By Dr. A.D. Beacham, Jr.
It was an honor to attend part of the camp meeting of the Appalachian Conference and preside over the quadrennial conference.
Bishop Preston Mathena reported that the attendance at the camp meeting services was the largest in recent years. On Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, Rev. Nathan Morris preached and ministered. An anointed evangelist from England, Morris has a powerful ministry that reaches around the globe (shakethenations.com).
On Thursday night, Friday morning, and Friday night, Rev. John Kilpatrick ministered. Combining an insightful teaching ministry with his preaching, the former pastor of Brownsville Assemblies of God shared incidents from that revival as well as inspiring thoughts regarding the glory of God.
On Wednesday morning, Marysol Martinez represented the Royal Home Ministries of Falcon Children’s Home and shared the Word of God with the ministers and laity attending the conference.
I was given the opportunity to share the Word of God on Thursday morning and preached on The Fullness of Pentecost from Deuteronomy 16:9-12; Ruth 1:22 through 2:9; and Acts 2:1-4.
The Quadrennial Conference began at 9 a.m., Saturday, June 16 at the conference tabernacle in Dublin, Virginia. There were 366 registered voting delegates and many other visitors.
The presiding officer recognized the following:
- Former Appalachian Conference superintendents Rev. Walter Lee Wood, Rev. Ed Wood (former IPHC general treasurer), Rev. Glennard Quesenberry, Rev. Ken Kingrea.
- Mrs. Esther Underwood, wife of former IPHC general superintendent, the late Bishop B.E. Underwood.
- IPHC retired missionaries Carol and Barbara Early, Margaret Rogers, John and Geraleen Talmadge, and Richard and LaTrissia Black.
The following were recognized and gave presentations regarding various IPHC ministries:
- Dr. Ron White, president of Emmanuel College.
- Rev. Chris Thompson, president of Holmes Bible College.
- Rev. Matt Bennett, representing Southwestern Christian University Graduate School.
- Rev. Steve Cofer, representing IPHC World Missions Ministries.
- Mr. David Parker, representing IPHC Extension Loan Fund.
Following these recognitions (the presentations were made throughout the remainder of the business session), Bishop Beacham gave the core value message on “All Generations.” The Appalachian Conference session always gathers at the table of the Lord to receive the elements of the Lord’s Supper.
The conference then moved forward with the Decorum Committee and the Credentialing Committee.
The following people were licensed: Todd Amburgey, Brandon Eggleston, Keith Maxwell, Justin Phillips, Aaron Tunnell, Whitney Browning, Josh Hawkins, Rocky Nicely, Hayley Pugh, David Carter, Angela Lineberry, Alicia Phillips, and Gregory Taylor.
I want to remark on how pleased I was to see so many young men and women receiving ministers license! Most of the licensed group are in their twenties to early thirties. This speaks well of the recruitment efforts and opportunities in the conference.
Following the licensing service, the following council members gave brief verbal reports: Mike Dodson, Frank Neff, Wanda Myers, Jim Tunnell, Larry Meadors, and W.A. Mills.
Bishop Mathena recognized W.A. Mills for his service as pastor and leader in the conference. Rev. Mills assumed the duties of director of IPHC Men’s Ministries in early July.
Bishop Mathena then presented the State of the Conference report. In his report, he remarked that this is the 108th year that the conference has existed in the IPHC. In the past year, missions’ teams from the conference have served in South Sudan, Ukraine, Romania, Kenya, Panama, Uganda, and Hungary. Seventy-one of the congregations participated in the Global Outreach Offering, and 107 give monthly to support missionaries. He spoke of how the Appalachian Conference has financially stood with Emmanuel College, Holmes Bible College, and the ministries of Falcon Children’s Home.
Bishop Mathena named essential areas to continue moving forward:
- Fulfill the conference’s part of the Great Commission. Related to that is the commitment of the conference to the Arise 2033 goals of the IPHC.
- Be committed to continuing to become a multi-cultural and multi-generational conference.
- Continue to promote women serving as ministers. There are over 450 credentialed ministers in the conference. Of this number, 106 are women, and 19 of those women serve as senior pastors of congregations and five are co-pastors.
- Focus on the following areas for growth:
- Partner with EVUSA and World Missions Ministries to aid in accomplishing Arise 2033. In particular, a goal to reach 75% of the counties that are in the geographic areas of the conference.
- Further embrace our Pentecostal heritage and experience.
- Expand educational programs for new ministers.
Rev. Mike Dodson, assistant superintendent, led in the Resolutions Committee report. Once the section dealing with conference officials was ratified, conference elections began.
The following were elected to serve the next four years: Bishop Preston Mathena, conference superintendent; Rev. Mike Dodson, assistant superintendent; Rev. Frank Neff, secretary/treasurer; council members: Wanda Myers, Larry Meadors, Jim Tunnell, and newly-elected Stacy Cope (replacing W.A. Mills).
Following the Resolutions Committee report adoption, the conference adopted the Finance Committee report (Wanda Myers), Evangelism/Missions report (Larry Meadors), and the Education report (Ron Fredericks). The Education report called for an election to fill two positions. Rev. N.R. Taylor was elected assistant director and Rev. Wes Galford was elected secretary/treasurer.
Bishop Beacham installed the newly-elected Conference Executive Council. The conference then moved into the ordination service were the following were ordained: Timothy McKenzie, David Wall, Wesley Hill, Bobby Singleton, William Marion, Cathryn Young Smith.
The Memoirs Report was read by Wanda Myers and the following were remembered: Rev. Cathy Stone, Rev. William S. Townley, Rev. Walter I. Corner, Rev. Robert Lee Smith, Sr., Rev. Jack Trigg, Rev. Hampton T. Atkinson, Rev. Larry D. Buckland, Sr., Rev. Henry K. Dodson, Rev. Christopher Hash, and Rev. James F. LaValley.