A very special invitation is extended to all members to attend the installation service for Pastor Peter Kerr and Dr. Cheryl Rolle, the newly elected president and secretary of the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU), that will be held at the Grant’s Town Church on Sabbath, May 19, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. Pastor Israel Leito, president of the Inter-American Division (IAD), will preside, performing what will be his last official function in our union before his retirement which becomes effective August 1, 2018. He will be assisted by Dr. Elie Henry, IAD secretary/IAD president-elect; Dr. Filiberto Verduzco, IAD treasurer; and Pastor Leonard Johnson, IAD secretary-elect and outgoing ATCU president.
On Wednesday, May 16, 2018, all roads will lead to the Hillview Church for the eighth annual Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) Symposium which begins at 7:00 p.m. Everyone is invited to come and be inspired by the video praise reports of what the Lord is doing through His people in The Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands. In addition to there being majestic music, Christian fellowship, and thanksgiving, Pastor Leonard Johnson, secretary-elect of the Inter-American Division, will give his final spiritual charge as president of ATCU. So, don’t miss out on your blessing! We look forward to seeing you there.
By Pauline Joe-Drakes/ATCU Communication Department
“Although we are separated by water, we are united by a common thread as Adventist teachers and administrators and that is accomplishing the goal of nurturing our children into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ,” said Dr. Cheryl Rolle, education director of the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) as she officially opened the Atlantic Caribbean Union Teachers’ Retreat aboard the Carnival Victory Cruise Line on March 26, 2018.
Under the theme Anchored in Christ, the Heart of Adventist Education, over 100 teachers, school administrators, and counselors from Bahamas Academy in the South Bahamas Conference; Cayman Academy in the Cayman Islands Conference; Grand Bahama Academy in the North Bahamas Conference; and Maranatha Academy in the Turks and Caicos Islands Mission attended the four-day retreat that was organized to reaffirm the commitment to the purpose of Adventist education and to express heartfelt appreciation to the teachers.
At the welcome reception, Dr. Rolle revealed that while she hoped the teachers experienced professional growth, made new friends, and created lasting memories of laughter and delightful discoveries, the main objective was to provide opportunities for teachers to get even closer to Christ.
“By means of the inspiring devotional messages, the interaction with colleagues, the breathtaking beauty of the ocean, we want you to relax, to be still, to destress so that you can hear God’s reassuring voice telling you once again, I love you. A stronger bond with Christ is what we really want for all of us. All of us anchored anew in Christ,” Dr. Rolle explained.
Educators were fully engaged away from the regular rigors of the normal school day as they first connected with God and then with their colleagues. Daily devotions, led by Pastor Theodore Basil Sturrup of the South Bahamas Conference, encouraged attendees to always be mindful of the power of focus and to never minimize their high calling as educators. He reminded the teachers to always put God first as Matthew 6:33 states. “You’re either going to chase things or you are going to chase God,” he said. Pastor Sturrup further explained that God will supply everything that will be needed once He is first.
Professional growth and collegial interaction occurred through the daily table topic discussions and the individual school presentations on the educational practices or strategies being implemented at the respective institutions. Teachers exchanged opinions on such issues as cell phone use in schools, retention, homework policy, and the pros and cons of zero-tolerance policies. Ideas for enriching teaching were gained from the following presentations: Bahamas Academy – “The Importance of Literacy and Technology in the 21st Century Classroom;” Cayman Academy – “Applying Appropriate Strategies to Enhance Learning;” Grand Bahama Academy – “It Works! (The BWI Lesson Plan);” and Maranatha Academy – “Utilizing Gamification in the Classroom.”
Educators of ATCU were able to renew their minds and relax as they fellowshipped and visited the two ports of call – Key West, Florida and Cozumel, Mexico. There is no doubt that the teachers are waiting with bated breaths for the next opportunity to once again unite for professional development and relaxation.
“This time helped me to recalibrate and truly understand my calling and my responsibility to my students as God’s children,” said a teacher.
The Education Department of the ATCU hosts either a teachers’ retreat or convention every five years. This is the second collegial gathering of ATCU educators organized by Dr. Cheryl Rolle and her team of four field directors since the union was formed in November 2010.
View photos here
By Dawne Forbes
The executive committee of the Inter-American Division of Seventh-day Adventists (IAD) voted on Monday, March 26, 2018, to ask Dr. Elie Henry, who has been serving as the executive secretary for the IAD for the past eight years, to serve as the new president for the IAD. He will be replacing Dr. Israel Leito who will be retiring on August 1, 2018. With this action being taken, the IAD executive committee then voted to ask Dr. Leonard A. Johnson, IAD associate ministerial secretary and the Atlantic Caribbean Union’s (ATCU) first president, to serve as the new executive secretary of the IAD.
Dr. Johnson is now the second person from ATCU to serve at the IAD level with Pastor Al Powell from the Cayman Islands being the first. While Dr. Johnson is also the second Bahamian elected to serve at the IAD (the first being Pastor Leslie V. McMillan), he will be the first Bahamian to serve in an administrative position.
In light of Dr. Johnson’s recent election and pending relocation to Miami, Florida where the IAD is headquartered, the IAD executive committee also elected Pastor Peter Kerr, ATCU executive secretary since November 2010 and Dr. Cheryl Rolle, ATCU associate secretary, as the new ATCU president and executive secretary, respectively. The new positions will become effective August 1, 2018. Dr. Rolle will be the first female in the IAD to serve in this position at the union level.
Pastor Kerr began his early ministry in the Central Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, serving as an intern in the Spanish Town district of churches and later in the South Manchester district of churches. He pastored the South Clarendon, May Pen, Portmore, and Old Harbour district of churches before accepting the call to serve as a missionary to the Turks & Caicos Islands Mission where he served for 20 years as president.
Dr. Rolle, a commissioned minister and an educator with over twenty-nine years’ experience, has served as a teacher, vice principal, principal, and conference education and children’s ministries director with the Adventist church in the Bahamas. She has been serving as the education, children’s ministries, and communication director of ATCU since January 2011 and as associate secretary since May 2012.
The IAD has 24 Unions, 150 local fields, and over 3 million members spread across 37 countries, including The Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands which make up the ATCU.
Musical Talents Play Vibrant Role In
The Experience the Power Campaign
By Communications Director Patricia Ebanks
It was Martin Luther, the German professor of theology, composer, and ground-breaking figure in the Protestant Reformation, who said, “Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world.” Luther also said that “Music is one of the fairest and most glorious gifts of God.”
Undoubtedly, music had a singular ministerial role in touching lives of the hundreds gathered at the Experience the Power campaign at the Lions Centre, February 4 to March 3, 2018, or of the virtual audience viewing via the Internet.
One could easily conclude that for many attendees and online viewers the power of the various musical ministrations may very well have been as impactful as the sermons by the international motivational speaker Dr. Ramon Escalante.
Indeed, as the prolific Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen said, “Where words fail, music speaks.”
At the end of the campaign 128 new converts were baptised, hundreds of invitees came to hear keynote speaker Escalante and to enjoy the music, while thousands of others were reached by robust local and international broadcast initiatives.
From one of the largest auditoriums on Grand Cayman, the Lions Centre, the music ministry’s repertoire ranged from a full chamber orchestra, to individual violin, flute, harmonica and guitar performances, to soul-inspiring choir, group and solo voice renditions, many accompanied by a live band of musicians.
Clearly, the organisers had succeeded in bringing to bear on the Experience the Power campaign the best of the best in musical talent from across Cayman’s Adventist churches and to a lesser extent from the local community.
This pictorial captures only a few of those highlights, as the rich array was just too much to contain in one press release. Photos by Patricia Ebanks.
By Dawne Forbes
During the week of February 10 – 17, 2018, the Adventist church in the Atlantic Caribbean region will place special emphasis on the Christian Home and Marriage. Pastor Peter Kerr, executive secretary of the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) explains that the week is designed to fortify families and will emphasize two aspects of the home: Christian marriage and Christian parenting.
“It is important for us to focus on the Christian Home and Marriage because the Adventist church wants to strengthen, inspire hope, and bring healing to marriages and to families everywhere,” says Pastor Kerr. “We are seeking to prepare families for the Kingdom of God and help hasten the second coming of Christ.”
