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.
By Dawne Forbes
During the week of Sunday, December 10 through Saturday, December 16, 2017, the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) will conduct evangelism and leadership training sessions for pastors and lay members of the South Bahamas Conference (SBC). While the seminars are primarily for pastors, the joint plenary and worship sessions that will be held at the Hillview Seventh-day Adventist Church at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 10; at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, December 11, through Friday, December 15; and at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 16 will be open to all members. You may view a complete schedule here.
Dr. Leonard Johnson, president of ATCU and the organizer of the event, explained that this training will take place in all fields (Cayman Islands Conference, North Bahamas Conference, and the Turks and Caicos Islands Mission) within the union by the end of summer 2018 to ensure that the members are properly prepared for the Lord Transform Me (LTM) reaping campaigns set to take place in ATCU in 2019.
Since 2015, the Inter-American Division of Seventh-day Adventists (IAD) has spearheaded an evangelistic endeavor known as “Lord Transform Me,” an initiative that calls for the membership of the 24 unions of the IAD to be involved in witnessing activities and major evangelistic campaigns annually. Each year, the IAD selects a union to be the site where evangelists from around the division would converge to conduct one-week reaping campaigns culminating in a grand baptismal service at the end of the week. In 2019, ATCU will be the host site for the LTM reaping campaigns.
“The goal of this training session,” said Dr. Johnson, “is to equip pastors and lay members with the necessary training, knowledge, and tools for evangelism; for in 2019, the ATCU will host the Lord Transform Me celebration when various speakers and translators from around the division will be proclaiming the gospel at 60 sites throughout the union for one week. On the final day of this week, it is our hope that one thousand baptisms would take place in the union.”
According to Dr. Johnson, pastors and members who participate will gain an understanding of their roles, calling, and God-given gifts and come to realize that God equips each one differently for His service. Dr. Johnson also indicated that by attending the open evening sessions, elders would be able to receive certification in Church Administration, thus fulfilling a mandate by the IAD that church elders should undergo 20 hours of training each year.
Among the presenters for the 7-day training event are Pastor John Bradshaw, speaker/director of “It Is Written,” who will focus on Media Evangelism; Pastor Melchor Ferreyra, personal ministries director, IAD, who will discuss Small Group Evangelism and Involving Youth in Evangelism for Millennials; Pastor Samuel Telemaque, Sabbath School director, IAD, speaking on The Need for Prayer in the Life of the Believer and Member Conservation; and Pastor Maxwell Berkel of the Dutch Union in Curacao, addressing Leadership Skills and Relationships between Pastors.
Local presenters will be Dr. Leonard A. Johnson, Pastor Peter Kerr, Elder Roderick Sands, Pastor Kent Price, Pastor Paul A. Scavella, Pastor Peter Joseph, Pastor C. Melvin Lewis, Pastor Leonardo Rahming, Pastor T. Basil Sturrup, and Pastor Lynden Williams who will be presenting on topics from Preparing Biblical Sermons to Financial Management.
If you require further information about the upcoming seminars, you may contact Dr. Leonard A. Johnson or Pastor Peter Kerr of ATCU at 242-341-5153 or Pastors Paul Scavella, Peter Joseph, or T. Basil Sturrup of SBC at 242-341-4021.
ATCU Communication Department
The executive committee of the Inter-American Division of Seventh-day Adventists, at its annual year-end meetings, which were held in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico from Friday, October 20 to Sunday, October 22, 2017, elected Dr. Leonard A. Johnson, president of the Atlantic Caribbean Union of Seventh-day Adventists, with headquarters in Nassau, Bahamas, to the position of associate ministerial secretary for the 24 unions of the division.
Dr. Johnson becomes the second Bahamian national to be elected to lead a department of this division of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. The first was Dr. Leslie V. McMillan who served as ministerial and communication director.
We congratulate Dr. Johnson on his election to this important leadership position and wish to assure him of our prayers for God to continue to bless his ministry with good success.
By ATCU Communication Department
As a part of celebrating the Inter-American Division of Seventh-day Adventists’ (IAD) Week of Prayer for Pastoral Families under the theme “In His Hand,” the Atlantic Caribbean Union of Seventh-day Adventists (ATCU) organized a special program on Tuesday, January 24, 2017 to bring together Seventh-day Adventist pastoral families on the island of New Providence for an evening of fellowship and prayer. The event was organized by the ministerial and family ministries departments of ATCU headed by Pastor Leonard Johnson and Pastor Peter Kerr respectively.
“We go through difficult times as pastoral families. We work hard, and many times people talk about us, and sometimes we may even talk about each other. But, we have come here to talk to each other,” said Johnson as he welcomed the pastoral families to the event.
The group participated in icebreakers where they shared anniversary dates, introduced their spouses and children, and viewed one of the special programs produced by the IAD which included special music, prayer for unions within IAD, and a charge. The charge was presented by Pastor Claudio and Dr. Pamela Consuegra, family ministries directors of the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists. They encouraged pastoral families to be intentional in caring for their marriage and their children as the hectic schedule of a pastor may cause him to neglect his wife and children.
“Your home itself provides an evangelistic opportunity more powerful than that sermon you may be working on,” admonished Dr. Consuegra as she explained that pastors must care for their spouses and children. She explained that after God, family should come next in their pyramid of priorities. Claudio and Pamela also encouraged pastoral families not to underestimate the power of family worship and prayer. She encouraged spouses to pray for each other out loud as this reaffirms to the spouse that he or she is loved and appreciated.
The evening concluded with testimonies from pastors’ children, spouses, and pastors themselves, talking about the joys and challenges of being a part of a pastoral family.
“As a pastor, I need a praying wife, and I have a praying wife who fears God. I thank God for the wisdom that she brings to our home,” said Pastor Terry Tanis as he testified about his wife, Samantha.
Pastor Peter Kerr thanked the families for coming. “Events like this need to happen more often,” said Kerr. “We need to keep in contact and call each other and pray for each other.”
The families exchanged contact information so that they could pray with each other or just call to converse.
The official Week of Prayer for Pastoral Families was celebrated from January 21 to 28, 2017, and the devotional videos for the week of prayer can be accessed from the IAD’s website banner at www.interamerica.org.
“I now realize how much I have been underestimating the mighty power of prayer”, remarked a member of the South Bahamas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (SBC) after attending a seminar presented by Jerry and Janet Page, Ministerial Directors of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. The seminars were conducted at the Centreville Church in Nassau, The Bahamas on evenings of February 1 and 2 where Jerry and Janet shared how prayer has impacted their lives and ministries.
Jerry lamented on the fact that many within the church have been depending on their own power and abilities for so long when God is only waiting for us to ask Him for His power. “There are so many things that God wants to do through us but we need to as in faith”, said Jerry.
Janet shared several testimonies on what God has done in her personal and professional life as a result of prayer. “My children have found a love for serving the Lord because their mother found Jesus”, said Janet.
Jerry encouraged parents to never get tired of praying for their children as he testified about getting kicked out of school and ending up selling cocaine but the prayers of his parents made him miserable living that life. “Eventually I found Jesus,” said Jerry; “and it was because of the consistent prayers of my parents”.
Every session Jerry and Janet conducted ended with thirty minutes of prayer and praise. Members of the congregation freely participated in prayer sessions where anyone just shouted out praises, petitions, confessions, songs and scripture.
“I feel refreshed after these two evenings of prayer”, said one participant and in a shout of praise another said “I will never be the same after these sessions!”
Jerry and Janet also conducted a special seminar and prayer session for pastors, elders and Bible workers at the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) headquarters and will conduct similar sessions in all the fields within the ATCU.
By ATCU Communication Department
One of the most significant milestones in the development of any Seventh-day Adventist church is the ordination of individuals into pastoral ministry. The North Bahamas Conference (NBC), one of the fields of the Atlantic Caribbean Union of Seventh-day Adventists (ATCU), celebrated the ordination of two of its ministers, Pastor Fritz Gerald François and Pastor Patrick Tyrill, during a ceremony held at the Shiloh Seventh-day Adventist Church in Freeport, Grand Bahama, The Bahamas on Sabbath, January 14, 2017.
Officiating and bringing the charge at this first-ever pastoral ordination service in the history of NBC was the president of ATCU, Pastor Leonard Johnson. Emphasizing the tremendous responsibility that comes with the call to pastoral ministry, Pastor Johnson presented a sermon entitled “Do Not Abuse the Privilege.”
“The power of the calling is in the person who is called,” said Johnson as he explained that it is the Holy Spirit that calls one to ministry. He expressed that the two major complaints from members reveal that they want pastors to preach the Word of God and to visit members’ homes.
“You want to be effective in ministry? Visit your members,” admonished Johnson. “Members want to know that you care.”
Pastor François has been working as a pastor in fields within ATCU for almost ten years; and during the ceremony, representatives of his congregations recognized him as a caring and dedicated pastor.
Pastor Tyrill was called from the Jamaica Union to pastor in The Bahamas and was commended for being passionate about ministry as well as for his dedication to the churches under his care.
The president of NBC, Pastor Henry R. Moncur, expressed excitement at being a part of this historic ceremony, stating that there would be more ordinations in NBC in the very near future.
By ATCU Communication Department
Recognizing that every field within its territory must be relevant in these rapidly changing times, the administration of the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) brought together the officers of its four fields to take part in the first ATCU Administrators’ Summit on November 13 and 14, 2016, at Comfort Suites on Paradise Island, The Bahamas.
Field presidents, secretaries, and treasurers from the Cayman Islands Conference (CIC), the North and South Bahamas Conferences (NBC and SBC), and the Turks and Caicos Islands Mission (TCIM) received presentations on leadership, financial transparency, and safety and risk management.
In the area of leadership, guest presenter Dr. Lowell Cooper, retired general vice president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (GC), reminded the administrators that they had a ministry and not a job. “When I have a job, I think of what my work does for my career. When I have a ministry, I think of what my work does for others,” said Cooper. He also emphasized the positive impact effective training had on organizations and churches, pointing out that in addition to being trained for a specific job, individuals also need to be able to function in groups.
Paul Douglas, director of the General Conference Auditing Services (GCAS), provided information on the auditing process that all institutions within the Seventh-day Adventist Church must go through and underscored that the auditors of GCAS aim to help institutions develop, grow, and most importantly, be trusted.
Daisy Montes de Oca, customer representative, account executive of Adventist Risk Management, gave presentations on how to reduce risk in all areas of the church so that properties are safe for everyone who enters and uses them. “Prevention is most important,” admonished Daisy as she listed a number of preventive measures that churches and institutions can implement in order to have a more effective ministry with reduced risk.
The officers of ATCU also presented on topics related to their office. Dr. Leonard Johnson, president of ATCU, gave an overview of the current status of the union and outlined the union’s projections up to 2021 when it is expected that TCIM would transition to conference status and SBC would become two fields. “These projections are not made in order to split fields and create positions but to facilitate more effective management and better care of the members,” explained Johnson.
Pastor Peter Kerr, executive secretary of ATCU, spoke to the importance of care of members. “We must be intentional in caring for each member,” said Kerr. “We must not look at the member as a number but as a soul.” In addition, he reported on the ongoing process of the digitalization of the church registry with the Adventist Church Management System (ACMS), saying that ATCU is expected to be fully on ACMS by mid 2017.
Elder Roderick Sands, treasurer of ATCU, highlighted the importance of financial transparency, stressing that resource allocation must be aligned with the mission of the church. Sands indicated that evangelism must be priority, and this must be reflected in the field’s spending.
Dr. Johnson in his closing remarks challenged the officers to share the information received and to implement what was learnt.
By ATCU Communication Department
Four pastors from the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) were honored at the Lord Transform Me (LTM) regional summit hosted by the Inter-American Division (IAD) in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic during June 26 – 29, 2016.
