July 2021 Carolina's 10,000 P5
1. TAKING TIME TO PRAISE OUR GRACIOUS GOD
Praising God is a normal response to what He has done for us and who He is. The largest book in the Bible, Psalms, has 150 individual psalms and is full of praise to God. In fact, Psalm 150, the last psalm in the book, concludes with the injunction, "Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Praise the LORD!" (Psalm 150:6) Psalm 92 begins with the statement, "It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to your name, O Most High.”
This month I’d like us to praise the Lord’s for His amazing goodness! We have been blessed with new laborers in accomplishing Christ’s mission in the Carolinas. As people retire or move on to other responsibilities, we are constantly looking for new laborers to fill the much-needed posts of responsibility in this part of His vineyard.
Praying for laborers in Matthew 9:37-38, Jesus says, “The harvest is truly plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore, pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” The Lord Jesus Christ teaches us to plead with God to call, equip, and send laborers into the harvest. It is for these newest laborers who joined our Carolina team just this year, that we pause in welcome and praise to Christ this month:
Carolina Conference Headquarters
Pastor Ricardo & Alicia Palacios & Family
Hispanic Ministries & Church Planting Director
Pastor Henrique & Karine Gomez
Assistant Communications Director for Media Ministries
Carolina Conference Pastors
Pastor Elim & Kelly Lopez
Pastor for N. Charleston Spanish Ch, Hanahan Spanish Ch, Summerville Spanish Ch, Johns Island Spanish Co, Goose Creek Spanish Gr
Pastor Artem & Patty Dmytriyev
Pastor for Burnsville Ch, Erwin Hills Ch, Asheville Area Russian/Slavic Members
Pastor Joslen & Ana Lache
Pastor for Asheboro Ch, Asheboro Span Ch, Biscoe Span Ch, Thomasville Ch Plant
Pastor Josue and Steffy Sanchez
Pastor for Florence First Church, Florence Company, Lumber River Company
Mount Pisgah Academy
Math Teacher – Algebra I & II, Intermediate Algebra, Geometry and Pre-Calculus
English Teacher & Student Academic Support
Music Teacher – Symphony, Bells & Bible III
Volunteer Campus Nurse
2. PRAYING FOR NEEDS ACROSS OUR CONFERENCE
Wake Forest Seventh-day Adventist Church Building Project. For the past several years our church family in Wake Forest has dreamed of the day when they would have their own church building. After years of fundraising and efforts they were able to purchase an ideal property in this expensive city north of Raleigh. Much planning, effort and expense have been invested in this building initiative.
However, with extremely stringent city codes and rising building costs, the church has run out of money to finish the project of their dreams. Today we have an unfinished church in Wake Forest without the possibility of procuring an occupancy permit. Unless the Lord helps our church family there with a miracle of financial resources above and beyond all that the Carolina Conference has already invested in completing this project.
Join me as we all make this a matter of prayer so that the Holy Spirit will convict generous hearts across the Carolinas to do their part to help our sister church in Wake Forest. By God’s grace and with His blessing, I pray that we will be able to celebrate this year in a service of worship and praise with the realization of their dream come true. All gifts to this project are tax-deductible and may be sent through the Carolina Conference for the Wake Forest Church Building Fund.
Here’s the latest update from Linda Ortiz, their church treasurer, toward the $144,000 that they need to raise:
3. PRAYING FOR OUR PASTORS & THEIR CHURCH DISTRICTS
Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, these words of encouragement were penned for our churches: “Ask of me, and I will answer your requests. The promise is made on condition that the united prayers of the church are offered, and in answer to these prayers there may be expected a power greater than that which comes in answer to private prayer. The power given will be proportionate to the unity of the members and their love for God and for one another.” [9MR, 303]
Praying for our pastors is very important. They are serving God and the attacks of the enemy are relentless. They must be covered in our prayers on a daily basis. Our prayers should be personalized by saying the title of pastor along with their name since they hold a position of sacred trust for God’s remnant church.
