Communication Department, ATCU
The Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) is set to begin 2014 with an intentional focus on prayer as it launches its annual prayer initiative and joins the Adventist world church in its “Ten Days of Prayer” program.
The ATCU Prayer Initiative, which will enter its third year on January 1, 2014, is a corporate prayer experience that invites the ATCU membership and other interested persons to answer the call to prayer and devotion to Jesus Christ issued by the program “Revival and Reformation.” “Revival and Reformation,” formulated by the Adventist world church, aims to encourage members to develop and maintain a close relationship with Christ through prayer, Bible study, and sharing their faith with others.
During 2014, the ATCU Prayer Initiative will center on the spiritual virtues listed in 2 Peter 1:5 – 11 where the apostle Peter sets forth the divine plan for the development of Christian character.
In addition to praying for special groups, union initiatives, and local and regional concerns, each month will be dedicated to asking God to intertwine one of these virtues into one’s moral tapestry with the aim of becoming more like Him every day.
The “Ten Days of Prayer” program (formerly called Operation Global Rain) was adopted by the Adventist world church in 2010. Throughout the ten-day period, each member will be praying through the Lord’s Prayer as recorded in Matthew 6:19-13 and Luke 11:1-4. The theme is “Teach us to Pray.”
Below are important dates to be observed in January 2014.
January 4, 2014 - Day of Prayer and Fasting
On this day, ATCU members will be praying for all pastors and elders in Adventist churches throughout ATCU and for the success of the Vision One Million Initiative. In addition, each local church is encouraged to include its own special needs and reasons for thanksgiving and praise.
January 8 – 18, 2014 - Ten Days of Prayer
Pastor Peter Kerr, prayer coordinator for ATCU, in anticipation of what God will do as the ATCU membership unites in prayer at the beginning of the year said, “It is my sincere hope that God will pour out His Spirit in Pentecostal power just as He did after the early church prayed for ten days in the upper room. He will do it again.” You can find resources for the “Ten Days of Prayer” at www.tendaysofprayer.org while the ATCU 2014 prayer booklet, with the weekly prayer focus, can be viewed at atcunion.org, or one can be obtained from any Adventist church in the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, or the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Communication Department, ATCU
"Félicitations" (congratulations in French) was the word expressed repeatedly at the conclusion of the 2013 Inter-American Division (IAD) Bible Boom finals as Jempsy Tisma of the Haitian Union was declared the winner.
The Bible Boom competition is the annual youth Bible knowledge challenge of IAD that encourages the study of God's Word. This year, twenty (20) young persons from twenty (20) of the unions within the IAD took part in the event which was held on December 7, 2013, at the La Vibora Adventist Church in Havana, Cuba.
This is the first time in the 10-year history of the Bible Bowl/ Bible Boom that a young person from a French-speaking union within the IAD has won the event. Also, with this win by the Haitian Union, it can now be said that within the last three years, a young person from each of the three major language groups in IAD has walked away with the top honours. In 2011 and 2102, Waylon Johnson from the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU), an English-speaking union, and Victor Manuel Jaimes of the South Colombia Union, a Spanish-speaking union, received the top honours respectively.
In this year’s competition, Luis De Jesus Cruz of the South Central American Union and Anavansi Soranio of the Hondurian Union finished second and third respectively.
Representing the ATCU was Patrick Brown of the Blessed Hope Church in the North Bahamas Conference (NBC).
In commenting on his participation, Patrick Brown said, "It was a great experience for me, being my first time at this level. I just want to encourage the young people of my church and our union to continue to study the Bible." Patrick Brown was accompanied by Pastor Andrew Burrows and Pastor Desmond Sturrup, youth directors for ATCU and NBC respectively.
Elder Hiskia I Missah, associate youth ministries director of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, was one of the invited guests for the weekend. In his final charge to the young people, Elder Missah stressed the need to study and apply the Word of God, “When you read the Word of God, you put yourself in the hand of God. When you put yourself in the hand of God, you have salvation."
At the conclusion of the event, it was announced that next year's Bible Boom finals for the IAD will be held at the IAD Youth Congress in Guatemala City on Sabbath, August 2, 2014. The books of study for Bible Boom 2014 will be the Minor Prophets, Hosea to Micah. This year’s study focused on the Pauline epistles of Ephesians to Hebrews.
Desmond Sturrup, youth ministries director, NBC
The youth department of the North Bahamas Conference (NBC) held its 2013 Youth Gala Awards Banquet on Sunday, December 1 at the Hilton Outten Convention Center in Freeport, Grand Bahama. The evening was spent celebrating some of the outstanding accomplishments during the year of the young people and, in particular, the achievements of the most outstanding youth from each of the twelve churches of NBC.
Greetings were extended via video presentation by Pastor Desmond Sturrup, youth director of NBC; Pastor Paul A. Scavella, president of the South Bahamas Conference; Pastor Andrew Burrows, youth director of the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU); and Pastor Benjamin Caballo, youth director of the Inter-American Division (IAD). Pastor E. Bryan Tinker, president of NBC, gave official remarks and applauded the accomplishments that were realized by the youth in the various churches during 2013.
The special guests of honour were Pastor Andrew Burrows and his wife, Karen Burrows. In his remarks, Pastor Burrows highlighted the significance of the young people to the overall mission of ATCU and pointed out that all of the winners of the Bible Boom finals in the history of ATCU emerged from the North Bahamas Conference. He went on to acknowledge that Waylon Johnson and Kesa- Petit-frere, both from the Eight Mile Rock Church in NBC, won the first two ATCU Bible Boom finals in 2011 and 2012 respectively, with Waylon Johnson advancing to capture the IAD 2011 Bible Boom finals.
After his remarks, Pastor Burrows presented the union's floating plaque and a gift from ATCU to Patrick Brown, from the Blessed Hope Church, for winning the most recent Bible Boom finals which was held in the Cayman Islands in October 2013. Patrick Brown will represent ATCU at the IAD Bible Boom finals in Havana, Cuba on Sabbath, December 7, 2013.
Pastor Burrows also shared that beginning in January 2014, Paris Williams, who also attends the Blessed Hope Church in NBC, will represent the ATCU in Mexico City, Mexico during the One Year in Mission Project (OYIM).
The twelve outstanding awardees included:
1. Sasha Demeritte, North Abaco S.D.A. Church
2. Berline Dormeus, Marsh Harbour S.D.A. Church
3. Geneva Joseph, Salem S.D.A. Church
4. Alicia Gómez, South Abaco S.D.A. Church
5. Lawrence Hepburn, Sandy Point Branch Sabbath School
6. Alisa Author, Freeport S.D.A. Church
7. Patrick Brown, Blessed Hope S.D.A. Church
8. Fandy Green, Bethesda S.D.A. Church
9. Justine Sturrup, Sunrise S.D.A. Church
10. Elvanae Thompson, Eight Mile Rock S.D.A Church
11. Patrick Amerthil, West End S.D.A Church
12. Kristen Saunders, Shiloh S.D.A. Church
Kristen Saunders of the Shiloh Church received the Overall Youth Director’s Award.
Let us continue to pray for the young people and the youth leaders as they continue to enhance the work of the Lord in the North Bahamas Conference.
Communication Department, ATCU
On January 16, 2014, the Inter-American Division (IAD) will begin phase 2 of “One Year in Mission” (OYIM), an outreach program of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists that began in October 2011. According to the youth department of the IAD, the vision for OYIM is "to encourage young people to get involved in the mission of the church."
The first phase of the project involved each of the 13 world divisions of the Adventist Church sending one youth representative to participate in the evangelistic endeavor “Mission to the Cities” held in New York City earlier this year. The experience served as a model for the subsequent phases that will take place in each division, union, and conference/mission over the next two years.
In OYIM, Phase 2, a team made up of young adults from each of the 22 unions that comprise the IAD will be trained in three areas: evangelism, community service, and small groups. The goal is to create a working model that can be replicated in their respective unions and local fields during 2014 and 2015 respectively. Mexico City has been identified by the IAD as the host city for this second phase of the project.
During its recent year-end meetings, the executive committee of ATCU selected Paris Williams of the North Bahamas Conference to represent the union in Mexico City.
Paris Williams is a member of the Blessed Hope Seventh-day Adventist Church in Freeport, Grand Bahama, the Bahamas and currently serves as a Sabbath School secretary, assistant church clerk, and junior deaconess. She is actively involved in the youth department, holding the position of secretary of the Adventist Youth Ministry. Ms. Williams was the recipient of the Most Distinguished Pathfinder Award for the Blessed Hope Seventh-day Adventist Church in 2011 and was the second place winner of the North Bahamas Conference of Seventh-day Adventist youth speech competition in 2012.
Pastor Andrew E. Burrows, youth director of ATCU, notes that upon the completion of the OYIM project, Paris will be instrumental in helping to formulate an evangelistic plan for the youth department of ATCU based on the experience gained in Mexico and the model of OYIM.
Communication Department, ATCU
On Sabbath, November 12, 2013, approximately 80 educators from throughout the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) met in their respective fields to be a part of the Inter-American Division’s (IAD) first virtual education congress. The event was streamed live across the division's territory from the headquarters of the IAD in Miami, Florida. According to information from the organizers of the congress, which can be found on the IAD’s website at www.interamerica.org, more than 120 educators from the 22 unions in IAD attended the live event at the division’s headquarters with thousands more from around Inter-America viewing by internet.
In New Providence, teachers and administrators from Bahamas Academy, one of the four schools within the union, worshipped at the union's headquarters on Gladstone Road. Dr. Cheryl Rolle, education director for ATCU, brought brief remarks, explaining that the congress was organized to achieve three main objectives: (1) To strengthen commitment to God; (2) To strengthen commitment to the church; and (3) To strengthen the personal commitment of the educators and leaders of the educational system in the IAD territory. The activities and presentations affirmed that the mission of the educational system of the Seventh-day Adventist Church was to see the children and youth of the church saved in Christ’s kingdom. Presenters included Dr. Lisa Beardsley-Hardy, education director of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (GC); Dr. Gamaliel Florez, education director of IAD; and Pastor Samuel Telemaque, director of the Office of Adventist Mission and associate Sabbath School and personal ministries director of the IAD.
