LCN Article
Ministerial Conference 2012

September / October 2012

More than 270 Living Church of God ministers and wives gathered in Charlotte for the 2012 Ministerial Conference, April 30–May 2, 2012. Meeting at the Renaissance Charlotte Suites Hotel, just west of uptown Charlotte, ministers from around the United States and around the world enjoyed formal meetings and many informal opportunities to renew old acquaintances, establish new friendships and discuss matters of shared interest to the ministry.

Even before the official sessions began, a warm spirit of unity and fellowship was readily apparent. The local Charlotte congregation met at the conference hotel on the Sabbath of April 28, when many of the visiting ministers were already present. Brethren were reminded of the international reach of the Work from the very beginning of services, as Malaysian elder Mr. Rajan Moses gave the opening prayer and Canadian elder Mr. Stuart Wachowicz gave the sermonette.

On Monday morning, the conference sessions were launched by Presiding Evangelist Dr. Roderick C. Meredith, who gave a powerful opening presentation discussing milestones in prophecy and in the Work, and setting the ministers’ minds on where we are headed. Evangelist Richard Ames followed with an update from the Media Department, describing our expanding television coverage and doors that God is opening for the preaching of the gospel.

Then came a special highlight of the conference, as ten Living University graduates were present to receive certificates or diplomas. Mr. Paul Kearns, from Australia—a ministerial trainee now serving in New Zealand—gave the valedictory address on behalf of his classmates. Living University President Dr. Michael Germano and theology professor Richard Ames also gave stirring speeches reminding attendees of the importance of recapturing true values in education.

Topics of discussion covered a range of areas pertinent to the needs of field pastors in this “Internet age.” Charlotte elder Mr. Wyatt Ciesielka, who directs the Church’s Internet operations, gave an informative presentation on “Doing the Work in Cyberspace,” highlighting the many resources the Church makes available online to support the ministry in its many duties. Another presentation by Mr. Ciesielka, “Technology Tools for the Ministry,” shared information about Skype (an online conferencing service, especially valuable to a ministry that must respond to inquiries from people many miles away) and other such innovations that can save the ministry significant money and time.

Other topics discussed included counseling tips and techniques, issues involving working with Church youth and guidelines for effective preaching.

Many attendees found especially inspiring the brief-butpowerful reports from the International Regional Directors, who shared news of growth in the Work all around the world. Messrs. Mario Hernandez, Rod King, Bruce Tyler, Gerald Weston and Scott Winnail joined the Director of Church Administration, Dr. Douglas S. Winnail, to give conference attendees tangible evidence of the power of the Work in areas of which many in the United States are only scarcely aware.

Dr. Douglas Winnail gave an informative presentation about the “Falling Away” described in 2 Thessalonians 2:3. He demonstrated from Scripture and from the clear teachings of Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong that this prophesied event involves an end-time rebellion and deception encompassing the whole world. Ministers also heard an informative presentation by Evangelist Richard Ames, Director of Media Operations, who presented to the ministry a draft paper discussing some key prophetic details involving those faithful Christians who will be resurrected and caught up to be with Christ at the prophesied seventh trumpet. That paper, now reflecting some helpful input brought out by several ministers’ questions, is presented for the entire Church on page 3 of this issue of the Living Church News.

Between sessions, most of those attending were able to pose for portrait photographs that will be included in an upcoming Ministerial Photo Album that will be sent to every Living Church of God member household upon its completion later this year. The previous Ministerial Photo Album, completed in 2006, featured black-andwhite photographs; this edition will be our first in full color.

Budget permitting, the Church Administration Department has sought to have “general” Ministerial Conferences—to which all LCG ministers are invited—at approximately two-year intervals. This year’s conference, the first “full” conference since 2010, elicited many encouraging positive comments from attendees. Here are some of those comments:

  • “Best conference ever.… Many thanks for all the well prepared sessions, all are valuable tools to perform in a more effective way.”
  • “The conference was tremendous! Thank you for such an inspiring event. Every part of it was wonderful!”
  • “Dr. Meredith, your love for God and His Work keeps us all moving forward. It is indeed our joy to serve God and His people!”
  • “The fellowship, camaraderie and love shown one to another, and the overall atmosphere that prevailed, showed that Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit was with this conference.”
  • “Despite the jet lag, I found this conference exhilarating and exciting, especially experiencing Dr. Meredith’s powerful and encouraging messages, and his unforgettable prayer for the sick.”
  • “The conference was super fantastic. Love, unity, and inspiration could be seen and felt. All of the presentations were great… God truly opened the windows of heaven and tremendously blessed the conference.”
  • “Whatwas most outstanding to me:HowChristisworking with the leadership at Headquarters to teach and direct His elders in accomplishing the work of the gospel. There is unity and it is evident. Headquarters is setting the example by leadership. This conference has blown my mind—it has been extremely exciting. God’s presence is evident.”

—LCG Editorial Staff