December 7, 2011 

Potomac Pastors Minister in India, Thousands Baptized

“One lady we baptized was 92 years old—about 4’ 6”—she couldn’t wait … to be baptized. Her 75-year-old son walked her into the water. The baptisms were held at the river, water buffalo below us being scrubbed, a dead one on the bank across from us, other interesting things floating by, but it didn't bother the locals—they were eager to be baptized.”

This is what Bill Miller, president of the Potomac Conference, reported after he helped baptize 3,943 people in India in one day. He, along with four other Potomac pastors and two lay members from Washington state, ministered in 50 villages near Vijayawada, India, this fall. Anywhere from 450 to 1,500 people attended the meetings each night.

“This has got to be a God thing,” Miller said. “I saw Pentecost happen again with my eyes. God has forever changed those places.”—Story by Taashi Rowe


New Jersey Conference Celebrates Bookstore Opening

Last month more than 300 people attended New Jersey Conference’s grand opening of the Revive bookstore located at the conference office in Lawrenceville. Closed for the past 18 months, the conference partnered with the Review and Herald Publishing Association (R&H) in Hagerstown, Md., to reopen the bookstore. “This is not the inauguration of a store. This is the birth of a ministry in New Jersey ready to revive [and] to serve the community and to service the church,” said José H. Cortés, conference president, pictured right with Mark Thomas, R&H president (left), and Rob Vandeman (center), executive secretary of the Columbia Union.

Gwen Simon, a retired employee from New Jersey’s former Adventist book and health food store, said, “I am glad they have the bookstore open again. It is very nice and I like the layout.” The bookstore’s hours are Sundays, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.; Monday–Thursday, 10 a.m.–8 p.m., and Fridays, 10 a.m.–1 p.m.—Story by Jim Greene


650 Attend Allegheny East Women’s Retreat

Minnie McNeil, the Allegheny East Conference (AEC) Women’s Ministries director, prayed that God would send women to the conference’s biennial retreat who desired a “well experience” and a closer walk with God. In response to her prayer, God sent some 650 women to this Spirit-filled weekend in Virginia Beach, Va.

“Women At The Well: Drinking From The Well of Blessing” was the weekend’s theme. The women started the weekend by ministering to shelter residents in the local Tidewater area. The divine worship hour included praise team music and the soul-searching preaching of Paula Olivier, pastor of the First church of Montclair in New Jersey. Her message of hope and reassurance inspired the women to be led by the Holy Spirit in their “well experiences” and resulted in many women rededicating their lives to Christ and making commitments for baptism.—Story by Phyllis P. Edmonds


New Jersey Prison Ministry Teams Sweep Allegheny East Awards

His mother was a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, but Thomas Henderson first met Jesus while he was incarcerated. While in prison, members of the Berean church in Newark, N.J., prayed for him. He returned to the church in 1988 and eventually became drug free. He now directs his energies at making sure that other young Adventists don’t repeat his mistakes. At AEC’s recent Prison Ministries Federation banquet, Henderson received the Christian Endurance award in recognition of his exceptional growth. This was one of five awards presented that night and the recipients all attend New Jersey-area churches.

“This is this is just the federation’s feeble attempt to thank the faithful workers that God gives us to go into prisons,” said Edith Tucker, AEC’s Prison Ministries Federation president. She is pictured with Henderson (right) and Morris Wilder, another award recipient.—Story by Taashi Rowe

Click here to read about the other awards presented that evening.

Washington Adventist Hospital Eliminates Ambulance Diversions

At a time when many Emergency Departments across the country are overcrowded, Washington Adventist Hospital’s (WAH) Emergency Department in Takoma Park, Md., has eliminated yellow diversion of ambulance-transported patients for a full year. The department’s care approach, which involves a physician, nurse and medical technician in the patient’s care very early in their treatment, has also reduced wait times, increased patient satisfaction and put WAH ahead of national benchmarks in other key Emergency Department measures.

During “yellow diversion,” ambulances are re-routed to the nearest hospital because an emergency department cannot take any more patients by ambulance due to high volumes of patients already in the hospital.

“By not simply settling for minimizing diversion but rather eliminating it, Washington Adventist Hospital has established the standard for all emergency centers in Maryland to achieve,” said Robert Bass, MD, executive director of the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems, which oversees and coordinates statewide emergency medical services.—Story by Diana McFadden

WAU Presents at Conference for Institutional Researchers

Janette Neufville, Washington Adventist University’s (WAU) associate vice president for Institutional Research and Effectiveness in Takoma Park, Md., is hailing her recent participation in the Maryland Association of Institutional Researchers (MdAIR) conference as a significant event for her office, and WAU overall. Held at Hood College in Frederick, Md., the conference commemorated MdAIR’s 25th anniversary.

Neufville’s presentation shared tools to support strategic planning, institutional assessment and student learning outcomes. “The presentation has made our office a resource to mentor similar offices at other schools through the strategic planning and effectiveness processes as well as raise the profile among peer institutions,” Neufville said. “Several institutions have reached out to us for this support, as many are not yet doing multi-year planning and/or do not have mature or consistent accountability processes in place.”

Parent-Teacher Group at Potomac School Earns National Nod

Parents and teachers at Potomac Conference’s John Nevins Andrews (JNA) Elementary School in Takoma Park, Md., have worked hard for 10 years to foster a collaboration that strengthens the educational experience of their children and students. That successful relationship recently earned JNA’s Parent-Teacher Partnership Program an honorable mention during an annual, nationwide search by PTO Today magazine and DIRECTV4Schools for a Parent Group of the Year. JNA was one of 300 entrants for the award.

“This affirms my call to work with parents as partners, and I thank God for the opportunity,” commented Edwina Neely, founder of JNA’s Parent-Teacher Partnership Program and kindergarten teacher. “I would like to extend this program and offer the seminars to all of the schools in Potomac. I truly believe parents and teachers are partners working together to provide eternal success for our children.”—Story by Beth Michaels

Bucks County Harvest Festival Attracts 300

More than 300 people from the surrounding communities attended the Pennsylvania Conference’s Bucks County church Second Annual Harvest Festival in Warminster. It was a day with activities for the whole family. More than 50 volunteers demonstrated Christian caring attitudes to guests. The event featured a concert, festive foods with tasty treats such as green smoothies, hayrides, face painting and a moon bounce for the children. Several people signed up for financial counseling, Bible studies and cooking classes.

Attendees donated 50 bags of groceries in support of Baskets of Love, a church mission project. During the event, members gave away more than 100 donated gifts from local vendors. There were more than 20 local sponsors and donors. “The Bucks County church has a vision to be a bridge into the community and with the help of the Holy Spirit and a great team we are off the island,” shares Carol Lewis, event coordinator.

Find a Christmas Concert Near You

Many churches across the Columbia Union’s eight-state region are offering holiday performances. Here is a sampling of holiday choral concerts taking place near you. Click on the links to find contact information and get more details.—Story by Beth Michaels



December 10: A benefit concert at the Pikesville International church, located at 4619 Old Court Road in Pikesville, Md., is planned for Sabbath at 3 p.m. Proceeds go to the Sharon Marsden Memorial Scholarship Foundation. For more information, call (410) 521- 7331, or email

December 10: Capital Brazilian Temple Presents “Angels Aware,” a Christmas musical featuring the children’s choir, Grow in Praise. The program starts at 7 p.m. and will be held at the church, which is located at 12430 Scaggsville Road, Highland, Md.

December 15: Dupont Park Adventist School Christmas Program will include drama, music and special presentations. This year’s musical, titled “Christmas Starr,” will be held at the Dupont Park church located at 3985 Massachusetts Avenue, S.E., in Washington, D.C., at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 each.

December 15: G.E. Peters School’s Christmas musical production, “The Next Noel” will be held at 7 p.m. The play will take place in the Metropolitan church sanctuary, which is located at 6307 Riggs Road in Hyattsville, Md.

December 16: Frederick Adventist School invites you to their “Luke's Story” Christmas pageant at 7 p.m. at the Frederick church. Come be part of when God sent His precious Son to become a tiny baby in a stable in Bethlehem, in poverty and simplicity. For more information, email or visit

December 16, 17: Shenandoah Valley Academy’s Annual Christmas Concert Weekend will feature the Shenandoans, handbell choir, orchestra and concert choir. The first performance will be the Christmas Candlelight Concert at New Market church on Friday, December 16, 7:30 p.m. The following evening, December 17, these same groups will perform a secular Christmas Concert at SVA’s gymnasium, 6:30 p.m. A freewill offering will be taken for the “Support the Arts” fund at SVA. All are invited to come and be blessed! For more information, visit

December 17: Miracle Temple’s 17th Annual Christmas Cantata will be held during the divine worship service and will feature the sanctuary choir and symphony orchestra. For more information, visit

January 29: The Pennsylvania Conference Youth and Young Adult Ministries Family Ski Trip will be held at Jack Frost Big Boulder in White Haven, Pa. The price is $48 for the snow pass, lesson and rental. The lessons are for ages 8 and over. Helmet rentals are $10 additional. Tickets must be purchased by January 16, 2012. Pre-paid ticket pick-up will be at the Jack Frost Lodge, 8 a.m.-12 noon. For more information, contact the conference’s Youth Ministries Department at (607) 374-8331, ext. 212 or at

February 17-19: The “Love for a Lifetime” Marriage Enrichment Retreat will be held at the Dunes Manor Hotel in Ocean City, Md. The registration fee of $299 per couple includes two nights at Dunes Manor Hotel, brunch, tea, dinner on Saturday and brunch on Sunday. For more information, e-mail, or contact Mark and Peggy Lee at (301) 317-5428 or Jeff and Sandy Hartz at (443) 864-6328. The Triadelphia church and Maranatha Adventist Fellowship are among the churches sponsoring the retreat.

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

Forward to a Friend or Subscribe

To share the Visitor News Bulletin with friends and church members across the Columbia Union, click the “Forward to a Friend” link below so all the photos and copy will appear correctly. Also, encourage them to sign up for the email at Thank you!  

Stay Connected:

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

Email:    Website:
Visitor News Bulletin is an electronic newsletter published by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Columbia Union Conference. You are free to reprint any portion of the bulletin, however, please identify Visitor News Bulletin as the source.

Visitornews mailing list
To unsubscribe send your request to

This message was sent to from Columbia Union, 5427 Twin Knolls Road,, Columbia, MD 21045.
Edit profile / unsubscribe