In Freeport, Grand Bahama, teachers from Grand Bahama Academy viewed the congress at the North Bahamas Conference office. In the Cayman Islands, Pastor Ivor Harry, education director for the conference, reports that on the Friday evening before the Sabbath morning service, 25 teachers from Cayman Academy participated in a communion service and love feast. Then, on Sabbath morning, they assembled at the school's auditorium to be a part of the virtual congress.
Representing the Atlantic Caribbean Union at the site of the live event in Miami, Florida were Rowena Smith from Bahamas Academy, Mr. Henry Morgan from Grand Bahama Academy, and Mrs. Asha Singh from Cayman Academy.
Photos by John Garcia
Communication Department, ATCU
At its year-end meetings held during November 11 – 12, 2013, in Nassau, Bahamas, the executive committee of the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) voted to adopt the new publishing policy of the Inter-American Division (IAD).
The policy sets forth the objectives of the Inter-American Division Publishing System, a group of integrated elements that work together to fulfill the mission of the church through missionary publications, both for the church and the general public. The policy describes, too, the relationship among the elements – pastors, literature evangelists, student literature evangelists, the local church, the local field and union Publishing Ministry department, publishing houses and their branches within the division territory, and the IAD Publishing Ministry department – and how each will function to efficiently proclaim the everlasting gospel and edify the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Inter-American region.
In commenting on the new policy, executive secretary and publishing director, Pastor Peter Kerr said, “With the adoption of this new policy, it is anticipated that the colporteur ministry will be revived in our territory and a new zeal awakened for literature evangelism.”
Also voted was the program “Impact 2014” which will involve the mass distribution of the missionary book of the year Beyond Imagination, a publication that examines some of the wonders of the universe and life on this earth as well as the phenomena of the human existence. Through this endeavour, members of ATCU will share the gospel through the printed word, reaching some persons that the preacher probably never would.
Another initiative voted was “2014 - The Year of Non-Formal Education.” Next year will be devoted to the non-formal education and training of the laity and pastors. In addition, members will be reading the book Education by Ellen G. White.
While the committee members had assembled to discuss the business of the Adventist church in the Atlantic Caribbean region, they also spent time in prayer and the reading of God’s word.
Setting the spiritual tone for the meetings was Pastor Leon B. Wellington, vice-president of the IAD. In his devotional charge on the opening morning, Pastor Wellington reminded the church leaders, committee members, and invitees that the Seventh-day Adventist Church belongs to God. Referencing Matthew 16:18, he said that the church is built on the rock, Jesus Christ.
"The church belongs to God and not us. He is the owner," Pastor Wellington emphasized. Challenging the leaders, he further explained that because God's church is a holy entity, the people who lead and administer must also be holy.
On each of the two days, the meeting concluded with prayer and the reading of the Bible chapter of the day from Revived By His Word, the Bible reading plan of the Adventist world church developed to encourage its members to read God’s word.
The executive committee meetings are held twice per year - at mid-year and year-end. The next set of meetings is scheduled for May 2014.
Communication Department, ATCU
The Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) will hold its annual year-end meetings from Sunday, November 10 to Tuesday, November 12, 2013. The meetings will be held in Nassau, Bahamas at the Breezes Hotel on Monday and on Tuesday at the union headquarters on Gladstone Road. Additionally, the union administrators will have pre-meetings with the field administrators on Sunday, November 10 at the union office.
One of the highlights of this year’s meetings is the viewing of the reports from the four fields within ATCU. Other aspects will be the various presentations on leadership.
Pastor Peter Kerr, executive secretary and publishing director of ACTU, indicated that one of the items that will be presented is the new publishing policy which is being recommended by the world church.
"The new publishing policy is a deliberate effort of the church to recapture the passion of the colporteur ministry and literature evangelism. It will affect the various Adventist Nutrition and Book Centers throughout ATCU, every local church, and every member," he explained.
Another key item on the agenda will be the presentation of 2014 as the Year of Non-formal Education throughout the Inter-American Division (IAD). According to the initiative’s RoadMap, the document which explains the program in detail, the year is dedicated to the non-formal education of the laity and pastors within IAD.
It is anticipated that all plans and projections for the union for the next year will be presented, discussed, and voted. Over 30 committee members and other invitees will be a part of these annual meetings.
Communication Department, ATCU
Dr. Leonard A Johnson, president of the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU), is urging the constituents and members of ATCU not to go ahead of the world church. His remarks came in light of the recent decision by the delegates to the Southeastern California Conference Session to elect Sandra Roberts as president of that conference. The election, which took place on Sunday, October 27, 2013 added to the discourse on the topic of the ordination of women.
Subsequently, on October 31, 2013, the officers of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (GC) issued a statement explaining the world church's position on the matter. According to the statement, which can be found on the Adventist News Network (ANN),the official news service of the Seventh-day Adventist world church, "ordination is one of the criterion for being a conference president.” Presently, the world church does not endorse the ordination of women to the pastoral ministry. The statement continued that "the world church strongly indicated that it does not recognize as ordained ministers individuals who do not meet the criteria outlined in policy."
In responding to the recent events and debate on the topic, Dr. Johnson noted that the world church is engaged in a process to address this issue through the appointment of a Theology of Ordination Study Committee with participation by all divisions of the world church. The Inter-American Division (IAD), of which ATCU is an integral part, has two representatives on the committee. They are Dr. Ellie Henry, executive secretary of the IAD and Dr. Carmen Parez, vice-president of the the Inter-American Adventist Theological Seminary (IATS). The committee will present a recommendation at the 2014 Fall Council of the General Conference.
Two persons from the ATCU are delegates on the GC executive committee, namely Dr. Leonard A. Johnson, president of ATCU, and Pastor Leonardo Rahming, a district pastor in the South Bahamas Conference.
Dr. Johnson explained that the church has a process that includes dialogue from representatives at all levels.
"To break away from the established policies of the church without allowing the process to be completed destroys the unity of the church,” he said.
While Dr. Johnson did not say whether or not the church in the ATCU region supports the ordination of female pastors and the election of a female to lead a local field, he emphasized that ATCU stands in support of the process implemented by the world church to address this and any other issue.
Dr. Leonard Johnson, president of the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU), along with Pastor Peter Kerr, executive secretary of ATCU, and Elder Roderick Sands, ATCU treasurer, attended the annual year-end meetings of the Inter-American Division (IAD) in Tuxtla, South Mexico during October 23-29, 2013.
During this year’s meetings, two of the local mission fields, which gained conference status, held their inauguration services conducted by Pastor Israel Leito, president of the IAD. Additionally, the new three-million-dollar Chiapas Union headquarters was dedicated. In attendance was Pastor Mike Ryan, one of the vice-presidents of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Items discussed in the business sessions included policy amendments, an update on the theology of ordination, and amendments to the 28 Fundamental Beliefs. Dr. Johnson noted that the church was not changing the fundamental beliefs, but was adjusting the language in order to reflect more sensitivity towards both males and females. Another area given attention, according to Dr. Johnson, was the Biblical account of creation, with the church underscoring in a stronger sense its support of the Biblical account of creation. Growth in the church’s membership and Biblical stewardship were also discussed, and the 22 unions of the IAD, including ATCU, presented video reports of events, plans, and programs of their respective territories within the last year.
One other event that took place was Dr. Johnson accepting an award on behalf of ATCU for hosting the students of Montemorelos University as a part of the 100 Students Church Planting Movement which was held during July 2013 in Nassau, Bahamas. Out of this initiative, a new Spanish company was formed in the South Bahamas Conference. Also, Dr. Johnson served on the Compensation Review Committee.
Now that the IAD’s year-end meetings are concluded, the Atlantic Caribbean Union will conduct its year-end meetings during November 7-12, 2013, in Nassau, Bahamas.
Often, the question is asked, “What is the Adventist church doing to address the various social ills in our country and to assist the persons who are burdened with challenges in our communities?” While it is not published on a daily basis, the Adventist church touches many lives each day through ministries such as Adventist Community Services, Education, Youth, Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), and many others. The humanitarian efforts of these ministries are highlighted during the Adventist church’s annual Ingathering program.
What is Ingathering? According to the Adventist History Library, found at http://adventisthistory.wordpress.com, in 1903, Jasper Wayne, a Seventh-day Adventist nurseryman ordered 50 copies of the magazine “Signs of the Times” which was devoted to the issue of capital and labour. As he opened the parcel in the post office and gave out the copies, he mentioned that any monies the recipient cared to give would be used for the mission of the church.
Within one hour, he depleted his supplies and in return received four dollars ($4.00) to be used for the work of the gospel. Out of this experience, emerged the Ingathering program which soon became standard in all countries in which Seventh-day Adventists developed an organized work.
It should be noted that Ingathering is not begging as some have expressed. Rather, it provides the church with two key opportunities. First, it provides for each member the unique opportunity to share Christ with the public by highlighting what the church is doing to uplift the human condition. Secondly, it affords each member the privilege to invite their friends, neighbours, and family members to partner with the church in providing the financial means to carry out the mission that Christ assigned to His church. Psalms 24:1 reminds us that the earth belongs to God and the fullness thereof. God has an abundance of resources in our world, and He has placed His resources in the hands of all.
The Adventist church in the Atlantic Caribbean region launched its annual ingathering campaign in October. As we go out “ingathering,” let’s remember that we are sharing the love of Christ and extending the invitation for others to experience His Love.
During the week of October 2 to 6, the Health Ministries Department of the North Bahamas Conference hosted the initial phase of the “8 Weeks to Wellness Program” on the Island of Abaco. The theme for the event was “Rebuilding the Temple.” Approximately 170 persons participated and 132 individuals registered to complete the entire eight weeks. Participants came from all across the island of Abaco and included pastors from various denominations and owners and managers of different companies.
The team which comprised of two nutritionists, Dr. Idamae Hanna and Dr. Alvira Higgs, and renowned urologist Dr. Joseph Evans, was very influential and captivating in their presentations as persons listened to the guidelines and received information that could help them lead healthier lives. In addition several medical practioners from the local clinic helped out with the screening and registration process.
The health team was able to visit the Central Abaco Primary School where they showed the children how to choose healthier foods. They also appeared on the Bahamas Christian Network (BCN) and were able to share the benefits of the health program. The presenters focused on how persons can manage their cholesterol and weight, and control high blood pressure by adjusting their diet and keeping active.
Several health education classes were held along with various seminars which promoted healthy lifestyles. Participants received handouts, magazines and books, while those who registered were screened and received pedometers. Drs. Hanna and Higgs evaluated the findings and were able to instruct about managing diabetes.
