By Bishop Talmadge Gardner
I had the distinct honor of serving as the presiding officer for the SOUTH CAROLINA ANNUAL CONFERENCE SESSION, May 21, 2016.
The conference convened at 9 a.m. on the campus of the South Carolina Conference, which is located in Lake City, South Carolina.
Bishop Amos’ State of the Conference Report paid tribute to the various ministry directors and ministries of the conference and chronicled their continued growth/expansion and importance to the well-being of the conference. He concluded with a powerful analogy:
“As we are all aware South Carolina experienced a devastating flood since last we met. In times of adversity, the church shines. I cannot begin to tell you how proud I am of the great people of the South Carolina Conference who rose to the occasion. As I mentioned earlier, the Mobile Feeding Kitchen, a vision birthed by our late Superintendent Mark Potter, was a tremendous testimony to the heart of our Lord. You rallied when needed to provide supplies to help so many. One example being Rev. Ms. Sheila Gabrysh found a way to have food supplies delivered by helicopter because roads were closed! You responded to the need of some 13 churches that sustained flood damage as well as the total loss of the home of Pastor Ernest Gause. The monies you gave for that purpose was divided among them. Thank you again for your generosity. You stepped up to help hurting people. We also allowed FEMA and the Red Cross the use of Evan’s Dining Hall for five months at no rental charge to assist hurting people.
Sadly, there is another flood arising in our land that is even more damaging than the literal flood we experienced. Just last week, our United States President issued a threatening letter to schools across the United States demanding compliance with his transgender bathroom policy. This overreach of authority is disturbing to say the least. Coupled with the same sex marriage agenda, we are seeing unprecedented pressure that, unless stopped, will undoubtedly spill over affecting our religious liberties once guaranteed to us.
I expect the good folks of the South Carolina Conference to respond in this flood as before. History reveals that the church grew when persecuted or pressured. I expect no less in this season. While things may get worse in America, I believe we will rise to the occasion yet again. I anticipate a great harvest as we stand for right and not bow our knee to conform. I believe the love of God through the people of God will begin to flow. I expect us to support one another and let our lights shine in a dark world. I expect us to get involved in our communities with other Christian groups to be active politically to bring change. Yes, these days are frightening but I ask you to see with eyes of faith and expectancy. Through our God we will do valiantly! It is He who will tread down our enemies.
I’m reminded of Jesus’ teaching in Luke 17:26, 27 NLT, “When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah’s day. In those days, the people enjoyed banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat and the flood came and destroyed them all.” We know judgment day is coming and the world is ignoring the signs. Church, it’s high time for us to minister, pray, stand, love, witness, live holy, and rely on the Holy Spirit as never before in our lifetime. But let me also remind you that when the flood came in Noah’s day for destruction it rained down but Genesis 7:11 tells us that the fountains of the great deep began to break forth. In Genesis, it was for destruction. We believe the coming of Christ is near and I’m expecting a flood. Not for destruction, but for an end time harvest. Yes judgment will come but before it does I believe the Holy Spirit will be poured out anew while the rivers of living water in the people of God begins to break forth. It will be an undeniable thing! Don’t be discouraged by what you see! Lift up your heads your redemption draws nigh!
As Moses’ rod/serpent swallowed the rod/serpents of Egypt may the flood of the Holy Spirit swallow up the flood of evil rising in the land! As the Red Sea swallowed up the chariots of Egypt may the flood of God’s presence consume the enemy! Remember: Isaiah 59:19 “So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in (like a flood), the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.”’
Bishop Amos concluded his State of the Conference presentation by leading the conference in the following faith declaration:
We are an undeniable PEOPLE
Experiencing God’s undeniable PRESENCE
Fulfilling an undeniable PURPOSE
As we walk in his undeniable POWER
The South Carolina Conference has always honored those receiving clergy credentials. The license and ordination service was distinctively marked by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit!
Clergy credentials were issued as follows:
Ordination (5) –
- Jimmie F. Brisendine
- Louie Benjamin Floyd
- Onnie Ronald Jackson, Jr.
