President's Post

June 2018

It’s this time of the year that my thoughts drift to our teachers, principals and academy staff. I believe their work is the most difficult in our denomination. They all have earned a respite at this time of the year. I also believe they have an opportunity to influence students for Jesus better than most of us. Their ability to lift our young people up and model Christ to them even when they are disciplining can so readily turn to discipling. I hold them up to the Lord today and I encourage you to do the same.
I want to get you caught up on a few things. First I just want to acknowledge a tremendous career devoted to our BASS Academy by Karen Clark who retired this year and has relocated to Chattanooga after 36+ years of service at our beloved academy. Just let that ooze into your brain, 36+ years of loving on young people for Jesus. Thank you, Karen!!

Secondly, I was up at Piedmont for their mortgage burning earlier this Spring. Elder Rick Blythe who planted this church and has now retired to serve them is quite the story. Years ago, they were planning their mortgage burning and a tornado came and wipe their brand-new church completely off its foundation. Total destruction and devastation. Lay Pastor Mike Duman spoke emotionally about seeing all of their work gone in one afternoon. What a story!! And here we were meeting again, seeing the church built by their own hands be completely paid off. I was up on the platform and a biker came down the center aisle. He was riding by and saw all of us gathering at the church so he turned in and joined us. When he found his seat, he had this beautiful smile continually on his face. I could only imagine the joy in his heart that showed on his face. I kept watching because I almost expected it to become radiant at any moment. What unexpected joy for me to see someone so happy just to join us in worship.

Jason Carlson is our pastor up in Floral Crest and Owenby Chapel has arranged to have two students from Southern Adventist University work as Bible Workers in his district. After 20 hours of training with Pastor Jason and 15 hours of knocking on doors, they have 14 Bible Studies going already. It’s amazing how the Spirit works when we do!!

Reflecting on Camp Meeting this year I feel an afterglow unlike any other time. Our theme was remarked on over and over, “Forgiven to Forgive.” There is a power in forgiveness unlike anything else I know. I’m praying for myself and you, to continue developing a forgiving spirit towards our brothers and sisters.

Big picture

Let me recommend someone to listen to when you have an opportunity. I absolutely love to hear testimonies. I know that Pastor Martin is working on bringing this individual over at some time. But in the mean time you can hear her on YouTube. Her name is Susanne Vyhmeister and her testimony has been recorded in two parts on 3ABN Australia.

I was invited to speak at Arizona Camp Meeting this month. Their President and I have been really good friends for over 27 years. I respect President Ed Keyes so much, he spoke to our Elders and Deacons for their retreat a few years ago. I spoke for their opening weekend, it’s amazing how God’s people beginning with me are so hungry to learn and develop. I learned a lot of things from being there and listening to dear saints share their battles and victories with me. What a blessing!

Come Lord Jesus!

Until next month,


President's Office

The President guides the work of the Seventh-day Adventist Church here at the Gulf States Conference Office in Montgomery, Alabama. He serves on various organization boards operated by the church, and lends leadership to mission, evangelism, educational, and humanitarian strategies.