He went on to further explain that the week-long Christian Home and Marriage emphasis also seeks to incorporate the objectives and principles of Total Member Involvement (TMI), a program of the Adventist world church designed to empower each member of the Adventist church to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. In keeping with TMI, Pastor Kerr mentioned that the Inter-American Division of Seventh-day Adventists has introduced a program called Lord Transform Me Homes that “calls upon every Adventist home to be a place where spiritual transformation takes place.”
For more information about the week of activities, please contact the family ministries director at one of the following telephone numbers: Cayman Islands Conference - (345) 949-2647; North Bahamas Conference – (242) 374-2051; South Bahamas Conference – (242) 341-4021; and Turks and Caicos Islands Mission - (649) 941-8735.
Camp Meeting 2018 Inspires Church to Give Unstintingly
Hundreds of Adventist church members gathered at the Lions Centre January 12-14 for the three-day convention featuring South African Entrepreneur and Philanthropist Zukisani Mxoli. The evangelist’s inspiring charge to members was that they should give unreservedly, even in the face of sometimes formidable resource challenges.
In line with his inspiring message, Grand Cayman’s Keynote Speaker Evangelist Zuki, as he is affectionately known in his hometown of Johannesburg, has acquired a creditable record of philanthropy. He has achieved this largely through joint professional and ministry initiatives in the area of church, educational and medical facilities that extend into more than seven countries, with financial contributions ranging from 50% to 100% of project costs.
The annual convention had as its theme, “If I can Help Somebody…,” and set the tone for Cayman’s Adventist Church’s continued community welfare emphasis set in 2016 for the current four-year term.
Continuing to Little Cayman (Wednesday and Thursday, January 17 & 18) and Cayman Brac (Friday to Sunday, January 19-21), the 2018 conventions retained the philanthropic challenge though it did not feature Evangelist Mxoli as planned. Unfortunately, Evangelist Mxoli had to return home due to the sudden and tragic death of a close relative.
Taking Evangelist Mxoli’s place on the Sister Islands was Pastor Kevin Danvers, who joined the Cayman Conference mid-2017 from the Central Jamaica Conference where he had served as Secretary. Conference colleague Pastor Maurice Chambers spoke on the final Sunday on Cayman Brac.
Joining the Cayman Conference for Camp Meeting 2018 was Union President Dr. Leonard Johnson and Union Secretary and Treasurer, Pastor Peter Kerr and Mr. Roderick Sands, respectively.
Setting the stage for Camp Meeting 2018, architect, lay preacher and evangelist Mxoli succeeded in energising Grand Cayman’s congregations with a rallying call to all the laity to “unite their efforts with ministers and church officers.” He called upon all to strengthen their faith and to leave everything in God’s hands, as “[T]hose who leave everything in God’s hand will eventually see God’s hand in everything.”
Among the other inspirational speakers during the weekend on Grand Cayman were Pastor Ivor Harry, who delivered the message on Sabbath afternoon at a 3 pm workshop, and President Shion O’Connor, who followed with the charge to a new slate of officers for 2018 during the 4 pm youth installation and consecration service.
Pastor Harry challenged members to follow Jesus’ examples by going fearlessly forward into areas that are often shunned as disreputable and to become involved in practical ways in the lives of those we are seeking to reach. “Some people will never come to the church,” he said, but helping people in practical ways, such as visiting the sick in hospitals and opening up cupboards, will open doors.
“Even when it appears impossible to reach certain strata of society,” Pastor Harry said, “when we are turned on and trusting God to use us… we can turn this place upside down.” Indeed, Pastor Harry said, “The world is waiting to see a church that is open to everyone.”
During the Sabbath afternoon youth service, youth leaders presented highlights of their role and work in 2017, and the 2018 executive committee of the Youth Federation was inaugurated.
Pastor O’Connor officiated during the youth consecration service during which he highlighted the dual role of ministry. Preaching from Acts 6:1-2, Pastor O’Connor pointed out that ministry in the early church involved not just the preaching of the word but also the “serving of tables”—the Bible’s expression for the caring for the needs of members.
Pastor O’Connor pointed out that it was the need to take care of the members that necessitated the organization of offices in the church, and that the first officers were elected as table servers or caregivers. Hence “table serving” must remain a priority in God’s church, he said.
