October 2023 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.
Your beautiful church’s headquarters located in Charlotte, North Carolina, is now well over 30 years old. With the passing of time, the carpet has aged with stains, wear and tear; in a number of places throughout the
building the dated wall paper is peeling. Your conference administration has determined that it is time for a fresh, new start by removing the old wallpaper, re-carpeting the floors and replacing the aged furniture.
In order to accomplish this, a renovations committee, chaired by Chad Grundy, our conference Undertreasurer, was established to make plans for this major transition. After finalizing on a reputable contractor, a proposal was submitted to the Conference Finance Committee and approved by Executive Committee last month.
It was determined that we would literally save several thousands of dollars by vacating our office facility and renovating in one sweeping action rather than completing by phases. Therefore, as of October 31, 2023, the current Carolina Conference headquarters will be closed to the public till approximately April, 2024, and operate in the following manner:
• All our support staff, HR, and Treasury Departments will work from a rented Regus business office at 301 McCullough Drive, Suite 400 in Charlotte, NC, about 3 miles from our present location.
• All officers and departmental directors will work from their homes.
• The Adventist Christian Book Center (ACBC) will operate from their warehouse at our current location and continue their bookmobile runs.
• Please be assured that during these months, we will, by God’s grace, strive to continue all ministries and events to the best of our ability.
We are happy to let you know that this major expense is one that will not involve any loan or indebtedness by the conference. None of this renovation project is being funded through sacred tithe dollars. Rather, it is being funded through our plant fund which has been supported over the past several years by wills, trusts, and maturities of generous hearts from our Carolina family.
Please pray for our entire office team as a major project of packing, discarding, and moving is underway right now during the month of October. This is a challenging time for all of us as we continue our ministries and services while handling this major transitional initiative.
Although we will all go through some degree of inconvenience during these coming months, our newly renovated office will have a fresh and attractive new look. Thank you for your patience and understanding especially during this time.
Our hope is that this finished project will represent the beauty of God’s church headquarters here in the Carolinas till that glorious day when we will have finished the sacred mission of Christ and be home at last with our Savior for all eternity.
One of the joys of my ministry is to walk into a church and hear words of heartfelt appreciation for the pastor of that church or church district. Across the Carolinas and much of our nation, we have welcomed the cooler crisp temperatures and the resplendent, radiant colors of the foliage around us.
It was wise King Solomon who reminds us that “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. (Ecclesiastes 3:1 NIV) This is also a season for remembering our pastors - and their faithful labors for the Lord through our prayers and our affirmation of their ministry.
Pastoring a church, whether big or small, is one of the most demanding responsibilities in the body of Christ. A pastor’s work in the church cannot be overemphasized. They accept the responsibility to organize and conduct weekly and Sabbath services as well as other programs like baptisms, counseling sessions, weddings, and funerals. They are also there to guide and ensure that the lives of their members whether they are the elderly, the middle-aged, the young adult, the youth, or the child. God has given them a sacred calling in their walk with Christ to fulfill their God-given purpose.
Our almost 100 Carolina pastors work tirelessly on behalf of their flocks, and it is ideal that you, as a member, send your pastor appreciation quotes or appreciation messages to recognize and thank him or her for their efforts and how much he or she has done in your life. This will not only give him or her a feeling of fulfillment; it will also serve as an encouragement to be more. And yes, your pastor also needs some words of encouragement.
Some folks think that pastoring a church is easy and that a pastor’s only busiest day is on the Sabbath day. They are not aware of the late-night phone calls, hospital visits, and prayer for members of the congregation who seem to have one challenge or the other.
And it is important to not forget, that Pastors are fallible human beings like you too. They are not robots! Learning how to thank them, and doing so frequently, is so important. Sending our pastors appreciation quotes shows how grateful we are for their hard work and will inform them how much they have been able to impact and influence us positively over the years.
Above all, every genuine spiritual leader - whether a full-time employed pastor or a volunteer lay pastor deserves our encourgagement and support. Doing this will further help to re-energize them so that they can continue doing their good work in the 178 churches and companies that embrace God’s vineyard of North and South Carolina.
A Special Tribute to Our Pastor of Our Pastors
In the early morning hours of September 17, 2023 our dear brother and Ministerial Director for the Carolina Conference – Haskell Williams lost the love of his life and dearest companion for over 50 years, Cindy, to a tragic and unexpected heart attack. Cindy was Haskell’s faithful and cherished partner in ministry and the strength of his soul.
My personal journey with this precious couple spanned a similar course of time and memories. My Carole and Cindy were classmates in their church school in Raleigh.
Cindy and Haskell grew up knowing each other as friends since he was about 14 years of age on the campus of Mount Pisgah Academy. Haskell and I were students in the School of Religion together at Southern Missionary College (Today known as Southern Adventist University). 2023 was a banner year for both of us since Haskell and Cindy just had celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last spring from when they were united as one in the Pittsboro Seventh-day Adventist Church; and Carole and I will celebrate our same golden anniversary in December of this year from our marriage at the Raleigh Seventh-day Adventist Church.
Haskell is a prince of pastors and one of the most gracious men that God has blessed my life and ministry to work beside as a champion of the gospel of Jesus Christ. The loss he bears without his beloved Cindy is incomprehensibly heartbreaking to all of us who love and care for our “Pastor of pastors.”
On Sunday, October 29, at 10:30 AM, there will be a memorial service for Cindy at the Mount Pisgah Academy Church. We welcome all who can be there to show your compassionate support for our dear friend, brother and servant of Christ, Elder Haskell Williams.
Till that golden reunion morning when Haskell will hold Cindy in his arms again under the smiling face of their Savior, we cherish the words of Revelation 21:4-5:
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.”
Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” (NKJV)
Focus on Discipleship
In this P5 issue we continue our focus on our goal of intentionally engaging, empowering, and enabling our young adults in the mission of the church.
Here are some recent developments that have taken place or will be taking place in this initiative:
• The Executive committee last month confirmed a second young adult to serve as a member of the conference’s Executive Committee. Based on stellar recommendations from both her pastor and the principal of our school in Raleigh, we welcome Crystal Poholka to our conference committee.
• The Carolina conference administration is committed to scheduling 4 Sabbath afternoons at various locations to engage in a conversation with our young adults where we can have a time of devotion and a Q&A in which opportunities will be made to share ideas and goals for the ministries and mission of Christ. These gatherings are now referred to as “Let’s Talk,” and we have two more scheduled for this year:
Focus on Young Adults
1. This Sabbath, October 21 at Greenville North Church
2. December 9 at the Greenville North Spanish Church
• We regard our young adult audience to be those in the range of ages 18-35.
• Under the leadership of Pastor Cris Cazarine, our Young Adult Director, plans are in place to hold a wonderful training seminar in January, 2024 called “Growing Together” which will be hosted at Nosoca Pines Ranch.
Please keep these and other initiatives in your prayers so we reach out to hold on to our young adults as precious part of our church family.
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.
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.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
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
During this October issue, we ask you to uplift in prayer our Men’s Ministries Department under the dedicated leadership of our director, Pastor Tony laPorte,
Men are consistently faced with questions and challenges concerning their role as husbands, fathers, and spiritual leaders at home and in present-day society.
The Carolina Conference Men’s Ministries Department has introduced various approaches to address these relevant issues and meet the needs of the men in our region. They provide programs, resources, and training for local church Men’s Ministries leaders that promote effectiveness and success. In the past five years, they have conducted several instructional training sessions to certify our local leaders. Currently, there are thirteen local leaders that have been certified by the North American Division Men’s Ministries Department. Several resources such as books, websites, DVDs, and personal instructional counsel have been provided on an ongoing basis.
Throughout the years, several meetings (2-3 per year) have been conducted for the purpose of training and for the planning of Men’s Retreats and other events focusing on meeting men’s relevant challenges. These events give leaders the opportunity to share ideas, plan local church events, seek advice, and build support networks and friendships.
Please pray this month for the impact of our Men’s Ministries on the lives of the men of our conference family and our conference leadership of this ministry.
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.”
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: