August 17, 2011

A New Lighthouse Shines in Virginia Beach  

After 20 years of meeting for worship in places they could not call home, last weekend members of Potomac Conference’s Virginia Beach (Va.) church celebrated the purchase of their own church building. Visitors from the community and over 10 sister churches in California, West Virginia, Maryland, Florida and North Carolina joined them for the grand opening ceremony. The sanctuary, lobby and hallways were standing room only when attendance soared to over 400 during the divine hour of worship.

According to Mark Sigue (pictured, center), the church’s pastor, celebrating this building at 4136 Holland Rd., was significant because, “this church is the first Adventist-owned church in Virginia Beach.”

The festivities continued with a Sunday brunch and the official ribbon-cutting, kitchen dedication and dedicatory prayers for church members.—Norman C. Belleza


WGTS’ “Night of Hope” Attracts Nearly 800

They usually listen to the family-friendly, kid-safe radio station in their cars, at home, on their computers and probably on their mobile devices. But on a recent Saturday night, 788 listeners of WGTS 91.9 FM attended the station’s third “Night of Hope” at the Sheraton Premiere Hotel in Vienna, Va. As part of the WGTS family, attendees enjoyed an evening of worship, prayer, song and, of course, hope. Almost every on-air personality and staff member of the Washington Adventist University-owned radio station in Takoma Park, Md., was on hand, including Becky Alignay, WGTS program director; Brennan Wimbish, morning show co-host; and Pastor Terry Johnsson, the station’s chaplain. Listeners were also introduced to Rob Vandeman, the station’s new president, who gave the opening prayer to set the tone for the evening.

In addition to Christian recording artist Heather Williams signing autographs, there were various prayer stations for those seeking a deeper connection with God, giveaways and more. Look for the next “Night of Hope” in November.—David Dickerson


Ohio Church Celebrates 50th Anniversary With Prayer Garden   

The Medina (Ohio) church celebrated their 50th anniversary by dedicating their new “prayer garden ministry” to the community. The garden was designed to bless those passing the church en route to the new Summa Hospital, located behind the church.

Present for the ceremony with Pastor Chester Hitchcock were Raj Attiken, Ohio Conference president; Dennis Hanwell, mayor of Medina; and Sally Gardner, representative of Medina Township. “Plans are to turn the entire church grounds into an area where neighbors frequent to pray, meditate, relax or even have lunch at a future picnic shelter,” explains Hitchcock. Since beginning the project 18 months ago, church attendance has increased 25 percent and tithe by more than 40 percent.—Heidi Shoemaker

Allegheny West’s Ephesus Church Turns 100

Allegheny West Conference’s (AWC) Ephesus congregation in Columbus, Ohio, recently celebrated its centennial with a weekend full of festivities. Many former pastors returned to help celebrate, including James Washington, Charles Drake, Henry M. Wright, Stephen T. Lewis, Bufford Griffith and William T. Cox. Other guest speakers with close relationships to Ephesus included Barry C. Black, chaplain for the United States Senate, and James L. Lewis, former AWC president.

In addition to spirited preaching related to the celebration’s theme, “History, Homecoming & Heaven,” choirs and musical groups spanning the last 40 years of the church’s history returned to enrich the worship services. Another high point of the weekend was taking time to honor those families whose ancestors were charter or founding members.—Valerie Lee


92 Attend Mountain View Summer Camps  

This year Mountain View Conference’s Valley Vista Adventist Center in Huttonsville, W.Va., hosted some 92 children for its four summer camps (Adventurer, Junior, Teen and Life Guard).

Dumisani Ziwoya (pictured) attended this year’s junior camp because members at the Parkersburg (W.Va.) church went on a fundraising blitz to help kids who are not Adventists attend camp. Called Campaign for Community, the effort relies on members going door to door or to businesses for funding. The funds are specifically used to help non-church members in many instances. Daniel Morikone, pastor of the Parkersburg (W.Va.) and Toll Gate (W.Va.) churches, says sending kids to camp leaves a lasting impression on the youngsters. “I know of four girls who have been attending summer camp for the last four years,” he says. “One of the girls even sent me a letter sharing how thankful she was for the opportunity.”—Taashi Rowe and Monica Zill

Rehoboth Spanish Group More Than Doubles Membership

At the beginning of this year, Allegheny East Conference’s Rehoboth Spanish group in Reading, Pa., had 25 members. Today they can claim 39 additional members, which means their membership has more than doubled in less than six months.