A special seminar was conducted by Dr. Evans on cancer awareness. He shared many tips on how to prevent cancer and how to bring it in remission. He quoted from his experiences and showed how people, by making simple changes, could fight cancer. On Saturday night a cooking class was conducted for the purpose of introducing simple foods that were nutritious yet healthy. Recipes were shared and the audience was fully engaged as they took notes and observed how to prepare the different meals. At the end of the cooking class persons were able to taste the different dishes and everyone concluded that they were all delicious. They also expressed joy in knowing that one could focus on health without sacrificing taste. All the participants received copies of the menus and most have already began preparing these dishes for their families.
During the event, eight booths were set up, with each, focusing on one of the eight laws of health. The people were divided in groups and were able to move to each booth where they received lectures on the importance of each law. Additional reading material was also given including a copy of the book, “Finding Peace Within.” Local government officials were present and also the BCN, the local television station, radio Abaco, and the Abaconian newspaper. The health committee for Abaco has already met and will be making preparations to host another health event in the near future.
By Leonardo Rahming, GC Committee Member
Often times there seems to be a disconnect between the work done at the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (GC) and that of its local congregations in various parts of the world. However, as a result of recently attending the 2013 GC Annual Council in Maryland, I witnessed Adventist world church leaders, who have an insatiable desire to see the work of God advance, unite to accomplish God’s will for His church.
Most encouraging was the fact that chairman after chairman called for the participants to spend time in prayer. This reinforced the understanding that the work of which I am a part is a spiritual one and should be handled as such. In addition to the time spent in prayer, another experience that stood out was the LEaD (Leadership Education and Development) Conference which stimulated thought on how we operate as a church, especially as we seek to involve the youth of our church. Due to the fact that "God can't steer a parked car," we were encouraged to get moving and do something. Finally, as the theme for this quinquennium is “Revival and Reformation,” a call to unity was made, especially since a few of the church’s organizations are desirous of doing things in a manner which is not the norm.
After attending this year's annual council, my faith has been made stronger, and I do believe with all my heart that God is leading His church, and He will safely guide it home. Attendees at the LEaD Conference and GC Annual Council were Dr. Leonard A. Johnson, president, Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU); Pastor Peter Kerr, executive secretary, ATCU; Elder Roderick Sands, treasurer, ATCU; and Pastor Leonardo D. Rahming, executive committee member.
Carlon Nyack, Intern Pastor, CIC
On Thursday and Friday, October 3-4, 2013, Pastor Hector Sanchez, ministerial secretary of the Inter-American Division (IAD), along with the administrators of the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) joined the administrators and pastors of the Cayman Islands Conference (CIC) to conduct a seminar/workshop for all pastors.
Pastor Sanchez, who has 41 years of pastoral experience, was the main presenter on the theme "How to Begin and Conclude a Happy and Successful Ministry."
Themes discussed were:
The pastor's devotional life
The pastor's home life
The pastor's marital relationship
The pastor's relationship with the opposite sex
The pastor and church life
Visitation of members
Caring and nurturing of members
Dr. Leonard Johnson, president of ATCU, also presented a thought-provoking topic, prepared by Dr. Trevor Little, entitled "Building Today's and Tomorrow's Leaders: Pastors as Leaders in the 21st Century." It was a presentation on how pastors need to practice what they preach as they lead others to follow Jesus. "Influence is an important part of good leadership," Dr. Johnson stated.
Pastor Peter Kerr, executive secretary of ATCU, presented a powerful, soul-stirring devotion on Friday morning when he quoted from Colporteur Ministry, pg. 48.1 that asks each servant of God three poignant questions: "Do they walk in such humility that I can teach them My way? Can I put My words into their lips? Will they represent Me?"
Pastor Al Powell, executive secretary for CIC, and intern pastor, Carlon Nyack translated for Pastor Sanchez on Thursday and Friday respectively.
It was a power-packed two days with plenty of practical advice for the pastors at the end of which they were not only inspired but empowered to rise to the joys and challenges of ministry.
The Cayman Islands Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (CIC) celebrated Festival of the Laity 2013 during the weekend of October 4 and 5 at the Lions Club in Grand Cayman. The theme for the festival was “Each One Reach One for Christ.”
In attendance were Dr. Leonard Johnson and Pastor Peter Kerr, president and secretary of the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) respectively. As this was the final Festival of the Laity in ATCU for this year, Pastor Paul Scavella, president of the South Bahamas Conference (SBC) and Pastor Michael Smith, president of the Turks and Caicos Islands Mission (TCIM), also attended the meetings. Pastor Shian O’Connor, president of the CIC, welcomed and introduced the various guests and representatives.
The Cayman Islands Government was represented by the Minister for Planning, Lands, Agriculture, Housing and Infrastructure and first elected member for the district of George Town, the Honorable D. Kurt Tibbetts, OBE, JP. He brought greetings and commended the Seventh-day Adventist Church on their outstanding contributions to the growth and development of the nation.
The Festival of the Laity began on Friday evening with a parade of nations and churches that showcased twenty-two country flags, sixteen church flags, and Cayman Academy’s flag to the lively music of the Pathfinder band.
One of the highlights of the festival was the colorful, enthusiastic reports from the sixteen churches and the school, which described the year’s major events with special emphasis on evangelism. Church members, dressed in their respective t- shirts and carrying banners created to represent their church’s uniqueness, eagerly ascended the stage to share what had been accomplished through the work of the Holy Spirit.
The guest speaker for the occasion was lay evangelist Eugene A. Benjamin from the Caribbean Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. In 2010, he was voted as one of the most outstanding lay evangelists in the Inter-American Division. He presented the messages with power and clarity, and the Holy Spirit used him in a mighty way as he challenged the laity to become ambassadors for Christ. Through the ministry of the word, two persons surrendered their lives to Jesus in baptism. This brought the total baptisms in the CIC for this year to four hundred.
Another feature of the festival was the giving of awards to the lay members of the church. The ATCU recognized one outstanding layperson from each of the four fields within the union. The four awardees, who were chosen by their respective fields, included Conception McCoy (CIC), Arleene Sands (North Bahamas Conference), Lukandah Gardiner(SBC), and Onasis Joseph (TCIM).
Onasis Joseph and Conception McCoy received the most outstanding and most outstanding runner-up awards respectively for the ATCU. The union also recognized 10 laypersons in various categories from the CIC. The awards were presented by Pastors Al Powell, ATCU personal ministries director, and Andrew Burrows, ATCU associate personal ministries director.
In his remarks, during the presentation of the awards, Dr. Leonard Johnson, president of ATCU, noted that with approximately 400,000 persons living in the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands, and with just under 50 pastors in the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Atlantic Caribbean region, each member has a role to play in sharing the gospel. “You are important to the church,” Dr. Johnson emphasized.
On Sabbath afternoon, over three hundred award pins were given to persons in the following categories: One hundred seventy-five service award pins for twenty or more consistent years of service in evangelism; Seventy leadership award pins for fifteen or more consistent years in leadership and support of evangelism in the local church; and over seventy evangelism award pins to front-line lay gospel workers.
The event was broadcast live on Cayman Adventist Television (CATV) and the local Adventist radio station, Praise 87.9 FM as well as on the World Wide Web. The program was coordinated by the Personal Ministries Department of the CIC under the leadership of Pastor Reinaldo Dracket. More than two thousand persons are estimated to have attended the event.
On Thursday, October 3, 2013, the Cayman Islands Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (CIC) hosted the 3rd annual Waylon Johnson Bible Boom finals at the Cayman Academy auditorium in George Town, Grand Cayman. The Bible Boom is an annual event planned by the youth ministries department of the Inter-American Division of Seventh-day Adventists (IAD) and is held at all youth levels of the church, including the Adventurers, Pathfinders, Adventist youth, and university students. The objective is to achieve the goal of having 70% of the young people engaged in the study of God’s Word.
In his charge to the participants and the audience, Pastor Andrew Burrows, youth director of the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU), challenged all, especially the youth, to spend time in the study of God’s Word. He cited various studies such as a report from the Kaiser Family Foundation, found at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news, which indicates that young people spend an average of 7 hours a day surfing the net, checking emails, listening to music, visiting social networks, or just simply playing gadgets. Referencing “Facebook,” one the popular social networks, Pastor Burrows held up the Bible and asserted that “Jesus is the face of the Book.” “This is what the Bible Boom is all about,” he concluded. “It is about allowing our young people to discover Christ as they study the Word of God.”
Following the charge, the youth directors introduced their respective participants: Patrick Brown, North Bahamas Conference (NBC); Alexandria Scott, South Bahamas Conference; and Matthew Gouldbourne, (CIC). The questions were taken from the writings of the apostle Paul, Ephesians - Hebrews.
At the conclusion of the contest, Patrick Brown from the Blessed Hope Seventh-day Adventist Church in the NBC emerged with the highest score. The ATCU has held three Bible Boom finals since its inception on 2010, and at all three occasions, the NBC has walked away with the top prize.
With the conclusion of ATCU’s finals, Patrick Brown will represent the union at the IAD’s Bible Boom finals in Havana, Cuba during December 6-9, 2013.
The recent Bible Boom finals in the Cayman Islands has generated a level of enthusiasm among the young people of ATCU, as they have already started to prepare for next year’s Bible Boom. The books of study for Bible Boom 2014 are the Minor Prophets, Haggai - Malachi. The union finals will be held in the Turks and Caicos Islands during May 2014, and the IAD’s finals will take place during July 2014 at the Division’s Youth Congress in Guatemala City.
Andrew Burrows, ATCU
On Sabbath, September 28, 2013, elders from throughout the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) participated in the special baptism ceremony by elders. This was one of the highlights of the Inter-American Division’s initiative for the “Year of the Laity.” In ATCU, a total of 34 persons were baptized by 17 elders. At the Centerville Seventh-day Adventist Church, where they concluded a month long emphasis called “Elders on Fire,” six persons were baptized by six elders in the church’s pool. Elder Todd Beneby, first elder of the church, and one of the elders conducting the baptism, commented that “it was truly a sobering experience”
At the Bethany Seventh-day Adventist church in Nassau, Bahamas, elder Harvey Braithwaite baptized three precious souls including his son Jonathan. “For me, it was a humbling experience to know that I was given such a privilege to baptize souls for the Kingdom of God.” Commenting on the baptism of his son, Elder Braithwaite added, “Never in my wildest dream did I think that I would be the one to baptize him. It was an exciting and a proud moment for me.”
