President’s Report to the 28th Constituency Session
Wonderful things have happened in the Arizona Conference since 1932 when our church work began in a very humble way in
Our theme this session, “The World for Jesus!” reflects a world to win for Christ. This is based, of course, on the first angel’s message of Revelation 14, proclaiming the everlasting gospel to be preached to the whole world, to every nation, kindred, tongue and people.
When I came to
bi-weekly payroll. I have to admit now that I wondered why on earth the Lord had sent me to
Our percentage of operating capital dipped to about 11 percent. We prayed for wisdom and God blessed!
We had to deal with some very difficult issues involving personnel,
In January of 2005 we held 17 town hall meetings in a short span of just 15 days.
The purpose of these meetings was two-fold—to listen to our constituents and to cast a vision for finishing the work in Arizona. We received a lot of very positive feedback from our church members.
Thousands have been baptized in these countries as we and other ShareHim participants have preached hundreds of meetings internationally, and these in addition to the hundreds of homeland meetings held right here in
This Gospel “fire” experienced by our members in lands afar off was imported and transported back home to our wonderful state where enthusiastic pastors and lay members were touched by the sparks and ignited more “fires” in their local church congregations.As a result God has blessed
By session time we will be well over 16,000 members—an 18% gain, compared to the Pacific Union growth rate of 1%. And this phenomenal growth is not due to an influx of Adventists moving into
Another huge blessing is our tithe increase—from $7,641,000 in 2002 to $11,254,000 in 2006. This is a remarkable 47% increase in just four years! For comparison, during this same period the Pacific Union Conference tithe increase was 17.6% and for the North American Division the average was just over 19%. From the depths of our hearts we praise the Lord and we thank you, our constituents, for your faithfulness. Please continue to pray for more income as our tithe per capita, even with the blessings we’ve experienced, remains at the lower end of the scale for the North American Division.
Last year we were blessed with an extremely successful series of meetings held by It Is Written’s Director-Speaker, Shawn Boonstra. Almost every Conference pastor supported the meetings in one way or another, and almost every church was involved. About 500 precious souls were plucked from the
This last year we were able to share The Desire of Ages with all our Conference families. A gift copy of this book was mailed to every Adventist home in
I’m excited about what’s happening at
We are also in the process of developing another academy on the west side of
This year we witnessed a first-of-its-kind tent evangelistic series, preached by 7th and 8th graders in affluent
At meetings end, there were 50 decisions for baptism.
Our past two camp meetings have been broadcast live over the Internet. I believe this is also a first for the North American Division. At the present time several of our churches (Hispanic and Anglo) are broadcasting their church services live. You may wish to check out our Arizona Conference website at www.azconference.org, recognized as one of the best in the Pacific Union. Camp meeting presentations as well as evangelistic meetings are archived there for your viewing convenience.
Another Arizona Conference first—and a North American Division first according to Youth Director James Black—came in the form of an ambitious project we called X-treme Makeover. Under the leadership of Pastor Benjamin Lundquist and one of our dedicated laymen from
I’m sure you are familiar with the “4 in 24”—Our
for upgrading church facilities. One hundred percent of the funds that you designate for “4 in 24” stay right here in
This year we will complete 250 homeland evangelistic meetings in
Over the last four years, 17 new groups/companies were planted in the Arizona Conference. Our pastors and church members have worked very hard. Some of these same pastors and lay people have consistently baptized more than 100 individuals yearly, a remarkable record in
The last four years we have been blessed to have a “dream team” of a staff at the Arizona Conference Office. Most of our directors were not here four years ago and we thank the Lord for the able leadership He has provided. Our staff recently underwent an evaluation process and, according to Pacific Union Conference President Elder Thomas Mostert, our administrators and directors scored at the high end of the scale, percentage-wise, for the Pacific Union.
Please take time to read the departmental directors’ reports that follow, as well as the reports from all your officers, and you will catch a glimpse of the work that each department accomplishes. Become a bit better acquainted with the plans and goals of your Adventist Book Center and all of the outreaches/ministries that serve the Arizona Conference family including our African-American, Hispanic, Native, Family, Literature, and Youth Ministries; Camp Yavapines; our Communication and Development department; the Community Services, Prison and Disaster Response ministries; your Ministerial/Evangelism and Education/Sabbath School departments; our Religious Liberty and Stewardship/Trust Services ministries—as well as the basic administrative responsibilities carried by our Secretariat and Treasury departments, and by our Vice President’s office.
I must not close without remembering three valiant warriors who went to sleep in Jesus during the past four years: Elder James Edgecombe, Elder John Leski, and teacher Claudia Sargeant. Their accomplishments and contributions to the Arizona Conference were many and they are sadly missed. One day very soon we will see them again on that glorious resurrection morning!
With all my heart I believe that Jesus is serious about our finishing His work in
That plan is to reach the world for Jesus.
I also believe God has a special plan for each of us. I vividly remember an event that happened when I was just 16 years old—a reminder that He was preserving my life for His service. I was driving to work on a back road from my country home to
I am convinced God sent His angel to honk my car’s horn and stop the car to preserve my life—because He had a plan for me.
I am equally convinced that God has a plan for each of our lives. I believe His ultimate goal is for us to share our faith with friends and neighbors through Bible studies and friendship evangelism, and through public evangelism here in
As I look at world conditions I realize I’ve had enough of living on this old ball of mud. I want to go Home! Let’s work together to that end!
Duane McKey, President