By Bishop D. Chris Thompson
Lifepoint Ministries had a very interesting approach to their “annual conference.” They began with a service on Wednesday night. Bishop Tim Lamb preached. He used it as an opportunity to vision cast. Camp meeting services followed on Thursday and Friday nights. The Business session was on Thursday morning. On Friday morning and Saturday morning, special training for all was offered. Thursday and Friday afternoons were used for family type fellowship and entertainment. It was a very rewarding week for all.
I was privileged to be present on Thursday and most of Friday. I would have been present at the Wednesday night service but a 2.5 hour plane delay prohibited that. I understand Bishop Lamb did an excellent job in casting vision. He challenged all present to be like Jesus and go to “the next town.” He is an excellent preacher and communicator!
The meetings were held in the John Swails Center on the campus of Emmanuel College. The attendance was excellent during the day and even better in the evening services. Some 78 clergy delegates were present for the Thursday Annual Conference session. The total attendance was over 125.
It was my peasure to preside over the Thursday morning session. The morning began with the “We Prayerfully Value Pentecost” devotion. I followed up with some detail on “The Year of the Holy Spirit and EVUSA.” I also mentioned the recent Empower 21 meeting in Jerusalem especially on Pentecost Sunday. The devotion was received well.
Representatives present gave special presentations on Emmanuel College and Holmes Bible College. Chaplain Adam Erwin gave an excellent presentation on Chaplains – both military and institutional. Adam is awaiting assignment as a Navy Chaplain.
The Discipleship Ministries Director, Rich Hulsey gave the Examining Committee Report. These were approved for credentials:
Local Church Minister
In addition, Tony Royston transferred in from the Congregational Holiness Church. Doug Studdard was seconded from the Congregational Holiness Church. It was my pleasure to speak a Biblical Challenge to the candidates and lay hands of ordination on the ordination candidates. I do enjoy these special times of impartation.
It was a special joy to all present to have three former Superintendents present. These were Keith Hearn, John Ingham and Bill Jones. I was able to present Bro. Bill Jones an award of appreciation from the Council of Bishops for his service over the last four years. Bill was also honored on Wednesday night with “Divine Servant” award by Bishop Tim Lamb.
Bishop Lamb gave an excellent State of the Conference Report. He focused on the future. On review of his report, it is obvious he has his clergy and churches at heart. During the last year he personally visited 30 churches and held countless area meetings with his clergy/spouses. His report was received with much enthusiasm. Two of his emphasis points were prayer and church planting.
He quoted a 1931 conference paper as a present reality -“the members of the (Georgia) Conference were united in their desire and efforts to promote the Kingdom of God.” I believe he is correct! I quote Bishop Lamb. “Eighty-four years later I stand here today and tell you that the methodology has changed, but the message remains the same. Let us go to the ‘next town’ and preach the gospel.”
On Friday morning a time was held for emphasis for World Missions and Global Outreach offering. World Missions Director Rick Womack led the time. Several missionaries were present and gave short presentations. Some near $14,000.00 was received for the 2015 GO offering with more to follow. I am very thankful for this emphasis.
I did enjoy my trip to Georgia. It was a pleasure to visit with Bishop Lamb and his first lady Carissa. They are great people. Bishop Tim Lamb will lead the Conference forward. Thank you Sister Carrisa for the care package and especially for the homemade preserves. They were excellent. Thank you Bishop for the Georgia BBQ and trimmings.
Executive Director, EVUSA