Leandro A. Perez, the church’s pastor, and Rabiel Torres, director of lay ministries, says they have been utilizing media to step up their evangelism efforts. First, the church distributed free CDs and DVDs from La Voz del Consolador ministry, featuring sermons by Andres Portes. They are also sponsoring a broadcast of Pastor Portes’ messages on a local TV station each Thursday night following the 11 p.m. news. At the end of the program, viewers are invited to call or visit the church.

The church then held two evangelism meetings in the spring and this summer, featuring Portes. Some 27 joined the church through baptism and 12 others joined by profession of faith. Pastor Perez says the increase can be linked to “the unity of the church. It is like a wake-up call and everyone is responding to the work of the Holy Spirit.”—Taashi Rowe


La feligresía del grupo hispano de Rehoboth se ha más que duplicado
Al iniciar este año, el grupo hispano de Rehoboth, de la Asociación del Este de Allegheny, en Reading, Pa., contaba con 25 miembros. Hoy, afirma tener 39 miembros más, lo que significa que su feligresía se ha más que duplicado en menos de seis meses.

Leandro A. Pérez, el pastor de la iglesia, y Rabiel Torres, director de los ministerios laicos, dicen que han utilizado los medios de comunicación para redoblar sus esfuerzos de evangelización. Primero, la iglesia distribuyó CD y DVD gratis de “La Voz del Consolador”, presentados por el Pastor Portes. También patrocinan la transmisión de estos mensajes en una estación local de televisión. Se transmite el programa cada jueves de noche después de las noticias de las 11:00 p.m. Al concluir el programa, se invita a los oyentes a llamar o visitar la iglesia.

Luego, la iglesia llevó a cabo—en la primavera y este verano—reuniones de evangelización con el Pastor Portes. Unas 27 personas se unieron a la iglesia por medio del bautismo, y otras 12 se unieron por profesión de fe. El Pastor Pérez dice que el aumento se debe a “la unidad de la iglesia. Es como un despertar, y todos están respondiendo a la obra del Espíritu Santo”.—Taashi Rowe


Washington Area Young Adults Fellowship on Friday Nights  

“Sometimes as young adults, especially those who are single, we go our own way on Friday nights. But with this ministry, we can open the Sabbath together,” says Anthony Barnes, a member of Allegheny East Conference’s First church in Washington, D.C. It was at his church that young adults from around the region recently met for the “First Fridays” worship service.

Calling themselves the Metro Area Adventist Young Adults (MAAYA), members from Potomac Conference’s Restoration Praise Center in Lanham, Md., and Allegheny East Conference’s Emmanuel-Brinklow church in Ashton, Md., noticed a dearth of spiritual activities on Friday nights for young adults and started this worship service back in October 2009. This month young people gathered at First church and enjoyed personal testimonies, a song service; music from Metro Praiz, a choir from the Metropolitan church in Hyattsville, Md.; and a sermon from MAAYA founder Moses Eli, who is also associate pastor at Miracle Temple in Baltimore.

Find them on Facebook at—Taashi Rowe


2012 Union Camporee Dates Set

Pathfinders can mark their calendars for August 8-11, 2012, the date of the “Choose Without Compromise” Columbia Union Camporee. Pam Scheib, camporee director, is leading youth and Pathfinder directors from each of the union’s eight conferences in planning this special event, which will be held at Camp Mohaven in Danville, Ohio. For more camporee details, visit and click on 2012 Pathfinder Camporee or

Rachael Hall, a Delaware (Ohio) Discoverers Pathfinder, recently won an iPod for designing the winning patch for the 2012 union camporee. Her pastor David Sullivan is pictured presenting her with the award.—Frank Bondurant

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