By Bishop D. Chris Thompson
It was my pleasure and delight to preside over the annual meeting of the South Carolina Conference. The meeting was held at their auditorium in Lake City, S.C. The Conference Bishop is Greg Amos. He did a superb job in planning, preparing, and executing the conference. Some 350 plus attended. This included 176 clergy, 58 pastors’ spouses, and 47 church delegates. The remainder were guests.
The conference began with a leadership processional sharply at 9:00 am. Several special guests were present:
Former superintendents –
Doug and Frances Amos
M. Donald Duncan
Rabon Stewart (Alpha Conference)
Mrs. Jewelle Stewart – Former Women’s Ministry Director (General Church)
Mrs. Tame Lambert – Former Women’s Ministry Director (General Church)
Carl & Cammilla Surkie – Former IPHC Missionaries
Dr. Ron White – Emmanuel College President
David Parker – President of IPHC Extension Loan Fund
Bishop Chris Thompson – President Elect – Holmes Bible College (Oklahoma)
Paul & Mary Howell – Former IPHC Discipleship Director
Wayne Powell – SC Teen Challenge (General Church)
Hector Sanchez – General Hispanic Board Member
Those who were not members of the South Carolina Conference were given a seat and voice in the meeting.
After my introduction, I gave a devotion in two parts. During the first part, I shared remarks around the 2017 Theme – We Prayerfully Value Christ’s Kingdom. The second part centered around the thought – “We are Better Together – Generations Working Together.” Both parts seem to be well received.
The Decorum and Examining Reports were read and approved. Those licensed were:
- Angel Carl Alba (away on Run for the Wall)
- Carl Hightower Black
- Nathan Harry Cooper
- Brian Winston Gardner II
- Caleb Earl Henderson (grandson of Chaplain Jerry Henderson)
- Brandon Scott Martin
- Linda Ann Moore
- Russell Elijah Moss
- Nettie Catherin Stone
- Dennis Areol Williams
Two were ordained:
Michael Christopher Cantey
Lauren Charles Gause
Each of the Executive Council members gave a written report. A motion was passed to receive these with appreciation. They were excellent reports! The Council Members have served well. The District Elders should also be praised for their work. South Carolina has an excellent structure.
Rev. H. Larry Jones read the Memoirs Committee Report. Some 15 warriors of the faith had completed their earthly journey. Rev. Jones did a fantastic job using printed materials and video. I was blessed to see a good number of friends and family members present. Special seating was prepared. Here is a list of those honored:
- Barbara Jean Matthew Miles, 80
August 3, 1936 – August 29, 2016
- Pauline Lamb Thomas, 81
October 6, 1934 – September 9, 2016
- David Ray Richardson, 74
May 2, 1942 – September 9, 2016
- Carl Daniel Cagle, 85
January 30, 1931 – November 2, 2016
- Joann Young Welch, 73
August 10, 1943 – November 7, 2016
- Charlie S. Salter, 77
August 24, 1939 – November 9, 2016
- Frances Stone Hartfield, 90
May 15, 1926 – December 23, 2016
- Wylie Lewis Evans, 93
August 19, 1923 – January 16, 2017
- George Clifton Cashwell, 81
September 3, 1935 – January 30, 2017
- Betty Bell Jeffcoat, 82
January 18, 1935 – February 12, 2017
- Doris Jeanette Anderson Miles
February 26, 2017
- David Brice Coker, 81
December 28, 1935 – March 9, 2017
- Stoney Allen Wrenn, Sr.
October 22, 1938 – March 11, 2017
- John O. Carter Jr., 88
November 20, 1928 – April 19, 2017
- Margaret Eloise Swails Stewart, 90
October 19, 2016 – April 22, 2017
Bishop Greg Amos chose to give his report primarily by use of video. It was an excellent report. The South Carolina Conference continues to move forward. Finances are up. A good number are being saved and discipled into the church. He has an excellent team to work with him.
In the last two years, the conference was hit with two major challenges. There was a “1,000-year flood” and then in late September 2016, Hurricane Matthew hit. In both occasions, the conference offices were flooded and had to undergo renovation. The South Carolina leaders and people are resilient. They are to be commended! The offices are repaired and functional again. I say, “Well done, Bishop Amos and Praise the Lord!”
Rev. Mrs. Phyllis Underwood gave an oral report on the finances. She is the Secretary-Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer. The report showed excellent stewardship, faithfulness, and commitment on behalf of the ministers and churches. It was my pleasure to express appreciation on behalf of the Global Ministry Center. In the midst of great challenges, the Conference honored all commitments.
Three ministers were honored with retirement plaques:
- Julian Boles Jr.
- Wilma B. Morris
- Reginald L. Thames, Jr.
Rev. Pastor Jimmy Floyd was given a service pin for fifty-one years of service.
At various times, several representatives from institutions spoke. They spoke well. All those present enjoyed the presentation and rejoiced at the progress being made.
Ron White – Emmanuel College
David Parker – Loan Fund
Wayne Powell – Teen Challenge
Chris Thompson – Holmes Bible College
A video was shown about Falcon’s Children’s Home and the new children’s home at Tuberville, South Carolina. Everyone was excited and offered enthusiastic praise for the new children’s home. (I am thrilled!)
I did enjoy this conference! I have known and worked with my friend, Greg Amos, for many years. He is a great visionary and hard working. At the end of his report, he showed the theme video and the one for General Conference. He promoted both. He then had the District Elders to bring up soil from their districts. A time of prayer occurred for fruit and multiplied fruit. All fruit comes from the blessings of the Lord, hard work, AND good soil. This soil will be carried to Orlando for the Bishop’s Project on Friday night of General Conference. It was an awesome time in the Lord. During the prayer time, special prayers were offered for the sick, etc. I was moved to tears and praise to see the Council and Elders surround their own Bishop. God is at work.
After the conference, I believe everyone went to “The Schoolhouse” for South Carolina BBQ and good home cooking. I know I was there (as a guest of Bishop Amos). Hey, we believe in a double blessing – we had shrimp and grits on Friday night.