The 2023 Quadrennial Conference of the Mississippi Conference took place on April 14th at Springs of Praise World Outreach Center in Crystal Springs, Mississippi. This local church is pastored by Darrell and Karen Blankenship. It was a wonderful day filled with worship, business, and fellowship. The presiding officer was Bishop Garry Bryant, executive director of Evangelism USA.
Arise to Mission, which is the IPHC Quadrennial emphasis with a focus on the Great Commandment and the Great Commission, was presented and well received. The conference delegates all agreed to engage the mandates of ARISE more effectively as we move through the decade toward 2033.
Bishop David Moore presented an insightful State of the Conference Report. His address provided encouragement and affirmation to pastors, ministers, and local church leaders. The report included statistical information that gave evidence of growth by a number of churches as they continue to rebound from the effects of the COVID pandemic.
Bishop Moore, who began his service as conference superintendent in 2010, announced that he would not be available to serve another term in office. He and his wife, Jane, served the IPHC as missionaries in Central America and continue to train Central Americans via zoom and occasional visits. They are also ministering to people in Mississippi through Workplace Chaplains.
In preparation for consideration of new conference leaders, the delegates voted to adopt the three-term limit for all Executive Council members. The election results for the conference offices were as follows:
Rev. Glenn Lafferty: Conference Bishop
Rev. Walter Lafferty: Assistant Superintendent
Rev. Shawn Earles: Secretary\Treasurer
Rev. Janson Thomas: Council Member
Rev. Lee Dixon: Council Member
A special time of prayer and commitment followed the business session as the newly-elected Conference Council was installed.
This marks the second time Bishop Lafferty has served as conference superintendent. In May, 2004, he assumed the office of superintendent of Mississippi when the previous superintendent, Rev. Charles Miles, passed away. Lafferty served until 2010 when he decided to return his focus to the local church. Bishop Lafferty will continue to pastor Bethany PHC in Quitman, Mississippi, as well as maintaining the duties of conference superintendent. He is married to Jennifer, and they have four children.
The following individuals received ministerial credentials at the quadrennial conference:
Local Church Ministers
Various directors provided reports on their ministries:
– Evangelism\World Missions: Jane Moore
– Women’s Ministry: Jill McCarthy
– Youth Ministry : Sandra Loar
– Men’s Ministry: Gene Evans
Assistant Superintendent Walter Lafferty’s daughter, Mrs. Madeline Lafferty Nix, an ordained minister of the Mississippi Conference, was recently appointed as director of The Awakening. She was recognized and warmly received by her conference family as she gave an update of the ministry over which she is now responsible. The Awakening is the arm of IPHC World Missions Ministries focused on equipping, resourcing, and mobilizing emerging leaders around the world.
The Quadrennial Conference concluded with the delegates and attendees receiving Holy Communion. A time of thanksgiving and celebration for our salvation was a fitting end to the conference setting.