By Dr. A.D. Beacham, Jr.
The “mother” conference of the IPHC, the North Carolina Conference, met in its annual session in Falcon, North Carolina on August 5, 2017, with over 350 delegates and visitors in attendance. It was a personal joy to be with Bishop and Mrs. Danny Nelson and the outstanding members of the conference council.
The Chair recognized the following who were present for the conference: Bishop and Mrs. James D. Leggett, former superintendent and current president of Holmes Bible College Rev. Chris Thompson, former superintendent Rev. and Mrs. T.E. Long, former superintendent Rev. and Mrs. Jim Whitfield, Cornerstone Conference Assistant Superintendent Rev. and Mrs. Michael Ainsworth (attending to support an ordination candidate), Mr. Joey Leggett of Falcon Children’s Home, Rev. and Mrs. Reggie Till of the IPHC Foundation, Director of IPHC Hispanic Ministries Rev. Luis Avila, and visiting IPHC National Evangelist Rev. and Mrs. Steven Hoell. The Chair also recognized the many current and retired IPHC missionaries who were present in the annual conference.
Beginning the session with praise and worship, Bishop Nelson had wisely scheduled to move immediately to the Examining Committee report to have the license and ordination service early in the session. I have noticed that several conferences are doing this and I think it gives important emphasis to one of the most important events that occurs at an annual conference: the credentialing of new ministers. Too often at the close of the conference many people leave for various reasons. I commend this approach by Bishop Nelson and other bishops to highlight the importance of these new ministers. Some conference bishops make the credentialing part of an evening service, which rightfully places this important event in the context of worship and the Word of God.
Following the approval of the Examining Committee report, the presiding officer challenged the candidates for license and ordination from Colossians 4:17.
The candidates for Local Church Minister’s License:
James Coley, Jr., Iris Hudson, Caleb Leggett, Ruth Medina, and Elizabeth Millan.
For Licensed Minister’s Credentials:
Caleb Bass, Stewart Bridgers, Paula Bryant, Robert A. Faircloth, Matthew Guthrie, Twila Nelson, Jody O’Neal, Brad Parker, Angela Walston, Jim Wells, and Pascal Alan Woodard.
For Ordination Transfers:
Ronnie Wayne Conner (from Assemblies of God), J. Randy Hill (from Redemption Ministries Conference), Tommy Oliver (from Redemption Ministries Conference), W. Craig Ray (from South Carolina Conference), and Lawrence Sawyer (from Redemption Ministries Conference).
Richard Barbato, II, Jonathan Bland, Jonathan Daniels, Debbie Doss, Ray Faircloth, Jr (also received Minister of Music License), Keisha Frith, Merle Hunt, Jr., Danita Perkins, Brandon Witt.
Following this service, Dr. Ron White made a presentation regarding the growth of Emmanuel College. This was followed by Rev. Reggie Till and a presentation about the IPH Foundation.
Rev. Jon Oliver led in an impressive appreciation service for three ministers who retired (though still active in many ways) in this conference session:
Rev. and Mrs. Joseph Gerald Parker (17 years service to the IPHC)
Rev. and Mrs. Johnny William (Bill) Sutton (23 years service)
Rev. and Mrs. Jimmie (Jim) C. Whitfield (44 years service)
Mr. Joey Leggett presented a report of the status of the Falcon Children’s Home in both locations, Falcon and Turbeville, South Carolina.
Bishop Danny Nelson presented the State of the Conference report. Titled “Engage the Harvest,” Bishop Nelson focused on the goals of the conference towards the year 2025. The goal is to have 250 congregations (up from the current 215) by then. Major emphasis is being placed on 1) Pastoral Care to ministers, 2) School of Ministry (under the direction of Dr. Dan Woods), 3) Church Revitalization, 4) Church Planting and Mothering Churches, and 5) Focused Training for ministers and lay leaders.
The conference received the bishop’s vision with enthusiasm and a strong affirmation.
President Chris Thompson made a presentation about Holmes Bible College.
Conference Secretary/Treasurer Oris Hubbard presented the Stewardship Report.
Karen Lucas presented the Archives report.
The Memoirs Report was presented by Assistant Superintendent Doug Bartlett. Those remembered were: Mrs. Georgia Kirkland, Rev. Matthew Horne, Rev. Emmett Turner, Rev. David Harris, Rev. William Wooten, Rev. Vance Harrell, Mrs. Della Stewart, Mrs. Edna Parker, Mrs. Becky House, and Mrs. Deannie Jarrett.
The conference council had approved an election to fill two vacancies on the Examining Committee. Rev. Dwight Dunning and Rev. Marty Warren had fulfilled their four-year terms. The following were nominated: Rev. Lydia Figueroa, Rev. Danny Rollins, and Rev. Allen Mayo. The conference had approved that the two receiving the highest number of votes on the first ballot would be elected. After one ballot, Rev. Danny Rollins and Rev. Allen Mayo were elected.
The annual conference concluded with this one item of business.