Oklahoma Conference Holds 69th Constituency Session
By Jessica L. Lozano, Southwestern Union Communication Director
UPDATE, May 9: The Oklahoma Conference Executive Committee will meet on May 25, 2017, to address vacant positions.
Published May 5, 2017:
On April 30, 2017, the Oklahoma Conference of Seventh-day Adventists held is 69th Regular Constituency Session at the Edmond Seventh-day Adventist Church in Edmond, Okla. In attendance were 338 regular delegates and delegates-at-large. For the 2017-2021 quadrennial term, James Shires, formerly prayer ministries coordinator for the Oklahoma Conference, was voted as executive secretary, and Roger L. Driver was re-elected as treasurer. The position of president was voted and offered to Don Mackintosh, health director of Weimar Institute; however, Mackintosh declined the position. The position will now be referred to the Oklahoma executive committee for action.
Newly elected executive secretary, James Shires, states that, "The Oklahoma Conference has a dedicated and Spirit-led group of pastors committed to the task of sharing the Three Angels' messages in the context of the everlasting gospel. Our church members and lay leaders are equally committed to the same task and we are working together in the mission field of Oklahoma. Both pastors and church members will be seeking the Lord, for Him to show us who He wants to be the next president off our Conference. We will be ready to support and work together with him under God's leading and direction. We have complete confidence that God is in control and we are looking to Him, knowing that He is faithful and we soon will find the person that He is calling to lead us. The Conference officers will be working together with Elder Larry Moore to begin that process soon. Please pray along with us as we go forward."
Prior to the opening of the session, the nominating committee met at 7:00 a.m. to meet and confer with delegates regarding the nominating committee's report. While the nominating committee met, delegates enjoyed a mini-concert by the King's Heralds. At 10:00 a.m. Eduardo Canales, vice president for evangelism for the Southwestern Union, gave the invocation. Guest speaker Keith Gray, pastor of the Acts 2 Seventh-day Adventist Church in Plano, Texas, presented the devotional message.
Following the worship program, conference treasurer Roger Driver led the delegates in prayer, which was followed by the King's Heralds performing special music.
Outgoing president John Moyer, who retired as of the session, and then-executive secretary, Rick Dye, called the meeting to order and for the seating of the delegates. The meeting was then turned over to Larry Moore, Southwestern Union president, who chaired the business session. Also present were Buford Griffith, Jr., Southwestern Union executive secretary, and Rodney Grove, former Oklahoma Conference president and former Lake Union executive secretary, who acted as parliamentarian. Southwestern Union and General Conference Auditing Services staff assisted with the proceedings.
Delegates voted to add two churches, South Oklahoma City Spanish and Tulsa Zomi, to the sisterhood of churches. They also voted to dissolve the Hooker, Idabel, Madill, and Oklahoma City Northwest Spanish churches.
Conference officers presented a video report, giving an overview of the history of the Adventist Church in Oklahoma as well as an update of the current state of affairs in the conference.
Michael Merrifield, of General Conference Auditing Services (GCAS), presented the auditor's report, stating that the conference received the highest rating possible from GCAS.
In addition to the retirement of John Moyer, Jack Francisco, then-superintendent of education, and Linda Francisco, then-church clerk, announced their retirements from church work. Moyer and his wife, Donna, along with the Franciscos were presented with flowers and words of gratitude for their years of dedicated service to the church.
Also elected during the session were; Apple Park, Asian ministries coordinator and youth/young adult ministries director; Paula Mitchel, children's ministries coordinator; James Bokovoy, communication director; Stanley Buckmaster, community services director; Sherry Fisher, health ministries director; Hispanic ministries coordinator, Ciro Castillo; Jim Landelius, Native American ministries coordinator; Michael Smith, prayer ministries coordinator; and Marjorie Green, women's ministries coordinator.
The following positions were referred to the executive committee: ASI liaison; education superintendent; evangelism coordinator; men's ministries director; ministerial director; ministerial spouse's director; planned giving and trust services director; public affairs and religious liberty coordinator; Sabbath School/personal ministries director; and stewardship director.
Larry Moore, Southwestern Union president, says that "The Oklahoma Conference is poised for tremendous growth through God's guidance and providence. Let us continue to pray for and support the conference leadership in this time of transition. God has great things in store for Oklahoma."