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March 2024 Carolina's 10,000 P5

Embracing Carolina with the Compassionate Call of Christ

The 10,000 President’s Prayer Partners is a fast-growing group of Carolina Conference constituents who take matters such as these to their knees. We invite you to join us and make this monthly list a matter of prayer. Together we seek the Lord for His answers and provisions to every need we bring before Him.

One of the greatest opportunities, challenges, and sacred responsibilities that we face in these closing moments of earth’s history is finding and holding on to Godly leadership in the growing Adventist movement across the Carolinas. We praise God for His provision of the laborers as we have had to make several adjustments and accommodations to the Lord’s growing work in the vineyard of His church across North and South Carolina.

Pastor Henrique Gomes

Shifting from his position as Associate Director of Communication, our Personnel Committee granted the request of Elder Henrique Gomes to transition to pastoral ministry and serve as the new Associate Pastor of the Charlotte Sharon Seventh-day Adventist Church. That became effective January 1, 2023.

Pastor Ryan Hodgins

Pastor Ryan Hodgins, who has served as the Associate Pastor for the Charlotte Sharon Church, is now the pastor of Pursuit Worship – this group is being recommended by the Church Planting Committee to the next Executive Committee for confirmation as an organized Company. Pursuit Worship serves as a community gathering, for youth and young adults. It is an intentional worship gathering to help individuals grow, understand, and live biblically in a community that can expand their capacity to love God and love others as Jesus taught us.

Pastor Mark Kim

Elder Mark Kim, who has served capably as our pastor for the Raleigh RTP Seventh-day Adventist Church, has been confirmed as the new pastor for the Little Creek Adventist Fellowship Church and as a temporary overseeing pastor for the Little Creek Hispanic SDA Company. The Personnel Committee has also added the Fuquay-Varina Lighthouse SDA Fellowship as a part of the district that will be under the pastoral leadership and care of Pastor Mark.

Pastor Christopher Thompson

On February 15, Pastor Christopher Thompson from Beaufort, SC was confirmed as the new pastor for the Beaufort & Hilton Head SDA Churches. He began his pastoral responsibilities for this district this month.

Pastor Joe Pieretti

Elder Joe Pieretti has transitioned from his ministry at Wake Forest & Henderson SDA Churches to be the pastor for the Winston Salem First Church and Triad Adventist Fellowship (TAF). For the past several years Attorney Matt Stockdale had faithfully dedicated his time and talents to serve as the Volunteer Lay Pastor of TAF, and he has requested to step down from this role he has held since the inception of this church plant.

Pastor Giancarlo de Miranda

Pastor Giancarlo de Miranda from Michigan has been confirmed as the new pastor for the Kernersville Seventh-day Adventist Church since Pastor Ralph Henderson will be retiring from his ministry there in April. However, that transition is pending the receipt of his permanent residence status (Green Card). That application is well underway to completion, and we are following legal counsel to not interfere with the process that is in place. In the meantime, Pastor Ralph has agreed to continue serving there at Kernersville as their interim pastor until the way is clear for Pastor Giancarlo de Miranda to transition to the Kernersville Church and the Carolina Conference.

Pastor Mauricio Schiavenin

Pastor Mauricio Schiavenin from California has been confirmed as our new pastor for the Rocky Mount and Roanoke Valley Churches in North Carolina. This is a district that we’ve been working on to fill this post for well over 16 months. We are grateful that we’ve been able to utilize Elder Pete Trizinski as our retired interim pastor for the district during this extended period of our search.

Pastor Robert Welch

Pastor Robert Welch has been approved by the Personnel Committee to enter pastoral ministry as an assistant pastor at Fayetteville SDA Church under the mentorship of Pastor Scottie Deal. He has been confirmed with specific areas of pastoral leadership to be focused on the Lumber River SDA Company and the SDA Church of the Sandhills in Carthage, NC.

While we praise God for His direction and guidance in these church districts, we ask for your continued prayers of our Joint Council and Personnel Committee as we work through confirming pastoral care for the following churches or church districts:

  1. The Carolina Conference Personnel Committee has already interviewed and is in the process of confirming a pastor for the Clemson SDA Church and the Mt. Airy SDA Group.

  2. As of January 1, the Personnel Committee has placed the Wilson and Goldsboro Churches as one district. Currently Pastor Pete Trizinski is caring as an interim pastor for the Goldsboro Church while the Wilson Church is being lay led as we continue our search for a pastor for this new district. Elder Rick Swaningson, former President of Adventist World Aviation (AWA), has graciously and voluntarily served as the pastor for the Wilson SDA Church since AWA moved the headquarters of their ministry to North Carolina. He recently retired from his responsibilities at AWA and has stepped down from his role as the volunteer pastor for Wilson. The Wilson Church has become a vibrant church with active lay leadership under Pastor Rick’s pastoral and evangelistic guidance. Over the past several years our Goldsboro Church belonged to the same district as Little Creek Adventist Fellowship and Little Creek Hispanic Adventist Fellowship under the care of Pastor José LaPorte. Pastor José LaPorte transferred to the Myrtle Beach Church upon the retirement of Pastor Tom Hughes.