Receiving smart watches and certificates of achievement for baptizing the most people in their respective fields during 2015 were Pastors Jeff Jefferson (Cayman Islands Conference); Patrick Tyrill (North Bahamas Conference); Asha-Dane Duncan (South Bahamas Conference); and Steve Cornwall (Turks and Caicos Islands Mission).
Sharing in the moment of celebration was ATCU’s delegation of more than 60 church employees and laypersons from across the union territory attending the 2-day event. They were led by Pastor Leonard Johnson, ATCU president, and the other union officers, Pastor Peter Kerr, executive secretary, and Elder Roderick Sands, treasurer.
Pastor Steve Cornwall expressed joy at receiving such an honor and was inspired to achieve even more for Christ.
“The expression of gratitude shown to me by the IAD for success in evangelism was the quintessence of my joy while attending the LTM congress in Punta Cana. For me, it was the first time being recognized at the IAD level in my evangelistic sojourn, and hence, my unwavering passion for soul winning has been multiplied. I will evangelize and not fossilize because I await a glorious and permanent reward which will be celestial and not terrestrial.”
Scores of delegates from five other unions joined ATCU at the third in a series of regional summits sponsored by the IAD to inspire and galvanize its members to adopt and carry out the objectives of the program for the quinquennium, Lord Transform Me. Elder Israel Leito, president of the IAD, shared the vision for the next five years while the IAD departmental directors gave presentations on the five components of the program: Transform and Live; Explore and Learn; Connect and Share; Proclaim and Reap; and Conserve and Disciple.
Pastor Peter Kerr, assistant to the president for evangelism, is enthused about the initiative and anticipates a great revival as members make this prayer their cry.
“As we together allow the Holy Spirit to transform our hearts, our churches, homes, and by extension, our countries cannot be the same. We will be powerful witnesses for Christ,” Pastor Kerr exclaims.
At the end of the summit, delegates were charged to return to their conferences and missions to share and implement the vision and objectives of Lord Transform Me.
ATCU Communication Department
Ever since the launch of the Lord Transform Me (LTM), an evangelism initiative, in October 2015 at the year-end meeting of the Inter-American Division (IAD), the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) has kept the LTM’s objectives and strategic plans at the forefront of its activities and programs.
LTM is an intentional effort of all members of the Seventh-day Adventist
Church in the IAD to live Christ-like lives through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit and in harmony with Romans 12:2 which says, “Be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.”
Daily reading the Bible and communicating with God, members’ minds are renewed as Christ changes the way they live, interact, and serve. They then influence others through lifestyle and deliberate means to accept Jesus as their Savior and become His disciples.
The official launch of LTM will take place in Caracas, Venezuela on Saturday, April 16, 2016. Leading up to the launch, there will be a massive mobilization of members throughout the territories of IAD, especially in Venezuela, to reach communities with the good news of Jesus Christ. During this two-week period, over 800 different evangelistic campaigns will be conducted in Venezuela by pastors from around the IAD, including ATCU. Pastor Peter Kerr, ATCU executive secretary, will be one of the evangelists, and he has been preparing for this important outreach endeavor and expressed great excitement at going to spread the message of Christ in Venezuela.
“I am excited to be one of those to preach Jesus in Venezuela,” said Pastor Kerr. “Though I have never been there, I know that God is going to cover me and am expecting to see the Holy Spirit transform lives.”
Pastor Leonard Johnson, president of ATCU, will also be a part of the delegation heading to Venezuela. Though Johnson will only be participating in the official ceremony on April 16, he has been assisting and supporting Pastor Kerr in all the preparations for the campaigns.
Sites throughout ATCU will be connecting to the launch event being aired from Caracas on the Hope Channel from 12:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. DST. Pastors, elders, and the laity have been working with persons in their communities, giving Bible studies, conducting outreach programs, and praying that the Holy Spirit will convict individuals to make a decision to follow Jesus all the way in baptism.
Adventist church officials in Caracas are expecting that in Venezuela alone there will be at least 10,000 baptisms on April 16. Simultaneously, Adventist churches throughout the IAD, which extends from Mexico in the north to Columbia in the south, will be conducting baptisms.
Every year until 2020, there will be one grand evangelistic thrust in a different union throughout IAD, and ATCU is scheduled to host the LTM event in 2019.
The officers, directors, and staff of ATCU are all preparing for this grand occasion and are in full support of the IAD as the events are launched throughout its region.
“There is a lot of planning and preparation involved in hosting such an event,” said Pastor Johnson, “but we are up for the challenge, and only if we trust in God and have faith that He will carry us through, we will be successful.”
ATCU Communication Department
Speaking at the installation service for the new officers, directors, and committee members of the North Bahamas Conference (NBC) held January 13, 2016, Dr. Leonard Johnson, president of the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU), urged the incoming administrators and directors to guard and preserve that which they were receiving, the Godly heritage of spreading the gospel message.
Being installed as the new president of NBC was Pastor Henry Moncur who was voted by the NBC executive committee to replace Pastor Errol Tinker, retired as of December 31, 2015. Pastor Andrew Burrows, former youth, stewardship, personal ministries, and communication director of ATCU, was installed as the new executive secretary of the field, replacing Pastor Henry Moncur. Additionally, three new departmental directors and two committee members were inaugurated.
Gathered for the occasion were the presiding ATCU officers, government officials, clergymen from the community, conference members, and family members and guests of the inaugurated officers, directors, and committee members.
In his address, Johnson further explained to the leaders that in order for them to preserve the Godly heritage that they were receiving, they would need to remember that what they had and what they had become did not originate because of their doing. It came from God through the training and guidance of their parents, mentors, friends, and others along the way.
“When we forget those whom God used to train us, to inspire us, to impact us, we, in essence, forget God,” said Johnson.
The union president went on to encourage the newly elected individuals to preserve the Godly heritage by making leaders out of others. Highlighting the contributions of Pastor Tinker to the Adventist church and, in particular, NBC, Johnson stated that Pastor Tinker, over the years, had taken the time to train and nurture those with whom he had worked, leaving a strong and distinguished heritage upon which to build.
Dr. Johnson’s final exhortation on preserving the Godly heritage was that the administrators, directors, and committee members as well as the congregation should keep God’s Word at the center of their lives.
“Not only must we preach the Word, we must live the Word. We must abide by the Word, even though the Word may not be popular. Leaders, please remember, if it is not backed up by the Word, even if it means that we are going to lose certain subventions from the government, we cannot compromise.”
The NBC, the administrative body that oversees the work of the Adventist church in the north Bahamas (covering Abaco, the Berry Islands, Bimini, and Grand Bahama), has over three thousand members and is one of the four fields that comprise the ATCU. The other three fields are the South Bahamas Conference, the Cayman Islands Conference, and the Turks and Caicos Islands Mission.
ATCU Communication Department
“I accept such honor not necessarily for myself but on behalf of the church that I serve with all the energy and strength that God has given to me,” stated Dr. Leonard A. Johnson as he commented on being one of the twenty-six Bahamians listed to receive one of the annual Queen’s New Year Honors to be given in 2016.
The award bestowed on Dr. Johnson, president of the Atlantic Caribbean Union of Seventh-day Adventists (ATCU), comprising The Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands, is the Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George (CMG) for services rendered to the church.
The CMG, granted to men and women of high office or to those who render extraordinary or important non-military service in a foreign country, was instituted in 1818 by the Prince Regent (later George IV) of Great Britain.
Recalling his humble beginnings and acknowledging the support and guidance he received along the way from his late parents, friends, and his wife of 32 years, Denise, Dr. Johnson credited the honor to God. “This high and significant recognition without question must be attributed to God and by extension, His church. I accept the honor humbly and look forward to the day when I shall receive the greatest award issued by God Himself.”
In October of 2015, Pastor Johnson was re-elected as president of ATCU for another five-year term. He, along with his fellow officers and directors, has recommitted himself to spreading the good news of salvation across the Atlantic Caribbean territory.
Johnson is expected to accept the actual insignia later this year at a special ceremony.
Communication Department, ATCU
Pastor Claudius Morgan, guest evangelist for the Good News Gospel Explosion taking place during September 12 – October 10, 2015, in Nassau, Bahamas, took time out from preaching at nightly meetings to share his passion and plans for evangelism with scores of ministerial workers throughout the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU). The seminar, which was conducted on Monday, September 28, 2015, at the union’s headquarters in Nassau, Bahamas, was a part of the ministerial department’s focus to constantly equip and train its minsters for effective ministry.
The seminar highlighted several key areas: effective preaching, training of the members, and the personal life of the evangelist. Through video conferencing, ministers serving on other islands of the Bahamas and in the Cayman and Turks and Caicos Islands also were able to participate in the seminar, absorbing information from evangelist Morgan’s many years of experience. Internationally known, evangelist Morgan serves as a pastor and evangelist in the Caribbean Union of Seventh-day Adventists.
By ATCU Communication Department
“No one person has absolute power in the Adventist church,” said Pastor Leonard A. Johnson, president of the Atlantic Caribbean Union of Seventh-day Adventists (ATCU) as he explained the organizational structure of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in a presentation entitled “Know and Understand Your Church.”
Johnson’s presentation was the first in a line-up of leadership seminars being presented during the two-day leadership symposium recently hosted on September 5, 2015, by the Hillview Seventh-day Adventist Church for church leaders and members of the South Bahamas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (SBC).
Pastor Johnson explained that the Adventist church employs the principles of shared administration which means that the administrative system is not presidential with decision-making resting solely with the president or leader. Rather, every leader is accountable to a group, be it a committee, a board, or the church in business.
“This church is one of the most organized in the world, and if every leader were to follow the policies laid out, there would be considerably less problems than we have today,” stated Pastor Johnson. He further identified behaviours that contributed to church unity.
“What holds the Adventist church together are submission to the Holy Spirit; a commitment to worldwide mission; respect for the church as a body; and a willingness to keep striving for togetherness.”
After clarifying a number of policies and procedures of the church, particularly those relating to baptism and membership, participants left more knowledgeable about the way the Adventist church functions administratively.
“I have always admired the way my church is organized, but, unfortunately, many of us do not know the proper running of the church and that is where we end up in problems. This presentation is one of great value and is truly appreciated,” stated a local church elder.
Communication Department, ATCU
As a forerunner to the special Vision One Million Sabbath scheduled for Sabbath, April 4, six pastors from the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) are presently conducting short evangelistic campaigns in various countries within the Caribbean Union (CARU). Vision One Million is the soul-winning initiative of the Inter-American Division (IAD) of Seventh-day Adventists. This year, scores of evangelists from the various unions within IAD, including ATCU, have been dispersed throughout the Caribbean Union to share the good news of the gospel.
The evangelistic team from ATCU is led by Pastor Leonard Johnson, president of ATCU, who is declaring the gospel at the Signs of the Times Evangelistic Series being held at the Carmel SDA Church in George Town, Guyana. At the Kingstown SDA Church in St. Vincent, the Grenadines, Pastor Henry R. Moncur, executive secretary of the North Bahamas Conference, is the guest evangelist. Pastor Paul Scavella, South Bahamas Conference (SBC) president, and Pastor Peter Joseph, SBC executive secretary, are blowing the gospel trumpet on the islands of St. Croix in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and Grenada, respectively. Finally, Pastor Andrew Burrows, personal ministries director for ATCU, is conducting a series of meetings at the Philadelphia SDA church in St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands (USVI).
On Sabbath, April 4, at the conclusion of the many evangelistic meetings, union and field leaders along with the visiting evangelists will assemble on the island of Trinidad, the location of the headquarters for the Caribbean Union, for a grand Sabbath celebration. Pastor Mark Finely, one of the general vice- presidents of the General Conference of SDA, will be the main speaker.
