February 8, 2012 

Potomac Youth ARISE for Christ

This weekend some 800 teens and young adults showed up for God at Potomac Conference’s  youth festival themed “ARISE.” Held at Takoma Academy in Takoma Park, Md., the young people did more than just sit and listen. This was an opportunity for evangelism. “This youth fest is about creating a safe environment that our own kids would feel comfortable bringing their friends to,” said Denny Grady, the conference’s Youth Ministries director.

Starting on Friday night, some 16 performers ministered to their peers through voice, instruments and movement to wild applause. That same night, young adult leaders rose for God by attending workshops that taught them how to minister in public high schools, middle schools and how to make their churches more young adult friendly.

Sreyleak Sok (pictured), an 18-year-old member of the Patterson church in Richmond, Va., was one of several who went to the stage for special prayer on Sabbath morning. “I went up front because God wants us to rise for Him, and I want to honor Him by rising up,” she shared.—Story and photo by Taashi Rowe


Washington Adventist University is Fastest Growing in the U.S.

Washington Adventist University is the fastest growing U.S.-based institution among colleges and universities in the North American Division. According to WAU’s Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness, the six-year growth rate in headcount from 2007-2011 is 38 percent while the one-year count from, 2010-2011 is 17 percent. Both figures are higher than that of all other institutions in the division. Last fall WAU set a new record for highest official headcount in its 107 years with 1,493 students.

The full-time equivalents (FTEs) over this period similarly grew at a very high rate. Full-time equivalents factor in the number of credit hours taken, and based on a typical full-time load an approximation of full-time students can be derived. WAU’s FTEs grew 68 percent from 2007-2011 and 40 percent during 2010-2011, also the highest rates among all institutions.


New Jersey Conference Membership Surpasses 14,000

Jim Greene, New Jersey Conference vice president for administration, recently reported that at the end of 2011, the conference had 14,031 members total—surpassing its goal of 14,000 members.

“The New Jersey Conference is now the third largest conference in the Columbia Union,” said President José H. Cortés. “God blessed New Jersey with 859 baptisms and professions of faith during our 2011 Year of Evangelism. I give all the praise and glory to God for all these new precious souls He has added to His church. I am praying that by the end of the next quinquennium, our membership will exceed 20,000.”

At the beginning of this quinquennium in September 2007, membership stood at 11,950. Over the past four years, the membership increased by 17.42 percent (see chart).

66 Graduate From Pennsylvania’s School of Discipleship

This weekend Juana Rosa, a member of the Philadelphia Hispanic II church, was one of 66 students who graduated from Pennsylvania Conference’s School of Discipleship with the program’s first Church Leadership Professional Certificate AKA Pastor’s Assistant certificate. When she first started this program, Rosa didn't think she would be able to complete it because of all the work, however, she got up at 5 a.m. to work on the reading assignments and projects. Now she is of great help to her pastor, Gabriel Montalvo.

66 Estudiantes se gradúan del la Escuela de Discipulado de Pennsylvania

El mes pasado, Juana Rosa, miembro de la segunda iglesia hispana de Filadelfia, fue una de sesenta y seis estudiantes que graduaron de la Escuela de Discipulado de la Asociación de Pensilvania, obteniendo el primer certificado profesional de liderazgo de iglesia, conocido también como certificado de asistente al pastor. Al iniciar el programa, Juana no pensó que podría completarlo por todo el trabajo que implicaba, sin embargo, se levantó a las 5:00 a.m. para realizar sus tareas de lectura y los proyectos. Hoy es una gran ayuda para su pastor, Gabriel Montalvo.

New Jersey Ghanaian Church Baptizes Seven

Allegheny East Conference’s New Jersey Ghanaian church in Hillside, N.J., recently held their annual revival and netted seven new members through baptism. The pastor of the church, Amofah A. Asamoah, led a series of revival topics, including “Where are you?”, “Where is Your Brother?”, “Why do You Cry to Me?” and “What do you Want Me to do for You?” Throughout the week the meeting place was packed with visitors and members, who were also asked to fast and pray for revival and reformation during the week.

