On October 15, 2018, the North American Division Ministerial Association leadership team wrote short statements of support to pastors following the compliance document vote at Annual Council 2018. Below are the statements from six NAD Ministerial leaders:
Ivan Williams, Director:
Pastors, it is no doubt these are challenging times to be a spiritual leader, and even though it appears we are at a crossroad in the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America, I’m still encouraged that we can stand on the promises of the Author and Finisher of our Faith. I’m encouraged because we can act as Micah declared, “to do justly, to love mercy and walk humbly with our God.” I am also encouraged by our faithful witness to stand for right though the heavens fall. If you are not encouraged, I just want you to know you do not walk alone. We stand with you and more importantly the Creator God of the Universe will empty heaven just for you.
Brenda Billingy, Associate Director:
Women Clergy, I know we all are feeling the after effects of yesterday’s meeting in Battle Creek. You are not alone – we are in this boxing ring together! Even though we may have been punched in the stomach yesterday, we are a resilient group – WE LOOK UP and find strength to get up! “In God I have put my trust; I will not fear what man can do unto me.” “I will cast my burden upon the Lord and He shall sustain me. He will never suffer the righteous to be moved.” We have important work to do, and by God’s grace we can confidently move forward knowing that we have been chosen and called by God. Continue to share your “girl power” with a younger daughter of the King and be intentional about mentoring and increasing our numbers – We will expand the Kingdom!
José Cortes Jr., Associate Director, Evangelism:
Pastors, there are millions of people in our cities, towns, and neighborhoods who need to experience the gospel through our lifestyle of compassion and our message of deliverance that sets them free today and offers them the hope of the second advent and the resurrection. This is not the time to walk away, we owe it to the God who called us to ministry and to the people in desperate need of a Savior, to gather our courage and continue to share the transforming love of God and the compassion of Jesus in practical ways. Our unprecedented church planting movement and our missional awakening across our territory cannot be quenched. More than ever before, this is a time for all hands, feet, and hearts on deck, male and female, young and old, together sharing Jesus with actions and words in North America.
Donna Jackson, Spouses Association Leader:
Husbands and Children of Women Clergy, I can only imagine what you as a husband or child of a woman who has dedicated her life to God’s service, must be feeling the day after the General Conference Annual Council confirmed such a grievous document. Though I believe that most Adventists within our division are deeply troubled by it, only God can understand the injury that has been inflicted on you by it and only He can heal the wounds that this may be causing you. Please know that you are being held up to God continually at this time in prayer. Dear friends, I believe that when ‘the church organization’ appears to fail us, God will not. May the God of all comfort, comfort you in this present time.
Dave Gemmell, Associate Director:
Pastors, after yesterday’s GC council vote we don’t know what the future holds for the Seventh-day Adventist denomination. I’ve heard a variety of speculations. But in any future scenario, your pastoral leadership is needed now more than ever. Your people need a pastor. Your people need hope in Jesus. Your community needs to experience the grace of God. Don’t bolt. Instead, double down on your faith in Jesus.
Esther Knott, Associate Director & Director of InMinistry:
Everyone, even though we the women clergy, who are affected the most by this decision, have largely been left out of the conversation, I thank God for the men of principle who continue to be our voice. I thank God for the hundreds of Holy Spirit empowered women clergy, who against all odds, are having an ever-widening circle of pastoral impact. We at NAD Ministerial are committed to equipping and supporting them as our numbers grow.
These statements originally appeared on the NAD Ministerial website.
We invite you to join our community through conversation by commenting below. We ask that you engage in courteous and respectful discourse. You can view our full commenting policy by clicking here.