November 2, 2011

First Adventist Attorney Weekend Attracts 50

Some 50 Seventh-day Adventist legal professionals enjoyed fellowship and professional enrichment during the recent inaugural Columbia Union Attorney Weekend. The Adventist Lawyers Association (ALA), which “exists to unite and support Adventist lawyers in service to the community and each other,” organized the event. The general counsel offices of both the General Conference and the Columbia Union Conference sponsored the weekend.

The weekend started with worship and potluck at Potomac Conference’s Sligo church in Takoma Park, Md., and ended with the Annual ALA Attorney Dinner, held at Potomac’s Beltsville (Md.) church on Sunday. Pictured are some attendees Jackson Doggette, general counsel and director of Philanthropy for the Allegheny East Conference; Brandon Patterson, public defender for Baltimore County, Maryland; and Karnik Doukmetzian, general counsel for the General Conference.

“This event is a wonderful opportunity for Adventist legal professionals to come together and encourage one another,” commented Patterson, a member of the Restoration Praise Center, in Lanham, Md.—Story by Cheryl Cathlin


104 College Students, Young Adults Attend Missionary Training

Since 2007 ANEW has hosted a fall conference to connect, equip and strengthen young professionals and students for ministry on secular university campuses throughout the mid-Atlantic region. This year the conference was held in Halifax, Pa., at Camp Hebron. One hundred and four people, including students from North Carolina, attended the retreat that was jam-packed with student-led Bible study, prayer, testimonies, evangelism workshops and reports of ministry in action.

ANEW leaders said they hoped the weekend will continue to inspire attendees throughout the school year. “Campus ministry in the mid-Atlantic should be happening every single day of the year,” said David Park, director and one of the founders of ANEW. “Look, you’re not there to get a degree or to pursue your own interests, but God has placed you there to be a missionary.”—Story and photo by V. Michelle Bernard

Chesapeake Conference School Helps Haiti Orphanage

As a thank you to their director, Jane Lanning, Spencerville Adventist Academy’s cast of last spring’s musical production, Cheaper By the Dozen, made a donation to the Eden Garden Orphanage in Montrouis, Haiti.

Lanning recently took the more than $1,700 donation from her Spencerville, Md.-based school with her on a visit to the Adventist-run orphanage. The funds allowed for the construction of 20 new school desks (pictured). While there Lanning also incorporated the help of the orphans to sketch and paint murals for the nursery and kindergarten classroom. She recalled that one of the highlights of the trip was discovering what the kids want to be when they grow up: doctors, engineers, nurses, fashion designers, pastors and teachers, even a policeman. “By creating more of a learning environment with new desks and painted walls, these dreams may actually feel possible!” exclaimed Lanning.—Heidi Wetmore

Mountain View Members Fellowship by Phone

It’s 7 o’clock on a Monday morning. Most people are busy getting ready for work or school. Some have already left their homes for the day. Some are still asleep. In the Mountain View Conference, people are picking up their phones and dialing into a teleconference prayer line. For an hour each Monday morning, administrators, pastors, prayer coordinators and lay people from across the conference pray together.

The hour begins with a short devotional. Then participants get right to praising God for what He has done in their lives in the past week. After that they share their prayer requests with each other and with God. Many report seeing results from this shared prayer experience. Others like Betty Gerath say, “It’s such a blessing to be able to get together with brothers and sisters around the conference and share with one another.”—Story by Kathy Pepper; photo by Monica Zill


Potomac, Allegheny East Receive Communication Honors

Several communication professionals from the Columbia Union Conference took home awards from the recent Society of Adventist Communicators convention held in Lombard, Ill. Potomac Conference’s Communication Department won “Best in Class” for the Corporate Communication Website category. The team (pictured) includes Paolo Esposito, communication intern; Adrienne Suarez, graphic designer; and Dan Jensen, Communication director.

“I can’t say enough about the work Paolo Esposito and Adrienne Suarez have put into the website,” Jensen shared. “I’m extremely grateful for the talents they have brought to the team.”

Jensen and Suarez also received “Honorable Mention” in the Annual Report category. Suarez was also awarded Best in Class in the Book Design category.

Congratulations are also in order for the Allegheny East Conference. The team received “Honorable Mention” for its camp meeting broadcast in the Video Story/Project category.—Story by Tamara Fisher and Visitor Staff; photo by Frank Cox


Greene Memorial Celebrates 60 Years

Greene Memorial Hospital, one of seven hospitals in the Kettering Adventist Healthcare network, recently celebrated 60 years of service to the Xenia, Ohio, community. During their celebration, staff invited residents to meet hospital president Terry Burns, tour the facility and enjoy free food. Other activities included free blood pressure screenings and face painting for the kids. A visit from Xenia mayor Marsha Bayless helped commemorate the day she declared as Greene Memorial Day. Pictured are local children enjoying cupcakes at the hospital’s celebration.—Story by Christina Keresoma

Bethel’s Ladies Club Witness Through Tea Party

It was a cool and rainy Sunday afternoon when more than 70 women came to Allegheny West Conference’s Bethel church in Akron, Ohio, for “An Autumn Tea.” The Akron Bethel Ladies Club hosted this, their fourth tea gathering in six years. The gathering, which welcomed attendees as young as two years and as old as 89, is intended to be an evangelistic ministry as well as a time for fellowship. In addition to enjoying a tasty meal, the attendees were treated to music, a sermon on lightening their burdens and prayer.

