August 14, 15, 2015
Christian Heritage Pentecostal Holiness Church
Dr. A.D. Beacham, Jr., Presiding Officer
Rev. Scott Hampton, Conference Bishop
It was a joy to return to Amarillo, Texas for this session of the Great Plains Conference. From the north in the Oklahoma panhandle to the south in El Paso to the west in New Mexico, this conference covers a huge territory. From across this part of west Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico, 175 people converged in Amarillo for the annual conference. This was the largest attended annual conference in several years.
The conference began on Friday evening with a casual meet and greet fellowship time. Superintendent Scott Hampton, leading his first annual conference since assuming the office in October 2014, set the atmosphere for people having time to get to meet one another, talk, and build relationships.
The business was on Saturday morning at Christian Heritage PHC. Presiding Bishop Beacham was given opportunity to discuss the following areas of IPHC ministry:
- Based on Isaiah 54:2, 3, Bishop Beacham emphasized the IPHC has a Place of Hope and People of Promise. He then reviewed the Seven Core Values.
- Beacham drew attention to the recently adopted IPHC Council of Bishops Position Paper “Marriage and Sexual Morality,” available on the IPHC web site.
- Beacham’s presentation concluded with the We Prayerfully Value Pentecost
Rev. Steve Cofer from World Missions Ministries shared about the global ministry of the IPHC. Following his presentation, a Global Outreach luncheon was held for everyone present.
After lunch Bishop Scott Hampton presented the State of the Conference report. The conference currently has 28 congregations (Hispanic and Anglo) with a goal of 40 congregations by 2018. There are 73 ministers in the conference.
Bishop Hampton, at age 32, is the youngest conference superintendent in the USA. Bringing to leadership several years of experience in Discipleship Ministries for the conference, Scott brings fresh vision and energy to this important IPHC work. He is building upon the foundation established by former leaders and pastors, including former superintendents Rev. Lavon Thompson and Rev. Lloyd Burd. Rev. Gary Burd was on a ministry trip and unable to attend; however, his wife Carolyn was present for the conference.
It is encouraging to see younger leaders arising across the IPHC. Bishop Hampton is one of those rising leaders with vision, energy, and commitment that the Holy Spirit is using to expand “the place of our tent.”
Through the afternoon, reports were given by the leaders of the GPC ministries. Craig Lawlis gave the financial report; James Washman gave the World Missions report; Lavana Greene gave the Women’s Ministries report; Danny Stewart the Men’s Ministries report; Kevin McBride, host pastor of Christian Heritage, gave the M25/School of Ministry/Evangelism report; Hector Chavez the Hispanic Ministries report; Debbie Estrada the Intercessory Prayer report; Jake Bunn the Discipleship Ministries report; and Assistant Superintendent Dennis Hartley gave his personal report.
Bishop Hampton presented the first Three Strand Cord Award to Patrick and Debbie Estrada. This award recognizes someone in the conference who has given above and beyond in service to Christ through the conference.
The Ministerial Credentials Report was exciting as 10 people received Local Church Minister’s License. Fifteen received Minister’s License: Shanna Brewer, Tyson Bunn, Kayla Estrada, Mathias Estrada, Megan Lawlis, John McVey, Christa McBride, David Stanfield, Rebecca N. Chavez, Juan Hernandez, Matthew Chavez, Tim Mendez, Martin Reyna, Santos Garcia, Fernando Flores. Two transferred into the conference with Minister’s License.
While there were no ordinations this year, the conference has put itself on a strong tract of developing ministers through the School of Ministry. These fifteen licensed ministers will continue to prepare and move towards ordination over the next few years.
The Memoirs Report recognized the following for their dedicated service to Christ during their lifetimes:
Ellen Batman, Virginia Welch, Glenn Wright, Billy Hooks, Doc Shuman, John Quinn and Travis Tillman.
The conference concluded with Bishop Hampton ministering to the conference regarding his vision for the conference. This ended with a powerful time of prayer for every minister and congregation present for the annual conference.