May 23, 2012

Delegates Re-Elect Officers at Chesapeake Constituency Session

At the Third Quinquennial Constituency Session of the Chesapeake Conference, held Sunday, May 20, at the Spencerville church in Silver Spring, Md., 267 regular delegates and 164 delegates-at-large met to elect officers for the 2012-2016 term. Delegates re-elected (pictured left to right) Eduardo Muñoz, treasurer; Rick Remmers, president; and Kleyton Feitosa, executive secretary.

“It is an honor to be invited to serve in leadership for the next quinquennium,” said Remmers. “The combination of exciting opportunities and associated challenges will require a constant reliance on Divine wisdom. I value the prayers of our members as we move forward.”

Church growth has been steady, averaging 424 new members each year, and this year topped 14,000. Eight new congregations were accepted into the sisterhood of churches. The Maryland churches include Annapolis Spanish, Beacon of Light (Salisbury), Frederick Spanish, Laurel Maranatha Spanish, Mizo (Burtonsville), Northeast (Baltimore) and South Carroll (Westminster). New Castle Spanish in New Castle, Del., also became a church.—Story by Samantha Young


DECLARACIÓN OFICIAL: El comité ejecutivo de Columbia Union convoca una reunión especial de la constituyente para autorizar la ordenación sin tener en cuenta el género

En su reunión del 17 de mayo, el comité ejecutivo de Columbia Union recibió un informe del comité ad hoc, al que se le asignó estudiar el tema de cómo afirmar a la mujer en el ministerio.

Después de examinar el informe (que sigue a continuación), el comité votó:

  1. Reconocer su responsabilidad de actuar moral y éticamente al expresar un compromiso inflexible para ordenar a personas cualificadas para el ministerio del evangelio sin importar el género, y

  2. Convocar una reunión especial de la constituyente con el propósito de autorizar la ordenación al ministerio del evangelio sin importar el género, y

  3. Fijar la fecha de la reunión para el 29 de julio de 2012, a las 10:00 a.m., en Maryland, en una localidad que será determinada más adelante.



Community Services Director With “Can-Do” Attitude Dies

Ron Wylie, executive director of Potomac Conference’s Adventist Community Services of Greater Washington (ACSGW), passed away last Tuesday. Wylie became part-time executive director of ACSGW in 2004, and led the not-for-profit coalition of seven churches doing community services and development in Silver Spring and Takoma Park, Md., “with vision and enthusiasm,” says Les Pitton, ACSGW chairman.

Wylie leaves behind wife, Junamae Wegner; son, Rod and his wife, Nicole, and two grandsons, Jacob and Brayden. Margaret Pascoe, his first wife, preceded him in death. Wylie’s funeral was held Monday, May 21, near his home in Marriottsville, Md. There will be a memorial service for him at Chesapeake Conference’s Spencerville church in Silver Spring, Md., where he was a member. The service will be Wednesday, May 30, at 11 a.m.

Click here to view a recent video of Wylie talking about his work with ACSGW.—Story and photo by Taashi Rowe


Union Names Outstanding Administrators, Educators

The Columbia Union’s Office of Education recently named its 2012 Outstanding Educator and Outstanding Administrator award recipients. Pictured clockwise is Brian Kittleson, principal of Chesapeake Conference’s Spencerville Adventist Academy in Spencerville, Md., and Elisa Maragoto, principal of New Jersey Conference’s Lake Nelson Seventh-day Adventist School in Piscataway. Both were named outstanding administrators.

Cathy Tomlinson, principal and teacher at New Jersey Conference’s Cohansey Christian School in Bridgeton, and Allegheny East Conference’s Sheresa Woodson, a teacher at the Ephesus Adventist School in Richmond, Va., were recognized as outstanding educators.

Calling the winners “richly deserving,” Hamlet Canosa EdD, the union’s vice president for Education, confessed that “the task of determining who would actually be selected was, like in years past, a difficult one.”—Story by Taashi Rowe

Click Here to Learn Why They Teach

100 Cleveland Hispanics Trained for Evangelism

Some 100 Hispanics in the Cleveland area recently completed four intense weeks of evangelism instruction. Ohio Conference’s Cleveland First Hispanic and Ebenezer churches marked the end of the sessions with a solemn closing ceremony where at least 70 members received a special distinction for attending every class.

“Today we are better prepared and better equipped to share our faith,” said one participant. At the end of the program, Peter M. Simpson, the district pastor, made a final call for consecration. It was also a call to action. He challenged attendees to seek new souls and rescue the lost. Dozens promptly answered the call by approaching the altar to light a candle in acceptance of the challenge. Simpson says these new evangelists will be vital to an upcoming evangelism campaign.—Story by Peter M. Simpson

Pennsylvania Conference President, Wife Donate Concordance

Ray Hartwell, Pennsylvania Conference president, and his wife, Jeanne, associate Ministerial secretary, recently donated a rare Bible concordance used by early Adventist pioneer Joseph Bates to Southern Adventist University (SAU) in Tennessee. The book contains notes written by Bates, and Seventh-day Adventist heritage scholars consider it an historically valuable artifact.

The concordance originally belonged to Jeanne’s great-grandfather, an Adventist pastor. The Hartwells graduated from Southern in 1978. “We knew this was an important piece of Adventist heritage and wanted the concordance to be accessible for research and enjoyment by scholars, historians and church members,” Jeanne said.