Jeanette Johnson, the club’s president, said of the week leading up to the tea, “All week, I fasted and prayed. I said to God, ‘You let everything fall into place … Let Your will be done; let it be a nice tea,’ and that’s exactly what He did!”— Story and photos by Charlyce Wallington-Reynolds


Washington Adventist University Names Communication Director

Washington Adventist University (WAU) recently named Grace Virtue, PhD, director of Corporate Communications. Virtue earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism and social science from the Caribbean Institute of Mass Communications at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica. Her master’s and doctoral degrees are from Howard University in Washington, D.C., where she worked for more than nine years as executive communications manager and senior writer.

A highly regarded educator and communicator, Virtue was a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar, fellow of the Inter-American Press Association and the Marcus Garvey Centenary Scholar. She is also a published author. Virtue enjoys spending time with her daughters, bird watching and exploring her neighborhood.—Story by Kevin Manuel

Pine Forge Students Stand Out on AP Exams

Last year Pine Forge Academy in Pine Forge, Pa., offered four Advanced Placement courses: English, Spanish, Music Theory and Calculus AB. A total of 19 students were exposed to college-level material in these nationally tested classes, and six students scored well enough to receive college credits! Three students from English Literature, one from Spanish (in a class of two), one from Music Theory and two from Calculus AB were successful on their respective exams. Marvin Jean passed both the English and Math exams. He is now a student at Oakwood University (Ala.) and is well ahead in his pursuit of a degree in mathematics.

Nearly a third of the Calculus AB students passed the exam, with one of these students being junior Renee Mwangachuchu (pictured). Now a senior, she is taking AP Calculus BC.—Story and photo by Norman Niles

Population Hits 7 Billion: What do You Think?

The world’s population symbolically hit 7 billion people on Monday, October 31. How do you think a growing world population impacts Seventh-day Adventists? How do we reach such vast amounts of people with the message of Jesus’ awesome love? Does that require us to re-examine our outreach strategies? Email us at and tell us what you think and we just may reprint your ideas right here in the virtual pages of the Visitor News Bulletin!

November Visitor Highlight

Stewart Bainum grew up in the Depression-era and even had to drop out of his beloved Mount Vernon Academy in Ohio so he could work and return to the school. He eventually became the head of the world’s second largest hotel franchise company. Never forgetting his own poor beginnings, this Potomac Conference member extends the privilege of education to those who need it most. Check out this month’s issue of the Visitor magazine to see how he and his family continue to give back to Adventist schools.




November 4-6: Allegheny East Conference’s Hispanic Women’s Ministries Retreat will be held in Lancaster, Pa. For more information, contact Dolores Orellana at (717) 343-2968.

Noviembre 4-6: El Ministerio de Mujeres de la Conferencia de Allegheny tendrá su retiro de damas en Lancaster, Pa. Para mayor información, llame a Dolores Orellana.

November 6: Daylight Savings Time ends this weekend, starting at 2 a.m. Don’t forget to turn your clocks back one hour.

November 6: Mount Vernon Academy (MVA) Constituency Session. All members who were delegates to the May 2010 Ohio Conference and MVA Constituency sessions are invited to this special constituency session of the Mount Vernon Academy Corporation. The meeting will be at the MVA chapel from 10 a.m. till noon. Registration will open at 9:30 a.m.

November 6: The New Jersey Conference will host the grand opening of Revive, its book and health food store, at 10 a.m. The new store is located in the conference building at 2303 Brunswick Avenue in Lawrenceville, N.J.

November 11 - 13: Potomac Conference Hosts iThirst, a spiritual retreat for the collegiate and young adult community. The retreat will be held at Camp Blue Ridge in Montebello, Va. The cost is $99 per person. Registration will be limited to 50 participants. The final deadline for registration is Thursday, November 3. Click here to download the registration form. For more information, contact the conference’s Department for Youth Ministries at (540) 886-0771 or email You can also fax the registration form to (540) 886-5734.

December 3: All are invited to enjoy Highland View Academy’s Annual Christmas Concert. The select choir, orchestra and bell choir will praise the Lord in song at the Highland View church in Hagerstown, Md., at 4:30 p.m. This year the freewill offering will go toward a trip to Russia for the young musicians to perform in Moscow and Kiev and to visit an orphanage in the Ukraine.

For more news and up-to-date information from the Columbia Union Conference, visit

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Taashi Rowe, Visitor News Bulletin Editor 
5427 Twin Knolls Road, Columbia, MD 21045

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