  3. With the transition of Elder Joe Pieretti to the Wake Forest & Triad Adventist Fellowship Churches, Wake Forest and the Henderson Churches now remain an open district in North Carolina. However, the good news is that we have a prospective pastor in mind whom we hope to confirm after he completes his degree from the School of Religion at Southern Adventist University in May.

  4. With the transition of Elder Scottie Deal to the Fayetteville SDA Church, Salisbury, Concord & Kannapolis is now an open district in North Carolina. We do have a prospective pastor that the Personnel Committee will be interviewing in April for this post.

  5. With Pastor Jonathan Michael transitioning to the Georgia-Cumberland Conference, Elder Moyer and I visited the Mount Pisgah Academy Church with the church members, the faculty & staff of MPA as well as their student body to begin the process of developing a church/pastor profile in our search for the person of God’s leading for this important sacred trust.

  6. Unfortunately, as of Monday, March 4, we are saddened to announce that Jackie James is no longer serving as the pastor of the University City Church & Huntersville Lighthouse Fellowship Churches. Pastor Darryl Bentley, our Associate Ministerial Director will be serving at the University City Church as our interim pastor as we begin that search process again for a new pastor there. We are also in discussion to provide pastoral care for the Huntersville Lighthouse Fellowship Church.

Also, this week we interviewed and invited a former principal & teacher to rejoin our teaching team at ACA Raleigh. That is pending confirmation by their next school board meeting.

**This week we had the opportunity of interviewing and inviting two outstanding educators to join our teaching team at Mills River SDA School. We are waiting on confirmation by the next school board for these two vital positions.

A church can operate temporarily without a pastor. A school; however, cannot function without teachers or a principal. One of the saddest realities is when church schools close because they have not been able to find the needed teacher(s) tokeep their school open. That has happened in a few of our conferences in North America, but thankfully not in Carolina – yet.

Please remember our Office of Education in your continued prayers as they are busily engaged in a search process for the best teachers that God can lead us to meet the needs in each of our schools.

With each issue of our President’s Prayer Partners (P5), we continue to focus

specifically on one of our goals and share some of the developments that are helping us in our journey toward accomplishing that goal.

In our combined January-February P5 we focused on our second quinquennial goal of intentionally engaging, empowering, and enabling our young adults in the church’s mission. This March, 2024 P5 issue, we wish to focus on our third Quinquennial Goal with initiatives that will continue to enhance the ministry of Mount Pisgah Academy resulting in a strong, consistent, and sustainable enrollment of 125-150 students.

I was on the campus of Mount Pisgah Academy both on the 1st of February and again on the 1st of March! There is a new vibrancy in spirit on our campus with a buzz of activity and enthusiasm this year!

Having lunch between board meetings at the cafeteria is a wonderful break to connect with students and just get acquainted with them.

Also during February, an entire weekend was dedicated to a team of dedicated leaders who spent their time in developing a strategic plan for our academy under the guidance of Carla Thrower, Associate Director for Secondary Education for the Southern Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

Last Friday, March 1, MPA hosted the annual Music Festival for the Carolina Conference.

Much of what I can share with you are highlights from their most recent issue of the Skyliner Newsletter:

  • Principal Dewald Coetzer reported that the campus had over 320 students from our Carolina schools and homeschool students who came to our campus for the annual Music Festival. I was blessed to hear an amazing array of sacred music as we welcomed the hours of the Sabbath by the Choir led by Clinician Livya Liga, by the massive Bell & Chimes Choir led by Clinician Katherine Bowes and the Symphonic Band led by Clinician Steven Green.

  • Eleven students from MPA along with Chaplain Mark Galvez are on a mission trip to Cusco, Peru where they are spreading a message of hope and building lasting relationships with the local community. This is a combined missional and cultural adventure for our students. They will have the opportunity to see places such as the famed and iconic Machu Pichu built in 1450 by the Incas.

  • MPA hosted its first Career Fair with 11 booths on February 22 allowing students to consider opportunities in a wide array of career opportunities. The fields represented included architecture, medicine, education and religion.

  • During this month, let’s uplift our academy as they host their annual Academy Days from March 22-24. This three-day open house will allow students from our Carolina schools and others from across the United States to meet our students, experience life on our beautiful campus, and audition for scholarships. Pray for this event as families and students consider the possibility of MPA as their choice in completing their secondary education experience.


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


Protection from Our Sinful Heart

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


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



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


Doctrinal Faithfulness

By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.

