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Columbia Union Men “Awakened” at Conference

By Billy Errico

More than 420 men from across the Columbia Union territory gathered recently for a time of renewal. Larry Wilson, director of the ministry Godly Free Men, organized the Men’s Ministries conference with a desire to awaken Seventh-day Adventist men and get them more engaged in the church. The event theme was “The Great Awakening.”

The one-day conference involved church leaders such as Alvin Kibble, a vice president for the North American Division; Dave Weigley, president of the Columbia Union Conference; and John Appel, Family Ministries director for the Chesapeake Conference. Each presented a message on characteristics and responsibilities of godly men.

“Men should be spiritual leaders,” Weigley explained to conference attendees. “God expects us to fulfill the role of the priesthood in our home. It doesn’t end there. We should be spiritual leaders in our church, workplace and community.” Weigley also stressed the importance of continuous learning, as well as being engaged in the church’s mission to tell the world of Christ’s love. “When we are focused on the mission, we are less likely to be distracted by the cares of this world,” he noted.

Pastor Appel challenged men to look for opportunities to share their faith, such as visiting with neighbors and identifying and meeting specific physical needs. “We are better positioned to lead someone to Christ after earning their trust and respect,” he said. “We are to build up the body of Christ. We fulfill this by being good husbands, fathers, teachers and leaders in our home, church and in the community.”

Pastor Kibble summed up the conference when he said, “We cannot save everyone, but we can start in our house, on our block, in our church and in the community. Our young men need positive Christian role models to guide them and encourage them as they grow into godly men.”

Many attendees shared their appreciation for the conference. “It was wonderful to fellowship with other men who are striving to follow God and lead their families toward Christ,” commented attendee Perry Heinrich, a member of Chesapeake Conference’s Linthicum church in Linthicum Heights, Md. “I’m looking forward to attending again in the future.”