Why not pray specifically for our pastors by name using these seven needs and scriptural promises:
For Protection from Satan — "Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8)
For Protection from Our Own Sinful Hearts — "But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death." (James 1:14-15)
For Deep Spiritual Encouragement — "For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine." (Romans 1:11-12)
For Wisdom — "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him." (James 1:5)
For Doctrinal Faithfulness — "By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you." (2 Timothy 1:14)
For A Healthy Body — "But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others, I myself should be disqualified." (1 Corinthians 9:27)
For A Strong Marriage & Family — "Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church." (1 Timothy 3:2-6)
PASTOR CHURCH(ES); COMPANIES & GROUPS
1. Elim Lopez Cifuentes ................................................................................................................Pastor
North Charleston Spanish SDA Church
Hanahan Spanish SDA Church
Summerville Spanish SDA Church
Johns Island Spanish Company
Goose Creek Spanish Mission Group
2. Jonathan Mairena .......................................................................................................................Pastor
Greenville North Spanish SDA Church
Mount Olive Spanish SDA Church
Dudley Spanish SDA Company
Albertson Spanish SDA Mission Group
3. Roosevelt Marsden ..................................................................................................................Pastor
Fayetteville SDA Church
Fayetteville Korean SDA Mission Group
4. Richard Maskelony ...........................................................................Associate Youth Pastor
Arden SDA Church
5. Jonathan Michael .....................................................................................................................Pastor
Mount Pisgah Academy SDA Church
6. Marion Miller ................................................................................................................................Pastor
Bryson City SDA Church
Sylva SDA Church
Waynesville SDA Church
7. José Montenegro ..................................................................................................................................Pastor
Spartanburg Spanish SDA Church
Greenville South Carolina Spanish SDA Church
Boiling Springs Spanish SDA Company
4. PRAYING FOR OUR DEPARTMENTAL MINISTRIES
Beginning with our April 2019 issue of P5, we began highlighting a department of the conference each month – not so much as to give a full-length report of all that they have been or are accomplishing, but rather to simply uplift all our leaders and their faithful service in our prayers. The Ministries of the Carolina Conference are basically structured under 6 organizational department functions. They include:
1. The Adventist Christian Book Center
2. Camp Meeting
5. Church Ministries
6. Children & Young Adults
We have now been focusing our prayers with the departmental functions on the ministries of the Carolina Conference that impact our children and young adults.
So during the month of July
I invite you to prayerfully uplift our
Young Adult and Campus Ministries Department
under the leadership of
Pastor Hector Gonzalez & his secretary, Zuri Scroggins
The Carolina Conference has made a commitment to young adult and campus ministries. The goal of this department is to provide an inviting, non-threatening environment where young people can meet other Adventists, talk, relax, share experiences, and be fed both physically and spiritually. We want the opportunity to show that we care.
Beginning this year the Carolina Conference leadership team has begun a series of four Young Adult Summits (YAS) each year to engage a conversation with Young Adults (Ages 18-35) in how they see themselves as a vitally important part of the mission and message of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The first of these summits was held in last month in Morganton, NC. In August we will host our second summit in Charlotte. Future YAS meetings will be held this year in Concord and High Point, NC.
It is the desire of our Carolina Administrative Officers, the Youth Department and the Communications Department to continue our dialogue in fostering a climate of love, care, discipleship and active involvement with the Young Adults of the Seventh-day Adventist Churches across the Carolinas.
5. SATURATED WITH THE WORD – Fundamental Belief # 24 – Christ’s Ministry in the Heavenly Sanctuary
As a President’s Prayer Partner, we again invite you to truly be a people of the Word. As Seventh-day Adventists, we embrace 28 Fundamental truths that are based on the Bible alone. This is the second cycle in our emphasis on these vital beliefs that are centered in Christ as our Savior and as our Lord.
Let’s continue to place His Word prayerfully in our hearts each day of this month. I carry a set of these passages with me in my car and repeat them aloud as I drive from place to place. My goal is to prayerfully say one verse at least five times a day for a week, thus embracing the promise of God’s Word – “Thy Word have I hid in mine heart that I might not sin against Thee.” Psalm 119:11.
Repeat these passages over and over till they become a part of your very being. Of course, you can always choose to do more. Prayerfully consider how you can saturate your soul and make His Word a part of your heart every day.
FUNDAMENTAL BELIEF # 24: Christ’s Ministry in the Heavenly Sanctuary There is a sanctuary in heaven, the true tabernacle that the Lord set up and not humans. In it Christ ministers on our behalf, making available to believers the benefits of His atoning sacrifice offered once for all on the cross. At His ascension, He was inaugurated as our great High Priest and, began His intercessory ministry, which was typified by the work of the high priest in the holy place of the earthly sanctuary. In 1844, at the end of the prophetic period of 2300 days, He entered the second and last phase of His atoning ministry, which was typified by the work of the high priest in the most holy place of the earthly sanctuary. It is a work of investigative judgment which is part of the ultimate disposition of all sin, typified by the cleansing of the ancient Hebrew sanctuary on the Day of Atonement. In that typical service the sanctuary was cleansed with the blood of animal sacrifices, but the heavenly things are purified with the perfect sacrifice of the blood of Jesus. The investigative judgment reveals to heavenly intelligences who among the dead are asleep in Christ and therefore, in Him, are deemed worthy to have part in the first resurrection. It also makes manifest who among the living are abiding in Christ, keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus, and in Him, therefore, are ready for translation into His everlasting kingdom. This judgment vindicates the justice of God in saving those who believe in Jesus. It declares that those who have remained loyal to God shall receive the kingdom. The completion of this ministry of Christ will mark the close of human probation before the Second Advent.