Also in the South Bahamas Conference (SBC), Elders Marva Farquharson and Vernal Rolle of the Message of Hope and Real Harvest churches, respectively, met at the Montague Beach, in Nassau, Bahamas to baptize the persons with whom they studied. In May of this year, at the Inter-American Division’s (IAD) Mid-year Meetings in Miami, Florida, Elder Farquharson was recognized as ATCU’s Lay Evangelist of the Year. Elder Vernal Rolle also received an award for Evangelism during the graduation ceremony at the Northern Caribbean University in Mandeville, Jamaica. A total of 15 elders baptized 21 persons in the South Bahamas Conference.
Elder Arlene Sands, first elder of the Freeport Seventh-day Adventist Church in the North Bahamas Conference and also the Women’s Ministries director for the Conference, was blessed to baptize one precious soul for the Lord. Additionally, in April of this year, Elder Sands was the speaker at the lay crusade held at Freeport Seventh-day Adventist Church.
In the Cayman Islands Conference, a total of 12 baptisms were conducted by 7 elders. This included four persons who were baptized at the conclusion of a week of powerful messages proclaimed by the elders at the King’s Seventh-day Adventist Church, in George Town, Grand Cayman. One of the elders conducting the ceremony was Elder Joshua Lawrence, who is also a Bible worker for the Cayman Islands Conference.
Appropriately, two of the conferences in ATCU held their local Festival of the Laity on the same weekend. The laypersons of the North and South Bahamas conferences came together in their respective conference for a time of reflection, reports, celebration, and praise to God for what He has accomplished through them. These Festivals of the Laity throughout ATCU began September 6 and 7, when the Turks and Caicos Islands Mission (TCIM) held their event at various churches throughout the Mission. The final Festival of the Laity for ATCU will be held in the Cayman Islands Conference October 4 and 5, 2013. The laity of the Atlantic Caribbean Union, including the elders, is fully engaged in the work of spreading the gospel and sharing in the joy of souls being won to the kingdom.
Communication Department, North Bahamas Conference
The North Bahamas Conference celebrated it’s Festival of the Laity in grand style on Sabbath afternoon, September 28, 2013. Churches from throughout the island of Grand Bahama, some led by their bands, and all arrayed in the various colors of their local church, assembled at the Shiloh Seventh-day Adventist Church to give God praise for the work of the laity in the Grand Bahama district.
Over 150 persons received service, evangelism, and leadership awards for the diligent efforts given to their local churches and the communities. A highlight of the afternoon was the awarding of the female preacher medallion of the Atlantic Caribbean Union to Elder Arleen Sands. Elder Sands conducted a lay crusade at the Freeport Seventh-day Adventist Church, earlier in the year. In addition, earlier in the day, Elder Sands conducted her first baptism. This was in connection with the Year of Laity baptismal celebration by elders.
In attendance for the occasion was Pastor Peter Kerr, executive secretary of the Atlantic Caribbean Union. In his charge to the laity, Pastor Kerr challenged them to commit themselves to greater service. He reminded the audience that “despite the challenges that we face, the cross of Christ is our rallying cry to go on in our labours for God, knowing that God will reward us in due season for our commitment.”
The members of the North Bahamas Conference left “Festival of the Laity 2013” on a high note, committed to going back to their communities and to make a difference.
Patrick Brown of the North Bahamas Conference, emerged as the winner of the Atlantic Caribbean Union, 3rd Annual Waylon Johnson's Bible Boom Finals. The event was held at the Cayman Islands Academy Auditorium in Grand Cayman, on Thursday, October 2, 2013. Alexandria Scott and Matthew Gouldbourne represented the South Bahamas and Cayman Islands Conferences respectively. More Information to be posted shortly.
By Nadia King, South Bahamas Conference
Ready To Share Him!
Excitement filled the air as women from the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos Islands, Cayman Islands, and representatives from England, the United States, and Columbia filled the Sheraton Hotel, Cable Beach in Nassau, Bahamas for the annual Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) Women’s Ministries Retreat on Friday evening, September 20, 2013.
Under the theme, “That I May Share Him, we welcomed the Sabbath with a vibrant, enriching, song service that spiritually prepared us for the word from the Lord. Just before the word, however, Sis. Patrice Gordon, event coordinator for the South Bahamas Conference, led us into a humbling prayer experience. She urged us to empty ourselves of the hindrances that would prevent us from receiving the outpouring of the Holy Spirit during the weekend.
Our keynote speaker, Sister Heather-Dawn Small, women’s ministries director of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, under the control of the Holy Spirit, delivered a captivating and inspiring message entitled “Yes We Can…With God!”
In this message, she reminded us that we belong to God and we are unable to successfully accomplish anything without Him. She challenged us to come back to a holy God who is waiting to empower us for the completion of his work.
It was an awesome experience to share in this service of consecration and rededication with the sisters of the Adventist faith and those who were visiting from the Women’s Department of the Anglican Diocese.
Celebrating the Sabbath!
Sabbath School began with a program that showcased the many hats women wear. The sisters from the Cayman Islands delivered an engaging program which included dramatization, song, and study of the word.
“Reformation: Healing Broken Relationships” was the lesson that we studied. At the end of this presentation, we were encouraged to actively participate in the process of healing broken relationships in our lives and around us. We were inspired to continue wearing the many hats (roles) that God has blessed our lives with. Sabbath school culminated as the sisters of the Turks and Caicos Islands invited women to tell how they share Jesus during the personal ministries segment.
The power of the Holy Spirit was ever present as we moved into the divine service. Under the direction of Sister Allison Rolle, the praise team blessed our souls with hymns and songs, creating an atmosphere of praise and thanksgiving unto the Lord. Later, we moved into another prayer experience that began to transform the souls of the women as they poured out their petitions before Lord.
The word was once again presented to us by Sister Small under the caption “What do you smell like?” Using the key text 2 Corinthians 2: 14-16, she presented to us how we should be “the aroma of life” that leads souls to the knowledge of Jesus Christ. We left the worship room determined to be vessels filled with the sweet fragrance of Christ which is his character and his Holy Spirit.
During the divine service, it was a pleasure to worship with the Honorable Janet G. Bostwick and the Honorable Cynthia ‘Mother’ Pratt. These women both delivered words of encouragement and thankfulness for being included in the worship experience.
On Sabbath afternoon, six (6) buses filled with women, eager to share Jesus, left the Sheraton Hotel grounds. The ladies were armed with the Priority Magazines, pamphlets, prayers, and songs, ready for outreach. Our first stop was the Cable Beach police station where pamphlets and magazines were distributed. Later, we stopped at Goodman’s Bay, Rawson Square, and Montague Beach where we shared with anyone who would listen.
Our outreach culminated on Clifford Park with a worship service at the set of sun. Director of women’s ministries and communication of the North England Conference, Sister Geraldene Farmer, shared with us on the theme “How Big is Your But?” She explained that while we may be eager to think or act as if we are incapable, God is able to qualify and equip us for all things. She challenged us to allow God to work through us to accomplish those things which we find impossible.
The Total Experience!
On Sunday morning, our devotion was presented by Cecilia Iglesias, director of women’s ministries of the Inter-American Division. Sister Iglesias inspired us by reaffirming that women are an indispensable gender in the work of the Lord. She admonished that we should not allow our weaknesses to hinder us from working for the Lord and challenged us to let our weaknesses be transformed into strengths as we place them in the hands of the almighty God.
By this time, our spiritual vessels had been running over, and still there was more to come. Our guest soloist for the weekend, Anthonette F. Kerr, prepared us for the charge with the song “I Am Not Ashamed of the Gospel.” Sister Small presented her final message entitled “What Can One Woman Do?”
Sister Debbie Zonicle, women’s ministries leader for the Centerville Seventh-day Adventist Church, Nassau, Bahamas, led us into a time of sharing where we participated in a symbolic foot washing ceremony and prayer service. We formed connections with each other through a prayer chain link formed by using the many prayer requests submitted throughout the weekend. Each prayer group made a commitment to encourage each other during the remainder of the year.
To God Be the Glory!
A heartfelt thank you is extended to Sister Denise Johnson and her team who successfully accomplished a great spiritual work this weekend. We anticipate even more next year in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Pastor Roy Lindsay,
Communication Director TCIM
various Festivals of the Laity throughout the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) got off to a dynamic start when the Turks and Caicos Islands Mission (TCIM) held its Festival of the Laity from September 6-7, 2013. Under the theme “Fired Up, Reaching Out, Bringing In,” the Mission was honored to have Pastor Melchor Ferreyra, Personal Ministries Director of the Inter-American Division (IAD) as guest speaker for the event along with Pastor Al Powell, Personal Ministries Director of the Atlantic Caribbean Union. The event began on Friday evening September 6, 2013 at the Blue Hills Seventh-day Adventist Church on the island of Providenciales and then shifted to the Antioch Seventh-day Adventist Church on the Island of Grand Turk Island for Sabbath morning, September 7, 2013.
It was the very first Festival of the Laity held in the Turks and Caicos Islands, and so the excitement and anticipation were high as Pastor Ferreyra challenged and charged the members with his message. Expounding on Isaiah’s vision of God sitting on His throne, in Isaiah chapter 6, Pastor Ferreyra told members that when God forgives us of our sins, He gives us vision, mission, strategy, values, and a road map to live by. These points resonated with the membership and were the buzz words on their lips during the weekend. Encouraging the laity to continue to press forward, and to march onward in God’s grace, Ferrreya added that “I have never seen an army marching backwards; armies march forward.”
During the meetings, each district shared with the congregation what was being done in the community and the many souls that were won to the kingdom of God as God blessed the work of the laity. A number of lay persons were recognized and awarded for their work in their respective churches and the communities. Elder Osias Joseph of the Five Cays Seventh-day Adventist Church who was recognized for his outstanding work in evangelism, church leadership and growth as well as community development, was selected as the most outstanding lay person in the mission. Other awardees were: Marjorie Bassett, who was chosen as the first runner -up lay person; Tracy-Ann Blythe - female preacher; Jerry Cadeus - youth preacher; Joshua Daniel - child preacher; Hilly Ewing - pioneer layperson; and Reinford Trail - non-ministerial worker.
