It was my pleasure to preside over the 2016 Great Plains Annual Conference and attend their other connecting events September 9-10, 2016. The weekend was phenomenal! The Lord showed up powerfully! The meeting was held at the Wyndham Garden hotel in Amarillo, Texas.
Betty and I drove over on Friday afternoon to attend the annual “GO” World Missions banquet. Approximately 175 were present. Overall some $6,000.00 was raised in cash and other $10,000.00 was pledged. This would be well above the 2015 amount received for the Great Plains GO Offering. Praise the Lord!
I was honored to speak at the meal. Various gifts were given to the pastors and the pastor’s wives. They were excited and appreciative. The challenge for missions was phenomenal. The new missions director, Pastor Dennis Hartley, did an excellent job. Two new church planters were recognized. Praise the Lord!
During the Adult Mission Banquet/Service on Friday night, the older youth met in a separate location. They had 75 in attendance. Discipleship Ministries Director Jake Bunn had planned and prepared well. Andrew Hamm from Oklahoma City spoke. I am told he was excellent. The youth were very receptive. Andrew is a creative and anointed speaker.
The Annual Conference began on Saturday at 8:30 a.m. with coffee, donuts and exhibits. Everyone was in place by the first song at 9 a.m. After a time of spirited-anointed worship, I presented the Holiness video and theme for 2016. Both were well received. The Ministry Directors were given ample time for their reports. They reported well.
Men’s Ministries – Danny Stewart
Women’s Ministries – Lavana Greene
Intercession – Debbie Estrada
Hispanic Ministries – Hector Chavez
World Missions – Dennis Hartley
Discipleship Ministries – Jake Bunn
Financial Report – Craig Lawlis
The Conference is well organized and individuals are released for ministry. The total conference was bilingual – English and Spanish.
Bishop Scott Hampton gave a powerful report and State of the Conference. He is excited. His people are excited. There was an excellent Spirit present. Great Plains is moving forward. Bishop Scott is out front and not afraid to lead.
8 received a Local Church Certificate
13 received License
2 were ordained
Most of these were the fruit of the Conference School of Ministry. They were one diverse group. I was thrilled. The conference is growing.
Rev. Ronnie Saldana and wife, Alicia, were present representing Bishop David Avila and the Texas Latin Conference. Pastors Marcus and Beverly Light were present representing their church in Rolla, Kansas. Carolyn Burd, from EVUSA was present (her home conference). Gary Burd was in California.
Bishop Scott had anticipated closing at 1p.m. We finished at 12:58 p.m. Betty and I enjoyed a good lunch with some members of the Executive Council and their spouses.
Betty and I did enjoy this weekend so very much. We were given a “leaders’’ welcome with honor. We were given the Presidential Suite at the hotel. Wow!
We stayed over to attend the Christian Heritage Church on Sunday am. I was honored to preach. It was a powerful morning with nearly 300 in attendance. The altar service was just wonderful! We were blessed with a great Texas steak s along with Bishop Hampton, Pastor Craig Lawlis and their families. We felt that we were among family.
God is at work in the Great Plains!
By Bishop D. Chris Thompson