At the conclusion of the Sabbath service, a baptismal ceremony will be conducted at the site in Trinidad while concurrent baptisms will take place across the IAD territory and streamed live to the site in Trinidad. This momentous celebration can be viewed live on three different media: in English on Hope Church Channel; in Spanish on Esperanza TV; and in French at webcast.interamerica.org
In the Atlantic Caribbean Union, the Hillview Seventh-day Adventist church in Nassau in the South Bahamas Conference will serve as the uplink center for the baptisms that will be streamed from the ATCU.
By John Garcia, ATCU
"Time with God and family, solid Biblical preaching, and visitation are the things that I have learnt to prioritize in my ministry as a pastor," revealed Pastor Leonard Johnson, president and ministerial director of the Atlantic Caribbean Union of Seventh-day Adventists (ATCU). This statement was made as he conducted a pastoral training session, one of the components of Operation Contact, at the headquarters of the South Bahamas Conference of Seventh-day Adventists (SBC) in Nassau.
Operation Contact is an initiative of the ministerial department of the ATCU aimed at encouraging pastors to interact with each other, each other’s family, and each member as well as non-members within ATCU.
Pastor Johnson presented a two-fold training session, focusing on the pastor's effectiveness and stewardship. The session reinforced the importance of various aspects of the pastoral ministry that positively impact pastoral camaraderie, the pastoral family, and, most certainly, the church members. He explained that when there is constant personal contact with the church members, it is easier to reach them with the gospel and equip them to reach out to others. “Simple gestures as shaking hands and returning calls show the members that we are concerned,” he said.
Pastor Johnson was accompanied by the treasurer of ATCU, Elder Roderick Sands, who led out in the discussion relating to stewardship. Pastors were told to continue to be exemplary stewards who model faithfulness in their daily lives. Recognizing that everyone in attendance had either attended or conducted stewardship and money management seminars and training, Elder Sands encouraged the pastors to continue to support each other in good money management.
He further noted that there was an abundance of available resources that can give guidance and counsel on being good stewards, including locally written literature such as the book “Twelve Baskets of Economic Survival” by Dr. Wendell McMillan and, most definitely, the Bible.
Pastor Johnson ended the session with a discussion on the dynamics of pastoral ministry, highlighting topics such as personal devotion, family time, dress, relating to the opposite and same sex, and health. He encouraged pastors to be intentional in living a healthy lifestyle, to have regular medical visits, and to encourage members to do likewise.
SBC presently has the largest pastoral staff in ATCU, with the majority serving on the main island of New Providence while the others minister to the members on some of the other islands of the archipelagic nation of The Bahamas. Pastors who were unable to fly in to attend the sessions held on New Providence were able to participate remotely via video conferencing.
Pastor Howard Barr, who pastors the district of Acklins and Crooked Island in the southern Bahamas, participated in the sessions using this medium. He congratulated the ATCU team for the timely training and discussion. “I am encouraged by the presentations," said Pastor Barr who, accompanied by Pastor Johnson, recently visited a number of his members as a part of Operation Contact.
The pastors requested follow-up sessions to discuss additional issues that affect their ministry such as social media and pastoral etiquette. Pastor Johnson committed to additional sessions and expressed gratitude for the engaging participation of the SBC pastors.
Communication Department, ATCU
The Atlantic Caribbean Union of Seventh-day Adventists (ATCU) will host its first Special Needs Summit from Friday, March 13 to Sunday March 15, 2015 at the Maranatha Seventh-day Adventist Church, Prince Charles Drive, Nassau, The Bahamas.
The purpose of the event is to highlight and sensitize the church and the community at large of the mandate to minister to persons with special needs. This segment of society and the church includes persons who are blind, unable to hear or speak, unable to move, or who may have any other challenging conditions such as autism, Alzheimer’s disease, Down’s syndrome etc.
The theme of the summit is Jesus’ All Inclusive Kingdom. Dr. Elvetha Derrick-Telemaque, guest presenter from the Inter-American Division, will share a number of presentations on how to minister to this important group of persons. The schedule for the summit is a follows:
Friday evening, March 13 at 7:15
Sabbath morning, March 13 at 9:15
Sabbath afternoon, March 14 at 5:00
Sunday morning, March 15 at 8:30
All church members, pastors, caregivers, and persons in the community are invited to attend.
Communication Department, ATCU
In keeping with its mission to proclaim the gospel to the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Adventist church in the Atlantic Caribbean region has mobilized to share the love of Christ throughout the cities in its Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) territory during the first quarter of 2015.
Presently, the Adventist church in the Turks and Caicos Islands is engaged in a citywide evangelistic campaign in Providenciales. The Countdown to the End Campaign, with guest evangelist Pastor Shian O’Connor, president of the Cayman Islands Conference, began on Sunday evening, February 1 under the big tent next to the Do It Home Center on Leeward Highway.
Elder Hopeton Bansie, executive secretary of the Turks and Caicos Islands Mission, reported that approximately 900 persons attend the meetings each night. He also shared that the messages from the evangelist, which are in English, are simultaneously being translated into Creole and Spanish so that the major language groups on the islands are able to receive the presentations.
Pastor O’Connor, at the conclusion of the evangelistic meetings in the Turks and Caicos Islands Mission, will have just weeks before his home conference launches its own citywide campaign. The Footprints of Jesus Evangelistic Series with guest evangelist Pastor Glen Samuels, president of the West Jamaica Conference, will begin on March 29 under the big tent in George Town, Grand Cayman.
Ahead of this launch, during February, Pastor Samuel Telemaque, associate Sabbath School and personal ministries director for the Inter-American Division will be in Grand Cayman to conduct training workshops to further equip the membership for service. His presentations will focus on community services, lay preaching, Bible instructors, global mission pioneers, and urban ministries workers.
Communication Departments, CIC and ATCU
Noted evangelist, church administrator, and television host, Pastor Mark Finley, has been invited by the Solid Rock Ministries in the Cayman Islands Conference (CIC) to conduct a workshop in the area of health evangelism.
According to Pastor Reinaldo Dracket, executive secretary and personal ministries director of CIC, the purpose of Solid Rock Ministries is to share the gospel, through the health message of the Adventist church, with that segment of the island nation’s population that the church has been unsuccessful in evangelizing. The workshop, entitled “Creation Health,” will begin at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 11, 2015, at the Westin Casuarina Hotel, Seven Mile Beach. A special invitation is extended to the community.
While in the Cayman Islands, Pastor Finley will also hold leadership and evangelism training for all the pastors and elders in the conference scheduled for Friday, February 13, 2015, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. The training will be streamed live over the Internet so that pastors and church leaders from the other church territories within the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) can participate. In addition, there will be a joint service at the Kings Church that same day at 7:30 p.m. where Pastor Finley will be the speaker.
Pastor Leonard Johnson, president and ministerial director of ATCU, who will attend the seminar in the Cayman Islands, expressed that this session helps to provide ongoing training and equipping of the pastors of ATCU for effective ministry, which is one of the objectives of the union ministerial department during the Year of the Pastor being observed this year.
“I am excited to have Pastor Finley in our union, and moreso the Cayman Islands Conference,” said Pastor Johnson. “Our minsters throughout the union will benefit much from his expertise and experience.”
Year of The Pastor
“Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work” (2Tim. 2:21, ESV).
“The cities are to be worked, not merely preached to; there must be house-to-house labor. After the warning has been given, after the truth has been presented from the Scriptures, many souls will be convicted”( Evangelism 430).
1. To re-visit the call to ministry
2. To re-affirm pastors and families
3. To equip and retool pastors for greater effectiveness
4. Assist and encourage the Local Shepherdess Club
5. Encourage Professional Development Budgetary Provision
Engage in Prayer Initiatives (Prayer is a must for effective ministry)
Launch of Operation Contact - Relationships are built through visitation (to continue all year). Pastors pair up to:
Training & Equipping for Pastors
Training & Equipping for Elders
Celebration of Pastors
An educated, equipped and Spirit-filled pastor contributes to an informed, active and spiritual membership. Accordingly, pastors are encouraged to embrace:
What Is Operation Contact?
It is an initiative of the Ministerial Department of the Atlantic Caribbean Union, aimed at aiding and encouraging pastors to make contact with each other, each other’s family and each member as well as non-members within the Atlantic Caribbean Union.
Date of Launch
February 7th, 2015 (To continue throughout the rest of the year)
Pastors, departmental directors and officers of both conference and union levels
Territory to Cover
The Bahamas, Cayman and Turks and Caicos, which houses the four (4) fields of ATCU
Pastor Kenny Deveaux, Crusade Coordinator, SBC
How quickly time flies when one is having fun doing the mission of the church. Phase 2 of Mission to the City began on September 6, 2014, at the Queen Elizabeth Sports Center, opposite the Government High School. Four weeks have quickly passed and the Nassau Experience has come to an end.
Phase 1 was the flow of love demonstrated throughout our communities by the various projects conducted by the Seventh-day Adventist churches throughout New Providence. These projects included soup kitchens, whole wheat bread distribution, clean up campaigns, and distribution of clothing and food supplies.
During Phase 2 hundreds of persons attended the meetings each night and were guaranteed a blessing. Many unrelentingly explained how impacting the Nassau Experience has been on their lives. Participants continue to bask in the wonderful glow of Christ and are strengthened in their relationship with Him. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, God has rescued 223 precious souls from the grips of the enemy through baptism.
Through the powerful preaching of international evangelist, Pastor Peter Joseph, coupled with the inspirational singing of a 200-voice choir, backed up by a melodious band, the nightly program was reported to be “off the chain.”
The ministry at the altar was truly divine as each night attendees were invited to the altar and prayed for by the evangelist. Persons are still talking about the refreshing experience of praying together as they reflect on the joy found in ministering and being ministered to at the altar.
Now Phase 3 of the Mission to the City begins as the 223 souls are transitioned to the various churches throughout the island. This is an important aspect of Mission to the City. We are depending on God to “renew in us a clean heart” as we welcome these dear ones. Continue to pray for the new believers that they will now impact the communities around them and bring honour to God thus changing this Bahama land we love.
by Nelda Rose Dracket, Cayman Islands Conference
Ministers and their spouses of the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) as well as field and union administrators and their spouses gathered at the Sheraton Hotel, Miami, Florida for an historic ministerial retreat during April 18 – 21 2014. This was the first of its kind since the formation of the union in November 2010.
Those who are constantly ministering need also to be ministered to. Jesus and His disciples saw the need of coming apart to recharge their spiritual batteries. Jesus said to them, “let us go on the other side and rest a while”… This was the objective of this retreat.
Also attending this momentous occasion from the wider organization were our devotional speakers Pastor Derek Morris, associate ministerial secretary of the General Conference and Pastor James F. Daniel, general field secretary at the Inter-American Division; seminar presenters Pastor Derek Morris; Dr. Willie and Elaine Oliver, directors of the Department of Family Ministries for the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists; ministerial secretary of the Inter-American Division, Pastor Hector Sanchez; Dr. Abner and Leticia De Los Santos, vice president and shepherdess director at the Inter-American Division respectively; Pastor Martin Weber, Seventh-day Adventist product manager at Logos Bible Software; Pastor Barrington Brennen, certified marriage and family therapist; and Paul H. Douglas, director of the General Conference Auditing Services.
The theme “Called to Serve” captured the sentiments of both speakers and listeners. The keynote speaker on Friday evening was Pastor Hector Sanchez who addressed the topic of ministers being empowered by the Holy Spirit for service.
Pastor Derek Morris brought this theme to life on Sabbath morning using John 14:13, 14: “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”
“Those who are called to serve in the name of Jesus are standing under the authority of Jesus, and if surrendered to His will, miracles will happen,” Pastor Morris said.