The convention style event which highlighted the work of the laity in evangelism, community service, and leadership culminated at the Maranatha High School Auditorium in Providenciales on Sabbath afternoon, September 7, 2013.
The Festivals of the Laity will continue throughout the union in the both the North and South Bahamas Conferences from September 27-29, 2013. One of the featured events for Sabbath September 28, 2013 throughout IAD and ATCU is the baptismal ceremony that will be conducted by elders who have prepared candidates for baptism. The final Festival of the Laity for ATCU will be held in the Cayman Islands Conference from October 4-5, 2013. During this occasion the Atlantic Caribbean Union will recognize various laypersons from throughout its territory, as we continue to celebrate year of the laity.
Article By: John Wesley, Stewardship Director,
Cayman Island Conference
The Atlantic Caribbean Union concluded its stewardship congress on Sabbath afternoon, August 31, 2013 at the Grant's Town Seventh-day Adventist Church with guest presenters Dr. Erika Puni and Pastor Javier Mejia, stewardship ministries directors of the General Conference and the Inter-American Division of Seventh-day Adventists, respectively.
Under the theme, "Great Is Thy Faithfulness," the congress began on Wednesday, August 28, with a worship service at the Living Faith Seventh-day Adventist Church in Nassau, Bahamas. In his opening presentation entitled "Living as Stewards," Pastor Puni focused on the life of Job as an example of what it means to be a dynamic steward.
On Thursday, August 29, a workshop was held for pastors and local field stewardship directors, at the union's headquarters. At the sessions, Pastor Puni challenged the pastors and leaders of the church to rethink the way stewardship is presented. "We have to adapt new ways of packaging our stewardship ministry in our changing world," he said. Also presenting, was Pastor Javier Mejia, who explained the CGI or Comprehensive Growth Initiative, which is the stewardship plan for the Inter-American Division. The main purpose, explained pastor Mejia, is to encourage members to grow their faith through the forging of spiritual habits of faithful living.
The seminar concluded on Sabbath afternoon with two timely presentations by Pastor Puni: the "Theology of Tithe and Practice of Tithing in the Seventh-day Adventist Church," and the "Theology of Offerings and Giving in the Seventh-day Adventist Church." Pastor Edward St. Fluer, of the South Bahamas Conference, remarked that the seminar was much needed. "I am delighted to have participated in the meetings as it will help me in my personal relationship with God and in sharing the dynamics of stewardship to the members."
The congress was held for the benefit of all the members, pastors, and stewardship directors of the Atlantic Caribbean Union as well as members of the public. The South Bahamas Conference was the host conference.
Article By: Sheila Wood, Women’s Ministries Leader
Cayman Island Conference
From August 29 - September 1, Denise Johnson, Women's Ministries Director for the Atlantic Caribbean Union led a delegation of 15 ladies from the union to attend the Inter- American Division's Women's Ministries Convention. Under the theme, "Women, Go Tell the World," the event was held at the Hilton Hotel in Miami, Florida. More than 600 Women's Ministries leaders from the 22 Unions within Inter-American Division were reminded of their mission to tell the world about the love of Christ. Adventist World Church Women’s Ministries Director, Heather-Dawn Small challenged the ladies to step out of their comfort zones and focus on connecting with those around their communities and cities.“Sometimes you must live the Word, not just speak it,” added Small.
According to Cecilia Iglesias, Women’s Ministries Director of the church in Inter-America, the aim of the convention was to equip women to continue being effective in evangelism in whichever area they serve in the church. During the convention, which was the largest ever for the Division, there was an awards ceremony recognizing outstanding women in Leadership and Evangelism. Amonng them were Neila Jones and Fredia Blake from the Cayman Islands Conference. Neila Jones who recieved the leadership award is an ordained elder of the Creek Seventh-day Adventist Church in Cayman Brac and serves the church in variious minstries such as Children's Ministries director, Adventurer Club director, and choir leader. According to the locals, she is known as the "Mother Theresa" of Cayman Brac.
Frieda Blake who was recognized as an outstanding female evangelist, has served her local church faithfully and diligently over the past five decades. She has filled roles such as Missionary Volunteer (now Advent Youth) Leader, Community Service Leader, and Interest Coordinator. She currently serves as an ordained elder and children’s division leader at her local church.
According to Denise Johnson, during the sessions the ladies were motivated to use what they have as they witnessed for Christ. They left with a zeal to work within their home fields and churches in doing more to advance the gospel. The ladies look forward to the Atlantic Caribbean Union's Women's Ministries Retreat which will be held in Nassau, Bahamas from September 20-22, 2013.
Communication Department, ATCU
Dr. Erika Puni, stewardship director for the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, presented a dynamic message on God’s faithfulness during the opening of the Atlantic Caribbean Union’s stewardship congress. The congress began on Wednesday, August 28 at 7:00 p.m. at the Living Faith Seventh-day Adventist Church, Old Trail Road, Nassau, Bahamas. Using the title “Living as a Steward,” Elder Puni presented a case study on the life of Job. He extricated seven stewardship principles from the Biblical account of the patriarch’s life:
• Being right with God is more important than being rich.
• The giving of offerings is a normal part of one’s relationship with God.
• In this world, even the righteous will experience loss, pain, and death.
• God permits certain things to happen; but God is not responsible for death.
• There is a powerful God who is in control of the affairs of His people.
• God owns everything; and human beings are stewards of His resources.
• Even in the midst of personal loss, God is still worthy of worship.
Pastor Javier Mejia, stewardship director of the Inter-American Division brought greetings during the opening night. The meetings continue on Thursday, August 29, 2013, at 8:15 a.m. with workshops for pastors at the union’s headquarters on Gladstone Road, New Providence, Bahamas. On Sabbath, August 31, Elders Puni and Javier will be speaking at the 11:00 a.m. service at the Grants’ Town and Living Faith Seventh-day Adventist Churches respectively.
The meetings conclude on Sabbath, August 31 at 5:00 p.m. at the Grant’s Town Church. The theme for the congress is “Great is Thy Faithfulness.”
By: Andrew Burrows, Communication Director, ATCU
Under the theme Onward, Upward, and Beyond, the Northern Caribbean University (NCU) held its annual graduation exercises at the University’s Gymnatorium in Mandeville, Jamaica during the weekend of August 9-11, 2013.
In his address at both commencement services on Sunday, August 10, Dr. Trevor Gardner, president of NCU, announced that in an effort to ease the financial sacrifice, the administration decided to freeze tuition increase for the 2013/2014 academic year.
"There will be further student payment options with a view to making fewer increases for the duration of studies across the disciplines," Dr. Gardner said.
During his remarks, Dr. Leonard A. Johnson, president of Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) and vice chairman of the university board, challenged the graduands to hold themselves to the high standards and values they had been taught at NCU.
“Do not short change or sell yourself for monetary gain or position, status or fame, for the stories of Joseph and Daniel teach us that all of these could be gotten by faithfulness to God, His church, and His word.”
Dr. Johnson also commended Dr. Trevor Gardner for the numerous times he has sought to identify with the various initiatives and meetings of ATCU, given that NCU is owned and operated by two entities, the Jamaica Union (JAMU) and ATCU.
“This is healthy as it underscores that NCU is jointly owned by JAMU and ATCU,” Dr. Johnson said.
In addition to the 1,058 students who received certifications, including bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees, three persons received honorary doctorate degrees.
The Honourable Oliver Clarke, chairman of the Gleaner Company Limited and the speaker for the first commencement service, received the Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree. Elder George W. Brown and Pastor Wilton McDonald were both conferred the Honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree. Elder George W. Brown, a former president of the Inter-American Division, was the speaker for the second commencement ceremony. Pastor Wilton McDonald, who currently serves as a district pastor, ministerial secretary, and publishing director for the Cayman Islands Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, has devoted more than 41 years of service to the Seventh-day Adventist Church, mostly in the Bahamas and the Cayman Islands.
Also at the ceremony and in celebration of 2013 as the Year of Laity in the Inter-American Division, eight lay people from both the Atlantic Caribbean Union and the Jamaica Union received special awards for their contribution in evangelism. Among them were David Campbell from the Cayman Islands Conference, Vernal Rolle from the South Bahamas Conference, and Osaias Joseph from the Turks and Caicos Islands Mission.
Felcia Datus of the South Bahamas Conference, who graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Primary Teacher Education, shared her testimony during the Sabbath afternoon service.
"I wouldn't change my experience at NCU for anything in the world. There are not many universities where friends would gather around you to pray when you are at a low point. To leave university with a degree but no knowledge of Christ is vain. NCU gave me both, Christ and a degree."
According to the university’s website, NCU currently has an enrollment of over 5000 students from 34 countries including the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Article By: Andrew Burrows, Communication Director, ATCU
Elder Ted Wilson, president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists along with his wife, Nancy, visited the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) on Sabbath, July 27, 2013. More than 1800 persons came together to worship God and to hear from the leader of the Seventh-day Adventist world church at a special Sabbath service which was held at the Sheraton Hotel, Cable Beach, Nassau, Bahamas.
In his remarks to the congregants, Pastor Leonard A Johnson, president of ATCU, noted that given that there were 119 unions within the Adventist world church, it was of great significance that the ATCU, having been formed less than three years ago, could be the recipient of a visit from the president of the Adventist World Church.
During his message to the members of the union and guests, Pastor Wilson focused on the theme of the Adventist world church, “Revival and Reformation.”
“God’s all-encompassing righteousness involves the completeness of both justification and sanctification. It is His way of bringing us into an immediate and long-term relationship with Him,” said Pastor Wilson. “It’s only…Christ’s all-encompassing righteousness, of justification and sanctification that will save you and me, change us and nurture us into Christ’s disciples, who can be powerful witnesses to the countries of the Cayman Islands… the Turks and Caicos and to The Commonwealth of The Bahamas.”
Pastor Wilson further emphasized that although Seventh-day Adventists must believe and teach their distinctive truth and doctrines, it should be noted that salvation comes only from Jesus.
