News

New Jersey Dedicates Office as House of Prayer, Evangelism Training Center

Story and Photos by Celeste Ryan Blyden


Ribboncutters: Dave Weigley, Esteban Grajales, Ted Wilson, Autumn Bange; Jose H. Cortes, Michele Etenne; Dan Jackson and Jim Greene 

Former presidents, officials from all levels of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and local members, teachers, pastors and staff were on hand yesterday to witness the grand opening celebration and dedication of New Jersey Conference’s new headquarters in Lawrenceville.
Located just down the street from the conference’s former 1950s-era building, the new building is indicative of the conference’s continued growth. The 27,000-square-foot facility is nearly triple the size of the original building. Together with the 1.83 acres of land it sits on, it cost $6.5 million, none of which came from tithe or operating budget say officials, but from the trust of a generous member.

“I need to thank the Lord today, and I need to thank you because this is done by the grace of the Lord and because of your faithful support of the church,” said Jose H. Cortes, conference president.

Just before he, three youth from the conference and several church leaders cut the ribbon for the official grand opening, he told the waiting crowd that the building will be a house of prayer, a training center for evangelism and an administrative building to carry out the Lord’s work.

During the two-hour dedication program that followed, attendees enjoyed music from the New Jersey Conference Choir, presentations to three former presidents and their wives and greetings from General Conference president Ted Wilson, North American Division president Dan Jackson and Columbia Union Conference president Dave Weigley. “Today New Jersey, you make us proud,” said Weigley who described the building as professional and representative of Seventh-day Adventist Church standards.

Wilson called for members to continue sharing the good news of Christ’s soon return. “It is my prayer that New Jersey will be a great light for the work of the Seventh-day Adventist Church,” he said. “God will use you and those who work here to proclaim the three angels’ messages.”

In his remarks, Cortes, outlined a new plan for evangelism designed to do just that in 2011. “We have begun ‘Operation Caleb,’” he told Wilson and the attendees who packed the building’s state-of-the-art media center and adjoining fellowship hall on the basement level. “I challenged every pastor to take a town in the 12:40 and 6:10 windows, and I told them, ‘You don’t need to take the whole state of New Jersey, just a town and plant a church for Jesus there.’”

Cortes said that in addition to all the ministry departments and community services center that will be housed at the new headquarters, his team also plans to produce evangelistic programs for the Internet and Hope Channel, music CDs featuring members and sermons in nine languages. Read more in the January New Jersey News printed in the Visitor.