Pennsylvania Conference

Editorial by Gary Gibbs

I knew I was listening to an exciting answer to prayer as I heard the speaker describe an inspiring initiative called “Back to the Altar.” I had been earnestly seeking God for strategic initiatives for our conference’s new quinquennium, which began after the constituency session in October 2023.

Our team identified several key ideas we felt God was leading us to as conference staff, and pastors met for prayer and planning. We determined that a renewed focus on a personal relationship with Jesus would be one of the more important initiatives. We long for each member to experience a deepening of love for Him and to grow in the qualities of being Jesus’ fully committed disciple.

Shawn Shives, Gary Gibbs and Kevin Costello will serve the Pennsylvania Conference for the next quinquennium.

This past weekend, delegates at the Pennsylvania Conference 2023 Constituency Session experienced a great morning of praising God for the incredible ways He has blessed them over the last five years.

Conference membership has grown to more than 13,680 members, as the conference welcome an average of 500 new believers--many from the 100 or more evangelistic events--each year.

Delegates to the session re-elected their officers, President Gary Gibbs, Executive Secretary Shawn Shives, and Treasurer Kevin Costello.

João Marques, alongside Blue Mountain Academy Pastor Adam Bially, celebrate his baptism together.

Story by Tamyra Horst

João Gabriel Ramos Marques’ mother prayed for her son. She knew his friends were a bad influence on him and saw the poor choices he was making. She believed that God would change her son and the direction of his life.

“My mother never gave up on me, despite my rebellious actions,” shares Marques. “She sent me to Faculdade Adventista da Amazonia, an Adventist school in Brazil, in hopes that I could find truth and Jesus.”


Story by Leona Bange

Today, students face many challenges, pressures and temptations. Seventh-day Adventist education, however, offers young people and their parents a foundation of Christian values and academic excellence.

Academic Achievement. Students in Adventist schools, on average, place half a grade higher nationally in all subjects than other students. More than 85 percent of graduates from an Adventist school go on to college. In Adventist schools, the goal of academic achievement is always paired with the aim of developing a relationship with the Creator—an unbeatable combination!