During this highly charged weekend, we were all reminded that those who are called to serve must become servants.
On Sabbath evening, in a banquet setting, many of the pastors were honored for dedication to their call to service for the period of 2010 - 2013. Awards fell under the categories of: Outstanding Pastors, Centurions, Outstanding Conference Evangelists, and Outstanding Union Evangelists. All ministers and their spouses received tokens of appreciation in gratitude for their service.
We were all invigorated and energized through the various seminars, especially those on family life presented by Dr. Willie and Elaine Oliver. Some of the seminars presented were Commitment in the Pastoral Marriage; Called to Ministry; Becoming Intimate Allies; Powerful Biblical Preaching I and II; Nurturing Fun, Friendship, Sensuality and Sexuality in Marriage; The Pastor’s Response to Intimate Partner Abuse; Solving the Solvable Problems; and Forgiveness and Restoration of Intimacy. There were also separate break-out sessions that catered to the needs of the ministers and shepherdesses. All seminars were timely and appropriate to present day needs.
On the final day, the presidents from the four fields thanked Dr. Leonard Johnson, ministerial director of ATCU, his wife, Denise Johnson, ATCU shepherdess coordinator, and the dedicated team of workers at ATCU for the outstanding and well-organized retreat. These were the sentiments of all in attendance.
Communication Department, IAD/ ATCU
Watch the Pastoral Evangelism Summit from Mexico City and participate in the classes, which will be offered. Participants will receive continuing education credits as part of the year of Non-formal Education in the Inter-American Division this year.
The event will be held from Monday to Wednesday, April 7-9, 2014, from 8:00 am to 12:30 pm each day (Mexico Time) or 9:00 am to 1:30 pm (Miami Time.) The event will be broadcast live at webcast.interamerica.org
Schedule of Meetings
Monday, April 7, 2014
8:00 am – 8:30 am: Devotional, Dr. Hector Sanchez
9:00 am -10:30 am: Natural Church Development, Dr. Tom Evans
10:30 am - 10:45 am: Break
10:45 am –11:45 am: Gaining Decisions among Hispanics, Dr. Melchor Ferrerya
11:45 am -12:30 pm: Involving Your Church in Evangelism, Dr. Balvin Braham
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
8:00 am – 8:30 am: Devotional, Pastor Tomas Torres
9:00 am -10:00 am: Evangelistic Strategies for Urban Areas, Dr. Gerson Santos
10:00 am –10:15 am: Break
10:15 am -11:45 am: Church Planting, Dr. Tom Evans
11:45 am -12:30 pm: Contextualization in Evangelism, Ptr. Samuel Telemaque
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
8:00 am – 8:30 am: Devotional, Dr. Abner De Los Santos
9:00 am -10:30 pm: Use of Technology in Evangelism, Dr. Donnieval Walker
10:30 pm -10:45 Break
10:45 am -11:45 pm: Evangelizing those of Non-Christian Religion, Dr. Richard Elofer
11:45 am -12:30 pm: Questions, Updates and Procedures, Pastor Jorge Garcia
Communication Department IAD/ ATCU
Inter-American Division’s annual Vision One Million program is focused on big city impact across the territory. This year, the satellite program will be broadcast from Mexico City on Sabbath, April 12, 2014, 12:00 noon – 2:00pm (Miami Time) 11:00 am to 1:00 pm (Mexico Time)
Join and participate in this Grand Celebration!
Live on: Sabbath, April 12, 2014 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm Miami Time (11:00 am a 1:00 pm Mexico City Time)
Live transmission in English through: —Hope Church Channel —3ABN —webcast.interamerica.org
Live transmission in Spanish through: —Esperanza TV —3ABN Latino —webcast.interamerica.org
Rebroadcast of the Sabbath, April 12 program in French at 6:00pm (Miami Time): —Hope Church Channel
Special Features: • Reports from the Large Cities of the Inter-American Division • Reports from over 6,000 evangelistic campaigns in Mexico • Live Baptism Ceremonies • Adventist World Church President Pastor Ted N.C. Wilson • A Call to Worship Service by the IAD President Pastor Israel Leito • Parade of the Unions • Special Music Performances
Nestled on the beautiful island of North Caicos in the Turks and Caicos Islands is found the Kew Seventh-day Adventist Church, whose members along with visitors gathered together in revival during February 20-22, 2014, under the theme “The Year of the Lord’s Favor – Blessed to Bless.”
Hearts were lifted heavenward by the soul stirring messages presented by Pastor Leonard A. Johnson, president of the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU). As a result of the dynamic preaching, coupled with the power of the Holy Spirit, two precious souls were baptized and added to the kingdom of God.
During the same weekend, on the afternoon of Sabbath, February 22, church members and the community expressed gratitude for the leadership provided by three local elders of the Kew Seventh-day Adventist Church. Clothilda Gardiner, Curelena Phillips, and Jean Claude Jean Baptiste were recognized for long and dedicated service to the church and the community.
They were presented with tokens of love and treated to a Sabbath luncheon in their honor. They also received words of encouragement from Pastor Johnson who highlighted the significance of their role to the local congregation and the community.
Also in attendance was Elder Hopeton Bansie, secretary/treasurer of the Turks and Caicos Islands Mission (TCIM), who presented certificates of affirmation to the elders on behalf of the mission. The event coincided with the Inter-American Division’s Elders’ Appreciation Day.
The weekend culminated with the newly baptized members being warmly welcomed into the fellowship by the church’s pastor, Anastacia Ferguson-Bansie; the union president, Pastor Leonard Johnson; and the local leadership of the Kew Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Communication Department, ATCU
During the first quarter of 2014, leaders of the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) will be leading out in evangelistic meetings throughout the union.
