August 8, 2012

"We Exist to Help People," Say Mountain View Thrift Store Owners

“I'm sure it was the Lord’s idea,” Kester Erskine says with conviction when asked how the idea of running a thrift store came to him. “We thought about having something like the Samaritan Center down in Tennessee, and it just grew along. Marie, my wife, was right beside me every bit of the way. I was just going to start it and turn it over to somebody else.”
Now 16 years later, Erskine, a member of Mountain View Conference’s Lewisburg (W.Va.) church, is still ministering through thrift stores. There are also at least 14 other such stores inspired by the Greenbrier Better Living Center in Ronceverte, W.Va.
“The year we got started, there was a flood here, and somebody gave us a thousand blankets, and a manufacturer gave us 2,600 pairs of socks, and we got a trailer-load of personal hygiene supplies, and right away we were known for helping people,” he says. “That’s the only reason we exist.”—Story by Mountain View Conference Staff 

Prayer Rally to Launch Outreach to Metropolitan New York

At the last General Conference Spring Meeting, leaders made plans to renew outreach in one mega city in each of the denomination’s 13 world divisions in 2013. The first major city in the North American Division will be the metropolitan area of New York City and the surrounding areas of northeast New Jersey and southern Connecticut. That project is named NY13.
On September 21-22, there will be a special satellite/Internet evangelism and Prayer Rally to launch NY13. It will be uplinked via satellite and streamed live via the Internet from the North Bronx church in New York. Watch it live on the Hope Channel, the Hope Church Channel, Esperanza TV, Atlantic Union Adventist Media, 3ABN or Read more at

Kettering Adventist HealthCare Opens Dayton’s First Senior Behavioral Care Center

Kettering Adventist HealthCare opened the doors to the first dedicated gero-psychiatric unit in Montgomery County, Ohio. The senior behavioral care unit is located at the Grandview Medical Center in Xenia and cares for patients aged 65 and over with illnesses such as dementia, depression and psychiatric disorders. Seniors are the fastest growing population in the county, yet dedicated psych care for seniors has been almost non-existent—until now.

“Traditionally, adult psych units and nursing homes care for these patients. Often, they are not cared for at all,” said George Broderick, DO, Grandview’s psychiatry medical director. “Research showed plenty of behavioral beds for adults and adolescents, but none for seniors. A dedicated center was the next logical step for the community.”—Story by Christina Keresoma


After 20 Years Away, Potomac Member Returns Home

One Sabbath morning, after church members told him he wasn’t ‘attired like a Christian,’ Rusty Nesbitt left Potomac Conference’s Staunton (Va.) church family feeling hurt and at odds with the focus of those around him. He stayed away for 20 years. Just months ago, God called His child to return to the same building. “I was nervous at first, but now it feels like where I’m meant to be,” says Nesbitt. “It feels like home.” Click here to watch him share his powerful testimony.

Columbia Union Members Get Moving for Better Health

Elmer Carreno, MD, a Health Ministries leader at Chesapeake Conference’s Spencerville church in Silver Spring, Md., is excited about the North American Division’s Adventists InStep for Life initiative. The church recently launched the program with 210 participants. It takes just a small change in lifestyle, says Carreno, a family practitioner, to reduce the chance of getting cancer, heart disease or diabetes.
Many Columbia Union Conference churches will host a 5K fun run/walk on September 23, which is "Let’s Move!" Day. The New Jersey Conference’s Wayne church is also planning a fun run for September 16. Vibrant Life magazine is hosting their annual 5K fun run/walk at the Review and Herald Publishing Association in Hagerstown, Md., as well as a health expo. Learn more at
They say it takes six weeks to go from the couch to a 5K, so why not get started now? Is your church planning a "Let’s Move!" Day activity? Share your dates with us at—Story by Visitor Staff

