Due to the Delta Airlines IT systems and the cancellation of flights, Presiding Bishop Beacham was stranded in several airports for several days during the second week of August. Unable to get to California, the General Superintendent requested that I serve as the presiding officer for the West Coast Hispanic Conference. On several occasions during the two-day event, I was able to express, on behalf of Bishop Beacham, his apologies and disappointment for not being able to attend the Conference. Everyone understood and sincerely regretted that the General Superintendent had to experience the Delta Airlines crisis.
It was indeed an honor for me to assist Bishop Beacham, and fellowship with Bishop and Mrs. Adam Villarreal, and conference ministers on Friday and Saturday, August 12 & 13, 2016. Bishop Villarreal is to be commended for a well-organized event. The Annual Conference was hosted on the campus of Cornerstone Christian Community Church in Bakersfield, California. The two-day conference included a Friday afternoon of “Pastoral Talk” between Superintendent Villarreal and the ministers. I was honored to preach on Friday night at the service planned for the youth of the West Coast Hispanic Conference. The youth and young adults represented approximately one-half of those in attendance at the service. The praise and worship team was phenomenal and led us into a beautiful time of worship. At the conclusion of my sermon from 1 Samuel 17, I asked all of the ministers present to pray for the youth. I characterized the ministers as “Giant Slayers” as they ministered under the anointing of the Holy Spirit to the young adults, and prayed for “giants” to be slain and strongholds broken.
The theme of the Conference was REVITALIZATION. Bishop Villarreal emphasized the theme throughout the day on Saturday, as he addressed the approximately 170 delegates and visitors in attendance. The bishop’s devotional was based on 1 Kings 19, allowing him to reflect and contemplate on the state of the Conference. Bishop Villarreal used several opportunities throughout the day to speak and report on the advancements being made in the West Coast Hispanic Conference, and continued to reiterate his vision for the Conference which includes doubling the membership in the local churches, and reaching out to independent Holiness/Pentecostal ministries.
The morning session concluded with my presentation and teaching on our core value, “We Prayerfully Value Holiness.” A special anointing was present. The teaching was well received and a significant amount of time was spent around the altar where the Holy Spirit moved among those present.
It was an honor to recognize the following special guests attending the Conference: former Conference Superintendents Rev. Noe and Ruth Rodriquez, and Rev. Freyman and Angela Valdez. In addition, EVUSA missionaries Rev. Carlos and Nuria Bolanos, on assignment in Hawaii, were present and addressed the Conference. The Bolanos were well received as they spoke about their ministry and the enormous needs in Hawaii and Alaska.
The Inspirational Conference was filled with excitement and a focused solidarity as the various ministry departments were promoted by the conference leaders. I presented the 2017 General Conference promotional video and encouraged all pastors and ministers to make plans to be present in Orlando. In addition, I was able to promote various upcoming IPHC national events, including the western region Family Discipleship Conference, sponsored by the IPHC Discipleship Ministries, to be held in Bakersfield in November. The ministers were strongly encouraged to make use of these various events and the resources provided by the denomination.
The Conference presented three candidates for credentials. One for Minister’s License, and two candidates for Ordination. They are as follows:
Bishop and Mrs. Villarreal are gracious hosts. Their inspiration and love for the ministers of the Conference is remarkable. I was very encouraged for the future of the West Coast Hispanic Conference as we partner to build the kingdom in the west. I want to commend Bishop Villarreal for his vision and leadership. You could feel the sense of hope and expectancy in the Conference. The harvest is great and Bishop Villarreal and his team are preparing the laborers. May the Holy Spirit continue to empower this team. I rejoice with the Conference for their success and pray that the Lord continues to bless the West Coast Hispanic Conference as they move forward in ministry.
By Bishop Tom L. Murray
Golden West Conference