2 Timothy 1:14


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


A Strong Marriage & Family

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

Beginning with our April 2019 issue of P5, we started highlighting a department of the conference each month. Our aim is not to provide a comprehensive report of all their accomplishments, but to uplift our leaders and their faithful service in their respective ministries through our prayers.

In September 2021, we began the second full cycle of remembering all the ministry departments of the Carolina Conference.

The Church Ministries branch of the Carolina Conference encompasses the following departmental subdivisions of service:

• Family Ministries

• Prayer Ministries

• Hispanic Ministries

• Singles’ Ministries

• Men’s Ministries

• Women’s Ministries

• Planned Giving/Trust Services

• Health Ministries

In our January/February issue of P5, we invited you to lift up our Singles Ministries Department in your prayers.

During this March issue, we ask you to uplift in prayer our Women’s Ministries Department under the dedicated leadership of our director, Beth Grissom and her gifted secretary, Chana Gentry.

The desire of Women’s Ministries is that every woman in the Carolina Conference comes to recognize Jesus as her personal Savior and friend. Their goal is to know Jesus passionately and to serve and disciple women. They want to lift up Jesus Christ by enabling women to discover and realize their leadership and ministry potential—within their home, church and community.

There are several key events that happen during the year that are available for involvement by the women of our conference family:
  • The first Sabbath in March is International Prayer Day (There are sermons available to download at They even have programs planned specifically for that day.)

  • If you are interested in polishing your skills for speaking and planning a Women’s Emphasis Day (which can also be a type of Women Leaders’ Appreciation Day) that is held the first Sabbath in June or for the Annual Offering Day, held the second Sabbath of July, contact your local leader to get on board. There are presentations available for these Sabbaths that also provide information on how to involve other women in your church for those days. Be sure to plan with your pastor and get the planned days approved early in the year.

  • The fourth Sabbath in August is Abuse Prevention Day to bring awareness to the community about domestic violence and other issues of its kind. You can bring in guests from the community and hold a seminar in the afternoon from people who deal directly with these issues in protective agencies, etc.

  • ENDITNOW: Break the silence about abuse. The North American Division recognizes that women, children, and men can be victims of abuse of every kind, and we are working to prevent it. For abuse resources, go to

  • Another opportunity for involvement is an event called “God in Shoes” that your local church can host. It is a great way to minister to the women in our surrounding communities and treat them to a spa day while also providing hands-on ministry such as prayer, massages, manicures, facials, and a brand new pair of shoes! This ministry was founded by Jo Dubbs in the Georgia-Cumberland Conference, and we have improvised and tweaked it to fit the needs of the community we are trying to reach.

  • A wonderful outreach opportunity for Carolina Women’s Ministries is an event called “God’s Closet.” This event can be held at your local church or other designated venue quarterly (Generally the first Friday in February, May, August and November). A FREE, fun shopping event is hosted for families to shop for infants through teenage size clothing, shoes and bedding. See for more information or email

  • The Annual Women’s Retreat at Nosoca Pines Ranch is another great way to connect and grow spiritually. The Women’s Ministries retreat is held the first weekend in October. It’s one of the most affordable retreats in the Southern Union. With the offerings we receive throughout the year, we are able to help fund the cost of attendance for a number of ladies. This is a great opportunity to gather with like-minded women during this spiritual weekend! God always provides a phenomenal blessing!

  • An exciting resource for teen girls is the new blog dedicated to connecting teen girls to God and to each other, helping them tackle tough issues, and sharing fun, relevant articles. Visit To be inspired and uplifted, follow by using #Gorgeous2God to connect or follow on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest: @Gorgeous2God.

  • Level I of the Women’s Leadership Certification program has been updated and is free on the website. If you are interested in completing the program, please contact your local or conference women’s ministries leader.

As a President’s Prayer Partner, we invite

you once again to be truly a people of the

Word. As Seventh-day Adventists, we adhere to

28 Fundamental Beliefs that are based solely on

the Bible. We began our third cycle of focusing on

these vital beliefs, which are centered in Christ as

both our Savior and Lord, in December of 2021.

Let’s continue to thoughtfully place His Word

in our hearts every day this month. I personally

carry a set of these passages in my car and recite

them aloud as I drive from one place to another.

My aim is to say one verse prayerfully at least

five times a day for a week, thus internalizing the

promise of God’s Word: “Thy word have I hid in

mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”

(Psalm 119:11)

I encourage you to repeat these passages until

they become a part of your very being. Of course,

you’re always free to do more. Please consider, in

a prayerful manner, how you can saturate your

soul with His Word and make it a part of your

heart every day.

Be part of God’s praying church across North America by uplifting these leaders of our church who guide God’s work in these territories of God’s vineyard:


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Elder Leslie Louis
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