The newly baptized members (pictured in the front row, from left to right) are Frank Fosuhene, Afia Asamoah, Perpetual Fosuhene, Josephine Thambi, Stephen Yeboah, Evelyn Mensah and Ellen Oppong (not pictured). Fosuhene said, she got baptized because she has accepted Jesus as her personal Savior and she wants to live a good life.

Spring Valley Seniors Dedicated

Spring Valley Academy recently held their Senior Dedication Vespers at the Centerville (Ohio) church. “This event is held each year to uplift our seniors before their family and friends in a special dedication service for their future,” explained Vicki Swetnam, who manages recruitment and marketing for the school.

Pastor London Lee gave the message “Steps to Life” followed by prayers of dedication given by senior parents, Vicki Briley and George Scheuermann, and a spiritual challenge by Chaplain Ken Knudsen. Special music was also provided. Seniors include: Taylor Bartram, Michael Briley, MacKenzie Brockman, Austin Cassell, Joey Eugene, Ariana Gaton, Sigi Li, Isheanesu Mazani, Michelle Nieb, Aaron Oglesby, Toni Ann Ross and Greg Scheuermann.

Community of Hope Member Says His IT Business is Personal

Emmanuel Pelote, of Simplicity Networks, provides consulting services and business application development to the U.S. government, private businesses and healthcare and educational institutions. This technology wiz, a member of Potomac Conference’s Community of Hope church in Silver Spring, Md., says “Everything about business has been personal for me.”

He continues, “When I started my business, God challenged me to trust Him with it. For this reason, Symplicity frequently donates large amounts of time to projects to those seeking to serve Christ.”

Pelote says after donating time to a particular project led him to the national convention of the Adventist-laymen’s Services and Industries (ASI), “God … humbled me to see how much others had been willing to sacrifice for the sake of His name.”

Join Pelote and other Seventh-day Adventist business owners at the Columbia Union’s ASI convention this year, March 8-11. It will be held at the Vienna (Va.) church. To register click here.

Academy Students to Perform in This Weekend’s Band Festival

As part of Washington Adventist University’s Honor Band Festival, special performances will be held February 10 at 7:30 p.m. at the Spencerville church, located at 16325 New Hampshire Ave., in Silver Spring, Md., and Sabbath, February 11, at 11 a.m. at Sligo church, which is located at 7700 Carroll Ave., in Takoma Park, Md.

This year’s event brings together students from all the academies in the Columbia Union Conference, and three schools from outside.

A new feature this year includes a concert given by The Potomac Brass, a professional brass band, directed by composer, Stephen Bulla. This concert will be held at Sligo Church, February 9 at 7:30 p.m. All events are free and open to the public.

Columbia Union Members in the News

Olney Prep Recycles With Eye on $50,000 Prize

King of Norway Honors Former General Conference President

Friends R Fun gives kids skills to cope with life


February 10-11: Young Adults Connect, a Ministry of the New Hope Adventist Church, in association with WGTS 91.9FM, GODencounters and supporting ministries present Real: A Young Adults Worship Experience. The Worship Experience begins Friday, February 10 and concludes on Saturday, February 11. The guest speaker for the weekend is Roger Hernandez, Hispanic Ministries director of the Oregon Conference, with worship led by the Gateway Fellowship Band and Project Seven. You won't want to miss this life-changing worship experience for young adults, university students and young professionals! All events are free. Click here for more information.

February 11: The Hagerstown church’s Sabbath Sundown Serenade Concert will feature soprano Karla Rivera Bucklew.  The concert starts at 5 p.m. and will be held at 11507 Robinwood Drive in Hagerstown, Md. For more information, call (301) 733-4411.

February 11: Join Adventist HealthCare’s doctors and nurses at the Third Annual ‘Love Your Heart Expo’ from 1-5 p.m. at the Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda, Md. This event provides free heart health screenings, heart healthy cooking demonstrations and educational lectures.

February 12: Jared Renaud Taylor will be signing copies of his new book, New Lenses—How I met Jesus on MTVfrom 2-4 p.m. at the Potomac Adventist Book and Health Food Store. The store is located at 12004 Cherry Hill Road in Silver Spring, Md. Taylor, a member of Potomac’s Restoration Praise Center in Lanham, Md., can be reached at jaertee@gmail.com.