A. Exodus 25:8 (NKJV) — “And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them.”
B. Daniel 8: 13-14 (NKJV) — “Then I heard a holy One speaking; and another Holy One said to that certain one who was speaking, ‘How long will the vision be, concerning the daily sacrifices and the transgression of desolation, the giving of both the sanctuary and the host to be trampled underfoot?’ 14 And he said to me, ‘For two thousand three hundred days; then the sanctuary shall be cleansed.’ ”
C. Hebrews 2:17 (NKJV) — “Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people."
D. Hebrews 9:24 (NKJV) — “For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us.”
6. PRAISE GOD FROM WHOM ALL BLESSINGS FLOW
Do you know that praising God is the best thing to do first before anything else? Praising God makes every circumstance of our lives complete, essential, and eminently worthwhile. It has been my heartfelt conviction that we exist as a church for one and only one purpose – one mission.
OUR FOCUS FOR JUNE: Renovation of the Girls’ Dormitory at Mount Pisgah Academy
By faith we are moving forward!! During the month of June, a wonderful Maranatha Volunteer group is gathered on our campus to begin a major task of renovations for the residence of our ladies at Mount Pisgah Academy. They will pull out carpets, demolish closets, add new furniture, flooring, electrical outlets, USB ports, and overhead lighting.
That mission is embodied in the closing call of Christ to his disciples in Matthew 28:19-20 –“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
This month is a special moment for celebrating and praising the convicting power of the Holy Spirit in blessing us with a wonderful increase in Carolina’s kingdom growth of precious lives for Christ. It is also a moment to gratefully acknowledge the faithful labors of our pastors, volunteer lay pastors 7 lay leaders of our churches who have responded to God’s calling to seek and save the lost as the mission of Jesus as highlighted in His words of Luke 19:10.
At the end of 2020, the membership of the Carolina Conference was: 24,351*
At the end of June 2021, the membership of the Carolina Conference was: 24,391*
*NOTE: This reflects a gain of 40 members with transfers in and out, deaths, apostasies, baptisms and professions of faith.
At the end of the second quarter of this year (reflecting the months of April – June), 2020 when we were right in the middle of our pandemic, we had a total of only 45 baptisms and professions of faith across the 169 churches and companies of North and South Carolina; however, we rejoice in God’s saving grace in bringing 179 baptisms and professions of faith in this same second quarter for 2021 — an increase of 134 hearts for Heaven! Rejoice in the Lord!
Between January and June of 2020 – the first six months of that year, with very minimal evangelistic or soul-winning activity due to adverse conditions prompted by the enemy of mankind, we still had 140 baptisms and professions of faith. Wow! What a difference a year makes with the easing of restrictions and the diminishing of the COVID plague! In the first six months (reflecting the first two quarters of 2021), we’ve had 294 baptisms and professions of faith — an increase of 154 hearts for Heaven! And again, I say rejoice!
The year is not over yet! Jesus is coming again. It’s time for us to wake up and be about our Father’s business. It’s time for us to recognize that the fields are ripe for Harvest (John 4:27-42). We are so often blind to the people -- both to their spiritual needs and to their readiness and openness to Jesus. We see their lifestyle and sometimes hard attitudes and forget that God is able to work powerfully in them when the time is right.
This is not just about numbers. It’s about souls saved by God’s grace and the faithfulness of His church in responding to Christ’s commission. Let’s praise Him for the blessings of these souls and continue pray for an outpouring of the latter rain power of His Holy Spirit and a resulting overflow of blessings in 2021 with lives who will truly join the ranks as faithful disciples of Jesus.
7. REMEMBERING AND UPLIFTING GOD’S ANOINTED LEADERS FOR THE SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH IN CONTINUOUS PRAYER
Be part of God’s praying church across North America by uplifting these leaders also in the Pacific Union of Seventh-day Adventists and the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada who guide God’s work in these territories of God’s vineyard: