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Mountain View Re-Elects Officers, Sets Sights on Reaching Lost

By Taashi Rowe

Delegates to the Mountain View Conference’s Fourth Quadrennial Session last month, voted to re-elect Larry Boggess as their president and Victor Zill as their secretary-treasurer for a second full term. Delegates greeted the newly re-elected Boggess and his wife, Jo’an, and Zill and his wife, Monica, with thunderous applause.

“Thank you again for giving me the opportunity for service,” Boggess told the 165 delegates gathered at the conference’s Valley Vista Adventist Center in Huttsonville, W.Va. He also thanked his predecessors, Randall Murphy and Kingsley Whitsett, for their experienced counsel.

The meeting, Mountain View’s 68th business session, not only reviewed what happened in the last four years but also had an eye toward ramping up lay evangelism. Devotional speaker Russell C. Burrill—a former Mountain View pastor and retired director of the North American Division’s Evangelism Institute—set the tone for the meeting. “It is not about us. It is about them,” he underscored. “They are lost without Christ. Finding lost people must be the top priority of the church!”

Boggess continued that emphasis in his video report by sharing that, “336 people joined the church over the past four years, 71 people were trained to do lay evangelism, 100 different meetings were held to help people know Christ and 25 people are partnering with the conference to plant new churches.” Still with deaths, transfers and apostasy, net p gains remain small.

Pointing to increased lay involvement, Boggess remained optimistic that the conference of some 2,400 members in 33 churches spread throughout West Virginia and Maryland was poised for growth.

In the treasurer’s report, Zill announced that a 16.2 percent increase in tithe over the past four years and no long-term debt has placed the conference on better financial footing than in the previous four years. “We are not the most financially affluent area so this tells me that God’s people are faithful,” he said. He explained that staff expenses have gone down by moving some of those expenses into the field, which included increasing pastoral districts, but he cautioned those expenses will have to come back up at some point as the conference’s needs continue to grow.

By the end of the meetings, Boggess came back to evangelism. “We have baptized nearly 7,000 people in Mountain View since 1950, but here is the grim reality: we are only 2,400 strong,” he said. “We’ve got to be serious about sharing Jesus with others. I’m going to give it everything I’ve got. How about you?” To which delegates responded with a resounding “Amen!”