I was honored by the invitation of Presiding Bishop Doug Beacham to preside over the 95thAnnual Session of the Alpha Conference. This was a very special privilege for me, as I am blessed to have served within this fine conference for 41 years as a credentialed minister.
Harvest Christian Center in Cantonment, Florida, hosted the conference events on June 29, 2019, which included the 2019 Alpha Summer Celebration (camp meeting) on June 27-28. Rev. William (Lisa) Strickland is the senior pastor. The church’s hospitality was outstanding, and the congregation served the conference gatherings with distinction.
Dr. Terry Tramel preached and ministered during the Summer Celebration. His messages were timely, superbly communicated, and well received by those in attendance. Many gathered around the altars each evening for prayer and ministry in the presence of the Lord. It was moving to witness Dr. Tramel’s anointed ministry and observe the people’s response to the word of God.
The annual conference session convened on June 29, 2019, at 9:00 a.m. with 120 people in attendance. After a word of greeting and opening prayer, I introduced Rev. Derek Lewis to lead the congregation in worship. The beautiful worship unto the Lord prepared the conference ministers, church delegates, and special guests to receive Holy Communion, which I was privileged to officiate. The Spirit of the Lord moved sweetly and graciously as we received the Sacrament together.
It was my honor to recognize the following special guests:
- Brenda Phillips, chief financial officer, IPHC Ministries
- Terry Tramel, director of Global Outreach & Leadership Development, IPHC World Missions Ministries
- Brian James, vice president for Development, Emmanuel College
- Derek (Megan) Zellers, dean of Men, Holmes Bible College
- John (Ginger) Wheeler, chief operations officer, Falcon Children’s Home
- Bishop Tim (Carissa) Lamb, conference superintendent, LifePoint Ministries Conference
- Leta Dantzler, retired IPHC Missionary & Alpha Conference minister
- Winston & Marie Hollingsworth, retired IPHC Missionaries & Alpha Conference ministers
- Rick (Tammy) Fountain, former IPHC National Church Planting director and assistant director of EVUSA Ministries (serving within Alpha as the CRM Director)
The IPHC Sixth Core Value emphasis, “We Prayerfully Value Justice,” was presented in video and devotional format. The scriptural passage from Micah 6:8 and focused remarks certainly resonated within the conference body.
I presented the State of the Conference Report. Below are a few highlights:
- Emphasis on Arise 2033, the IPHC missional directive, including the Church Revitalization & Multiplication training ongoing in the Conference
- The vision to double the number of churches and ministers in the conference by 2033
- 2018 spiritual experiences included 1,071 salvations/rededications, 215 water baptisms, 185 sanctification experiences and 129 Holy Spirit baptisms. Praise Jesus!
- At the end of 2018 Alpha reported 49 member churches
- As of June 29, 2019 Alpha had 143 ministers
- Appreciation for the faithful giving/stewardship in 2018
- Appreciation for the Alpha Leadership Team & staff
Three ministers received Faithful Service Awards: Rickey Brewington (41 years), James Peacock (40 years) and Ronny Jennings (21 years of service + 79 years of age equaled 100 years). In addition, 19 churches/pastors received church growth awards.
Friendship Pentecostal Holiness Church was presented with the Alpha Centennial Award for 104 years of faithful and dedicated ministry.
Two people received Minister’s License: Brandon Blair and Carissa Blair.
The following people were ordained: Joshua Mays, Sandy Rodgers, Devin Stover, and Derek Zellers. The Ordination Service was very special. The prayers and the laying on of hands were filled with prophetic anointing and unction from the Holy Spirit over each of the ordinands.
May the Lord continue to bless the Alpha Conference to be a Place of Hope and People of Promise, to reach the lost, connect people, disciple believers, develop leaders, multiply churches, and reach our full kingdom potential for the glory of God!