Also present at the occasion were Pastor Leon Wellington, vice president of the Adventist Church in Inter-America, and his wife, Shirnet; the leaders of the four fields comprising the ATCU: Pastor Paul Scavella, president of the South Bahamas Conference; Pastor Shian O’Connor, president of the Cayman Islands Conference; Pastor Errol Tinker, president of the North Bahamas Conference; and Pastor Michael Smith, President of the Turks and Caicos Islands Mission. Other special guests included the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie, prime minister of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas; Dr. Hubert Minnis, leader of the Opposition; and Dr. Gloria Ferguson, secretary of the Bahamas Christian Council.
The service was streamed live via internet as well as carried by the local Adventist television channel and the radio station of the South Bahamas Conference. As a result, the service was viewed in various islands in the Bahamas archipelago and by congregations from the other countries within ATCU namely, the Cayman Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Dr. Rufus Ewing, premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands and a member of the Blue Hills Seventh-day church in Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos, watched the entire service at his home church.
“I was indeed proud of the leadership of our church and delighted to be a part of the mission, and vision of the Seventh-day Adventist church in our union,” Dr. Ewing said.
Elder Ted Wilson was elected as president of the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church during the General Conference Session in July 2010 which was held in Atlanta, Georgia.
The Atlantic Caribbean Union, with its headquarters in Nassau, New Providence, Bahamas, is one of the many unions of the Adventist world church and covers the countries of the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands. There are approximately 32,000 Seventh-day Adventist members within the Atlantic Caribbean Union.
Communication Department, ATCU
On Wednesday, June 26, 2013, seventeen youth and youth leaders from the three countries within the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) began their journey to South Africa to participate in the much anticipated 3rd World Congress on Youth and Community Service (WCYCS). After an average of twenty-one hours of flying time, the delegates from the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands arrived in Cape Town, South Africa to begin the first phase of the WCYCS, which was a week of community service projects.
Upon arrival, they were received with open arms by the leaders and members of the churches from the various districts in the community. The warmth and hospitality of the host families quickly made up for cold weather that would be experienced throughout the trip.
The group from ATCU participated in two community projects. The first was the Vacation Bible School which was held at the Seventh-day Adventist church in the Khayalethu district. The second project involved the fencing, clearing of rubble and debris, and the painting of the children’s Sabbath school rooms at the Good Hope Seventh-day Adventist High School and the adjourning Kuils River Seventh-day Adventist Church. According to the statistics on the Impact South Africa website found at www.impactgcyouth.org , there were more than 65 community projects in both Pretoria and Cape Town, South Africa.
After an eventful week of community projects, the delegates flew to Johannesburg/ Pretoria to participate in the youth congress. Thus, on Monday evening, July 8, after an impressive and inspirational opening ceremony, Gilbert Cangy, youth ministries director for the Adventist world church, declared the congress officially opened. Using the theme “Jesus is in the City,” Gangy challenged each delegate to show Jesus to the people in South Africa and also in the places where they lived.
The sessions were held at the St. George’s Hotel outside the city of Pretoria. There were 3,200 persons from 97 countries registered as official delegates. Each day began with devotions and plenary sessions. Activities continued in the afternoon with workshops and concluded with Spirit-filled and thought-provoking evening sessions. These were interspersed with creative reports from the 13 divisions of the world church
The featured speaker was David Asscherick, co-founder of ARISE, a missionary training center located in Sonora, California, U.S.A., During his nightly presentations, Asscherick , a former punk rocker, now gospel minister, expounded on what he termed several non-negotiable truths, one of which is that “God is Love.”
There were numerous other speakers including Elder Ted Wilson, president of the Adventist world church, and Dr. Ben Carson, noted neurosurgeon. Elder Ted Wilson challenged the youth of the Seventh-day Adventist church to be involved in the mission of the church. Dr. Ben Carson inspired the young people as he recounted many experiences as a neurosurgeon.
On Sabbath morning, July 13, the 3,200 delegates were bused to the Lucas “Masterpieces” Moripe stadium located in Atteridgeville, a suburb in Pretoria, where they were joined by church members from around Pretoria for Sabbath worship. Pastor Ted Wilson delivered the message to the worshippers and Dr. Carson again shared his testimony.
In the afternoon, the delegates, wearing their blue t-shirts with the theme “Jesus in the City” imprinted on the back, scattered throughout the surrounding communities of Pretoria and distributed approximately 20,000 copies of the “Great Hope.” They also prayed for and offered encouraging words to the residents.
On Saturday night, during the closing ceremony, the attendees waited with bated breath as the announcement was made that the next youth congress will be held in 2018 on the continent of Europe. The exact date and country will be announced later. Thereafter, the thousands of delegates from around the world, including the delegates from ATCU, left South Africa, eager and charged to take the message of “Jesus in the City” back to their churches , schools, work places, and their countries.
Contributions by Jewel Ewing, youth delegate from the Turks and Caicos Islands Mission, and Ivor Harry, youth ministries director of the Cayman Islands Conference.
Article By: Marie Church-Smith, Bahamas Academy
The much anticipated four-day Atlantic Caribbean Union Teachers’ Convention became a reality on July 14, 2013, when all roads led to the Sheraton Miami Airport Hotel and Executive Meeting Center, Miami, Florida. It was the first of its kind for this brand new territory of the Inter-American Division of Seventh-day Adventists. However, under the astute leadership of Dr. Cheryl Rolle, education director of the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU), the planning and execution of the convention’s activities were said to be on the same level of those of our world church General Conference sessions.
Under the theme “A Teacher After God’s Own Heart,” the four days gave educators from the Cayman Islands Conference, the North Bahamas Conference, the South Bahamas Conference, and the Turks and Caicos Islands Mission, an opportunity to sharpen their skills as they sat at the feet of guest speakers and presenters who shared their expertise with us so that the work we do for the Master Teacher would be of extraordinary quality. It was an exercise that allowed us not just to grow professionally, but also to enhance our relationship with God.
The opening session began promptly with much pomp and circumstance. Excitement was generated as faculty members with their respective education directors and school administrators participated in the Parade of Institutions. Bedecked in their respective colors and toting individual school banners, we knew and felt that this was going to be an unforgettable experience.
Dr. Gamaliel Flórez, education director of the Inter-American Division of Seventh-day Adventists (IAD), gave the keynote address. A consummate storyteller, he used the simple, yet profound story of the feeding of the five thousand by Jesus to remind us that teachers are the most important instruments God has for His church. He drove home the point that one of God’s hands is Seventh-day Adventist education and that by ourselves we are nothing, but in God’s hands, teachers make the difference in a child’s life. We are the fingers of God’s hands, taking the children in our care to the kingdom of eternal life.
This delightful and inspirational presentation was punctuated with welcome and greetings from Dr. Cheryl Rolle and Dr. Leonard Johnson, president of ATCU. Other participants of the opening ceremony included Pastor Peter Kerr, executive secretary of ATCU, Elder Roderick Sands, treasurer of ATCU, and Dr. Faye Patterson, associate education director of the IAD.
Days two and three were replete with intensive breakout sessions where faculty members attended seminars of their choice. These sessions sensitized us in areas of Bible textbook training, using media, teaching special-needs learners, effective classroom management strategies, the characteristics of a professional Adventist teacher, dealing with mental illness in the classroom, integration of faith and learning, how to engage pastors with our schools, how to increase financial giving to our schools, dealing with bullying, teaching critical literacy skills, and identifying the key ingredients of a thriving Seventh-day Adventist school.
Special thanks to the presenters: Cheryl Alonzo, Pastor Shane Anderson, Kathiann Antonio, Courtney Brown, Luis Cortes, David Daniels, Trevor Gardner, Jacqueline HoShing-Clarke, Raquel Korniejczuk, Pastor L. A. Johnson, Lorna Leon, Marleen Martinborough, Faye Patterson, Jicell Taylor, and Pastor Samuel Telemaque.
Regardless of the sessions we attended, the common thread that bound us together can be best described by the words of our devotional speaker, Mr. David Daniels, “God has chosen us to do a great work. As educators we are doing a great work because of whom we serve – God. We are to serve the students in our care because we might be the only Christ they see.”
Our final speaker was the illustrious president of the Atlantic Caribbean Union, Dr. L. A. Johnson. His remarks were quite apropos as he reminded us that Seventh-day Adventist education is not an option, it is a must. It is to lead students to experience redemption in God. His presentation was encapsulated in three main points. We are to understand Adventist education – it is to restore mankind to His Creator; we are to embrace Adventist education – as we are valuable, we carry tremendous influence; and we must maintain Adventist education – our schools are to be the best, and so reviewing our vision statement constantly will aid in propelling us to fulfill our purpose for existence.
It was not all business. We took time out to fellowship, go shopping, and take in the sights and scenes of the delectable city of Miami.
Wednesday, July 17, 2013, caused a stir of mixed emotions. We were saddened to be leaving the fellowship and rapport we developed with each other, but we were revitalized and eager to return to our various fields empowered with the tools to make a difference in a child’s life; committed to the task of moving our students from earthly principles to heavenly principles which leads to eternal life.
There is no doubt in our minds that we will be waiting with eager anticipation for the next quinquennium when we will meet to share in a wonderful experience again. We say a heartfelt thank you to Dr. Cheryl Rolle and the education directors of the various fields who were members of the planning committee. May God bless you as you give of your best to the Master Teacher.
The “100 Students Planting Churches Movement,” an outreach initiative of the Adventist Church in Inter-America involving student missionaries from Adventist universities within the Inter-American Division of Seventh-day Adventists, was held in New Providence, Bahamas during June 9-15, 2013, at the Breath of Life Church in the South Bahamas Conference (SBC). The 15 students leading out in the project were student missionaries from Montemorelos University in Mexico. The objective of this initiative was to develop among university students a zeal for mission as they used their diverse abilities to “plant a church, grow a church, and expand God´s Kingdom!”
Each evening from 6:00 to 7:00, an interactive health fair program ¨Yo Quiero Vivir Sano” (I Want to Live Healthy), conceptualized by the Health Department of the North Mexican Union, was conducted by the students who attended to approximately 90 persons.
Following the health program, two crusades were held simultaneously. In the fellowship hall, the children´s crusade under the theme “Jesus is Coming for Me” was led by Mayra Ortiz, a 2013 graduate from the faculty of Education. Her team included Daniel Juarez, a student in the Language Institute and the official translator for the crusade, and Jonathan Salazar, a student in the Theology Department, who represented the character of Jesus and assisted with translation for the crusade.
Five student evangelists, Abdy Gonzalez, Ismael Facio, Samuel Juarez, Jonathan Salazar, and Emmanuel de Oleo, were used mightily to preach the gospel of Jesus with clarity and authority at the “Incomparable Christ Crusade” held in the main sanctuary. Alvarez Delta, Edith Facio, and Jisseth Rivas served as the ushers for the crusade, welcoming and registering visitors each night and distributing the gifts and the Bibles used during the sermon.
During the course of the meetings, a total of thirty-one Hispanic friends were registered. In addition, five new Hispanic converts attended the crusade nightly to hear the word of God and invited some of their family members and friends.
On Sabbath, June 15, six persons responded to the call and were baptized. Pastor Kenny Deveaux, pastor of the Breath of Life Seventh-day Adventist Church, conducted the baptismal ceremony. We praise God for the 6 souls that were won for the Kingdom of Heaven. To God be the glory!
Consequently, history was made on the afternoon of June 15 as the first Seventh-day Adventist Spanish-speaking company was organized in the SBC and in the entire Bahamas. Pastors Paul Scavella and Peter Joseph, president and executive secretary of the SBC respectively, officially organized the new company with 27 members. Pastor Leonard Johnson, president of the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU), gave encouraging remarks and also the prayer of consecration for the new members.
Article By: Andrew Burrows
Sabbath afternoon, June 22, 2013, was an historic day in the life of the Seventh-day Adventist church in the South Bahamas Conference (SBC) and the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) with the setting aside of eight pastors for the gospel ministry at an ordination service held at the Hillview Seventh-day Adventist church in the SBC.
Pastor Leonard A. Johnson, president of the ATCU, unfolded three main points to the congregants and the ordinands in his sermon entitled “Called to Minister.” Using the experience of the call of Samuel as a little boy as recorded in I Samuel chapter 3, he first told the packed congregation that God calls whomsoever He will. Secondly, he stressed that the pastors must be convicted that they are called, reminding them that their call will be confirmed when people see in them a genuine concern for souls and the desire to fulfill God’s will as opposed to making a name or creating legacies.
In his final point, Pastor Johnson emphasized that the pastor must maintain the call. "Hearing and answering God's call is no guarantee of success. You must maintain the call, and I know no better way than to live close to God. Depend on Him and not on your knowledge or strength.” He observed that “the ministry is not merely a profession; it is a calling. It is not for a period of time until some other more attractive occupation beckons a man, but it is a lifework.”
In presenting the ordinands to the congregation, Pastors Peter Joseph, executive secretary of SBC, and Keith A. Albury, public affairs and religious liberty director of SBC, summarized the profile of each pastor. Hailing from the countries of the Bahamas, Jamaica, and Bermuda, the eight pastors ordained were Howard Barr, Acklins and Crooked Island district; Valentino Campbell, Central and North Andros district; Kenny Deveaux, Breath of Life church; Asha-Dane Duncun, South Andros and Mangrove Cay district; Larry Green, San Salvador district; Melvin Lewis, Francophone and Ebenezer churches; Nikita Thompson, North Eleuthera district; and Craig Williams, New Englerston and Peardale churches.
The prayer of consecration and presentation of Bibles were done by Pastor Peter Joseph. Mrs. Denise Johnson, shepherdess coordinator of ATCU, and Mrs. Shelia Adderley welcomed the newly ordained ministers’ wives to the sisterhood of shepherdesses.
With eight pastors being ordained, this is the largest number of pastors to be set aside for ministry in an ordination service in the SBC and the emergent ATCU.
Grand Bahama Academy held its annual Grade 6 promotional ceremony on Thursday, June 6, 2013, under the theme “Changing Today to Inspire Tomorrow.” Held at the Shiloh Seventh-day Adventist Church, the event was attended by the administrators of the North Bahamas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, pastors, and education director, Mrs. Desiree Rolle-Forbes who gave brief remarks.
The guest speaker for the occasion was veteran journalist and former news anchor of the Broadcasting Corporation of the Bahamas, Mrs. Pakesia Edgecombe, who motivated the graduates to make positive choices as they aspire to be the change agents for tomorrow. She encouraged the students to continue to excel as they contemplate the start of their high school journey. Mrs. Edgecombe also reminded the parents of their responsibilities in helping to guide their children as they continue on the path to success.
The class valedictorian, BoJames VanPopering, gave an inspiring speech as he reminded his classmates that the education they received will eventually create opportunities for tomorrow. He admonished his classmates to never give up on their dreams and reminded them of the promise found in Jeremiah 29: 11 which says that God has a plan for their lives, plans that will prosper them and give them a future.
Arianna Bastian, class salutatorian, did an awesome job in thanking the teachers and parents for guiding them throughout their primary school journey. The nineteen graduates were presented with numerous awards and certificates.
On Sabbath, June 8, 2013, the secondary division of Grand Bahama Academy held its baccalaureate service at the Shiloh Seventh-day Adventist Church. The guest speaker was Pastor Peter Kerr, executive secretary of the Atlantic Caribbean Union. The theme chosen for this senior class event was “With Our Feet on the Ground, We Reach for the Stars.” Pastor Kerr challenged the graduates to keep their feet firmly planted on the ground as they reach for loftier heights.
The climax of the high school’s celebrations was the fifth annual graduation ceremony held at Our Lucaya Convention Center. Guest speaker, Senator Tanisha Tynes, encouraged graduates to keep pressing forward as they enter another chapter of their lives. She related the stories of Ben Carson and Prime Minister Perry Christie who, despite being faced with challenges in their early lives, overcame them and became great leaders in their fields.
The class valedictorian, Hilniqua Gibson, and salutatorian, Shelleta Ferguson, both gave glowing speeches and tributes respectively. The highlight of this ceremony came when the seventeen graduates walked across the stage to collect their diplomas and trophy awards. The valedictorian and student of the year, Hilniqua Gibson, walked away with the majority of the subject awards. We also salute Shelleta Ferguson, who graduated with a 4.0 GPA, for her valiant effort.
We commend all the teachers for a job well done and heartily congratulate all the graduates for achieving this educational milestone. We wish them continued success as they make their transition to high school and college. For those students whose journey will take them to different places of work, we pray that God will use them in a mighty way and that they will continue to keep the flames of Grand Bahama Academy burning brightly.
Elder Ted Wilson, president of the Adventist world church and his wife, Nancy, will visit the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) territory on Sabbath, July 27, 2013. A special service is being planned for that day in the Independence Ball Room at the the Sheraton Hotel, Cable Beach. Services: Sabbath School - 8:30 a.m. - 9:40 a.m. and Divine Worship - 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
This visit will be followed by that of Elder Erika Puni, stewardship director for the Adventist world church, on August 30, 2013, when he will conduct a stewardship congress for local church and conference/mission stewardship directors as well as pastors, church leaders, and church members.
On Friday evening, May 31, the meetings began with the 3rd annual union symposium. During his remarks and greetings, Pastor Leonard Johnson, president of ATCU, announced the intention of the union to take the mid-year meetings to the various fields within the union. Elder Roderick Sands, treasurer of the union and chairman for the occasion, reminded he congregation that the symposium is a time for the entire union to give God thanks and praise for the various reports from the fields within the union and Northern Caribbean University. Pastor Peter Kerr, executive secretary of ATCU, gave the charge. His emphasis was that “everybody ought to know who Jesus is.”
On Sunday evening and Monday, the executive committee meetings were held. During this time, plans, recommendations, and policies of the wider church organization and the union itself were discussed and voted. The final aspect of the mid-year meetings was the Inter-American Division’s (IAD) continuing education leadership training and professional development. Pastor Balvin Braham, coordinator of the leadership development training for IAD and Pastor Harold Lee, director for the Bradford-Cleveland- Brooks Leadership Center, were the main presenters. Some of the topics covered by the presenters included “Effective Communication,” “Leading in the Times of Crisis,” “Leading Equals and Preparing Future Leaders,” and “Conducting Sessions and Elections of Officers.” At the conclusion of the event, each participant was presented with a certificate of continuation education from the Inter-American Division.
Also, while in Freeport, Grand Bahama, the union committee members attended the 4th Regular (2nd Quadrennial) Session of the North Bahamas Conference. In his message during the opening night, Pastor James Daniel, field secretary for the IAD and the IAD’s representative at the session, reminded the session delegates that Jesus prayed for the unity of the church. At the conclusion of the conference session, Pastor Errol Tinker, Pastor Henry Moncur, and Sister Tonia Palmer were all re-elected as president, secretary, and treasurer, respectively, of the conference. In addition, conference departmental directors and executive committee members were chosen for a four-year term. The installation service for the administrators, departmental directors, and executive committee members will be held on Sabbath afternoon, June 8, 2013, at 4:00 p.m. at the Freeport SDA Church in Grand Bahama.
Marva Farquharson, a local elder at the Message of Hope Seventh-day Adventist Church in Nassau, Bahamas and a passionate evangelist, was recently recognized as the champion lay evangelist for the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) at one of the Inter-American Division's pre-mid-year meetings on Sabbath afternoon, May 25, 2013.
Youth Lay Representative Attend IAD’s Mid-year Meetings
Alexia Haye, a student at Northern Caribbean University and a member of the Blue Hills Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Turks and Caicos Islands, attended and participated in this year's Inter-American Division mid-year committee meetings as the youth lay representative for the Atlantic Caribbean Union. The meetings were held during May 27-30, 2013.
Longest Baptized Member in ATCU Recognized During the IAD’s Mid-year Meetings
She became a baptized member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church at the age of 12. Since then, Ada Perry has been a member of the East End Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Cayman Islands Conference for more than 84 years. At this year’s mid-year meetings, Sister Ada was recognized as the longest baptized member of the Adventist Church in the Atlantic Caribbean region. She was presented to the committee members and guests via video by Pastor Leonard Johnson, president of ATCU.
Pastor D. Richard Henderson, assistant pastor of the Grants Town Seventh-day Adventist Church, conducted the services at the elementary division while Natalie Roberts, school chaplain, conducted those at the secondary division.
Subsequently, ten elementary students and ten secondary students, upon completing Bible classes to deepen their understanding of the Bible and the will of God in their lives, did not hesitate to follow the Lord all the way in baptism on Friday, May 17, 2013. With smiles on their faces and cameras in their hands, parents came to the Berea Seventh-day Adventist Church to witness this most important milestone in their children’s spiritual growth.
