News

Story by V. Michelle Bernard and Jenevieve Lettsome

Many churches across the Columbia Union Conference are still closed for in-person worship due to the coronavirus pandemic, including all churches in the Allegheny East and West conferences. Churches in the New Jersey Conference have experienced 38 deaths as a result of COVID-19. Eighty percent of these churches are now open at 25 percent capacity, reported President Dave Weigley at the September 17 Columbia Union Conference Executive Committee meeting.

Story by V. Michelle Bernard

Pick up an issue of the Visitor magazine, and you’ll find her imprint all over it. Open a program for any Columbia Union Conference event, and you’ll feel her style. Browse columbiaunion.org, and you’ll see her meticulous attention to detail.

Kelly Butler Coe, art director and graphic designer for the Visitor at the Columbia Union, has been an assistant director of Communication since 2000. Today she was promoted to associate director during the Columbia Union Conference Executive Committee meeting.

John Coaxum (left) and Max Gomez, pastors at the Connection Community church, engage the young adult community in authentic and effective ways.

Story by Benia Jennings

Young adults are becoming more absent from churches. Finding creative ways to minister to this age-group is a well-known challenge, not only in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, but within other denominations as well.

Leah Crosby Kathleen Amadio

Story by Tamyra Horst

“Believing in the Lord was one thing; getting to know Him though has been life-changing,” shares Amanda Stevens. “I am not the same person that I was even three months ago. I have yielded my life fully to Jesus. And I love Him. I love reading the Bible and doing Bible studies. I love being around other believers and seeing His light shining through them. And I love that the Lord has provided me with a church family.”

Hispanic camp meeting, Moorefield

Story by Walter Cardenas

Perhaps some think of “the church” as simply the building where they worship. That term has taken on new meaning as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. A building is not necessary for ministry to take place. The Seventh-day Adventist Church has found new and innovative ways to worship and reach out to others through phone calls, Zoom meetings and social media.

The Spanish-speaking members in Mountain View Conference’s territory have had many different needs. Local pastors and members have purchased groceries and offered financial assistance for those who have lost jobs. Volunteers have also taken them grocery shopping and have served as translators at doctor’s appointments.

Dani Arthur, Nick White and Ivy Arreguin—this year’s new Spring Valley Academy staff members—arrive with creativity and passion.

Story by Darren Wilkins

Spring Valley Academy (SVA) elementary students noticed a few new faces in their classrooms at the beginning of the 2020–21 school year.

Former fifth- and sixth-grade teacher, Emily Cowell, took the third- and fourth-grade position after the passing of former teacher Kimberly Orr, while Michele O’Geare moved from her first- and second-grade posi- tion to fill the ELL/reading specialist role vacated by Michelle Church.

Story by Heidi Wetmore

Spencerville Adventist Academy (SAA) is pleased to welcome two new educators for the 2020–2021 school year. Laura Steinert joins SAA’s high school teaching staff in the capacity of English teacher. Her name might sound familiar to SAA families because Steinert began her teaching career at SAA during the 1999–2000 school year.

Story by New Jersey Conference Staff

Peggy Filossaint, the new associate pastor of New Jersey Conference's Maranatha French church in Newark, is a New Jersey native. A graduate of Garden State Academy and Bowie State University (Md.), she earned a Bachelor of Science degree with a concentration in Accounting.

Filossaint worked as an accountant for 16 years before starting her own accounting business in Hagerstown, Md. Three years later, God called her into ministry.

In August 2019, she enrolled in the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University (Mich.), where she is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Pastoral Ministry. In November 2019, she was ordained as an elder at The Grace Place (Ind.).

Potomac Feeding Pandemic

Story by Tiffany Doss

In 2010, Gavin Simpson, now a member of the Harrisonburg (Va.) church, embarked on a life-changing journey of faith as a missionary. Over the last decade, through Eleventh-Hour Laborers, a nonprofit ministering to the less reached regions of the world, he has worked in India, Nepal, Myanmar, and, most recently, Cuba. “We work in-person with the local churches,” he explains. “We train Bible workers and members to do effective community evangelism and outreach. Our Bible workers in Cuba baptized more than 300 individuals last year.”