By Bishop J. Talmadge Gardner
I was honored to serve as the presiding officer for the annual NORTHWEST LATIN CONFERENCE Saturday, April 8, 2017. The conference was hosted on the campus of the Sunnyside Christian Reformed Church in Sunnyside, Washington – what a beautiful church campus.
True to their tradition, Bishop Prieto used Saturday morning for a time of personal training with his leaders. The annual Conference Business Session began at 1:30 p.m. There were 300 plus attendees present. In addition to the annual Conference Session, and on a parallel timeline, training/ministry sessions were hosted for teens and children.
In his State of the Conference Report, Bishop Prieto presented the conference with a statistical report that listed the names of thirty-seven (37) churches in addition to the tithing report of every credentialed clergy member. His report also provided attendees with a full account of his ministry activity since the previous conference.
Clergy Credentials Were Issued as Follows:
- Joe Alberto Ortega
- German Vera
- Daniel Ramirez
- Sonia Ramirez
- Jose Ramirez
- Oscar Martinez
- Alexandro De Jesús
- Ada Milka Cordones
- Vidal Ruiz
- José R. Vazquez
- Abelardo Moreno
- Javier Ramírez Rosas
Minister’s License (5) –
- Humberto Alba
- Diocelina Betancourt
- Reynaldo Gil
- Gilberto Gonzalez
- Javier Infante
Local Church Minister’s Certificate (5) –
- Rebecca A. Meza
- Isaac Meza
- Gaby Najera
- Luis Najera
- Roberto Pérez
Following the ordination service, former conference superintendent and current assistant conference superintendent, Rev. Trinidad Gutierrez, led the conference in honoring Bishop Eleuterio and Francisco Prieto. My heart was touched as each minster and spouse made personal presentations to the Prietos. The expressions were heartfelt and genuine.
The conference concluded with a worship service. I was privileged to preach to 500 plus attendees. We concluded with a wonderful time of prayer and worship around the altar.
I am indebted to my two translators – Rev. Trinidad Gutierrez and Rev. Jesus Arredondo. Two good men and good translators.
It was an honor as the presiding officer to recognize the following conference attendees and guests:
- Trinidad and Norma Gutierrez, former conference superintendent, General Board of Administration & Council of Bishops member.
- Bishop Enrique Guillen, former conference superintendent & General Board of Administration member
- Maria Rivera, former General Board of Administration member
My schedule permitted me to stay over Saturday night and I was privileged to preach at Getsemani PHC, in Othello, Washington, for Bishop Gutierrez Sunday morning and then at Iglesia Roca de la Salvacion in Mattawa, Washington for Bishop Prieto on Sunday evening. In between services, I was invited to spend the afternoon at the Gutierrez’s home. Trinidad and his wife, Norma, have always been so very kind to me. We attempted to watch some of the final round of the Master’s golf tournament. He had never played or watched golf on television before and I was not the best commentator/instructor. It did not take him long to fall asleep.
I thank Bishop Eleuterio & Francisco Prieto for the honor of serving them and our faith family in the Northwest Latin Conference. These family members are some of the most appreciative and loving people you will find anywhere in the IPHC. It is always a joy to serve them. I always leave the Northwest feeling refreshed in my spirit!
The Northwest is burgeoning with kingdom potential. May the Holy Spirit anoint and empower the leadership and service of Bishop Prieto as he shepherds this part of our flock!