Pastor Paul Scavella, president of the South Bahamas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (SBC) and Bahamas Academy school board chairman; Mrs. Joan Scavella, education director of SBC; Mrs. Elmore Jacques, vice principal of the elementary division; and a representation from the faculty and staff of BA all shared in the moment.
Pastor Scavella encouraged the students to pray and ask God for strength, because all the temptations and trials that they have been faced with will not automatically disappear after baptism. He continued by explaining that constant communication with Jesus through prayer is vital to overcoming temptation and that the good news is that Jesus is always there.
Let us continue to pray for and support our children as well as our school, Bahamas Academy.
Article By: John Garcia
From May 31 to June 5, 2013, the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) will hold its mid-year meetings in Freeport, Grand Bahama, The Bahamas, where the North Bahamas Conference is headquartered. According to Pastor Peter Kerr, executive secretary of ATCU, this will be the first time that the mid-year meetings will be held in another location other than the union’s headquarters situated in Nassau, New Providence, The Bahamas. Read More...
“Planta una iglesia, Crece una iglesia, Expande el reino de Dios” (“Plant a church, Grow a church, Expand God’s Kingdom” i s the motto of the student missionary group from the University of Montemorelos in Mexico who are preparing to embark on a missionary project in New Providence, The Bahamas during June 6 – 16, 2013.
From May 31, to June 5, 2013, the Atlantic Caribbean will hold its mid-year meetings in Freeport Grand Bahama, in the North Bahamas Conference. According to Pastor Peter Kerr, executive secretary of ATCU, this will be the first time that the mid-year meetings will be held in another field outside of the union’s headquarters. Read More...
View Images Below
In 2012, the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists adopted an evangelistic initiative called Mission to the Cities. The objective is for each division to identify and plan a series of meetings in one of the major cities in their territory. Read More...
Led by union education director, Dr. Cheryl Rolle, a group of seven principals and directors from the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) joined more than one hundred other principals and directors from the four English-speaking unions of the Inter-American Division (IAD) in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad to participate in the Division’s first principals’ council.
Registration for the session is scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m. on Friday May 31, 2013 at the Conference Office. The purpose of the session is to elect officers, departmental directors, and members of the executive committee for the ensuing quadrennial term, and to transact such business as may properly come before the session.
Henry R. Moncur, Executive Secretary, North Bahamas Conference.
During the weekend of April 12-13, 2013, a spirit of prophecy seminar was conducted in the North Bahamas Conference (NBC) at the Freeport Seventh-day Adventist Church. Read More...
On Thursday, April 4, 2013, Pastor Leonard A. Johnson, president of the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU), conducted a series of leadership workshops at the Rejens Hotel in Dominica, one of the territories of the East Caribbean Conference which is headquartered in Barbados.
“For the first time in history, more than 50 percent of the world’s population lives in cities,” said Mark Finley, one of the assistants to the president of the General Conference. “About 70,000 people every day move from rural areas into cities.” He was speaking during the opening session of the Spring Council Meeting – one of two annual meetings of the global Executive Committee- held on April 17, 2012 at the headquarters of the world church in Silver Spring, Maryland, United States. Recognizing this trend, the General Conference of Seventh - day Adventists has launched an initiative called “Mission to the Cites.” According to Ted N. C. Wilson, the president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, “Mission to the Cities” is “not just an event, its God’s comprehensive plan for reaching big cities.”
The link and programming information will be on the Division’s webpage at www.interamerica.org. The hashtag that will be used is: #WINWITHJESUS.
VIEW IMAGES BELOW
Pastor Leonard Johnson, president of the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU), along with Pastor Shian O'Connor, president of the Cayman Islands Conference, worshipped with the members of the Adventist church in Cayman Brac, an island in the Cayman Islands chain, during a special visit March 22-23, 2013. Read More...
The Ministers wives of the Cayman Conference enjoyed an unforgettable week on March 22 and 23, when they were visited by both The Shepherdess Coordinators of ATCU and IAD. This gathering included all the Shepherdesses of the Cayman Islands Conference with their coordinator, Mrs. Donnet O’Connor along with the Shepherdess Coordinators from the other fields of the ATCU territory; Mrs. Joan Scavella of the North Bahamas Conference and Mrs. Lyn Smith of the Turks and Cacaos Islands. Missing from the group was the coordinator of the North Bahamas Conference, Mrs. Tinker, who passed on last year.
On Thursday, March 7, 2013, festive banners adorned the perimeters of Grand Bahama Academy of Seventh-day Adventists (GBA) and prayer symbols were strategically posted around the school as the GBA family joined the other Seventh-day Adventist schools in the Inter-American Division in celebrating the third annual Day of Prayer.
Pastor Milton Mahabee, who once served as the publishing director of the former West Indies Union, passed away on Sunday afternoon, March 10, 2013.
We, in the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU), remember his many visits to this territory and the many seminars conducted, particularly in the area of the publishing ministry. Known for his effervescent personality, Pastor Mahabee was passionate about sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ through the avenue of the printed word.
Dr. Leonard A. Johnson, ATCU president, along with fellow administrators, departmental directors, office staff, and the officers and members of the four fields within ATCU, extend condolences to Pastor Mahabee’s wife, Sister Linda Mahabee, his son, Daniel, his daughter, Mellisa, other family members, and the family of the Jamaica Union. Special expressions of sympathy are also offered by Pastor Peter Kerr, publishing director of ATCU, and all the publishing directors of ATCU. Our prayer is that the love and comfort of God be felt by all as we await the promise of the Blessed Hope.
A thanksgiving service for the life and ministry of Pastor Mahabee will be held at the Northern Caribbean University Gymnatorium in Mandeville, Jamaica on Sunday, March 24, 2013, at 10:00 a.m.
Tradition was broken in Seventh-day Adventist churches around New Providence, in the South Bahamas Conference on Sabbath, March 16, 2013, as young people left the confines of the church compound to walk about their communities “being the sermon” instead of preaching one. Read More...
In the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU), the North Bahamas Conference (NBC) Children’s Ministries Department conducted an initiative, Service Project Week: Love Your Neighbor, during Sunday, February 24 – Sunday, March 2, 2013, to encourage their children to be actively engaged in helping others in the community. On the island of Grand Bahama in the Bahamas, children eagerly participated in the activities. Read More...
During February 2013, the Cayman Islands Conference conducted the “Family Enrichment Series” with Pastor Alonzo Smith, guest evangelist from New York. The crusade witnessed some 239 persons being baptized and the establishment of a new church, the Berea SDA church, located in West Bay, Grand Cayman. Read More...
Like the Olympic torch is kept burning as it treks its way to the Olympic stadium, the torch of evangelism throughout ATCU is kept burning by both pastors and lay members during 2013 the Year of the Laity. During the months of January and February pastoral crusades were held across all unions of Inter-American Division including ATCU. This was followed by crusades conducted by laymen throughout the union territory. Read More...
View Photos Below
From February 15 - 23, 2013, Pastor Leonard A. Johnson, president and ministerial secretary of ATCU, was the guest speaker for the “Lessons from the Past" evangelistic campaign in the Belize Union. The meetings were held under a tent in the city of Belmopan, Belize. Read More...
On Sabbath, March 16, 2013, Adventist youth from around the world will not be listening to any sermons in church that morning. Instead, they are being invited to “Be the Sermon” as throughout the Adventist world church, this day is celebrated as Global Youth Day.
After months of planning and anticipation, delegates came from throughout the twenty-two unions of the Inter-American Division (IAD) to attend the Division’s first Elders Virtual Council held on February 8 and 9, 2013, at the IAD Headquarters in Miami, Florida. The council was one of the activities outlined in the Road Map guiding the observance of the Year of the Laity being celebrated this year.
View Images Here
From Sunday, February 10 to Tuesday, February 12, the ministerial department of the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) hosted the annual Logos Bible Software Seminar. In his remarks, Pastor Leonard A. Johnson, ATCU president and ministerial director, noted that the aim of the training was to equip elders, pastors, and leaders with the tools needed to be more effective in studying the Word and preparing sermons. “We must take time out to sharpen our skills,” he admonished.
In a continuing focus on the mission of the church and as part of the Year of Laity, the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) will join the 21 other unions across the Inter American Division (IAD), in launching and hosting various evangelistic campaigns during the first quarter 2013. In an evangelistic deployment among the unions, each union will send one director to another union and receive one director from another union. Read More...
Shannon Butler, a 12th grade student and Deputy Head Boy at his high school received the award for Best Overall Performance in The Commonwealth of The Bahamas in the 2012 B.G.C.S.E. examinations at the Ministry of Education Awards Ceremony held on Thursday, January 17, 2013 at the Church of God Auditorium, Joe Farrington Road. Shannon earned 9As and 1B while in the 11th grade. Read More...
On Sabbath afternoon, January 26, 2013, Pastor Wilson Isnord was ordained to the gospel ministry at a service held at the Blue Hills Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Turks and Caicos Islands Mission. Read More...
VIEW PHOTOS BELOW
Using the theme coined by the North Bahamas Conference (NBC) for 2013, “Transformed by His Grace,” convention for the Abaco district began on Friday, January 11 as members and visitors converged at the Marsh Harbour SDA Church for an evening of praise and preaching. After greetings from the conference’s administration, Pastor Laurent S. Grosvenor, guest speaker for the weekend, delivered a discourse based on Nehemiah chapter 6. Read More...
VIEW PHOTOS BELOW
During January 15 - 19, 2013, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) of the Inter-American Division (IAD) conducted its fourth Donor Forum since 1999. The meetings, which were held at the IAD’s headquarters in Miami, FL, brought together ADRA donors, ADRA union directors, respective ADRA board chairpersons, and union presidents within the IAD. Read More...
Within a few weeks, administrators, pastors, elders, and church members from the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) along with the other churches of the Inter-American Division (IAD) will unite in a series of special events in their continuing celebration of the Year of the Laity.
“We must separate the unholy from the holy,” said Pastor Samuel Telemaque, associate Sabbath School and personal ministries director of the Inter-American Division. “We must get rid of things like malice, hatred, homosexuality and fornication so that our minds can be opened to the Word of God and the Holy Spirit.”
The dawn of 2013 ushered in the Year of the Laity, a program of the Inter-American Division (IAD) that was officially voted and introduced during the Division’s year-end committee meetings held in Tegucigalpa, Honduras in October 2012. Read More...