Springs Florida 32810

— John 10:10

May | June 2018 Southwestern Union Record  

The May-June 2018 issue of the Southwestern Union Record, the official publication of the Southwestern Union Conference of Seventh-day Adven...

May | June 2018 Southwestern Union Record  

The May-June 2018 issue of the Southwestern Union Record, the official publication of the Southwestern Union Conference of Seventh-day Adven...