Allegheny West Member Named LPN of the Year

Gladys Forquer, a senior member, Sabbath School teacher and deaconess of Allegheny West Conference’s Hilltop church in Columbus, Ohio, recently received the State of Ohio 2011 LPN of the Year award. Her church brothers and sisters claim Forquer, who has served as a licensed practical nurse since 1968, deserved the recognition because she shares her love for God with everyone she meets and, as a result, bears fruit wherever she goes.—Story by Gregory Foster

Shenandoah Valley Academy Recognizes 5,000th Graduate

Shenandoah Valley Academy (SVA) in New Market, Va., recently honored Preston Lawrence as the school’s 5,000th graduate. His mother, Rebecca Watson (’86), and his grandparents, Raymond and Susan Dickson, are all SVA alumni.

Read the August Visitor Feature: "A Place of Their Own"

Several Hispanic churches around the Columbia Union Conference have started English-language services, with a little Spanish thrown in, to reach young people for Christ. Hispanic youth who had lost interest in the church or stopped attending altogether are now attending these “Spanglish” services. Others are bringing their unchurched friends, and previously uninvolved youth are now becoming leaders.

“We basically only speak English in school … and most parents know a little bit of English, so we really don’t practice Spanish,” shares Paola Sorto, a youth at Potomac Conference’s Germantown Spanish church in Germantown, Md.

Click here to read the full story, which features the many ways Columbia Union churches are reaching second-generation Hispanic youth. Lea esta historia en Español aquí. Click here to watch a video story about Spanglish worship services.—Story by Sylvia Garcia Urrutia

Artículo especial de Visitor: "Un lugar propio"

Muchas iglesias hispanas en Columbia Union han empezado a tener servicios en inglés, salpicados con un poco de español, para alcanzar a los jóvenes para Cristo. Los jóvenes hispanos que habían perdido el interés en la iglesia o que simplemente ya no asistían, ahora empiezan a asistir a los servicios en spanglish. Algunos hasta están llevando a amigos que no asisten a ninguna otra iglesia y los jóvenes que antes no participaban se están convirtiendo en líderes.
“Básicamente, nosotros hablamos solamente inglés en la escuela... y la mayoría de nuestros padres saben sólo un poquito de inglés, así que casi no practicamos el español", dice Paola Sorto (en la fotografía), una joven de la iglesia Germantown Spanish de Potomac Conference en Md.
Lea mas sobre las muchas maneras en que las iglesias de Columbia Union están extendiéndose a los jóvenes hispanos de segunda generación, haga clic acqui.
Si desea ver el vídeo de los servicios de adoración en spanglish, haga clic acqui.—Historia por Sylvia García Urrutia

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

August 18: The Millsboro (Del.) church is sponsoring a free health fair in the fellowship hall. The fair will be held from 1 to 5 p.m.; free literature and hand-outs will be available. For more information, call (302) 947-0963. The church is located at 30007 Cordrey Road in Millsboro.
August 12: The Middletown Valley church is hosting an Asian Flair Cooking Class this Sunday, 2-4 p.m. The church is located at 1811 Arnold Road in Jefferson, Md. The cost is $15. To register, contact Angela at (301) 834-5056, or email
August 11: The North Jersey Youth Federation invites all to attend their first Youth Ministry Concert of the year. Committed, winner of NBC’s The Sing Off (Season 2), are the special guest artists. Other artists include North Jersey's very own VOP (Voices of Praise), David Metayer and One Accord and Clifford Gresseau. The doors open at 6:15 p.m. Tickets bought in advance will be $12, but will increase to a $20 donation for tickets purchased at the door. Tickets can be purchased at or at There is also an option for VIP tickets for $30. Visit the group’s Facebook page for more information.
August 12-24: The Bethany church in Bridgeton, N.J., is sponsoring a big tent meeting with a “Focusing on the Family” revival series. Howard Duncan, pastor of the Bethany church will speak. The meetings start at 7 p.m. and are located at the corner of Burlington Road and Pamphylia Avenue. There are no Thursday meetings. For more information, visit

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

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