By Dr. A.D. Beacham, Jr.
It was an honor to attend and participate in the annual conference of the Golden West Conference on Friday evening, December 1, 2017. It was held at the top floor of the Doubletree Hotel in Torrance, California. Bishop Tom Murray used the occasion to honor his ministers and pastors with a special Christmas dinner and program as part of the annual conference. There were no ministers to be licensed or ordained this year, though we could have done so in this festive setting.
Music for the gala was provided by Teresa Murray who led us in singing several carols. She was accompanied by harpist Margaret Comer, who also played seasonal songs during the meal.
After the meal, I shared opening remarks and thanked Bishop Murray and the conference for the container used at General Conference to hold the soil from the nations. That container is on display in the General Superintendent’s Office and recognizes the Golden West Conference for their donation.
Bishop Murray followed with his State of the Conference report. It was marked with gratitude to God for the strong financial recovery of the conference over the past several years. There are 24 full congregations and three “Network” congregations in the conference. Bishop Murray is laying a solid foundation for long-term growth in Southern California and the surrounding areas. The pastors and congregations are ethnically diverse and reflect the diverse culture of this part of the United States.
Bishop Murray also acknowledged the large delegation of Golden West delegates at the July 2017 General Conference in Orlando, Florida. Golden West is active in supporting various Mission: M25 efforts, including Run to The Wall for veterans, and the 50cc Diaper Run for Falcon Children’s Home.
Several pastors were recognized with special awards for their service to the conference. Rev. Norman Cluck received the “Wind and Fire Award” presented annually to a Golden West minister for inspiring and anointed service to Christ.
Bishop Murray gave a special presentation to Rev. Bill Terry for his outstanding service as director of IPHC Men’s Ministries and president of Advantage College.
A special highlight was the Social Media Award presented to Pastor Violet Curlee. Sister Curlee is over 90 years old and continues to lead Trinity Life Chapel in Bakersfield, California. She was presented this award because she has led the way in her services being live-streamed through social media.
Rev. Stephen Hanscom was present representing IPHC Extension Loan Fund (ELF). He also presented a check from the ELF to Rev. Billy Woods and his outreach ministry to men recovering from the devastating effects of addictions and homelessness.
This was a wonderful way to have an annual conference that did not have any formal business. The ministers and pastors were honored with gifts. The conference leadership honored Bishop and Mrs. Murray with Pastor Appreciation and Christmas gifts.
The Golden West Executive Council is composed of Superintendent, Bishop Tom Murray; Assistant Superintendent Rev. Bill Kennedy; Treasurer Rev. Paula Rains; Secretary Rev. Anthony Archuleta; and Council Members Rev. Billy Woods, Rev. David Lopez, and Rev. Hislena Servin.