Beginning Friday, February 21, Pastor Leonard A. Johnson, president of ATCU, will conduct an evangelistic campaign at the Kew Seventh-day Adventist Church in North Caicos in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Pastor Peter Kerr, executive secretary of the ATCU, will begin the Happy Family Evangelistic Series at the High Rock Seventh-day Adventist church in South Andros in the South Bahamas Conference (SBC) on Sunday, February 23. Four weeks later, on March 22, Pastor Andrew Burrows, associate personal ministries director at ATCU, will commence the Revelation of Hope Gospel Campaign at the Johnson Park Seventh-day Adventist Church also in the SBC.
During a crusade planning session held on Wednesday evening, February 12, Pastor Burrows underscored that the union leaders were committed to joining the pastors and members of the various churches in ATCU in front-line evangelism, proclaiming Jesus Christ to the people of the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The year 2014 will also witness major evangelistic campaigns being held in the four cities of the union, namely, Nassau, Freeport, George Town, and Providenciales. These meetings are a part of an initiative of the Adventist world church called Mission to the Cites which involves the gospel being taken to the cities of the world.
Communication Department, ATCU
During January 31 to February 8, 2014, pastoral families in the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU) will join pastoral families from across the Inter-American Division (IAD) for the Week of Prayer for Pastoral Families.
“Our main focus is to strengthen the unity of the pastor and his family, let them know that we value their ministry and are concerned for their well-being in general,” says Pastor Hector Sanchez, ministerial secretary for the Adventist church in Inter-America and one of the organizers of the event. The Week of Prayer involves pastoral families coming together at corporate venues and in homes to worship God, interact with each other, and strengthen the family relations.
On Friday, January 31 beginning at 7:30 p.m. EST, pastors and their families on the island of New Providence in the Bahamas will come together at the headquarters of the ATCU on Gladstone Road. The conferences and mission outside of New Providence, the Bahamas will designate a venue for their pastors and their families to meet for the opening and the remainder of the event.
In the South Bahamas Conference, Mrs. Patrice Gordon, special events coordinator, has confirmed that pastoral families will be grouped together and assigned to meet at various homes.
The week-long occasion will be streamed from the IAD's headquarters and can be viewed at webcast.interamerica.org each evening at 7:30. The Atlantic Caribbean Union will be featured on Tuesday, February 4 and Wednesday, February 5. The complete schedule for the week can be accessed at http://webcast.interamerica.org/schedule.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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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...
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.”
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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...
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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...
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.
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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...
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...
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.”
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Once again, the Atlantic Caribbean Union, now also known as ATCU (the new acronym voted by the Inter-American Division at its year-end committee meeting in Honduras), is pleased to launch throughout the union this weekend its prayer initiative for 2013 under the theme P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Something Happens). Read More...
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On Wednesday evening, December 12, 2012, the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ATCU), officially launched its 2013 Prayer Initiative at a special service held at the Hillview SDA Church in the South Bahamas Conference. The theme for the occasion and next year’s prayer journey as a union is P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Something Happens).
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When Bahamasair touched down in San Salvador on Friday, November 23, 2012, it was loaded with precious ‘cargo’. Pastor & Mrs. Jeremiah Duncombe and numerous family members and friends made the journey for the special service honoring pioneers of the Cockburn Town Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Earlier this year, the Inter-American Division (IAD) launched its Constant in Prayer spiritual revival program at El Palacio de los Deportes in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. During that event, Pastor Israel Leito, president of IAD, stated that the church in Inter-America has always been identified as a church that prays. He also shared the purpose of the initiative.
The 7th volume of the Inter-American Division’s REVIVE newsletter, which highlights the activities for the “2013 Year of the Laity”, is now available. Read More...
On October 27, 2012, the Inter-American Division (IAD) will officially launch 2013 as “The Year of the Laity.” The IAD hopes to lead one million persons to Christ in baptism over the next five years. Read More...
On Monday, October 1, 2012, the administrators of the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ACUM) held their consultation meeting with the leaders from the Inter-American Division (IAD). Read More...
With much national discussion on gambling in the Bahamas and a proposed referendum on its legalization, Pastor Leonard A. Johnson, president of the Atlantic Caribbean Union Mission, was invited to speak on “Gambling in the Bahamas” at a meeting of the Toastmasters Advanced Club on Wednesday, September 19, 2012, at Luciano’s on East Bay Street in the Bahamas. Read More...
On Monday, September 10, 2012, Dr. Jaime Castrejon, president of the Inter-American Theological Seminary (IATS), addressed the ministers from the Atlantic Caribbean Union Mission (ACUM) on matters relating to IATS and their continued education.
Recently, the North Bahamas Conference (NBC) and, by extension, the Atlantic Caribbean Union Mission (ACUM) bid farewell to Pastor Ricardo Bain, his wife, Tameka, and their children, Zoe and Ricardo Jr. Pastor Bain accepted a call to serve in the Greater New York Conference of SDA where he was installed as the pastor of the Queen’s Faith Temple SDA Church on September 1, 2012.
In a special newsletter dated August 27, 2012, Pastor Israel Leito, president of the Inter- American Division (IAD) revealed that 2013 has been designated the Year of the Laity.
In regard to the actions taken by two unions within the North-American Division, the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ACUM) affirms its support of the Adventist world church. Read More...
Ever since the launch of the Great Controversy project in the Atlantic Caribbean Union (ACUM) on March 3, 2012, at the Centreville Church in the South Bahamas Conference, nearly 30,000 copies of the Great Controversy have been distributed within the Bahamas, the Cayman Islands, and the Turks and Caicos Islands according to Pastor Leonard Johnson, president of ACUM. Read More...
It was Thursday morning, July 12, 2012 that I was awakened rather early with the confrontation of sad news. It was my brother and colleague, Pastor Errol Tinker, president of the North Bahamas Conference, who called to inform of the passing of his wife of over 30 years Yvette Alice Tinker. Unfortunately, Alice succumbed to her illness after being hospitalized for the past 3-4 weeks. Read More...
On Wednesday July 11, 2012 leaders from a cross-section of the Atlantic Caribbean Union Mission (ACUM) met at the headquarters on Gladstone Road for a “Leadership & Development Program” where attendees were informed of various aspects of leadership. Read More...