By A.D. Beacham, Jr., Presiding Officer
The 92nd session of the Alpha (Alabama) Conference convened at Canvas Church in Hoover, Alabama on Saturday morning, June 18. The conference was well attended with 92 official delegates and many more visitors.
It was an honor to recognize the following who were in attendance: Mrs. Susan R. Beacham, Director of IPHC Minister’s Wives Fellowship; Bishop and Mrs. Leon Stewart, former IPHC General Superintendent; Bishop and Mrs. David Stephens, former Alpha Conference Superintendent; Dr. and Mrs. Earl Beatty, former pastor in Alpha Conference and part of administration of Holmes Bible College; Retired Air Force Chaplain Christie Sorrow; Mr. and Mrs. Brian James representing Emmanuel College; Harold and Kathleen Presley, IPHC missionaries to the United Kingdom and NW Europe; Roger Johnson, IPHC missionary to Haiti.
The annual business session followed two nights of powerful ministry from Rev. Tunde Bolanta. A former member of the Alpha Conference, Rev. Bolanta and his wife Tina lead a large network of churches in northern Nigeria. His anointed ministry of the Word and ministry to individuals was used by the Holy Spirit to bring healings as well as restoration and hope to all who were present for these services. Susan and I were blessed to attend Rev. Bolanta’s ministry on Friday morning and evening.
Canvas Church is led by Pastor Jon Potter, son of former Mid-Atlantic Conference Superintendent Wesley Potter. This thriving and engaging congregation is currently meeting in the property of Berney Points Baptist Church. What is important about this location is that this facility came about through the pastoral ministry of Dr. Hugh Morgan. Later the property became a Baptist congregation; however, discussions and negotiations are in place for the property to be purchased by Pastor Potter and the Canvas Church congregation.
Dr. and Mrs. Morgan and their son Greg were present for the Friday services and also for the Sunday morning service at this location. Rev. Potter recognized them in the Sunday service and the congregation gave thanks for their vision and commitment to see this building come to fruition. After the Morgan’s left, there were others in the IPHC who added to the building and all of us rejoice at how the Lord is using this facility, visible from Interstate 65, for His glory.
Following the video presentation of We Prayerfully Value Holiness and my remarks from Revelation 4:1-11 on holiness, the business session began.
Bishop Mike Gray’s Report of the Conference Superintendent and State of the Conference was informative and inspiring. He reported that the conference at the close of 2015 had 54 local congregations with a total of 6,948 members and 4,980 attending weekend worship services. Twenty-three of the congregations showed composite growth in the past year. The ministries of local congregations and members led to 1,864 people coming to Christ or reaffirming their faith.
Bishop Gray reported that in the coming months two Hispanic congregations will soon be formed and an additional two other congregations are soon to be formed.
Bishop Gray closed his remarks by focusing on three key words he has received this year from the Lord: Victory, Vibrancy, and Fullness.
The Credentials Report was read by Rev. Jason Beiler. In the report the body approved the following as ministers in the conference.
For License: Jonathan Baker, Wendy Davis, Derek Lewis, Tim Nichols, and Callie Sorrow. (On a personal note, Callie is a recent graduate of Emmanuel College. She is the daughter of Rev. Christie Sorrow and granddaughter of Dr. and Mrs. Earl Beatty).
For Ordination: James Eason, Heather Farley, Guy Hannum, and Ricky Smith.
Due to the passing of Rev. Greg Davis last year, the conference had to fill Rev. Davis’ unexpired term. Rev. Brian Farley, pastor of Faith Chapel in Huntsville, Alabama, was elected on the second ballot to complete this term.
Following presentations by Bishop Gray and promotions from Emmanuel College, Holmes Bible College, and IPHC missionaries, the Memoirs Report was read by Bishop Gray. The following ministers were remembered: Greg Davis, Ira Decker, and Don Polk.
I’m very grateful for Bishop Gray’s leadership in the conference and his leadership for the denomination as Chairman of the IPHC Finance Committee.