The Hartwells are pictured presenting the concordance to Gordon Bietz (left), SAU president, and Joe Mocnik (right), director of the McKee Library.—Story by Tamyra Horst

New Principal Named for Takoma Academy

Carla Thrower was recently named as the new principal at Takoma Academy (TA) in Takoma Park, Md. Thrower will be in familiar surroundings as she and her husband, Donald, are parents of a TA graduate, with another child enrolling soon. She most recently served as an adjunct professor in the Education Department at nearby Washington Adventist University.

Thrower says her passion is educational ministry, and she is always looking for new ways to integrate faith into the learning experience. With expertise and interest in analytics, she also seeks to provide resources and lesson plans that will improve teacher performance and ensure students from all backgrounds are academically achieving at their highest level. Thrower holds three master’s degrees in administration and supervision, curriculum and instruction and math and science instruction.—Story byTiffany Doss

Shenandoah Valley Academy Announces New Principal

This fall Travis Johnson will take the helm at Shenandoah Valley Academy (SVA) in New Market, Va. Hailing from Ogden, Utah, Johnson is committed to making sure students reach their full academic and spiritual potential. He approaches teaching and administrative duties with high energy and a committed focus. He holds a bachelor’s in business administration and master’s in teaching.

In just five years of teaching, plus another year in Japan, Johnson has been successful in raising academics in his classrooms, improving Iowa Test of Basic Skills scores from an average of 22 to 54 percent. Johnson says he’s ready for a new challenge wherever God leads. His vision for SVA is to recreate an engaging and successful environment that will bring stability and growth.—Story by Tiffany Doss

Parkersburg Sabbath Highlights Children and Youth

Mountain View Conference’s Parkersburg (W.Va.) church recently devoted an entire Sabbath service to children and young people. The Pathfinders, Adventurers and Eager Beavers recited their laws and pledges. As the Pathfinders presented their pledge to God, they broke down the Pathfinder law and pledge into smaller segments and explained how they would serve God and others.

The Eager Beavers (pictured) gave the Bible reading and sang “Jesus Loves Me.” The Adventurers sang the “Butterfly Song” and helped their leader, Amy Fullmer, with a story, which paid tribute to the mothers in the congregation.

“There is such a great group of children and young people at Parkersburg church,” said Beth Ackman, Pathfinder director. “The Lord has blessed this church with younger folks who are sharing the soon coming of our Lord, and it has been a blessing for me to be a part of this work.”—Photo by Victor Zill

Highland View Students Tour National Crime Museum

Ophelia Barizo, science teacher at Highland View Academy in Hagerstown, Md., recently led the Forensic Science class through a tour of the National Museum of Crime and Punishment in Washington, D.C. The group of 18 students and chaperones spent two hours exploring the elaborate images and interactive displays, reading about the ages and history of crime and punishment.

“It was so much fun! I really liked the simulations,” said senior Ellie Bonilla. “We learned plenty of valuable information on the various fields and positions offered to those involved in forensic science.”

HVA’s Forensic Science course is the first of its kind offered at any Adventist academy in the North American Division. The course applies science and technology to criminal and civic laws and covers major disciplines in forensic science, such as chemistry, mineralogy, anthropology, pathology, serology, biotechnology, computer forensics, toxicology and others.

Student Jessica Callahan, Marci Corea, Makhela Libebe and Mackenzi Hall are pictured viewing an autopsy demonstration at the museum.—Story by Autumn Banks

Spotted: Two New Union Executive Committee Members

The 2011-16 Columbia Union Conference Executive Committee recently voted to accept two new members. Claudya Hernandez is the communication director for Potomac’s Langley Park Spanish church in Langley Park, Md. Natalie Chandler directs the Pennsylvania Conference’s Harrisburg church Adventurers and chairs the Harrisburg Adventist School Board.

Chandler is pictured left, while Hernandez is pictured right.

Click here for a complete listing of upcoming events around the Columbia Union Conference.

May 27: The Glenridge church in District Heights, Md., is hosting a Spring Banquet at the Le Fountaine Bleu, 4-8 pm. Tickets are $36 for ages 13 and over, $30 for ages 4-12 years. For tickets and questions, contact Natalie Williams at (301) 377-8614.

July 25-29: The Allegheny East and New Jersey conferences will sponsor the Alliance of Prison Ministry Organizations and Affiliates (APMOA) 22nd annual convention in East Rutherford, N.J. Themed “Compassion in Action: Building Bridges of Hope,” there will be more than 25 Prison Ministries and community services workshops. Speakers will include C.D. Brooks, former speaker/director for the Breath of Life broadcast; José H. Cortés, New Jersey Conference president; J. Alfred Johnson II, director of Adult Ministries for the North American Division; and Charles Cheatham, Allegheny East Conference president. For more information or to register, click here or call (201) 896-0500.

May 24-June 7: The Chestnut Hill church in Philadelphia is offering a Thursday evening vegetarian cooking class from 7-9 p.m. On May 24, the class will cover appetizers/hors d'oeuvres, on May 31 it will be raw foods 
and on June 7, desserts. For more information or to register, click here.

August 19-September 2: Mountain View Conference’s fourth annual Wellness Camp will take place at the Valley Vista Adventist Center in Huttonsville, W.Va. For an early bird rate of $695, payments are due by July 2. Early bird spouses pay $550 and early bird Wellness Camp alumni only pay $500.

Those who meet the regular deadline of July 16 will pay $795 plus $650 for spouses. Wellness Camp alumni who meet the regular deadline will pay $600. For more information, call the conference office at (304) 422-4581 or click here.

Having trouble viewing this email? Click here to read it online.  For more news and up-to-date information from the Columbia Union Conference, visit

Forward to a Friend, Subscribe or Send Us Stories

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

To send us a news story, email us at The deadline for all submissions is 10 a.m. each Tuesday. 

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