By Dr. A.D. Beacham, Jr.
The annual session of New Horizons Ministries was held at SpiritLife IPHC (formerly Evangelistic Temple) in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The conference had gathered for several nights of services leading to the annual session. I was able to attend the Friday night worship service and all of us were blessed by the anointed preaching of Rev. Steve Ely.
Bishop Drake and Dr. Beacham acknowledged the presence of former conference superintendents Jim Eby and Dell Hunnicutt. We also recognized former conference assistant superintendent and GBA member Dan Beller and current World Missions Council member Charles Craig. Mr. Johnny Upton was present representing IPHC Extension Loan Fund.
The annual conference was well attended with several hundred present. The session began with the presiding officer presentation of the General Conference video and remarks about the General Conference. Following that, the Core Value video on Christ’s Kingdom was shown and Dr. Beacham spoke on the IPHC 2017 emphasis on the Kingdom of God.
Bishop Randell Drake then gave an inspiring report of the excellent condition of the conference. Bishop Drake is currently the longest serving superintendent in the USA, with fifteen years of service. His experience and wisdom are a great blessing to the conference and general church.
Bishop Drake recognized numerous leaders in the conference, including the special work of Mrs. Doris Craig. For many years Sister Craig has mailed birthday cards to the NHM senior ministries and her labor of love is deeply appreciated.
The conference currently has 77 congregations, three satellite congregations, and over 9000 members in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, and Kansas. Since the 2016 annual conference, three new congregations have been added to the conference: Wichita, Kansas; Muskogee, Oklahoma; and Rogers, Arkansas. There are 13 certified Dynamic Church Planting International leaders who are serving the conference.
In his personal report, Bishop Drake informed the delegates of his service on the 28th General Conference Bylaws Committee, and his recent position as the Acting Chair of the Board of Regents for Southwestern Christian University.
He shared his heart related to the conference theme of “GO & TELL!” It is clear that evangelism and church planting are high priorities to the bishop and conference. Bishop Drake closed his report by sharing his life verse, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path” (Proverbs 3:5, 6).
Following his report, Bishop Drake recognized Dr. Phil Sallee, director of the conference School of Ministry. 15 men and women were recognized by Dr. Sallee for completing the SOM program. I was particularly encouraged to see so many younger women and men preparing for Christian service!
Rev. Norman Wilkie read the Examining Committee report, which was accepted by the delegates. Fourteen were recognized as having received local church minister’s certification. Five were presented ministerial license:
Sylena Gayle Burden
Sasha Miana LeBlanc
Ace David Patterson
Nathan L. Perry
Richard Lee Pugh (reinstated as a licensed minister).
Fourteen received ordination:
Catrina Lynn Bicket
Jason Matthew Bicket (The Bicket’s are preparing for ministry among Russian speaking peoples in the Middle East and will serve with IPHC World Missions Ministries.)
Deania Ann Brewer
Jason Charles Cochran
Larry Drew Domerese, Jr.
Ashlie Lynee Drake (wife of Rev. Taylor Drake and daughter-in-law of Bishop and Mrs. Drake)
Rocky Dean Garrison
Gregory Lee Elis Jones
Rick Glenn Madron
Philip Sean McKinney
Christopher Lee Mathis
Darryl Wayne Patrick
Preston Doran Smith
Gregory Aaron Hatchett (transfer from the Church of God)
Numerous ministry awards were presented. The following congregations had an increase of at least 10% in church membership in the previous year:
Ada The River, Cabool Victory Worship Center, Claremore Praise Fellowship, Durant Abundant Life Texoma, Fairview IPHC, Fayetteville No Limits Fellowship, Jay Community Chapel, Kansas City Iglesia Vida Abundante, Kiowa Praise Fellowship, Moffett Full Gospel, South Coffeyville Emmanuel Chapel,
Stratford LifePoint Church, Tulsa The Link, Wewoka New Life.
There were twenty churches with an increase of at least 10% in Sunday morning worship service(s) over the past year: Ada Calvary, Ada The River, Braggs Emmanuel Family Worship, Cahool Victory Worship Center, Claremore Praise Fellowship, Cromwell IPHC, Fairview IPHC, Fayetteville No Limits, Kingston Faith Harvest, Mill Creek IPHC, Muskogee New Life, Oil Center IPHC, Russellville The Bridge, Sand Springs Harvest Church, Siloam Springs Faith Alive, South Coffeyville Emmanuel Chapel, Stigler River of Life, Tulsa The Link, Westville Impact Church, Wewoka New Life.
A highlight of the conference was the presentation of several service awards.
Bronze 10-year awards were given to Steve Allen, Mona Fulks, and Jay Jones.
A Silver 20-year award was given to Wesley Berry.
Gold 50-year awards were given to Bob Cartwright, Jim Eby, D.J. Weatherford, and Ruby York.
Five received Diamond 60-year awards: Dan Beller, William Boutwell, Doyle Gadberry, Dell Hunnicutt, and Don Posey.