- Roger Leon Smoak
- Richard Wayne Watts
License (11) –
- Douglas Sidney Cooper
- Terry Lynn Geddings
- Scott Duane Hiers
- Ira Cory Jones
- Yasinta Philip Mrema (IPHC Career Missionary)
- Amy Paulette Powell
- Takena Matheny Prevatte
- Abednego Sigamani
- Robbie Stanley Wilson
- Victor Carlos Hernandez Ulloa
- Caridad Mirian Hernandez
Rev. H. Larry Jones memorialized the following with a moving and exceptionally well prepared and presented Memoirs Committee Report:
- Rev. Lloyd John King
- Rev. Mrs. Hazeleen (Parsons) Graham
- Rev. Mrs. Frances (Strickland) Mims
- Mrs. Annette (Yarborough) Alexander
- Rev. Steve Dale Wilson
- Rev. Onnie Ronald Jackson
- Rev. George Washington Bass (former Conference Superintendent, Sonshine Network Ministries)
- Rev. Dudley Parnell
- Mrs. Jan (Floyd) Lavender
- Rev. Ronald David Causey
- Rev. William James Morgan, Sr.
- Mrs. Josephine (Floyd) Coker
Special presentations by Conference Superintendent, Bishop Amos:
Bishop Amos honored the following retiring pastors with a plaque recognizing their years of service to the Lord and the South Carolina Conference:
- Jerry Ray Catledge, 48 years
- Jerry Owen Causey, 25 years
- Long Venning, 51 years
- Patrick “Darby” Welch, 49 years
Bishop Amos presented Ministerial Service Pins marking/celebrating the ministry tenure of the following ministers:
- Paul Howell, 50 years
- Lucy Martin, 51 years
- Reverends Joseph “Joe” and Stella Moore, 50 years
IPHC Girls’ Ministries is celebrating its 70th birthday this year. To honor this occasion, the director of Girls’ Ministries, Mrs. Irvina Parker asked Bishop Amos to make a special presentation of a bouquet of flowers to Mrs. Linda Parnell, former general director of Girls Entering the Master’s Service [GEMS], 1989 – 1998.
It was an honor as the presiding officer to recognize the following conference attendees:
- Bishop James D. Leggett, 17th General Superintendent of the IPHC from 1997-2009; Bishop Leggett served as the executive director of the General Evangelism USA Department from 1989-1997 and currently serves as president of Holmes Bible College.
- Mrs. Faye Leggett, former Director of the General Ministers’ Wives Fellowship
- Rev. Donald & Virginia Duncan, former Conference Superintendent, GBA & GEB Resident Member where he served the denomination as the executive director of the General Stewardship Ministries Department (4 yrs.) and World Missions Ministries Department (8 yrs.). Rev. Duncan was also elected to serve as vice chairman of the denomination for two consecutive terms.
- Rev. Paul & Mary Howell, former GBA & GEB Resident Member where he served the denomination as the executive director of the General Church Education Ministries Department. Rev. Howell also served as the first full-time Royal Rangers National Commander for the IPHC.
- Rev. Tame’ Lambert, former General Women’s Ministries Executive Director & GBA Member
- Rev. Jewelle Stewart, former General Women’s Ministries Executive Director & GBA Member
- Rev. Rabon Stewart, former Conference Superintendent, Alpha Conference, and GBA Member
- Rev. Jimmy & Violet McKenzie, former Conference Superintendent, GBA & General WMMD Board/Council Member
- Rev. Doug & Frances Amos, former Conference Superintendent & GBA Member
- Mrs. Melba Potter, wife of former Conference Superintendent, Rev. Mark Potter, GBA & General WMMD Board Member
- Rev. Wesley & Peggy Potter, former Conference Superintendent, Mid-Atlantic Conference, and GBA Member
- Rev. George & Ella Cashwell, former Conference Superintendent, Mississippi Conference, and GBA Member
- Rev. Sherrill & Velvalee Orvin, former General Director of the WMMD People to People Ministries for 25 years
- Rev. Nelwyn Miles Welch, former General Planning & Budgetary Committee Member
- Rev. Dean Morgan, General WMMD Council Member
- Dr. Ron White, President, Emmanuel College
- Mr. David Parker, President, IPHC Extension Loan Fund
- Mr. Joey & Sharon Leggett, Executive Director, Falcon Children’s Home
- Dr. Kundael & Yasinta Mrema, IPHC Career Missionaries to Tanzania & Regional Director for Central Africa
- Rev. Carl, Camilla & Sara Sturkie, Retired IPHC Career Missionaries to Africa
This was the 106th annual conference session of the South Carolina Conference. They have a rich heritage and are crafting an enduring legacy under the visionary and godly leadership of Greg and Tamara Amos.
May the faith declaration that they recited together become a prophetic declaration over them as it ‘speaks life to their churches’ as they corporately trust the Lord ‘for a fresh wind of the Holy Spirit to blow across this great conference.’
Again, I was so honored to serve Bishop Amos and this part of our faith family.