It was my honor and privilege to preside over the Annual Conference of Redemption Ministries for 2016. We met at the Upward Church in Norfolk, VA. The church is pastored by Rev. Craig Walker. The Conference was excellent and well attended. Some 73 clergy delegates were present with a total attendance of 193.
We began the day with fellowship and continental breakfast. We assembled at 9am and concluded around 4:30 p.m. This was one of the best organized conferences that I have seen in years. Secretary Bonnie Conrad works well with Bishop Dayton Birt to make it so.
In addition to the Conference Executive Council, several special guests were recognized. These were:
Brian Kluth – Minister and Author
Marysol Martinez – Director of the Royal Home Ministries in Falcon, N.C.
Dr. Ron White – Emmanuel College President
Brian James – Vice President for Development, Emmanuel College
Garry Bryant – Former Conference Superintendent and Assistant Director of EVUSA
Dreama Bryant – World Missions Ministries
Garryt Bryant – EVUSA, Next-Gen Advisor
Bob Lynch – Retired Chaplain, IPHC, USAF
Craig Walker – Former Missionary, China, National EVUSA Council Member
Hans Hess – National EVUSA Council Member
Rupert George – National African American Board Member
After a welcome by Pastor Craig Walker and a time of praise and worship, Assistant Superintendent Chuck Davis presented the Credentials Report. The report was as follows:
Dwight Leon Dunning, Jr.
Garryt Edward Bryant
Sophia Loren George
Sergio Aroldo Vasquez Romero
The report was adopted. I gave a charge to those licensed and Bishop Birt presented them their license. Later in the day I preached a short ordination message and ordained brother Dunning.
The credentials time was very special for me. I went to school with the parents of the young man ordained and knew his grandparents. Two of the license candidates are known, loved and appreciated – Garryt and Sophia. Garryt works part-time with EVUSA. His dad is my assistant. Sophia is the wife of Pastor Rupert George who serves on the African-American Board. It was a special day for me.
Bishop Dayton Birt gave an excellent report and challenge to the conference. He started with “Are we there yet?” and “You are here!” He emphasized where the conference was going and listed strategies to accomplish the goal. His material was excellent. He spoke from Zechariah 8:20 and declared that “many peoples and inhabitants of many cities will ‘yet’ come!” His “state of the conference” was well received.
Several new church planters were recognized along with some from the past. I gave all of them a church planter’s pin. The stage was full! Praise the Lord!
The finance report was read by Treasurer Kenny Lawhorne. The conference has had a recent improvement in finances. Pastor Han Hess led a PowerPoint for memoirs. Several very special people were recognized.
Just before lunch, former superintendent Garry Bryant lead the conference in communion. A special time of prayer followed with emphasis on the prophetic led by the WIN Director Roger Stables. The Lord was present.
After a delicious lunch of chicken etc., several speakers were presented.
Chris Thompson – Holiness Theme
Royal Home Ministries – Marysol Martinez
Discipleship Video – Crisman White
Brian Kluth – Church/Minister Financial Health
All the speakers were well received.
Missions Director Brian Sawyer gave an excellent presentation on the annual Global Outreach Offering. An offering was received. At this writing the amount is not known. The Conference is making a special thrust for the offering. Fountain of Life, Han Hess, has pledged $35,000.00. Wow and Praise the Lord!
It was a long day but blessed and filled with the presence of the Lord. I believe everyone left having been challenged, encouraged and motivated. I know I was.
I stayed over and preached twice on Sunday morning at Carpenter’s House in Virginia Beach (Pastor Mark Bailey) and Fountain of Life, Elizabeth City (Pastor Hans Hess) in the evening. These are powerful churches. I was honored to speak. These are anointed pastors.
God is at work in Redemption!
By Bishop Chris D. Thompson