A major highlight on Sabbath during the Grand Cayman convention was a celebration marking the church’s 6,000th membership milestone, achieved in the last quarter of 2017. The Union officers led out in the recognition of this historic moment in the more than a century since the Church’s beginning in 1905.
Other highlights of the Grand Cayman convention included a review of the community services work in the Conference as well as a focus on the role of ASi Cayman in the local Adventist business community.
Lord, Transform Me also took centre stage, with a focus on its 2019 Reaping Campaign to be held in Cayman.
In the ceremonial finale of the 2017 In-Gathering Campaign, a number of churches and individuals were recognised. These included the Kings Church, for achieving top dollar value, and Berea, which achieved the highest percentage of the Conference-designated church goal. Also recognised were Ms Grace Langley, from the Maranatha Church, and Ms Carmelita Jackson, of the East End Church, who tied for highest individual collection.
Inspiring music was a prominent aspect of Camp Meeting 2019, and this year was no exception. The centrepiece for the weekend’s musical repertoire was the mass choir that sang at every service, alternately directed by Mrs. Theodecia Sonlin-Sanderson and Ms Lisa Pearce. Other moving musical performance were given by the Men’s Chorale, under the direction of Mr. Mark Hamilton, the joint Praise Team, Women of Purpose, among others.
Communication to members and the Cayman public in general was a key aspect of Camp Meeting 2018. Services on Grand Cayman were broadcast live via the Conference’s radio station Praise 87.9, the CATV television channel, and live-streamed on the Conference’s website. On Cayman Brac, services were live-streamed as well as broadcast on Praise 87.9.
The Church expressed its gratitude to regional telecommunications company, Flow, which provided gratis the bandwidth necessary for live broadcasts on radio and TV from the Lions Centre on Grand Cayman.
By John Garcia
The Ministerial Department of the Atlantic Caribbean Union of Seventh-day Adventists (ATCU) headed by Pastor Leonard Johnson and the Ministerial Department of the South Bahamas Conference (SBC) directed by Pastor Paul Scavella organized and hosted a series of evangelism and leadership training sessions for the pastors and members of SBC in Nassau, New Providence, The Bahamas during December 10 to 16, 2017.
The seven-day intensive program involved presentations from local and international church leaders such as Pastor John Bradshaw, director of It Is Written; Pastors Melchor Ferreyra and Samuel Telemaque from the Inter-American Division (IAD); Pastor Maxwell Berkel from the Curacao Conference of Seventh-day Adventists; Pastors Leonard Johnson, Peter Kerr, Kent Price, and Leonardo Rahming, and Elder Roderick Sands from ATCU; and Pastors Paul Scavella, Melvin Lewis, Lynden Williams, and Basil Sturrup from SBC.
Morning sessions were designed for pastors and conference directors, while evening sessions were planned for the entire church membership. Some of the presentation topics included “Maintaining a Relationship with God,” “The Ministry of Prayer,” “Maintaining a Passion for Evangelism,” and “Leadership Skills.”
The program was organized to prepare the membership for the 2019 Lord Transform Me reaping campaigns to be held in the territories of ATCU, namely, The Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands. Pastor Johnson, also president of ATCU, emphasized that similar training events will be conducted in all the other territories during 2018.
“The Ministerial Department of ATCU is being intentional in equipping the leaders and lay members of the church to be effective evangelists,” said Johnson. “This is just the first of many more training sessions that will be held in all the fields of ATCU.”
Pastor Johnson not only serves as president and ministerial director of ATCU but also as associate ministerial director for the IAD, a position to which he was recently elected.
Immediately after engaging in some of the training sessions, pastors and elders met to plan for upcoming evangelistic campaigns and revivals that would be happening around SBC, and local church members expressed a renewed excitement in being involved in church ministry.
“Bradshaw’s presentations and sermons brought new light to my being involved in church mission, and I will take this new information and try to be more involved in evangelism,” said a local church elder.
During his stay in The Bahamas, Pastor John Bradshaw also took the opportunity to record an episode of It Is Written at sites of interests in New Providence. His programs can be viewed on Hope Channel and a few other stations in the region and around the world.