It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Beth Michaels, editor of the Columbia Union Visitor. Michaels, who served her Lord and the Seventh-day Adventist Church with distinction and dedication, passed away June 9 after a lengthy battle with cancer. She was 44.

Michaels, who served at the union for 10 years, was named editor and associate communication director in 2014.

“Beth was an incredibly gifted editor and had a burden to present relevant subjects in our union paper,” says Dave Weigley, Columbia Union Conference president. “She wanted to touch and help our members with what they were living with and dealing with, and give them hope.”

Pastor César González visits with Cenaida Fort Defaus, a Cuban member who opens her home as a meeting place for her church.

Story by Samantha Young

A group of 18 pastors and lay members recently conducted evangelistic meetings in Cuba. They held meetings in 11 churches in Pinar del Río, an area with extreme poverty, food scarcity and a typical monthly salary equivalent to about $25.

“Our pastors are enthusiastic about their meetings and the congregations were very receptive,” says Rick Remmers, conference president.

Violet Greene, a longtime Allegheny West Conference member, recently turned 110 years old. Greene celebrated her June 4 birthday at the Hyde Park Health Center in Cincinnati where she resides.

Tara Groves, activities director at the center, says that she baked bread every week until she turned 100 years old. She added, "Violet is very spiritual and believes that God has blessed her with long life because she honored her mother and father."


Funeral plans have been set for Elder Charles D. Brooks, who succumbed to pancreatic cancer on Sunday. He was 85.

The funeral will be held June 12 at Sligo church in Takoma Park, Md.

The viewing will take place 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.

The funeral starts at 1 p.m.

Watch the funeral online at

In lieu of flowers the family is requesting that donations be made payable to the:
C.D. Brooks Memorial Scholarship Fund
and sent in c/o:
Mrs. Walterine Brooks
11716 Basswood Drive

Laurel, Maryland 20708


Story by Andrew McChesney / Adventist Review / Image via ASI / Breath of Life

Charles D. Brooks, one of the foremost Seventh-day Adventist evangelists of the 20th century, succumbed to pancreatic cancer on Sunday. He was 85.

Brooks, better known as C.D. Brooks, led a 60-year ministry that resulted in more than 15,000 baptisms on six continents and was known for its innovative methods of embracing new media to spread the gospel, including through the Breath of Life television ministry, where Brooks served as founding speaker for 23 years.

Story by V. Michelle Bernard / Photos courtesy Mark Bowen/Scripps National Spelling Bee

JJ Chen, a 10-year-old boy who attends Chesapeake Conference’s Spencerville church in Silver Spring, Md., recently advanced to the Scripps National Spelling Bee finals in Oxon Hill, Md. He tied for 22nd place at the event.

Chen was the only student from the Washington, D.C., area to make it to the finals, and received a lot of local media attention for his accomplishment. He says he had fun and was “exited about talking with media. They are nice.”

Story by Heidi Shoemaker

This May more than 500 people in South Africa learned about Jesus at a Rev It Up! Revival evangelistic meeting led by Tom Hughes, a pastor in the Ohio Conference.

Story by Washington Adventist University Staff

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW), DC Chapter recently presented awards to a professor and student from Washington Adventist University (WAU) in Takoma Park, Md. The NASW is the largest professional association of social workers in the world, and the only organization dedicated to advocating for the entire profession of social work and the populations they serve.

Student Cindy Ascencio (pictured left) received the "Social Work Student of the Year" award for her leadership in the field of social work. She is president of WAU's social work club, is a member of the Pi Alpha National Honor Society for Social Work, and is active with the WAU Student Association.

Shenandoah Valley Graduates celebrate their graduation weekend

A Pine Forge graduate celebrates with Nicole Hughes, principal. Photo by Lincoln Tyler FieldsStoy by V. Michelle Bernard / Photos courtesy Shenandoah Valley Academy & Lincoln Tyler Fields

Last weekend six academies from around the Columbia Union Conference celebrated graduations: Blue Mountain, Highland View, Pine Forge (pictured left), Shenandoah Valley, Spencerville and Spring Valley. Richmond and Takoma academies will hold graduations next weekend.

Academy leaders report the following graduation totals: