Chesapeake Conference

Photo by domeckopol on pixabay

By Debra McKinney Banks

Visit a Seventh-day Adventist church these days, and it is no longer guaranteed that the service will start at 11 a.m. No one really knows the history of when or where the 11 o’clock Sabbath worship time began. Plausible theories from pastors and historians posit that during more agrarian times, farming families needed to tend to the livestock and finish the chores before attending church. Whatever the reason, most people don’t maintain that farming lifestyle anymore. Today some pastors have discovered that holding Sabbath services at non-traditional times—either before or after 11—are becoming more of a necessity to meet the missional needs of their flocks.

Story by V. Michelle Bernard / Photos Courtesy Hagerstown church

Ray Valenzuela, the associate pastor of Chesapeake Conference’s Hagerstown (Md.) church, was thinking about how the church could help families displaced by a fire in the nearby Woodbridge Apartments, when a representative from the Red Cross called to ask if they were willing to open up the church as a resource center.

Apple- by jarmoluk at Pixabay.com

The Chesapeake Conference Executive Committee recently named Janesta Walker (below) as superintendent of schools, and Michael Jakobsons (right) as associate superintendent. Walker fills the vacancy left by Jacqueline Messenger, who is now associate director for secondary education for the Columbia Union Conference. Mark Walker, the current interim superintendent, is set to retire August 1.

“We welcome both of these educators to the Chesapeake Conference. Their combined training and experience, in a variety of school settings, will prove to be a genuine benefit to our schools,” says Rick Remmers, conference president.

Story by Samantha Young

A team of 12 Chesapeake Conference pastors recently traveled to Bucaramanga, a mountainous region in Colombia, South America, to conduct evangelistic meetings.

“The best part was the reaction people had at our meetings,” says Eli Rojas, Ministerial and Family Ministries director, and coordinator of the trip. “People were eager to hear, and quick to respond to God’s calling.”