February 12: Highland View Academy’s International Fair will be held 2-6 p.m. Students will be representing several countries from around the world. Each country will have a unique food and fun facts about its culture. Come early! You don’t want to miss the parade of nations! The fair will be held at 10100 Academy Drive in Hagerstown, Md. For more information, visit hva-edu.com.

February 12: Crossroads Adventist Preparatory School Presents “A Healthier You: Community Symposium and Health Fair.” It runs 10 a.m. thru 4 p.m. and will feature student presentations on health, nutrition and fitness; a health trivia challenge game; information and activity booths featuring massage therapy, health screenings, medical organizations and vegetarian cooking demos; fitness classes, seminars/workshops on women’s, men’s and children’s health and more! The school is located at 3291 St John's Lane, in Ellicott City, Md. For more information, call (866) 715-7752.

February 12: Joan Cummings, the author of the Black Publishing Pioneers of Seventh-day Adventists 2012 Calendar, will be at the Potomac Adventist Book and Health Food Center in Silver Spring, Md. She will be there from 11 a.m.- 3 p.m.

February 17-19: Oakwood University’s Aeolians of the Alma Blackmon era are planning their reunion this February 17-19. The reunion will include a concert on February 18. The concert will be held at Sligo church in Takoma Park, Md., and starts at 6:30 p.m. For more information, contact Desmond Pierre-Louis dkpl58@aol.com.

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 MarriageEnrichment@comcast.net, 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.

February 23: Sligo Adventist School will have an open house from 6–7 p.m. For more information, call (301) 434-1417 or visit Sligoadventistschool.org. The school is located at 8300 Carroll Avenue in Takoma Park, Md.

February 24-26: Chesapeake Conference’s high school students will want to attend the Generation Rain Spiritual Retreat at Mount Aetna Camp and Retreat Center in Hagerstown, Md. Themed “The Call,” the weekend features speakers from Insight magazine: Duane Esmond, editor; Tom Fraga, associate editor; and Tiffany Taylor-Mduba, columnist. For details, call Ann Reynolds at (410) 995-1910, or email areynolds@ccosda.org.

February 24-26, 2012: Pennsylvania Conference’s marriage retreat, “Love on the Farm” will feature Claudio and Pamela Consuegra, North American Division Family Ministries directors. It will be held at the Best Western Premier Contral Hotel and Conference Center in Harrisburg, Pa. To register online visit, www.paconference.org, go to the Ministries page and click on Family Ministries. For more information, contact Jeanne Hartwell at jhartwell@paconference.org, or (610) 374-8331.

February 25: The Hagerstown church’s Sabbath Sundown Serenade Concert will feature Jermain Cain on the three-manual Digital Allen Organ. The concert starts at 5 p.m. and will be held at 11507 Robinwood Drive, in Hagerstown, Md. For more information, call (301) 733-4411. To request a copy of the Winter-Spring 2012 Hagerstown Sabbath Serenade Concert Calendar, send your email address to office@hagerstownadventist.org.

February 25: The New England Youth Ensemble will recognize the ministry of Virginia-Gene Rittenhouse with a tribute concert. Soprana Karla Bucklew will also perform. The concert will take place at 4 p.m. at the Frederick church at 6437 Jefferson Pike in Frederick, Md. For more information, visit fredericksdachurch.org or call (301) 662-5254.

February 25: The 2012 Living Legends Award Ceremony will take place at the Emmanuel-Brinklow church on February 25 at 6 p.m. This year’s honorees include U.S. Senate Chaplain Barry Black. The church is located at 18800 New Hampshire Ave., in Ashton, Md. Visit their website for details.

March 8-11: The Columbia Union chapter of the Adventist-laymen’s Services and Industries (ASI) convention will feature Ivor Myers, speaker/director of Power of the Lamb Ministries; the Guild of Adventist Musicians and Henry Wright, pastor of the Community Praise Center in Alexandria, Va. The convention will be held at Potomac Conference’s Vienna (Va.) church, located at 344 Courthouse Road SW in Vienna. For more information visit www.asicolumbiaunion.netasi.org or register at www.plusline.org.

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

Email: visitor@columbiaunion.net    Website: www.columbiaunion.org
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