I attended Alumni weekend at BASS Academy in March. It was a great weekend as we began with a golf fundraiser on Friday in which $15,000 was raised for the Academy. Sabbath is always special as I have an opportunity to connect with the Alumni President Ronnie and his wife Jeannine who do so much to make this weekend special for so many. After a few years of attending the Alumni festivities, and I am getting to know more of them. I really enjoy connecting with all of our alumni. The music program put on by Catherine Bowes and the students was incredible. If I had a young person with a musical bent, I’d make sure they had an opportunity to be taught and guided by Mrs. Bowes.
Camp Alamisco Camp Meeting was everything we had prayed it would be. Our theme for this year is “Forgiven to Forgive”. We were all challenged and cut deeply in our hearts as we listened to Dr. & Mrs. Bigger share about losing their daughter to a madman who stabbed her to death. The journey to forgiveness is in fact a journey. We should allow ourselves time and give God the right to invade our souls with His grace. That is the only way we can truly find it in our hearts to forgive. They told us that does not mean that we forget or that there are no consequences for what has been done, but to achieve joy and to get our lives back we must find a way through the pain of loss. The Biggers have done as good of a job on this subject that can possibly be done. If you missed the camp meeting I encourage you to call the ABC Store and order a copy of their book. This is one book you should not miss out on and then continue to pass on to your children. Sooner or later at our core we will need to come face to face with forgiveness towards those who have hurt us. God must rule our hearts to achieve this.
The Bigger’s will join us at BASS Academy Camp Meeting on May 23 & 24th as our 7:00 PM speakers. I encourage you to attend and be blessed in an incredible way. Following the Bigger’s our weekend speaker will be Bob Folkenberg Jr. who is the division president of China. You will be inspired and uplifted listening to Elder Folkenberg as he shares Scripture and stories from the Far East.
Jameel McGee and Andrew Collins
Camp Alamisco Speakers
Tent Set Up
Elder Livermore and Elder Fancher helping with tent set up at Camp Alamisco
Tent Set Up
With Brian being in his motorcycle accident and still recovering, I have been out all month visiting our pastors for the second quarter. What a blessing to sit down with our pastors, and many times their wives, and look over their plans and encourage them be more productive. I found some of our pastors struggling with time management and leadership. When I come back to my ADCOM team we then discuss how we can help. Phone calls have been made already with encouraging words of wisdom and guidance. I promise our churches that our pastors can, and will get better as they grow spiritually and develop through all of their experiences that church life brings. I also challenged for more Bible Studies and more outreach. I encourage the church body to help their pastor get better and more efficient as they lead the church. We can never achieve the mission without coming together and working as one to lift Jesus up where He deserves in our churches and in our communities.
I am so proud of one pastor in general who has taken on a conflict that is paralyzing the church in so many ways. He was respectful, but direct in his and the churches expectations. We have to work together, I believe the Lord’s Spirit will be poured out on us when we work like this particular church is working together. Nobody has the right to divide us as a working body for Christ. I believe in us, in Gulf States, and I believe in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. We need each other, what ever our differences might be we need to be respectful and always reveal our Christian values. Then, watch God work!!!!
I worked with a church this month regarding Verified Volunteers and the background check. I have spoken with Risk Management regarding churches being out of compliance and what we need to do in follow-up. I believe we can work through anything with dialogue and prayer for each other. I don’t pretend to understand why some people would be resistant to Verified Volunteers training and the background check. I ask for your prayers as we move forward with this issue. I know that non-compliance is not acceptable in any fashion. We must to the best of our ability protect our children from any harm.
One more thing, I took a Sabbath off this month from preaching in one of our churches. Instead I visited Opelika SDA Church. Pastor Paul was at his other church on this particular Sabbath. The entire church service was lay led. I say this with all humility, it was one of the best worship experiences I’ve had in a while. They interspersed music, testimonies with readings from Mrs. White and the Bible. What an experience I had with that church family. Just what I was looking for on Sabbath morning.
Until next time: